Cameras Are Dead, Long Live Smartphones

Sales of point-and-shoot cameras fell off a cliff last year and the spike in smartphone use is to blame. The use of social networks to share photos online has made smartphones more convenient.

What's the Latest Development?


Sales of point-and-shoot cameras fell off a cliff last year and the spike in smartphone use is to blame. Analysts say the increasingly social function of photographs, sharing them online via Flickr, Facebook and so on, makes the smartphone more convenient for many users. "It's about how consumers are using cameras, and on what occasions. The smartphone is popular because it's always in your pocket, and you are connected so you can directly upload to the internet whenever you want."

What's the Big Idea?

Companies like Apple are actively trying to capture the camera market and the camera industry is feeling the effects. The iPhone 4S has an 8-megapixel camera, an improvement over the 4-megapixel iPhone 4. The sales trend was confirmed last week when it was announced that the groundbreaking film company Kodak was on the brink of bankruptcy. At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, camera makers will be eager to show off new innovations like water resistance, 3D photography and intelligent focusing.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to good health and well-being

Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.

Image courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
  • As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
  • If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
  • Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
  • By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
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An ancient structure visible from space isn’t man-made

Long hidden under trees, it's utterly massive

(Roy Funch)
Surprising Science
  • This 4,000-year-old structure can be seen from space and wasn't built by humans
  • It's made up of 200 million mounds of earth
  • It's still under construction today
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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How Christians co-opted the winter solstice

Christmas has many pagan and secular traditions that early Christians incorporated into this new holiday.

Saturnalia by Antoine Callet
Culture & Religion
  • Christmas was heavily influenced by the Roman festival of Saturnalia.
  • The historical Jesus was not born on December 25th as many contemporary Christians believe.
  • Many staple Christmas traditions predated the festival and were tied into ancient pagan worship of the sun and related directly to the winter solstice.
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