Customers Come Cheap in Digital World

Seth Godin takes marketers to task over their failure to adjust to the internet revolution which has seen the cost of cost of a new customer plunge, in some cases to close to zero.

What's the Latest Development?

In business, they say a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. As Seth Godin reminds us, it's important to know how much it costs to get one new customer and, on average, what they're worth during your relationship with them. So what are we to make of the fact that for Facebook and Twitter, for example, the cost of a new customer is almost zero?

What's the Big Idea?

Godin says that when you can get people into a relationship for nothing, "you don't need to make much on each one to be delighted with the outcome." So what does that mean for marketers? "Dates, not singles bars. Subscriptions, not vegomatics," says Godin. For instance, don't go investing a lot of hype to get strangers to notice you once then put everything into a one shot transaction which few people engage in.

How to make a black hole

Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.

  • There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
  • CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
  • Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
  • Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
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China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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