Half of all American households own an Apple product

A recently-conducted survey found that there is an Apple product in over 55 million U.S. homes, and one-in-ten households that do not fall into that category plan to make a purchase in the next year.

According to CNBC’s All-America Economic survey…the iPhone maker’s products have a unique momentum as the average Apple-owning home has three such devices…“It’s a fantastic business model — the more of our products you own, the more likely you are to buy more,” said Jay Campbell, a vice president at Hart Research…

Unsurprisingly, the most saturated Apple demographic makes over $75,000 a year, with 77 percent of these higher income buyers owning at least one device. On average, high-earners own an average of three Apple products. This is contrasted by a 28 percent ownership rate for people earning $30,000 or less.

Some 63 percent of survey respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 said they were Apple users, which mirrored the answers of 35-to-49-year-olds. Ownership fell off moving further up the scale, with only half of 50-to-64-year-olds and 26 percent of those aged 65-and-up using a product made by the Cupertino, Calif., company.

Apple devices seem to be popular with children as over 61 percent of households with kids own at least one, which is 13 percent more than homes without 17-and-under family members.

Finally, the products have a bi-coastal appeal, though west-coasters have a significantly higher adoption rate with 57 percent of households counting themselves as users compared to an average 47 to 51 percent for the rest of the country.

Our family’s geek background enters the equation from a completely different direction. Most Apple owners in our family came into using their devices rather analytically – looking for best use in the category whether it be portable music, smartphone or computing device.

In my case, I bought an Apple Mini when they first came out just to experiment with OS X. After 25 years in Microsoft, IBM and other computing environments, I discovered how easy computing as a utility could be. Then Apple seemed to be reading my mind when they began a convergence with entertainment systems. Easy as pie.

Aizhai suspension bridge, Hunan, China

Click on photo to enlarge

The world’s longest tunnel-to-tunnel suspension bridge has opened in China. Construction of the Aizhai extra large suspension bridge, which carries traffic 355m above the valley floor, took over four years. Designed to ease congestion in the mountainous region, it will cut the time needed to traverse the canyon from 30 minutes to one.

Phew! Not the kind of job I ever volunteered for.

A GUARDIAN Eyewitness photo.

LA Sheriff’s officer freed con to give him golf lessons

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s captain is under investigation, suspected of springing a prisoner from jail to get free tips on his golf swing.

The lessons from Frank Carrillo, a convicted jewel thief with a reputation as an expert golfer, allegedly took place on a course on Catalina Island, where Carrillo was serving a sentence on charges of theft, including stealing during a golf match a World Series ring that belonged to former Dodgers catcher Jimmy Campanis and a Rolex watch.

Acccording to a claim from sheriff’s deputy William R. Cordero, Capt. Jeff Donahue “illegally transported (inmate Frank) Carrillo to a local golf course where he was given golf lessons by Carrillo.”

The claim says that the captain had “Carrillo’s prison yellow jumpsuit and wristband removed … then had Carrillo outfitted in civilian golf clothes including a polo shirt and Docker pants…”

Donahue, who is part of the sheriff’s force at Avalon that polices California’s Catalina Island, is on medical leave. He did not immediately return a call…seeking comment.

NSS. Egregious crap like this tends to happen within local politics’ Good Old Boy network. Certainly likely to exist in long-term bureaucracies like the police in Los Angeles County.

Predictably, the whistleblower – William Cordero – has been threatened, harassed, transferred and not promoted as the response from the Sheriff’s Department. Ain’t life special in the Free World?

12-mile-high Martian dust devil viewed from Orbiter satellite

Click on photo for larger image

A Martian dust devil roughly 20 kilometers high was captured winding its way along the Amazonis Planitia region of Northern Mars on March 14, 2012 by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Despite its height, the plume is little more than three-quarters of a football field wide – 70 meters.

Would I ever love to be along on a mission to Mars? You betcha!

Thanks, Science Daily

Conservatives set out to repeal California execution law they passed in 1978 — the biggest mistake of their lives

The year was 1978, and the California ballot bristled with initiatives for everything from banning gay teachers to cracking down on indoor smoking. Both lost. But one, Proposition 7, sailed through: expanding the state’s death penalty law to make it among the toughest and most far-reaching in the country.

The campaign was run by Ron Briggs, today a farmer and Republican member of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors. It was championed by his father, John V. Briggs, a state senator. And it was written by Donald J. Heller, a former prosecutor in the New York district attorney’s office who had moved to Sacramento.

Thirty-four years later, another initiative is going on the California ballot, this time to repeal the death penalty and replace it with mandatory life without parole. And two of its biggest advocates are Ron Briggs and Mr. Heller, who are trying to reverse what they have come to view as one of the biggest mistakes of their lives…

“At the time, we were of the impression that it would do swift justice, that it would get the criminals and murderers through the system quickly and apply them the death penalty,” Mr. Briggs, 54, said over tea in the kitchen at his 100-acre farm in this Gold Rush town, where he grows potatoes, peppers, melons, watermelons, cherries and (unsuccessfully, so far) black Périgord truffles.

“But it’s not working,” he said. “My dad always says, admit the obvious. We started with 300 on death row when we did Prop 7, and we now have over 720 — and it’s cost us $4 billion. I tell my Republican friends, ‘Close your eyes for a moment. If there was a state program that was costing $185 million a year and only gave the money to lawyers and criminals, what would you do with it..?’ ”

Try that out on the nutballs now in charge of the Republican Party.

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Man proposes to lover on trial for trying to murder him — WTF?

Glutton for punishment?

A man who almost died when his girlfriend stabbed him in the back, turned up at court with a diamond ring and asked her to marry him.

Gregory Todd, 48, had been planning to go down on one knee and pop the question to Tiffany Baillie, 32, when she appeared in the dock to admit attacking him as he slept in December last year. But the chef, who spent months in hospital after Baillie plunged a 12 inch kitchen knife into his back, was forced to propose through her lawyer after the judge remanded her in custody to await sentencing.

Mr Todd, who is unable to visit Baillie in prison until after Easter, is now desperately waiting to hear if she has accepted his marriage offer…

The judge heard how Baillie stabbed Mr Todd in the back in December last year as he slept at their home in Hessle, Humberside.

The attack came around the anniversary of the death of Baillie’s ten-week old son and also came shortly after she had suffered a miscarriage.

Her lawyer said she had been struggling to deal with the grief at the time and could not explain why she had stabbed Mr Todd.

The blade pierced Mr Todd’s liver, spleen and pancreas and doctors said he would have certainly died had it not been for the swift medical intervention…

Judge Michael Mettyear said he recognised the fact that Mr Todd had forgiven Baillie and wanted to continue with their relationship, but said that may not influence his final decision.

He said: “I want some time to think about it. If he had died, this would have been a life sentence. The minimum term would have been 25 years. If she had been convicted of attempted murder the sentence could have been the order of 15 years. This is a difficult case and the guidelines suggest a prison sentence of some length.”

C’mon, judge. Give them a chance to sort it out. What’s the worst that could happen? 🙂