A computer is a programmable machine designed to automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations.

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227 views

Did Russian hackers obtain billions of passwords?

Many news outlets seem to be reporting this story (NY Times article) about Russian hackers allegedly acquiring billions of usernames and passwords. A Russian crime ring has amassed the largest ...
-1
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2answers
181 views

Can emails in draft box avoid detection?

At around the 28 mins and 13 secs of Season 3, Episode 9, of the TV series Strike Back, Major Oliver Sinclair (portrayed by Rhashan Stone) claims the following, the truth of which I'd like to know. ...
17
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1answer
1k views

Is Google Chrome killing my laptop battery?

I was reading an article on Forbes that says Google Chrome might be draining my laptop's battery because it brings the system into a mode that uses a tick rate of 1ms instead of 16ms, and is using up ...
2
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1answer
267 views

Does using a matched pair of memory sticks provide any benefit?

Apple recommends installing pairs of memory sticks with matched sizes to allow for dual-channel memory interface. However, some people believe that it's also important not only to match the sizes of ...
24
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3answers
712 views

Is using “sleep mode” wasteful and harmful to a computer?

I have my home computer set to go into "sleep mode" when idle for a short time, and I assumed that by doing so I was saving lots of energy and that it was good for the computer by shutting down ...
7
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1answer
300 views

Does the lifespan of laptop depend significantly on its usage?

Every once in a while I see the claim that lifespan of a laptop is more or less the same, no matter how often it is used. How far is this from being true? Is it true that the difference in lifespan is ...
14
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1answer
281 views

Did the NSA pay RSA $10 million to make Dual_EC_DRBG the default in BSafe?

According to this article from Reuters Undisclosed until now was that RSA received $10 million in a deal that set the NSA formula as the preferred, or default, method for number generation in the ...
8
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0answers
166 views

Are 1 in 5 pieces of software in the US unlicensed?

This BSA form claims that 1 in 5 pieces of software in the US are unlicensed. How true is it?
8
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1answer
506 views

Did deep learning start at Microsoft?

Bill Gates has recently said: The ultimate is computers that learn. So called deep learning which started at Microsoft and is now being used by many researchers looks like a real advance that ...
2
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0answers
49 views

Can we trust firmware updates in light of stuxnet and the Target breach? [closed]

How about when self-driving cars receive auto part software updates?
7
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1answer
320 views

Do 52% of computer users lose irreplaceable documents, photos, music and videos every year?

Livedrive claims that "52% of computer users lose irreplaceable documents, photos, music and videos every year?". Is there any published study on that matter?
9
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1answer
612 views

Is the 500-mile email case true?

According to the author of this story, an improperly configured email server had too strict timeout settings which effectively limited its communication radius to 500 miles. The author states it's ...
2
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1answer
230 views

Will the bytes of data stored in 2020 be greater than the number of grains of sand on the world's beaches?

An article in The Independent covering recent developments in Big data contains the following, suspiciously precise, claim: By 2020, it's thought that the number of bytes will be 57 times greater ...
8
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1answer
202 views

Do US agents intercept and install spyware on new computers ordered by persons of interest?

In a Fox news article entitled "German magazine claims NSA hacking unit uses powerful methods to obtain data", a magazine article in Der Spiegel is cited as claiming, among other things: ...if the ...
13
votes
1answer
654 views

Does the US army use unlicensed copies of Windows 7?

I saw this claim at TorrentFreak: However, a signal soldier serving in Qatar informs TorrentFreak that this incident may not be as unique as it sounds. According to the soldier, who we will name ...
2
votes
0answers
110 views

Dragon NaturallySpeaking's accuracy improvement over versions

Dragon NaturallySpeaking's editor Nuance claims that Dragon 12 delivers up to a 20% improvement in out-of-box accuracy compared to Dragon 11. Nuance made similar claims in the past with previous ...
3
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3answers
2k views

Can hot-plugging an HDMI cable damage the HDMI port?

I found this site on the Internet saying something to that effect: Warning!!.....Never connect and disconnect HDMI cables and equipment while your devices are powered on (hot plugging cables). The ...
21
votes
1answer
674 views

Is it dangerous to vacuum-clean motherboards (and other electronics)?

I've been informed that using the standard household vacuum cleaner's blower attachment to clean motherboards (and the insides of laptops and desktops in general) is dangerous due to the possibility ...
2
votes
0answers
209 views

Did the Stuxnet virus attack the International Space Station?

Over at Extreme Tech Last year, news broke that a virus sabotaged the Iranian uranium enrichment program. It seemed all too convenient at the time — and as it turned out, the virus, Stuxnet, was ...
1
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0answers
168 views

Are Vertical key layouts more ergonomic?

One of the feature that kinesis advertises for their Kinesis Advantage Pro Contoured Keyboard is: Vertical key layout - keys are arranged in vertical columns to reflect natural motions of your ...
17
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1answer
3k views

Does working at a standing desk consume more calories than sitting?

src I've heard conflicting claims: Site that claims it maks a crap load of difference Site that claims it doesn't make a shred of difference What does science say? You may find this question ...
8
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1answer
481 views

Does a screensaver save the computer display screen?

Does a screensaver save the computer display screen? And if it does, what does it save the screen from? If the above two questions have a NO answer, than why is it called screensaver?
1
vote
1answer
588 views

Is it possible to generate all photos ever taken by random sequencing of bits? [closed]

All JPGS, pngs etc are basically just sequences of bits. Is it possible to generate these by making a program that generates random sequences of bits? For example say that the sequence 100010111 is ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Did Bill Gates tamper with his school's computer system?

There is a story around that Bill Gates tampered with his school's (or college's) scheduling system to get in class with all the 'hot' girls. Did this in fact happen? References I've found: 10 ...
5
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4answers
1k views

Will NSA's Utah Data Center be able to handle and process five zettabytes of data?

The claim I want to have examined is The NSA's Utah Data Center will be able to handle and process five zettabytes of data. I think that "zettabytes" is much too big. Even one Exabyte might be ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Is D-Wave Systems's “D-Wave One” a quantum computer?

D-Wave Systems claim to have produced the first commercial quantum computer: The company's flagship product, the D-Wave One, is built around a novel type of superconducting processor that uses ...
8
votes
2answers
389 views

Do ad blockers in browsers save significant energy?

There is a claim that adverts sometimes include animations, which requires more energy to display, and that, hence, ad blockers save significant energy? Source: Blocking Online Ads May Save Energy ...
10
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5answers
15k views

Can overheating laptops cause fire?

I have come across a Facebook post from an unverified and unreliable source, which claims that a fire was started using heat as a source alone. Here is the exact post which is the subject of the ...
15
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1answer
756 views

Are low-spec computer parts just faulty high-spec computer parts?

Someone was telling me that lower-price or lower-spec computer parts such as graphics cards and central processing units are actually just higher-spec, higher-price units that have manufacturing ...
30
votes
2answers
3k views

Has a programmer ever embezzled money by shaving fractions of a cent from many bank transactions?

There's a popular story that describes a programmer having altered a program at a bank so it diverted fractions of a cent from every transaction to another account (or some variation like multiple ...
1
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0answers
269 views

Does Google Drive secretly save all my stuff? [closed]

When I delete (delete, not trash) a file from my Google Drive, does Google secretly keep an archive of it? Even if it is an archive that I cannot access.
16
votes
2answers
4k views

Can blue light from LCD panels cause damage to the eyes?

In Japan there is quite a fad about LCD blue light filtering and how they might help reduce eyestrain, etc. The web site of a major computer accessory manufacturer has an English-language press ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

is jon skeet just one person? [closed]

I was pondering whilst bathing I know it seems ridiculous but he has a full time fairly important job and still has the time to post so many answers each day. he has 514897 rep and has been a ...
19
votes
1answer
3k views

Is it possible to recover data on a zeroed hard drive?

Let's assume that I have a modern magnetic (not SSD) hard drive, manufactured within the past ten years, and the hard drive is packed with the only copies of an unpublished paper about cheap cold ...
9
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0answers
502 views

Did the Windows XP CD include Microsoft Bob?

Microsoft employee Raymond Chen says that an encrypted copy of Microsoft Bob is included on the Windows XP CD to take up space. But Windows XP doesn't take up the entire CD; there is a lot of free ...
22
votes
1answer
5k views

Do Gunnar Glasses reduce eye strain?

In my RSS feeds today, I got an article named Gunnar Glasses Reduce Computer Eyestrain, Are 75% Off for the Next Two Days which links to a previous article about their benefits: Gunnar's website ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Does opening a laptop and cleaning it from dust make it live longer?

There are a lot of how-to guides on opening a laptop to clean its fan/motherboard/etc of dust. For example, this or this, and a Google search yields a ton of results. So a lot of people believe it ...
0
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2answers
3k views

Did Apple ever invent any technology on its own? [closed]

In a wake of Apple suing everyone over shape of rectangles, many people claim, that Apple, never really invented anything on it's own. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​It's clear that a company ...
29
votes
1answer
2k views

Did Apple sue New York city over the nickname Big Apple?

An article in The Guardian - Apple's rot starts with its Samsung lawsuit win Makes the following claim: Apple is one of the most aggressive intellectual property litigators of all time ... It's ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Has 90% of the world's data been created in the last two years?

"Big Data" is a big trending term on the internet (especially on the web sites of big companies selling data management services). For example, I came across this article while reading the Irish Times ...
31
votes
1answer
2k views

Did the computing term “bug” come from a moth stuck in a computer?

The story goes like this: Back when computers still consisted of vacuum tubes, a system went down one day and people started investigating the cause. They found that a moth was stuck in the ...
2
votes
0answers
2k views

Why is North Korea the only country not mapped by Google? [closed]

I have always believed North Korea didn't show up in Google Maps for political reasons but that doesn't explain why other countries that the United States government is not fond of, such as Iran, ...
22
votes
1answer
925 views

Do programmers who learn to type faster become better programmers?

CodingHorror: So if you want to become a great programmer, start by becoming a great typist. [...] When you're a fast, efficient typist, you spend less time between thinking that thought and ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Is leapmotion a scam?

Looking for altertative ways of Human–computer interaction, I found www.leapmotion.com, which looks promising. They say in the website and in some interviews that they will release this device to the ...
-4
votes
2answers
430 views

Could Eurostar have implemented a Wifi network on their train for £600 (GBP)?

I'm watching this video by Rory Suterland in which he claims at 6:15 that Eurostar could have implemented a WiFi network for £600, but instead choose to spend £6,000,000 decreasing the journey time by ...
3
votes
0answers
358 views

Will super intelligent machines arise to build still smarter machines? [closed]

The Singularity Institute's FAQ claims : [At FAQ 1.1.1] When humanity builds machines with greater-than-human intelligence, they will also be better than we are at creating still smarter ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Does using the computer before sleeping affect sleep patterns?

According to this Bloomberg Businessweek article using electronics before bed may hamper sleep. Is it true that using a computer, watching T.V. or using some other type of face-to-screen electronics ...
19
votes
2answers
12k views

Does baking your graphics card fix it?

There's a tonne of articles online about fixing you graphics card by baking it in the oven. Supposedly this 'reflows' the solder to fix flaky connections. It's even been reported on sites such as ...
3
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0answers
180 views

Do “digital natives” process information in fundamentally different ways

Marc Prensky defines the term digital natives, referring to people who were born after digital computers were popular. He claims that they process information in fundamentally different ways. Our ...
10
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1answer
637 views

Does using a computer affect your eyesight?

I've heard it said very often: Using a computer/smartphone can make you nearsighted. Is it true? Is there good research on the topic?