Unanswered Questions

159
votes
0answers
85k views

Has Stack Overflow saved billions of dollars in programmer productivity?

John Carmack is a renowned developer and CTO. His Twitter account has over 100,000 followers. On the occasion of Stack Exchange's 5th anniversary, he quipped on Twitter: [... Stack Overflow] has ...
7
votes
0answers
39 views

Does water bring out the flavor and aroma in scotch?

I've often heard that adding just a few drops of filtered, room termperature water to scotch helps to "bring out the flavor and the aroma." The scotch guy at my store told me it involves a chemical ...
7
votes
0answers
523 views

Do Himalayan Salt Lamps remove airborne contaminates?

While indirectly related to Himalayan salt caves due to their sourcing, Himalayan Salt Lamps are not quite the same. These lamps are sold for the dual purposes of mood lighting and supposed health ...
4
votes
0answers
129 views

Do salt lamps produce negative ions?

Do claims that Himalayan Salt Lamps produce negative ions when lit with an incandescent bulb have any science to back it up?
1
vote
1answer
5 views

Did a cop get fired after stopping police abuse?

From https://twitter.com/PolicePoliceACP/status/546020531665772544 (1754 retweets, 705 favorites) Cop Stops Cop From Choking a Handcuffed Man, She Was Then Beaten/Fired Read more >> ...
45
votes
0answers
6k views

Are light-on-dark colour schemes for computer screens better for programmers?

There is somewhat general scientific agreement that in general case for reading, dark text on light background is more readable than light on dark. However, most studies have shown that dark ...
24
votes
0answers
716 views

Is Starlite a hoax?

About 40 years ago, Maurice Ward, a hairdresser and amateur chemist, developed a plastic that was said to be resistant to extreme heat. Able to withstand a laser beam that could produce a temperature ...
24
votes
0answers
1k views

Is Swype faster than typing?

Many articles on IT websites claim that Swype is faster than typing on smartphones (zdnet, ghacks, etc). Wikipedia relates the following claim : "The creators of Swype predict that users will achieve ...
23
votes
0answers
255 views

Does pair programming improve the correctness of software?

Some advocates of pair programming suggest that two software engineers working on a single feature together - at the same desk, at the same computer - will create software that is more correct - that ...
22
votes
0answers
1k views

Do performance incentives work for knowledge workers?

In this animated video of his talk, Dan Pink claims performance incentives do not work, and can actually lead to worse performance. In summary, he quotes two studies (which he unfortunately does not ...
20
votes
0answers
358 views

Has anyone been caught using inductive coupling to steal power?

There are lots of references to the claim that people have stolen power through inductive coupling on the Internet: The most common claim it that it was a farmer somewhere that noticed electricity ...
20
votes
0answers
522 views

Is gearing down more energy efficient than braking?

When spotting a red light or similar, I often release the gas pedal, gear down and let the engine decelerate instead of pressing the brake pedal. I was taught that this was more energy efficient for ...
19
votes
0answers
407 views

Did the NYPD use an ambulance to trick protesters into cooperating?

I saw this tumblr post (with over 50,000 notes, so it's notable), which says: Tonight the NYPD tricked protesters into helping them by driving empty ambulances through the crowd. We thought they ...
19
votes
0answers
590 views

Did Thomas Edison test 1600 materials for the filament of his light bulb?

From this webpage: In 1879, after testing more that 1600 materials for the right filament, including coconut fiber, fishing line, and even hairs from a friend's beard, Edison and his workers ...
19
votes
0answers
409 views

Is the US more tolerant of failure than other cultures?

I've come across several sources claiming that the US is more tolerant of trial-and-error than other cultures: (The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb) "American culture encourages the process of ...

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