Unanswered Questions

148
votes
0answers
84k 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 ...
43
votes
0answers
5k 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 ...
30
votes
0answers
1k views

Should I cut off black banana ending before eating?

I was always told that I should cut off the black ending of a banana before eating, because it would be dangerous. Sources for this claim can for example be found here (though that source is actually ...
24
votes
0answers
653 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 ...
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
511 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
298 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 ...
19
votes
0answers
384 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 ...
19
votes
0answers
1k views

Did Henry Ford predict revolution if people understood the banking and monetary system?

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning. Several sites ...
18
votes
0answers
2k views

Is Shaolin monk Hu Qiong using “Chi energy” to withstand an electric drill?

In one of the episodes of Stan Lee's Superhumans (the excerpt in question can be viewed here) a Shaolin monk named Hu Qiong claims that by training his body and "transfering Chi to the right part of ...
18
votes
0answers
3k views

Is rape a crime about violence and power, or a crime of passion?

Adam Carolla, from the popular radio show Loveline, and in the Guiness Records for the most downloaded podcast of all time made the following claim (1 min mark): rape is not a sexual crime, you ...
18
votes
0answers
10k views

Experiments about the “power of thoughts” on cooked rice

Over the past few months a number of people (who don't know each other) have been telling me that I should try a "power of thoughts" experiment that's also known as "the rice experiment." They're ...
17
votes
0answers
369 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 ...
17
votes
0answers
526 views

Are Roman numerals used in the end credits of films to mask their age?

© Time Warner Studios MCMXCVIII A post on MTVSE questions why movies use Roman numerals in the copyright notices of the end credits. The accepted (and referenced) answer (ref 1, ref 2) states that ...

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