Questions tagged [computers]

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

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19
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0answers
3k 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 ...
23
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1answer
818 views

Did Intel have low chip yields due to a clerk hand-checking blank wafers?

In this blog post Bob Cringley recounts the following story (abriged for brevity here): There was a time in the early 1980s when Intel suffered terrible quality problems. [..] The problem was caused ...
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0answers
497 views

Does Windows 7 have lower latencies than Windows 10 in gaming workflows? [closed]

I saw a claim that Windows 7 is superior to Windows 10 for gaming: There’s a lot of reasons win7 is utilized. Especially in strictly competitive games that support it, (CSGO, Valorant, Fortnite), a ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Have ATMs across the US "spat out money" in the second half of January 2018?

In a response to the DDoS attacks on several Dutch banks and other institutions, "cybersecurity specialist" Rian van Rijbroek claimed on 29 January 2018 on the Dutch news programme Nieuwsuur ...
22
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1answer
8k 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 ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Does looking at screens damage your brain?

I found several articles that warn of the dangers of too much computer time, especially for children. Oxford Learning, Jun 2010: Too much computer time can be bad for your brain However, a recent ...
38
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1answer
4k 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 ...
-1
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1answer
701 views

Do some captchas record your mouse movements?

I have heard (I can't remember where I heard this unfortunately) that some types of captchas don't verify that the user is human by having them click on the correct images but rather examine the users ...
11
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0answers
368 views

Has there never been a virus infection in Chromebook history?

Diamond product expert (maximum level expert for Chromebooks) Jim Dantin stated in a community post that (quoting user) Chromebooks can be infected by viruses. (response) It's never happened to a ...
19
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0answers
767 views

Did Burmese typewriters contain an upside-down character, which subsequently became proper typewriter style?

I was reading about the Internet Archive's work to archive the materials of a famous New York City typewriter family: http://blog.archive.org/2020/08/26/an-archive-of-a-different-type/ I was ...
262
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2answers
41k views

Do bigger or more monitors increase productivity?

There is a ton of anecdotal evidence that adding more screen estate (more or larger monitors) leads to an increase in productivity, especially for programmers. For example, where I work, all ...
8
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1answer
550 views

Were flight reservations centrally managed on wall boards in huge halls in the pre-computer era?

For the first fifty years of scheudled air travel, agents' bookings were done over the telephone. At first, charts recording space on particular flights were sheets of paper. Eventually, for large ...
4
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0answers
550 views

Do long sessions of computer use damage the user's skin?

I believe that regularly spending long periods of time facing computers monitors while using them significantly damages the skin. The Daily Mail reported in 2018: According to [Rebecca Mason, skin ...
1
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1answer
540 views

Are Teslas with autopilot system safer than vehicles without it?

An AP article describes some recent crashes that may have been linked to the Tesla autopilot system. The article states that there have been three fatal crashes since 2016 potentially linked to the ...
6
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1answer
2k views

Does Ubuntu have 40 million users?

Ubuntu.com claims that there are 40 million Ubuntu users: Ubuntu now has over 40 million desktop users and counting. 40 million seems quite low, so I'm wondering how accurate this number is.
36
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1answer
4k views

Does the Dvorak keyboard increase typing speed?

I've read somewhere, I can't seem to find it now, that in an experiment involving people learning to type, that the Dvorak keyboard didn't have a tangible typing speed benefit in comparison to the ...
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0answers
142 views

Are there 200 billion lines of COBOL in production in 2019? [duplicate]

Cited in this article from ZDNet, According to a COBOL consulting company, which goes by the delightful name, COBOL Cowboys, 200 billion lines of COBOL code are still in use today and that 90% of ...
95
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3answers
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Was credit for the black hole image misattributed?

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) was used to create an image of Messier 87*, a supermassive black hole in the Messier 87 galaxy. This result has been heavily reported in the media leading up to its ...
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Did the "Windows Web Browser Choice Screen" enforced by the EU make a difference?

In response to a EU anti-trust ruling, European Android users will soon be presented with a browser choice screen. Those of us who are old enough will remember that the same thing happened on Windows ...
73
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7answers
10k views

Was the QWERTY keyboard layout designed to slow down typists?

I have heard that the QWERTY keyboard layout was invented to get around the problem of old fashioned typewriters getting stuck if you typed too quickly. Is this story true, or was there another ...
53
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3answers
10k views

Does the color temperature of a computer screen affect sleep patterns?

There's a little tool called f.lux that claims: During the day, computer screens look good — they're designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn't be looking at the ...
16
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1answer
4k views

Did a computer server get accidentally walled in?

I'm in IT and I've repeatedly heard stories of a server that was left stuck in a space that had a wall built in front of it, and was only discovered years later when the wall was torn down. This 2001 ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Have "backdoors" in software programs been seen in the real world?

Has there ever been a software program that has been shown to have an in-bad-faith "backdoor" allowing privileged access? When I say "in bad faith" I mean, "that cannot be credibly explained by ...
11
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5answers
39k 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 ...
2
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0answers
261 views

Had ENIAC run more calculations than all mankind had done (up to 1955)? [closed]

According to this comment on Quantum Computing StackExchange, For a decade, until a 1955 lightning strike, ENIAC may have run more calculations than all mankind had done up to that point I search ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Was there a ML-backed algorithm that learnt to delete list instead of sorting it

Here's a quote from an article which was discussed pretty heavily a while ago: Well, it’s not unsorted: For example, there was an algorithm that was supposed to sort a list of numbers. Instead, ...
56
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8answers
65k views

Can the human eye distinguish frame rates above 60 Hz?

I know that frame-rates above 60fps all look the same to the human eye. Is that true? Why? If so, why do graphics cards boast anything higher than that?
10
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1answer
2k views

Was this Harry-Potter themed text written solely by a computer program?

A YouTube video caught my eye with the title, "A Robot Wrote A Chapter To A Harry Potter Book, And It's Absolutely Insane." The video claims that a software algorithm created by Botnik Studios was ...
72
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1answer
4k views

Do programmers who learn to type faster become better programmers?

CodingHorror writes: 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 ...
2
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0answers
338 views

Is Computer Science the fastest growing science field in the history of mankind? [closed]

Background Wikipedia lists several scientific disciplines on its science article. To name a few, they are: Logic, Maths, Statistics, Molecular, Atomic, Plasma, Quantum Physics, Astrophysics, ...
8
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1answer
11k views

Can the "Xtra-PC" USB device make your old computer faster?

The Xtra-PC web-site describes a cheap USB device that can speed up old PCs: Make everything fast again with Xtra-PC: browsing the Internet, writing emails, watching videos, playing games, and more! ...
8
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0answers
475 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 ...
3
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0answers
123 views

Is humidity more relevant than high operating temperatures in hard drive reliability?

According to Environmental Conditions and Disk Reliability in Free-cooled Datacenters: Based on our experience and observations, we conclude that high relative humidity degrades reliability ...
2
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0answers
262 views

Is looking at a computer screen all that bad for you? [closed]

As you've all heard around on the internet looking at a screen is bad and awful for you, however, is there any proof that screens and only screens are the cause of these health issues? This article ...
47
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3answers
15k views

Do four random common words make a stronger password than passwords like "Tr0ub4dor&3"?

In xkcd comic #936, Randall Munroe claims that passwords like "Tr0ub4dor&3" (uncommon base word, caps, common letter substitutions with a number and punctuation suffix) has ~28 bits of entropy, ...
22
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1answer
805 views

Can reading fine print cause damage to eyes?

I have my computer font set quite small so that I can see more on one screen at a time, but a collegue recently warned me that I would cause damage to my eyes later in life. Is there any scientific ...
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1answer
1k views

Does Windows 10 defragmentation damage your SSD?

I was having a conversation with one of my colleagues about installing Windows 10 on his machine, then he suddenly dropped a bomb that installing Windows 10 would reduce the life of his SSD since ...
10
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0answers
615 views

Do people not understand why Google's AlphaGo made a particular move? [closed]

I was reading a UK Government paper on AI and technology and found this section to be slightly unbelievable. when Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo played Lee Sedol in March 2016 (see paragraph 3), the ...
9
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3answers
35k 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 ...
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1answer
2k views

Is this measurement of data to grains of rice accurate? [closed]

This image purports that you can measure data in grains of rice - one byte being one grain of rice and one gigabyte then being three container lorries. Byte of data : one grain of rice Kilobyte ...
25
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1answer
1k views

Did a TV news show cause lots of Amazon's Alexa devices to try to order doll houses?

With reference to this Stack Exchange Internet of Things question and this news article, which is only one of many: Is there evidence that when a news anchor uttered the words "Alexa, buy me a ...
67
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3answers
9k views

Did Bill Gates say 640k ought to be enough for everyone?

This is a quite famous quote: 640k ought to be enough for anybody. Did Bill Gates say this?
19
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1answer
3k 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 ...
4
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0answers
280 views

Is light text on dark background less harmful to the eyes than dark text on light background [closed]

Most programmers (at least most of my undergraduate classmates) use light text on dark background (LTDB) and so do I, instead of dark text on light background (DTLB). And as we know, traditional ...
9
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1answer
592 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 ...
11
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1answer
9k views

Do all modern laptops have traceable GPS? [closed]

I have heard that by law (assuming US law) all modern laptops must have built in GPS. Presumably than, your laptop could be tracked down if it were stolen. This seems unrealistic, however, I've read ...
5
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0answers
369 views

Is Linux less prone to getting infected by viruses than Windows? [closed]

Many sources (1, 2, 3) state that Linux operating systems have generally a smaller chance of getting infected/compromised by malware or spyware, and have some reasoning behind their claim. On the ...
14
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1answer
5k views

Has anyone ever hacked into a traffic control system to change the stoplights?

This is a relatively common trope with regards to the powers of hackers in film: Someone hacks into the "Traffic Control Center" and gains instant access to all stoplights in an area. This includes ...
2
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1answer
677 views

Does Windows 7 make up almost 50% of the desktop operating system market share?

NetworkMarketShare claims that, as of July 2016 (after the free upgrade cutoff), Windows 7 still beat Windows 10 in terms of market share by over 20%. Is this analysis that the Windows 7, which is at ...
11
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0answers
325 views

Is Edge (significantly) better than Chrome for laptop battery life?

Microsoft recently released the results of a benchmark of four different browsers with respect to battery life. Chrome comes out the worst, then Firefox, then Opera and then Edge, by quite a margin. ...