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The making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function.

3
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2answers
353 views

Updating voicemail when there is no service, wifi, or electricity

Does updating voicemail during an emergency when there is no electricity, phone service, or wifi actually work or is this simply spam forwarded around and false information? I find it hard to believe ...
103
votes
1answer
15k views

Was there Cyrillic text visible on Intel 386 chips after decapping?

Heise, a German IT news portal, reported today about a chip presented to the State Council, including Erich Honecker, exactly thirty years ago. They also mention how other chips had been copied from ...
1
vote
1answer
418 views

Do “kill switches” on smartphones lessen the risk of crime? [closed]

One of my home state of California's recent attempts to change products for public safety was the push to mandate the inclusion of a "kill switch" on all smart phones, which could be executed remotely....
2
votes
0answers
655 views

Is it safe for a child to sleep near a baby monitor?

I have always assumed baby monitors and all wireless technology to be completely safe and have been informed by a 'friend' that I have been endangering my children by using them. We used an RF ...
3
votes
0answers
398 views

Do Silicon Valley workers send their children to no-phone no-tablet schools?

I have heard someone say that there is a considerable proportion of employees of Silicon tech giants that send their children to schools where no smartphones and no tablets are allowed. Allegedly this ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Was 13 year old Tanmay Bakshi hired by Google?

There seems to be some kind of rumour going around that 13-year old Canadian-Indian boy Tanmay Bakshi was hired by Google. If you do a Google search for "tanmay bakshi google" you get lots of hits ...
14
votes
2answers
920 views

During WW2 were 2 broken ships each cut in half and welded together again?

During a lecture with Jennifer Egan, writer and Pulitzer-Prize winner, she was telling stories about the Brooklyn Navy Yard and one of those was that at one point during the second world war, 2 ships ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Are Germans buying anti-rape “safety shorts”?

From The Express: Safe shorts to STOP women joggers suffering SEX ATTACKS in Germany are sold out, January 1 2017: AN ENTREPRENEUR from Germany has created trousers with the aim of protecting women ...
8
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
841 views

Do Electric Cars Inherently Consist of Fewer Parts than Combustion Engine Cars?

A recent Handelsblatt Global Edition article, How electric cars will charge Germany's job market, talks about changes in the job market due to the introduction of electric cars. One of the first ...
2
votes
0answers
290 views

Could a tattoo encode a wave form to reproduce significant sound sample? [closed]

I just ran into https://skinmotion.com/ which sells "Soundwave Tattoos". My gut says tattoos cannot have high enough resolution to actually encode 15s of audio - even at speech quality. Reading all ...
12
votes
0answers
1k views

Did ISP “pocket” $400 billion that was supposed to be dedicated toward fiber cable infrastructure?

Bruce Kushnick, author of "The Book Of Broken Promises: $400 Billion Broadband Scandal And Free The Net," makes some pretty major claims. The most prominent article, an ad for his book written by ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Is Sports Direct 'using fingerprint recognition to ID unhappy workers'?

According to the Daily Mail, Sports Direct bosses asked warehouse staff to press 'happy' or 'sad' emoji buttons to say how they felt about their working conditions - before using fingerprint ...
6
votes
0answers
269 views

Did Safeway help Seattle catch unlicensed dogs?

From a backpacker's forum: In Seattle, authorities bought a list of every Seattle resident who regularly bought dog food. The authorities then compared this list to the list of people who had ...
11
votes
1answer
949 views

Did Israel install cameras that can see through clothing on the Temple Mount?

In this article Salah Abu Agrafa, a worshipper at the Temple Mount claims: “They took away the metal detectors, but they replaced them with X-ray cameras that can look at our women naked.” ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Is charging your phone overnight dangerous?

There are a number of news stories like this (in Russian) of an iPhone 5 burning up and causing a fire while charging overnight, seriously damaging the owner. There's another story going around of a ...
2
votes
0answers
233 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
995 views

Do active-noise cancelling headphones produce ear fatigue?

lstnsound writes in Why noise-cancellation isn't all its cracked up to be: Neat, right? Well....not exactly. Unfortunately, this technology comes with its fair share of flaws. The opposing sound ...
1
vote
1answer
445 views

1 job to incinerate 10,000 tons of goods

In a CleanTechnica article taken from The Beam, it is stated that: As is often the case in developed markets, we only create one job for every 10,000 tons of goods produced Thanks to Oddthinking,...
13
votes
0answers
918 views

Are 95% of engineers in India unfit for software development jobs?

This article has been circulating on a few sites recently, which has as its headline: 95% engineers in India unfit for software development jobs, claims report With the claim: According to a ...
2
votes
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
859 views

Has Telegram decrypted user messages and provided them to a gov agency?

Background: Telegram is a secured messaging app, similar to many others (WhatsApp, Signal, ...). It emphasizes its security features and has become (like a few others) a way for people to exchange ...
7
votes
1answer
385 views

Is it possible to gain a “new sense” of where north is?

In many videos, both by makers and commercial companies alike, such as this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHJMKOzLnIA The claim is made that by using a gadget that makes you 'feel' where ...
3
votes
0answers
243 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
397 views

Are two thirds of CEOs in Silicon Valley from South Asia or Asia?

Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s chief strategist, said last year that people from Asia or South Asia are heavily represented in CEOs in Silicon Valley: When asked if he agreed, Bannon responded: “When ...
12
votes
1answer
342 views

Were feasting caterpillars used to make very light veils, as reported by Charles Babbage?

In "On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures" Charles Babbage gives a very detailed account of the production of extremely light veil by caterpillars. These fabrics appear 20 times lighter than ...
8
votes
1answer
6k 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!...
2
votes
0answers
154 views

Would a fingerprint scanner still work as you age [closed]

Fingerprint scanners are known to record a portion of your finger in order to be accessed. What would happen if you age? Your hands grow and eventually even get wrinkles on your fingers. Would a ...
2
votes
1answer
588 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
417 views

Was the Australian Bureau of Statistics website “attacked”?

Last night (August 9th) was census night in Australia. Conveniently, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have a website where you can enter your household's statistical information. If you ...
16
votes
1answer
975 views

Did ARM sell more chips in 2015 than Intel has in its entire history?

Japanese telecom firm SoftBank has recently launched an agreed takeover bid for UK chip designer ARM (which doesn't make chips but designs them and has provided the overwhelming majority of technology ...
16
votes
1answer
773 views

Is this claim about 3-D printed rhino horns accurate?

The following image is circulating on Facebook: A biotech startup has managed to 3-D print fake rhino horns that carry the same genetic fingerprint as the actual horn. The company plans to flood ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Was text messaging originally developed for deaf people?

I just heard this claim in this TED talk by Elise Roy (at about the 5:24 mark in the transcript): Text messaging: that was originally designed for people who are Deaf. Is it true?
7
votes
0answers
475 views

Did an IBM manual say: “Undetected errors are ignored”

On the Funny Things Seen In Source Code And Documentation page at the WikiWikiWeb I ran into the following: Legend has it that the following is found in an ancient IBM manual: Single bit ...
12
votes
0answers
299 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
762 views

Does Migaloo Submarines sell private submersible yachts?

The Migaloo Submarines web-site claims the company works in the DESIGN, ENGINEERING AND BUILDING OF EXCLUSIVE PRIVATE SUBMERSIBLE SUPERYACHTS AND FLOATING ISLANDS Despite providing a number of ...
158
votes
2answers
27k views

Is Google using ReCaptcha as a free source of human-intelligent labour?

Having worked at the Amazon Mechanical Turk for a long time, I find that some ReCaptcha questions are very similar to the 1c tasks there. Identify this, identify that. A search shows that several web ...
0
votes
1answer
191 views

Can MSG be made from petroleum [closed]

Once again a famous article on how bad is Nutella was shared to me. Thankfully, from Skeptics we can disminish the main argument of the claim which rely on the fact that MSG is bad (but as shown here, ...
11
votes
1answer
585 views

Did the German navy use UV lights for communication from submarines?

An article about vision anomalies claims that the increased sensitivity to UV light in aphakia sufferers has been put to use to detect UV signal lamps from German submarines in World War II. "Let the ...
4
votes
0answers
753 views

Does the “Sono” system for noise canceling on a window work?

“Sono” is supposed to turn your window into an advanced noise canceling system that allows you to eliminate and/оr control the sounds that pass through: Gajitz writes: Created by industrial ...
2
votes
0answers
308 views

In fields dominated by white males, do white women impede full equality? [closed]

In reading a recent article in Business Insider on changes at GitHub, I noticed a rather surprising bullet point by Nicole Sanchez regarding "Diversity and Inclusion in Tech", which was Some of the ...
5
votes
0answers
282 views

Did ancient Peru use electroplating?

Wikipedia states that ancient Peruvian metalsmiths applied gold with electroplating, citing a 1979 article in The Journal of The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society. I'm not familiar enough with ...
2
votes
0answers
281 views

Is the Stuxnet worm a government facade? [closed]

I just read about Stuxnet, which is allegedly a computer worm that silently infected thousands of computers and eventually sabotaged Iran’s nuclear program. I find it difficult to believe that so many ...
2
votes
1answer
977 views

Which typically comes first: basic science or technological advance?

Matt Ridley claims in his latest book (and also in an article in the Wall Street Journal): In his book he argues: Again and again, once you examine the history of innovation, you find scientific ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there such a thing as a “GPS ID card” or GPS tracking on an ID card?

The Wikipedia article Human rights in Saudi Arabia#Women's rights cites an article from The Peninsula. The article is no longer available, but the claims Wikipedia sources thus are (emphasis mine): ...
1
vote
0answers
233 views

Does Windows 10 send your voice samples to Microsoft? [closed]

There is this shaddy webserver on Czech internet that has written an often-shared article about Windows 10 user tracking. There is a lot of text, I would like to know if the following information hold ...
3
votes
0answers
408 views

Is this urban mosquito drone real?

This picture showed up in my Facebook feed. Is this a mosquito? No. It's an insect spy drone for urban areas, already in production, funded by the US Government. It can be remotely controlled ...
12
votes
0answers
593 views

Did Lexus create a “real, rideable hoverboard”?

In a teaser video that has been viewed over 5 million times and taken seriously by many media outlets (e.g. the BBC), LexusInternational make a bold claim: Lexus has created a real, rideable ...
10
votes
0answers
960 views

Was it possible that hackers used Nokia 1100 in some way for fraud?

TL; DR; version: Is it possible that hackers were somehow able to "reprogram" a specific Nokia 1100 phone to make it receive SMS messages sent to another person's phone number? A couple of years ago, ...
41
votes
1answer
6k views

Does a human on a bicycle travel more efficiently than any other species?

Steve Jobs claimed on video that a bicycling human is more efficient at locomotion than any other species can manage. He repeated it separately on video, and in writing. The quote is still oft ...