Questions tagged [technology]

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.

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9
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2answers
2k views

Is the Lindy effect well supported by evidence?

The Lindy effect is the observation that, contrary to the pattern with perishable things like people, the longevity so far is a good predictor of the future longevity. In other words, technologies ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Did clergymen contribute more to science than scientists in the 19th century?

Taleb provides yet more fodder for skeptical enquiry. In the middle of Chapter 16 of Antifragile ("A lesson in disorder") where he is arguing that science isn't the source of practical applications of ...
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529 views

Are women more likely to be speakers at tech conferences than men?

In PUT A SOCK IN IT, YOU DICKLESS WONDERS, Milo Yiannopoulos claims that women in the tech industry are more likely to be speakers or panellists than men are, because there aren't many women in the ...
13
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1answer
61k views

Did Canadian company HyperStealth invent an invisibility cloak?

This seemingly legitimate camouflage design company says it invented an invisibility cloak called Quantum Stealth that works by bending light "without cameras, batteries, lights or mirrors." http://...
32
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2answers
10k views

Is the Comic Sans font easier to read for dyslexics?

After getting into an argument with a friend about the use/existence of the Comic Sans font, he said that it is one of the few typefaces that virtually eliminates confusion among dyslexics. It ...
2
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1answer
232 views

Has Verizon filed a patent for a device to watch you while you watch TV?

According to Slate Magazine: Verizon Files Patent for Creepy Device To Watch You While You Watch TV [...] The company has filed a patent, published last week, for a system designed to be ...
17
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1answer
444 views

Has copyright piracy halved in New Zealand since their “three strikes” rule?

According to the BBC article US piracy crackdown delayed until 2013, dated November 29, 2012: New Zealand claims that piracy has halved since it introduced a "three strikes" rule. After a little ...
7
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0answers
395 views

Is Coltan the main cause of conflict in Congo since 1997?

This PDF (i saw a translated version) has been brought to my attention. it claims that Coltan is the main cause of a conflict which has claimed the lives of four million people since 1997 and as also ...
17
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1answer
68k views

Does a cell phone emit 1000 times more radiation when its battery is low?

Found this gem on G+: The rest seems all extremely circumstantial except the very last item. The 'radiation' they're talking about, I'm assuming, is electromagnetic radiation - which would be weaker ...
8
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1answer
890 views

Did children in Ethiopia hack Android in five months?

I have recently read an article that claims that children that never seen a book and didn't know how to speak English learned how to use an Android phone and hacked it. Is this true? The article ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Are Apple products sold at a premium price?

I have often heard people talk about to an Apple tax in reference to Apple products (especially their Mac products). This is one of many references to Apple having overly high prices compared with ...
6
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0answers
510 views

Can the Beautifyer app enhance audio?

The Beautifyer iPhone app is claimed to playback compressed audio files in an enhanced way, using a new algorithm. Transform your [...] music files into an extraordinary new listening experience ...
17
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2answers
5k views

Does never charging a laptop battery to more than 80% capacity increase its lifespan?

In relation to Does recharging a battery when it is only half-way dead decrease its life span? I read an article about Maximizing the lifespan of a laptop battery where Samsung puts it: Most ...
5
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0answers
167 views

Could a solar flare cause economic collapse? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Will the Sun's magnetic activity disrupt electronics on Earth? It seems that solar flares are one of the few things that have any factual weight among the possible causes ...
9
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0answers
794 views

Is there credible evidence that a child using an iPad will have their eyesight affected?

I have been told by several people that allowing my young children (aged 2 and 5 at the time of writing) to use an iPad, or similar device, would affect their eyesight. I have found the following ...
12
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2answers
762 views

Can Software Help You Sleep?

I've come across software that claims to improve one's sleep and to help falling asleep in the first place, by listening to an audio track with spoken words, music, and ambient sounds. Here's one ...
57
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2answers
41k views

Do 3 billion devices run Java?

I was installing Java today and this was shown in the installation. Is there anything that supports this claim?
10
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2answers
8k views

Did ancient Indians invent guns, lasers, radars and nuclear weapons?

I found this site which claimed that Ancient India was an extremely advanced civilization whose technology equaled & in some cases even surpassed current technology. None of the claims have ...
10
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1answer
873 views

Does progress in algorithms beat progress in hardware?

A 2010 report to the U.S. President and Congress about past and future advances in information technology notes that: While improvements in hardware accounted for an approximate 1,000 fold ...
13
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3answers
2k views

Is global warming irreversible?

I have heard countless times the perils of global warming and how we should all do our fair share to save the Earth for future generations. Here is but one example from an NPR article: "Global ...
40
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2answers
4k views

Were metered taxis busy roaming Imperial Rome?

While in Rome, I heard a claim that Ancient Romans had invented the taxi meter. "Ancient" here means the common usage of "a long time ago" instead of a specific historical period such as the Early ...
9
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1answer
2k views

Are wall-mounted urinals more sanitary than floor mounted units?

Men's urinals can either be mounted on a wall, or can extend all the way to the floor. According to this page, floor mounted urinals are less desirable because: Floor Mount These units are ...
7
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0answers
5k views

Are flat cables tangle-free?

Well, probably everybody knows and hates this. Detangling the headset cable when putting it out of your pocket. This headset product claims to prevent the cable from tangling up by the "flat cable ...
-6
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3answers
1k views

Are pet RFID chips (eg: “HomeAgain”) capable of fulfilling Revelations 13:16-17?

Regardless of the veracity of the Christian bible in general, could the technology behind the microchips (RFID tags) implanted into pets--used to re-unite lost pets with their owners--be used to track ...
46
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3answers
9k views

What is the failure rate of Solid-State Drives (SSD)?

One of our favourite StackExchange Overlords, Jeff Atwood, wrote a Coding Horror blog article in May 2011, decrying the unreliability of SSD drives. Solid state hard drives fail. A lot. And not ...
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0answers
167 views

Do electronic bug repellers work? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Ultrasound pest control devices Do electric insect repellers example work? For context, I live in a rented house that has several of these installed. My personal observation ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Does Apple do no market research?

I have just been at a company conference and several fans of Steve Jobs quoted more than once how we should innovate like Apple because they "don't do market research" so we don't need to do market ...
39
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2answers
2k views

Do patents boost innovation?

In a recent judgement Europe's highest court ruled that Stem Cells derived from human embryos cannot be patented (see BBC story here). This provoked many scientists to argue that both research and the ...
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0answers
2k views

Can blocking the aperture of a mobile phone speaker cause damage?

A friend was sitting near another's ringing mobile phone, stoically ignoring the noise. When I advised him to cover the dynamic with a finger, he replied that it may break it. Is it really so? I ...
12
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1answer
632 views

How much are United Airlines reducing their carbon emissions by giving pilots iPads?

Source article Here: Article Briefly: United Airlines are giving their 11,000 pilots iPads in an effort to increase efficiency, etc. They're making manuals and other documents electronic. As a side-...
18
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1answer
2k views

Are Hummers more environmentally friendly than Prius?

I've heard this rumor a few times (example). The argument is that it takes energy to make the car, and when you take into account how long each car will last on the road, driving Prius's over a large ...
26
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1answer
6k views

Can a computer be hacked to use a connected speaker as a microphone?

I read a book in which someone hacked into a computer and used the speakers (not a microphone) to listen to what was happening in the room. Is this even remotely possible without gaining physical ...
5
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1answer
488 views

Is the North Korean nuclear program in part funded by gold farming?

A recent article in the New York Times (limited paywall) claims that the North Korean nuclear program is funded in part by gold farming in South Korean Massive Multiplayer Online Games. According to ...
2
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1answer
885 views

Are MAVs (micro air vehicles) a legitimate future possibility?

Someone recently sent me THIS video about "micro air vehicles" (MAVs), essentially bug and bird look-alikes that are really airborne spy drone vehicles for military surveillance. It's just a concept ...
53
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1answer
9k views

Did COBOL have 250 billion lines of code and 1 million programmers, as late as 2009?

In 2009 COBOL turned 50 years old. It got some publicity with claims, which I find rather hard to believe: "Cobol hits 50 and keeps counting" article in the Guardian. According to David ...
21
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1answer
5k views

Does recharging a battery when it is only half-way dead decrease its life span?

One thing many manufactures of laptops and cellphones recommend is that you wait until the battery is completely dead before you recharge it or else it will slowly loose its maximum capacity or have a ...
31
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1answer
1k views

Does the production of a home PV solar panel provide a net benefit to the environment?

Considering everything that goes into producing a single PV solar panel; from obtaining the necessary materials, transportation etc. is there a net benefit to the environment over the lifetime of the ...
22
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1answer
1k views

Is the porn industry important in the adoption of new technology or media?

I constantly see people and articles referencing how porn drove the adoption of the Internet, VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray, Mobile, insert your technology of choice, etc. Now I'm not discounting he popularity ...
35
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2answers
6k views

Can devices detect your sleep cycle and wake you in a more refreshed state?

There are a number of products on the market that claim to be "better alarm clocks" that allows you to feel more refreshed when you wake - even if you sleep a few minutes or tens of minutes less. ...
13
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2answers
9k views

Are military spy satellites as advanced as people think they are?

We've all been there: you're discussing the recent launch of a rocket carrying a satellite to orbit, or what have you, and suddenly someone pops in and makes a comment like Yeah, it's amazing and ...
9
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1answer
2k views

Is a barcode misread less frequent than cashier giving out the wrong change?

Both issues are hard to measure statistically because very few will pay attention to it, and if it ever happens, the persons involved will quickly correct it and try to hide it from others. However, ...
50
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3answers
9k 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 ...
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 ...
44
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2answers
7k views

Does the BBC have TV detector vans and how can they tell if you aren't paying a license fee?

I've heard from more than a few Brits that if you own a TV but don't pay your license fee, they'll come after you with unexpected visits and or fines. Here is an example article debating their ...
9
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1answer
596 views

Do web filters block more health/medical information than porn?

This article is from 2002, so it may be outdated, but it claims that when web filters are set to the more restrictive settings, such as in libraries or schools, they are more likely to block sites ...
42
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1answer
33k views

VHS vs Betamax: How influential was the pornography industry in the format war?

Image Source For many years I have heard the legend that the porn industry played a crucial role in the victory of JVC's VHS over Sony's Betamax. It resurfaced during the format war between HD ...
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3answers
3k views

Do new loudspeakers require a “break-in” period?

Foreword I've lifted this from audio.stackexchange.com where it hasn't seen a lot of discussion. It's a question that interests me though so I thought I'd post it here, verbatim, and see what comes ...
21
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2answers
735 views

Is Sprockit the robot an AI or a fake?

I just attended a local technical conference and there was a robot roaming the building, talking to people. His name was Sprockit, and he was talking with people. He saw a guy and said "Hey dude, ...
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4answers
2k views

Is the Pale Blue Dot smaller than a pixel?

The Earth in the famous Pale Blue Dot image (below) is claimed by NASA to be "0.12 pixel in size". How can something be visible on a digital screen which is smaller than a pixel (or sub-pixel, which ...
24
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2answers
14k views

Would humans be more advanced if the Dark Ages never happened?

So there are a lot of people who say that the Dark Ages, lasting about 1,000 years, set humans back technologically. However, some say that since the Dark Ages really only affected Western Europe, ...