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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6
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1answer
1k views

Do photovoltaic solar panels need replacement after 20 years?

Many manufacturers of photovoltaic solar panels offer some sort of warranty that is valid for 15 to 25 years. Many people suggest that after that period of time, a replacement of the panels is ...
4
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1answer
202 views

Has the cost of wireless services in Canada fallen nearly 20% during 2008-2013?

On Stephen Harper's Facebook page (the Prime Minister of Canada), I found many claims that I am skeptical of. The first one is that since 2008, the cost of wireless services has fallen 20 per cent. ...
8
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1answer
398 views

Do lithium ion batteries double effective performance every 18 month similar to Moore's law?

On Quora a person claims that lithium ion batteries improve roughly similar to Moore's law: The installed price of lithium ion batteries is dropping in half every 18 months and they last twice as ...
11
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1answer
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Does a screensaver save the computer display screen?

Does a screensaver save the computer display screen? And if it does, what does it save the screen from? If the above two questions have a NO answer, than why is it called screensaver?
11
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4answers
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Are GMO crops to blame for farmer suicides in India?

Anyone who follows the genetically modified organism (GMO) debate has probably heard the claim that GMO crops, and specifically the inability to save seed and other associated production costs, have ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Did the Germans invent Radar first?

The popular view of the Battle of Britain is that one of the critical factors that enabled the British to win it was Watson-Watt's invention of Radar. The History Learning Site, for example, ...
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0answers
914 views

Do household air purifiers prevent illness?

Air purifiers that use glass-fiber HEPA material are said to reduce contaminant in the air that can cause illness, including cold and flu viruses, cigarette smoke. One example is, Are Air Purifiers ...
34
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2answers
44k views

Is there a text string that crashes iPhones?

WARNING: DON'T VISIT THE LINK BELOW ON AN IPHONE A colleague of mine, who works in the technology field, told me that there is a specific text string that can crash any iPhone (specifically iOS 6) ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Can mobile apps monitor your sleep cycles?

There's already been a question about devices that can help you monitor your sleep and their possible benefits, but I'm interested specifically in the apps for mobile devices that claim to be able to ...
10
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1answer
3k views

Does the increase of automation lead to unemployment? [closed]

According to this Huffington Post opinion piece, it's possible that in the future the ongoing process of automation will lead to less job opportunities. It quotes economist Paul Krugman arguing one ...
4
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1answer
340 views

Is Japanese technological innovation less ground-breaking than Western technological innovation? [closed]

It is often claimed that Japanese are mostly doing incremental innovation as opposed to disruptive innovation. http://www.economist.com/debate/overview/199 http://www.asiancenturyinstitute.com/...
18
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1answer
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Did a 19 year old Egyptian student invent a new space propulsion system?

I've seen reports that a 19 year old Egyptian student has invented a new space propulsion system. For example, The Daily Mail: Two mirrors used to generate power using weird quantum physics ...
19
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1answer
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Do removable faceplates on car stereos deter theft?

Everyone has probably seen a car stereo head unit with a removable face plate; the idea being you can take the faceplate with you to deter theft. The claim is specifically made in this product ...
25
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2answers
2k views

Are low-spec computer parts just faulty high-spec computer parts?

Someone was telling me that lower-price or lower-spec computer parts such as graphics cards and central processing units are actually just higher-spec, higher-price units that have manufacturing ...
1
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1answer
763 views

If the universe is just a Matrix-like simulation, how could we ever know? [closed]

If the universe is just a Matrix-like simulation, how could we ever know? This is a sample from reading I have done. All we have to do to identify what these constraints would be is to build our ...
40
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3answers
17k views

Will entering the ATM's PIN in reverse notify the police?

I received a rather intriguing email. It says that if I am at an ATM and I'm in the process of getting robbed, I just enter my PIN in reverse order e.g. 4321 instead of 1234. The ATM will still give ...
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2answers
3k 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 ...
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1answer
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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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534 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
62k 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
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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
283 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 used in the ...
18
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1answer
473 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 ...
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399 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 ...
18
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1answer
71k 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
897 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 ...
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515 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 ...
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171 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 of a so-...
9
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798 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
782 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 ...
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2answers
65k 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?
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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
955 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 ...
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2answers
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 ...
41
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1answer
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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
5
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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 ...
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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
638 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
499 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
915 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 ...