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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54
votes
1answer
10k 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
2k 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 ...
36
votes
2answers
7k 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. ...
15
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4answers
10k 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
votes
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, ...
53
votes
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 ...
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 ...
45
votes
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
votes
1answer
625 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 ...
44
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1answer
39k 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 ...
22
votes
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
754 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, ...
23
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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
15k 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, ...
28
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3answers
11k views

Did Apple “jumpstart” the USB market?

Did Apple "jumpstart the USB market"? An example of the claim is as follows: When Apple released their iMac there was a rush to release peripherals to support them. Before that nobody really cared ...
29
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2answers
5k views

Does technology have a negative effect on attention span?

Is it true that today's "information age" with the internet, TV, cell phones, movies, iPhones, etc can decrease your attention span? Society's impatience and short attention span is becoming a ...
18
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1answer
3k views

Is there existing technology to make it rain or to dissipate clouds?

I heard (example article) that the Chinese government caused it to rain before and during the Olympics to reduce pollution levels. Does reliable technology currently exist that could trigger rain ...

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