260 votes

Was credit for the black hole image misattributed?

The metric does not measure what it is claimed it does, and even if it did it would be meaningless for assessing the role of Dr. Kate Bouman in creating the image. I'll go on to why, but I first want ...
Jack Aidley's user avatar
  • 2,551
133 votes

Was credit for the black hole image misattributed?

Technically, that is the percentage of the code she contributed, 2410 lines in 90 commits. From https://github.com/achael/eht-imaging/graphs/contributors But that tells us nothing about what the ...
Jerome Viveiros's user avatar
110 votes
Accepted

Do consumer computers include components that can connect to the internet when the computer is apparently turned off?

Yes, most modern computer processors include hardware with the capability to fully control all components of the computer (regardless of the power state of the system as a whole), to access all data ...
Caesar's user avatar
  • 1,665
65 votes

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

It is true that you do not need numbers, special characters, etc for a strong password. If you instead increase the length of the password, the entropy will increase as well. See for example this ...
tim's user avatar
  • 51.9k
53 votes
Accepted

Did an AI-enabled drone attack the human operator in a simulation environment?

Apparently no, this was a purely hypothetical scenario, and the US Air Force has not run that experiment. This is the content of an update made today (2 June 2023) to the original blog post on the ...
Saibot's user avatar
  • 690
42 votes
Accepted

Was credit for the black hole image misattributed?

The old title asked "Did researcher Katie Bouman only contribute 0.26% of code that created Black Hole image," and the existing answers do a good job explaining why it isn't true and why lines of code ...
Aleksandr Dubinsky's user avatar
22 votes
Accepted

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

Brian Krebs (noted and respected infosec analyst and blogger) reported this on 27th Jan. 27 Jan 18 First ‘Jackpotting’ Attacks Hit U.S. ATMs ATM “jackpotting” — a sophisticated crime in ...
PhillS's user avatar
  • 3,043
19 votes
Accepted

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

No, the text was not generated entirely by a computer program. Humans worked with the algorithm to generate the sentences, selected the ones they liked best, edited them into a story, and even added ...
DLosc's user avatar
  • 403
19 votes

Did an AI-enabled drone attack the human operator in a simulation environment?

According to the Vice article, the Air Force has denied the story: "The Department of the Air Force has not conducted any such AI-drone simulations [...]," Air Force spokesperson Ann ...
benrg's user avatar
  • 3,412
17 votes
Accepted

Did a computer server get accidentally walled in?

The Register article was most likely a feed from this very brief and unsourced InformationWeek article, dated two days before the article in The Register. The story has the ring of urban legend to it....
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 15.2k
17 votes
Accepted

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

SUMMARY: No, it does not make your computer hardware run any faster. It may make the common software applications they provide for you run faster, depending on how your old machine is configured. As ...
Didier L's user avatar
  • 286
16 votes
Accepted

Can reading fine print cause damage to eyes?

The "damage" done by screens is in the form of eye strain. Your eyeball focuses by using muscles in the eye to change the shape of the lens within the eye, to properly focus incoming light onto the ...
PoloHoleSet's user avatar
  • 9,668
15 votes
Accepted

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

I found a full account of pre-computerized reservation systems on Wikipedia's Reservisor article. The account is sourced to a single book, which I cannot get due to worldwide library closures, but ...
Avery's user avatar
  • 46.2k
13 votes

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

There is no single right answer to how much entropy a password has: the result will depend on the assumptions the attacker will make about it, and these are unknown. More or less reasonable guesses ...
Dmitry Grigoryev's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

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

Your own article cites its source, which in similar form is a collection of "interesting" outcomes of machine learning experiments. The relevant portion is here: when MIT Lincoln Labs evaluated ...
Kamil Drakari's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Does Windows 10 defragmentation damage your SSD?

Windows 10 recognizes SSDs and treats them differently than standard HDDs, meaning that there is actually no risk on damaging your SSD. To quote Scott Hanselman No, Windows is not foolishly or ...
Michaël Laridon's user avatar
12 votes

Is Canadian PM Trudeau's explanation about quantum computing accurate?

This question is ultimately a matter of opinion - here are the opinions of a number of relevant experts: Scott Aaronson, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, ...
Oddthinking's user avatar
  • 143k
11 votes

Do consumer computers include components that can connect to the internet when the computer is apparently turned off?

Let me answer the actual question: Is it true that the Intel Management Engine, and/or similar components in other brands of processor, can connect autonomously to the internet when the ...
Igor Skochinsky's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Was a new deep learning toolkit released once every 22 days in 2015?

Kyle McDonald wrote a Python script that dumps basic statistics information from GitHub for all the Deep Learning Toolkit projects that are included in this list. This Reddit comment, from November ...
Oddthinking's user avatar
  • 143k
9 votes
Accepted

Did Babbage write programs for the Analytical Engine prior to Lovelace?

According to the 1970 article Von Neumann's First Computer Program: it is not the earliest instance of a computer program. We have Lady Lovelace's description of a program for calculating ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 107k
9 votes
Accepted

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

TL;DR: Yes the incident (viewer complaints) occurred and is confirmed by a reporter Carlos Correa working in the CW6 television station in San Diego. Jim Patton and Lynda Martin the anchors from CW6 ...
pericles316's user avatar
  • 22.8k
7 votes
Accepted

Do some captchas record your mouse movements?

There is a system developed by Google, called "No CAPTCHA" or "reCAPTCHA". With that system you do not need to click on pictures with cars, traffic lights or distorted text. ...
hdhondt's user avatar
  • 5,846
5 votes
Accepted

Are Teslas with autopilot system safer than vehicles without it?

There's dispute in the numbers. Tesla makes the claim, of course, that their vehicles equipped with Autopilot have lower accident rates than their vehicles without. In 2017, the National Highway ...
Keith Morrison's user avatar
5 votes

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

An earlier source is The Mac Almanac (1994 by Sharon Zardetto Aker) (alternative link) at page 390: At one point (the actual point is obscured by the mists of time—call it a couple of decades ago), ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 107k
4 votes

Did the Windows XP CD include Microsoft Bob?

This is very likely to be true This story is verified by the programmer, Dave Plummer, who included the encrypted copy of Bob on the XP installer. He talks about it in a video on his YouTube channel ...
Jack Aidley's user avatar
  • 2,551
3 votes

Is this measurement of data to grains of rice accurate?

The rice here is an analogy, not an actual way to measure data If you do a search for "David Wellman Myriad Genetics presentation", you can easily find a link to the presentation he gave, ...
Rob Watts's user avatar
  • 6,036
3 votes

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

Yes, the blue colour may affect sleep cycles, but an app might not be enough to fix it, depending on other lighting conditions. The existing answers are somewhat theoretical, without considering ...
Oddthinking's user avatar
  • 143k
2 votes

Does looking at screens damage your brain?

It may delay development in childhood. It can cause depression in adulthood.. Findings so far are developpement lateness. I couldn't find a study showing these damages would be permanent, though. I'm ...
Diane M's user avatar
  • 121

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible