274 votes

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

Yes, and ReCaptcha have always been open about it, before and after being acquired by Google. From its formation, one of ReCaptcha's main selling points was that the data would be used. At first, it ...
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152 votes
Accepted

Was the Roman knowledge of how to build aqueducts lost?

The Romans built the aqueducts -- as well as bridges, piers, and colossal buildings -- out of concrete. Stone and brick were usually just exterior casings for the concrete structural core. And the ...
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  • 976
133 votes
Accepted

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

There is not much to doubt here. This chip-art seems to have been either common practice or at least a wide spread in-joke among engineers: Steal the Best We stumbled across this ...
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  • 43.4k
129 votes

Was the wheel invented before the wall?

No, walls predate wheels by several millenia. The invention of the wheel is generally placed at around 3500-4500 BCE. However walls were famously built around the town of Jericho in 8000-9000BCE, so ...
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  • 54.3k
119 votes

Were pen cap holes designed to prevent death by suffocation if swallowed?

The BIC FAQ says the hole in the cap is to prevent children from choking to death. It was quoted in the question: The reason that some BIC® pens have a hole in their cap is to prevent the cap from ...
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  • 4,553
65 votes

Does GPS use General Relativity?

Yes, GPS requires both general and special relativity to work [Note this is simplified account based on this and this (MS word download)] We can understand why by looking at how GPS actually ...
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  • 54.7k
58 votes
Accepted

Are blue light filters, not blue lights, on phones and computer screens harmful to sleep?

This is the study itself if you want to read it. Yes it is a study in mice. It is evidence but not proof that blue filters are counter-productive, at least according to the authors of this single, ...
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  • 7,049
54 votes

Did one of the victims of the Buffalo shooting invent a water-powered engine for cars?

In short: Is inventor Aaron W. Salter the same man as 2022 Buffalo shooting victim Aaron Salter Jr? Yes. Did Aaron Salter have a patent related to efficiency of hydrogen-power engines? Yes. Did Aaron ...
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  • 133k
42 votes

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

Yes! Luis von Ahn, one of original developers, talked in one TEDx conference about reCAPTCHA technology, and his new Project DuoLingo In this presentation, he talks about CAPTCHA history and ...
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36 votes
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Is micro rebar a better way to reinforce concrete than rebar?

The question headline seems to be slightly misinterpreting the company's claims Carefully rereading their claims, I realized they do not specify what Twisted Steel Micro Reinforcement (TSMR) ...
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35 votes

Was the Roman knowledge of how to build aqueducts lost?

The knowledge of how to build aqueducts was not lost. See Vitruvius and Frontinus among other texts. Some few techniques that were more practical knowledge among workers might not have been written ...
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  • 809
33 votes
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Does a human on a bicycle travel more efficiently than any other species?

The quoted statement says "energy to move a kilometer". On an "energy to move a kilometer" basis, the statement is definitely false. Acccording to Dr. Karen Oberhauser, a tagged monarch butterfly ...
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  • 98.2k
33 votes
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Is this video showing an Apple engineer discussing the new MacBook (2015) authentic?

The video doesn't seem to be authentic. The video is used as a parody worldwide, it is international and labeled as a "video meme". The series of the meme is called : "El Risitas" Interview ...
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  • 29.8k
30 votes
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Is a car's fuel consumption increased when the headlights are on?

And the mechanical friction caused by the alternator does not depend on whether electricity is being needed or not. Correct. In other words, when energy is not needed it is wasted Wrong. The ...
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30 votes

Did a turkish man invent a steam engine 200 years before the industrial revolution and only made it to spin doner kebab?

It's doubtful that this is an entirely accurate depiction because the vertical rotisserie depicted (no matter how powered) apparently was only invented in the 19th century, or at least we don't have ...
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  • 49.6k
30 votes
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Do any ATS companies advertise entirely automated resume rejection?

I only looked at the first ATS system I found when I searched (Freshteam). It seems to have the features you're asking about: Automate tasks for screening better Now that the incoming candidate ...
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  • 23.1k
29 votes
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During WW2 were 2 broken ships each cut in half and welded together again?

From TWO INTO ONE Shipbuilding and Shipping Record 28 June 1945: The U.S. destroyer escort Menges is back in service again. But only two thirds of her is the original ship; the other third was U....
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  • 98.2k
28 votes
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Were metered taxis busy roaming Imperial Rome?

Yes. In addition to the 1960 Popular Science article you mention there was a 1923 Popular Science article: TAXI METERS USED IN ROME: Before the time of Julius Caesar, ancient Romans were called upon ...
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  • 98.2k
28 votes

Are 1 to 4 tons of coal required to create only one solar panel?

No. A typical home panel might consume the electricity released from about 1/2 a ton of coal. (Update: Or 1/6 a ton of coal, if you use combustion energy rather than electrical generation.) According ...
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21 votes
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Did ARM sell more chips in 2015 than Intel has in its entire history?

It depends what you mean by "sold a chip". Intel designs, fabricates and sells a wide range of chips, so for Intel the answer is simple (they don't license out their designs). But ARM doesn't ...
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  • 15.7k
19 votes
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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 ...
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  • 399
17 votes
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Does technology exist that can read memories from human brains?

No, definitely not to the degree that the Buzzfeed article implies. Those videos are from research by Jack Gallant at Berkeley, and are showing estimates of what a subject is currently watching in an ...
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  • 557
17 votes
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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 ...
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  • 286
16 votes

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

Yes, electric cars are much simpler. You completely eliminate the combustion cycle - so no fuel delivery system (fuel pump, secondary fuel pump, fuel lines, fuel filter, fuel rail, injectors), no air ...
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  • 6,972
16 votes
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Are Germans buying anti-rape "safety shorts"?

They do exist (the shop is here; they have two different models), but are likely not bought in huge numbers. Focus - a more or less reliable German news magazine - had an article about this in January ...
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  • 50.6k
15 votes
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Is the 'internet charging' described by the WifiEX Indiegogo campaign possible?

Working my way through the broken English, they don't seem to mean "charging" as with electricity, but rather just using that as an analogy. As far as I can tell, this is how it works You connect ...
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  • 3,115
14 votes

Does GPS use General Relativity?

Does GPS use the theory of relativity? Yes. The information below is quoted from GPS interface specification. SV here is Space Vehicle. This is how the frequency of the clock set: The nominal ...
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  • 3,759
14 votes

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

Reacting to the rumor, Israeli Police released a statement denying it: “The Israel Police does not use any type of camera that harms privacy in any way and has no intention of using such cameras in ...
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