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276 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 ...
user56reinstatemonica8's user avatar
152 votes

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 ...
telms's user avatar
  • 996
132 votes

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 ...
LangLаngС's user avatar
  • 44.1k
130 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 ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
  • 57.6k
118 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 ...
JRE's user avatar
  • 5,922
58 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 ...
Oddthinking's user avatar
  • 144k
57 votes

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, ...
Brian Z's user avatar
  • 7,500
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 ...
Rodrigo Menezes's user avatar
36 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 ...
jamesqf's user avatar
  • 837
35 votes

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) ...
BobTheAverage's user avatar
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 ...
against very long user names's user avatar
29 votes

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....
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 107k
29 votes

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 ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 31.6k
21 votes

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 ...
Paul Johnson's user avatar
  • 16.6k
19 votes

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
17 votes

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
17 votes

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 ...
tim's user avatar
  • 52k
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 ...
ventsyv's user avatar
  • 7,124
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 ...
tim's user avatar
  • 52k
14 votes

Was 13 year old Tanmay Bakshi hired by Google?

He's not working for Google rather, he works with IBM. More specifically, he volunteers his time in order to improve AI, and IBM gives him the resources necessary to do so. Details are drawn from ...
probably_someone's user avatar
13 votes

Was text messaging originally developed for deaf people?

On wired commercial networks text communication predated voice communication. As such it was voice that was added later. For mobile networks text communication was added on the basis of offering all ...
Murphy's user avatar
  • 9,492
13 votes

Did children in Ethiopia hack Android in five months?

Others, including Negroponte's own associate, have disputed the factual accuracy of his explanation. At an OLPC summit [and] in conversations with Negroponte’s collaborator Maryanne Wolf ... I heard ...
Avery's user avatar
  • 46.3k
13 votes

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
13 votes

Updating voicemail when there is no service, wifi, or electricity

Snopes has investigated this claim: WHAT'S TRUE Some cell phone service providers allow users to access their voicemail accounts via external methods such as landlines, and those users could keep the ...
Oddthinking's user avatar
  • 144k
13 votes

Could 100,000 lives a year be saved thanks to data-mining?

Heart disease kills over 17 million people each year. According to a 1991 study, sudden death accounts for 28% of heart disease deaths for men and 14% for women, about 20% of all heart disease deaths....
elliot svensson's user avatar
12 votes

Did Russian hackers beat slot machines with an app?

You question, as currently worded, is more of a physiological question. Can human respond to a stimuli in a quarter of a second? Yes. From this journal article is appears that the mean is around ...
RomaH's user avatar
  • 805
12 votes

Is this claim about 3-D printed rhino horns accurate?

No, only the first claim appears to be accurate as far as we can determine. The biotech startup appears to be the company Pembient, which is based in San Francisco. According to Tech Crunch, ...
March Ho's user avatar
  • 18.7k
11 votes

Was text messaging originally developed for deaf people?

The TED speaker was not referring to wireless communications, but rather a telecommunications system pioneered for the deaf back in the 1960's, long before cellphones. It used older-style Teletype ...
tcrosley's user avatar
  • 1,571
11 votes

Is charging your phone overnight dangerous?

Lithium batteries are based on a chemistry that can fail in combustive fashion. To avoid this, elaborate safeguards are in place to avoid those exact failure modes. A defective battery can still self-...
DevSolar's user avatar
  • 19k

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