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Medicine

Lower Air Pollution Means Longer Life 272

Posted by timothy
from the but-it's-a-dry-pollution dept.
thefickler writes "A new study by the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has found a strong link between air quality and life expectancy. The researchers looked at air pollution, deaths and census data for 51 metropolitan areas between 1978 and 2001, and what they found was a direct correlation between improving air quality and extending life expectancy. People lived about 2.72 years longer over that time span and at least 15 percent of that increased life expectancy was from a decrease in air pollution."
The Internet

Wikipedia's New Definition of Truth 428

Posted by kdawson
from the beware-the-man-with-the-lantern dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Simson Garfinkel has an interesting essay on MIT Technology Review in which he examines the way that Wikipedia has redefined the commonly accepted use of the word 'truth.' While many academic experts have argued that Wikipedia's articles can't be trusted because they are written and edited by volunteers who have never been vetted, studies have found that the articles are remarkably accurate. 'But wikitruth isn't based on principles such as consistency or observability. It's not even based on common sense or firsthand experience,' says Garfinkel. What makes a fact or statement fit for inclusion is verifiability — that it appeared in some other publication, but there is a problem with appealing to the authority of other people's written words: many publications don't do any fact checking at all, and many of those that do simply call up the subject of the article and ask if the writer got the facts wrong or right. Wikipedia's policy of 'No Original Research' also leads to situations like Jaron Lanier's frustrated attempts to correct his own Wikipedia entry based on firsthand knowledge of his own career. So what is Wikipedia's truth? 'Since Wikipedia is the most widely read online reference on the planet, it's the standard of truth that most people are implicitly using when they type a search term into Google or Yahoo. On Wikipedia, truth is received truth: the consensus view of a subject.'"
Google

YouTube Passes Yahoo As #2 Search Engine 125

Posted by timothy
from the your-safe-search-is-showing dept.
Dekortage writes "According to the latest ComScore rankings, YouTube's search traffic for August surpassed Yahoo's. The latter dropped roughly 5% in traffic from July. Among other things, this means that Google now owns both of the top two search engines. AdAge further speculates on Google's experimental 'promoted videos' cost-per-click advertising on YouTube, suggesting the obvious: more money."

You Call This Agile? 168

Posted by Hemos
from the the-perils-of-development dept.
JoelonSoftware's most recent piece is about some of the fallacies in "Agile" software and some of the issues within it. We use Agile in some parts of the company, and have had success with that -- that said, there's always the peril that happens when development and other parts of the company have...miscommunication, which sounds like the problem described in Joel's piece.

GPS Phone Tells Others Where You Are 161

Posted by kdawson
from the twig-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes, "According to CNet, a company called Benefon has launched a cell phone with a built in GPS receiver — nothing new there. However, this particular GPS cell phone, called the Twig, does something extra. It can send your GPS coordinates to another Twig owner and then that person can navigate directly to you using the preloaded navigation software. Sounds like this could save a lot of time and effort when trying to explain to the in-laws where your new apartment is." The article says that the phone will cost £330 in the UK, or about $625.

The End of the iPod Clickwheel 158

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the if-it-ain't-broke-fix-it dept.
Rockgod quotes a Mercury News article saying "If a recent patent filing is any indication, Apple Computer may abandon the iconic wheel that has become virtually synonymous with its popular iPod music players. The company had previously explored replacing the click wheel with a virtual one as part of a touch-sensitive display. But now Apple appears to be looking at a third option: a touch-sensitive frame surrounding the display. Rather than click a physical button or press a virtual one on the screen, users would touch an area on the frame to operate their iPod."

Biology is the only science in which multiplication means the same thing as division.

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