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Education

Study Sez Txt Msgs Make Kidz Gr8 Spellrz 375

Posted by timothy
from the adversity-breeds-strength dept.
Picknz writes "The Telegraph reports that researchers have found texting can improve literacy among pupils by giving them extra exposure to word composition outside the school day. According to the report, the association between spelling and text messaging may be explained by the 'highly phonetic nature' of the abbreviations used by children and the alphabetic awareness required for successfully decoding the words. 'It is also possible that textism use adds value because of the indirect way in which mobile phone use may be increasing children's exposure to print outside of school,' says the report. 'We are now starting to see consistent evidence that children's use of text message abbreviations has a positive impact on their spelling skills,' adds Professor Claire Wood. 'There is no evidence that children's language play when using mobile phones is damaging literacy development.'"
Portables (Games)

Angry Birds and Parabolic Instinct In Humans 234

Posted by Soulskill
from the gorillas-dot-bas dept.
Frankie70 writes "Matt Ridley writes about Angry Birds, an iPhone game (later ported to other platforms) which has sold more than 12 million copies. The spectacular trajectory of the game, from obscure Finnish iPhone app to global ubiquity — there are board games, maybe even movies in the works — is probably inexplicable. Ridley wonders if there is an evolutionary aspect to its allure. There is something much more satisfactory about an object tracing a parabolic ballistic trajectory through space towards its target than either following a straight line or propelling itself."
Toys

Apple Forces Steve Jobs Action Figure Off eBay 233

Posted by timothy
from the hope-you-got-in-on-the-ground-floor dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Kevin Parrish writes in Tom's Guide that last month, just in time for Christmas holiday gift-giving, M.I.C. Gadget began the manufacture and sale of a Steve Jobs action figure featuring an oversized head, Steve's trademark black shirt/blue jeans outfit, and a new iPhone 4 like a magical world-saving talisman in Jobs' left hand. The action figure, selling for $79.90, came with an Apple logo stand and cartoon balloons for writing custom messages. Soon a warning letter from Apple stated that the figurine violated a California statute prohibiting the use of a person's likeness in a product without prior authorization and sales ceased. But shortly after production stopped, the figurines began to appear on eBay selling for up to $2,500. Now Apple's lawyers have raided the online marketplace, zeroing in on one Canadian eBay seller who had already sold the figurine for $1,125 and eBay has removed other listings, telling sellers that the object for sale 'violates a celebrity's right of publicity.'"
The Military

Russian Army Upgrades Its Inflatable Weapons 197

Posted by samzenpus
from the blowing-up dept.
jamax writes "According to the BBC: 'The Russian military has come up with an inventive way to deceive the enemy and save money at the same time: inflatable weapons. They look just like real ones: they are easy to transport and quick to deploy. You name it, the Russian army is blowing it up: from pretend tanks to entire radar stations.' But the interesting thing is these decoys are not dumb - actually they appear to be highly advanced for what I thought was a WWII-grade aerial photography countermeasures. Apparently they have heat signatures comparable with the military tech they represent, as well as the same radar signature."
Moon

Microwave Map of Entire Moon Revealed 82

Posted by samzenpus
from the quickest-route-mode dept.
Zothecula writes "The first complete microwave image of the Moon taken by Chinese lunar satellite Chang'E-1 has been revealed. Chang'E-1 is China's first scientific mission to explore planetary bodies beyond Earth and the on-board Lunar Microwave Radiometer has made it possible for the first time to globally map the Moon in microwave frequencies. Radar observations of the Moon are unable to provide thermal information, and microwave observations taken from Earth cannot reach the far side of the moon. So Chang'E-1's (CE-1) orbit was conducted at an altitude of 200km (124 miles) and allowed it to observe every location of the moon with a nadir view and at high spatial resolution."
Advertising

Did Google Go Instant Just To Show More Ads? 250

Posted by Soulskill
from the faster-than-the-speed-of-marketing dept.
eldavojohn writes "Google, already the largest search engine in the United States, went instant a few weeks ago. MIT's Tech Review asks why Google went instant and is skeptical that users actually look at search results before they finish typing their query. Othar Hansson, Google's lead on the initiative, informs them otherwise and claims that Google's traffic monitors didn't even blink at the extra data being sent across — primarily because of its insignificance next to streaming one video on YouTube. Hansson also reveals that Google's search engine is no longer stateless and therefore takes up a little more memory in their server hives. The Tech Review claims that 'sources at the company say Google Instant's impact on ad sales was a primary focus in testing the service. Google only gets paid for an advertisement, or sponsored link, when a user clicks on the ad, and ads are targeted to specific searches. By displaying a search's ads onscreen a couple of seconds sooner, the frequency of users clicking on those ads could only go up.' So money seemed to be the prime motivator and the article also coyly notes that the average length of time a user spends between typing in any two characters is 300 milliseconds — much too fast for old JavaScript engines. Of course, you might recall Google's efforts to change all that with JavaScript speed wars. Do you find Google Instant to be useful in any way, or does it strike you as just more ad gravity for your mouse?"
Intel

Intel Unveils 'Sandy Bridge' Architecture 163

Posted by Soulskill
from the better-faster-something-something dept.
njkobie writes "Intel has officially unveiled Sandy Bridge, its latest platform architecture, at the first day of IDF in San Francisco. The platform is the successor to the Nehalem/Westmere architecture and integrates graphics directly onto the CPU die. It also upgrades the Turbo Mode already seen in Core i5 and i7 processors to achieve even greater speed improvements. Turbo Mode on Sandy Bridge processors can now draw more than the chip's nominal TDP where the system is cool enough to do so safely, enabling even greater boosts in core speeds than those seen in Westmere. No details of specific products have been made available, but Intel has confirmed that processors built on the new architecture will be referred to as 'second generation Core processors,' and are expected to go on sale in early 2011. In 2012 it is due to be shrunk to a 22nm process, under the name Ivy Bridge."
Education

Medical Students Open To Learning With Video Games 46

Posted by Soulskill
from the fragging-diseases dept.
Gwmaw writes "A reported 98 percent of medical students surveyed at the University of Michigan and University of Wisconsin-Madison liked the idea of using technology to enhance their medical education, according to a study published online in BMC Medical Education. For example, a virtual environment could help medical students learn how to interview a patient or run a patient clinic. In the survey, 80 percent of students said computer games can have an educational value."
Image

Inmates Escape As Guard Plays Plants Vs. Zombies 87 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the prioritizing-priorities dept.
dotarray writes "Everybody knows that there's a certain risk one takes when playing addictive, engrossing games can be trouble when you're meant to be doing something else. The prevalence of awesome games on the iPhone hasn't helped that risk. A Plants Vs. Zombies loving police officer has learned this the hard way after an escape."
Displays

Does Anyone Really Prefer Glossy Screens? 646

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the no-way-no-how dept.
An anonymous reader asked a question that I've been wondering about too: "I live in a small southern European country where natural light abounds. This may sound good, but it is a pain when it comes to using laptops that come with a glossy finish, making it impossible to work unless you are doing it in the dark. To make matters worse, since we are a small market, most manufacturers only offer a subset of their product line, and don't allow you to choose any options available in other countries (like matte screens). Buying abroad is not an option since we have our own very specific keyboard layout. Why are manufacturers doing this? Does anyone really prefer using glossy screens for day-to-day activities?"

"Your attitude determines your attitude." -- Zig Ziglar, self-improvement doofus

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