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Comment People in a group + "out" button = greater chance (Score 4, Informative) 170

I do not agree. First, working in a team increases human pain threshold twice.
Second, when you're a given a "stop" button, you can endure more pain and actually finish the given exercise. I cannot find the study that showed this, but can give you a short description - a control group of people were given electric shock (or other form of pain) until a certain threshold. Another group of people were going through the same exercise, but were given a button that could make the pain stop right away.
The group that did not have the button, gave up much earlier than the group that had that button. The latter group actually went through the end of the exercise.

So, if you're working in a group (first study above) and you're given a way out, I'd say it's much easier to endure the trip.
Thus I disagree with the parent post.

As for this study, I really think the test subjects should've been told they wouldn't be able to make it out, even if they wanted to..
This, however, could very well be the next test.

Comment Paypal money-market account (Score 1) 794

At one point, maybe still to this day, Paypal was giving you interest on the money that you keep as a balance. The income was not guaranteed, i.e. you could loose money, and you had to agree to put your money into that money-market account..
There's one reason why people may have kept a balance with Paypal..

Comment IBM dives into Second Life (Score 1) 223

It seems IBM is a big player/user in Second Life. They even have a corporate client for Second Life.

From this link:

Meetig, collaborating, and brainstorming in a virtual world

Global Innovation Outlook at IBM dives into Second Life
"Our USC participants were impressed by the interactive nature of the GIO Conference. The tools and approach inspired us to re-examine how we use our own Second Life environment," Jerry Whitfield, associate director, Marshall School of Business, said.
Virtual worlds are good for many things. They are great places to escape from reality for a while, wear outrageous clothes, or meet a complete stranger from around the world. But as IBM's Global Innovation Outlook (GIO) team (see Resources) found out last month, virtual worlds are also a great place to host a very real-world, business-oriented roundtable discussion. ....

There are a bunch of developerWorks articles about Second Life, like: - Second Life client, Part 1: Hacking Second Life..

It's funny.  Laugh.

Newsweek Easter Egg Reports Zombie Invasion 93

danielkennedy74 writes " becomes the latest in a long list of sites that will reveal an Easter egg if you enter the Konami code correctly (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, enter). This is a cheat code that appeared in many of Konami's video games, starting around 1986 — my favorite places to use it were Contra and Life Force, 30 lives FTW. The Easter egg was probably included by a developer unbeknownst to the Newsweek powers that be. It's reminiscent of an incident that happened at ESPN last year, involving unicorns."

Comment Re:Power? (Score 5, Informative) 199

If you did RTFA, on the first page you'd see:
"Switching from the backlit mode, to the reflective one drops the display's power consumption from 2.5 Watts to 0.5 Watts. This is for a refresh rate of 60 Hz--fast enough to display video. Pixel Qi claims that using software to put the display into an e-reader mode--suitable for reading text, where the screen might only update ten times a second--could drop the power consumption to as low as 100 milliwatts."

For the IMOD:
"The height of the air gap between the plates determines the color of light that is reflected from the IMOD. When a voltage is applied, the plates are drawn together by electrostatic forces and the element goes black. When the voltage is removed, the plates separate and color is reflected off the IMOD. A single pixel is made up of several IMODs; adjusting the height of each affects the overall color of the pixel. The plates stay in place, using almost no energy, until the color needs to change again. A plate only has to move a few hundred nanometers to change color and can do it in tens of microseconds--fast enough to show video."

"The LCD devices are based on a technique called electrowetting, in which a voltage is used to modify the surface tension of colored oil on a solid substrate. In the absence of a voltage, the oil forms a film over the substrate and is visible to the viewer. When a voltage is applied, the pixel becomes transparent. By controlling the voltage of each pixel independently, a picture can be displayed. Unlike E Ink's technology, electrowetting pixels can be switched in a few milliseconds, making them suitable for showing video."

What the article doesn't say, which is easiest on the eyes. My bets are still on e-ink.
Recently I tried this "Libre" LCD-based e-reader, and my eyes were bleeding, it was that horrible, or maybe I'm spoiled by real e-ink, and no, it's not Kindle.

Comment Great way to get to MIT (Score 3, Interesting) 74

It's also a great way to get a scholarship to a great university, like MIT (no flaming to other schools, insert your favorite school here that gives need-based scholarships to international students)
From my experience, from the people that I know from Eastern Europe, only those that went to such international Olympiads (math/informatics) managed to get admission to MIT..

In many eastern-european countries, it's more difficult to qualify for this event than the actual tournament..
Kudos to those who participate and to their teachers..
In my time there was no TopCoder, UVA, etc... it wasn't easy to prepare for these.. But now I'm sure it's even more challenging, given the amount of material available..

Comment Better Analogy and Why their system ain't broken (Score 1) 340

Your analogy is wrong.
It's like walking inside a dollar store, and bringing them a pen or a small toy that the dollar store doesn't really sell.. However, since the price is known to be $1 per item, they'd sell it to you.

The AP's store has a price-list based on words.. If you want to license a given set of words that you found in an article of theirs, you can easily pay up.
Their system is there to make money for them, not to tell you if a given sequence of words belongs to them.

Whether 5 words rule is fair to copyright is a different story.

Comment Re:There should never be an OS charge (Score 1) 284

In Canada, as in the States, you can still buy barebone laptop - no OS included, like: [] []

I worked out the price, and it's still not in your favor though.. I also looked at US Dell models with Ubuntu - their price is not that good compared to the windows version..

Comment Re:tips (Score 1) 695

Well, the line workers can put a light connected to the wires.. The moment the light comes on, they can just take off their hands off the wire so the electricity doesn't hit them.. It's so simple, really.. Note, that this won't work with a sound-based alarm, as sound travels more slowly than light.. so it's gotta be light :)

Joking aside, linemen do treat wires like live, usually. Plus, their feet are well insulated (the bucket they stand in is insulated from any grounding). So, they only way they can get electrocuted with 120V is by holding two wires at the same time, so the electricity flows from the hot wire to the grounded one..
At 7kV, it's a different story, because any resistance smaller than infinity would mean current passing through your body that could kill you.

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