Add "study guide" to the long list of tricks you can do with your iPhone. Cram ($9.99) is a solid application that lets you create and import tests on any topic. You'll be able to take scored multiple choice quizzes or go into study mode, in which Cram provides you with a series of digital flash cards. Cram will flash the question and you decide with a click when the answer appears.
HDGuru.com has published a survey of the resolution capabilities of 125 high-definition televisions.
The survey was conducted by HDGuru's sole proprietor, Gary Merson, who subjected the sets to a variety of test patterns and recorded the results in a handy PDF table. The patterns tested for 1080i de-interlacing performance of both video and film-based sources, still resolution (bandwidth) and motion resolution.
The results of the tests make interesting reading for people who follow the evolution of HDTV technology.… Read more
Silicon Valley's economy is sliding into the doldrums, with unemployment now topping 6.6 percent, but it's not the only place to live.
In fact, as researchers recently uncovered and which the Wall Street Journal reports, there are lots of other great places in the United States to live, places with people who are equally open to new ideas, while being much more extroverted, conscientious, and agreeable, and far less neurotic (their words, not mine).
As published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, researchers combed through more than 600,000 personality questionnaires and discovered that certain states attract or shape concentrations of similar personalities. Intriguingly, this may affect the types of industries and health care problems that arise in certain states:
Even after controlling for variables such as race, income, and education levels, a state's dominant personality turns out to be strongly linked to certain outcomes. Amiable states, like Minnesota, tend to be lower in crime. Dutiful states--an eclectic bunch that includes New Mexico, North Carolina, and Utah-- produce a disproportionate share of mathematicians. States that rank high in openness to new ideas are quite creative, as measured by per-capita patent production. But they're also high-crime and a bit aloof. Apparently, Californians don't much like socializing, the research suggests.… Read more
As anyone who watches Dr. Phil has surely learned, standard polygraph tests measure responses such as blood pressure, pulse, and respiration rate to detect anxiety associated with guilt or lying. But a new kind of lie detector test could skip the psychophysiological gauges and head straight to the brain for answers on a subject's veracity.
New Scientist pointed us to a patent filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization that proposes detecting lies via near-infrared spectroscopy. Basically, a device would shine near-infrared light through the scalp and skull into certain parts of the brain. Seeing how much light reflects back would indicate oxygenation levels, which vary depending on how active the brain is at a given point and could yield information on the neural pathways underlying the cognitive as well as the emotional aspects of deception.
To measure the light, the patent filers, headed up by Dr. Scott Bunce, a professor of psychiatry at Philadelphia's Drexel University College of Medicine, have come up with a flexible sensing device that would fit around the head. Neural activity could be transmitted to a processor through wired or wireless means, according to the patent, and results could be made available after post-test averaging, or in real time, while the subject is being tested.
The inventors cite heightened reliability as the main advantage of their method. Conventional polygraphy, they say, suffers from a lack of specificity in differentiating guilt from fear or anxiety, and that can contribute to an unacceptably high level of false positives. … Read more
DeviceAnywhere, a global provider of end-to-end solutions for the mobile development, announced Tuesday its support for the iPhone 3G. This doesn't mean much for the average consumer, but this is good news for developers.
DeviceAnywhere is a service that lets developers access about 1,500 different mobile devices located throughout the world in real time. They can interact with the devices to ensure all development, porting, testing, and monitoring needs are met.
The service offers complete control over the devices as if they were in your hand. This is a solution that lets developers create software with different or … Read more
In the course of testing for HDTV reviews here at CNET, I always compare displays directly against one another side-by-side using both normal program material--typically Blu-ray movies, HDTV, and standard-definition material--and test patterns from special discs. I'm always on the lookout for new test patterns, so earlier this summer when I spoke with another TV reviewer, Gary Merson of hdguru.com, about his tests for motion resolution, he was kind enough to pass along a Blu-ray Disc called "FPD Benchmark Software for Professional." It contains a variety of test patterns, most of which I've seen and used before, with one notable exception. A suite of patterns and program material is devoted to testing and demonstrating motion resolution, and I'm considering incorporating it into CNET's regular HDTV tests.… Read more
A new test to screen blood donors for hepatitis C (HCV) is showing promise, having scored the highest against five other systems during an evaluation by Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, according to developer OraSure Technologies.
When there's a shortage of blood for transfusions on the battlefield, medics turn to the Walking Blood Bank, i.e. any available soldier. However, short of prescreening every potential donor or using other time-consuming methods, there has been no way to be sure that a donor is disease free (PDF).
The company already offers a test for HIV, and now it looks … Read more
Wilson can't make it to the show again because of his ongoing illness, so everyone send us a voice mail wishing our buddy well wishes and a speedy return back to The 404! Dan the Mantern takes time out of his busy schedule of doughnut runs and paper stapling to fill in and give us some laughs on this overcast Monday. We recap our weekend adventures, talk about the dangers of kidnapping a virtual lion, send our condolences to the hungry worker bees at Google, protect ourselves from exploding iPods, and perform reveal the first ever sushi DNA test!… Read more
When I can hear a teenager's headphones through the din of a NYC subway car, I know he's on his way.
If I'm sitting a good 10 feet away from him and can still hear the screech of his headphones, I know the kid is killing his ears. Sure, I'm sometimes tempted to say something, but I never do. He's not really bothering anybody. And if he wants to be stone deaf by the time he's 30, well, it's his life.
But does he know that day by day he's doing irreparable … Read more
Vendors want to sell you stuff! There, it's finally been said. Don't believe me? Well, you wouldn't be the first, but thankfully, I have evidence.
Within the last year I've seen a new spec, called dynamic contrast ratio (DCR), tossed around for computer displays. If you didn't know before, contrast ratio is simply the difference between the darkest blacks and the brightest whites a given display can produce.
Typically, computer displays have a contrast ratio of about 1000:1. However with DCR, you'll see numbers like 4000:1, 10,000:1, and higher. Basically, it's just a way for Company A to proclaim, "Don't buy Company B's monitor because it has a much lower DCR than our monitor." Since more and more vendors have been pushing this, I want to delve further into how they're getting these numbers. I also covered this topic in less detail (but with a sexy voice thrown in) in episode 2 of the Inside CNET Labs podcast.
Before a monitor is released to the public it goes through a bunch of testing in the vendor's own lab. These tests produce the specs that the vendor will then publish with the release. Specs like maximum brightness, pixel pitch, pixel response time, contrast ratio, and dynamic contrast ratio are all determined in the vendor's own lab.
When testing normal contrast ratio, vendors use a device that measures light to determine how much light is emanating from a display while it's showing both a completely black and a completely white screen. They then take each number, do a bit of math, and come up with the contrast ratio. … Read more