Apr
30
2012
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What’s the story of the 1958 hiker?

not-an-iphone“The 1958 Hiker” is a story about a hiker who lost his map. As he drifted off to sleep that night, a visitor from the year 2008 taunted him with revelations of the future. This article was previously posted to Google Knol. In the story of The 1958 Hiker, a lone hiker is making his [&hel[more...]

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Apr
30
2012
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What’s the back-story to the “Defender” video game?

defender“Defender” was a coin-operated arcade game from the 1980. I wrote this whimsical back-story at the time. If you’ve played the game, you’ll understand this story. This article was previously posted to Google Knol. It was April when aliens discovered the taste of human flesh. Since then they had been sending Landers to the surface [&hel[more...]

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Apr
30
2012
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What are the key facts about Ireland?

emerald-isleIreland, and Éire in the Irish language, are the official names of the Republic of Ireland. Ireland comprises the island of Ireland, except for the six northern counties that are part of Northern Ireland and therefore of the United Kingdom. Geography Ireland has a land area of 70,280 square kilometers, including 1390 square kilometers of enclosed [&hel[more...]

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Apr
30
2012
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Who died in 2008?

2008These prominent people died in 2008: January 2008 11th: Edmund Hillary, 88 (mountaineer) 17th: Bobby Fischer, 64 (chess champion) March 2008 19th: Arthur C Clarke, 90 (science fiction author) 23rd: Neil Aspinall, 66 (Beatles’ manager) April 2008 5th: Charlton Heston, 84 (actor) May 2008 24th: Dick Martin, 86 (entertainer) June 2008 1st: Yves St Laurent, [&hel[more...]

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Apr
30
2012
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What are the key facts about China?

china-lanternsChina is the most populous country in the world, and a rapidly developing one. It is the fourth largest country by land area, after Russia, Canada, and the United States. Geography China has a land area of 9,596,960 square kilometers, including enclosed water of 270,550 square kilometers. Its land bounday totals 22,117 kilometers, and it [&hel[more...]

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Apr
30
2012
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What’s Flamingo Land Resort like?

flamingo-landFlamingo Land Resort is a combined theme park, zoo and holiday park in North Yorkshire, UK. This article was originally posted to Google Knol in 2008. Rides The major rides include Velocity (a short motorcycle-themed coaster ride featuring extremely fast acceleration), Cliff Hanger (a rise-and-fall “drop tower”) and Kumali (a looping roller coaster). These rides [&hel[more...]

Apr
30
2012
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What Australian questions were asked at GA and Uclue?

unusual-australian-meatsMany interesting questions about Australia were asked and answered at the now-defunct Google Answers service, and are still being asked at Uclue. Questions about Australia from Uclue Research on the NGO sector – Australia What they do, what they buy, how they are organized Australian sport information Attendances, prices, broadcasting, fitness… Australian reporter “embedded” with [&hel[more...]

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Apr
30
2012
0

What are the prefixes for binary multiples?

binary-prefixesThe SI prefixes provide a convenient way to apply a decimal scale factor to a unit of measurement. For example, 1000 meters is a kilometer (km). However, the SI prefixes are frequently misused to apply a binary scale factor that happens to be close to a decimal factor. For example, 1024 bytes is often incorrectly [&hel[more...]

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Apr
29
2012
0

Are there videos of clever animals?

intelligent-duckMany animals share human characteristics such as problem-solving and game-playing, and display various forms of intelligent behavior. Here are some videos that may surprise you. Skateboarding dogs Dogs who have learned how to skateboard seem to love it, and there are plenty of videos on YouTube of skateboarding dogs. I like this video, because the [&hel[more...]

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Apr
29
2012
0

Is bug-free software possible?

software-bugsUntil the mid 1980s, the prevailing expectation was that computer software would be bug-free. After the release of Windows 1.0, people started saying that you couldn’t expect complex software to be bug-free. That attitude incensed me. Software can be as robust and bug-free as people want it to be.The biggest cause of bugs in computer [&hel[more...]

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Apr
29
2012
0

What are the countries of the world?

countries-flagsThis list of countries is public domain information from the CIA World Factbook. A few extra entities (such as oceans) are included for convenience. Afghanistan Akrotiri Albania Algeria Atlantic Ocean American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Arctic Ocean Armenia Aruba Ashmore and Cartier Islands Australia – anthem, key facts Austria Azerbaijan [&hel[more...]

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Apr
29
2012
0

What are the SI (“metric”) prefixes?

weights-and-measuresSI prefixes are used to apply a scale factor to an SI unit of meausrement. For example, a kilometer is 1000 meters. The SI prefix is used before a unit of measurement to form a decimal multiple or submultiple of the unit. Over the years, the list of prefixes has been extended, and the following prefixes [&hel[more...]

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Apr
29
2012
0

What are the names of very large and small numbers?

1234567890It’s often easier to express very large numbers using exponents, however names are available if that’s what you need. The first few names are familiar: ten, hundred, thousand and million. After that, a name is assigned to each number that is a thousand times greater, as follows:  Name Number ten 10 hundred 100 thousand 1000 [&hel[more...]

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Apr
29
2012
0

Deep down, are we all pyrophiles?

lewes-bonfire-nightFire is the one common element of every culture. The use of fire distinguishes humans from other animals, and has enabled humans to become what they are today. In advanced societies, the domestic and industrial use of fire has been largely replaced by electricity and other sources of energy, but we still seek out the [&hel[more...]

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Apr
29
2012
0

What misunderstandings surrounded the launch of Google Chrome?

chrome-browserGoogle launched their Chrome browser in 2009, to many people’s surprise. The following questions and answers were posted to Knol at the time, to address some of the misunderstandings that accompanied the launch. Obviously, the current version of Google Chrome differs from the version at launch. Is Google’s Chrome Browser based on Mozilla? No, it’s [&hel[more...]

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Apr
29
2012
0

What are the most unusual festivals and events?

tomatinaSome of the most interesting and most enjoyable events are also the most unusual and esoteric. Las Fallas – Valencia Fire Festival (week ending 19 March) This remarkable festival of fire and fireworks in Valencia, Spain, will surely excite the latent pyromaniac in us! Each day of Las Fallas (Falles in Valencian) there are two [&hel[more...]

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Apr
29
2012
0

What were the Nokia Internet Tablets?

nokia-internet-tabletThe Nokia 770, N800 and N810 internet tablets were Linux-based internet tablets that provided web browsing, media playback, and VOIP communication on a touchscreen device. These pocket computers shared the following characteristics: 800 by 480 pixel touch-screen LCD display Wi-Fi (802.11g) and Bluetooth connectivity Headphone socket Microphone USB connector Additional hardware capabilities were offered on [&hel[more...]

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Apr
24
2012
0

Can you get “green energy” when the sun’s not shining?

green-solar-energyIt is sometimes claimed that it’s not possible for humans to depend entirely on renewable energy, because green energy is inherently unreliable and therefore it will always be necessary to have conventional power stations as backup. But this turns out not to be the case. Photovoltaic cells (“solar cells”) generate electricity from sunshine. Naturally, they [&hel[more...]

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Apr
24
2012
1

What happened to Google Answers?

question-and-answerGoogle Answers was a Question and Answer service operated by Google Inc. Customers could post a question and select a price. If a Google Answers Researcher could provide the answer, the researcher was paid 75% of the question price. History During August 2001, Google briefly provided a service called Google Questions and Answers where a Google employee would [&hel[more...]

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Apr
12
2012
0

What are some statistics on the number of veterinarians in the United States?

Cat at vetHow many veterinarians are there in the United States? According to the latest data from the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook  2012-13, veterinarians held 61,400 jobs in 2010. Eighty-one percent of veterinarians work in the veterinary services industry and 9 percent are self employed. Previous Years Year      Number of Jobs 2008      59,700 (2) 2006      62,000 (3) [&hel[more...]

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