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A study done by Car and Driver found that texting while driving is even worse then driving impaired. The test was done over a strip of taxiway on the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport in Oscoda, Michigan and the driver needed to respond five times to the light and the slowest reaction time (the amount of time between the activation of the light and the driver hitting the brakes) was recorded.
Another study from The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, compiled the research and plans to release its findings on Tuesday, measured the time drivers took their eyes from the road to send or receive texts.
Video cameras were installed into various trucks collecting the data. According to the New York Times, the overall cost was $6 million to equip the trucks with video cameras and track them for three million miles as they hauled furniture, frozen foods and other goods across the country.
The study found that in the moments before a text-related crash, drivers typically spent nearly five seconds looking at their devices -- enough time at typical highway speeds to cover more than the length of a football field.
Compared with other sources of driver distraction, "texting is in its own universe of risk," said Rich Hanowski, who oversaw the study at the institute.
Hanowski said the texting analysis was financed by $300,000 from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, with the mission of improving safety in trucks and buses.
The final analysis of the data is undergoing peer review before formal publication.
Tom Dingus, director of the Virginia Tech institute, one of the world's largest vehicle safety research organizations, said the study's message was clear.
"You should never do this," he said of texting while driving. "It should be illegal."
Currently, there are thirty-six states that do not ban texting and 14 that do, including Alaska, California, Louisiana and New Jersey.
In New York, legislators have sent a bill to Gov. David A. Paterson, said the New York Times, but legislators in some states have rejected such rules, and elected officials say they need more data to determine whether to ban the activity.
In December, phone users in the United States sent 110 billion messages, a tenfold increase in just three years, according to the cellular phone industry's trade group, CTIA.
The University of Utah also conducted a study over the last 18 months looked at college students using a sophisticated driving simulator and uncovered the risk they would crash was eight times greater when texting than when not texting.
David Strayer, a professor who co-wrote the University of Utah report, offered two explanations for the simulator's showing lower risks than the Virginia study.
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I always knew that texting while driving is dangerous but, I just didn't realize how dangerous. A recent study by Car and Driver found that texting while driving is even worse then driving impaired. Prior texting tests have been done virtually or based on statistics from accident reports. However, a real-life test was never conducted until now.
The test was done over a strip of taxiway on the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport in Oscoda, Michigan, adjacent to an 11,800-foot runway that used to be home to a squadron of B-52 bombers.
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I once had a boyfriend, back in the day who was the apple of my eye. I liked him, he liked me, we held hands and we sat at the same table in the cafeteria. It was wonderful for a few months. We talked in school but we also did our own things after school like hang out with other friends.
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Although Amazon has been trying to change the publishing world by introducing its 1/3 of an inch, 10.3 ounce Kindle, there have been some complaints that its not all that it's cracked up to be.
On Amazon's Kindle page, there is no doubt that the overall the Kindle is well liked, but not by much. One-star reviews read that the screen fades in sunlight or the battery life is horrible, Amazon hopes to resolve these troublesome statements when it introduces the Kindle DX later this year.
However, the $360 price tag could be money better spent on a netbook with an e-reader screen in addition to regular netbook functions. Asustek's Eee PC 1000HE and Acer's Aspire One AOD150-1165, are similarly priced.
Start-up Pixel Qi is bringing the competition with their 3qi, which might give Amazon reason to be scared.
The company, founded by former One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) CTO Mary Lou Jepsen, will demonstrate engineering samples of its first screen product at Computex Taipei 2009 this week, according to PC World.
According to Jepsen, the screens should be in netbooks and on store shelves by the end of this year.
New notebooks designed to include e-reader functions will likely have displays that can swivel around to cover the keyboard and a tablet mode good for an e-book reader, said John Ryan, chief operating officer at Pixel Qi.
Complaints of a glaring or fading screen from Kindle users can be comforted by Pixel Qi's modifications.
"What you're looking at is a screen that's entirely reflective," said Ryan, at Pixel Qi's temporary office in Taipei. "It's just running like e-paper so that it's running on the ambient light.
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Wired for War

April 20, 2009 4:14 PM | 0 Comments
Many of my family members have served or are now serving in the U.S. armed forces. Naturally, because of my family's involvement, I often find myself looking through headlines about anything involving the military because for military families, the last few years have been far from stress-free.
Finding out about P.W. Singer's book Wired for War not only scared me but made me wonder if we are going the right way in the use of technology in any shape or form of it.
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Only You Can Save the Earth

April 17, 2009 4:17 PM | 0 Comments
Earth Day is fast approaching, so get ready for the big day on April 22. Earth Day, according to, is a time to celebrate gains mankind has made and create new visions to accelerate environmental progress; a time to unite around new actions and remember that every day is a time to act to protect our planet.
Searching for ways to do-my-part in saving the Earth, I came across an article from that lists ways to save the Earth by recycling your old electronics. The following are places where one can recycle their old electronics:
  • Earth Day 2009 will celebrate the launch of a brand new processing facility in Atlanta. Tampa-based ViaTek Solutions is celebrating the opening of its second processing facility with a week of free electronics recycling at both locations.
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Japanese Invasion!

April 6, 2009 10:27 PM | 0 Comments
Looking over Reuters tech videos is always fun, and scary. For some reason I was focusing on the Japanese today, mainly because they always are so creative.
In an attempt to trace dreams and I imagine someday, hopefully in the future, to also read peoples thoughts! (I highly doubt people want to know what I'm thinking, mainly because it's one of those, "If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all" type scenarios.) Scientists in Japan are trying to develop a technology to visualize images and dreams.
This next video is just hilarious. Japanese inventor of the Mimi Switch or Ear Switch has now created a device that in conjunction with an iPod can be controlled by using facial expressions.
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A new study from the University of Melbourne concludes that those who surf the Internet for fun during office hours increases productivity. So for those who use social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook at work (read: Social Network junkies) now have an excuse and no longer need to hide!
The University of Melbourne study showed that people who use the Internet for personal reasons at work are about nine percent more productive that those who do not.
Study author Brent Coker, from the department of management and marketing, said "workplace Internet leisure browsing," or WILB, helped to sharpened workers' concentration.
"People need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration," Coker said on the university's Website.
"Short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf of the Internet, enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher total net concentration for a days' work, and as a result, increased productivity," he said.
According to the study of 300 workers, 70 percent of people who use the Internet at work engage in WILB.
Among the most popular WILB activities are searching for information about products, reading online news sites, playing online games and watching videos on YouTube.
"Firms spend millions on software to block their employees from watching videos, using social networking sites or shopping online under the pretence that it costs millions in lost productivity," said Coker. "That's not always the case."
However, Coker said the study looked at people who browsed in moderation, or were on the Internet for less than 20 percent of their total time in the office.
This study only proves what you knew all along, doesn't it? So when your boss walks by your desk, peering over your shoulder to check up on you, who cares if you're on Facebook looking through your best friend's photo album or Twittering about how you wish you could go home, those upper-management folks can't do a darn thing, you're increasing your productivity.
However, Coker said, "Those who behave with Internet addiction tendencies will have a lower productivity than those without." So, as to not go over-board, everything in moderation and you'll be fine!

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Skype has asked European policymakers to implement policies that let consumers access their services through smart phones on any public network.
"Blocking of voice applications on mobile devices, such as the announcement of T-Mobile to block Skype on iPhones in Germany, is highly detrimental for consumer welfare in Europe," VON said in a statement. T-Mobile is the exclusive carrier of Apple's iPhone in Germany.
The Voice on the Net (VON) coalition, Europe, includes Google, Microsoft, and Intel, who have been hearing arguments from the VoIP Internet telephone unit of eBay Inc which claims carriers are blocking their applications on their cellular or 3G networks, in turn limiting consumer choice.
The appeal was sparked by news that German mobile operator T-Mobile, the wireless unit of Deutsche Telekom did not allow customers to use the Skype application on the iPhone.
Carriers have the ability to block Skype on their networks however they cannot distinguish whether customers are using Skype through a Wi-Fi link, a person familiar with the matter said.
"Essentially, you can use Skype via Wi-Fi on a T-Mobile iPhone," the person said. "I have tried, it works."
In Europe, T-Mobile blocks Skype on its network, saying that the high level of traffic would hinder network performance.
Skype's iPhone application can be downloaded through the Apple application store on iPhones and allows free calls between Skype users. The desktop version of Skype will still be charged for calls to traditional phones.
The company announced that in May it will launch Skype for Research In Motion's BlackBerry, the devices which popularized mobile email.
Skype has already announced its app on Nokia phones and for phones based on Android, Google mobile systems, and Windows Mobile, from Microsoft. 
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A friend emailed me a demo showing a "sixth-sense" device from Pattie Maes' lab at MIT, built by Pranav Mistry, the genius behind Sixth Sense. It's a wearable device, which is placed around the neck, with a projector that when a product is placed in front of its screen more information is shown through the projector and displayed on the surface of the product.
So for instance if you wanted to know the Amazon rating of a book, you would put the book cover in front of the device and it would give you the Amazon rating. Open the book and you can read Amazon user comments and read more about the book. Flip open to a specific page with a picture for instance and, if the picture has any significance, more information will be displayed on the page as well.
Place consumer products in front, they use the example of toilet paper, and based on the users settings they could see which product is the best choice for them.
This got me thinking.
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Many have been curious as to when Apple was going to lower the price of its 3G iPhone however, Apple thought of an alternative. Rumor has it is that Apple will start selling iPhones without a contract attached to them. The 8GB iPhone will go for $599 and the 16GB iPhone will go for $699, according to a Boy Genius Report.
The Boy Genius Report obtained an AT&T power point presentation regarding the news. Slide four states that the offer will be starting March 26, 2009 for existing customers.
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With the release of the new iPod shuffle from Apple, I could care less where Steve Jobs is or is not in the company's corporate ladder. Apple shareholders should now be able to rest easy knowing that even though Jobs is not currently the poster child for the company, they are still releasing products that extend the quality of the previous models.
What makes this third generation 4GB iPod shuffle better than the rest is the VoiceOver function, size and overall function of the device. With VoiceOver, the iPod shuffle can tell you the artist and song name that is being played, status information such as the amount of battery life and the names of the playlists you have stored on the shuffle.
"Imagine your music player talking to you, telling you your song titles, artists and playlist names," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of iPod and iPhone Product Marketing. "The amazingly small new iPod shuffle takes a revolutionary approach to how you listen to your music by talking to you, also making it the first iPod shuffle with playlists."
In addition to English, the iPod shuffle can speak 14 languages including Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.
Significantly smaller than a double A battery, it can hold up to 1,000 songs and is easier to use with all of the controls conveniently located on the earphone cord.
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New Skype 4.0 Review

February 27, 2009 7:00 PM | 1 Comment
For those who may not know, I lived in Chile, South America for about two years and when I needed to call home Skype would come to my rescue. Nothing beats free and all of the Cyber Cafes I ever went to in South America had Skype already installed on every single PC.
Now, this could be because of the Internet connections South America but there were times where Skype was not my friend and I was very close to deleting the program all together. Needless to say, I did continue using the previous version of Skype until my return to the States, dropped calls, echoes, or the other caller could hear me all plague my calls. However, in Skype's defense these problematic occurrences didn't happen all the time.
Now, Skype introduced a new version, Skype 4.9 and TMC Contributor, Vivek Naik reported, "For prospective and potential first time users, the application is used for Voice and Video over Internet Protocol, or "VVoIP," calls, and its services are mostly for free - audio calls, video and audio calls, instant messages, sending files and emailing.
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Customer satisfaction should be the number one priority in any business. Customer experience is usually measured by whether the company meets a customer's needs, whether the company is easy to work with, and the satisfaction of a consumer's interactions with the company.


Companies especially call or contact centers need to deal with customers on a daily basis, making sure each one hangs up the phone satisfied or at lest close to it. A new report from Forrester Research shows that customer experience is closely tied to customer loyalty, and that the relationship between the two has increased since last year.


The report measures loyalty by a customer's willingness to repurchase from a company, reluctance to switch and likelihood to recommend.

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For some reason since the start of the new year, every morning I wake up a few minutes before my alarm rings and although I'm--for the most part--awake, I still sit in bed and stare and the ceiling in an almost a state of panic. During this time I tell myself that today is a new day, a day for change and that 'hope' will still be a four letter word in my vocabulary.
Eventually, I muster up the courage to get out of bed and start my daily routine with the first order of business: weighing in. You see, nutritionists (and demons) say in order to get an accurate calculation of ones weight, punishing yourself in the wee hours of the morning right before you go to work, which for some could be another punishment, is best. This suggestion I fairly understand and it is because of this that I have also come to the realization that without nutritionists and personal trainers, there wouldn't be jobs for therapists or psychologists.
One can only imagine other four letter words that are also in my vocabulary during weigh-in, the word 'hope' usually doesn't exist at this time.
The biggest New Year's resolution is to lose weight.
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