Science

Wed
06
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

Addicted to Technology: The Responsibility Employers May Bear

Imagine this scenario: You're the boss, and the people that work for you are required to use technology -- computers, cell phones, basically anything that keeps them "connected." Sounds normal enough, doesn't it? After all, that could describe any ... number of jobs. Now picture this: over time, one of your employees eventually becomes a little too dependent on the tools of the trade you've deemed necessary. A good work ethic turns into a dangerous addiction. Believe it or not, it happens. ;-) You're not responsible, right? Well, if a recent study by Rutgers University gains any traction, you ... (view more)

Thu
17
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Xbox and PS2 at Heart of New Psychological Study

Own an Xbox or a Playstation 2? According to one research firm, your answer to that question could reveal a number of things about your personality, including gullibility, confidence, and distrust. It's a pretty remarkable study of the things we've ... ALL used at one time or another -- toys. By combining radically new text mining software with the work of personality psychologists, research consultants Anderson Analytics believe they have found a legitimate way to interpret the subconscious thoughts of children (and in the case of many video game players like myself: immature young men). As you ... (view more)

Tue
25
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Controlling Objects With Your Thoughts: No Longer Sci-Fi

Matt Nagle is 25 years old. His recent activities include playing video games, checking e-mail, and using a TV remote. Being able to successfully complete of those tasks might've seemed like an impossible dream for the young man just a few years ... ago. But that's because he's paralyzed. The injury that changed Matt's life forever happened in 2001. A knife wound severed his spinal cord, leaving him unable to move any of his limbs and most of his torso. Luckily, he managed to retain a bit of control over his head, neck, and shoulders. Matt's life may soon change forever once again -- this time by ... (view more)

Thu
22
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

Robots: a Buzzword in Today's Technological News

Maybe the Styx really were onto something. Decades after the song "Mr. Roboto" changed the definition of bad dancing, robots are once again at the center of technological news. Recent headlines have outlined the increasing role robots may play in ... the future of North American life, from Microsoft software to national defense. There are a few definitions of robots: yesterday Microsoft released the basic outline for a platform that would use system tools, including browsers, programming formats, and operating systems similar to those used for the artificial intelligence in robots. Microsoft is ... (view more)

Tue
23
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

Calculate employee hours worked using Excel?

Infopackets Reader Katia E. writes: " Hi Dennis! I need your help in solving a little dilemma. I created a simple Excel spreadsheet to calculate the employee work hours from a time card. The problem is that I just cannot find a formula that will add ... the total hours worked everyday, in order to get a total of hours worked for the week. For example, the time card contains the following information: SAT --, SUN --, MON 8:31am, TUE 8:33am, WED 8:43am, THU 8:12am, FRI 9:00am. Any help you can give me to leave this frustration behind is greatly appreciated! " My response: This is actually ... (view more)

Tue
11
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Complexity Analysis

I'm swamped! I spent the majority of this weekend writing and re-writing the email list-management program which will automate requests for users who subscribe, remove, and change their email address to this newsletter online the infopackets web ... site. After much thought, I completed the program on Saturday using a very rudimentary algorithm. The program worked very well with small lists used for test data, but took exponentially long to complete when I tested it against all the user names that make up our mailing list [40,000]. Measuring how long it takes for a program or operation to ... (view more)

Tue
04
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Data Structures, Arrays, and Linked Lists

I'm finally making some leeway on the web site transformation. I spent a good part of this weekend working on a web script that is going to completely automate newsletter subscriptions and removals, plus allow me to manage changes in subscriptions ... so that I can *finally* implement a text-version of this newsletter. This solution will give readers the choice of receiving the Gazette twice or three times a week! It took me about 8 hours to figure out how to dereference a multidimensional array which points to another array structure in PERL (a web script programming language). This is pretty ... (view more)

Thu
19
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

Algorithms are a Computer Programmer's best friend

After typing up some heavy-duty Gazette articles this week, I thought I'd take a break and just shoot the breeze. Yeah, yesterday's article was pretty hardcore. I kind of figured that it would be over the head of some readers... but maybe that's the ... kind of stuff you need to appreciate. Hey, I never understood everything while I was at the University of Windsor as a Computer Science undergraduate. My biggest problem when learning / reading new information was accepting the fact that I didn't understand it. It's hard to visualize things that you don't understand. Eventually I just accepted ... (view more)

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