Page 4 - Technology Facts

Children who qualify for the reduced lunch program can also get a computer and cheap internet access, if they live someplace that has Comcast!

As a student, having the Internet is pretty much essential these days. While a student may be able to get by with getting their information from books and writing essays by hand, lack of computer access puts them at a huge disadvantage. There are even times when a computer is needed to do work.

Accommodations are certainly made for those who are unable to access the internet, but again, it alienates the students and puts them at a distinct disadvantage.

Comcast, the United States' largest Internet provider, and the Khan Academy, a "not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere," have teamed up to bring the Internet to as many people as possible with a program called "Internet Essentials."

If a student receives free lunch and lives in a place where Comcast offers internet service, he or she is eligible for the Internet Essentials program. The program offers internet service for $9.95, a $150 computer upon signup, and free Internet training. The price is also guaranteed to never go up, and there are no activation or equipment rental fees.


This record player uses laser beams to "read" sound, causing no deterioration to the record itself

There's nothing quite like taking out old vinyl records and listening to some classic tunes. Vinyl enthusiasts swear that using more modern technology just wouldn't have the same feel to it.

The ELP laser turntable is, in some ways, a compromise between old and new. It uniquely uses a laser, not a needle, to play music. The lack of contact has one main benefit: it causes absolutely no wear and tear on records. Having no contact means that the sounds are preserved better. As for the laser, it's completely harmless.

So how does all this technology work in concert? The laser consists of five beams. The first two beams are there for tracking purposes; they're aimed at the shoulders on the left and right grooves. The next two read the audio signal. Finally, the last beam exists for controlling the height between the laser and the surface of the record, which is especially useful with thick or warped records. All in all, the laser serves to reproduce the music in analog. There is no digitalization needed.

Perhaps most importantly, forgoing the needle in favor of the a laser creates extremely high-quality sound. The sounds played are almost exactly as those originally engraved on the vinyl.


A gamer group is still trying to uncover the final mystery of a 2005 video game. Have you played it?

"Shadows of the Colossus" is a 2005 video game that has attracted its share of passionate fans. As the title of the game suggests, there were a number of Colossi in the game that had to be defeated. The designers intended to have 48 Colossi, but they drastically downsized in the end.

One man named Michael, who also goes by the username "Ozzymandias," would talk to other gamers online about strategy, but then he became intrigued for different reasons. In particular, there was a hidden garden at the top of the Shrine of Worship that could be glimpsed by jumping in the sky at the right time. It made him wonder if there was more to the game than met the eye and if there were other places that could be reached.

Michael and his fellow secret-seekers used a forum to speculate about the possibilities.Over 500 pages have been filled since the thread was first started. Many times the discussion turns to the possibility of an additional and final, yet unseen, Colossus. If nothing else, the discussion shows the dedication of the fans. The thread was started two years after the game was first released and still gets the occasional update today about a new discovery or theory.


Some awesome lists!

What was really behind Microsoft's $150 million investment in Apple shares in 1997?

There is an urban myth that Microsoft 'saved' Apple from bankruptcy in 1997 to ensure that Microsoft did not become a monopoly. Microsoft invested $150 million in non-voting shares and this started the rumor that it was done to rescue Apple from certain demise.

The truth is that Microsoft's substantial investment was actually the result of a settlement of a lawsuit that would be settled over a couple of years. The $150 million was just the initial payment. The exact amount of the settlement is not known but has been estimated between $500 million to more than $1 billion.

The legal action was described in an article in 'MacWeek' and excerpts of it read: "Charges of copyright infringement and wrongdoing were raised last week by Apple, which filed an intellectual-property suit against The San Francisco Canyon Co., a small third-party contractor for Apple. But the scope of the court action encompasses industry giants Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp."

When Steve Jobs made the announcement at Macworld in 1997 that Apple and Microsoft was entering into a 'partnership' the crowd was less than happy. Suddenly the two companies were all cozy. Knowing the facts one has to ask: Who saved who? Yes, Apple could do with $150 million at that time, but it also gave Microsoft a chance to save face.


Starpath is a cement and tarmac coating agent that uses light from the sun during the day to glow along pathways at night!

It is costly to keep pathways in parks well lit to ensure the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, but Pro-Teq (a British based company) has developed a product that can drastically cut back on those costs. 'Starpath' is a spray-on coating of light-absorbing particles that harvests ultra-violet rays from the sun during the day and dramatically lights up at night.

It is anti-slip and waterproof and can be applied to various surfaced like cement, wood and tarmac. 'Starpath' comes with added benefits. Its non-reflective surface doesn't contribute to light pollution, which not only limits views of the night sky, but has negative consequences for local nocturnal wildlife due to the constant illumination.

"Our surface works best over tarmac or concrete, predominantly tarmac, which is the main bulk of the U.K. Path network," says Pro-Teq's Neil Blackmore. "When it's coming to the end of its useful life, we can rejuvenate it with our system, creating not only a practical, but a decorative finish."

It is, however, not yet determined whether 'Starpath' will be illuminating enough to also deter crime to the extent that overhead streetlights do. Neil Blackmore suggests that for larger urban parks where the possibility of crime is higher, his technology could be used in conjunction with overhead lighting, if not replacing street lights completely.



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