Stefan's Insights: 2008
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New research results about driving and talking on the phone

Phones More Distracting than Passengers

December 01, 2008 | by Geoff Duncan

A research study has found that using a mobile phone is far more distracting to drivers than even obnoxiously talkative passengers.

A new study, led by the University of Utah's David Strayer and published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, finds that using a mobile phone is far more distracting to automobile drivers than even the most talkative of passengers, significantly slowing reaction times and leading drivers to drift out of their lanes, miss exists to such a level that resemble drunk drivers. In fact, having a passenger in the car is actually a good thing, since they act as a "second set of eyes" and help the driver keep and eye on the road and where the car is headed? And hands-free devices? Not as much help as some people might think.

The study involved a series of experiments among 96 adults aged 18 to 49 in a driving simulator, and found that drivers using mobile phone headsets were more likely to miss exit while talking (WMV video), as well as drift out of their lanes. Conversely, drivers talking a passenger were not impaired to the same degree.

Strayer's previous studies have found that using mobile phones while driving slows response times, bringing the reaction levels of young adult drivers down to those of senior citizens and even drivers who were legally drunk.

Unlike someone on the other end of a mobile phone call, even chatty passengers in a car are prone to simplify or stop their conversations when driving conditions change, enabling a driver to focus more intently on the road and operating the vehicle.

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I had no idea :-)

An important insight !

SachertorteImage via Wikipedia
Woman and a Fork

There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things 'in order,' she contacted her Pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.

She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures
she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the
young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

'There's one more thing,' she said excitedly.

'What's that?' came the Pastor's reply.

'This is very important,' the young woman continued. 'I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.'

The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

That surprises you, doesn't it?' the young woman asked.

'Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request,' said the Pastor.

The young woman explained. 'My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!'

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?' Then I want you to tell them: 'Keep your fork ..the best is yet to come.'

The Pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman Good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the Pastor heard the question, 'What's with the fork?' And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the Pastor told the people of the conversation he had
with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind
you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come. Friends are a very rare
jewel, indeed.They make you smile and encourage you to succeed Cherish the time you have, and the memories you share ... being friends with someone is not an opportunity but a sweet responsibility.

And keep your fork.

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Trying to find some solid advice on what to do during this financial crisis

LONDON - APRIL 16:  A copy of the U.S. Edition...Image by Getty Images via Daylife I do think it is a good idea to read international newspapers in comparison with local/national US newspapers. The Guardian just posted an interesting article on their website, where Larry Elliot talks in a video about advice on the financial market situation. Worth to checkout.
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Got soaked !

While the storm itself wasnt all that strong here in Park Ridge, it just kept pooring... Checkout the picture.. this is just a block down from us Posted from moBlog – mobile blogging tool for Windows Mobile

Thought on personal growth - Better presentations

Visualization of the various routes through a ...Image via Wikipedia Reading my newsgator rss feeds, I saw this article and this is is an interesting piece of information to share: Business Week on Storytelling to strengthen your presentation. It makes the statement, that human brains are more wired to listen to stories than they are for lots of analytics and information.

Well, I did a quick search on Google (for the modern generation - I 'googled' it): Search on Human Brain wired for stories - and was astounded on how many things we are wired for.

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Watch out - a new term: "Staycation"

ABC News Special Report ident, circa 2006Image via Wikipedia
I am always surprised at the rate of innovation on the Internet. There is not one day where there is not something completely new and 'revolutionary' coming up. Well, sometimes the 'revolution' will only last for a day or so, but sometimes you can see early warnings/indications of things that will be big.

Watch out for 'Staycation'.
I simply call it: Staying home. :-).
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Rattle and Share Insight: Moving one computer from Windows to Linux

Designed for Windows XP computer hardware logoImage via WikipediaIt has been written about so many times on the Internet, but here I go..

My main computer in my office (running Windows XP home) stop booting to completion and would not even allow me to fix things in Safe Mode. Since I have been moving to a portable work environment (USB stick & portable apps), I have been mostly working on my laptop anyway, needing the main computer only for things that require a large monitor.

So I did some research on Linux.. what was important to me:
-Easy to use interface.. my preference was going towards to the easy and speed of KDE against the flashiness of Gnome.
-Ease of update, progressive community of developers, history of stability and problem solving
-WIRELESS.. big issue in the Linux community. Once I am ready to move my laptop over, I would not want it to be a major issue to get wireless working.

My research led me to a linux version.. aka Distro.. or distribution.. called Mepis.

A lot of technical and end-user reviews have praised Mepis for its ease of installation, hardware recognition (wireless!) and its stability.

So I went to download it, burn it on a 'Live CD', resize an existing partition and install it. Sounds difficult, but was a breeze.

A 'Live CD' is a great tool. It allows you to run a live-cd version of a Linux without actually installing it, creating the opportunity to use it and experience it without any additional work on your side. Once you decide you like it, you can install it.

If you.. like many.. have used all your computers available storage space for Windows, you may have to resize an existing partition with some storage room available. While I had some concern about this, GParted was easy to use and did an excellent job without any problems.

The Mepis installation program took care of everything.. starting GParted.. starting the installation, installing the dual-boot (so you can still have a choice to boot windows too), initial configuration and reboot.

I have to say - Mepis - has been a great experience so far. Installation was simple, and using it is easy too. It has everything I need, is very fast and customizable to any degree I wish.

If Linux distros like Mepis had a toll-free support hotline...

Two thumbs up, MEPIS !
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Brainical Question

BrainbowImage by ogglog via FlickrIMHO the brain is a wonderful, mysterious things.. the more we find out about it.. the less we end up knowing (kind of like a womans purse LOL). And as I said on secrettweet: The consequences of my actions decline any responsibility for my Celebrum.

I am making this post because I think that it is immensely important for us to understand more about our brain.. use it better.. train it better.. its capabilities has a direct relation to our life (not surprisingly :-) ).

My theory is that the more we develop complex nerve connections, the more we can comprehend complex matters. The less nerve connections we have in our brain, the less we are able to understand for instance - relativity theory.. just a thought..
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 Image via WikipediaThank you !!! I was worried that my continued consumption of caffeinated beverages would impact my health.

Coffee Drinkers Might Live Longer

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) - Good news for coffee lovers: Drinking up to six cups a day of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee daily won't shorten your life span, a new study shows.

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Tiger, we wish you get better soon !

Tiger WoodsImage by rjdudley via Flickr

MIAMI, June 18 (Reuters) - Tigers Woods, the world's No. 1 golfer, will undergo reconstructive knee surgery and miss the rest of the 2008 season, according to a statement on his web site on Wednesday. Woods, who notched his 14th major win in the U.S. Open on Monday, will have surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament and will also rehabilitate a stress fracture of his left tibia, the site said.

Hope he gets better soon, knee operations can be very difficult and result in long term problems.. GOOD LUCK !

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MUNICH, GERMANY - MARCH 18:  The company emblem of car producer BMW is seen at BMW headquarter after the announcements of the company results 2007 on March 18, 2008 in Munich, Germany. As CFO Michael Ganal emphasized, Image by Getty Images via Daylife

BMW Goes Soft - BMW's Gina concept car features a flexible skin instead of solid body panels to improve safety and increase fuel efficiency

WOW, this is amazing. Like one of the comments says - BMW is the Apple Inc. of the car industry. Imagine an accident were the involved parties softly bounce of eachother... I'll keep an eye on that one.

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And you thought your IPHONE is cool ?

Ina and mobile phoneImage via WikipediaCheck this article out. Apparently the next generation of phones you will be able to wave at, point at, do other things and it will react. Interesting potentials ! And best of all - no more smeared interface :-).

GestureTek: A New Way of Interacting With a Phone, which puts Wii-like capabilities into mobile phones. The company’s software allows a camera-enabled device to recognize gestures. What’s so cool about this new way of menu navigation is that it doesn’t require an accelerometer or an expensive camera to work. The software uses frame-rate speed to measure movement. The resulting device can allow an elderly person who lost her glasses to dial 911, or it can help a small child dial mom. It can also allow for some really fun mobile game play.

read the whole story here:

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