The Science Behind How We Learn New Skills

The Science Behind How We Learn New Skills

Learning new skills is one of the best ways to make yourself both marketable and happy, but actually doing so isn’t as easy as it sounds. The science behind how we learn is the foundation for teaching yourself new skills. Here’s what we know about learning a new skill.

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LibreOffice 4.1 is released, borrows new sidebar from OpenOffice

LibreOffice 4.1 was released today, with the open source office suite borrowing a new sidebar from its rival, OpenOffice.

As we wrote yesterday, the sidebar was debuted in OpenOffice 4.0 after being contributed by IBM developers. In LibreOffice, it’s only an experimental feature thus far, and it can be enabled in the settings.

“LibreOffice 4.1 is … importing some AOO [Apache OpenOffice] features, including the Symphony sidebar, which is considered experimental,” the Document Foundation said in the LibreOffice 4.1 announcement. “LibreOffice developers are working at the integration with the widget layout technique (which will make it dynamically resizeable and consistent with the behaviour of LibreOffice dialog windows).”

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Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake spotted testing at Nurburgring

Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake spotted testing at Nurburgring

The XF Sportbrake is ace. The Jaguar supercharged 5 litre V8 is ace. An XFR or XFR-S Sportbrake will be double ace. More photos

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NTT DoCoMo’s prototype breathalyzer knows if you’re burning fat, could toughen-up boot camp

Prototype breathalyzer knows if you're burning fat, could toughenup boot camp

Next time you’re back from a run, questioning whether it’s been worth the agony effort, you might actually be able to find out for sure. Well, perhaps not the next time, but soon, thanks to a prototype breathalyzer developed by NTT DoCoMo that promises to instantly let you know whether your body is currently burning fat. We’ve seen the device before, but a recently published journal on its latest test results brings it one step closer to reality. The handheld unit uses gas and pressure sensors to monitor levels of acetone — a substance created during fat burning, partly expelled via the lungs — in the breath, and can display fat burning potential on a phone via bluetooth (or cable). The creators tested the prototype on a small group, and found that those who didn’t diet or exercise, or did light exercise only, didn’t show signs of fat burning, but those that watched what they ate, and upped activity did — boosting hopes of its real-world use. No word on commercial availability just yet, but we’re already wondering if it might up the ante on our potential second income.

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Via: Phys-org

Source: IOP Science

The Pegboard Wall Workspace

The Pegboard Wall Workspace

Pegboards are wonderful tools for organizing all sorts of things. You can even use one to upgrade one wall of your office for a display and accessorizing system you can easily switch up whenever you want.

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New status page shows you exactly how down Apple’s developer site still is

One by one, Apple’s systems are coming back up.

A week after its developer site was accessed by an “intruder,” Apple has posted another update about its ongoing process to secure the systems and get them back online. While most of the systems remain down, the update specifies the order in which the services will be resuscitated.

“We plan to roll out our updated systems, starting with Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles, Apple Developer Forums, Bug Reporter, pre-release developer libraries, and videos first,” said the update. “Next, we will restore software downloads so that the latest betas of iOS 7, Xcode 5, and OS X Mavericks will once again be available to program members. We’ll then bring the remaining systems online.”

Developers interested in tracking Apple’s progress can also visit a new system status page, which will be updated as the affected services are brought back up. As of this writing, only two systems—iTunes Connect and the Apple Bug Reporter system—have been restored, but the others should follow in the coming days.

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Wolves’ howls have distinct identities, voice recognition study shows

The ominous howl of the wolf has long been a source of fear and fascination for mankind. But new research shows they’re not so different from people–for every wolf has its own distinct voice. By recording and analyzing wolf howls, scientists have discovered a new way of identifying individual animals.

Holly Root-Gutteridge of Nottingham Trent University has developed sound analysis code that can tell which wolf is howling with 100% accuracy. Previously, pitch was used to tell wolves apart, but these only achieved an accuracy rate of 76%. Adding information about volume–or “amplitude”–to the code was key to increasing its accuracy, according to Root-Gutteridge.

“In humans, differentiating between voices of different pitch might allow us to tell the difference between, say, men and women. But by adding more information, we can differentiate more precisely between individuals,” Root-Gutteridge said. The same applies for wolves: the more information analyzed, the more accurate the results.

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From Shadowrun to microdot miniatures: A look inside Harebrained Schemes

A few of the “pre-pre-pre-alpha” figures being used in the development of Golem Arcana.
Sam Machkovech/Ars Technica

Jordan Weisman is the cofounder of video game developer Harebrained Schemes. He’s invited me into his Seattle-area office on a Friday afternoon, but he’s not quite ready to chat when I arrive. I suspect that’s because most of his 30-strong design team is busy working on final touches and bug hunts for the company’s latest game, Shadowrun Returns. It’s set to debut in just six days.

Famed for its status as a successful first-wave Kickstarter game, Shadowrun Returns blasted past a $400,000 ask last April to rack up more than $1.8 million from devoted fans of the cyberpunk RPG series. On this Friday, the tiny office is awash in the game’s harsh, sci-fi color palette. But Shadowrun Returns isn’t the reason for Weisman’s delay. “We’ll be wrapping in a minute here,” he says.

Weismann enters a conference room full of key Harebrained staffers who are scrutinizing a video that Weisman himself stars in. He can be seen on the screen holding a giant, black stylus and pointing at what appears to be a board game. The board is covered in miniatures and positioned next to a tablet. “If I want to know what this figure is capable of, tap the figure’s name, and all of its information comes up,” Weisman says in the video. Back in the real world, Weisman looks almost bored, as if he’s already watched this clip dozens of times.

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This is how cars are transported in Afghanistan

This is how cars are transported in Afghanistan

How do you transport vehicles when you got no proper transporters? On the tops of buses and cargo containers, of course. See more pics here.

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Adobe Lightroom 5 review: Who needs to be licensed or connected?

It’s been just over a year since we reviewed Lightroom 4, and a lot has happened since—not just in the software box itself, but also in Adobe’s revenue generation scheme. Today things center on the Creative Cloud. And since our review of Photoshop Creative Cloud and its rental license scheme, many people chimed in with pitchforks and torches in hand. Commenters told us what big fans they are of the new pay-forever-or-lose-your-program Creative Cloud license. Yes, for every 30 or so negative comments, there was someone who liked being able to buy in at a lower cost. But the consensus from our end was obvious: people hate the new rental software scheme, and they are livid at the prospect of paying what many likened to a protection racket for their files.

So let’s first talk about what’s not in Lightroom 5: the Creative Cloud license. That means that if you upgrade to Lightroom 5, you pay once and own a license to use the software indefinitely—unless it’s used to add more rockets to Iran’s arsenal or make Portia de Rossi look any more like one of the Olsen twins (that’s my law). There is no long-term money hole option. I don’t think you have to be a cynic to pick out the main reason for Lightroom being spared the Creative Cloud treatment. Lightroom actually has competition.

When Lightroom 1 debuted, it launched into a Raw converter market that was pretty mature. Adobe was playing catch-up, especially to Apple’s Aperture, which was the first real monolithic professional Raw workflow app that Lightroom emulated. And by Lightroom 1′s release, Apple even had time to address some of Aperture 1.0’s significant failings. By Lightroom 4, Adobe’s price dropped to $149 from $299, largely due to this competition. Today, a five-machine license of Aperture can be bought on the Mac App Store for $80, and I’d say that has a lot to do with why Lightroom was not put into a rental license scheme.

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