In the Know #15

18 01 2008

January 19, 2008

Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day

quietus \kwy-EE-tuhs\, noun:
1. Final discharge or acquittance, as from debt or obligation.
2. Removal from activity; rest; death.
3. Something that serves to suppress or quiet.

In the news:

– Chess master Bobby Fischer (pictured) dies at 64.

– Data from 650,000 United States credit card holders is lost.

Today in History, according to Wikipedia:

1817 – The Argentine army crosses the Andes, led by General Jose de San Martin, to liberate Chile and Peru from Spanish rule.

1883 – The first electric lighting system employing overhead wires, built by Thomas Edison, begins service in Roselle, New York.

1915 – Georges Claude patents the neon discharge tube for use in advertising.

1917 – German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmerman sends the Zimmerman Telegram (pictured) to Mexico, proposing a German-Mexican alliance against the United States.

1953 – 68% of all TV sets are tuned into I Love Lucy to see Lucy give birth.

1974 – UCLA Men’s basketball loses at the hands of Notre Dame, ending their 88-game winning streak.

1977 – Snow falls in Miami, Florida; the only occurrence of snow in the city’s history.

1983 – Apple Lisa, the first commercial personal computer to have a graphical user interface and mouse, is introduced by Apple Computer, Inc.

Today’s Famous Births:

1807 – Robert E. Lee (pictured), American Confederate General

1809 – Edgar Allan Poe, American writer and poet

1942 – Michael Crawford, British singer and actor, Broadway’s “The Phantom of the Opera

1943 – Janis Joplin, American singer

1946 – Dolly Parton, American singer and actress, 9 to 5 and Islands in the Stream (with Kenny Rogers)

1969 – Junior Seau, American football player, 12-time Pro Bowl selection

1982 – Jodie Sweetin, American actress, Full House

Trivia
Today’s Category – The Outer Banks of North Carolina

~ The Outer Banks (pictured) consist of Bodie Island, Roanoke Island, Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island.

~ When Giovanni de Verrazzano explored the Outer Banks, he mistakingly believed the Albemarle Sound and Pamlico Sound as open ocean splitting the North American mainland in half.

~ The islands stretch 100 miles.

~ The first person of English descent born on American soil, Virginia Dare, was born on Roanoke Island.

~In 2003, Hatteras Island was cut in half by Hurricane Isabel, but the Army Corps of Engineers repaired the 3000 foot wide gash.

I always wondered…
…how a touchscreen works…

There are three basic types of touchscreen technologies: resistive, capacitive and surface wave acoustic.

Resistive touchscreens employ two thin metallic layers, one resistive and one conductive. When pressure is applied on the surface, one layer touches the other. The change on electrical field is noted and plotted.

Capacitive touchscreens use a layer that stores electrical charges on top of the glass panel of the monitor. When a user touches the screen, some of the charge is transferred to the person. Circuits located in each corner calculate the change in current. The relative differences in current help the computer to plot the point of contact.

Surface wave acoustic touchscreens have two transistors on the surface of the monitor which create ultrasonic waves on top of the screen. Opposite of the transistors are reflectors which bounce the waves back. When a wave is disturbed, the computer is able to plot where the touch occurred.

Resistive and surface wave acoustic screens do not distinguish between stimuli, because they recognize touches by pressure or disturbance. Capacitive does require a conductive input such as a finger to disturb the electrical charge on the surface.

[“How a touchscreen works” reference: HowStuffWorks.com]
[All references from Wikipedia.org unless otherwise noted]

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