Archive for March, 2006
Thinking about the way your muscles work could physically boost your strength, research suggests.
A Hull University team asked 30 subjects to do biceps curls and found their muscles worked more when they focused on what the muscles were doing.
But lower rates of muscle activity were recorded when they simply visualised themselves lifting the weight.
The study is being presented at the British Psychological Society conference in Cardiff on Friday.
The team wired their subjects up to weight machines which monitored levels of electrical activity in their biceps and asked them to think in two different ways while exercising.
The more electrical activity measured – the more the muscle is doing.
When subjects were asked to focus on what their muscles were doing and how they were working there were significantly higher levels of electrical activity.
But when they were asked to visualise lifting the weight, electrical activity was lower.
Earlier studies have shown that thinking about what muscles are actually doing can make more skilful tasks like throwing a ball more difficult.
Dr David Marchant explains: “When athletes are at the starting line they are primarily focusing on the end of the track rather than what their legs are doing.”
If they focused on the actual movement in their legs they probably would not perform as well, he said.
But this research shows it can be helpful to focus directly on the muscles to improve muscle strength.
Dr Marchant added: “Say you have a footballer who’s got some sort of muscular injury he wants to repair – ask him to think about what the muscle is actually doing while he is exercising and it is better.
“But if he’s going to kick a penalty – don’t get him to think about the muscle because it will go wrong. Instead focus on the goal.”
Dr Marchant suggest the reason why the penalty kick will fail in this scenario is because the player’s muscle is over-activated by the mental focus on it.
He suggested that sports coaches and trainers would benefit from tailoring their instructions depending on what they wanted to achieve.
Dr Jim Golby, expert in sports and mental toughness at the University of Teesside’s Social Futures Institute, said the study was an interesting one which tested how mental imaging affected performance.
But he said testing the subjects with 10 repetitions did not really replicate any real life sporting conditions.
Via: BBC News
Is life hunky-dory?.. Sleeping peacefully at night?
Well everything may not be as it seems. While there are plenty of you who deliberately interpret the law in your own special way, most of you may think you’re a model citizen. But little do you know…
Fill in the Crime Sheet and find out exactly what you’ve been getting away with. (And don’t worry – we’re not tracking you…)
I guess one of these days, I’m going to have to upgrade from Win98.
I’ll probably get XP, about the time they’re ready to replace Vista.
And well just before reading that post I had just been sorting out some of my old PC stuff that I had in my cupboard so I thought wow what a great oprtunity to post a post with photo of some of this stuff I had just got out, here’s how it went:
Wooooow Man I’m so jealous you have Windows 98, I’ve only just upgraded to Windows 95 from Windows 3.1 so I can play some of my new games, and use Encarta 1994, look I even have some B drive disks from the Orbits solar system software, I had to get rid of my B drive though, I was really sad to see it go you know.
But hey I just had to play Cruise of a corpse and to play that I needed Windows 95 and a CD-Rom Drive so well I had to upgrade some hardware as well.
Now what’s this, I’ve been living under a rock I hear you say, are you sure? Anyway look at my lovely pic taken about 5 minutes ago!
I have more stuff but I would need to sort it out, the other stuff was quite old so I put it into storage!
Ohh by the way click here for a larger image of the pic above!
Anyway hope you’ve stopped laughing now, here’s a list of some of the stuff I have in my cupboard:
- Windows 3.1
- Windows 95
- Windows 98
- Orbits Solar System
- Microsoft Encarta 1994
- Microsoft Ancient Lands
- Cruise for a corpse
- Titanic challenge of discovery
- A bunch of old computer books
The WordPress Widgets Plugin (WPW) is now available for download well that is once WordPress site is back up, just before I was going to post this I refreshed the WordPress.org page I had open and it noticed it now said “WordPress.org is taking a lunch break.” it’s been like that for quite a while now but yeah I’ve finally decided to submit this post anyway hoping that it will be up again soon, cross your fingers.
Widgets are an easy way for you to arrange and rearrange your sidebar to your hearts content without touching a line of code. We first launched WordPress Widgets (WPW) it on WordPress.com a month ago and the response was great. Now we’re ready to release the plugin to the world. If adoption goes well, we’ll consider rolling it into the next version of WordPress.
You can find out more information and download the plugin on the new Widgets page.
What’s the potential audience for widgets? In addition to the 130,000+ blogs on WordPress.com, you have the potential to tap in to the 5,000 people downloading WordPress every single day and the hundreds of thousands of existing WordPress blogs out there.
Well it looks like the Windows Live Mail Desktop Beta has finally begun but only with around 100 testers, though this will expand to some 5000 beta testers within the coming weeks it might take a while so I recommend you keep and eye out for an invite in your inbox, but for now why not read below for more information.
We’re fighting for you!
It’s crunch time here in MDB (Mail Desktop Beta, our unofficial acronym to keep it short and sweet). The developers are working hard on last minute DCRs and coding like maniacs to lower our bug count, testers are running through a multi-week test pass and buddy tests, and program managers are fighting hard in war meetings and clearing road blocks. What are all these things? I’ll explain in a minute. But first, Why ARE we working so hard? That’s because our first managed beta starts today! Are you part of the managed beta? “~100 beta members will be sent a survey link starting Wednesday, with feedback collected over the next 7 days. If this 100-group has a good beta experience, the group will be expanded to around 5000 within the next few weeks.” – Bradley, our test lead. We’re keeping the group small for this beta so the feedback loop will be tight. If you made the list, congrats! If you didn’t, don’t despair, the next round of beta is only a few months away. That beta will include a MUCH larger test audience. When it comes time for the beta test to start, look for our post here for directions on how to sign up. That’s our big news but you’re probably wondering what we’re doing in the mean time to get the product ready for you. So here’s the dirt. The product team is generally divided into a few major sections (in no particular order of importance):
Developers – These are the coders and keepers of the algorithm. No body knows the features in more detail then these people. Devs, such as Andy, are working on DCRs (design change requests) at the moment, these are last minute changes to the graphical interface before we totally lock down the user interface and focus on bug fixing. When the devs finish their code, they must past on the changes to a tester.
Testers – We’re responsible for the quality of product. One of the things we do are buddy tests. Across Microsoft we have ways to methodically ship high quality software. We have a second dev code review every change to be made. Then the test team will test that change before it is added to our code base. We’re currently running through a test pass as well. During the test pass, we try to scan and scrub every inch of code to ensure we catch all the bugs and pass that information on to the developer and program manager. Oh yeah, we write a ton of test automation tools to make our job easier.
Program Managers (PMs) – These are the wonderful people that orchestrate the features and make sure the feature is developed on schedule and without any road blocks. People like Vlada go to “war” on a regular basis to fight for quality. War meetings occur on a weekly basis. Feature representatives and leads have to decide, based on the schedule, which new features and code changes can be made and which has to be postponed. War is a place for difficult product wide decisions, and its brutal for everyone. But if we are to deliver a well rounded product to you guys on time, we just have to make a few sacrifices.
International: These guys make sure our products are localized and globalized for international release. They ensure every string is correct in every language we ship to and every feature works the same way whether you’re reading Chinese or Cyrillic.
CDC: Our design and usability group helps us design the interface so it’s intuitive and looks cool. If a button is misplaced or an dialog doesn’t make sense, these are the guys that help us redesign it.
User Assistance: We may be masters of C++, but we’re not pros at the English language. The UA group comes in and helps us reword our dialogs and write the help file so everything is easy to understand.
Oh yeah, there’s also daily triage. This is where developers, testers, program managers, and international decide the responsibility and priority of bugs. Bugs that cause crashes or compromise data integrity raise huge red flags and are addressed first. Smaller cosmetic bugs that aren’t seen often are saved until later.
And there you have it folks, the inner works our group. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll need to get back to this photo mail DCR buddy test for Azmy. Be sure to look for a post by Vlada later this week on the photo mail feature.
The European Commission has once again expressed concerns about Microsoft’s competition on the Computer Market but Microsoft says that they have let rivals be involved in the developing of the new Windows Vista operating system, read the full story below.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said Wednesday it told Microsoft that it has competition worries about the firm’s new Vista operating system, another antitrust concern that the software giant must answer in Europe.
Microsoft (Research) is already embroiled in a long-running battle with Europe’s top antitrust body after the Commission decided in 2004 that the company had abused the dominance of its Windows system and fined it 500 million ($604.2 million).
“We are concerned about the possibility that the next Vista operating system will include various elements which are currently available separately from Microsoft or other companies,” European Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd said.
He said although there is no formal investigation into this issue, the Commission expects Microsoft to react. The EU executive will open separate proceedings against the company should it find that the operating system broke competition laws.
“We assume Microsoft has its own interest at heart and it wants to launch another product without having to worry about the Commission instituting various actions under antitrust law because of this product,” Todd told a news briefing.
Microsoft released a statement Wednesday saying it has made a big effort to help competitors develop products that will work with its new Windows Vista operating system.
“Keeping the industry and regulators informed of our product development plans has been, and will remain, a priority,” the U.S. software giant said in a statement.
“We have worked hard to include partners and competitors in our planning so they can build products and services that work with Windows Vista,” it said.
The software company faces a 2 million ($2.4 million) daily fine for what the Commission says are delays in implementing the remedies set under the 2004 decision.
On Thursday and Friday, it has a last chance to stop the Commission from fining it and in April it launches its appeal against the original decision.
The EU’s new concerns follow Microsoft’s announcement last week that it will delay the release of Vista until January due to a need for more tests of the software.
Just heard about this via the Nasa Website:
On Wednesday, 2006 March 29, a total eclipse of the Sun will be visible from within a narrow corridor which traverses half the Earth. The path of the Moon’s umbral shadow begins in Brazil and extends across the Atlantic, northern Africa, and central Asia where it ends at sunset in western Mongolia. A partial eclipse will be seen within the much broader path of the Moon’s penumbral shadow, which includes the northern two thirds of Africa, Europe, and central Asia.
So it now seems that the MPAA is trying to outlaw the .torrent file format, has the MPAA gone mad, this really is pushing the limits on what they can do, don’t you think?
Sure I can understand them trying to stop pirating in general but this is a file extension which I must say is used in the general distribution of non illegal files by publishers worldwide.
Luckily for us though we have Torrentspy which doesn’t like the idea of outlawing the ,torrent extension either and is going to battle it out in court against the MPAA!
MPAA owners Time Warner, Viacom, Fox, Sony, NBC Universal and Disney are in essence trying to outlaw the dot torrent file format, says a lawyer representing TorrentSpy.com, one of the sites named in the MPAA’s panicky onslaught against file sharers in particular, and the p2p community in general.
After a long wait I’ve finally decided to upload some of my Technical Drawings from my Bachillerato (sixth form) Course I did in 2003, I hope you like them because I certainly do mainly because I know I did them all on my own and also because I was top of the class in Technical Drawing!
With egoSurf you can find your blogs ranking in google. “Actually it doesn’t have to be your blog, and it ain’t just google.” say’s developer Jason Hyland.
What is egoSurf ?
Find your place, know your place. Take a look at our about page. We’ve not got a mission statement.
So, how does it work ?
Simple. You enter your name and your blogs web address. We search google and find links to your blog. We calculate your ego ranking.
We show you where your blogs appear in the search engines. Did we mention that we can search in Yahoo, MSN, del.icio.us and Technorati too? Got more than one blog or site? No problem, we can look for lots.
We also keep track of your rankings over time, so you can see how your site moves through the blogosphere. How’s this for stroking ?
Here’s some test results I obtained from testing it:
Using the search term “darren straight” looking for links to www.darrenstraight.com
On google.com I was ranked 1st, and 2nd place with 7741 ego points.
On yahoo.com I was ranked 1st, and 2nd place with 4127 ego points.
On msn.com I was ranked 1st, and 2nd place with 2452 ego points.
On del.icio.us the search term “darren straight” was not found!
On technorati.com the search term “darren straight” was not found!
Using the search term “darren” looking for links to www.darrenstraight.com
On google.com the search term “darren straight” was not found!
On yahoo.com I was ranked 30th place with 397 ego points.
On msn.com the search term “darren straight” was not found!
On del.icio.us the search term “darren straight” was not found!
On technorati.com the search term “darren straight” was not found!
At the moment my search “darren straight” is 7th place on the biggest egos list but I bet it wont stay there for long not once this site starts getting used by more popular people with better search terms!