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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Online test calculates brain speed

As some researchers examine brain functions with advanced imaging technology, other scientists are measuring brain speed with the click of a mouse.

San Francisco-based Posit Science unveiled a program in recent weeks that tests how fast a person's brain can process information, based on his or her hearing speed.

"Auditory processing speed is important because much of the information we receive each day is communicated through sound--especially speech," according to Posit Science, which has developed software that promotes brain fitness. "The faster we can take in information accurately, the better we can keep up with, respond to and remember what we hear."

The 10-minute online test, at the company's Web site, measures how fast and accurately the test-taker can detect different sounds, by having the test-taker click on arrows. Once finished, the test-taker will receive a measurement of his or her brain speed, down to the millisecond.
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Sir Tim Berners-Lee on the Web

With the major www2006 conference just around the corner, BCS managing editor Brian Runciman interviews the inventor of the Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Looking back on 15 years or so of development of the Web is there anything you would do differently given the chance?

I would have skipped on the double slash - there's no need for it. Also I would have put the domain name in the reverse order - in order of size so, for example, the BCS address would read: http:/ The last two terms of this example could both be servers if necessary.

What subsequent Web developments by others have impressed you most?

The Google algorithm was a significant development. I don't want to name too many, but in general I like the fact that I've had thank you emails from people whose lives have been saved by information on a medical website or who have found the love of their life on a dating website, which is great. The important thing is the diversity available.
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