Violent Video Games Can Improve Vision

A new study that was fundedby the National Eye Institute and the Office of Naval Research published today in the journal Nature Neuroscience shows that people who played fighting games on their PCs became up to a 58 percent better at perceiving fine contrast differences, an important aspect of eyesight. This is particularly significant because before now, the only proven way of improving this sort of eyesight was thought to be by using glasses or laser surgery.

Volunteers in the study played intensively for 50 hours over nine weeks with either Unreal Tournament 2004 and Call of Duty 2, and the results were compared with another group who played The Sims 2, which is richly visual but does not require as much hand-eye coordination.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that contrast sensitivity can be improved by simple training,” says Bavelier. “When people play action games, they’re changing the brain’s pathway responsible for visual processing. These games push the human visual system to the limits and the brain adapts to it, and we’ve seen the positive effect remains even two years after the training was over.”

So now I have more justification to play video games \o/

Nanakshahi PHP calender function

Today I bring you this cool little library by Harpreet Singh Buttar which is a drop-in replacement for php’s date() and time() function.

Demo here

From the README:

Nanakshahi date function
The function’s work just like the php’s date() & time()function.
But it returns everything according to the Nanakshahi calendar.

For example
Timestamp:            1110790861
date() function returns:        Monday, 14 March 2005 – 01:01:01 AM
nanakshahi_date() function returns:    ਸੌਮਞਾਰ, 01 ਚੇਤ 537 – 01:01:01 ਸਵੇਰ

Instructions, the library, and the demo are included in the archive.

Originally from http://punjabis.netfirms.com/

download

Download:nanakshahi_calender_functions_PHP_1-0.zip
Version:0.1
Updated:April 14, 2009
Size:4.71 KB

Recent Researches in Sikhism

research
Today I give you a pretty cool book entitled “Recent Researches in Sikhism” by Jasbir Singh Mann & Kharak Singh. Published in 1990 this book presents and clear and consice break down of all the “Modern” looks into the Sikh religion. While it was published almost 20 years ago, I can assure you almost all of the editors findings still hold true, and actually make you think a lot about how Sikhism is presented and viewed in academia. A must read for even the smallest of nerds.

download

Download:Recent_Research_in_Sikhism.pdf
Version:0.3
Updated:April 14, 2009
Size:903.77 KB

Suggested Firefox addon – TACO

I HIGHLY suggest everyone use this addon or something similar. The best explanation can be found on the addon’s homepage:

Why should I use TACO?

A large number of commercial companies now track users’ browsing across the web, in order to profile them, and then serve them targeted advertising. This so called behavioral advertising is a threat to the average user’s privacy.

An industry group, The Network Advertising Initiative, provides an easy way for users to opt-out of the tracking performed by its member companies. Users can visit a single web page, and then easily set opt-out web cookies for all of the NAI members advertising networks. privacychoice.net has a cool wizard that will set cookies for a bunch of other non-NAI member advertising networks too.

The problem with this is that the moment a user clears his or her cookies, they also lose the opt-out cookies. Regularly clearing browser cookies, or better, setting the browser to erase them all at the end of a session, is a recommended practice. Unfortunately, by doing this, users are then required to re-visit the NAI and privacychoice.net opt-out page each time they start browsing the web. This is obviously not a reasonable thing to expect.

Google recently announced that it would be engaging in the large scale collection and use of targeted advertising information. However, in addition to offering an opt-out cookie, the company has also developed a Firefox add-on, so that users can maintain the opt-out cookies, even if they regularly erase the other cookies.

Google should be commended for releasing such a useful privacy enhancing technology (even though their use of targeted advertising is creepy, and should be prohibited by the FTC). If only this add-on could be used to protect people from the prying eyes of the other advertising networks…..

If you are not using Firefox I HIGHLY suggest you start! Get it here

Download this addon here

Cool Tool – Search Gurbani Desktop Version

sgdvA great alternative to Sikhi To The Max today I bring you Search Gurbani Desktop Version. A Java application for searching, displaying, and exploring the Guru Granth Sahib. From the website:

Search Gurbani Desktop Version (SGDV) brings to you a unique and comprehensive approach to explore and experience the word of God. We have the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji , Amrit Keertan Gutka and Bhai Gurdaas Vaaran and Sri Dasam Granth Sahib in entireity. You can explore these scriptures page by page or search for a keyword in either one or all of the scriptures.

The application is also designed for use in a Gurdwara like setting to help the sangat follow along with the Raagi. It displays the Gurmukhi line along with Romanization and English translation text.

A good option for non-windows users or people on other java-enabled platforms. It works sufficiently well and definetly meets it’s goal of providing something to put up for the sangat to follow along. I will add the download files to the downloads section soon, but all the relevant and up-to-date files are available on the SGDV website