sábado, 11 de setembro de 2010

Government Employment since 1976

Government Employment since 1976: "Menzie Chinn at Econbrowser posted a graph of total government employment over the last decade: The 'Ever-Expanding' Government Sector, Illustrated

In response to the comments to his post, here are a couple of additional graphs:

Government Employment Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows federal, state, and local government employment as a percent of the civilian noninstitutional population since 1976 (all data from the BLS).

Federal government employment has decreased over the last 35 years (mostly in the 1990s), state government employment has been flat, and local government employment has increased.

Note the small spikes very 10 years. That is the impact of the decennial census.

Government Employment The second graph shows government employment excluding education as a percent of the civilian noninstitutional.

The percent of federal and state government employment (ex-education) have all declined. Local government employment has been steady - so overall government employment (ex-education) as a percent of the civilian population is down over the last 35 years.

10 Killer Google Chrome Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts

10 Killer Google Chrome Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts: "

Google Chrome Image

As Google’s Chrome browser celebrates its second anniversary, we thought it appropriate to commemorate the occasion with some handy tips and tricks.

Here are 10 tried and tested hints that will help you to get the most out of Chrome by taking advantage of some of its more functional tools and time-saving setups.

Read through the suggestions below and let us know which ones you’ll be trying out, or any tricks we haven’t included, in the comments box.

1. Open Multiple Pages on Startup

Rather than just one trusty homepage, you can get Chrome to open several pages as it starts up, giving you instant access to whatever sites and services you prefer to start your day with.

It’s easy to setup. Just click on the wrench icon on the top right of your browser window, select “Options” and under the “Basic” tab check the box where it says “on startup… open the following pages.”

If you click “Add” it brings up a list of recently browsed sites to choose from, or you can manually enter a URL in the box at the top.

Now, the next time you fire up your browser, those pages will be automatically loaded in the order in which you entered them, saving you some precious time.

2. Pin Tabs in Place on the Browser Bar

If you are going to be using a site or service a lot in one web session, you can “pin” a tab in Chrome, which will shrink the window down to the size of the favicon, leaving more room for multi-tasking. It also prevents tabs from getting lost on the side of the screen when you have many open at once.

To do this, right-click on the tab you want to pin and hit “Pin tab.” To enlarge the tab, just right-click and hit “Pin tab” again to uncheck the option.

3. Turn Your Favorite Websites into “Desktop Apps”

There’s another option open to you in Chrome if you want fast access to a favorite site — turn the site into what could be loosely described as a desktop app.

To do this, navigate to the site you want to desktop-ize, head over to the wrench icon on the top right of your browser window, select “Tools” and then click on “Create application shortcuts.”

This will then bring up a window that gives you the option to create shortcuts on your desktop, in your start menu, or on the quick launch bar and you can check or un-check the boxes to make your selection.

If you opt for desktop you’ll instantly see an icon for the site appear on your desktop display, as per the grab below:

Now, double-clicking on that icon will load up that website in a separate window with no navigation tabs, giving it the feel of a native desktop application — so it could be great for webmail services.

4. Add a Home Button to the Toolbar

Chrome boasts a minimalist design that many love, but there are some users who just need to have a “home” button to click.

Adding a home button to Chrome is very easy — just click on the wrench icon at the top-right, select “Options,” and under the basic tab you’ll see a check box for “show Home button on the toolbar.” Hit it and you’ll never be homeless again.

5. Carry Out Calculations in the Omnibox

In addition to being a URL bar and a search field, Chrome’s “omnibox” is also a basic calculator. Rather than load up your computer’s calculator, Google or Wolfram Alpha, you can just type your mathematical query into the omnibox and the result will show up where you’d normally see auto-suggestions.

Beyond simple sums, this also works for unit conversions like feet-to-meters, pints-to-liters, etc,.

6. Use AutoFill to Auto-Complete an Address

If you find yourself typing your address time and time again, you might want to consider Chrome’s AutoFill options which can remember it and save you the repeat effort.

To activate the feature, click on the wrench icon, select “Options,” then click on the “Personal Stuff,” then choose “AutoFill options.” By selecting “Add address,” you can enter your details. The next time you are presented with a form, you won’t have to manually type it all in.

You can also choose to add a credit card via AutoFill, but for security reasons we’d advise thinking twice before going down that route.

7. Use Chrome URLs to See History, Bookmarks & Downloads

Chrome can show you some of your browser data and settings via special Chrome URLs, which is a handy way to see the info in your browser — especially as all options are searchable.

You can view your bookmarks, downloads and history by typing “chrome://bookmarks,” “chrome://downloads,” or “chrome://history” in the omnibox.

8. Make a Favicon-Only Bookmarks Bar

There’s yet another cool way to get quick access to your favorite, or most-visited sites in Chrome. Plus, it looks pretty cool.

You can get Chrome to display your bookmarked sites in the toolbar, but by deleting the site’s name from the bookmark settings, the browser will just show the site’s favicons, making for a colorful display along the top of your window.

To get this going, you’ll first need to make sure you have the bookmarks bar displayed. You can check this by clicking the wrench icon, selecting “Tools” and then ticking “Always show bookmarks bar.”

Once you’ve done this, as you add new sites to your bookmarks, be sure to delete the text in the name box, as per the screen shot below, for a favicon-only list.

Alternatively, to edit existing bookmarks so that they display favicon-only, go to “chrome://bookmarks,” right-click on the bookmark, select “Edit” and then delete the text in the name box.

To add the bookmarks to your bookmark bar, simply drag and drop them from your bookmarks list.

9. Sync Your Chrome Settings to Your Google Account

This isn’t the most exciting tip, but it’s darn useful if you work or play across multiple computers. You can sync your Chrome settings to your Google account so all those preferences you’ve taken time to set up, and all the bookmarks you’ve saved along the way, will follow you wherever you go online.

Simply click the wrench icon, go to “Options” and under “Personal Stuff” you can “Set up sync” by signing in to your Google account. This will now mean all your Chrome settings will sync wherever you sign in with your Google account.

10. Play a Trick on Your Chrome-Using Buddies

If you’ve a buddy or a work-mate who uses Chrome, you can use the “developer tools” functionality to play a really clever trick on them, should they step away from their computer at any time.

When on a webpage, right-click and choose “Inspect element.” This will split the screen to view the page code. In this view, you can select and over-type the text that appears on the page and replace it with wording of your own choosing, or even change measurements, colors, etc. if you’ve got a basic grasp of HTML.

Here are a few more familiar webpages we “edited” via the “Inspect element” function. As you can imagine, a sneaky couple of minutes at a friend’s computer as they wander off for a comfort break and you could really have them going.

More Google Chrome Resources from Mashable:

- 7 Cool Chrome Extensions for Twitter
- 8 of the Best Chrome Extensions for Web Designers
- 10 Firefox Extensions Google Chrome Should Have Too
- 6 Killer Google Chrome Extensions for Social Media Addicts

Reviews: Chrome, Google

More About: Browsers, chrome, Chromium, Google, google chrome, how to, how tos, List, Lists, shortcuts, tips, trending, tricks

For more Tech coverage:


terça-feira, 7 de setembro de 2010


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faved by jessica renee"

Blog Post: MSDN Developer Centers at a Glance

Blog Post: MSDN Developer Centers at a Glance: "

I created a simple map of the MSDN Developer Centers. I’m doing a quick assessment and evaluation of the Information Architecture across the various Dev Centers. I exposed the URLs so I could see at a glance, where the Dev Center actually lives. Before I give my feedback on the Dev Centers, I like to do my homework and walk all of them and compare the site designs, the patterns, the antipatterns, and the user experiences.

All I really care about is how well they help me know what’s going on with the given technology, and find the most relevant resources, including the product documentation, code samples, how tos, videos, training, etc. as well as what’s going on in the community. Ideally, a Dev Center helps me understand the story for the technology, how it fits in with other technologies, and what the roadmap is.

Here are the MSDN Developer Centers at a glance …

MSDN Developer Centers at a Glance

Category Items
.NET Framework
Developer Languages
Developer Tools

A-Z List of MSDN Developer Center


Giz Explains: Why Everything Wireless is 2.4GHz

5.0Giz Explains: Why Everything Wireless is 2.4GHz [Giz Explains]

Giz Explains: Why Everything Wireless is 2.4GHzYou live your life at 2.4GHz. Your router, your cordless phone, your Bluetooth earpiece, your baby monitor and your garage opener all love and live on this radio frequency, and no others. Why? The answer is in your kitchen.
Before we charge too far ahead here, let's run over the basics. Your house or apartment, or the coffee shop you're sitting in now, is saturated with radio waves. Inconceivable numbers of them, in fact, vibrating forth from radio stations, TV stations, cellular towers, and the universe itself, into the space you inhabit. You're beingbombarded, constantly, with electromagnetic waves of all kind of frequencies, many of which have been encoded with specific information, whether it be a voice, a tone, or digital data. Hell, maybe even these very words.
On top of that, you're surrounded by waves of your own creation. Inside your home are a dozen tiny little radio stations: your router, your cordless phone, your garage door opener. Anything you own that's wireless, more or less. Friggin' radio waves: they're everywhere.
Giz Explains: Why Everything Wireless is 2.4GHzReally, it's odd that your cordless phone even hasthat 2.4GHz sticker. To your average, not-so-technically-inclined shopper, it's a number that means A) nothing, or B) something, but the wrong thing. ("2.4GHz? That's faster than my computer!")
What that number actually signifies is broadcast frequency, or the frequency of the waves that the phone's base station sends to its handset. That's it. In fact, the hertz itself just just a unit for frequency in any context: it's the number of times that something happens over the course of a second. In wireless communications, it refers to wave oscillation. In computers, it refers to processor clock rates. For TVs, the rate at which the screen refreshes; for me, clapping in front of my computer right now, it's the rate at which I'm doing so. One hertz, slow clap.
The question, then, is why so many of your gadgets operate at 2.4GHz, instead of the ~2,399,999,999 whole number frequencies below it, or any number above it. It seems almost controlled, or guided. It seems, maybe, a bit arbitrary. It seems, well, regulated.
A glance at FCC regulations confirms any suspicions. A band of frequencies clustered around 2.4GHz has been designated, along with a handful of others, as the Industrial, Scientific, and Medical radio bands. "A lot of the unlicensed stuff—for example Wi-Fi—is on the 2.4GHz or the 900Mhz frequencies—the ISM bands. You don't need a license to operate on them." That's Ira Kelpz, Deputy Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology at the Federal Communications Commission, explaining precisely why these ISM bands are attractive to gadget makers: They're free to use. If routers and cordless phones and whatever else are relegated to a small band 2.4GHz, then their radio waves won't interfere with, say, cellphones operating at 1.9GHz, or AM radio, which broadcasts between 535 kHz and 1.7 MHz. The ISM is, in effect, a ghetto for unlicensed wireless transmission, recommended first by a quiet little agency in a Swiss office of the UN, called the ITU, then formalized, modified and codified for practical use by the governments of the world, including, of course, our own FCC.
The current ISM standards were established in 1985, and just in time. Our phones were one the cusp of losing their cords, and in the near future, broadband internet connections would come into existence and become magically wireless. All these gadgets needed frequencies that didn't require licenses, but which were nestled between the ones that did. Frequencies that weren't so high that they sacrificed broadcast penetration (through walls, for example), but weren't so low that they required foot-long antennae. In short, they needed the ISM bands. So they took them.
Now, there are many, many frequencies that qualify as "unlicensed," but only a handful get used in our phones, routers, and walkie talkies.
In the case of something like phones, which are sold paired with a specific base station, choosing the right unlicensed frequency is a pretty straightforward calculation: A 900MHz system will be more easily able to broadcast through a multi-floor house, but a 2.4 GHz system will generally require a smaller antenna, which keeps the phone's size down.
Giz Explains: Why Everything Wireless is 2.4GHz
Wi-Fi routers started as proprietary, paired systems operating on all manner of frequencies, only settling on a standard—5GHz—with the codification of 802.11a. Then the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers agreed that 2.4GHz, with its wide channel selection and range/penetration/cost potential, was a safer bet. Today, some Wireless N routers can operate on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands concurrently. Routers could function just as well at 2.3 or 2.5GHz, but they're not allowed. It's the rules. The 2.4GHz band, which runs from about 2400 to 2483.5Mhz, is where routers have to live.
For this, they can thank the microwave.
Microwave ovens heat food by blasting it with, literally, microwaves. (It bears mentioning that in terms of electromagnetic waves, microwaves, the wavelengths of which range from a millimeter all the way up to a meter, aren't particularly "micro".) At certain frequencies, such waves cause something call Dielectric Heating in water and fat, while passing straight through other materials, like plastic or glass, without exciting them much at all. (Metal, on the other hand, gets too excited.) For a full explanation of how dielectric heating works, click here, but for the purposes of this article, just know this: Only certain materials are susceptible, and particularly when bombarded with waves of a certain frequency and power. One of the commonly used frequencies is 915MHz. Others fall at 5.8 GHz and 24GHz, though creating microwave ovens using the latter would be quite expensive. But a frequency that proved to be both effective and relatively cheap to achieve was 2.45GHz. That's the frequency emitted by your microwave, right there in the kitchen.
Giz Explains: Why Everything Wireless is 2.4GHz
So, when the FCC got around to establishing just which frequencies unlicensed gadgets could broadcast on, they had a lot of things to think about. First, they had to consider which frequencies were already in use by stuff like radio and TV. Those would be off-limits. Then, of the remaining, usable, unallocated frequencies, they sought out the ones that were already being used by existing equipment. One thing they noticed? Microwaves were popular! They'd been around commercially since 1947. And generally, they operated at a specific frequency: 2.45GHz. Despite heavy shielding, microwave ovens' powerful emissions could sometimes interfere with neighboring frequencies, so it was decided that they should be given a few megahertz of space in both directions. And so the 2400 to 2483.5Mhz ISM band was born.
That these free-for-all frequencies could one day get overcrowded was always a possibility. But the FCC's primary concern is minding the frequencies it licenses; everyone working in ISM frequencies, then, must fend for themselves. And they do! Your microwave and your router might emit waves in the same frequency range, and this might screw with your router's connectivity a little bit. Generally, though, the router companies have been able to minimize interference by boosting signal strength and writing more intelligent firmware. And outward emissions of microwaves are at least supposed to be minimized. (That perforated metal shield in the glass door of your microwave? It's a shield—the holes in it are smaller than the physical width of the 2.4GHz wave.) In the end, things work.
That's not to say that the 2.4GHz band isn't getting crowded. Many routers operate at least in part on the 5GHz band, and a quick survey of your local Best Buy will find wireless phones at 900MHz, 1.9GHz and 5GHz. But the King of Frequency mountain, the band loved by billions of wireless connections around the world, be they Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or nonstandard RF remotes, is my band, your band, our band, 2.4. And all because we wanted to cook our food a little faster.
Updated for clarification: Microwave ovens could conceivably work across the electromagnetic spectrum, and there aren't any sharp resonances at any particular point; other industrial and regulatory pressures helped drive the standard frequency to 2.45GHz, as well as the aforementioned engineering conveniences. Further, some commenters are claiming that 2.4GHz is the "resonant frequency" of water as an alternative explanation. This is a common misconception.—Thanks, Jake!
Original art by guest artist Chris McVeigh (AKA powerpig). You can catch all his work at flickr.com/powerpig, and follow him on Twitter. (@Actionfigured)
Still something you wanna know? Send questions about That Thing That Doesn't Make Sense here, with "Giz Explains" in the subject line.
Send an email to John Herrman, the author of this post, at jherrman@gizmodo.com.

The Smartphone Is the Computer — Or It Will Be

The Smartphone Is the Computer — Or It Will Be: "

Samsung today introduced Orion, the company’s next-generation, dual-core smartphone chip based on the ARM Cortex-A9 architecture. Orion uses two 1 GHz processors and includes an embedded GPS radio for native location-based service support. The new application processor will also include a graphics core with hardware acceleration for 1080p video encoding, decoding and playback at 30 frames per second; Samsung says Orion will offer up to five times the 3G graphics performance over its prior smartphone application processor.

For now, Samsung’s announcement is simply that: an announcement. Orion won’t be mass-produced until the first half of 2011, so look to next year’s Consumer Electronics Show and Mobile World Congress events for actual products using the new chip. However, the capabilities of the new processor give a hint of what functionality you can expect in devices next year and beyond. Chips like this will continue to power smartphone sales, much to the chagrin of Intel. Juniper Research today says 3-D technology and dual-core chips will push the smartphone market to $94 billion in sales by 2015, thanks to functions like these:

More horsepower when you need it. Multiple cores helped bring speed to the computer industry, and they’ll do the same with smartphones. Look for developers to create handheld applications that can offer more complex features while maintaining or even increasing their responsiveness thanks to Orion’s support to execute code out-of-order. Instead of mobile apps limited by the CPU, screen sizes will become a more prominent limitation to getting things done. Multitasking won’t be as painful an experience as switching between apps should be quick and seamless. Perhaps most important to a mobile device, battery savings can be achieved through dropping down to a single core for processing when maximum performance isn’t needed.

Multiple screens. Perhaps screen limitation will be overcome by a traditional computer monitor or HDTV set. Orion — and chips like it from Nvidia, TI and Qualcomm – offers HDMI output for viewing smartphone content on a larger screen. Some phones do that today, making it easy to share pictures and videos on a television set, but Orion can drive three separate displays up to full 1080p resolution: two frames on the smartphone and one on an HDTV set simultaneously. The handset could be providing entertainment on a big screen, for example, while a user could be multitasking by sharing a movie review on Facebook in real time using the smartphone display.

Smartphones as future computers. While most folks today think the smartphone can’t replace a computer — for good reason — chips such as Samsung’s Orion bring that reality a step closer. Smartphone limitations of screen size and input methods begin to melt away when a powerful handset can be docked as the brains of a stationary computer. Imagine connecting a more powerful smartphone to a monitor and wireless keyboard: the only remaining challenge is finding the right apps for the tasks at hand. Expect developers to take advantage of improved smartphone processors and the new features they bring, making the smartphone a potential computer replacement in the coming years.

While there are arguably many reasons for the current smartphone growth trend — application ecosystems, use of multitouch interfaces and more widespread connectivity — one of the biggest is the impact made by the introduction of Cortex-A8 chip late last year: Handhelds became less anemic, more responsive and offered a better visual experience. With Orion and other next-generation mobile processors around the corner, the smartphone’s future looks even brighter as a near-primary device. Maybe I’m too bullish saying these chips will turn our smartphones into our computers, so we’ll see if Weili Dai, co-founder of mobile-chip company Marvell, confirms my thoughts at our Mobilize conference later this month.

Related GigaOM Pro Research: For Phones, the Future is Multiple Cores

Alcatel-Lucent NextGen Communications Spotlight — Learn More »


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