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Study Finds That Weird Typing Styles Can Still Be Effective

Recently spent time marveling at your co-worker's orderly typing style? As it turns out, it's probably not more efficient. According to a recent study at Aalto University, those who never learned the touch typist method (or who may have skipped a few classes and computer drills) can be just as fast and accurate as their trained colleagues.

For the research, a group of 30 volunteers with varying skill levels and experience were given typing exercises. As they completed the tasks, the experts monitored their efficiency and style using motion capture, eye-tracking technology, and keypress data. They found that despite what you may have learned in computer courses—for instance, that you should stick to the home keys (ASDFJKL:) and use all ten fingers—you can get by with using less.

"We were surprised to observe that people who took a typing course, performed at similar average speed and accuracy, as those that taught typing to themselves and only used six fingers on average," study co-author Anna Maria Feit said in a statement.

For each strategy, there were both fast and slow typers, but the touch typists did keep their eyes on the screen more, which could be useful for some lines of work.

via Aalto University on YouTube

So if using all ten fingers doesn't equal a clear advantage, what does? "We found a range of other factors that can influence performance," co-author Dr. Daryl Weir said in a video (above). "Fast typists more consistently used the same finger to press the same key every time. And also fast typists learned to keep their hands steady and don't move them over the keyboard as much as slow typists do."

The researchers believe that our typing techniques are a reflection of what we do on our computers, not training. "The touch typing system was developed for typing sentences on typewriters," Feit said. "It is not advantageous for Photoshop shortcuts or gaming, often done with one hand on the mouse."

[h/t Gizmodo]

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Speedy Delivery: Mister Rogers Will Get His Own Stamp in 2018
© 2017 USPS
© 2017 USPS

USPS 2018 Mister Rogers stamp
© 2017 USPS

After weeks of mailing out this year’s holiday cards, postage might be the last thing you want to think about. But the U.S. Postal Service has just given us a sneak peek at the many iconic people, places, and things that will be commemorated with their own stamps in 2018, and one in particular has us excited to send out a few birthday cards: Mister Rogers.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred Rogers’s groundbreaking PBS series that the USPS says “inspired and educated young viewers with warmth, sensitivity, and honesty,” the mail service shared a mockup of what the final stamp may look like. On it, Rogers—decked out in one of his trademark colorful cardigans (all of which were hand-knitted by his mom, by the way)—smiles for the camera alongside King Friday XIII, ruler of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Though no official release date for Fred’s forever stamp has been given, Mister Rogers is just one of many legendary figures whose visages will grace a piece of postage in 2018. Singer/activist Lena Horne will be the 41st figure to appear as part of the USPS’s Black Heritage series, while former Beatle John Lennon will be the face of the newest Music Icons collection. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will also be honored.

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Can You Spot the Christmas Pudding?

Whether it’s a sheep hanging out with Santa Claus or a panda bear hiding among some snowmen, regular Mental Floss readers know that hidden picture brainteasers are one of our favorite things. And the optical experts at Lenstore.co.uk have released a delicious one, just in time for Christmas. Somewhere in the midst of all these holiday-themed goodies above, there’s a holiday pudding just waiting to be discovered. Can you spot it? Your time starts … now.

If you give up, or are the kind of person who reads the last page of a book before the first one and just wants to know the answer, scroll down to see where it’s hiding.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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