Challenge: What Kind of Pilot Doubled in Number over the Past Decade? [Search Research]

Challenge: What Kind of Pilot Doubled in Number over the Past Decade?Daniel Russell knows how to find the answers to questions you can’t get to with a simple Google query. In his weekly Search Research column, Russell issues a search challenge, then follows up later in the week with his solution—using whatever search technology and methodology fits the bill. This week’s challenge: What kind of pilot doubled in number over the past decade?

As you know, there are many different kinds of pilots: private pilots, helicopter pilots, captains of airline transports (for the record, my brother is an airline transport pilot).

Over the past decade we’ve seen a remarkable growth in airline travel. 50 billion miles flown in 2001 vs. 867 billion miles in 2011. (Source: Advisory Council for Transportation Statistics: 2001 data, 2011 data.)

Amazingly, the total number of US pilots has stayed roughly the same-except in one category.

What is the one category of pilot (that is, with a specific kind of US pilot’s license-such as commercial, airline transport, helicopter, etc.) that has more than DOUBLED between 2001 and 2011?

See if you can figure it out! (Your first task is to find out how many different kinds of pilot licenses there are…)

As usual, please include HOW you figured it out and your best estimate about how long it took you to solve the challenge.

Search on!

Wednesday Search Challenge (6/20/12): What kind of pilot doubled in number over the past decade? | SearchReSearch

Daniel M. Russell studies the way people search and research—an anthropologist of search, if you will. You can read more from Russell on his SearchReSearch blog, and stay tuned for his weekly challenges (and answers) here on Lifehacker.

Title Photo by kudumodo.

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Steve Carell, The Star Next Door [Grierson & Leitch]

Steve Carell, The Star Next DoorSeeking a Friend for the End of the World is probably the most Steve Carell movie that Steve Carell has ever made. With someone else at the helm, this comedy-drama’s quirky/emo storyline—two mismatched East Coast neighbors take a road trip together as the planet is weeks away from destruction—might have been awfully cutesy. But Carell grounds everything in a modest, understated normalcy that makes you care deeply about what’s happening.

We’re used to our comic stars being larger-than-life personalities: Will Ferrell, Robin Williams, Jim Carrey. But Carell isn’t, at least not at his best. (Stare into this light and we’ll erase your memory of sitting through Dinner for Schmucks.) Where others huff and puff to get all the laughs, Carell is very happy to be the straight man. It’s not the normal path for a breakout star, but he’s used it to put together a more interesting and successful film career than most of his peers have.

For quite a while, Carell was a second banana: part of the ensemble on The Dana Carvey Show in the mid-’90s; a correspondent for The Daily Show—a great one, but without the aggressively pronounced persona of Mo Rocca or Carvey bud Stephen Colbert. When he started popping up in movies, like Bruce Almighty and Anchorman, he was backing up Carrey or Ferrell. Talented as he was, Carell seemed like a professional platoon player, not someone you’d pay money to see on his own.

All of that changed in the span of a few months in 2005. In March, the American redo of The Office premiered, and then in August, The 40-Year-Old Virgin came out. The Office took a little bit to find its footing, but The 40-Year-Old Virgin was one of those out-of-the-box successes that you watched and thought, “Oh, OK, this is what Carell can do really well.”

As the virginal Andy, Carell wasn’t focused on cracking one-lines or doing hysterical bits of physical comedy. He was just the nervous, sweet center of an R-rated sex comedy, at a time when those were starting to become incredibly popular and progressively more outrageous. He proved he could play off an established actress like Catherine Keener with ease, and he projected an inherent goodness. That decency kept The 40-Year-Old Virgin from feeling like an R-rated comedy; it was one raunchy Apatow movie you could almost imagine taking the whole family to.

Carell’s trick is that you don’t particularly notice him. His agreeable, forgettably handsome Everyman quality keeps him from pulling the focus away from the rest of the cast. Whether he’s in an ensemble movie like Little Miss Sunshine or being the principal star, as in Get Smart or Date Night*, he never seems to be reaching for the spotlight.

Maybe that’s why he never won an Emmy, despite all the nominations he got for The Office: His buttoned-down style lost out to actors in showier roles. Like Bob Newhart before him, Carell looks dull on the outside, but you know he’s thinking something funny. So rather than standing back and waiting for the hilarity to explode, you lean in.

Carell has also been smart enough to control the usual comic-star urge to prove he has dramatic range. There’s no Man on the Moon in his filmography. Instead, he’s chosen to do a lot of solid art-house/grownup-crowd films: Little Miss Sunshine; Dan in Real Life; Crazy, Stupid, Love. None of them are masterpieces—I kinda hate Crazy, Stupid, Love—but they’re not just filler to film while the star’s on break from his TV show. (It’s important to remember: During the time he was becoming a bigger and bigger film star, he was also doing The Office. This is incredibly difficult to achieve.)

Even more impressive, it’s work where he doesn’t sit around emoting to prove how serious an actor he is. Whether in a comedy or a drama, he projects that natural-seeming, amiable regular-guy quality.

Carell has made bad movies. Despicable Me and Evan Almighty are mediocre family-film stuff, and Dinner for Schmucks found him abandoning his easy manner for a failed gonzo shtick. Yet it doesn’t feel as if he’s making the crap as part of a scheme for world domination. He’s not pushy and needy in that way.

Just like the brokenhearted, lonely depressive he plays in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Carell doesn’t make a fuss. Even his Twitter account is almost charmingly low-key and dorky. Apparently he didn’t get the memo that all funny people must be funny on Twitter every single moment of the day. It’s all the Carell mood: a refreshing equilibrium that makes all his projects just seem like Steve Carell movies. He’s the one comic you and your dad probably like equally. You’re both right.

*This sentence has been revised to reflect a correction.

Grierson Leitch is a regular column about the movies. Follow us on Twitter, @griersonleitch.

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Qualcomm confirms Snapdragon S4 processor for Windows Phone

Windows Phones new start screen

Future Windows phones will get their zip from a Qualcomm chip.

Josh Miller/CNET)

Support for multi-core processors was one of the biggest pieces of news to come from Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 unveiling today. Qualcomm has just confirmed that it will supply its dual-core Snapdragon S4 chipset to power future Windows phones.

The Snapdragon S4 is Qualcomm’s fastest chip to date and can be found in two of the U.S. market’s fastest phones, the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy S3. Both phones earned CNET Editors’ Choice awards, in part due to their speedy internal performance.

In addition to integrating an application processor (CPU) and graphics processor, the Snapdragon S4 chip also bundles in an LTE radio, among other components. Samsung told CNET that the all-in-one chipset helps phone designers keep a slim physical profile.

While Qualcomm’s speedy silicon will surely be present and accounted for in several high-end Windows phones, don’t expect it in every Windows phone. Microsoft wants to go top to bottom with premium and more mainstream experiences, and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 won’t keep costs at rock bottom.

This is just the kind of smart play that Microsoft needs to give its next-gen platform and hardware a chance to chisel away
Android and iOS.

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Nine Things We Really, Really Want from Windows Phone 8 [Windows Phone]

Nine Things We Really, Really Want from Windows Phone 8Windows Phone has a great premise—a set of beautiful, minimalist tiles take the place of a million apps. It’s brilliant in its simplicity. But it needs to get its shit together. Today, we could get a first look at Windows Phone 8. Here’s what it needs to deliver.

Social skills

WinPho’s People tile is one of its best draws—at times it actually makes you forget how mediocre the third party apps for Twitter and Facebook are. Your contacts and social media pals are all whirled into one hub, giving you a stream of updates, favorite people to check in on, and a quick way of chiming in. But it’s severely lacking. You can’t attach photos to a tweet, hashtags aren’t clickable, there’s no way to view your Facebook Timeline (or someone else’s), and there’s no way to view a full Twitter conversation. Foursquare is missing entirely. For this stuff, you’ll have to fire up the dedicated apps for each service, which defeats the purpose of Windows Phone.

Helpful notifications

Windows Phone’s notifications suck. From the lock screen, you can see if you’ve received emails, but it’ll take several swipes to see who they’re even from. Swiping down from the top only shows you the clock and battery life. Where’s the notification center? Oh right! There isn’t one.

Media makeover

WP’s music player is a hand-grenade-rolled-into-Sephora mess, crowded among too many other offerings in the “Music + Videos” tile. Music shouldn’t be hub-ified. We want instant gratification when it comes to this stuff, not a broad menu of podcasts, movies, apps, and playlists. Really, just rip off the iOS music app—it’s more or less perfect.

Please stop making me click to load images in emails

Every single time you receive an email with inline graphics, you have to tap to load them. Even if it’s from your best friend from whom you’ve received tens of thousands of emails, and has earned your email trust. Every. Single. Time.

Internet Explorer is slow

Too slow. Apollo needs to light some Sun God fire under IE’s ass, because it’s considerably lagging behind Android and iOS’ mobile browsing. So, then, what’s the point of the LTE speed?

Brightness adjustment

There are three settings for WP screen brightness: low, medium, and high. Or you can let it auto-adjust, based on God knows what. Give us a slider. This is standard stuff, and a small absence that will slowly drive you crazy.

Play nice with others

Add AIM and GChat to the IM offerings—be the bigger phone-man than Apple. Nobody is going to use the Windows Live substitutes, and Microsoft needs to accept that. Make maps rich as hell with Yelp, Foursquare, MenuPages, and OpenTable data. Bring. It. All. Together. Use the people who do it best.

Public transit

Apple is taking a beating on this one—the lack of public transportation guidance in iOS 6 Maps is awful. Give us what Apple won’t. Or maybe validate those rumors about Nokia’s stellar map apps replacing Microsoft’s own in WP8. That’d be nice.

Camera control

We need a better camera app. Now, when you touch to focus, the camera automatically takes a picture. It’s straight-up annoying. You need to be able to focus on something and then decide to take a picture.

Please do these things, Microsoft. We want WP to be great. This is tough love.

Original image: Shutterstock/brushingup

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Waze News, Videos, Reviews and Gossip – Lifehacker

Waze News, Videos, Reviews and Gossip – Lifehacker.

The SanDisk Extreme SD Card Is the Perfect Balance Between Price and Performance [Stuff We Like]

The SanDisk Extreme SD Card Is the Perfect Balance Between Price and PerformanceIf you’re in the market for a new SD card, trying to pick one up can seem overwhelming. Our friends over at the Wirecutter looked at a number of SD cards and discovered that the SanDisk Extreme line is the best performing card you’ll find at an affordable price.

Unless you need something special—like a card that can survive drowning, electrocution, and magnets, or a card that works with your insanely high-speed camera—chances are the SanDisk Extreme will suit you perfectly. It reads and writes data speeds at a whopping 45 megabytes per second, which is much more than most class 10 cards at only a few bucks more. SanDisk’s Extreme Pro line is even faster at 95 MB/s, but it costs a whole lot more, and isn’t going to net you a whole lot of benefits unless you have a camera that can make use of it. (For more info on SD card speeds and classes, see our explainer on the subject.)

For most people, the SanDisk Extreme is as good as it gets, at a price that’s hard to beat. You can grab a 16GB version for $15 on Amazon, or the 32GB for $37. If you want to see more details on the comparison between other cards, check out the Wirecutter’s full review below.

Best SD Card | The Wirecutter

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