Technology Notes

Real Time Correspondence school

Have you ever thought of going back to school to freshen up your outdated computer skills, but didn't have the time? ZDNet University may be for you. Sponsored by Ziff-Davis Publishing, the school operates exclusively on the World Wide Web, and offers courses in the latest computing trends, such as Java programming and building your own Web page. Tuition is $4.95 a month; earning continuing-education credit for the work costs an extra $10 to $15. Learning materials such as books and software, however, are extra. ZDU is taking registrations this week for the next semester, which begins Oct. 28. To register, log on to http://www.zdu.com

No more blinking clocks

It's that time of year again. It will be time to "fall back" on Oct. 27, a time many Americans begin thinking about their clocks. It's also the season when thunderstorms or hurricanes, may knock out power, and set all the digital clocks in the house to blinking 12:00. But the National Institute of Standards and Technology may soon have a solution. A new higher-powered transmitter is expected to be installed at NIST's WWVB broadcast station in Ft. Collins, Colo., by next September. WWVB broadcasts accurate time signals, and the new transmitter should allow the signals to reach almost the entire continental United States. Household clocks of the future could be built to reset themselves to that time signal whenever the power goes out.

Twin props ELEVATE outboard SAFETY

In a new application of World War II airplane technology, Yamaha has fitted its latest outboard boat motor with twin, counter-rotating props that help lift the boat more quickly as it accelerates and planes across the water. Yamaha claims this enhances safety because the boat stays level longer. The counter-rotating props cancel the tendency for the prop to steer the boat in the opposite direction that it turns. The Pro V Max 150 sells for about $1,000 more than an equivalent conventional outboard, but saves the buyer money on hydraulic steering and custom props.

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