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Test your digital IQ

By Compiledstaff / January 16, 2001



Feel lost in the jungle of high-tech toys? You're not alone. The battery manufacturer Duracell sponsored a poll last August to test American's knowledge of digital technology. The result: Half of the more than 1,000 people quizzed answered one or zero questions accurately. Only 1 percent answered eight or more questions correctly, 13 percent got five to seven questions right, and 37 percent answered two to four accurately.

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Below is a version of that quiz. Answers appear on page 20. Those polled were allowed to respond by saying they "didn't know" the answer to a given question. (Editor's note: No. 10 is a softball, considering the test's author.)

1. MP3 is an industry term for which of the following:

(a) Video-streaming software

(b) Three-dimensional moving image files

(c) Compressed music files

2. True or false? Some CD players can play MP3 files.

3. From which of the following devices can you send e-mail?

(a) Personal computer

(b) Pager

(c) Personal digital assistant (PDA)

(d) All of the above

4. What is a Clik drive?

(a) New type of floppy-disk drive

(b) Compact memory-storage device

(c) New CD technology

5. How do digital devices transmit and receive data?

(a) By high-frequency vibrations

(b) Numerically, using "1's" and "0's"

(c) By acoustic sound waves

6. True or false? A PDA is the same as a hand-held personal computer.

7. True or false? You can check stock quotes on an MP3 device.

8. On which of the following can you listen to digital music?

(a) MP3 player

(b) PDA

(c) Both of these

9. What is Bluetooth?

(a) A short-range interdevice communicator

(b) A new telephone protocol

(c) An Internet service provider

10. True or False? It makes no difference which alkaline battery you use in electronic devices. Digital IQ answers

(1) c. MP3 is digital software that allows music files to be compressed to one-tenth of their original size with very little loss of audio quality. This technology creates very small-sized music files, which can easily be downloaded over the Internet to enjoy on MP3-enabled devices.

(2) True. Most of today's portable CD players are now enabled with MP3 capability. This provides consumers a digital alternative to the music they are listening to in other formats.

(3) d. Most people are aware that e-mail can be sent from PCs, but pagers and PDAs can send e-mails either through direct connections with the Internet via a wired (telephone line) or wireless modem.

(4) b. Clik! is the brand name for Iomega's pocket-sized drives and disks that serve as a compact storage solution for portable handheld computers, MP3 players, digital cameras, and other electronic devices.

(5) b. Visual or audio data is stored or transmitted digitally, in a binary coded format. A binary code uses combinations of two figures, a "0" and a "1," to represent data sent or stored.

(6) False. A handheld PC is typically larger than a PDA, and incorporates a full keyboard. Additionally, a handheld PC has an operating system compatible with a desktop computer, providing similar functions such as word processing, audio recording, and more.

(7) False. MP3 players are limited solely to playing digital recordings.

(8) c. MP3 players are designed to play MP3 music files. Some PDAs are MP3 enabled, which allows them to download and play MP3 files.

(9) a. Bluetooth is a technology that utilizes a small, low-powered radio transmitter in a chip to communicate with other Bluetooth-enabled devices - meaning that portable computers, PDAs, wireless phones, printers, fax machines, etc. will be able to be connected at short range (approximately 30 meters) without cables or infrared beams.

(10) False. Different types of batteries meet different needs. Premium alkaline batteries, such as Duracell Ultra with M3 Technology, are designed to provide superior performance in power-hungry portable devices.

How did you rate?

8-10 Electronic elite. You are most knowledgeable about cutting-edge high technology.

5-7 Wireless wannabe. Keenly interested, but not an expert, in digital technology.

2-4 Cautiously connected. Slowly entering the digital world.

0-1 Digitally disconnected. Most likely to be intimidated by new devices.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society