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A Towering Mental Leap

Posted by TestOut Staff on

In 1955, after years of study and testing, virologist Jonas Salk announced a successful polio vaccine. Across the United States, in the four years immediately preceding the release of Salk's vaccine, polio caused paralysis in more than 16,000 patients and killed nearly 1,900 patients every year. Today there are fewer than 10 documented cases of polio per year.

Lab researcher

Sometimes scientists and researchers like Jonas Salk push past seeming boundaries and make startling new discoveries that improve the human condition. And sometimes even scientific inquiry is more like white noise: Computer researchers recently discovered that code that places ads and analyzes user activity accounts for about for 60 percent of the total time required to load a page when surfing the web.

That's right, advertisements and tracking apps are slowing down your overall internet browsing experience. You could have knocked us over with a feather when we read the BBC's report of this stunning breakthrough on a page with four large ad blocks loading streaming video simultaneously, a Google Ads sidebar, six photo-enhanced links to sponsored content from "around the web," and a couple of static ad images.

There were links to the BBC's statement about cookies and its privacy policy tucked away at the bottom of the page, so we'll assume that the usual page analytics activity was in full swing. Thanks, researchers. Maybe next you can document whether the sky is blue, or whether people create so much waste that there are literal islands of garbage adrift in the world's oceans.

Here at TestOut Continuing Education, we want you to have a true and valuable educational experience. We want you to learn how and why computer things work, as well as what it takes keep existing things working, and even design, develop, and deploy new things. Our training is tailored to maximize your learning, and help you build and retain employable IT skills.

Sometimes you can get by in the real world by researching and reporting self-evident truths. Most of the time, however, it's like Dan Aykroyd said in Ghostbusters: "I've worked in the private sector. They expect results." Get certified and you'll be able to deliver those results. Maybe you'll even learn enough to create something that speeds up web browsing. Instead of, say, just telling us something we already know about why it's slow.


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