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Live QnA

Features: Microsoft launched Live QnA in August 2006 as part of its “Live” Web 2.0 initiative. It’s extremely straightforward, restricting users to asking questions, answering questions, and voting for the best answer to each question. Unlike most of the other Q&A sites, QnA doesn’t have a browse-by-category function; instead, it relies on tags applied to each question by the questioners. QnA’s reputation system revolves around a little unnamed glyph that resembles a Q. Collecting these glyphs raises users to higher levels, but there are no other rewards. As with the other Q&A systems, when someone answers a question you posed, QnA can inform you via e-mail, but in addition, it can activate a pop-up window on your screen called a Windows Live Alert. Points: 1

Is there any truth to the five-second rule? I found two instances of this question in the QnA archive. (The five-second rule, of course, says that if you drop a food item on the floor but pick it up within five seconds, it’s still safe to eat, since bacteria supposedly haven’t had time to move in.) The best answer: “Of course not. Does it take 5 seconds for the oil of a puddle to stain your shoe? It belongs to the birds & critters the moment it hits the ground.” The funniest answers: “It’s a guy thing” and “The big thing about picking it up quickly is more about that it didn’t sit on the ‘dirty surface’ for a long enough period of time for other people to judge them as ‘being gross.’” Points: 2

Why did the Mormons settle in Utah? Three answers. One offered a factoid I hadn’t heard elsewhere: that Brigham Young reportedly saw the Great Salt Lake area in a vision. Another answer was more down-to-earth: “Like any other settlers, they picked what was available at the time, told people it was a great promised land and got them to invest money to go there in mass … They only had a rough idea of what the Western states would be like. They made the best of where they were.” Points: 2

What is the best way to make a grilled cheese sandwich? Again, I got three answers. One was quite amusing: “The way Johhny [sic] Depp made them in the film Benny & Joon … with a hot iron on the ironing board.” Another sounded delicious: Dice onions, capsicums, green chilies, and coriander. Mix and add salt and ground black pepper. Grease grill with butter or margarine. Place one bread slice on grill and top with onion mixture. Add your favorite cheese, grated, then another slice of bread. Grill. Points: 2

Total points: 7

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