Thursday, April 17, 2014

Super speed-reading

By Nikhil Hutheesing  

MARC PRENSKY STARES at his computer monitor as it pours a treatise on derivatives into his brain. The Bankers Trust vice president doesn’t scan the screen, he fixes on a single point;and lets his eyes inhale. Meet Vortex, a speed-reading system that turns the old Evelyn Wood technique on its head. Instead of grasping a paragraph at a glance, you catch the text word by word.
“The Nintendo generation is entering the work force,” explains Prensky, who is considering using this fast-paced technology to train employees at Bankers Trust. “We are trying to develop Twitch-Speed Training techniques so the Nintendo babies don’t get bored.”
Bankers Trust got the speed-reading idea from Cliff High, a computer programmer in Washington State. Tucked away in a log cabin among cedar and fir trees on the outskirts of Olympia, High runs Tenax Software Engineering, an outfit that does technological analysis and design. High says besides not straining attention spans, his software will make Bankers Trust’s bankers more productive.
But do we need a new way to read? What’s wrong with reading scratches on papyrus as our ancestors did, and as we still essentially do? “This reading interface has worked well ever since,” says High, “but it doesn’t translate well to reading from the computer monitor.”;
High realized he and his employees were spending too much time plowing through E-mail and electronic research. A computer screen can’t quite equal the sharpness of printed text, and High decided this impeded reading speeds.
On the other hand, computer text can be blown up to any size, and it can be flashed faster than the eye can move. Why not exploit those advantages? High got to work, and since 1994 he has invested $500,000 of Tenax’s money to develop Vortex. He says he has cut the time spent reading E-mail by 70%.
To switch to the flash format, you load Vortex into your computer, press the attach button and start up an application, such as E-mail. Vortex gloms onto the application, sucking up all the words and spitting them out at up to 2,000 words a minute. Tenax has several patents pending on this.;
Your brain takes 60 steps to read a word on a page and 10 to read one on Vortex.;
High found with every 3% increment in computer screen glare, the brain handles 15% less information. Dealing with the glare slows the brain’s processing. Solution: Increase the contrast between words and background.
High cites research that indicates your brain goes through 60 steps per word as it interprets text. But when his software flashes the words to your retina one at a time, the process takes only around 10 steps per word.
You can even tailor the software to your personal taste. Don’t like the swirly font? Change it. Can’t read small print? Make it 800 points big.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What To Look For In A Free Online Speed Reading Course


You are the kind of person who wants to find a free online speed reading course. What precisely are you trying to accomplish? This article will help you find precisely the free speed reading course that will truly help you succeed.
The first thing you want is a speed reading course that will do more than simply increase your reading speed. What does this mean? Most speed reading programs focus upon increasing reading speed, but this can cause some real problems. Real problems because reading is not learning. Let me explain.
How many times have you read a text for hours to prepare for an important exam or meeting, only to find you did not perform as well as you expected. Especially in light of the amount of time that you invested. The problem is you are measuring your learning by how many hours you studied. It does not matter how many hours you read, what matters is did you learn the information you actually needed, and were you able to use and apply that information when you needed to use it? Most speed reading programs, especially free programs ignore this important point. Instead, they provide you with strategies for going faster, but do little or nothing to increase your understanding. Let's assume you have been using a program that teaches you how to get good comprehension. You still have another very important item that is often missing. Let us look at this important piece of the puzzle next.
Let us assume you read a book last night. You understood the text, but there is another critical problem. You don't remember anything that you read. It isn't enough to read fast, and it isn't enough to comprehend text. Ultimately, you need to also retain, and then be able to recall the information you learned when you need to use it. Did you free speed reading program teach you how to remember and recall information? Let's look at one more very important element to look for in a free speed reading program.
How fast do you currently read? Precisely how many words can you read in a single minute. Does you free online speed reading program provide you with a way to measure your initial reading rate? If not, how can you determine how much faster you actually read as a result of your program.
Finally, go to and search for free speed reading course. Use the advice, given in this article, and you will find the perfect free program for you,

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How Speed Reading Affects Comprehension

The Truth About Speed Readingby Thorin Klosowski   

Speed reading is a nice idea, and the ability to see 1000 words a minute is possible. However, you don't truly understand those words. Research is pretty limited here, but Keith Rayner's "Eye movements and information processing during reading" is one of the more comprehensive looks at how our eyes work when we're reading. Rayner believes speed reading claims are nonsense because our eyes can't work that way:P

You can probably push yourself to get a little over 500 words per minute, but you're limited by the eyes and the anatomy of the retina. To understand text you need to move your eyes to put the fovea on the part of the text you want to focus. Acuity drops off pretty markedly outside the fovea and you can't discriminate the words and text far from the fovea. So, that's the rate limited factor, as is how fast the brain can process information. P
When it comes to eliminating subvocalization with techniques like meta guiding, Rayner points out you quickly lose comprehension:P

You can practice going faster and you probably will, but when you start going too fast you'll start losing comprehension. Most speed reading methods involve getting rid of subvocalization. Research shows that when you do that and the text is difficult, comprehension goes to pieces. P
As for methods like Ferriss' that require you to read multiple lines at once? Rayner says it doesn't work:P

The other claim is that you can take in more information per eye fixation, but there's no evidence that says we can do that. What we know about the physiology of the retina is against the notion that you can take in two lines of text at the same time. P
And finally, the digital system, RSVP, has a serious problem with working memory:P

Then with RSVP, words come pretty fast, but working memory gets overloaded and words come in faster than you can deal with them. P
Studies show that as reading speed increases, comprehension drops. This means you're not taking in the information, which defeats the purpose of reading. With RSVP (and the apps that use it) you don't have the ability to look back to reread text and you overload short term memory so you don't remember as much. P

Of course, counter arguments exist. Most recently, research conducted by the speed reading app Spritz counters Rayner's research. Spritz claims that since their system allows your eyes to rest on a single point you can read faster. That could be true, but it doesn't account for Rayner's working memory problem. P

Spritz also isn't sharing how their research was done or how many people were part of their study. In my hunt for studies backing up speed reading claims, I found most research was done by the companies who sell the speed reading methods. In the case of Tim Ferriss' technique, he's using ideas grounded in science, but I couldn't find research beyond Ferriss' own claims on his blog post.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Speed Reading Tip - How Speed Reading Can Help Blue Collar Workers Increase Their Productivity


When you think about speed reading, you often consider students as a prime audience for that skill. After all, they have to read and write information on a regular basis. Others think about professionals. People like doctors, lawyers, accountants, financial planners, and others who need to read huge volumes of information to stay current, or take certification courses on a continuous basis to maintain their license. Did you know that speed reading can also be a major help for people having blue color professions as well? Let me explain.
Let's take a specific example. Let us look at auto mechanics. For decades an auto mechanic needed to be an expert on fixing diesel and internal combustion engines. It was their bread and butter. Suddenly the technology changes. Today there are hybrid cars, that run on both an internal combustion engine, and a battery. Now there are cars that are fully powered by electricity, and soon they expect to see cars that are hydrogen powered. Would you be surprised if they eventually create a solar powered car as well? Now someone who had to be a mechanic has to develop the knowledge set of an engineer. Let's look at this on a deeper level.
How much time do you think it takes to learn all these new technologies? More importantly, during that learning period there is no income being produced. What if you could cut the learning curve for mastering these new technologies in half? Now what happens? You can master the new information critical to your success in half the time which gives you more time to work in your trade, or for doing other things you enjoy doing. While I used auto mechanics as my example, these same principles apply to almost anyone in a blue collar job.
Blue collar workers have to learn new technologies faster than ever before. Additionally, they have to stay on top of their mail, email, journals, magazines, and other information. For example, the new health care bill will effect many of them directly. Yet, how many blue collar workers have actually read this bill, and understand what it requires from them? Unfortunately, very few people actually take the time to read these legal documents that effect their business. It takes too much time. Yet, that information will effect both their productivity and bottom line. So what can they do?
Speed reading can dramatically increase reading speed enabling anyone to read, learn, retain, and recall important information in a fraction of the time. You can easily see that speed reading can be as critical to the success of someone in a blue collar profession as it can for a student or a professional. With so many programs available, doesn't it make sense to learn a speed reading program so you can find more time to do the things that are really important to you?

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Friday, April 11, 2014

How to Read from a Computer Faster


If work is a process of reading text screen after text screen from your computer than learning how to read form a computer faster can make a big difference. If you learn how to read faster your work can be done in shorter time which could possible drastically improve your lifestyle.
If you are reading from word documents then the text your probably getting shoved in front of your eyes everyday is Times New Roman. Times New Roman is very hard to speed read with. It is far easier to read Arial font. If you can make a few quick adjustments before you start speed reading.
1. Change the font to Arial
2. If the text is in one big column change it to two columns
3. Decrease the font size
When you decrease the font size the amount that you see at any given time increases as well. This is called fitting more words into your line of sight, With more words in your line of sight its easier for you to process more. There is a point where you will suffer from the law of diminishing returns. That is, the font can be so small that your eyes tire easily making difficult to read at all. To combat these I recommend reading on Arial at size point 9.
It is not uncommon for people who speed read from books to be able to read faster by using their hands to follow along with the words. You can also do this digitally by using you mouse pointer tool to follow along with each word. Using the curser tool to follow along with the words focuses your concentration on that speck of the total paper. Even people who have complained about not being able to focus have been able to reap great results by using this technique.
Light conditions can also make you read faster or slower depending on how it is configured. The problem is not adjusting your computer monitor screen but with adjusting the lighting of the environment around the computer. The background should be well lit. Too dark and it makes too much of a contrast with your screen, On the other hand , if your background has too much lighting you will not be able to make out the figures on the screen. The perfect balance for speed reading from your computer is to have a well lit room with none of the light falling directly on your monitor.