While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.
There seems to be a different computer solution for every desktop and network problem – from home systems
to home built machines
to those that serve the business community
. The Xi3 Corporation claims that its scalable, modular system offers a somewhat different approach to the rest of the field. Each palm-sized cube features interchangeable and adjustable boards for maximum adaptability, Dual Core processing power and low power consumption.
Hot on the heels of the latest CompactFlash
specification being released, SanDisk, Nikon and Sony have joined forces to propose a new specification to better cope with the high definition demands of today and tomorrow. The new proposal will give users more than three times the data transfer speeds of the current specification, and take storage capacity into the domain of the multi-terabyte.
Researchers from Aachen University's Media Computing Group have created a computer workstation where the desk and screen are transformed into one multi-touch display. The display is curved at the middle and uses infrared emitters and cameras to track user movement over the whole of the surface, which has its graphical user interface beamed onto it by a couple of short throw projectors hidden within its wooden frame.
Toshiba has just completed the installation of a demonstration modular data center on the outskirts of Tokyo, signaling its entry into the emerging market. Rather than housing racks of data servers in dedicated buildings, the modular approach allows for the relatively quick construction of units housed in steel framed containers, which can be stacked to increase capacity without encroaching too much on the surrounding environment. In addition to reducing costs, Toshiba claims that its solution also requires less power to operate.
There are numerous dawn simulation wake up solutions
currently on the market, but Pure is claiming a first with its dawn simulator and digital radio combination. Twilight uses half a dozen bright LED lights to help combat the nasty effects of seasonal affective disorder
by mimicking a gentle sunrise before an alarm kicks in to make sure you get out of bed. The device can also help create different soothing moods using sound and light and see youngsters off to sleep with a selection of lullabies.
Online gaming service provider Onlive
has announced a system that brings its cloud-based, instant-play titles direct to the television. Instead of sitting in front of a console and loading in games via optical disc or waiting for them to download, Onlive has a bunch of dedicated servers for sending the chosen title straight to the TV over a broadband Internet line. Players can even choose whether to use the included wireless game controller or a USB keyboard and mouse to control the onscreen action.
Other manufacturers may be holding back to see how the land lies but Hanvon has bitten the bullet and announced that it intends to be the first company to bring a color e-Ink
reader to the consumer marketplace. The color e-Reader was shown off recently at a trade show in Japan and will be available in China from March next year. There's scant official information available but read on for what we do know for sure.
Design company Nendo has joined forces with Masagasu Mitsuke to create a super thin ceramic speaker set for a project aimed at injecting some new life into traditional Japanese crafts. Normally hidden away in such things as LED lighting, the ceramic substrate used for the creation is boldly brought out into the open for a striking piece of functional art.
In an increasingly tech-centric world, keeping kids interested in learning can be an uphill battle. With teaching that involves play recently attracting some powerful supportive voices, students from MIT's Media Lab have developed a system which merges technology and play to stimulate young minds. The Playtime Computing system uses infrared emitters and tracking cameras to monitor the position of a special robot within a play area. As the bot disappears into a hole in a panel, it appears to continue its journey into a virtual world projected onto the walls.
Monitoring blood pressure at home is recommended by the American Heart Association for the estimated 74.5 million American adults suffering from hypertension. CalHealth has created a blood pressure monitor that's housed in a computer mouse. After a user pushes a finger into the cuff monitor, the device sends readings to software on a PC for analysis, or to send on to doctors via email.