The best of 2014

Computers

Picasa for Mac

Good news if you're frustrated by iPhoto's limitations - Google Labs has just released a 'beta' version of its Picasa photo management system for the Apple OSX platform. Picasa will import a copy of the contents of the iPhoto library and offer an alternative management tool that includes the ability to manage and synchronise selected photos, with their comments and tags, with an online Picasa Web Albums photo gallery. The original iPhoto data is left alone, so you can try out the Picasa beta without fear of losing or modifying their original image files.  Read More

Internet surpasses newspapers as main news source

2008 will be seen as a landmark year in global communications in the textbooks of 2100 – it was the year that the internet finally surpassed what was once considered an unassailable bastion of main media, newspapers, as the leading source of national and international news in America. The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press is an independent opinion research group that studies attitudes toward the press, politics and public policy issues. This year, for the first time in a Pew survey, more people said they relied mostly on the internet for news than those that cited newspapers (35%). Television retained top spot with 70% but it’s now clear that it’s when, rather than if, the internet will become the key news communications medium.  Read More

The Silver Seal washable keyboard

We’ve encountered washable computer accessories before, but the Silver Seal keyboard adds a new level of protection against germs. In addition to being machine-washable and functioning even when wet, the Silver Seal contains built-in silver ion protection, which inhibits the growth of bacteria like E. Coli and Staph.  Read More

The OLED standalone keypad.

Substantially more restrained than the Optimus Maximus, United Keys' entry into the OLED keyboard field tacks nine dynamic OLED keys onto the end of a regular desktop keyboard to add a dose of versatility and increase input efficiency.  Read More

IBM introduces Linux-based Virtual Desktop

While Linux erosion of Microsoft’s desktop dominance hasn’t really reached the mainstream yet, the popularity of the open source operating system has seen a steady increase as variations become more user friendly. Recognizing that rise in popularity IBM, along with its business partners, Virtual Bridges and Canonical has released a Linux-desktop solution that is designed to drive significant savings compared with Microsoft-desktop software by amplifying Lotus collaboration software and Ubuntu to a larger user base through virtualization.  Read More

LaCie CurrenKey USB drives

The explosion in capacity of the now commonplace portable USB drive has coincided with a huge array of different form factors entering the market. This new example from Lacie takes the shape of a coin designed to slip into your pocket or purse so that your data travels conveniently and inconspicuously with you - just don't put it in a parking meter.  Read More

Happy 40th birthday to the computer mouse

December 4, 2008 Computer peripherals giant Logitech recently shipped its billionth mouse, quite some feat given there are only 6.7 billion humans and a billion PCs on the planet. The mouse, in conjunction with the dastardly QWERTY keyboard, has become the cornerstone of the Computer Human Interface. The milestone comes within days of the fortieth anniversary of the first public demonstration of the computer mouse. On December 9, 1968, Douglas C. Engelbart gave a live public demonstration of the online system, NLS, which included the first mouse. The accompanying image is of the great grandaddy of the thing you’ve probably got in your hand as you read this.  Read More

Iomega eGo Blackbelt

In this day and age, it's not just the tinfoil hat crowd who are likely to find themselves a little paranoid about their precious data. Iomega has announced two new entries to their eGo portable range, the ultra-rugged eGo BlackBelt and the government-grade encryption packing eGo Encrypt.  Read More

NewerTech's Voyager

NewerTech's Voyager is a hot swappable docking station for 2.5" and 3.5" SATA hard drives of up to 2TB capacity. With support for Mac and PC, with interfaces for FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0 and eSATA on board, you'll be hard pressed to find a computer that won't talk to it.  Read More

The g-speak system in action.

The second best thing about the film Minority Report has to be the glove-controlled, wall-sized computer display (first place goes to the jetpacks). Oblong Industries is working on a computer interface that operates in a similar way – and rather than a case of tech imitating art, the Minority Report computer was actually based off early Oblong designs.  Read More

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