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Computers

Face detection software has slowly crept into mainstream use, from Facebook photo tagging to Android phone unlocking, but new research looks set to move the technology on significantly. Scientists at Yahoo Labs and Stanford University have come up with a new approach that can register faces at any angle, even when partially hidden, making it easier than ever to be detected. Read More
Painting might be the last thing you'd expect computers to excel at. It's abstract, expressive, and tied to cultures, psychology, and subjectivity, whereas computers are objective, precise, and governed by the rules of mathematics. Painting, with its emotional reasoning and unclear meanings, appears to be the antithesis of a feeling, logical computer. But they aren't so far apart as they seem. Painting and other forms of visual art owe much to areas of mathematics such as geometry and perspective, and the algorithms that computers adhere to can in fact be made to generate images as varied and subtle as a human painter. Read More
Many a Microsoft commercial has compared the Surface (and other Windows 2-in-1s) to the iPad, but we think the Surface Pro 3 makes a lot more sense pitted against the MacBook Air. After working and playing on both the Surface Pro 3 and the newest (2014) 11-in MacBook Air, we have a few thoughts on how they compare. Read More

Since its launch on the iPad in December 2010, Flipboard has become one of the most successful apps for aggregating content from social networks and websites and presenting it in an intuitive, personalized magazine-style format on mobile devices. It is now looking to replicate its success on the desktop with the announcement of its first foray onto desktops. Read More

It wasn't long ago that bringing a rugged PC along literally required lugging a rigid office-in-a-suitcase sort of setup into the field. But new systems like the Durabook R11 from GammaTech combine touchscreens and the trend towards smaller, lighter and thinner devices into a much more portable package. Read More
We humans are obsessed with storytelling. We tell stories to people we meet and people we love. We can't get enough of the stories that drive movies, video games, television, and books. We communicate with stories, and now we're training our computers to do the same. By writing sets of rules and instructions of varying complexity, artificial intelligence experts can enable computers to write stories both real and fictional. Some of these algorithms, as you'll see shortly, produce articles or reports with the sort of flair you'd think only a human could provide, which has fascinating implications for the future of publishing. Read More