Purchasing new hardware? Read our latest product comparisons


From the company that brought us Otto, the gif-capturing camera, comes CHIP, the US$9 computer. Its endowments of 1 gig processing, 4 gig storage, and 512 MB of RAM would only be average, were it not for the price, and the fact that it's ready-to-go despite its svelte stature – small enough to fit on a Post-It note. As with Otto, the company is seeking funding on Kickstarter and is also offering PocketCHIP, an enclosure to turn CHIP into an affordable smart device with touchscreen and keyboard.

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Sharetable is all about simplifying interactions around a computer. Instead of having two people grappling for control, with awkward exchanges of mouse and keyboard and adjustments of screen position, it's designed to let two people work together more elegantly. Its approach is, in essence, to mirror or extend the screen across two displays on the same desk. But there's more to it. For starters, the computer is embedded in the desk. And so is one of the screens. Read More
You've probably noticed how hot a computer can get if it's doing something taxing, like playing a game, for example. The same thing happens with server farms, but on a larger scale. Dutch startup Nerdalize aims to ditch the usual server farm setup and put internet-connected servers in people's homes, using the excess heat to warm the homes free-of-charge. Read More
One unfortunate fact of modern life is that functional new software becomes non-functional old software with depressing regularity. For most people, this means predictable episodes of frustration, but for the US military, it's a more serious problem. DARPA's new Building Resource Adaptive Software Systems (BRASS) project aims to take a major shot at avoiding this obsolescence by developing software systems that can still operate properly a hundred years from now. Read More
We've seen a number of clever learning tools aimed at future generations of roboticists and programmers recently. The latest educational plaything to join the likes of DynePods, the Kibo and the Wigl bot is Hackaball. It's a computer in a ball that kids can program using an iPad, and then throw it around, bounce it off walls and kick it about in completely made up games. Read More
The idea of connecting a basic computer to a more powerful one over a network isn't new – the first modern computer networks began as dumb terminals that accessed smart mainframes – but improvements in hardware technology, internet speeds and online software are now making the concept genuinely viable for consumers. Enter new startup Paperspace, which wants you to run your computer from the cloud. Read More
Images of ourselves recorded through cameras on smartphones and laptops can be a welcome addition to communication with friends or professional interactions, or just a bit of fun. But this powerful combination of hardware and software is being tapped into by scientists for other purposes as well. A team of researchers at the University of Rochester has developed a computer program that can help health professionals monitor a person`s mental health through the images from selfie videos the patient records while engaging in social media activity. Read More
A piece of cybernetic history returned home as a long-lost component of the Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (EDSAC), one of the first practical general purpose computers, was returned to Britain from the United States. The electronics chassis was given to the The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) at Bletchley Park, where it will be used as part of the EDSAC reconstruction project and raises the possibility that more surviving parts may be recovered in the future. Read More

There have been a number of PC-on-a-stick devices released in recent years, but most are powered by ARM processors and manufactured by companies you've never heard of. Not so the Intel Compute Stick, which is different in the sense that it's made by Intel and powered by an Atom Bay Trail processor. Both of which are definite positives. Read More

Since its discovery over a century ago, the Antikythera Mechanism has had scholars scratching their heads over how the Greeks managed to build a mechanical computer a hundred years before the birth of Christ and thousands of years before anything similar. But now things have become even stranger as researchers claim that it's over a hundred years older than previously believed and may have been built by a famous hand. Read More