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Computers

Brain-like supercomputing platform to explore new frontiers

In the old days, it was common to hear a computer chip referred to as an "electronic brain." Modern chip designs are now making such labels even more apt. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is set to take receipt of a brain-inspired supercomputing platform developed by IBM Research. The first-of-a-kind system is based on a neurosynaptic computer chip known as IBM TrueNorth, and can process the equivalent of 16 million neurons and 4 billion synapses while consuming just 2.5 watts of power.Read More

Wearables

Goldfinger smart glove gets power from finger movements

Smart gloves have potential as human-machine interfaces that can help extract us from the joystick and mouse era, but the challenge is to make them, natural, intuitive, and efficient. Scientists from Politecnico di Torino and MIT led by Giorgio De Pasquale of the Italian University believe they have have come a step closer to this goal with Goldfinger – a self-powering glove that promises simple gesture control. Read More

Mobile Technology

Poco serves as actioncam, multimedia player, gaming machine and more

Nearly five years ago, Iain Sinclair Designs launched a credit card-sized compact camera concept called the Poco Pro. Though it generated quite a bit of interest, component supply difficulties meant that the project quickly ran aground. Now Iain's son, Grant, has updated the design and launched an Indiegogo to bring the new Poco to production. Built around a Raspberry Pi compute module, the pocket-sized "supercomputer" can be a bike-mounted actioncam, hi-res music player, handheld gaming console and portable web browser.Read More

Computers

"World's first personal computer" sells for €34,000

One of only ten surviving Kenbak-1 personal computers from 1971 has sold at auction for €34,000 (US$36,500). Judged the "first commercially available personal computer" in 1987 by a panel at the Boston Computer Museum that included Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, it's a fascinating piece of history that sheds a light on the chaotic early days of the desktop computer.Read More

Collectibles

First digital computer installed on a manned spacecraft goes to auction

A Space Age collectible that not only represents a first in space, but also a first in computer history is on the auction block in Dallas, Texas. As part of its Space Exploration Signature Auction, Heritage Auctions is taking bids for a vintage random access, non-destructive readout 4,096 bit memory plane that flew on Gemini 3. This ferric memory unit was an integral part of the Gemini Spacecraft Computer, which was the first computer installed in a manned space capsule.Read More

Computers

Engineers create a computer with a water droplet processor

From driving water wheels to turning turbines, water has been used as the prime mover of machinery and the powerhouse of industry for many centuries. In ancient times, the forces of flowing water were even harnessed to power the first rudimentary clocks. Now, engineers at Stanford University have created the world’s first water-operated computer. Using magnetized particles flowing through a micro-miniature network of channels, the machine runs like clockwork and is claimed to be capable of performing complex logical operations.Read More

Computers

The $9 CHIP is real computing in a tiny form

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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Computers

Sharetable "desktop" computer puts a PC and a second screen inside your desk

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

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