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Computer

— Marine

Computer-equipped surfboard could lead to, like, totally awesome boards

Four mechanical engineering undergraduates from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), have installed a computer and eight velocity sensors on a surfboard, in effort to create the ultimate surfing experience. While the students ride the board across the waves, the sensors register the speed at which the board skims along the water, then send that data to the computer, which proceeds to transmit it wirelessly to a laptop on the beach. The computer also saves the data on an internal memory card. The students built the board for their senior design project, but also as a part of Ph.D. student Benjamin Thompson’s science-of-surfboards project, in which he hopes to design the "perfect" board. Read More
— Laptops

Cleverly designed laptop stands save your back

Laptop computers are appropriately named, as they do sit nicely on your lap. If you’ve ever tried using one down there, however, you’ll know that it’s not the most ergonomic set-up imaginable – you have to bend your head down, keep your knees up, and feel your thighs getting toasty warm from the computer-generated heat that is evidently not able to disperse into the air. In order to position laptops in other ways, various companies have offered laptop stands to put on your desk, devices for turning your lap itself into a desk-like computer workspace, gizmos that allow you to swivel your laptop over from the passenger seat of your car, or that let you use it beside your bed. If only there was one that held your laptop in front of you while you were lying on your back... there is, of course, and Hong Kong-based company Omax has a variety of them to choose from. Read More
— Computers

Dattoos would be the ultimate user/machine interface

Five years ago, Frog Design founder Hartmut Esslinger envisioned a technology that “could influence notions of community, identity, and connectivity with minimal impact on the physical environment.” Using an online design portal, users would select and try out a customized electronic processing device that they would then print onto their own skin. The DNA Tattoo, or Dattoo, could include printable input/output tools such as a camera, microphone, or laser-loudspeaker - it would be up to the user, as would the Dattoo’s aesthetics. Most intriguingly, it would capture its wearer’s DNA, to ensure an intimate user/machine relationship. Read More
— Computers

Makers of Blackberry to challenge iPad with its own Blackpad tablet

With Apple selling three million iPads in just 80 days it’s no surprise that some companies are after a slice of the tablet comuting pie. According to a report on Bloomberg, Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM), the maker of the BlackBerry, is planning to introduce its own tablet computer this November. The report cites two unnamed sources who say that the device, to be known as the Blackpad, will have roughly the same dimensions as the iPad and will include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that will allow users to connect to the Internet through their BlackBerry. Read More
— Good Thinking

The Humane Reader uses 8-bit technology to bring Wikipedia to developing countries

When you search for just about anything on the Internet, it seems like a Wikipedia entry on that subject is almost always amongst the top ten hits. Despite rumors of dissent within its ranks, the encyclopedic website is one of the largest single repositories of knowledge in the world. So, with that in mind, what do you do if you want to bring a significant portion of the information on the Internet to people who can’t afford net access? You load a searchable offline version of Wikipedia onto a US$20 8-bit computer, that they can watch through their TVs. That’s what computer consultant Braddock Gaskill has done with his Humane Reader, which he hopes will find a place in homes, schools and libraries in developing nations. Read More
— Computers

Colibri's Tegra T20 module is a dual-core 1GHz computer the size of a SODIMM

If someone had suggested 20 years ago that a fully working computer with up to 1GHz of processing power would fit on a board the size of a SODIMM memory module (2.66 x 1.44 x 0.2 inches), some lighthearted mockery may have followed. Yet embedded hardware specialist Toradex is about to do just that with its new Tegra T20, a teeny computer module based on NVIDIA's latest Cortex A9 processor that offers full high definition video support, 256MB of onboard memory and a gigabyte of Flash storage. Read More
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