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Computers

Computers

Britain's first mass produced computer goes on public display

A pioneering piece of first-generation computer hardware was re-introduced to the public today. Almost 63 years after it made its debut at a trade show, the prototype of Britain's first mass-produced business computer is now on display at The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes, about 50 miles north of London. The Hollerith Electronic Computer (HEC-1) was Britain's most commercially successful early computer and the first to be installed in many countries, such as India, New Zealand, and those in East Africa.Read More

Wearables

Gabriel computer system offers a guiding voice to users

If you ever wished you had an angel at your shoulder to give tips on how to carry out a difficult job, a digital version may not be that far off. A team of scientists at Carnegie Mellon University are working on a wearable cognitive assistance computer system named after the angel Gabriel that observes what a person is doing, provides prompts to help in completing tasks in real time, and avoids being a pest when not needed.Read More

Electronics

"Designless" brain-like chips created through artificial evolution

Scientists at the University of Twente in the Netherlands have devised a new type of electronic chip that takes after the human brain. Their device is highly power-conscious, massively parallel, and can manipulate data in arbitrary ways even though it doesn't need to be explicitely designed to perform any task. The advance could pave the way for computers that think more like we do.

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Good Thinking

Google's neural networks create bizarre "Inceptionism" art

Having taken on everyone from chess grandmasters to chefs, computers are further exploring their artistic side with computer scientists demonstrating how artificial neural networks can create works of art reminiscent of William Blake on opium. The surreal images produced by a technique called "Inceptionism" are part of a process to better understand how such networks operate and how to improve them.Read More

Electronics

New algorithm paves the way for light-based computers

An inverse design algorithm developed by Stanford engineers enables the design of silicon interconnects capable of transmitting data between computer chips via light. The new process replaces the wire circuitry used to relay information electronically, which could lead to the development of highly efficient, light-based computers.Read More

Electronics

It's touch and Go for Makey Makey

At about the size of a credit card, the original Makey Makey (now called the Classic) isn't exactly a behemoth, but it's not really something you could wear around your neck or dangle from your ear either. Aiming for portability, the boffins at JoyLabz have redesigned the board, stripping it down to its bare essentials, then adding a magnet (so tinkerers can stick it a fridge door between uses) and some LEDs (for colorful visual feedback), and wrapped it in protective plastic bumpers. The Makey Makey Go is now about the size of a USB thumb drive and, like the original, can be used to turn everyday objects into touch-enabled "buttons" – everything from bananas to someone's ear to jello to a potted plant. So long as it's able to conduct even the tiniest amount of electricity, it's fair game for some Makey Makey magic.Read More

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