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Computers

Valve announces third-party Steam Machines, which will land in 2014

Hot on the heels of the announcement of its own Linux-based operating system, SteamOS, computer game developer and distributor Valve has announced a range of SteamOS gaming computers called Steam Machines. The machines will be built by other companies with the aim of bringing PC gaming firmly into the living room.  Read More

Jobs involving cognitive tasks are among those under threat, according to the study (Photo...

Almost 47 percent of US jobs could be computerized within one or two decades according to a recent study that attempts to gauge the growing impact of computers on the job market. It isn't only manual labor jobs that could be affected: The study reveals a trend of computers taking over many cognitive tasks thanks to the availability of big data. It suggests two waves of computerization, with the first substituting computers for people in logistics, transportation, administrative and office support and the second affecting jobs depending on how well engineers crack computing problems associated with human perception, creative and social intelligence.

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The Nymi bracelet uses the wearers EKG for identification

If someone says that they want to steal your heart, be careful. They may be trying to get into your computer files. The Toronto-based biometrics company Bionym wants to replace old-fashioned passwords with Nymi; a bracelet that uses the wearer’s heartbeat in place of passwords. According to the developers, the system delivers a secure and convenient means of identification that also provides the potential to control devices using gestures.  Read More

Software being developed at ETH Zurich isolates the foreground image and tilts the face to...

Skype has been around for ten years now. Once a science fiction dream, the video calling service has 300 million users making two billion minutes of video calls a day. The only problem is, most of them can't look each other in the eye. Claudia Kuster, a doctoral student at the Computer Graphics Laboratory ETH Zurich, and her team are developing a way to bring eye contact to Skype and similar video services with software that alters the caller's on-screen image to give the illusion that they’re looking straight at the camera.  Read More

Web TV, which allowed you to surf the web on your TV, was bought by Microsoft in the late ...

For Microsoft, the Xbox and Xbox 360 were always about more than games. They were seen as a way for the company to move out of the study and stake a claim on the living room. The Xbox 360 has been a bona fide hit in that regard but is still largely considered a games machine. The company is hoping to attract a wider audience with the forthcoming Xbox One, which is being positioned as an all-in-one entertainment box with new features for TV viewing, streaming video and lots more. In light of this, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the company's previous assaults on the living room that never quite took off.  Read More

Windows 8.1 will be arriving soon and we have a look at what's new and some helpful tips t...

When Windows 8 was released last October it didn't receive a lot of fanfare. But this year Microsoft is making several changes to the operating system with version 8.1 and a lot of them are for the better. While it's not a complete overhaul, there are some subtle changes that should make it easier for new users to learn and use. Here's a look at some tips and tricks for using new features in Windows 8.1.  Read More

Leap Motion has just released it motion sensor, and launched its AirSpace app store

Hot on the heels of the Leap Motion Controller, which began shipping last week, Leap Motion has released the accompanying software. The software allows people to control their computers with natural movements, detecting both hand and finger movements. In addition, the company launched its Airspace store which includes apps specifically designed for use with the device.  Read More

Patrick Lincoln, director of SRI’s Computer Science Laboratory, demonstrates bRight with b...

bRight from SRI International has been designed to make life a little easier for folks who need to make snap decisions in time critical situations, but are faced with an overwhelming amount of information flowing in all at once. In addition to offering task automation and data filtering, the system can predict the actions, behavior and needs of a user or group based on previous activity and active monitoring systems.  Read More

The Bremont Codebreaker has a flyback chronograph movement

Watches are meant to keep time, but the UK-based firm of Bremont and the Bletchley Park Trust have teamed up to produce a watch that preserves time. The Bremont Codebreaker is a limited edition chronograph that uses original artefacts from the famous cryptographic facility to commemorate British code breaking efforts during the Second World War.  Read More

Global PC shipments dropped to 76 million units in the second quarter, which marks the fif...

Here's one trend that's showing no signs of slowing down. The global PC market, which had already been in decline for four straight quarters, has now dropped for a fifth consecutive quarter. Will the bleeding stop? Or are we permanently shifting to an iPad-centric world of computing?  Read More

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