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Computers

BMW might normally be associated with luxury cars, but its subsidiary group, DesignworksUSA, is a different story altogether. Aside from developing innovative concepts for automobiles, the team there also applies its parent company's design principles to a wide range of products – even home computers. It might come as no surprise then that the group recently teamed up with computer manufacturer ASRock to create the M8, a compact PC tower that resembles a high-performance engine and was designed especially for gaming. Read More
If you’ve been holding your breath waiting for the long-rumored Windows 8 “Blue” update, you might be able to exhale soon. Microsoft still hasn’t officially broken down the new features in the update, but it does now have a name and a price: "Windows 8.1," and "free." Read More
There have been years of controversy about whether the superconducting quantum annealing computers manufactured by D-Wave are a) quantum computers; and b) fast enough for a) to matter. Now a test of the 512-qubit Vesuvius chip establishes at least that computing based on quantum annealing is, in the words of a computer science professor at Amherst College, "in some cases, really, really fast." Read More
What do you get if you cross a Raspberry Pi computer with an Arduino microcontroller? It might be an awful setup for a joke, but it's an enticing question if you're an electronics hobbyist or Internet of Things doer. Happily, thanks to Udoo, this is now a question with an answer. The mini PC combines the best of its predecessors in a compact PC-on-a-board with four times the power of a Raspberry Pi with all the functions of an Arduino Due microcontroller. The tinkerers of the internet have made short work of Udoo's Kickstarter target with 53 days remaining. Read More
What should you do with your old computer? Chances are that no one will want to buy it, but you don’t want to just throw it away – especially with e-waste being such a huge environmental concern. Recycling or donating are possibilities, but how do you know that all of your personal information is really deleted from its hard drive? Well, that’s where the Pass IT On For Good project comes in. It supplies you with a USB card that deletes all the personal content on your computer, installs educational software, and then instructs you on how to donate it for use in schools in developing nations. Read More
It's a fact of the digital age that parents will worry about what their children get up to online. While some try to address this by teaching their kids how to behave safely online, others will simply place a family computer in a shared room and lurk behind young users watching what they do. The MiiPC is an Android-powered PC for children which allows parents to monitor and control what they are doing via a parental control mobile app. Read More

A Czech design studio is readying a levitating computer mouse for release that's been created to help prevent Carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful condition that can strike musicians, assembly-line workers, typists and computer users (to name a few). Read More

After a handful of days of furtive suggestion, spring made its presence felt in London today, where the second Technology Frontiers conference got underway. The Economist-organized event sees leading technologists and cultural figures take to the podium to beclue and/or befuddle some 250 ideas-thirsty businesspersons. Among them was Raspberry Pi Foundation founder Eben Upton, who proved to be one of the day's most lucid speakers. He went into some detail as to the inception of the Raspberry Pi and the need for more computer programmers. Read More
Readers of a certain age will remember, probably with fondness, the computer-in-a-keyboard form factor exemplified by the likes of the Atari 800XL or the mighty Commodore 64. We've seen several impressive attempts at revival in the recent past, including efforts from Barry S Altman's Commodore USA and ASUS. Now China's FocusWill Information Technology is getting in on the act with an Android-flavored, keyboard-based desktop computer called the CoolShip. Read More
Back in 2009, the Kopin Corporation’s Golden-i headset promised a hands-free, natural-speech-recognition interface for wireless remote control over a range of devices including mobile phones, PCs, company networks and wireless systems, but it was also little more than a concept. Four years on, the company is marketing the wearable, hands free computer interfacing devices for heavy and light industries, professionals and first responders. The Golden-i headsets allow the user to send and receive audiovisual information from multiple platforms by means of both voice and motion control while leaving the hands free to get on with the job. Read More
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