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Computers

Telecommunications

Software brings eye contact to Skype, with a little help from Kinect

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

Home Entertainment

Xbox One is just Microsoft's latest attempt to own the living room

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

Computers

Coming to grips with Windows 8.1: Tips and tricks

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

Computers

bRight: Taking human-machine interaction to the next level

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

Wearables

Bremont Codebreaker watch turns history into a timepiece

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

Computers

Altair 8800 Clone: A near-empty box filled with history

Owning a piece of computer history can be expensive and not much fun. You can buy a vintage MITS Altair 8800, one of the world’s first successful desktop computers, on eBay, but a good one will cost you over US$4,000. That’s why computer enthusiast Mike Douglas developed the Altair 8800 Clone. It’s a modern, inexpensive, functional reproduction of the historic Altair 8800 computer that uses 21st century technology to recreate a bit of computer history for hobbyists and educators.Read More

Computers

This BMW-designed PC tower will make you the envy of any LAN party

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

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