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Computers

Many were skeptical when, back in 2007, Canadian company D-Wave announced that it had built the world's first commercially viable quantum computer. Now a study published in the August issue of Nature's Scientific Reports co-authored by D-Wave and Harvard researchers proves the D-Wave One is the real deal. Read More
In common with many of today's digital content junkies, I get my daily entertainment fix from a computer screen and not a TV. Even if I could afford to buy into the jaw-dropping Ultra HD image quality I witnessed from the giant goggle boxes being showcased by Toshiba, Sony and LG at IFA 2012 in Berlin a few months back, they'd likely spend much of their time powered off. As such, the upcoming release of a 32-inch 4K2K computer monitor from Sharp would be of great interest, were it not being aimed specifically at the business community in Japan. Read More

Minecraft developer Mojang has announced that a free edition of its open-world build-em-up is set for the Raspberry Pi. Read More

The smallest gesture can hide a world of meaning. A particular flick of a baton and a beseeching gesture can transform the key moment of a concert from mundane to ethereal. Alas, computers are seriously handicapped in understanding human gestural language, both in software and hardware. In particular, finding a method for describing gestures presented to a computer as input data for further processing has proven a difficult problem. In response, Microchip Technologies has developed the world's first 3D gesture recognition chip that senses the gesture without contact, through its effect on electric fields. Read More
The U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has just introduced Titan, the world’s most powerful supercomputer. The size of a basketball court and using enough power to run a small town, the water-cooled circuits of Titan are capable of 20 petaflops or 20,000 trillion calculations per second. This makes Titan ten times more powerful than ORNL’s previous computer, Jaguar and 200,000 times more than the average PC. What’s more, it achieves this through components originally created for gaming computers. Read More

Apparently in response to Raspberry Pi enthusiasts calling for a more capable addition to the lineup, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has today gone one better and doubled the RAM available in the existing Model B unit to 512 MB, without increasing the asking price of US$35. Read More

If the growing number of specialized stands is anything to go by, it seems that a lot of people like using portable computers in bed. iPad users can choose between the Manatee and the tablift, for instance, while laptop users can go with the Lounge-Tek or the Omax. Now, there’s another option for reclining laptop users – the ErgoArc. Read More

As computers become more sophisticated, they sometimes seem almost human – especially when they refuse to download a page when you’re in a hurry. At the Intel Developer’s Forum in San Francisco, Intel revealed that it is taking that a step further by giving their new line of Ultrabooks “human-like senses to perceive the user's intentions” thanks to a new generation of processors. Read More
Ask who invented the Internet and you’ll spark off an argument with everyone championed from DARPA to Nikola Tesla. However, two Stanford scientists claim that the inventor may have had six legs, antennae and a taste for disrupting picnics. Professor of biology Deborah Gordon and professor of computer science Balaji Prabhakar say that red harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) use the same Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) in foraging that the internet uses to manage data transmissions – making a sort of “Anternet.” Read More
We have seen wooden-framed computers before, although those have generally been off-the-shelf machines that have simply received a steampunk makeover. A team of engineers from Ireland’s MicroPro Computers and Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration have gone considerably farther, however. Their wood-bodied iameco (“I am eco”) v3 touchscreen computer reportedly has 70 percent less carbon footprint than a regular desktop PC with a monitor. Read More
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