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.
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.”
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.
Bioengineers at Imperial College, London have developed a new computer controller for paraplegics that is not only more accurate and easier to use than current methods, but also uses inexpensive, off-the-shelf components. The GT3D device uses a pair of eyeglass frames with two fast video game console cameras costing less than UKP20 (US$30) each, which scan the wearer’s eyes from outside the field of vision and provide “3D” control at much lower costs and without invasive surgery.
After 30 years of service, France’s Minitel information service is shutting down for good. Launched in 1982 by the French state telephone company Poste, Téléphone et Télécommunications (PTT), which later became France Télécom, it was France’s answer to the World Wide Web before the Web was even created. However, despite remarkable initial success, it proved unable to compete with the modern internet and on June 30, 2012 it will be switched off.
Although they’ve been around for decades, the all-in-one form factor has really been embraced by PC manufacturers in recent years. On the back of recent releases from the likes of HP
, Vizio, a company better known for producing TVs
, has joined the party with a couple of all-in-one units in 24- and 27-inch screen sizes that mark the company's entry into the PC market.
When space is at a premium or you're just not a big fan of cable clutter, there's nothing quite as attractive as an all-in-one desktop computer and, as we discovered when reviewing HP's Omni 27
model recently, bigger is most assuredly beautiful. Dell's latest slim and stylish addition to its premium XPS family is also its largest ever all-in-one computer. The XPS One 27 features the latest third generation Intel Core processors, HDD or SSD/HDD hybrid storage options and boasts some impressive built-in audio capabilities, too.
As I discovered when reviewing the Minty Geek
Electronics Lab a while back, experimenting with circuit building can be a great deal of fun. There was one particular project in this kit that made use of the human body to complete a circuit, with a simple lie detector test being the end result. With their Makey Makey open source hardware project, Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum have taken such touch interaction to a much more entertaining and inventive degree. Everyday objects like bananas, coins, and even Play-Doh can be transformed into a computer keyboard key or mouse click to control onscreen gaming action, play software-based instruments or type out short messages.
We've seen the wacky homebrew projects of computer hardware hacker Mike Schropp before. Mindful Gizmag readers may recall his triple quad-core i7 LEGO PC
housing that we looked at last July. But his latest project, the "Bio Computer," is rather more oddball, taking a turn distinctly towards the horticultural with a PC case adapted to ... grow wheatgrass.
Welcome news, finally, for the Raspberry Pi
-watchers out there. Having previously predicted a March launch, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has finally announced that batches of the US$25 Linux computer are finally being delivered to customers.