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Computers

By applying electrical pulses to the new nanomaterial, a sea of small negatively charged i...

By now, we’re all fairly used to electronic devices such as smartphones, which can act as a mobile phone, computer, camera and navigation unit all at once. These devices, while multi-functional, still use different hard-wired electrical circuits for their different functions. Thanks to research being carried out at Chicago’s Northwestern University, however, all those functions may one day be able to utilize the same physical piece of electronic material – the electrical current would simply be “steered” through it differently, depending on what was needed. This means that a single section of the material could act as a resistor, rectifier, diode or transistor, as instructed by a computer.  Read More

The all-conquering smartphone seems headed for ubiquity

Over the last decade, mobile telephones have gone from being a rarity in most countries, to being carried by the vast majority of human beings. Now, according to new research, smartphone (which is actually a misnomer – it is actually a Very Personal Computer) sales will top a billion units a year by 2015 as the smartphone's share of phone shipments rockets from 15.8% in 2009, to 32.5% this year to 54.4% in 2015). Planet Earth only has 6.75 billion human inhabitants. If this trend continues, by the turn of the decade, the vast majority of human beings will be carrying a networked personal computer on their person at all times. We are undoubtedly living through a period of unprecedented change in human history.  Read More

Steve Jobs has resigned from his post as CEO of Apple (Photo: Matt Yohe)

In what was not an entirely surprising move, Steve Jobs announced yesterday that he has resigned as Chief Executive Officer of Apple. While neither Jobs nor Apple gave a reason for his resignation, it is widely suspected that his ongoing health problems played a major part in his decision. He will remain with the company as Chairman of the Board, while former Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook has taken over as CEO, in accordance with Jobs’ recommendation.  Read More

IBM has unveiled two prototype computer chips that are said to emulate the human brain (Im...

In April, the University of Southern California made the headlines when it announced that researchers there had created a functioning synthetic synapse circuit using carbon nanotubes. Well, today IBM unveiled a new class of experimental computer chips that are designed to emulate the human brain’s abilities for perception, action and cognition. According to the company, “The technology could yield many orders of magnitude less power consumption and space than used in today’s computers.”  Read More

Samsung has unveiled its SSD 830 Series, which utilizes a SATA 6 Gbps interface, and is en...

Soon there could be another reason to replace the spinning disk-based HDD in your desktop or laptop computer with a cutting-edge Solid State Drive (SSD) - Samsung has unveiled its new SSD 830 Series, which utilizes a SATA Revision 3.0 6 Gbps interface, and is encased in a brushed metal housing. It is aimed at the retail market.  Read More

Google and the Bletchley Park Trust have announced a fundraising scheme aimed at restoring...

Search giant Google has teamed up with the Bletchley Park Trust to kick start a fundraising effort to rebuild the records center known as Block C. A Google-supported garden party was held within the grounds of the famous WW2 decoding center last week to start off the restoration fund, which aims to transform the now derelict building into a visitor and learning center.  Read More

A new software tool has been developed, for getting frozen computers out of infinite loops...

There are few things as maddening as being in the middle of a task on a computer, and having the software freeze up on you. This can be particularly enraging if you haven’t backed up your work recently, and you know that the only way of “thawing out” the program will be to execute a force quit – your work will be lost, all because the (insert word of your choice here) computer didn’t know what to do next. Fortunately, however, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed a tool that jolts stalled programs back into action.  Read More

The DIY PC in a LEGO case, by Mike Schropp (Photo: Total Geekdom)

Most of the custom-built DIY PCs featuring unusual case mods are made just for fun or fashion. The LEGO-bodied PC by Mike Schropp is quite different, however, despite the fact it looks really impressive. It's a 12-core PC setup consisting of three systems in a single box made of LEGO, with its computing power being donated to medical research and humanitarian projects via IBM's World Community Grid project.  Read More

Screen shot of Sid Meier's strategy computer game, Civilization II

Researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab have been able to create computers that learn language by doing something that many people consider a last resort when tackling an unfamiliar task - reading the manual (or RTBM). Beginning with virtually no prior knowledge, one machine-learning system was able to infer the meanings of words by reviewing instructions posted on Microsoft's website detailing how to install a piece of software on a Windows PC, while another was able to learn how to play Sid Meier's empire-building Civilization II strategy computer game by reading the gameplay manual.  Read More

South Korea plans to digitize all textbooks which are in use by Korean schools by 2015 (Im...

South Korean ministry of education has announced a ground-breaking plan to digitize all textbooks in Korean schools and thus completely phase out printed materials by 2015. This opens a huge market for manufacturers of tablet PCs or smartphones as the Korean education ministry has revealed it will spend US$2.4 billion on buying appropriate devices and digitizing content for them.  Read More

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