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Computers

Science

Ants invented the internet?

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

Computers

Wooden-bodied computer claimed to be much greener than a regular PC

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

Wearables

Inexpensive device could allow the disabled to control computers with their eyes

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.Read More

Telecommunications

France's Minitel shutting down after 30 years

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.Read More

Computers

Dell releases its largest ever all-in-one desktop PC: the XPS One 27

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.Read More

Electronics

MaKey MaKey turns anything into a touchpad

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.Read More

Rasberry Pi ships at last

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.Read More

Science

Japan team creates world's first "crab computer"

Wouldn't your latest generation tablet be way cooler if it ran on live crabs? Thanks to Yukio-Pegio Gunji and his team at Japan’s Kobe University, the era of crab computing is upon us ... well, sort of. The scientists have exploited the natural behavior of soldier crabs to design and build logic gates - the most basic components of an analogue computer. They may not be as compact as more conventional computers, but crab computers are certainly much more fun to watch.Read More

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