Photokina 2014 highlights

Operating system

Apple has announced that the eighth major release of its OS X operating system has 250 new...

The keynote address from Steve Jobs at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference today has revealed 250 new features for the next version of its operating system - OS X Lion. Highlights include multi-touch gesturing, system-wide support for full-screen apps, a new way of viewing everything on your Mac called Mission Control, an overhauled Mail app, a new Launchpad home for apps and the inclusion of the Mac App Store directly in the OS.  Read More

Apple today officially unveiled iOS 5, the latest version of its mobile operating system f...

At its Worldwide Developers Conference today, Apple officially unveiled iOS 5, the latest version of its mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The new system reportedly includes over 200 new features, one of the more noteworthy of which is the iCloud online data storage service. iCloud includes 5GB of internet-based memory space, and it automatically syncs all of a user's iDevices whenever new files are added to any one of them. iOS 5 will be available to consumers as of this Fall.  Read More

The Windows 8 tile-based Start screen

With Apple bringing a few user interface elements found in its iOS mobile operating system to its upcoming OS X Lion desktop operating system, Microsoft is taking a similar tack for its Windows 8 OS. Previewed last week at the D9 Conference, the next generation of the Windows operating system borrows heavily from Windows Phone 7 by replacing the traditional Windows Start menu with a tile-based Start screen that provides a customizable, scalable full-screen view of apps on the system.  Read More

Users of millions of laptops and netbooks have enjoyed the benefits of getting online with...

For those of us who virtually live online, waiting around those few precious minutes for the system to boot into Windows, connect to the Internet and then present the browser is time wasted. For the last few couple of years, more and more new Windows machines have come pre-loaded with something that boots straight into our beloved online world. Splashtop is a browser-based operating system companion that allows users to get online in seconds after pushing the power button on. Now it's being made available for public beta download.  Read More

Windows 1.0 is 25 years-old this month

Twenty-five years ago this month, Microsoft released an extension to its Disk Operating System (DOS) that gave users a graphical, mouse controlled environment with which to interface with their computers. Bundled with the new setup were a few applications like a drawing program, a simple word processor, an appointment calendar and a clock. Each program could be launched in its own box - or window - and tiled around the display screen. It wasn't a noted success but marked the start of a technology snowball that sees Windows currently being used on nearly 90 per cent of the world's computers.  Read More

Whereas antiquated BIOS can take around 30 seconds before allowing an operating system to ...

Those frustrating boot-up moments while we wait an absolute age for our computers to load up are set to get somewhat shorter with the impending retirement of system BIOS. Despite now being a very old technology and relatively stuck in its ways, the BIOS is still found in many modern machines. Instead of taking around 25 - 30 seconds before giving the all-clear for an operating system to start, a new kid on the block is well on its way to offering instant-on. It's not quite there yet, but the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is getting closer.  Read More

Windows 8 should bring a number of worthwhile improvements to the table

We’ve only recently come to terms with the fact that Windows 7 is the capable, stable OS we’ve been waiting for since XP, and already rumors about the functionality you can expect with Windows 8 are starting to circulate. Initially reported by Italian blogger Francisco Martin, the information we have so far comes from a number of leaked slides that detail a range of interesting improvements, and seem to have some credibility.  Read More

The control network of bacterium E Coli, left, and the Linux operating system, right

Whether right or for wrong, the human brain is often compared to a computer, and vice-versa. They both receive data, process it, store it, and output new data. Unlike computers, however, the human brain doesn’t crash. Yes, people have nervous breakdowns, but that has more to do with psychological stress than with data management. Now, researchers from Yale University have figured out why our brains succeed where computers fail.  Read More

A challenger for the iPad? The X2 iTablet

In what would have to be one of the craftiest marketing ploys seen in recent times, UK company X2 Computing has announced the release of its new tablet PC named – you guessed it - the iTablet. Aiming to give the Apple iPad a run for its money, it features a 1.6GHz Intel processor, 250GB of memory and a 1.3MP webcam, the conveniently named tablet also offers support for Flash and the choice of Windows 7 and Linux operating systems.  Read More

Willow Garage's PR2 personal robot

Imagine if every time someone wanted to develop a new piece of software, they first had to design and build a computer to run it. Not only would this greatly add to the time and expense required for software development, but it would also mean that all of us consumers would have to own multiple computers. Well, that’s what it’s like in the field of robotics. Because there is no robot-equivalent of the PC or Mac, every time someone wants a robot that can do something new, a new robot has to be built from scratch. Wouldn’t it be easier if there were one standard robotic platform, for which people just designed new hardware or software? Californian robotics company Willow Garage seems to think so, which is why they’re giving ten of their PR2 robots to deserving research organizations.  Read More

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