Sifteo, makers of Siftables, the ingenious cookie-sized computer blocks that play together in infinitely interesting ways, has today officially gone from MIT Media Lab research project to actual company. They're now open for business, but you'll have to wait a bit longer to actually get your hands on some. Nonetheless, we're excited.
Moore's Law provides the axiom that the number of transistors that can be placed on a circuit will double every two years, but as we reach for smaller and smaller tech, silicon and other transistor materials are reaching their physical limits. Lucky for Moore, a European research group has produced graphene of a size and quality that can be practically developed for eventual commercial use.
As technological tensions run high between the U.S. and China these days (see Google's recent dust-up with the party, etc.), the People’s Republic has unveiled more details on its quest to phase U.S.-made processors from its microchip diet. China’s next supercomputer – a Linux-running machine known as the Dawning 6000 – will run purely on Chinese processors, possibly before the end of this year.
Yesterday’s announcement that Google would no longer censor content flowing across its google.cn search portal and might even shutter operations there made for big news around the globe. Everywhere, that is, but China, where the news was heavily censored.
Mary Lou Jepsen has created massive holograms and cheap laptops for the developing world. Now she’s rethinking the LCD screen, leading the way to the next great gadget: an e-reader to replace your laptop
Mary Lou Jepson's hybrid computer screen blends the best aspects of both laptop and e-reader displays
John B. Carnett
For Mary Lou Jepsen, getting an MRI is not unlike getting a massage—a relaxing ritual, a rare slice of time when no work can possibly be done. I'm accompanying Jepsen to her doctor's appointment at Massachusetts General Hospital because it's the only few hours she can fit me in. She's in Boston for three days, in between trips to her Sausalito, California, houseboat and her apartment in Taipei, Taiwan, and she's booked back-to-back with appointments. Yesterday she had a meeting with the team at One Laptop Per Child, the nonprofit she helped create and with which she still collaborates on new computer designs. Today she's talking with her doctor about the medicine she needs to take to stay alive, after a tumor nearly killed her 10 years ago. Tomorrow she will appear at the Boston Book Festival in a debate about the future of reading, along with top executives from Sony and Google.
While Jepsen gets her brain scanned, I sit in the waiting room and guard the tote bag that contains the reason her life is so frenzied: a 10-inch slab of glass that, she says, merges the best of computers and e-readers into a single screen.
As any soldier will tell you, consistent and realistic drill forms the foundation of any successful military action. But whereas an infantryman can hone his aim at a firing range, America's Internet warriors don't have a similar venue for developing their skills at cyberwar. But DARPA hopes a $51 million network simulation, complete with computer programs that behave like human targets and adversaries, will provide the perfect arena for developing the next generation of cyberwar weapons and tactics.
Many next-gen supercomputers try to imitate how brain cells communicate and build digital versions of neural networks. Now the BBC brings word of the most ambitious project yet -- a "wet computer" that will literally simulate neurons and signal processing on the chemical level.
Researchers at Harvard and the University of Queensland have come up with a novel, just-crazy-enough-to-work method for modeling and simulating quantum systems: use a quantum computer. Employing the superior computing power of a custom-built quantum computing system, the researchers were able to determine the precise energy of molecular hydrogen for the first time, an impossible feat using classical computing methods. By doing so, they've opened the box on what could be a computing breakthrough stretching across disciplines.
It's tough to make sense of the maelstrom of gear released at CES. So thick is the swarm of new HDTVs, PMPs and other acronym-bearing curios, that the handful of truly interesting things on display is, well, easy to miss.
Here, we've selected the gadgets that truly impressed us this year. And as is the PopSci way, our picks are not only impressive here in January 2010; they represent a glimpse at what we can expect from the future of consumer electronics.
The rumor mill has been heating all day, and right now it’s simply too hot to ignore: the Wall Street Journal says that people “briefed by the company” report that Apple’s long-awaited tablet will ship in March for around $1,000, with a formal announcement coming from the company at a January 27th event.