Items tagged with Technology

Forget about artificial intelligence, researchers at IBM are working on a software ecosystem designed for programming silicon chips that could mimic human brain functions such as perception, action, and cognition. IBM said its solution is "dramatically different" from others before it, noting that it's tailored for a new class of distributed, highly interconnected, asynchronous, parallel, large-scale, cognitive computing architectures. "Architectures and programs are closely intertwined and a new architecture necessitates a new programming paradigm," said Dr. Dharmendra S. Modha, Principal Investigator and Senior Manager, IBM Research. "We are working to create a FORTRAN for synaptic computing... Read more...
Starting in late September, Silicon Alley and Silicon Valley will be collaborating on high-tech solutions to the problems both cities face. The mayors of New York and San Francisco announced that they will be holding two Digital Cities summits (one in each city) to develop new ways of handing old threats, such as flooding and power outages. The summits have already attracted the likes of Jack Dorsey, who is well-known as a co-founder of Twitter and Square. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announce the Digital Cities summits. Image Credit: NBC News Corp New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee made the announcement while in San Francisco, with... Read more...
It seems we're constantly hearing about breakthroughs in battery technology, and though some of today's laptops and tablets boast all-day battery life, we're still waiting for the killer technology that will enable days, if not weeks and months of run time. A new lithium-ion battery developed by German scientists won't get us any closer to that goal, but it could be a big deal for electric vehicles. Using materials that exclusively originate from German companies, scientists at Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (ZSW, from here on out) created a Li-ion battery that retains most of its capacity after 10,000 recharge cycles. "After 10,000 complete charging... Read more...
Researchers are still searching for the Holy Grail in battery technology that will ultimately hold a charge for much longer than what's currently available and be affordable to the masses. One that has promise is a new all-solid lithium-sulfur battery developed by scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The research team, led by Chengdu Liang, claims the lithium-sulfur battery has around four times the energy density of conventional lithium-ion technologies found in today's devices, and it's pretty cheap to boot. "Our approach is a complete change from the current battery concept of two electrodes joined by a liquid electrolyte, which has been used over... Read more...
If you've ever told someone, "I'm not as think as you drunk I am," then you may benefit from a sobering pill that reduces the blood alcohol content in your system. Hold your horses -- before you run off to the local five and dime, understand that no such pill currently exists. Sure, there are remedies that claim to sober you up, but none of them are truly effective. No matter how much coffee you gulp down, time is the only real remedy. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) are hoping to change that. Lead researcher Yunfeng Lu, a professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering, and Cheng Ji, a biochemical and molecular biology professor, published an article in Nature... Read more...
Physicist Stephen Hawking is revered as one of the most brilliant scientific minds this world as ever seen, and Intel's not taking that for granted. Despite having a degenerative motor neuron disease for the past 50 or so years, he has used technology in order to help him communicate and connect. In recent years, however, his condition has been failing, and he's only able to communicate at around one word per minute these days. Now, Intel is reportedly working on a new system that would use his "cheek twitch as well as mouth and eyebrow movements to provide signals to his computer." The study could provide new and innovative ways for handicapped individuals to communicate. Intel CEO Justin Rattner... Read more...
We've covered a number of high-profile Kickstarter projects on HotHardware in 2012, and there's good reason for that. The online crowd funding site had a busy year, one in which more than 18,000 projects were successfully funded. Over 2.2 million people contributed hard earned dollars to various projects, pledging a combined $319.78 million. "From groundbreaking projects to inspiring stories, 2012 was a year of many memorable moments on Kickstarter. To celebrate the year that was, our team put together this look back at some of our favorite projects and moments," Kickstarter stated on a special page that reveals some interesting data. If you break things down, backers pledged over $600 per minute... Read more...
Hey, good news everyone! After we're done ravaging the natural resources on this rock we call Earth and have turned it into an uninhabitable wasteland, there's another planet the human race can relocate to and nary skip a beat. Unfortunately, that planet is 12 light years away, which puts a small kink into our relocation plans. The planet in question is one of five rocks orbiting Tau Ceti, a far away star that resembles the Sun, according to Science. It's a single, bright G-type star, so there's no second ball of flames and gas to pull planets away via gravity. All five planets are said to lie closer to Tau Ceti than Mars does to the Sun, though only one is thought to be inhabitable. The three... Read more...
You can certainly make the argument that tablets didn't catch AMD or Intel "flat-footed" (and we in fact did make that argument), but at the same time, you have to give companies like Qualcomm credit for being well prepared for the mobile boom that we now find ourselves in. To wit, Qualcomm is now the world's third largest semiconductor player, behind only Samsung (another mobile player) and Intel. According to IHS iSuppli, it was an overall miserable year for semiconductors with seven of the world's top 10 semiconductor suppliers seeing a decline in revenue. Qualcomm bucked that trend, and did so in dramatic fashion. "Qualcomm is set to end 2012 with a stunning 27.2 percent growth in semiconductor... Read more...
Yes, it's true machines pose a serious threat of human extinction (a group of Cambridge researchers thinks so, anyway), but they're so darn adorable, which is what might ultimately be our downfall. Until then, you might as well enjoy what our mechanical creations have to offer, like the real-life Pixar lamp that swings around and doesn't like to be turned off. The lamp's actual name is Pinokio and it was build by Victoria University of Wellington students. It wields a webcam, 6 servos, and an Arduino processor. "Pinokio is an exploration into the expressive and behavioral potentials of robotic computing. Customized computer code and electronic circuit design imbues Lamp with the ability to be... Read more...
You've probably heard the saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," but did you ever equate it to being prepared for the inevitable robot uprising that will threaten the human race? Probably not, but that isn't stopping a group of Cambridge researchers from at least entertaining the idea. "Many scientists are concerned that developments in human technology may soon pose new, extinction-level risks to our species as a whole. Such dangers have been suggested from progress in AI, from developments in biotechnology and artificial life, from nanotechnology, and from possible extreme effects of anthropogenic climate change. The seriousness of these risks is difficult to assess, but... Read more...
At a time when consumers are trending towards mobile products like smartphones and tablets, Texas Instruments has decided it can flip a bigger profit by focusing its energies elsewhere. As such. TI is planning to slash 1,700 jobs as it scales back its mobile processor business and transitions to other areas, like cars and smartphones. The planned layoffs add up to almost 5 percent of TI's global workforce and are part of a broader cost-reduction effort. "We have a great opportunity to reshape our OMAP processor and wireless connectivity product lines to concentrate on embedded markets. Momentum is already building with new embedded applications and a broad set of customers, and we are accelerating... Read more...
In the future, we'll all be cruising in flying cars and wearing computers on our heads. Or, just the latter. If you don't believe it, then check out what Motorola's been up to. When not building smartphones and tablets, Motorola's engineers are working on funky gadgets like the HC1 Headset Computer, which is precisely what it sounds like. The HC1 is a post-PC era device if there ever was one. It's actually built by Motorola Solutions, which provides business- and mission-critical communication products and services to enterprises and governments. Staying in line with that objective, the HC1 slips on like a half-helmet. The actual computer is housed in a metal bar that wraps around your noggin.... Read more...
The Internet is abuzz this evening after Reuters ran an exclusive report claiming Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) had hired J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. to "explore options," including a potential sale of the company. You can imagine the sullen faces on AMD fans far and wide, and also those who favor healthy competition in the market place. There's just one problem -- AMD isn't shopping for a buyer, not for itself or for any of its assets, or so the chip maker says. Reuters based its report on un-named sources who said a sale of the company wasn't necessarily a priority, but it was definitely looking at available options, such as selling some of its patents to the highest bidder. Given AMD's recent... Read more...
Cars have already learned how to drive themselves courtesy of Google, and now Toyota is testing a technology that will allow automobiles to communicate with one another. Does anyone else see this as a possible premise for a sci-fi movie, one in which tons of steel and metal rise up against mankind? Perhaps Michael Bay can direct the flick. Lest we get carried away, Toyota isn't grooming vehicles into becoming sentient beings. The idea is to make driving safer by outfitting vehicles with sensors that allow them to send and receive data to transmitters installed on streets, using that information to avoid potential accidents. If a car is about to miss a red light, an electronic voice will alert... Read more...
Exercise is important, there's no disputing that. It's especially critical if, like us, you spend hours each day plopped in front of a computer screen hammering out hardware reviews, TPS reports, or whatever. Activity is key to a healthy lifestyle, but how do you know if you're doing enough? In the old days, a mirror and scale would keep track of your progress. And today? Healthy living monitor gadgets like the Nike+ FuelBand are finding an audience among the health nuts, nouveau techno-geeks, and the upwardly connected set. But what you may not realize is that, as cool as these gadgets purport to be, you may be signing up for more than you bargained for. That's certainly the case with the Nike+... Read more...
One of the biggest benefactors of the mobile device revolution that's taking place right before our very eyes is ARM, which licenses its technology to a number of players, like NVIDIA and Qualcomm (to name just two). If you own a smartphone or tablet, there's a good chance it's rocking ARM-based hardware inside. As a result, ARM is sitting on a record amount of cash and the highest stock price in more than a decade. Shares of ARM shot up this month to the highest they've been since 2000, as investors reacted positively when the company posted record quarterly revenue two weeks ago. In addition, ARM stated that its backlog of orders has never been higher than what it is right now. Sitting on a... Read more...
Today's Presidential election figures to be an extremely tight race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and whoever wins -- Mitt Romney, according to AVAST Software's mega-poll -- will likely claim victory by a small margin. But will it be an honest election? We're not making a facetious statement about politics. What has us worried is an article in Popular Science that reveals just how incredibly easy and inexpensive it is to rig a voting machine. Let's backtrack a moment. Roger Johnston, head of the Vulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne National Laboratory, recently led a team of security researchers on a demonstration that involved hacking electronic voting machines. He wanted to show... Read more...
There are few things more annoying than rushing to answer the phone at the most inopportune time only to find out that the caller is just a prerecorded message. These so-called "robocalls" have become the bane of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), especially as advances in technology make it easier for telemarketers to get around the current blocks the FTC have in place. Looking to step up its game, the FTC wants your help, and it's willing to pay a $50,000 cash prize to the person or team of individuals who comes up with the best overall solution to blocking robocalls on landlines and mobile phones. "Pursuant to its enforcement of the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the FTC has stopped entities responsible... Read more...
Steve Jobs is gone, but certainly not forgotten. As hard as it is to fathom, he's been dead for exactly one year, having lost a hard fought bout with pancreatic cancer on October 5, 2011. He passed away in his home in California, though he left behind a consumer culture for Apple products that doesn't exist for any other company or product line, and whether you're a fan of devices like the iPhone and iPad, or if you can't stand the rabid reception Apple products always elicit, you can't help but admire the business savvy he possessed. In remembrance of the man who built what would now become the world's most valuable company (Apple's market capitalization is currently a staggering $625.06 billion),... Read more...
Most economists will agree that you have to spend money to make money, but the trick is not to go overboard with the former. It's a balancing act Sony finds itself in at this very moment, having spent $1.8 billion in just the last three months acquiring companies and assets, such as buying a 51 percent stake in Olympus for $645 million just weeks ago. Should Sony's investors be worried? That depends on what happens next for Sony. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and for Sony's fiscal year ended March 31, the electronics maker revealed a 9.6 percent slippage in revenue compared to one year ago. Sony's fiscal-year loss reached a record $5.55 billion, which means it was the worst year... Read more...
We had the absolute pleasure of attending Maker Faire 2012 in New York last weekend, where we got to see first hand the hubbub surrounding 3D printing, a promising technology that's been receiving so much attention lately, and rightfully so. It's clear to us and to many others that 3D printing isn't a passing fad, but perhaps an evolutionary step in the field of manufacturing, if not revolutionary, and that has some people very nervous. You see, 3D printing has the potential to shake up the consumer landscape as we know it. Not today, not tomorrow, and probably not even within the next few years -- today's machines are too expensive and limited in functionality to, say, print a pair of jeans... Read more...
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