Items tagged with Technology

As any parent will attest, it's usually your kids that make you feel old, as all their little (and big) milestones are constant reminders of how quickly time truly does fly. In this business of covering all things technology, where things move at a feverish pace, iconic websites that stand the test of time have the same effect. So it goes with Slashdot, a site that's been serving up popular "News for Nerds" and "Stuff that matters" for the past 15 years. Where has the time gone? Featuring user-submitted news in blog format, Slashdot is one of our favorite websites, and one of the most popular around with some 3.7 million unique visitors per month. "Slashdot exists for and because of everyone... Read more...
Well here's a bit of promising news. According to a survey conducted by IDC Manufacturing Insights for the United Parcel Service (UPS), around 85 percent of technology executives polled in the U.S. believe President Obama will successfully achieve his goal of doubling exports within the the next three years. Going back to 2010, only 40 percent of pollsters believed the Obama administration could achieve its export goal. "It's really being driven by this emerging middle class that have more disposable income and a heavy appetite for technology products like cell phones, tablets, and laptops," Ken Rankin, a high-tech marketing director at UPS in Atlanta, told Reuters in an interview. Free trade... Read more...
Think you've seen it all? Think again. We'd bet the farm you've never witnessed a popcorn machine that shoots those delicious popped kernels into your mouth on command. The Popinator Project, conceived by Popcorn Indiana, is a wonderfully geeky device touted as the "world's first automated voice activated popcorn shooter." Just say the word 'pop' and it will fire a snack towards your mouth. As silly (and ridiculously fun) as a popcorn launching machine sounds, there's actually some impressive electrical engineering at work. Voice activation is just one component. The Popinator uses a fancy binaural microphone system that analyzes sound waves to figure out where the word 'pop' originated from.... Read more...
Sanjay Dastoor, co-founder of Boosted Boards, claims that 50 percent of all trips people take in cars are under 5 miles, and that's 20 percent of all commutes. Considering the average automobile weighs several thousands pounds, it seems like overkill for all those short trips, doesn't it? Hence the reason Dastoor and others created Boosted Boards, purportedly "the world's lightest electric vehicle." Calling it a "vehicle" is being a little liberal with the definition. Boosted Boards are actually elongated electric skateboards that weigh 12 pounds. Lithium batteries provide 2,000 watts of power -- enough to go up to 6 miles before needing a recharge -- and twin brushless motors push the plank... Read more...
Samsung, the world's most active memory chip maker, announced today that it's begun constructing a new facility in Xi'an, China that will make use of advanced 10-nanometer class technology in producing NAND flash memory chips. The South Korean company said it's investing $2.3 billion in the new fab, marking the single largest investment by Samsung in China with a phased total investment of $7 billion. "It is a great honor to announce our groundbreaking at Xi'an, a city of tremendous historic and academic significance, as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and China," Samdung Vice Chairman and CEO Dr. Oh-hyun Kwon said in a statement. "At this time, our memory... Read more...
A real cheetah can run as fast as 70-75 mph in short bursts, so DARPA's Cheetah robot still has a ways to go in that regard. But as far as robotics go, DARPA's mechanical Cheetah is the fastest legged robot in the history of mankind, hitting a top speed of 28.3 mph on camera (see embedded video below). To put that into perspective, Cheetah is capable of exceeding the speed limit in residential areas. It's also faster than Usain Bolt, who set the world speed record for a human in 2009 when he hit a peak speed of 27.78 mph during a 20-meter split. So, what's the point? "Modeling the robot after a cheetah is evocative and inspiring, but our goal is not to copy nature. What DARPA is doing with its... Read more...
How do you land a car-sized rover on the planet Mars? NASA answered that question with eight years of careful planning and around nine months of space travel culminating in the most advanced rover ever touching down on the Red Planet last night at 10:32 p.m. PDT. Score one of the home team. The one-ton rover called Curiosity will now begin a two-year mission to investigate whether the region ever offered conditions favorable for microbial life, NASA said. But before embarking on that mission, Curiosity had to survive what NASA dubbed "Seven Minutes of Terror," so called because the seven minutes prior to landing involved a combination of complex technologies never before attempted in outer space.... Read more...
There are plenty of economic uncertainties to go around in the global market, but despite it all, International Data Corporation believes the demand remains strong for semiconductors, particularly those used in smartphones, media tablets, and automotive electronics. By the time 2012 comes to a close, IDC predicts worldwide semiconductor revenues will have grown 4.6 percent to a healthy $315 billion. From there, IDC's crystal ball sees semiconductor revenues growing an additional 6.2 percent to $335 billion in 2013, and topping $380 billion four years from now. "As we forecasted earlier this year, the cyclical semiconductor downturn that started in the middle of last year reached bottom in the... Read more...
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has given its stamp of approval for a system based on the Select iBall, the world's first intelligent soccer ball that detects when it crosses the goal line and then communicates that information to scorekeepers and referees. FIFA has been testing the iBall for the past few months and approved one final test that could one day end up being used in professional soccer games. If you were to tear open Select's iBall, you'd find a web of copper wires, which uses induction to communicate with a panel of antennas mounted to the goal frame. As soon as the soccer ball crosses over, it sends a signal to the referee's wristwatch... Read more...
When machine finally decides to rise against man, the human race is going to have its hands full. For one, it's a well known fact that robots have super human strength and pose a particular problem for senior citizens (we're not making this up, but Old Glory Insurance might be). They're also cheaters, so don't go hoping for a fair fight. Maybe not all robots are cheaters, but the one built and programmed by researchers at Ishikawa Oku Laboratory in Japan is certainly a scoundrel. It only has three fingers, but it will beat any five-fingered human opponent at Rock, Paper, Scissors every time. You could play against it 100 times and it would lay paper over your rock, cut your paper with scissors,... Read more...
Amazon founder and chief executive officer, Jeff Bezos, once held a job flipping burgers at McDonald's. Today his net worth is estimated at $20.2 billion, making him the richest Internet entrepreneur in the entire world. He's far from the only one to have made billions on the Internet, however, as there are at least 30 people who leveraged the Web in some way, shape, or form to increase their net worth to 10 figures. Larry Page, co-founder and current CEO of Google, is worth $17.5 billion and is the second richest Internet businessman in the world, according to a recently compiled list of the Web's wealthiest Web folks. Behind him is Sergey Brin ($17.4 billion), the other co-founder of Google... Read more...
We don't know what the going rate is for venturing off to infinity and beyond, but if you'd like to boldly go where man has gone a few times before, a company called Excalibur Almaz will take you there... for a price. The commercial aerospace company said it's ready to start selling tourists trips to the moon, tickets of which will reportedly cost around $155 million at the outset. "Suborbital flight experience will serve as an integral preparatory step for the safety, education and enjoyment of our customers traveling on crew expedition missions," said Art Dula, Excalibur Almaz Founder and Chairman. "The XCOR flights will enhance the overall spaceflight experience of our program and will help... Read more...
Three months ago, Gartner was predicting that worldwide PC shipments would reach 368 million units by the end of the year (not including tablet PCs), and more than 400 million in 2013. That projection worked out to a 4.4 percent growth rate in 2012. And now? According to GeekWire, Gartner is lowering its projected growth rate to just 0.9 percent for the year, a downward adjustment of 3.5 percent. Gartner hasn't made its new projection public yet, but GeekWire claims that a Wall Street analyst has seen the new numbers and posted them in a note to investors over the weekend. Image Source: Flickr (redjar) It's unclear what the reasons are for lowering the PC shipment forecast, and what's even more... Read more...
At nearly $590 per share, you might be wondering how you can afford to purchase shares of Apple (AAPL), especially in this economy. But if you have money to invest, a better question to ask is how can you afford not to purchase Apple stock? That might sound absurd, but in a note to investors, Topeka Capital Market's Brian White reiterated a Buy rating and said that "investors should think of Apple's market cap potential in terms of trillions, not billions." White's recommendation comes at a time when some are wondering if $500 billion is a market threshold above which Apple will have a hard time moving past, similar to how other $500 billion companies in the past seemed to get stuck. Image Source:... Read more...
In the movie Gladiator, Proximo offers words of advice to Maximus, telling him "Win the crowd, and you will win your freedom." If Proximo was alive today and enjoyed a career as a market analyst, he'd tell tech firms, "Win the women, and you'll win profits for your investors." He might also be ignored and his advice dismissed, shrugged off as someone who doesn't understand the tech industry where young men between the ages of 18 to 35 are the most important demographic. Or are they? Alexis Madrigal, senior editor at The Atlantic, suggests otherwise, saying "The body of evidence amassed by Intel researcher Genevieve Bell indisputably shows that men's role in technology adoption continues to be... Read more...
Tapping into sunlight to provide solar energy is generally good for the environment, most people can agree on that. But the technology behind today's solar cells isn't as efficient as you might think. Today's 'Grätzel cells' are the standard for low-cost solar panels and are relatively easy to manufacture. That's all well and good, but the downside is that they don't last all that long. These dye-sensitized cells use an electrolyte made from an organic liquid that has a tendency to leak and corrode the actual solar cell. With that in mind, researchers from Northwestern University developed a new material for the electrolyte that starts off as a liquid but turns into a solid mass. They claim... Read more...
Some days, technology comes in the form of a new MP3 player or new GPU.  But new technologies  might not always be directly related to a consumer product, but still have the potential to make a serious impact in our every day world. Panasonic has this week introduced an advanced radar technology for next-generation traffic safety systems that enables to detect humans and vehicles in a range of several tens of meters. This millimeter-wave radar technology allows for detecting objects outdoors in poor visibility conditions, such as night, rain and snow, as well as against the sunlight. When applied in traffic surveillance sensors located at intersections, this technology will help increase... Read more...
Patents seemingly make the world go 'round, particularly in the technology space these days. Android, iOS, Samsung, Google, AOL, Microsoft -- hardly a day goes by without someone's patent portfolio making the (positive or negative) news. Today, Microsoft and Facebook are the ones in the spotlight, announcing an agreement under which Microsoft will assign to Facebook the right to purchase a portion of the patent portfolio it recently agreed to acquire from AOL Inc. Those hundreds of patents were purchased in a bulk buy for around $1 billion from AOL, and now Facebook has agreed to pay for the portion it wants for $550 million in cash. There were rumors that Facebook put in a bid a while back for... Read more...
Despite all the lawsuits with Apple and bickering over patent claims, injunctions, and all the other behind the scenes drama, Samsung has hit its stride, posting record quarterly operating profit of 5.8 trillion won ($5.13 billion in United States currency). That's up from 2.95 trillion won ($2.6 billion) from one year ago, and up from 5.3 trillion won ($4.7 billion) from last quarter. Lee Ka-keun, an analyst at Hana Daetoo Securities, tells The New York Times that Samsung and Apple are about to "engage in a full-fledged war," with Samsung planning to launch its new Galaxy S smartphone in the second quarter and Apple prepping another iPhone model (iPhone 5 or 'new' iPhone). In the meantime, Samsung... Read more...
Slumping PC sales and a struggling economy have done nothing to stifle Intel's swagger, and in fact the Santa Clara chip maker is sitting pretty with its highest annual market share in more than a decade, according to data compiled by IHS iSuppli.The leading chip maker grew its overall semiconductor market share from 13.1 percent in 2010 to 15.6 percent in 2011, which is the highest it's been since at least 2001 when it reached 14.9 percent. "Intel in 2011 captured the headlines with its major surge in growth," said Dale Ford, head of electronics and semiconductor research for IHS. "The company’s rise was spurred by soaring demand for its PC-oriented microprocessors, and for its NAND flash... Read more...
Records are made to be broken, and that's exactly what Seagate is doing. The company has become the first hard drive maker to achieve the milestone storage density of 1 terabit (1 trillion bits) per square inch, producing a demonstration of the technology that promises to double the storage capacity of today’s hard drives upon its introduction later this decade and give rise to 3.5-inch hard drives with an extraordinary capacity of up to 60 terabytes over the 10 years that follow. The bits within a square inch of disk space, at the new milestone, far outnumber stars in the Milky Way, which astronomers put between 200 billion and 400 billion. The current hard drive technology, Perpendicular... Read more...
To celebrate its third anniversary as a chip manufacturing foundry, Globalfoundries over the weekend announced an agreement with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) to buy out all remaining shares to achieve full independence. Under the amended agreement, AMD will continue to be one of Globalfoundries' "primary and strategic customers," only without a stake in the foundry, which is now wholly owned by the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC). "Today marks the start of a new era for Globalfoundries as it becomes a truly independent foundry," said Globalfoundries CEO Ajit Manocha. "Globalfoundries has a clear vision to be the leading semiconductor foundry partner to AMD and one of the world's... Read more...
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