When new camera technology appears first in smartphones instead of in cameras, it’s yet another sign that mobile computing is driving innovation. Development dollars tend to favor the most popular or most profitable products, and right now smartphones and tablets are getting beaucoups love.
Note: This column first appeared in the November issue of the magazine.
If you find it's too much trouble to hike down to the local grocery mart or corner store when you need to get your Hershey chocolate fix, you'll be delighted to know you may soon be able to just print out candies from home. Yes, we're talking about the 3D printing craze, but rather than make objects out of plastic, 3D Systems and Hershey are working together to deliver technology that will allow you to print confectionery treats at home.
Ever wondered what it would be like to sit on the bench during an NBA game? One way to find out is to practice your dribbling and shooting skills until you get drafted or noticed and signed by one of the 30 teams. Even then it's a long shot that all that hard work will pay off, so if you're looking for a different way, tune in to watch the Sacramento Kings go up against the Indiana Pacers on January 24, 2014. Unlike any previous NBA game, the upcoming matchup will feature the Kings and other personnel wearing Google Glass on the sidelines.
Chances are high you know someone with diabetes. My dad is diagnosed with it and gives himself an insulin shot each day. I have a young nephew who suffers from it as well. People with diabetes have the daily challenge of keeping their blood sugar levels in check, which means monitoring what they eat, when they eat, and how much they eat, among other things. It's a bum rap, but to make things easier, Google has begun testing a smart contact lens that measures glucose levels using a miniaturized sensor embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material.
Surely by disconnecting your PC from the Internet and bashing your cable modem with a hammer you'll be safe from the prying eyes of the National Security Agency (NSA), right? Wrong. Like a bad sci-fi movie that keeps unveiling unlikely technologies, it's now being reported that the NSA has been using radio waves to tap into offline PCs since at least 2008.
We interview AMD to get the lowdown on the company's new, 3D immersive sound technology
Perhaps the biggest surprise—and the best kept secret of AMD’s new R7 and R9 graphics chips--was the inclusion of a new advanced audio technology dubbed TrueAudio. That’s right, a video card with audio support. With advanced PC audio considered a long forgotten technology, Maximum PC played 23 questions with AMD’s Carl Wakeland. Wakeland is a Fellow Design Engineer and considered the “author” of TrueAudio.
Maximum PC: In one sentence TrueAudio is:
AMD: A programmable audio core built into the GPU, representing our effort to breathe life into game audio environments as the programmable graphics pipeline breathed life into the diversity of PC graphics.
There's a chill in the air that wasn't there a few weeks ago, the leaves are starting to change color, and old man Jenkins has already called the cops three times because those pesky kids keep crossing over his lawn in the wee hours of the morning. Yep, it's the end of summer and the beginning of the back-to-school shopping season. Are you prepared? Do you have all the electronics and gadgets you need to survive another semester of classes? What about your offspring?
Flicks with a pulse on where technology was headed
You can yell, "Beam me up, Scotty!" all you want, the only thing that will happen is you'll elicit a bunch of bemused stares from passersby wondering if you've bonked your head recently. The sad fact is human teleportation devices don't yet exist in 2013, and even if they did, the tremendous lag would make it extraordinarily impractical. Such is the reality of science that it doesn't always mesh with our fantastic visions of fictional futures filled with flying cars and other implausible technologies. In other words, reality sucks compared to what we've grown up watching on television.
It's hard to argue against the success ARM has had in the mobile space. Arguably no other company has a larger footprint in the smartphone and tablet market, and it's all done through licensing its technology to third parties. Nvidia, whose own Tegra line is based on ARM's architecture, has been paying attention to ARM's business savvy and will soon begin licensing its Kepler GPU technology to other companies.
Over the years, there’s been talk on and off about a technology called Deep Packet Inspection, but apart from sounding like the title of sysadmin-themed porn, why should you care?
Technically, DPI is what happens when an ISP looks past the headers, or metadata, of the packets that carry information all around the Internet and into the content. On its own, looking doesn’t hamper the Internet, but only that packet header is required by the machines that need to pump the cats through the series of tubes.
Note: This column originally appeared in the February 2013 issue of the magazine.