A study by market research firm In-Stat has found that our dependence on wires is rapidly waning with the rise in the sales of embedded Wi-Fi devices. The study pegged the sale of embedded Wi-Fi devices around the world at 294 million units in 2007. It expects the figure to leapfrog to 1 billion by 2012.
According to the study, Wi-Fi enabled cell phones will usurp PCs as the most popular (largest) category of Wi-Fi devices. Even digital TVs are expected to interact with a wide gamut of devices using Wi-Fi in the imminent future. As Wi-Fi marches towards ubiquity, there are some compatibility and security issues that need to be addressed urgently.
Recording to Blu-ray media looks to get a big boost from Sanyo, who announced the development of a new blue laser diode the company says is capable of burning 100GB of data in as little as 10 minutes.
Current Blu-ray media tops out at 50GB of storage space (dual-layer), but Sanyo's 5.6mm diode can emit a beam of 450 milliwatts, or roughly twice that of Sanyo's currently highest power laser for Blu-ray devices. The high power laser makes it possible to read and write data on up to four layers at a 12x speed. To put that into perspective, Sanyo says one disc could record up to 8 hours of high-definition content.
It will be awhile before the new diode finds its way into consumer products. Sanyo says it will be another 2 to 3 years before production takes place, and by then, who knows what the state of Blu-ray will be like.
A machine’s ability to think is something that’s been questioned for nearly half a century, thanks to mathematician Alan Turing. Turing, who helped decipher German military codes during WWII, created a test that is designed to find out if a machine can think on its own. The test consists of a machine attempting to fool a judge into believing that it could be a human by having a text-based conversation on any subject. If the computer’s responses convince the judge that they are speaking with a human, then it has passed the Turing test, and is believed to be capable of thought.
This Sunday, six computer programs will be put through the Turing test in an attempt to win their creator not only an 18-carat gold medal and $100,000, but to prove that computers are capable of thought. The programs competing for the prize go by the names Alice, Brother Jerome, Elbot, Eugene Goostman, Jabberwacky and Ultra Hal. While the names sound like those of rejected VH1 reality show contestant names, they’re far more intelligent, and won’t be spitting on any of their opponents anytime soon.
Should the computers be found to have the ability to think, it’ll raise ethical questions as to how conscious a computer is, and if humans have the “right” to switch them off.
But the Turing test isn’t for everyone. "The test is misguided. Everyone thinks it's you pitting yourself against a computer and a human, but it's you pitting yourself against a computer and computer programmer,” criticizes Professor AC Grayling of Birkbeck College, “AI is an exciting subject, but the Turing test is pretty crude."
Do you think you’ve got what it takes to decipher whether or not you’re talking to a computer? Test your mental mettle after the jump.
Last Friday the world’s largest computing grid was launched in order to help tackle the nearly 15 million gigabytes of data that will be coming out of the Large Hadron Collider every year. 33 countries are already contributing 140 computer centers to the project, but with that much data, they’ll need worldwide assistance.
Here in the U.S. we’ve got 15 universities and three Department of Energy national laboratories contributing their power to the project (and maybe you, if you’ve decided to contribute your spare CPU cycles to the project). And every last bit of that help will be needed, because when the LHC finally gets up to full speed it will produce enough data to fill six CD’s per second.
Once the data has been processed, physicists from around the world will begin searching for he tiny signals that will lead them to discoveries about the nature of the physical universe. And perhaps then, they’ll be able to explain just why they LHC will rock us in the head.
With a design so simple it falls under the “I-can’t-believe-no-one-else-thought-of-this-before” category, Sangho Jin of Yanko Design’s hanging hard drive concept is looking to clear up desk clutter, one tiny footprint at a time.
The hanging hard drive, which would mount to your laptop’s screen, provides a nice way to add additional storage to your machine without using valuable desk space. Granted, this simple shift in external HDD placement wouldn’t change any lives, there are definitely plenty of laptop users out there worried about aesthetics (looking at you, Mac users), and to them this will be a welcome change.
“Portable hard drives are not really THAT portable if you have to tote around another peripheral but maybe you should have bought a laptop with a bigger hard drive! OOO Zing! No I didn’t! Yes, yes I did just go there,” writes Yanko Design’s Long Tran on the concept’s page, “Kidding aside, the Hang it On hard drive encloser lets you hang you 2.5” companion off the back of your lappie’s LCD screen. Sure, now your MacBook Air looks like it has a tumor growing off it’s svelt lines but at least you’ll get more than a measily 80GB.”
SSD’s are hot, but how do you mount your new 2.5-inch solid state drive in a 3.5-inch bay without it looking ghettolicious?
The answer: Use a VelociRaptor’s extruded aluminum shell with Intel’s wicked fast SSD. The result is one a combination even better than peanut butter and chocolate if we may so say our selves.
Does it make sense to do this with a live VelociRaptor? Probably not, but we just happened to have a dead unit and rather than toss it in the garbage, we shucked out the dead drive by removing the four Torqx screws and mounted the Intel X25-M in its place. You can actually do this with a live VelociRaptor but you’ll immediately void the warranty on the drive. Does an SSD need all that aluminum to keep it cool? The answer is no, but it sure looks cool, right?
Western Digital's making a plea to those who are concerned about the environment yet still need oodles of hard drive space. The company's new 1TB Caviar Green drive delivers on both fronts. WD stuffs three 333GB platters in its new drive along with a beefy 32MB of cache, the most currently available on any consumer desktop drive. The company says the platter density and large cache help reduce the power draw by up to 20 percent while increasing performance by 10 percent.
But it's the performance that will have power users feeling the wrong kind of green. The new Caviar checks in with a poky 5400RPM spindle speed, trading off raw performance for noise management and power savings. Price becomes another trade off with WD setting the MSRP to $219, a good chunk higher than what many other 1TB drives are commanding on Newegg. Whether or not the new Green Caviar falls more in line with the competition on the street remains to be seen.
Barcelona might have been a sullen nightmare for AMD but it seems to have moved on. It has now pinned its hopes on Shanghai, a quad-core processor for the server market, which happens to be its first processor to be synthesized on a 45-nanometer process.
The company has begun shipping Shanghai to its OEM partners. Shanghai will be launched ahead of time, before the end of this year, unlike Barcelona that was plagued by delays.
This multi-function Wi-Fi device is super handy in some applications; utterly useless in others. It’s great if you have an extensive hardwired network and want to deploy a wireless access point and a three-port switch in a room your Wi-Fi router can’t otherwise reach. But it sucks as a wireless bridge because of its extremely poor range.
Since our last Budget Badass update back in July, the hardware industry has made some dramatic turns as far as new technology goes. With the release of the energy-efficient Penryn core from Intel, we took a side step away from the Kentsfield core and took a swing at the Q9300. While the Q9300 sports a slightly smaller cache than the Q6600, we found the Penryn to perform better in our tests. With the extra leeway we had in the budget from the previous configuration, we also swapped out the Radeon 4870 for a beefier GTX 280 while keeping the final price tag under $1500. Now this, my friends, is what we would like to call a Budget Badass!