Zothecula writes "If you've ever worn a knee brace, then you may have noticed what a large change in angle your knee goes through with every step you take, and how quickly it does so. A team of scientists from the U.K.'s Cranfield University, University of Liverpool and University of Salford certainly noticed, and decided that all that movement should be put to use. The result is a wearable piezoelectric device that converts knee movement into electricity, which could in turn be used to power gadgets such as heart rate monitors, pedometers and accelerometers."
rover42 writes "I travel a lot, usually on a tight budget and often on airlines with tight luggage weight restrictions and high fees for going over, so traveling light is very important to me. So is connecting to the net when traveling, which creates a conflict. I do not trust machines in Internet cafes and my laptop adds significant weight & bulk to my luggage. I could buy a small netbook or a MacBook Air, but is there another choice? There are quite a few tiny computers available, Raspberry Pi and the like. Alone, they don't solve my problem because you need a screen and that is at least as heavy as a laptop. However, there are also quite a few tiny projectors. Would a tiny computer plus a tiny projector do the trick? Which ones? All I need for software is some open source Unix (any *BSD or Linux distro should be fine, or even Minix), a browser and an editor. I don't need large storage or a fast CPU. Has anyone done something like this? Does anyone have a recommendation for either the computer or the projector?"
MojoKid writes "For over 10 years, the desktop and mobile graphics space has been dominated by two players: Nvidia and AMD/ATI. After 3dfx collapsed, there was a brief period of time when it looked as though Imagination Technologies might establish itself as a third option. Ultimately, that didn't happen — the company's tile-based rendering solution, Kyro, failed to gain mass-market support and faded after two generations. Now, there's a flurry of evidence to suggest that Imagination Technologies plans to re-enter PC market, but from the opposite direction. Rather than building expensive discrete solutions, IT is focused on deploying GPUs that can challenge Nvidia and AMD solutions in tablets, mobile phones, and possibly netbooks. Over the past two weeks, Imagination Technologies has announced new, higher-end versions of its Power VR Series 6 GPU, claiming that the new Power VR G6230 and G6430 go '"all out," adding incremental extra area for maximum performance whilst minimising power consumption.' There's a new ray-tracing SDK out and a post discussing how PowerVR is utilizing GPU Compute and OpenCL to offload and accelerate CPU-centric tasks." Update: 06/17 17:53 GMT by T : Related: An anonymous reader adds a link to a new project from the FSF to reverse engineer the PowerVR SGX.
An anonymous reader writes "A 56-page leaked document details Microsoft's plans to build a Project Glass competitor. Kinect Glasses is marked as a 2014 project designed to connect to a future Xbox 720 console. The document also includes potential pricing for the next Xbox — $299 with a Kinect 2."
An anonymous reader writes "Phoronix constructed a low-cost, low-power 12-core ARM cluster running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and made out of six PandaBoard ES OMAP4460 dual-core ARMv7 Cortex A9 chips. Their results show the ARM hardware is able to outperform Intel Atom and AMD Fusion processors in performance-per-Watt, except it sharply loses out to the latest-generation Intel Ivy Bridge processors." This cluster offers a commendable re-use of kitchenware. Also, this is a good opportunity to recommend your favorite de-bursting tools for articles spread over too many pages.
Glasswire writes "ComputerWorld reports that Microsoft will announce a Microsoft-branded tablet on Monday running the Win RT (ARM-based) subset version of Win 8. MSFT choose not to offer a x86 Win 8 version, which could have given them a performance advantage over ARM-based Apple iPads. A PCMag opinion piece titled 'A Microsoft Tablet Would Be Dumb' says, 'The only real reason to introduce a Microsoft-branded tablet is because Microsoft couldn't get anyone else to make a Windows RT tablet.' No reaction yet from Microsoft's system OEM customers that it will now be competing with."
An anonymous reader writes "Sometimes, it's the oldest machines that are the most fascinating. PC & Tech Authority has posted this gallery of photos of the first automatic electronic stored-program computer in Australia and one of the first in the world — CSIRAC. The photos show a machine massive in size — the main system comprised nine steel cabinets containing 2000 valves that weighed over 7000kg. Using valve technology and World War II radar systems as a starting point, the machine was used for various purposes including weather forecasting, forestry, loan repayments and building design. It boasted a 1000Hz memory clock and a serial bus that transferred one bit at a time. The system generated so much heat, cool air needed to be blown up through the cabinets from the basement below. In addition to being Australia's first computer, it is also said to have been the first computer to play digital music anywhere in the world. When CSIRAC was turned off for the last time, a witness described it as 'like something alive dying.'" Museum Victoria has some short but informative pages about CSIRAC, too, including this one about programming the thing, and another about the dangers and annoyances of working on it.
ArmageddonLord writes with this news from the IEEE Spectrum, reporting on display industry gathering Display Week: "Liquid crystal displays dominate today's big, bright world of color TVs. But they're inefficient and don't produce the vibrant, richly hued images of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens, which are expensive to make in large sizes. Now, a handful of start-up companies aim to improve the LCD by adding quantum dots, the light-emitting semiconductor nanocrystals that shine pure colors when excited by electric current or light. When integrated into the back of LCD panels, the quantum dots promise to cut power consumption in half while generating 50 percent more colors. Quantum-dot developer Nanosys says an LCD film it developed with 3M is now being tested, and a 17-inch notebook incorporating the technology should be on shelves by year's end."
Lucas123 writes "New numbers show hybrid drives, which combine NAND flash with spinning disk, will double in sales from 1 million to 2 million units this year. Unfortunately for Seagate — the only manufacturer of hybrids — solid-state drive sales are expected to hit 18 million units this year and 69 million by 2016. Low-capacity, cache SSDs, which typically have 20GB to 40GB of capacity and run along side hard drives in notebooks and desktops, will see their shipments rise even more this year to 23.9 million units, up by an astounding 2,660% from just 864,000 units in 2011. Shipments will then jump to 67.7 million units next year, cross the hundred-million-unit mark in 2015, and hit 163 million units by 2016, according to IHS iSuppli. If hybrid drives are to have a chance at surviving, more manufacturers will need to produce them, and they'll need to come in thinner form factors to fit today's ultrabook laptops."
coondoggie writes "It's not one-of-a-kind, but it's pretty darn close. Sotheby's this week auctioned off a rare, working Apple 1 computer for $374,500 to an unnamed bidder. The price was more than double the expected price listed on the Sotheby's web site. Sotheby's notes about the Apple 1 say it is one of six thought-to-be-operational boxes and one of about 50 known to exist."
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from ZDNet: "The launch of the Orange San Diego, the first handset using an Intel Atom processor, marks a big milestone for the chipmaker: it's finally in the smartphone market. But does the market need Intel at all? ... Intel's scale and the reach of its other divisions gives [Mike] Bell's smartphone unit a boost; for example, it can reuse code optimizations for Atom done by the desktop team. ... Even so, the smartphone team has got a tough job on its hands — but it's one Intel has to tackle, according to Carolina Milanesi, mobile analyst at Gartner. 'This is certainly an attack strategy for Intel. The smartphone market is so large now that they need a piece of the pie,' she said. But will consumers care whether their handset runs on an Intel chip? Bell conceded that aside from the tech-savvy, most people probably don't know which chip is inside their phone. It's likely, given the lack of advertising on this, that most probably don't care — making Intel's job even harder."
MrSeb writes "In an interview with ExtremeTech, Mike Bell — Intel's new mobile chief, previously of Apple and Palm — has completely dismissed the decades-old theory that x86 is less power efficient than ARM. 'There is nothing in the instruction set that is more or less energy efficient than any other instruction set,' Bell says. 'I see no data that supports the claims that ARM is more efficient.' The interview also covers Intel's inherent tech advantage over ARM and the foundries ('There are very few companies on Earth who have the capabilities we've talked about, and going forward I don't think anyone will be able to match us' Bell says), the age-old argument that Intel can't compete on price, and whether Apple will eventually move its iOS products from ARM to x86, just like it moved its Macs from Power to x86 in 2005."
Barence writes "PC Pro's Davey Winder has written a first-hand account of how he overhauled his PC workstation to cope with a sudden deterioration of his eyesight. Winder contracted wet macular degeneration, a progressive disease that strikes very quickly, and turns items in the field of vision into a grey smudge. He explains how he continued his work as a journalist by changing his word processor, swapping his desktop monitor for a touchscreen, and by replacing his keyboard with an Accuratus Monster keyboard (or Big Freaky Yellow Keyboard, as he's renamed it). He also explains why he had to swap his favourite Chrome browser for Internet Explorer, and how a £3.99 iPhone app saved him from spending hundreds of pounds on a dedicated hardware reader."
New submitter beefsack writes "Thanks to the strong ARM support in the Ubuntu repositories, Ubuntu, along with Lubuntu and others have been ported to work on the new MK802 mini PC. Performance is very impressive, especially given that Mali GPU driver support in Linux is still lacking features such as hardware video decoding."
MrSeb writes "Neuroengineers at MIT have created an implantable fuel cell that generates electricity from the glucose present in the cerebrospinal fluid that flows around your brain and spinal cord. The glucose-powered fuel cell is crafted out of silicon and platinum, using standard semiconductor fabrication processes. The platinum acts as a catalyst, stripping electrons from glucose molecules, similar to how aerobic animal cells (such as our own) strip electrons from glucose with enzymes and oxygen. The glucose fuel cell produces hundreds of microwatts (i.e. tenths of a milliwatt), which is a surprisingly large amount — it comparable to the solar cell on a calculator, for example. This should be more than enough power to drive complex computers — or perhaps more interestingly, trigger clusters of neurons in the brain. In theory, this glucose fuel cell will actually deprive your brain of some energy, though in practice you probably won't notice (or you might find yourself growing hungry sooner)."