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Tech-news archive: January-February 2011

Kinect hacks: Surgery, subways and solid blocks
(Feb 22, 2011)

Microsoft claim that their Kinect accessory is the fastest-selling consumer electronics device in history. It's also probably one of the most hacked – since its launch hundreds of researchers, artists, and tech-heads have taken advantage of Kinect's cheap depth-sensing abilities.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

IBM's Watson
Computer finishes off human opponents on 'Jeopardy!'
(Feb 17, 2011)

Start the "computers are conquering the world" jokes now. "Jeopardy!" master Ken Jennings already has. The IBM supercomputer Watson won its second "Jeopardy!" game in Wednesday's edition of the TV show, completing a sweep of its two human opponents, including Jennings, who acknowledged mankind's trivia inferiority before the match was even over.

Read more. Source: CNN

Nanowire processor signals route to ever-smaller chips
(Feb 11, 2011)

Engineers have developed a computer chip made of tiny "nanowires" whose computing functions can be changed by applying small electric currents. These "programmable logic tiles" may represent the building blocks of a new generation of ever-smaller computers. Instead of etching chips down from chunks of material, the nanoprocessors can be built up from minuscule parts.

Read more. Source: BBC

Invisibility cloaking benefits from crystal-clear idea
(Feb 2, 2011)

Researchers have demonstrated an idea for an invisibility cloak using calcite, a common crystalline material. Cloaking relies on guiding light waves such that waves from a hidden object do not reach the eye. Calcite accomplishes this by sending the two polarizations of light – directions in which the light waves oscillate – in different directions.

Read more. Source: BBC

quantum entanglement graphic
Ethereal quantum state stored in solid crystal
(Jan 13, 2011)

Quantum entanglement has been captured in solid crystals, showing that it is more robust than once assumed. These entanglement traps could make quantum computing and communication more practical.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Thought-controlled game by Interaxon
Thought-controlled iPad app gets in your head
(Jan 5, 2011)

The future may lie in thought-controlled interfaces. At least that's what InteraXon, a tiny Toronto startup, is hoping to convince attendees of at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. One of its prototypes is a modified version of Zenbound, an iPad game that requires players to wrap a rope around wooden models by tilting and moving the device. InteraXon has partnered with designer Secret Exit to produce a demo-only version where movements are instead controlled by wearing a pair of headphones.

Read more. Source: New Scientist


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