Archive for the ‘Computer’ Category

All anxiety and excitement will now dry up as Microsoft has finally announced the launch of its new OS, Windows 8. The much awaited operating system would be unveiled on October 26, 2012 almost three years after the launch of Windows 7.

The latest in the Windows series, the new OS would be available from the releasing date onwards for the users of Windows XP, Vista, or 7 as upgradable software. The company would also let the PC makers start selling computers with Windows 8 the same day.

As an upgrade, the OS costs $ 40, much lesser compared to all the previous versions launched by Microsoft. Users who bought Windows 7 PC on or after June 2 can upgrade the OS for $ 15.

The new, touch-friendly Windows 8, as the company claims, would revamp the entire series with its hallmark features. It is designed to run on tablets in addition to the traditional desktops.

Microsoft will also be launching Windows RT, the version exclusively designed to run on tablets alone, along with Windows 8. RT would run on those tablets that are powered by processors similar to that of iPad.

Moreover, Microsoft Corp plans to release its own tablet “Surface”, which would support Windows RT OS. The company has launched the new version of Office and has planned for renewed phone software. It also looks forward for new versions of Windows OS in every three years.

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A new kind of memory chip made from silicon could be a hundred times faster than standard Flash memory chips, British scientists say.

Researchers at the University College London reported in the Journal of Applied Physics that they have developed a new kind of Resistive RAM (ReRAM) memory chip.

The chip is based on materials whose electrical resistance changes when a voltage is applied, and they “remember” this change even when the power is turned off.

ReRAM chips promise significantly greater memory storage than current technology, such as the Flash memory used on USB sticks, and require much less energy and space.

“Our ReRAM memory chips are around a hundred times faster than standard Flash memory chips,” Xinhua quoted Tony Kenyon of UCL as saying.

Sam Pitroda, advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Wednesday launched the country’s first cloud-based tablet solution for school students called ‘e-tutor tablet’.

This can be used by students from Class 1 to 12. Priced at 7,500, inclusive of content, the product would be available in the market from April onwards. The e-tutor tablet is a joint effort of Technopark-based e-tutor and Oztern Technology.

Ranjith Balan, founder and managing director of e-tutor, said that this will be the first complete solution for education to be made available on Tablet PCs.

“The teacher can easily explain concepts using the digital whiteboard that is set up in the Tablet PC. Using e-tutor learning tablet the students can access what was taught in the classroom and can also access the collaborative learning platform for discussions on relevant topics taught in the classroom,” said Balan.

The product is also aimed at making internet a safer place for children. E-tutor tablet safeguards the connectivity from the personalized Tablets PCs provided as a part of the solution, and restrict it to connect to internet only through the synchronization module in the product.

Detailing on the technology, Saiju V. Stella, CEO of Oztern Technology, said cloud computing technology can bring about a major leap in the way technology is being used in the educational sector.

“Most of the technology products available in the market today for education act as teaching aids rather than learning aids. Cloud computing also fulfills another major social commitment by reducing the carbon emissions, from dedicated servers and data centres that consume huge amounts of energy, thus making computing more energy efficient and green,” said Stella.

Lessons will be made available to the learner through personalised Tablet PCs, and regular content updates will be made available through a unique cloud – tablet synch mechanism, thus making sure that the device connects only to the relevant locations to access content.

Rajinish Menon, director, Business Strategy and Operations, Microsoft, who was present at the occasion, expressed his happiness to see partners like Oztern coming up with innovative solutions in the education sector using Microsoft Windows Azure which is Microsoft’s cloud computing infrastructure.

Cloud computing is a technology that uses internet and central remote servers to maintain data and applications. Cloud computing allows consumers and businesses to use applications without installation and access their personal files at any computer with internet access. This technology allows for much more efficient computing by centralizing storage, memory, processing and bandwidth.

“Synthetic biology” is accelerating “faster than computer technology”, say experts who have warned that hackers could someday use it to develop a computer virus to bend human minds.

According to Andrew Hessel of Singularity University on US space agency NASA’s research campus, “It could lead to a world where hackers could engineer viruses or bacteria to control human minds.

“This is one of the most powerful technologies in the world. Synthetic biology the writing of life. I advocate cells are living computers and DNA is a programming language.

“I want to see life programmed and used to solve global challenges so that humanity can achieve a sustainable relationship within the biosphere. It’s growing fast. It will grow faster than computer technologies.”

He predicts a world where people can “print” DNA, and even “decode” it. But he warned that viruses and bacteria send chemicals into human brains and could someday be used to influence, or even “control” people, ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

A literal virus injected into a “host” in the guise of a vaccine, say could be used to control behaviour, says Hessel who warns people “may’ve to learn how to counterattack” against such weapons.

Bangalore: Imagine searching the internet simply by thinking. Well, your imagination may soon turn into reality, say scientists who claim to be developing a computer which reads human minds.

A team at Intel Corporation is working on a new technology which will directly interpret words as they are thought, unlike current brain-controlled computers which require users to imagine making physical movements to control a cursor on a screen.

In fact, the scientists are creating detailed maps of the activity in the brain for individual words which can then be matched against the brain activity of someone using the computer, allowing the machine to determine the word they are thinking, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Preliminary tests of the system have shown that the computer can work out words by looking at similar brain patterns and looking for key differences that suggest what the word might be.

Dean Pomerleau, of Intel Laboratories, said, “The computer uses a form of 20 questions to narrow down what the word is.” So a food related word like apple produces activity in those parts of the brain related to hunger. So the computer can infer attributes to each word being thought about and this lets the computer zero down on what the word is pretty quickly.

“We are currently mapping out the activity an average brain produces when thinking about different words. It means you’ll be able to write letters, open emails or do Google searches just by thinking,” Pomerleau said.