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IBM to acquire Texas Memory Systems

August 17, 2012 9:53 am | News | Comments

IBM announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Texas Memory Systems (TMS), a developer of high-performance flash memory solutions. Following acquisition close, IBM plans to invest in and support the TMS product portfolio, and will look to integrate over time TMS technologies into a variety of solutions including storage, servers, software, and PureSystems offerings.

Quantum state of single atom controlled by simple electrode

August 17, 2012 4:11 am | News | Comments

In order to preserve the integrity of data in a quantum computer, the quantum mechanical system must be stable and shielded. But the information must also go in and come out.  Researchers in France and Germany report they have done this for the first time by reading out the quantum state of an atom directly by using electrodes.

An entirely new principle for information processing

August 15, 2012 8:10 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Germany have developed a complex network computer that is equally capable of performing arbitrary calculations as conventional computer, but does this under completely different conditions. Instead of a 0s and 1s in a binary system, this computer can in principle compute from, or be built from, any oscillating system, like a pendulum.

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3D facial reconstruction tools “shaves” faces virtually

August 13, 2012 4:48 am | News | Comments

Conventional face capturing is well established and widely utilized in the entertainment industry to capture a 3D model of an actor's face. However, up to now, no method was capable of reconstructing facial hair or even handling it appropriately. A new method developed at Disney Research in Switzerland captures individual strands of facial hair and stores them separately from the actual human face until added. Or “shaved” away.

Speedy ions could add zip to quantum computers

August 9, 2012 6:52 am | News | Comments

Take that, sports cars! Physicists at NIST can accelerate their beryllium ions from zero to 100 mph and stop them in just a few microseconds. What's more, the ions come to a complete stop and hardly feel the effects of the ride. And they're not just good for submicroscopic racing—NIST physicists think their zippy ions may be useful in future quantum computers.

Computer models calculate systems-wide costs of gene expression

August 8, 2012 6:16 am | News | Comments

Bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a method of modeling, simultaneously, an organism’s metabolism and its underlying gene expression. In addition to serving as a platform for investigating fundamental biological questions, this technology enables far more detailed calculations of the total cost of synthesizing many different chemicals, including biofuels.

New phenomenon in nanodisk magnetic vortices

August 8, 2012 3:48 am | News | Comments

New findings from a team of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Japanese scientists suggest that the road to magnetic vortex RAM might be more difficult to navigate than previously supposed, but there might be unexpected rewards as well. A study at the Advanced Light Source revealed that contrary to suppositions, the formation of magnetic vortices in ferromagnetic nanodisks is an asymmetric phenomenon.

Virtual nanoscopy: Like 'Google Earth' for cell biologists

August 7, 2012 4:23 am | News | Comments

Electron microscopy reveals cellular structures in high detail, but only tiny portions of a cell can be seen at a time. A team of scientists has tackled this problem by developing new tools for stitching together thousands of electron microscopy images into single, high-resolution images of biological tissues—a "Google Earth" for cell biologists. A newly enhanced viewer is available for public use.

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Major step taken towards “unbreakable” message exchange

August 3, 2012 8:42 am | News | Comments

Quantum key distribution is not a new phenomenon and has been in commercial use for several years to secure communication networks. Recently, however, single particles of light, also known as photons, have been produced and implemented into a wireless QKD link, transmitting 40 cm through the air.

Animation research could offer control of skeleton-free characters

August 3, 2012 7:45 am | News | Comments

While bipeds and quadrupeds have reigned supreme in CG animation, attempts to create and control their skeleton-free cousins using similar techniques has proved time-consuming and laborious. Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have found a possible solution to this challenge by developing a way to simulate and control movement of computer-generated characters without a skeletal structure, anything from starfish and earthworms to an elephant’s trunk or the human tongue.

The culprit that polluted the solar system

August 3, 2012 5:32 am | News | Comments

For decades it has been thought that a shock wave from a supernova explosion triggered the formation of our Solar System. Material from the exploding star generated cloud of dust and gas, which collapsed to form the Sun and its surrounding planets. New work from the Carnegie Institution provides the first fully 3D models for how this process could have happened.

Upgrading the Internet for the mobile age

August 2, 2012 10:23 am | News | Comments

When it comes to delivering data to users, the Web still works brilliantly. But for other functions such as allowing users to move between wireless networks or companies to shift traffic among servers, engineers are forced to implement increasingly cumbersome tweaks. A team of Princeton University researchers has released a plan to cut through that tangle and provide a simple solution to many of the problems involved with the Internet's growing pains.

Dealing with massive data from miniscule communities

August 2, 2012 5:32 am | News | Comments

It’s relatively easy to collect massive amounts of data on microbes. But the files are so large that it takes days to simply transmit them to other researchers and months to analyze once they are received. Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a new computational technique that relieves the logjam that these “big data” issues create.

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Ten-year-old problem in theoretical computer science falls

July 31, 2012 7:48 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Interactive proofs have emerged as one of the major research topics in theoretical computer science. In the classic interactive proof, a questioner with limited computational power tries to extract reliable information from a computationally powerful but unreliable respondent. The proofs get more complex with the addition of multiple respondents, and researchers recently solved a long-standing question about whether these types of proofs work in a quantum system.

Assay Depot partners with AstraZeneca to launch virtual research laboratory

July 31, 2012 5:00 am | News | Comments

Developed in partnership with AstraZeneca, a new private virtual laboratory product, Research Exchange, has been launched by Assay Depot. The cloud-based “laboratory” enables researchers to search for research services and vendors, communicate with experts, purchase services, and rate and review services through a single interface. 

Tech titans face off in court over iPhone, iPad

July 31, 2012 4:57 am | by Paul Elias, Associated Press | News | Comments

With billions of dollars and control of the U.S. smartphone and computer tablets markets at stake, jury selection began Monday in a closely watched trial between two of the world's leading tech companies over patents. Cupertino-based Apple is demanding $2.5 billion in damages from Samsung Electronics Co., an award that would dwarf the largest patent-related verdict to date.

Data visualization tool helps find the 'unknown unknowns'

July 26, 2012 3:30 am | News | Comments

A research team at the Georgia Tech Research Institute has developed a software tool that enables users to perform in-depth analysis of modeling and simulation data, then visualize the results on screen. The new data analysis and visualization tool offers improved ease of use compared to similar tools, the researchers say, and could be readily adapted for use with existing data sets in a variety of disciplines.

Single-photon transmitter could enable new quantum devices

July 25, 2012 9:45 am | News | Comments

In theory, quantum computers should be able to perform certain kinds of complex calculations much faster than conventional computers, and quantum-based communication could be invulnerable to eavesdropping. But producing quantum components for real-world devices has proved to be fraught with daunting challenges. Now, a team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University has achieved a crucial long-term goal of such efforts.

“Control-Alt-Hack” game lets players try their hand at computer security

July 24, 2012 5:28 pm | by Hannah Hickey | News | Comments

Do you have what it takes to be an ethical hacker? Can you step into the shoes of a professional paid to outsmart supposedly locked-down systems? "Control-Alt-Hack", a new card game developed by University of Washington computer scientists, gives teenage and young-adult players a taste of what it means to be a computer-security professional defending against an ever-expanding range of digital threats.

Astronomers find pulsar with a tremendous hiccup

July 24, 2012 8:21 am | News | Comments

Using data analysis methods, an international collaboration of researchers dug an unusual gamma-ray pulsar out of imagery from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. The pulsar they found is radio-quiet, very young, and, during the observation period, experienced the strongest rotation glitch ever observed for a gamma-ray-only pulsar. The shift was so strong, the pulsar seemed to disappear.

Scalable device for quantum information processing

July 24, 2012 5:11 am | News | Comments

Researchers in National Physical Laboratory's Quantum Detection Group have demonstrated, for the first time, a monolithic 3D ion microtrap array which could be scaled up to handle several tens of ion-based quantum bits. The research shows how it is possible to realize this device embedded in a semiconductor chip, and demonstrates the device's ability to confine individual ions at the nanoscale.

DataONE portal streamlines access to environmental data

July 24, 2012 3:41 am | News | Comments

Environmental researchers who investigate climate change, invasive species, infectious diseases, and other data-intensive topics can now benefit from easy access to diverse data sets through technology released by the Data Observation Network for Earth, or DataONE.

New lab working on security shoe sole to ID people

July 23, 2012 4:48 am | by Kevin Begos, Associated Press | News | Comments

Carnegie Mellon University's new Pedo-Biometrics Lab is working to perfect special shoe insoles that can help monitor access to high-security areas, like nuclear power plants or special military bases. The concept is based on research that shows each person has unique feet, and ways of walking. Sensors check on the pressure of feet and the gait, using a computer to compare patterns.

Scientists find new principle for spin transistor

July 20, 2012 9:04 am | News | Comments

In conventional field effect transistors, the current through the device can be switched on and off by an electric field. A research team in Poland, however, has developed a new way to control electron current in a transistor-like structure by using the electrons’ spin. The new method can not only tune the electrical current in the device but also the spin-polarization of the electron current.

NaCl to give way to RockSalt

July 20, 2012 8:12 am | News | Comments

A team led by Harvard University computer scientists, including two undergraduate students, has developed a new tool that could lead to increased security and enhanced performance for commonly used Web and mobile applications. Called RockSalt, the clever bit of code can verify that native computer programming languages comply with a particular security policy.

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