Hardware

Why Screws Tighten Clockwise

One of the six simple machines, a screw is nothing more than an inclined plane wrapped around a center pole. While today screws come in standard sizes, and typically are tightened by turning clockwise (and loosened by turning counterclockwise), this is a recent invention. A great example of how things that seem simple can be really hard to do right, the development of the predicable system we enjoy today took 2000 years to invent.


Report: Amazon Wants Your Smart Home To Know What You Need Before You Do

Despite having almost a quarter of a billion active users, Amazon is struggling to find a footing for its hardware in peoples’ homes. You might have 10 old Amazon boxes lying around — but did any of them contain a Fire phone? A new report from Reuters details how Jeff Bezos plans to change that by doubling down on hardware.


How The Pirate Bay's Clever Hardware Setup Keeps The Site Alive

Various countries and corporations have been trying to shut down the Pirate Bay for years, and yet, the site keep soldiering on. This is not an accident. It’s actually the result of an ingenious cloud-based hardware setup that’s spread all over the world and more or less bulletproof.


LittleBits' BitLab Is Like An App Store For Hardware

LittleBits has had a busy year. First, it released an Arduino module that let you program your own littleBits circuits and then the CloudBit that let any circuit become internet-connected. Now, the pioneering startup is launching the final piece of the puzzle: the bitLab.


What's The Best Video Game Peripheral Ever?

Video game consoles are amazing. Ever since I cracked into my first NES 20+ years ago, they continued their steady progression of awesome. Yeah, there have been a few hiccups along the way (does anyone remember 3DO Interactive Multiplayer?), but overall every iteration was an improvement.


AMD Radeon R9 285 Review: The New $250 Video Card To Beat

With the series having already exploded onto the market this year, a new Radeon 200 graphics card may not make for the most exciting headline, but this one is a little different than most other Radeon 200s considering it isn’t a rebadged HD 7000. Codenamed “Tonga Pro”, the new Radeon R9 285 takes the latest technology from the R9 290 range and makes it more affordable.


This Simple Chip Could Turn All Your Clothes Into Activity Trackers

These little chips may not look much, but in fact they’re a new breed of super-small, super-cheap accelerometers that could make motion sensing ubiquitous — even in the clothes you wear. The chips, made by mCube, measure just a couple of millimetres across — less than half the size of most accelerometer chips.


The Xbox One Gets A Graphics Boost When Devs Ignore Kinect

Say what you will about Microsoft’s decision to give up on packing in the Kinect with its Xbox One (I sure have!) but there’s good news for performance junkies: When Kinect’s out of the picture, the Xbox One gets a 10 per cent boost in graphics power.


Five Clever Flash Drive Tricks We Wish We'd Thought Of

Most of us see our USB flash drives as expendable, one-trick ponies — good for storing and sharing files and not much else. But with the appropriate knowledge, that little mess of gigabytes in your pocket has the potential to be so much more.


Intel Just Bought Itself One Of The Best Fitness Trackers Out There

Intel just bought Basis — makers of one of the best fitness trackers out there — for somewhere in the neighbourhood of $US100 million dollars so it doesn’t horribly miss the boat on wearables the way it did on phones. For now, that means a really great wearable is off the market, but Basic’s guts are bound to rise again. It’s just a question of how.


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