In just a few days, upwards of 175,000 industry insiders, exhibitors, and members of the media will once again descend upon Las Vegas in attempts to set the pace of tech for the next 12 months. Not only will some of the world's largest and most influential companies such as Samsung, LG, Ford, and others be in attendance, Vegas will also temporarily become home to more startups than anywhere else on the planet, all fighting for the kind of attention that could make or break their fledgling endeavours. Past breakouts include everything from an automatic wireless breast pump to virtual reality headsets, while other much-hyped debuts are still trying to make their good on their promises.
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I'm sitting here, looking at a screen that's way too tall, waiting, seconds turning into minutes, just so I can log into Windows. Thank god I didn't have to cold boot. Five minutes later, when my laptop finally approaches a functioning state, I reach down to move the mouse cursor over the Slack icon only to be greeted with a bare patch of hard black plastic - then I remember my 11-year-old Thinkpad doesn't even have a touchpad. This isn't going to be nearly as fun as I thought. Do I even try to install Photoshop? Screw it, let's go nuts. But before getting any deeper in this wasteland of retro tech, let me backup and explain how I got here.
The visual style of the Borg in Star Trek -- with its protruding cables, dark metals, and monolithic sameness -- is unmistakable, and has become, since the collective's introduction in Star Trek: The Next Generation, iconic science fiction. They're cool villains, and now you can merge your own technological uniqueness with theirs.
They will never sit on your desk, and they will most certainly never fit in your pocket. Today, they're fragile, and need to be kept at temperatures close to absolute zero. Quantum computers aren't much like the desktop PCs we're all so familiar with - they're a whole new kind of machine, capable of calculations so complex, it's like upgrading from black-and-white to a full colour spectrum.
If you don't have the budget for a $700 Oculus Rift headset and a $1000 VR-ready gaming PC, here's a far cheaper solution. A die-hard Commodore 64 fan created a pair of virtual reality goggles for the classic 8-bit computer that can be easily found for just a few bucks at thrift shops around the country.
There are weeks where it seems like every piece of physics news mentions quantum computing -- but we are nowhere near a quantum iPhone. You probably remember that computers can consist of billions of nanometre-scale transistors etched into silicon. Those chips used to be enormous, room-sized setups where instead of transistors, there were tubes the size of light bulbs. Physicists in the quantum computing world are still trying to pick out the best vacuum tubes.
You've probably seen the Watson commercials, where what looks like a sentient box interacts with celebrities like Bob Dylan, Carrie Fisher, and Serena Williams; or doctors; or a young cancer survivor. Maybe you caught the IBM artificial intelligence technology's appearance in H&R Block's Super Bowl commercial starring Jon Hamm. "It is one of the most powerful tools our species has created. It helps doctors fight disease," Hamm says. "It can predict global weather patterns. It improves education for children everywhere. And now we unleash it on your taxes."
Computer specs can be a baffling mix of acronyms and numbers at the best of times, but it's worth learning something about them: It will help you choose a new computer, troubleshoot your old computer, and generally understand more about the relationship between the specs on the page and the experience you're getting.
In addition to updated iMacs, MacBooks and MacBook Pros, today at Apple's WWDC conference the company unveiled its new high-end workstation called the iMac Pro, featuring the same all-in-one design, but packed with enough power to make this the most powerful Mac computer to date, claims Apple.
After releasing a stand that turned the Apple Watch into a miniature Macintosh computer to sit on your bedside table while it charges, Elago has now essentially done the same thing for your iPhone with its M4 stand, which lets your phone cosplay as a vintage Apple computer that's woefully underpowered in comparison.
Smartwatches might, for the most part, be completely worthless, but that hasn't stopped us from being inured with the concept. Like a character out of Fallout, some people just really want a computer on their wrist. It's why they have shoved Windows 95 onto an Android Wear watch and MacOS 7.5.5 onto an Apple one. Yet redditor Lord_of_Bone went even further.
Besides bad hair, pleated jeans and 21 Jump Street, the '80s brought us a remarkable technological revolution. Nintendo changed the living room forever with the introduction of the NES in 1985. IBM, Apple and the Commodore 64 ushered the personal PC into our lives. Even the internet breathed a few gasps of air with NFSNet and the rise of the teen hacker.
Many old computers sit around gathering dust because owners are too lazy to clear everything off them, so they can finally be sold or recycled. But the task is actually much easier than you might think. Here's how to get an old desktop or laptop ready to move out of your home.
If you're looking for a quick hit of internet fame around the holidays, consider baking up some gingerbread and making anything but a house. So far we've seen crashed Enterprises and Death Stars, but a gingerbread Apple II computer, complete with edible circuitboards inside, easily wins Christmas this year.