Tagged With computing

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I have not organised my contacts in the Apple Contacts app in nearly a decade. For every meticulously maintained contact (usually people I mail gifts to for the holidays) there are hundreds of other contacts polluting the field. So many it would take me a few days and a lot of wine to finally sort through them all.

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We're all generating data faster than storage providers can keep up, and that problem is only going to get worse. On Friday, Western Digital announced a potential game changer that promises to expand the limits of traditional HDDs to up to 40TBs using a microwave-based write head, and the company says it will be available to the public in 2019.

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For fans of Lenovo's (and before that IBM's) no-nonsense business systems, 2017 marks a momentous occasion as it's the 25th anniversary of the ThinkPad line. And for quite a while, rumours were floating around that Lenovo was going to make a special throwback ThinkPad to celebrate the date, to the point that Lenovo later came out and confirmed it was happening. However, despite that admission, Lenovo's secretive approach had many wondering what its commemorative laptop would actually look like.

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On Monday, a team of scientists in Australia announced an exciting breakthrough: For the first time, researchers were able to turn light into sound on a microchip. But -- as crazy-sounding new physics applications tend to be -- it's probably going to be a long time before you see one of these chips on a computer you can buy. More importantly, what the heck does "turn light into sound" even mean?

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You can stuff your Raspberry Pi into just about anything, but if you want to draw eyes and solicit comments from visitors or, you know, generally geek out, you could carve up a steampunk-themed enclosure, complete with glowing lights, gears and ornate markings. Like uh, this one.

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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.

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You've got more choices than ever when it comes to backing up your data -- you are backing up your data, right? -- so how do you choose the best one for your needs? First, it's a good idea to pick up some kind of external hard drive. You can go the Network Attached Storage (NAS) route if you want to access the storage from your Wi-Fi (or build your own Netflix). You can also just get a regular external hard drive from someone like Seagate or Western Digital.

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At Microsoft's Build conference, the dorkiest of companies put on a big show, complete with fog machines and fancy lights, in order to show it's a cool competitor to Apple and Google. The speakers who came on stage during keynotes had stylish hair. "Do they have dressers backstage?" an attendee asked a group of us when it was all over.

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In the perfect world, we'd store absolutely every bit of information generated each day, but that task is almost impossible, even with dedicated efforts like the Internet Archive. Try targeting your efforts more, say just movies. You still have to find a robust, eternal-as-possible storage medium, rock-solid processes and well, making sure that medium isn't highly combustible.

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It has been nearly two years since Microsoft introduced a new Windows phone. Sure, HP is still making Windows phones and marketing them to businesses, but Microsoft has been basically silent on the subject of its flagging mobile platform since 2015. There have been zero flagship devices, despite the persistent rumours of a super Surface phone. Logic dictates that Microsoft needs to get in the game here.

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Modern processors can run at temperatures ranging from 25 to 90 degrees, depending on configuration, cooling and workload. That said, when a CPU takes on a heavy load, that increase tends to be gradual, rather than instantaneous. And it certainly shouldn't occur for basic, undemanding tasks. Unfortunately, Intel's Core i7-7700k might have a temperature problem, with spikes of 30;deg&C not uncommon when, say, opening a webpage.

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Before it started obsessing about copying Snapchat, Instagram's main goal was getting your phone photos looking their best. The app's smart image processing doesn't have to stay locked on your mobile though -- you can replicate the effects in Photoshop or any photo editor with similar tools.