Chromebook Pixel's 3:2 Screen
The latest laptop to cross my review desk (it's just my regular desk, I don't have two desks) is the Chromebook Pixel, Google's ultra-premium new laptop, just released this week, which is a very curious device indeed. It's beautiful and well-made, but it runs Chrome OS, which, while surprisingly capable, is really nothing more than a web browser. It is a difficult thing to review because it's great, but wildly overpriced given its capabilities - the reviews of the Pixel tend to be glowing, until the last sentence, which is "Oh, and nobody should buy this laptop, because it costs $1,300 and can only run one program."
Simulation Of Proposed MAVs
U.S. Air Force/Wikimedia Commons
Wu-chun Feng, an associate professor of computer science in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, is the creator of Green Destiny, a supercomputer so efficient it basically ran on a couple of blow dryers' worth of power. He also made a list for ranking the efficiency of supercomputers, called the Green 500, then turned around and topped the list in 2011 with another computer: HokieSpeed. The next logical step would be to keep making incredilbly efficient computers, but instead, Feng is doing something slightly different: making robot drone-bugs.
PaperTabs: Like Paper, But Tablets
There's a lot of consumer electronics news flooding out of CES in Las Vegas this week, but one of the more interesting technology stories we're seeing is trickling out of Ontario, Canada, where Queen's University researchers working with partners in the UK as well as at Intel Labs and Plastic Logic have developed a tablet computer that is both paper-thin and flexible. And while we've seen concept prototypes for flexible e-ink screens and the like previously, what's most intriguing about the so-called PaperTab is the user interface.
Happy Old Man
Did you know that if you see an age-enhanced version of yourself, you're more likely to save extra money for retirement? Stanford researchers know, because they studied that effect in 2011, and Bank of America division Merrill Edge knows, because they're pointing to the Stanford study as the rationale behind a newly released online digital-aging program that exists to remind you that you're going to get old and die.
The pixel isn't perfect. For most everything, lining up tiny blocks and displaying them on a screen works well enough. But those blocks have limitations. Now a team of researchers is saying there's a better way to present onscreen images - one that'll replace the pixel in five years.
Badly Drawn Bunnies A new computer program can recognize semantic sketches - rough, cartoony depictions that actually look nothing like the animal they are supposed to represent.
Mathias Eitz, James Hays and Marc Alexa
At a party a few weeks ago, I had the unenviable task of trying to pictorially represent "Sesame Street." The most ridiculous-looking blob, which was supposed to be Big Bird, flowed from my dry erase marker. But as soon as I put a curly-haired face-thing on top of what appeared to be a garbage can, someone shouted the answer. We humans are pretty good at guessing each other's badly rendered line drawings.