For a company with as much expertise in running massive data centers packed with computing power, it's got to sting that Amazon Web Services gets all the glory when customers need cloud-computing infrastructure.
Which is doubtless why Google is happy that its Google Compute Engine is out of testing and now generally available to all comers. The service offers a pool of servers on which customers can run various versions of Linux, paying for usage and riding assurances that the systems will be up and running at least 99.95 percent of the time.
Ari Balogh, a Google vice … Read more
Intel is the king of PCs, but it hasn't always been ahead of evolving innovations. Its processors power more than 80 percent of the world's computers and the vast majority of its servers, but Intel has made little headway in smartphones and tablets. To spur interest in PCs again, as well as persuade more mobile device makers to use its chips, Intel has devoted significant resources and efforts to something it calls "perceptual … Read more
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Kanye West said Zappos sells "sh*t product," and this is their awesome response.
- Kano Computer kit lets anyone build a PC from scratch.
- It's official. Fewer people are watching TV and the numbers prove it.
- Why you're more likely to buy something when shopping on your iPad.… Read more
Can computers, and even coding, be as simple and fun as Lego?
Yes, says the London-based group behind Kano, a $99 DIY computer that's designed to provide a sense of play and exploration for what can sometimes seem like just a black box.
Since its debut on Kickstarter earlier this week, the concept has raised more than $460,000, far beyond its funding goal of $100,000. What's so exciting? … Read more
Researchers in Finland say they've found that even when a video game is competitive, playing it appears to bring emotional responses and brain activity in sync.
In fact, the effect actually increases as a game gets more competitive, the researchers out of the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, the University of Helsinki, and Aalto University -- all in Finland -- report in the journal PLOS One.
In the study, participants played the game Hedgewars, which involves both managing one's own team of hedgehogs and using ballistic artillery to destroy as many of the opposing team's hedgehogs as possible. Basically, whoever kills more hedgehogs wins. To mix up the type and degree of competition, sometimes the players were playing one another, other times the computer.
All the while, the players were being monitored using facial electromyography (fEMG) to measure facial muscle reactions and electroencephalography (EEG) to measure brain activity.… Read more
Leap Motion, makers of the matchbox-sized motion tracker that launched back in July, has gone even further in its efforts to make interacting with computers in open space as accurate and powerful as possible. An upcoming software upgrade announced Wednesday will allow any Leap Motion device to perform far more precise tracking by viewing one's hand as a whole object without needing to see its every move, allowing for new and more accurate forms of interaction.
The upgrade, which has been in the works for about a year and marks the first substantial overhaul to the device's software, … Read more
My advice to speaker shoppers who prioritize sound quality is go for a good set of big speakers. They conjure the sound of music more realistically than tiny ones. I know all too well that most folks settle for something smaller, and usually it's a case of the smaller, the better. That's why designers are always trying to get bigger sounds out of smaller speakers. Enter the Vanatoo Transparent One, a 10-inch-tall powerhouse armed with a 5.25-inch aluminum woofer, a separate rear-mounted 5.25-inch passive radiator, and a 1-inch silk dome tweeter. This little speaker made a … Read more
Avast Pro Antivirus 2014 builds on Avast's proven antivirus technology with privacy-enhancing anti-phishing, do-not-track, and browser-cleaning features -- and its new, proactive Software Updater keeps everything current. Avast Pro's Sandbox and Safe Zone features protect you from malware and other bad downloads, and its Cloud Scanning algorithm and crowd-sourced early-warning features detect and destroy even zero-day threats. Avast Pro is free to try, but its license is almost $40. That's not too much for Avast Pro's extra features and technical support, especially compared to an infected PC.
Avast Pro did most of the setup work, itself, … Read more
More than a year and a half ago, Google promised to bring its Google Drive to the Linux. Those who want to use the cloud-synchronized file system on the the open-source operating system, though, will have to keep on waiting.
In April 2012, when Google Drive launched, Google said, "The team is working on a sync client for Linux." In May 2013, the update was, "The team is still working on it." I asked for another update and got it Sunday: Google doesn't "have anything new to share at this time in terms of … Read more