Technology

Mon
26
Dec
John Lister's picture

New Blockchain Tech Slashes Power Use

Changes to a major rival of Bitcoin have reduced energy use by 99 percent. The drop in computer processing for Ethereum has been likened to the amount of electricity used by a "mid-size country." The change has come after the Ethereum blockchain ... switched from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, a sentence that makes little sense to most normal people. To break it down, a blockchain is a digital list of transactions. The key is that it doesn't exist as a single copy but rather multiple copies across all the computers of all users. In theory at least, this means it can't be edited or falsified ... (view more)

Tue
15
Nov
John Lister's picture

New Internet Cable Brings Unbelievable Speeds

Researchers say they used a single five-mile cable to transmit twice the amount of data that's currently used by the entire Internet. While it could one day mean faster connections for users, the main benefit of the research could be more ... energy-efficient data centers. The project involved the Technical University of Denmark and the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. They explored the way most high-speed data connections today involve encoding signals to transmit as light. The key was combining a single laser with a specially-designed optical chip. This breaks the light into 223 ... (view more)

Fri
16
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

Additive Manufacturing - Key Technology for Serial Production

Additive manufacturing is the process of creating an object by building it one layer at a time - similar to a 3D printer. The method was initially geared at quick prototyping, producing pieces for testing and iterative design. However, during the ... past five years, engineers from all over the world have begun to concentrate on finding appropriate uses for final products and realizing the full potential of additive manufacturing. There are hundreds of potential products in every business, whether it be healthcare, aerospace, automotive, logistics, or consumer goods. Using sliced computer aided ... (view more)

Wed
29
Jun
John Lister's picture

Apple Faces USB-C Charger Challenge

Phones and tablets sold in Europe from 2024 may need to use USB-C charging ports in a blow to Apple. The rules could affect handsets around the world depending on how manufacturers respond. The rules would come through a European Union directive, ... which means all 27 EU countries would need to pass the measures into their national laws. Although the draft directive has been published, they won't take force until the European Parliament has voted to adopt them. The logic is that the rules would let users have a single charger for all small portable devices, including any new ones they buy. That' ... (view more)

Thu
12
May
John Lister's picture

USB-C to Carry 240W, to Eliminate Brick Chargers

The end of brick-like chargers that only fit one laptop is a step closer. The first USB cables that can carry up to 240 watts of power are now in production. For many years, one of the biggest drawbacks of laptops was the charger. In most cases they ... were considerably thicker than the laptop itself. They were also usually specific to the device (both in the plug/socket size and in the specific amount of power delivered). That meant somebody who lost or broke their charger would often face delay and expense before they could charge their device again. Things got a little better with the ... (view more)

Wed
06
Apr
John Lister's picture

Dell Says PCs Could Use Two Net Connections at Once

Dell says its computers will soon be able to use two internet connections at once. Supposedly this will significantly increase speeds and reduce glitches, but the details are somewhat vague. It's part of a series of features packaged as Dell ... Optimizer aimed particularly at people using laptops for work while at home or on the move. They include an onlooker detection that appears to use the webcam to spot when somebody could be looking over the user's shoulder. Depending on the settings, the screen can then lock or blur. Another feature uses a combination of user settings and automated ... (view more)

Thu
17
Feb
John Lister's picture

UltraRAM Would Merge Memory and Storage

A new form of computer memory could cut costs and storage space. "UltraRAM" would combine storage and memory on a single unit. Historically computers have always had to use separate units for memory (which is only needed temporarily) and file ... storage (which needs to be available until intentionally deleted or altered). As a rough analogy, file storage is like a filing cabinet, while memory is more like an in-tray, holding information to hand for quick access during the current task. Today many machines use flash memory for both RAM (the main memory on a PC) and solid state drives (a quicker ... (view more)

Fri
07
Jan
John Lister's picture

Samsung TV Remote Charged By Wi-Fi

Samsung has made a battery-less remote control that takes power from Wi-Fi signals. It's proof the concept works, though it's still very questionable if the same approach could work on devices such as phones or laptops. The remote is an update on an ... existing "Eco Remote" model that uses solar power to top up the battery. Although solar is naturally very limited inside a home, a rechargeable battery in a remote only needs very slow, low-power topping up as it uses little energy to operate. Samsung says it then explored a range of wireless charging technologies to add to the solar in a second ... (view more)

Tue
04
Jan
John Lister's picture

Windows Offers Driver Update from 1968

Microsoft has reassured Windows users that they don't have to worry about an update that appears to have been pending for more than 50 years. The confusing listing for Intel drivers is simply a workaround to make sure computers keep running. The odd ... data appears in the "Optional Updates" section of the Windows Updates page in the Windows 10 and 11 Settings tool. These updates will only ever be installed when the user manually selects them, even if they have the automatic updates setting switched on. In a drop down menu for driver updates, most users will see a variety of listings ... (view more)

Thu
30
Dec
John Lister's picture

Alexa Tells Child to Play With Power Outlet

Amazon has apologized after its digital assistant Alexa told a 10-year old to connect a coin to a power socket. While there's a simple explanation, it raises even more questions. The girl's mother said she had previously been watching YouTube videos ... with a variety of safe physical challenges, then used voice control to ask an Alexa-enabled device for a "challenge to do." To the mother's shock, the device replied "The challenge is simple: plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs." Fortunately the mother heard the reply, though she says ... (view more)

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