Microsoft Patents a Modular Computing Device

Microsoft applied for this patent as far back as July last year and it was now published just a few days ago. Microsoft has now patented a “modular computing device” that would enable people to put together the exact PC components they want instead of purchasing a completely new system.

Yes, you are completely right with your initial thought. We already have that, it’s called PC parts. We review and post news about those every day here at eTeknix. But that isn’t what we are talking about here, these are modules rather than individual PC components. You might remember Razer’s modular PC called Project Christine or Acer’s Revo Build Mini PC and this new patent is in the same regards.

While the Christine and Revo Build never turned into any real products, there is a good chance that Microsoft has bigger plans for this, especially considering this patent. Microsoft is also taking it one step further and adding everything as module options including the display. This is something that reminds of Google’s Project Ara and its block system, just on a bigger scale.

The stackable hardware connected to the display using a hinge can contain a removable battery, a processor, a graphics card, memory, storage, speakers, and a wireless communication element. There could even be a gesture recognition component or a holographic projection unit. Each of these components can also have housings that are connected magnetically and are swappable.

I really love this idea and I hope that it will turn into a real product line. I most likely wouldn’t purchase it myself, but it would allow every normal user without any knowledge to upgrade his or her system part for part instead of throwing the entire thing in a trashcan and purchasing a completely new device. It would save a lot of costs for those people, but most importantly, it would save a lot of trash. Why should you upgrade more than what’s outdated and don’t waste resources?

“In this way, the computing device may be altered and changed readily by a user in an intuitive manner without requiring detailed knowledge of the hardware.”

The Pope Argues Social Media Has Caused Loneliness

Social media is an integral component of modern society and theoretically helps people to stay in contact with friends, family members and business acquaintances. However, our over-reliance on impersonal communication is arguably causing humans to experience loneliness according to a speech by Pope Francis:

“Today’s culture seems to encourage people to not bond with anything or anyone,”  

“The most important thing today seems to be to follow the latest trend of activity, even at a religious level. Today consumerism determines what is important.”

“I would dare say that at the root of so many contemporary situations is a kind of radical loneliness that so many people live in today. Running after the latest fad, a like, accumulating followers on any of the social networks.”

This isn’t a new phenomenon as social media has been blamed for negatively impacting on people’s ability to converse with others. Furthermore, the ‘selfie’ culture and need to let others know of daily activities could indicate a rise in narcissistic behavior. On the other hand, this might just be a part of evolution as humans become more liberal and forthright with their routine.

It’s certainly an interesting discussion topic and I personally believe those addicted to social media who check-in online before brushing their teeth are extremely lonely and in denial. Social media is a wonderful invention providing we use it responsibility and not at the expense of human interaction.

Do you think social media is a cause of society’s problems?

Thank you Wired for providing us with this information.

See How This Robot Is Able to Improve Its ‘Mini-Robots’ with Each Generation

Researchers at the University of Cambridge seem to be studying how evolution took place and are apparently using a ‘mother’ robot for that. The robotic arm in question is able to build miniaturized robots from a selection of blocks equipped with small motors, check their progress on the table and make the necessary adjustments to improve and fix what went wrong in earlier generations.

This might sound quite scary, but it really is mind-blowing. The robotic arm is able to watch the progress of the robots while they move on the table with the help of a mounted web camera, while observing their speed and ‘imperfections’. Lead researcher, Dr. Fumiya Iida, explains that this might seem as a heartless evolutionary process, but don’t forget, this is done without the use of DNA. I mean, when you look at how evolution took place on Earth over millions of years, you kind of see a glimpse of it in the video below.

While we learn things in a similar way, evolution on a larger scale has different ways of ’embedding’ information into their ‘next generation’. Iida hopes that this experiment may shed some light on some unanswered questions about evolution, but in the meantime, he even has real-world applications for the project. Think about quality control and how these machines can spot imperfections or broken products on down the line. It is a start, but for those of you who are thinking about a Terminator scenario, we are still far away from something like that. At least with this particular project.

Thank you IFLScience for providing us with this information

Love Pixel Art? Check out These Stunning 8-bit GIFs of Japan

Japan has evolved to a somewhat juxtaposition within today’s fast moving tech world but has still kept its identity and influences from the past. It’s difficult to quantify how life moves within a new direction considering we as humans live through and are not aware of the imperceptible per day changes. Tumblr creative individual 1041uuu has turned everyday life of Japan into 8 bit GIFs, which are both stunning and also simply yet colorfully distil a perspective of this country.

Below is the wonderful GIFs which really do capture the imagination, they also add that old tech vs new surroundings feel to each piece.

The build up of colour for this image below is fantastic and it demonstrates the evolution of Japan’s skyline which is dominated by skyscrapers.

This GIF below has very few animated elements, all you really see move is the rain drops, by doing this you feel that you are not rushed and can therefore sit back and admire the artwork.

I would say the next three GIFs would be my favourites of the ones I have selected for this article, the reason for this is that all three perfectly encapsulate how the digital revolution has changed not only Japan but also large swathes of the world.  The train feels as if it’s from a different era while the passengers are all without exception focused on their Smartphones.

Old style tech on the right of this GIF which is a bulky TV with built-in video player with what looks to be a PC tower from years gone by, this is blended with a new laptop on the table with, well a unique, yes lets call it that, fish tank on the left.

This last GIF again demonstrates how things have evolved within a short space of time, from the fluorescent green of an arcade machine to the latest MP3 player which is currently being used.  This could also be a perfect observation of many people’s life’s over the years who have bought each new piece of tech.

These GIFs are colourful, creative and have hit the nail on the head in a subtle yet powerful way, by all means take a gander at 1041uuu Tumblr page for more GIFs, link is below, it’s certainly worth it.

Thank you 1041uuu for providing us with this information.

Overclockers UK Launches Evolution Gaming Range

Overclockers UK continues to evolve their pre-built system lineup. We’ve already seen the Atomic range, the Project Cars themed systems, and the Blade systems, and Overclockers UK continue with the new Evolve series.

The OC UK Evolution systems are built around Phanteks Evolve chassis and come in six different base variations that can be further customized upon order. The range consists of two distinct line-ups, The Wrath based on AMD graphics and the Envy based on NVIDIA, giving customers the choice according to their preference.

As mentioned, there are six models in the range: Envy and Wrath Mini, The Envy, The Wrath, The Envy Duo and The
Wrath Duo, and the fun starts from £999.95 and goes up to £1419.94. The mini and normal systems depend on the chassis size while the Duo systems pack the extra power of two GPUs.

The Wrath range features a Red colour theme including LED’s while the Envy range has a Green theme. Customers can however specify alternative colours and other options such as secondary hard drives or SSDs for those who want a PC configured just the right way. The whole thing is built with high-quality components such as the Gold rated Super Flower PSU and the Evolution range offers overclocked speeds of up to 4.5 GHz (i7 4790k).

With those specifications in mind, we know that these systems are suitable for all gamers but they are aimed primarily at the more experienced and more technically demanding enthusiast and professionals. Each PCs is assembled, configured, overclocked, and tested by Overclockers UK’s experienced and professional system builders and comes with a standard 3-year warranty and labour free upgrade service for total peace of mind.

The systems are fully Windows 10 ready, so nothing stands in the way of an upgrade when the OS is released shortly. Remember, Windows 7 and 8.1 users can upgrade for free to Windows 10 within the first year of release and get the latest benefits from the house of Microsoft.

The Evolution range is perfect for those who want an out of the box solution as well as those who want to make further changes to their systems later on.

All of these systems are also available to purchase through finance, allowing you to buy now and pay in 6 or 12 months, or pay over monthly payment for 36 or 48 months. You can check out the entire line-up here where you’re able to further configure the systems to your needs before purchase.

Tablets Through The Years

When Moses came down from the mountain with the stone tablets, the people said: “That’s all very well, but what are we supposed to do with them?” Moses was so angry that he smashed them to pieces and had to go and get some more from God, and that’s more or less what happened with Steve Jobs and the first iPad. Except Steve Jobs didn’t smash the first iPad, thankfully.

What’s The Point?

You may just be able to remember thinking; “What’s the point of these tablet things?” You’ll certainly remember the first time you used one, at which point you probably thought “I must have one right now.” The sleek, shiny appearance; the powerful, crisp graphics; the silky-smooth touchscreen, and the endless options enabled by its powerful connectivity, all go together to make the tablet the must-have electronic device of the decade.

Games

The ability to play online games practically anywhere is a huge part of the attraction of a tablet. Wi-fi, 3G and 4G technologies provide the connectivity, while the superb screens and touch/tilt functions of modern tablets allow intuitive control of games. Whether it’s puzzle based games like Candy Crush Saga, mobile gambling apps, classics like GTA Vice City or brainteasers like Words With Friends, mobile gaming has come of age with the tablet.

Early Days

It wasn’t always this way. Before the iPad, the precursors of the modern device often struggled to find a place in the computer market. The GRiDpad may have been popular with the US Army, but who else remembers it now? PDA’s like the Palm Pilot and the Apple Newton had a decent number of fans in the 90’s, but they were far more work-oriented than today’s multifunctional machines.

Early Windows-based tablet computers appeared a decade or so ago. Pen-enabled machines like the Lenovo X61 gradually gave way to touchscreen devices, but the real explosion in the format’s popularity began in April 2010, with the launch of the first iPad.

Android

The spread of the iPad’s competitors, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Google Nexus, has been assisted by the success of the Android operating system. The huge quantity of mobile gaming apps available for both iOS and Android is partly responsible for the expansion of the market. Games like Angry Birds are often the first thing a new user experiences on a tablet. Quality apps, experienced for the first time on a well-designed device, can help to answer the question; “What’s a tablet for?”

Images courtesy of Wikipedia  and oldcomputers.net