Posts Tagged ‘Computers’

The Batman Equation

02 Aug

Reportedly, the equation above plots as the figure below, which is…familiar from somewhere. Can’t quite put my finger on it. [via Boing Boing]



Monroe or Einstein: Check If You Need Glasses at Your Computer [Health]

20 Jul
You probably know whether or not you're near-sighted, but some people get so used to seeing things a certain way that they ignore a vision problem, squint a lot, and end up with unnecessary eye strain at the computer. The double-image above cuts straight to the point: If you see Albert Einstein while sitting a normal distance from your computer, you're seeing things as you should. If you see Marilyn Monroe, you should probably be wearing glasses or contacts. More »


The fanless spinning heatsink: more efficient and immune to dust

12 Jul

There’s a fundamental flaw with fan-and-heatsink cooling systems: no matter how hard the fan blows, a boundary layer of motionless, highly-insulating air remains on the heatsink. You can increase the size of the heatsink and you can blow more air, but ultimately the boundary layer prevents the system from being efficient; it’s simply a physical limitation of fan-and-heatsink cooling systems in specific, and every kind of air-cooled heat exchanger in general, including air conditioning and refrigeration units.

But what if you did away with the fan? What if the heatsink itself rotated? Well, believe it or not, rotating the heat exchanger obliterates the boundary layer, removes the need for a fan, and it’s so efficient that it can operate at low and very quiet speeds. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Air Bearing Heat Exchanger [PDF]. Developed by Jeff Koplow, a researcher at the US government’s Sandia National Laboratories, the new heatsink (which has also been dubbed the “Sandia Cooler”) basically resembles a big, metal fan. The cooler consists of a static metal baseplate, which is connected to the CPU, GPU, or other hot object, and a finned, rotating heat exchanger that are cushioned by a thin (0.001-inch) layer of air. As the metal blades spin, centrifugal force kicks up the air and throws it up and outwards, much like an impeller, creating a cooling effect.

rotating heat exchangerThis new technique is so efficient that if these heat exchangers can find widespread adoption in computers and air conditioning units, Koplow estimates that the total US electricity consumption could drop by 7%. Furthermore, if you’re a computer geek, there’s another big advantage of the Air Bearing Heat Exchanger: it’s intrinsically immune to the build up of dust and detritus. The Sandia Cooler may also be the technology that smashes down the “Thermal Brick Wall” that is preventing computer chips from moving beyond 3GHz.

So when can you get your hands on one? Koplow is now working on a design that can be mass-produced — and hopefully he’ll soon be able to bring this awesome piece of technology to market.

Read more at New Scientist or read the research paper


Semiconductors threaded with nerve cells could be the first step toward biological computers [Cyborgs]

18 Mar
We assumed that in the future humans, or other biological entities, would receive mechanical or electronic 'upgrades'. It looks like it could be the other way around. Machines might be getting biological upgrades. More »

A computer learns the hard way: By reading the Internet [Artificial Intelligence]

08 Oct
At Carnegie-Mellon university, a massive computer system called NELL (Never Ending Language Learner) is systematically reading the internet and analyzing sentences for semantic categories and facts, teaching itself English and educating itself in human affairs. We spoke to NELL's creators. More »

Geeks Have Been Spoiled By Moore’s Law

09 Aug
Geeks Have Been Spoiled By Moore's Law
Photo: Gordon Moore, one of Intel’s founders

Bill Gates is concerned that our expectation for technology innovation and evolution is getting too high. At the Techonomy conference, Gates says that we've been spoiled by advances in chip performance every year, where either performance doubles or prices halves per annum according to Moore's Law, but such rapid rates of improvements cannot be applied to every area and sector of technology. Gates says "Exponential improvement--that is rare."

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