Nov
09
2012
2

How will self-driving cars change the world?

self-driving-carResearchers at Google and elsewhere have been having great success with self-driving cars. These cars have already driven hundreds of thousands of miles without being controlled by a human driver. It seems inevitable that self-driving cars will become ubiquitous within a couple of decades. How will this change the world? The first effect of the [&hel[more...]

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Jan
26
2012
1

What Will the Internet of the Future Look Like?

Flying  Car (with Internet, of course) What is the future of the Internet? If you were to put any stock in my predictions of the future, we’d all have flying cars and robot butlers by now. So far be it from me to make any guesses what the Internet will look like years or decades from now. But when some of [&hel[more...]

Feb
11
2011
--

What is source code?

binary-coded-blankethow to get your ex back (This is a guest post) When we run an application on a computer, the computer “knows” what to do by stepping through a sequence of instructions. These instructions are very low level, and are stored internally in a binary “machine code”, represented by ones and zeros. A programmer would [&hel[more...]

Feb
01
2011
0

What causes color fringing around fine lines on a computer monitor?

lcd-screenOn some computer monitors, color fringes appear around narrow lines, or may appear and disappear as you move the cursor over small text. To see why this happens, we need to consider how the screen is constructed. Computer screens, regardless of whether they are Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD), Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT) or Light Emitting [&hel[more...]

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Oct
21
2010
0

Where the ### is the hash key on a UK Apple Mac keyboard?

hash-key-macIf you want to type the hash character (‘#’, also called ‘pound’ in some parts of the world) on a UK Apple Mac, you can look everywhere on your keyboard and you won’t find the hash symbol. If you have a PC keyboard plugged into your Mac, you can type ‘#’ but it will show [&hel[more...]

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May
18
2010
1

What are some interesting ways to use an iPad?

ipad-in-case-with-iponeApple’s iPad is a tablet computer, but it’s not a PC or a Mac and it won’t run their software. Instead, it runs iPhone applications, and also the more ambitious applications written specifically for the iPad. It also has a web browser and a music player. It is possible to use the iPad for traditional [&hel[more...]

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Mar
31
2010
0

Which UK charities recycle inkjet cartridges?

inkjet cartridge recyclingCompanies and households use millions of inkjet and toner cartridges each year, and the vast majority of them end up being thrown away and disposed of in landfill sites across the country. In an effort to stop this waste, many recycling companies and charities have joined in partnerships to encourage consumers to send them the [&hel[more...]

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Jan
29
2010
2

What are the differences between the Apple iPad and a netbook computer?

The iPad as seen on the day it was introduced to the public. GlennFleishman photo. CC-BY.When Apple announced the details of the iPad, it was clear that a new type of computer was being produced — something like a netbook and yet something like an oversized iPhone without the telephone capabilities or an iPod Touch on steroids. My word for the device is “netpad,” but only time will tell what [&hel[more...]

Dec
04
2009
0

What are the differences between netbook and notebook computers?

NetbookNetbook computers have become a bright spot in the computer marketplace since they were first introduced in 2007. Essentially, a netbook is a small notebook or laptop computer designed to be lightweight and easy to carry or pack. As their name suggests, netbooks are frequently used to access the Internet and come with a built-in [&hel[more...]

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Mar
18
2009
0

What is Presto PC?

Windows Vista booting slowlyTo the computer superliterate among us, Presto PC is a commercial Linux distribution designed for dual-booting with Windows. If that sentence makes little sense to you, you’re may be the one that Presto PC is designed for. In simpler terms, Presto PC, also known as Xandros Presto, is made primarily for those who own a [&hel[more...]

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Feb
12
2009
1

If Dvorak keyboards are so great, why isn’t everyone using them?

Dvorak Keyboard (photo by acme - CC-BY)Most of us are typing on keyboards that use a layout invented before 1870, before touch-typing was invented. We call it the Qwerty layout, because those are the first few keys on the top row of letters. Contrary to popular rumor, the Qwerty layout was not designed to slow down typists. It was designed to [&hel[more...]

Feb
11
2009
0

What is free software?

Tux the Linux mascot in ParisJust as the English word “free” can mean “costing no money” or “liberated,” so can the phrase “free software” refer to two separate categories of software. In popular usage, “free software” refers to any software that you can download without charge. Some of it is commercial software, made by companies that hope to recoup the [&hel[more...]

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Feb
04
2009
0

Is it possible to combine Windows, Mac and Linux computers on the same home wireless network?

Graphic of wireless home networkNot all that many years ago, home computer networks were for techies only. But these days, it is possible to set up a basic home wireless network without doing much more than opening up a box, connecting a power cord and using one cable to connect a wireless router to a high-speed modem. And it [&hel[more...]

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Jan
13
2009
2

Do you have to be a geek to use Linux?

An example of a Linux screen. Photo by Roney. CC-BYDo you have to be a geek to use Linux? Not at all, but the more comfortable you are with geeky things the better able you’ll be able to deal with any problems that come up. But the same thing is true of Windows, too, isn’t it? If you’re not a geek, you might not [&hel[more...]

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