Posts Tagged ‘computers’

TWIST

Twist, twist.

I have decided to try to write one post a week summarizing some of the science and technology news of the week (well, it could be older news that I am just discovering :)) that I think are EXCITING. I will not go into details of each of the topics but try to give a brief non-technical description and should you choose to investigate it further, I will provide appropriate links. I am calling is TWIST. Any guesses what it stands for? 🙂

Anyway, here is the first TWIST.

Planet hunter’s first catch.

Kepler, the planet hunting satellite has FOUND 5 planets in the first 6 weeks it has been searching for them. Kepler looks for planets that might lie in between Kepler and another star by measuring the dip in the amount of light coming from that star as the planet goes around it. These planets are not Earth-like (these will take longer to detect), which is what Kepler is primarily looking for but it is a good thing anyway since it shows that Kepler is WORKING as expected. News article.

3D or not 3D?

CES, or the Consumer Electronics Show, takes place very first week of January where technology companies bring out their LATEST and GREATEST gadgets along with cool technologies that will be available in stores soon. This year was no different. One of the coolest emerging technologies is 3D televisions. Yes, I know that 3D has been around for a while but it hasn’t quite taken off. This year it will be different. The technology has improved a lot and some TVs don’t even require you to wear those annoying glasses. While a 3D TV may not exist in every home, this is the year when every TV store will start carrying TVs that allow you to watch movies and play games in TRUE 3D. How 3-D TV Works.

You CAN touch this!

This is also the year of the TOUCH computer. No longer will you have to drag your mouse around and enter text using a keyboard. Touch enabled computers allow you to USE your finger(s) to open, close programs, draw pictures and do anything that you used to do with a mouse. You can also write directly on a touch computer as if you were writing on a piece of paper. What’s great is that your input is AUTOMATICALLY converted to text as if it were typed in. This technology has existed for a while but computer screens that could accept touch input were very expensive. Not any more. Some of these computers will just be a screen with no keyboard or mouse, although you could attach them if you wanted to. But why? Here is a good example of what a touch PC would be capable of: Microsoft Courier. Too bad this product was not actually announced so we don’t if it will ever be available for sale.

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One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is an international program with a mission “To create educational opportunities for the world’s poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning. When children have access to this type of tool they get engaged in their own education. They learn, share, create, and collaborate. They become connected to each other, to the world and to a brighter future.”

One Laptop Per Child

One Laptop Per Child


In October of 2009, Uruguay became the first country to provide all students in 1st through 6th grade with a laptop with plans to expand it to other grades. If you have been looking for a reason to CONVINCE your parents to get you a computer (not the OLPC version, which is not available in retail stores), I cannot see a more compelling reason than this. They have become very affordable, some models costing less than popular game machines out there.

Computers are EVERYWHERE these days. The can be fun to use, and more and more they are becoming a necessary part of our daily lives. The sooner one starts learning to use computers, they better ADVANTAGE they will have going forward.

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