Quantum computing is getting quite the buzz, but there are other bizarre computer architectures bubbling and buzzing away in research laboratories. New Scientist compiled a survey of the "Ten Weirdest Computers," from reversible chips that recover energy usually lost with each operation, to magnetic (NMR) computing that leverages the dynamics of molecular interactions, to slime mold computers. From New Scientist:
Toshiyuki Nakagaki at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research in Nagoya, Japan, has shown that slime mould can work out the shortest route through a maze.
In his experiments, the masses of independent amoeba-like cells that act as a single organism would initially spread out to explore all the possible paths of a maze.
But when one train of cells found the shortest path to some food hidden at the maze's exit the rest of the mass stopped exploring. The slime mould then withdrew from the dead end routes and followed the direct path to the food.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image. But the Illum’s cutting-edge technology records the direction of these rays, generating […]
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