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.
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
We just got the Sport model of the EPIKGO hoverboard at my office. Besides being terribly chic, it’s apparently bulletproof.
Bamboo has lots of uses beyond just being panda food. Things like bikes, roads, scaffolding, and musical instruments are made from the fast-growing grass. But unless you are participating in a tropical-themed LARP, you probably wouldn’t want a shirt made from bamboo stalks. So why do bamboo bed sheets make any sense? Because yarn extracted from […]
If you want to work in tech, but don’t have any desire to code web apps to help businesses sell things to other business, you might want to consider a career in cybersecurity. Judging from the apparent complete infiltration of Russian hackers in American cyberspace, it seems fair to speculate that there’s a major shortage of […]
All moms are different. But all moms like getting flowers on Mother’s Day, and that’s a fact (not, however a fact we can document in any fashion.) Instead of getting chewed out for forgetting to call her on the second Sunday of May, you can take care of it ahead of time with Teleflora’s flower […]