What do you do when pesky mountains hinder your ability to transport people and goods as fast as possible between various destinations? Some countries will build railways around those mountains, but if you’re Switzerland, and you have to deal with your Alps, you just go ahead and build the world’s largest tunnel even if it takes more than 15 years to do it. More →
You probably have no idea what the picture above actually depicts. For your information, it’s a concept of a Windwheel building that will house 72 apartments and a hotel. But more interestingly, it’s a modern windwheel that’ll be able to generate enough power to sustain life inside it and power an additional of 1,000 homes. More →
During the SIGGRAPH 2011 conference in Vancouver this week, a team comprised of researchers from various universities showed off a demo during a Microsoft Research presentation of how the Kinect Xbox 360 accessory can be used in the real world to create real-time dynamic 3D models. The project, dubbed “KinectFusion,” shows off the Kinect’s ability to render 3D models of an entire room nearly instantly as one researcher pans the accessory around. After the device has scanned the entire area, KinectFusion is capable of creating a 3D texture-mapped model of the entire room using a Kinect RGB image. The technology could be used to create highly immersive augmented reality games or, as TechNet points out, for architectural purposes on a budget. Hit the read link to see a video of KinectFusion in action. More →
Blog SemiAccurate has published an interesting article stating that Apple intends to move its desktop and laptop computer systems from the Intel x86 architecture to ARM-based architecture in the semi-near future. “The short story is that Apple is moving the laptop line, and presumably desktops too, to ARM based chips as soon as possible,” reads the posting. “With A15/Eagle allowing more than 32-bit memory access, things look up, but it seems silly to do so before the full 64 bit cores come in the following generation. […] Think mid-2013. At that point, Apple can move to ARM without worrying about obsoleting code with an ISA [instruction set architecture] that is on the verge of changing, and no memory overhead worries either.” Apple’s iOS line of products are powered by ARM silicon. The publication cites “moles” as the source of the information — moles that have provided accurate intel (pun intended) about Apple’s manufacturing component choices in the past. Will Apple shift desktop architectures yet again? Will we get to see more commercials featuring barbecued moon men? Time will tell. More →
During its MIX11 conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft discussed the new minimum requirements that manufacturers will have to meet in order to run the Windows Phone operating system on a phone. The biggest change is that OEMs must now choose to include a Qualcomm MSM7x30 or MSM8x55 Snapdragon processor, as opposed to the original 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8x50 chip. The newer 8×55 chip supports CPU speeds up to 1.4GHz, and also has the more recent Adreno 205 graphics processor. The MSM7x30 supports CPU speeds between 800MHz and 1GHz and also supports 720p HD video and enhanced graphics rendering. Aside from also requiring support for a gyroscope, Microsoft’s other requirements are the same. The screen must have an 800 x 480-pixel resolution with 4 or more contact points, the phone must offer at least a 5-megapixel camera, and it must also have at least 256MB of RAM and 8GB of Flash storage, among other requirements. Hit the jump for a video from MIX11 from Channel 9 that details some of the other architecture and chassis changes. More →
Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft will be unveiling a version of its Windows operating system at the Consumer Electronics Show that is designed to run on ARM CPU architecture — as opposed to the current x86 chips. It’s being reported that the OS will be tailored to run on devices with batteries such as netbooks and, of course, tablets. The issue with this? Well, the Wall Street Journal chimed in with its own report stating that Microsoft won’t be expected to release said operating system for around two years — yes, two years — due to drivers having to be completely rewritten.
Remember that Windows 8 rumor from a little while ago that Microsoft would be demoing at CES? Maybe this is that product (which would make more sense than anything else), but yeah, we’ll have to wait and see. More →