Chapter 3 Hardware Basics: Peripherals

ergonics-and-mobileIt’s fairly well known that sitting at a desk staring at a computer all day can be hazardous to your spine (see page 86 of Digital Planet), but new research suggests that standing with your smart phone can also cause problems. This short Huffington Post piece explains why.

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The name “3D printer” doesn’t come close to evoking the transformative potential of this rapidly emerging technology. In this intriguing TED Talk, Avi Reichental describes how 3D printers are revolutionizing medicine, manufacturing, and more. How does it change our world when complexity is free?

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The Flash inside the Cloud

March 19, 2013
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When you post something on Facebook, stream a movie from Netflix, or share data with Dropbox, you’re using “the cloud.” Apple’s iCloud makes it possible for 250 million people to store their music, appointments, and documents “out there” and effortlessly access them via iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other digital devices. But what, and where, is the cloud, and how does it work?

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3-D Printing Applications and Implications

March 6, 2013
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We’ve heard about how 3D printers can be used to manufacture toys, small machine parts, and even some prosthetic devices for human bodies. But as applications emerge, so do some difficult questions.

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3D Printing May Change Everything—and Soon

January 8, 2013
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We’ve been hearing about 3D printers for quite a while. But according to this Planet Money story on NPR, the 3D printer may soon be showing up all over the place, changing the way we live, shop, and work in profound ways.

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Super Competition for the Fastest Supercomputer

November 2, 2012
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The balance of power is shifting westward in the high-stakes competition for the most powerful computer in the world. The latest US champ is based in part on technology pioneered in the gaming industry. Like most supercomputers, this one will be used to produce ever-more-accurate simulations for scientific research and engineering applications.

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The Changing World of Windows

October 26, 2012
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Microsoft will soon offer two new versions of its ubiquitous Windows operating system. Windows 8 is designed to replace Windows 7 as the flagship PC OS. Windows RT will run mostly on Microsoft’s new Surface and other tablet devices. This CNET article gives an overview of the two OSs and how they fit into a world where the line between tablets and laptops is blurred by all kinds of hybrid devices.

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Print a Burrito For Me

July 5, 2012
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3D printers are used to create plastic prototypes and parts for machines, among other things. But this is the first burrito printer we’ve seen. How long will it be until the global taco chains replace people with printers?

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Can a Laptop Be Too Cool?

June 23, 2012
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Apple’s latest laptop announcements offer consumers a clear choice. According to this Wired opinion piece, consumers will be choosing between cool and green, and the choices they make may have profound environmental implications.

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What Can 3D Printers Do Right Now?

April 27, 2012
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It’s easy to imagine a future filled with 3D printers doing all kinds of fantastic things. But 3D printers are already being put to work in all kinds of fascinating applications. You’ll probably be surprised by many of the pictures in this Wired photo essay.

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