IBM Has Created a Computer Smaller Than a Grain of Salt

Photo of chip on a fingertipGet ready to see – or not see – more of them.

By Rick Richardson

If there's one downside to powerful computers, it's that they're too big.

Luckily, that's about to change. At least, if IBM has anything to say about it.

Last month, IBM held its flagship conference, Think 2018, where the company unveiled what it claims is the world's smallest computer. They're not kidding: It's smaller than a grain of salt.

But don't let the size fool you: This little fella has the computing power of the x86 chip from 1990. Okay, so that's not great compared to what we have today but cut it some slack – you need a microscope to see it.

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Think Twice About Logging into Your Hotel’s Wi-Fi

Laptop open in hotel roomAre you giving your personal info away?

By Rick Richardson

What's the first thing you do when you arrive at your hotel?

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Check into Wi-Fi, obviously. Everything else, like unpacking, eating, drinking and enjoying yourself, comes after.
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Amazon Plans 6 More Cashierless Go Stores in 2018

Exterior of an Amazon Go storeIs Whole Foods next?

By Rick Richardson

After an extended testing period and one delay, Amazon’s cashier-free grocery store finally opened to the public last month.

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But it seems that the experiment has already been deemed a success, as the company is reportedly planning six more Amazon Go locations by the end of this year.
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Solar Panels Generate Power from Falling Raindrops

Illustration of raindrops on solar panelsNo sun? No problem.

By Rick Richardson

One of the biggest problems plaguing the widespread adoption of solar power is rainy weather.

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Solar panels are designed to convert sunlight into electricity. But when it's cloudy or rainy, they're rendered useless.
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DNA Nanorobots Killed Cancerous Tumors

Rendering of DNA helixThey did it by clotting, but only in the targeted areas.

By Rick Richardson

Chinese researchers have developed a method using microscopic robots to kill cancerous tumors and stifle future growth.

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The study published in the journal Nature Biotechnology uses nanotechnology to deliver thrombin, an enzyme that helps blood to clot.
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Microsoft CEO Sees Need for Education Revolution

Nadella

Not college or even high school, he said; the need is in middle school.

By Rick Richardson

“The world is rapidly running out of computing capacity," Satya Nadella said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The head of tech giant Microsoft warned that superfast quantum computers were needed to solve some of the most difficult problems.

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Nadella cited the quest to create a catalyst that can absorb carbon, in order to help tackle climate change.
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Facial Recognition Could Replace Boarding Passes Within 4 Years

Illustration of how biometrics would workKeep your passport in your pocket.

By Rick Richardson

Goodbye, passport; so long, boarding pass. And get ready for this – your means of entry at airports could soon just be your face.

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Dan Tanciar, a deputy executive director of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency, said that biometrics for international travelers, which allow passengers to board a flight or clear passport control via a photo, are right around the corner.
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GM Plans a Car with No Steering Wheel in 2019

View from inside the vehicleA change in how federal safety standards are interpreted would be required.

By Rick Richardson

If the Department of Transportation grants GM's latest safety petition, the automaker will be able to deploy its no-steering-wheel, pedal-less autonomous car next year.

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GM has not only revealed what its level 4 self-driving vehicle would look like but also announced that it filed a safety petition to be able to deploy its utterly driverless version of Chevy Bolt, called Cruise AV, in 2019. The company describes it as "the first production-ready vehicle built from the start to operate safely on its own, with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls."
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FCC OKs First Wireless Distant Charger

Diagram of how wireless charging worksThe technology differs from existing systems.

By Rick Richardson

Charging your mobile device wirelessly is undoubtedly less of a hassle than plugging it in, but still requires the device be in physical contact with its charging station actually to work.

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That’s about to change now that the Federal Communications Commission has approved the first wireless charger that works from up to three feet away.

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Google, Rolls-Royce to Create Self-Piloting Ships

Illustration of self-piloting shipCars just need to replace one driver; ships have to take over for entire crews.

By Rick Richardson

Self-driving cars weren't even on the horizon a little more than a decade ago, but now it seems that every major automaker and the most prominent firms in Silicon Valley are hot on the trail of driverless cars.

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Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet (Google’s parent), is widely considered the front-runner in autonomous driving. Waymo has compiled more than 3.5 million miles driven on the highways and byways of the U.S.
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Wireless Keyboard Never Needs Batteries

Mac and Wintel keyboardsSolar = forget about it.

By Rick Richardson

Wireless keyboards are the way to go but changing batteries or recharging your keyboard is a pain in the neck – even if you only have to do it once every month or two.

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What you might not know, however, is that there are wireless keyboards that never need to be recharged.
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