Articles on Computers

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Then CEO Bill Gates at the Microsoft campus in the US, a day ahead of the launch of Windows 95 on August 24, 1995. Reuters/Jeff Vinnick

Windows 95 two decades on: but why all the upgrades?

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Windows 95 operating system. What was it that made the operating system so special, and why all the upgrades over the years?
Until machines become truly intelligent, they’re going to make a lot of mistakes when they try to help us. Steve Rainwater/Flickr

The hazards of presumptive computing

Computers try to predict our behaviour and anticipate our needs, but sadly they often get things dreadfully wrong.
The way we teach our children must accommodate the radical changes in technology that have occurred over the past couple of decades.

The pen is mightier than the sword, but the computer is mightier than both

It’s official. In 2015, the keyboard has began to genuinely challenge the pen for dominance in the classroom. With Finland having decided that it will no longer teach cursive handwriting in primary school…
Typing on a computer keypad could be a thing of the past as voice recognition takes over. Flickr/Brad Wilmot

Out with the keyboard as talk takes over typing

With the recent acquisition by Facebook of voice-recognition company Wit.ai, all four major players in the post-PC market (Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook) now have a significant infrastructure for…
What does it take for a computer to show artificial intelligence? Flickr/Nebraska Oddfish

Is passing a Turing Test a true measure of artificial intelligence?

The Turing Test has been passed, the headlines report this week, after a computer program mimicked a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy called Eugene Goostman, fooling 33% of its interrogators into believing it…
So many people, so much data. Flickr/Fran Simó

Explainer: what is big data?

Big Data, as the name implies, relates to very large sets of data collected through free or commercial services on the internet. This massive amount of data arises from sensors, posts to social networking…

Breakthrough in flexible touchscreen technology

A new design of touchscreen technology that uses metal nanowires could enable flexible touchscreens that are cheaper to make…
Engelbart, inventor of the computer mouse, died on Tuesday, aged 88. Javier Martínez Ortiz

Doug Engelbart’s passing leaves a legacy to treasure

This week saw the passing of Doug Engelbart, one of the giants in the history of computing. Today he is mostly known for his invention of the computer mouse in 1963. Many of his other big ideas lay waiting…
Forget Spanish, French or German - try learning a coding language instead. Ivana Vasilj

Learn computerese as a second language (that’s code for code)

If horror meister Stephen King was a computer programmer, his language of choice would probably be COBOL: it’s quite verbose in exposition, has been around for ages and people still make a lot of money…
A world-first in qubits has brought quantum computers a step closer. ffejery

Computing 1-0-1: quantum information in an atom’s core

You’ve heard of quantum computers – they harness the power of atoms and molecules to perform memory and processing tasks; they exist in labs but are still a long way off in practical terms. But maybe they’re…

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