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How Scientists Are Cracking One of the World's Oldest Codes

Cognitive science and complex statistical processes are both playing into it: the Verge

(Newser) - Since the late 1800s, scientists have been stumped over small pieces of stone found buried in India and Pakistan, each carved with a line of symbols over a depiction of an animal—all evidence of the since-IDed Indus Valley Civilization, said to be the oldest Indian civilization known to exist.... More »

The First Curved Laptop Is Here

Acer's Predator 21x expected to cost more than $5K

(Newser) - With curved TVs in stores, it was only a matter of time before a curved laptop turned up. Revealed Wednesday in Berlin, Acer's Predator 21x is the first with a curved screen to go along with its two subwoofers, four speakers, five cooling fans, and a keypad that transforms... More »

'Rookie Card' Apple-1, Likely Finished by Jobs, Is for Sale

Expect the winning bid to be over $1M

(Newser) - An early Apple computer is up for auction, and it's a safe bet the winning bidder will be shelling out north of $1 million. The reason? The Apple-1 being sold at Charitybuzz appears to be a rare prototype likely hand-finished by Steve Jobs himself four decades ago, reports Recode... More »

Cursed With a Name That Computers Can't Handle

When Jennifer took her new husband's last name, the headache began

(Newser) - There are the amusing stories involving marriage and last names (remember the Burger-King wedding ?) and then there's this one from the BBC : It opens with the story of a woman named Jennifer, who made the seemingly innocuous decision to take her husband's last name of "Null.... More »

North Korea's OS Has 'Malicious Functionality'

Linux-based Red Star operating system basically spies on whoever uses it

(Newser) - Check out North Korea's computer operating system, and it feels almost like you're using a Mac. Red Star OS is a "fully featured desktop system," German researcher Niklaus Schiess tells Motherboard , complete with word processing software and a revamped Firefox browser. But like almost everything else... More »

Your Computer Now Knows When You're Mad

The way you move your mouse is giving you away

(Newser) - We may like to think that we are indescribably complex emotional creatures, but computer scientists at Brigham Young University are finding that they can accurately predict one side of ourselves—our dark, angry side—simply by tracking the way we move a mouse while on a computer. "Using this... More »

Internet Guru: 'Digital Dark Ages' May Be Coming

Google executive Vint Cerf says our data may well vanish

(Newser) - Think we've stored so much data that future historians will be swimming in the stuff? Not necessarily: A Google executive says the "digital Dark Ages" may be coming, when people will have little idea of how we think or live today, NPR reports. Google Vice President Vint Cerf... More »

How Programming Courses Could Replace Degrees

You don't need BA to land job in the growing field: Christopher Mims

(Newser) - While US students rack up more than a trillion dollars in debt, the demand for computer programmers is far outpacing the supply: By 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a million programming jobs will have gone unfilled. And to land these positions, there's little need for a... More »

Computer Crunches Data —in Different Universes?

D-Wave says it's built a quantum machine, but skeptics aren't buying it

(Newser) - For many people, it's simple: Either you believe in D-Wave or you don't. The Canadian company claims to be building "quantum computers," which operate based on quantum mechanics and can theoretically perform 2-to-the-power-of-512 operations at the same time—more calculations than there are atoms in the... More »

New Computers Will Learn, Change Their Minds

'Neuromorphic' processors resemble the biological nervous system

(Newser) - So are supercomputers really becoming more like human brains? Well, Japanese computer scientists have simulated cranial activity for one second, and now commercial chips are coming out that learn from their own mistakes, the New York Times reports. While today's computers are pre-programmed to perform operations with strings of... More »

Greece Ditches Vacation Perk ... for Using Computers

Yep, civil servants got an extra 6 days a year if they worked in front of one

(Newser) - Back in 1989, Greece decided that any of its public-sector workers who had the misfortune of working in front of a computer all day deserved extra time off for that horror—an extra six days a year, to be precise, on top of their regular vacation time. Over the years,... More »

Dell Going Private in $24B Move

Founder looks to overhaul 30-year-old firm

(Newser) - Dell has reached a deal to go private, the company has announced. Shareholders will receive some $13.65 per share in a $24 billion deal, the New York Times reports, which marks a 25% premium over Dell's January share price. The privatization deal with Microsoft and private equity company... More »

Reading This Article at Work Could Become a Crime

Professors discuss potential broad interpretation of computer law

(Newser) - If you're reading this while at work, watch out: Doing so could someday become a federal offense, LiveScience reports. Two Boston College professors recently wrote a paper on a hypothetical broad interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act—an interpretation that could make it illegal for employees to... More »

PC Sales Plunge, Now at a 'Crossroads'

Shipments drop 8%; can Windows 8 change things?

(Newser) - Bleak new data today shows that the personal-computer business is struggling even more than expected, reports the Wall Street Journal . Shipments fell more than 8% in the third quarter, and projected shipments for the full year are expected to dip for the first time in more than a decade. Part... More »

Scientists Turn Water Droplets Into Simple Computer

Introducing 'superhydrophobic droplet logic'

(Newser) - Could the future of computers be water? Researchers in Finland may have laid the groundwork by converting water droplets into digital data. The concept came out of a discovery that water droplets on a water-repellent surface ricochet off each other like billiard balls, reports Science Daily . Scientists added tracks and... More »

Dell Must Reinvent Itself or Perish

Tech giant should buy RIM, writes Richard Saintvilus

(Newser) - Dell is in a tailspin, with earnings down 18% from last year. What to do? Reinvent itself—by buying Research in Motion, the creator of the Blackberry, writes Richard Saintvilus at TheStreet . By gearing up for battle against Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon in the mobile device market, the PC... More »

United Wings Clipped in Major Computer Glitch

Fliers delayed hours as reservations shut down

(Newser) - A computer system glitch yesterday snarled United Airlines passenger and reservation records, triggering long delays for passengers. The glitch was the latest in a string of snafus since the airline combined computer systems with Continental's in the spring. Some 200 flights were delayed, and the reservation system and website... More »

Why Dell Gets an 'F' for Tech Support

For one thing, dubious 'sweepstakes' on extended warranties

(Newser) - Calling up Dell for technical support can quickly turn into a sketchy situation, according to Laptop Magazine . When a reporter called the computer maker on three occasions to ask about simple issues, tech support employees were curt and repeatedly pushed "premium warranties"—in one case when the traditional... More »

Constantly Online? Mental Problems Await

Computer, cell phone use can lead to depression

(Newser) - Reading this could be dangerous for your mental health—if you've already been online for a while. Swedish researchers studied more than 4,100 men and women in their early 20s, and found that most of the ones constantly glued to computers and cell phones were prone to depression,... More »

Museum Preserves Long-Lost Tech Sounds

Museum of Endangered Sounds keeps noises from the '80s and '90s

(Newser) - Ah, for that clack of a 3.5-inch floppy disk fitting into its drive. Or the wistful piano tones of Windows 95 starting up. Anyone missing these retro tech sounds can visit the Museum of Endangered Sounds , where noises from Reagan- and Clinton-era technology are being preserved, the Washington Post... More »

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