Google Inc. Free Computer Program hits 5 Million – Mountain View, CA, April 17 2011

May 15 2008 / by Cronos / In association with Future
Category: Economics   Year: 2011   Rating: 13 Hot

Future Newswire

Google Inc, the uncontested leader in Internet services announced it has shipped its 5 millionth “free” computer, only 14 months after starting up the “Free Computer Program”. The Google Product Manager, Pierre Lindsely, stated he is overwhelmed by the success of his project and they are trying very hard to keep up with demand.

People now have to wait more than three weeks to get their “G-Tops”, as they have become known as, instead of the three days when the program started. Pierre Lindsely: “People will wait for anything if it’s free, so I am not worried that this will impact the enthusiasm for this product. We are attracting some new suppliers and we will see the waiting time decrease gradually.” The free Google computers come with a free broadband connection that connects only to Google WI-FI hubs (aka as G-Spots). (cont.)

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AI: Getting Better All the Time

June 02 2008 / by juldrich / In association with Future
Category: Business & Work   Year: 2020   Rating: 9 Hot

By Jack Uldrich

Cross-posted from

A couple of newsworthy piece have gotten me to thinking about the Beatles’ hit song, “It’s getting better all the time.” The two articles that triggered the connection to the songs’ lyrics are both related to rapidly emerging field of artificial intelligence and I think the saying “getting better all the time” is a phrase we all need to keep in mind as we move into the future.

The first article discusses how intelligent computers can now “see” human traits with an impressive success rate of 82%. In other words, a computer can, with a good degree of confidence, now tell if you are happy, sad, angry or confused. (By way of comparison, I can only wish I was half as accurate in assessing my wife’s many moods.)

At a minimum this suggests that artifical intelligence will become an even more integral component in a host of daily activities, including customer service, computer games and educational software, than it already is. Imagine, for instance, if an educational computer system could tell if a child was confused about a certain concept in biology and then reexplain it to him or her in a way that the child could understand. This compelling future is on the way because such computers are, in fact, “getting better all the time.” (cont.)

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The Future of Computing

April 18 2008 / by juldrich / In association with Future
Category: Business & Work   Year: 2020   Rating: 5 Hot

By Jack Uldrich

Cross-posted from

The future of computing has many different aspects and it is not my intention with this post to provide a detailed explanation of each. Rather, I merely want to share with readers who are interested in the future of computing some interesting and provocative resources.

For those looking for a broad-based overview of how computers will change our lives, I highly recommend this detailed report by Microsoft Research entitled “Being Human: Human-Computer Interaction in the Year 2020.” The second chapter, in particular, is very insightful and documents five major transformations: 1) The End of Interface Stability; 2) The Growth of Techno-Dependancy; 3) The Growth of Hyper-Connectivity; 4) The End of Ephemeral; and 5) the Growth of Creative Engagement.

For readers seeking a slightly more technical understanding of where computers are headed, I’d recommend this press release by Gartner, Inc. It covers a number of “grand challenges” which will dramatically alter how future computers operate and are used.

Succinctly, the major changes are:

1. Never having to manually recharge devices.
2. Parallel Programming.
3. Non-tactile, Natural Computing Interfaces. (This corresponds with the Microsoft report.)
4. Automated Speech Translation
5. Persistent and Reliable Long-Term Storage; and
6. Increasing Programmer Productivity 100-fold.


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Intel CTO Predicts Multi-Multi Core Processing, Spintronic Memory and Infinite Battery Life

January 20 2009 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future
Category: Technology   Year: 2015   Rating: 5 Hot

Unsurprisingly, Intel CTO Justin Rattner believes that accelerating computation will soon transform our everyday lives and experiences, perhaps enabling a not-too-distant Singularity.

In this exclusive Future Blogger interview, shot at the Singularity Summit, Rattner lays out his core near-term predictions for the field of computing:

Rattner's core prognostications include Massively Multi-Core Processing, and Evolving Memory Hierarcy and Infinite Battery Life.

Multi-Multi Core Processing: "Certainly systems based on processors with large numbers of individual processing elements are a major part of what we're going to see in the middle of the next decade."

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Keeping Your Computer on Can Help the Solar Industry and Environment

December 09 2008 / by amisampat / In association with Future
Category: Environment   Year: 2010   Rating: 1


By Ami Sampat

What Happened?
Scientists at Harvard University and IBM have an idea to create cheap, solar energy: by using the power from countless computers that are left on.

IBM's World Community Grid allows materials science researchers to use volunteers' computers for calculations testing new solar compounds.  Researchers expect to get the research done faster- calculations that takes usually twenty years to collect would only take two.

Why is this important?
By gathering information from idle computers, researchers are hoping to find organic materials to manufacture solar cells. This solar energy would be cheaper and more flexible. In turn, it would be used in a wide array of situations-such as to coat windows and rooftops.

A method of clean, cheap solar energy could help to reduce our dependency on coal for electricity generation.

What to Watch
The range of potential materials used in renewable energy systems could be vastly expanded by tapping the computational power of networked personal computers.  Earlier we wrote a post on a simliar computer-based discovery around solid state hydrogen storage system.

If you would like to volunteer your computer to the World Community Grid, please visit the Clean Energy Project.

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