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Category: Wired (Page 5 of 13)

Last-Minute Geeky Christmas Gifts

Is it too late for holiday shopping? Not at all. If you act fast, you can still get some cool gifts for the geeks on your list. Some are available online and some require a trip to a local store — but all of the items on this list are likely to be well-received by any Wired reader.… Read the rest

Supreme Court Considers Kindle v. iPad

Newly-approved Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan is a Kindle user, while longtime conservative Justice Antonin Scalia wields an iPad.

This nugget of information appeared in a recent video clip on C-SPAN. Both justices use the devices (plus hard copy printouts) to read the vast quantities of written material they must wade through — up to 40 or 50 briefs for each case, Kagan says in the video above.… Read the rest

How BlackBerry Could Benefit From a Swedish Redesign

Research in Motion announced this morning that it acquired Swedish interface design firm TAT, whose initials stand for The Astonishing Tribe.

RIM clearly plans to use the Swedes’ talent to beef up future versions of the BlackBerry user interface, which despite the addition of touchscreen tech in the last year still seems clunky and quaint compared to iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7.… Read the rest

What We Wish Apple Would Do With iTunes

Apple is planning an announcement Tuesday morning regarding iTunes.

Count us among the cautiously optimistic. ITunes is one of the most successful software packages in history, installed on more than 125 million computers worldwide and used for about 70 percent of all digital-music purchases.… Read the rest

Nov. 2, 1815: Boole Born, Boolean Logic Logically Follows

1815: English mathematician George Boole, who would help establish what is now known as Boolean logic, is born.

Boole’s breakthrough was the insight that logic, which had previously been considered a branch of philosophy, was actually closer to mathematics. All you needed to do was express logical problems in a symbolic format, and they could be solved in a way similar to mathematical problems.… Read the rest

A Chip Is Born: Inside a State-of-the-Art Clean Room

If you wish to compose an e-mail, index a database of web pages, stream a kitten video in 720p or render an explosion at 60 frames per second, you must first build a computer.

And to build a computer, you must first design and fabricate the tiny processors that rapidly churn through the millions of discrete computational steps behind every one of those digital actions, taking a new step approximately 3 billion times per second.… Read the rest

October 7, 1954: IBM Gets Transistorized | This Day In Tech | Wired.com

1954: IBM builds the first calculating machine to use solid-state transistors instead of vacuum tubes.

IBM already had a business selling calculating machines, and it was humming along quite nicely. The IBM 604 Electronic Calculating Punch, which IBM introduced in 1948, was a desk-sized cabinet that ate and spat out punch cards in its single-minded mission of calculating math problems — 20 to 40 addition, subtraction, multiplication or division problems for each card.… Read the rest

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