Gartner's newly released Hype Cycle for emerging technologies suggests it will take more than 10 years before brain-computer interfaces (BCI) go mainstream, but recent developments could shift the adoption curve. As reported on sister site CNET (see gallery on SmartPlanet), engineers at the University of Illinois demonstrated a tattoo-like "device platform" with electronic components for medical diagnostics, communications and human-machine interfacing. It's essentially a patch so thin and durable that it can be mounted to skin much like a temporary tattoo. The device represents a paradigm shift in brain-computer interfacing because until now, most systems that used EEG (electroencephalography) required clunky headsets and plenty of accompanying electronic components and devices. This holds true for systems in R&D labs and those commercially available, such as from Emotiv and S.M.A.R.T. BrainGames. BCIs in academia hold a lot of promise for those with impaired or limited brain … [Read more...] about A better wearable brain-computer interface
What is s m a r t
The third game in the F.E.A.R. franchise is just a month or so away, and to prepare fans who may have forgotten the steps leading up to the events in the third game, or to entice new gamers looking for something a bit more “unusual” in their first-person shooters, Warner Bros. and developer Day 1 Studios have released a trailer highlighting some of the key moments in the past two games.If you aren’t familiar with the series, it is a first-person shooter set in a survival horror world, and it is kind of messed up. In the first game, you play as “Point Man,” a member of the unfortunately named First Encounter Assault Recon, or F.E.A.R., team. Someone really should have checked that acronym. In what would have been a massively ironic twist in real life, the F.E.A.R. team is assaulted with images of horror and a battalion of frightening supersoldiers, controlled by Paxton Fettel, who is also a cannibal, just for good measure.But at the heart of the terror … [Read more...] about A brief history of F.E.A.R. 3, retold in this trailer
Sierra Entertainment and GameTrailers have teamed up to launch a user-generated movie contest called “Show Us Your F.E.A.R.” via the official Web site for the upcoming action/horror game F.E.A.R.—First Encounter Assault Recon, due to ship in November 2006. In the contest, users submit their own unique, short, scary, and creative videos which demonstrate what they feel to be the true meaning of the word fear. (We imagine for some, the films could be titled A Day Without Playstation.) On October 24, GameTrailers will announce five to ten finalists for the contest, and then let site users vote for their favorites. The winner will receive a $1,000 grand prize. “We are excited to team up with GameTrailers on this innovative contest which will not only deliver a $1,000 cash prize, but is sure to result in some pretty frightening films,” said Cindy Cook, Vivendi Games’ chief strategy and marketing officer. “Already an award-winning product on … [Read more...] about F.E.A.R. Launches Fan Film Contest
Reliability Monitor is a built-in part of Windows that's been around since the introduction of Windows Vista back in January 2007. It's always been a somewhat hidden feature of the Windows operating system, and therefore easy for users and admins alike to overlook. Nevertheless, it's a great tool that provides all kinds of interesting insight into system history and stability (see Figure 1). Reliability Monitor is particularly useful when troubleshooting glitchy systems, and can provide insights into possible causes as well as important clues to fixing things.Reliability Monitor is part and parcel of the Reliability & Performance Monitor snap-in for the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). That said, Reliability Monitor comes pre-defined with all modern Windows versions, so there's no need to launch MMC, and then to start adding and configuring snap-ins to make Reliability Monitor work.Instead, Reliability Monitor taps into the Windows Event Manager to elicit data about your system, … [Read more...] about How to work with Windows 10’s Reliability Monitor
UPDATE: Well, we just met with Monolith, developers of the original F.E.A.R. and we don't have much new info to provide. We were told that Monolith heard from Logitech about the issue and Vista, but that Monolith never heard back when it asked Logitech whether the glitch happened in Windows XP. Even if it had, it would still be up to the hardware vendors to dig up the problem and point to a specific place in the F.E.A.R. code. The developer theorized that it could be due to something going with DirectInput, the Direct X component that deals with mice and keyboards, but it didn't have anything concrete. Dizzy yet?In better news, Monolith showed us a playable demo of the as-yet-unnamed sequel to F.E.A.R., which looked absolutely awesome, and seemed to really push current-generation graphics to the limit. They didn't allow cameras at the screening, so we have no screenshots (they're waiting until they have a name before they release any art), and wouldn't even take any real questions … [Read more...] about E3 2007/Update: Does performance drop in ‘F.E.A.R.’ point to larger PC gaming problem?
Seagate's new Barracuda 7200.11 SATA 1.5 terabyte drive (model ST31500341AS) (US$225) packs a lot of performance into its 8-head, 4-disc drive, proving that you can have size and speed in a single internal hard drive.Windows reports the 3.5-inch drive as having 1.36TB of capacity. Seagate says the random read seek time is less than 8.5 milliseconds and random write seek time is less than 10 milliseconds. Our battery of tests showed good performance despite the large capacity.I installed the drive into two systems -- three configurations in all. On the first system, a three-year-old Dell Dimension running Windows XP SP3, I connected the drive to a SATA port on the motherboard.I tested the drive using HD Tach 3.0 from Simpli Software Inc. using its thorough Long Bench test (which uses 32KB blocks for reads and writes across the entire drive). The drive registered a burst speed of 131.6 MB/sec., an average read speed of 102.8 MB/sec, and CPU utilization of 8%. Because the drive arrived … [Read more...] about Seagate’s 1.5TB Barracuda drive
CrystalDiskInfo (free) is a utility program which tells you just about everything about the hardware performance of your hard disk--including how likely it is to stop performing in the near future. It uses the S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) protocol, which is included in most hard disks likely to be found in recent systems, to tell you what's going on with your discs. This includes such details as current drive temperature, number of failed read or write attempts, how long the drive has been running and how often it's been started and stopped, and so on. As various factors approach thresholds of danger, CrystalDiskInfo will alert you, letting you know it's time to make backups while you still can. Generally, once a drive starts to die, it will tumble downhill fast, so if you begin seeing an uptick in failure rates, it's often best to assume the worst.CrystalDiskInfo uses a straightforward interface, showing all of the data it can retrieve from each … [Read more...] about CrystalDiskInfo is SMART About Hard Drives
Your hard disk is a time bomb, waiting to go off. If you're lucky, like most people, it will never detonate. But if you're unlucky, like some people, you could lose all of your files, works, and applications, with no warning when your hard disk crashes. Acronis Drive Monitor (free) promises to give you warning before that crash, so that you can take action before you're hit with disaster.Acronis Drive Monitor checks your hard disk health in multiple ways, and issues warnings when it appears there may be problems. With the program's advice, you can try to fix the problem, and back up all your data before a potential crash.The software is exceedingly simple to use. Simply install it and it uses the S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) standard to check your hard disk health in many different ways, and show you what it finds. The easiest way to find out if your hard disk adheres to this standard is to run the Acronis Drive Monitor--it will tell you. S.M.A.R.T. … [Read more...] about Acronis Drive Monitor Is S.M.A.R.T. About Hard Drives
Given enough time, all hard disks will fail. Thankfully, most drives support a feature that could give users an early warning before the bitter end. Here's how support pros can introduce S.M.A.R.T. reporting to their clients.———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-"What do you mean, my hard drive failed? Hard drives can do that?"Sadly, I encounter this kind of ignorance a lot as a support pro. Lots of people simply don't understand that their computer's storage medium has a limited life span. Maybe extremely durable older machines have influenced their expectations, or maybe no one has ever taken the time to explain to them how the disk mechanism … [Read more...] about Be S.M.A.R.T. about your hard drive’s health
I’ve made a record number of dead-end queries this month to find out who’s making wearable devices in Taiwan. Maybe the global tech hardware hub isn’t doing much with the fast-emerging consumer electronics sector that covers bracelets, glasses and watches sporting mini touchscreen computers. Or maybe it is but no one’s telling. The patchy results of my research point to both. First, big domestic brands such as Acer, Asustek and HTC will arrive late and take only small market shares, so there’s not a lot to say. The other trend: Parts suppliers and contract assemblers will get orders, if they don’t have them already, from overseas and keep them secret due to client confidentiality. Get the Free Tracker App to find a Luvabella in Stock Acer said this week it has announced nothing. Asustek is working with a partner on something for release later this year, spokesman David Chang says without adding what or how many. Taiwan’s best own-brand … [Read more...] about What Is In Taiwan’s Huge Hardware Closet?