Blogs about hardware

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich at CES 2014

This Monday, Intel announced the acquisition of Ascending Technologies, also known simply as AscTec, a German company based in Krailing that produces autopiloted drones. The terms of the agreement not disclosed but in August 2015 Intel invested 60 million dollars in the Chinese aircraft company Yuneec International, which also produces drones. The acquisition of AscTec represents the culmination of a partnership between the two companies that began in 2015.

Big dog robots during a test (Source U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. M. L. Meier)

Boston Dynamics, a robotics company purchased almost exactly two years ago by Google, published a really special video of Christmas greetings. In the company’s interpretation, a woman Santa Claus is the less weird element because she’s driving a sleigh pulled by robot reindeer. This is obviously one of the Boston Dynamics models, specifically the BigDog.

Google published a series of results obtained with the D-Wave 2X quantum computer, a system purchased to use it together with NASA. The fuss came from the fact that tests showed performance a hundred million times greater than those of a traditional processor. The problem is that these results are achieved only for specific operations ending up adding new controversy around these systems.

Simulation of the structure and motion of a phosphoglycerate kinase protein (Image courtesy Thomas Splettstoesser; http://www.scistyle.com all rights reserved)

An article published in the journal “Nature Physics” describes the results obtained with a series of simulations conducted using supercomputers at the Department of Energy of the USA’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The object of these sophisticated simulations were proteins to understand their motion, a key element in the functional, structural and regulatory roles they have in living organisms.

Hannah Egan, product strategy specialist, IBM Commerce, shows the new IBM Watson Trend App (John Mottern/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

IBM launched its free Watson Trend mobile application, an implementation of its system of cognitive computing Watson that aims to understand what are the trendy gifts for the holiday season. At least for now it’s only available for iOS, perhaps an experiment that is part of the collaboration with Apple in various uses of Watson, and therefore can be downloaded from the Apple Store.