All posts by Lucy Ingham

Windows mobile: pocketable PC takes your desktop on the move

A tiny but fully functional desktop computer that allows you to carry all your documents and software in your pocket has been developed by a team in San Diego, California.

The Tango Super PC is about the size of a mobile phone, weighs 200g (7oz), and is designed to plug into a custom docking station that can be connected to up to two monitors or a television.

The idea is that owners will have a docking station hooked up to each location they use the PC, such as at their office, at their desk at home and in their lounge.

With this, they will be able to carry their computer with them and continue working on projects or playing games quickly and easily, without the need for multiple computers.

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As many of us have rejected traditional TV in favour of online content, Tango could be particularly popular for its ease of use with a TV; existing solutions are often cumbersome, poorly designed or involve a mess of cables.

The technology could also be of significant interest to people who split their time between work and a home office, as it would do away with the need for continual transfer of files between systems.

Most beneficial of all is the cost savings involved. By only having the one system, users can save the cost of multiple desktops, and will also avoid the potentially eye-watering expense of getting multiple licences for their software.

Tango is currently on Kickstarter to raise enough funds for mass production, having previously completed a wildly successful Indiegogo campaign that saw the company generate more than three times its target.

The system starts at $349 for a version with a 32GB solid state drive (SSD) and 4GB of RAM, with a premium version featuring 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD available for $473.

Tango comes with one docking station, and additional ports are available for $89 a pop.

The company is also offering a serious sweetener for backing the project; once it sells 100,000 units outside the campaign it will give a free, additional Tango to every backer.

The company is pushing the system for gaming, and provides demos of the machine running Call of Duty 4 and Battlefield 4 as part of its campaign.

However, hardcore gamers are unlikely to see Tango as a rig-replacement.

The system has an AMD A6-5200 processor with integrated HD8400 graphics, which the company says is equivalent to Intel’s i3, the lowest specced processor in the company’s desktop range.

This should be absolutely fine for those looking to run older games or newer games running at low settings, but won’t be nearly powerful enough to run games such as Crysis 3 on ultra.

Nonetheless, the system should suffice for most people’s multimedia needs, and with the size and price could prove immensely popular.


Images courtesy of Tango PC.


In Pictures: Wireless Network Spectres Captured on Film

A PhD student from the UK’s Newcastle University has developed a method to capture wireless networks on film, and the result is a series of remarkable images showing the networks as swirls of coloured light.

The images, which include networks surrounding objects as well as in a typical home and on the university campus, show how the networks are affected by the structures around them.

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Luis Hernan, who is studying for a PhD in Architecture and Interaction Design, used a specially designed Kirlian device and long-exposure photography to capture the images of the networks, which he calls spectres.

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“The fact we are becoming increasingly reliant on something that we can’t see intrigues me. I wanted to find a way to show the wireless which is around us and also to show how it changes,” explained Hernan.

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” It is an impossibly fragile and volatile infrastructure that holds our digital technologies together, and shapes the way in which we interact with the digital world,” he added.

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“Something as seemingly inconsequential as walking around the house will interfere with and reshape their propagation and strength field. Close the wrong door, and the bedroom becomes a dead spot for wireless.”

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Kirlian devices are typically used to capture coronal discharges from electricity sources, where fluid around a conductor becomes electrically energised and ionises. The result is a field of electrical energy around the object that can appear as a blueish glow.

Hernan has also created an android app so that users can see the networks for themselves.


Images courtesy of Luis Hernan and Newcastle University.