Update the Firmware On Your HDTV, Camera, Smartphone, PC, and More

Software updates aren’t just for PCs any more. Here’s how to fix bugs and add new features to your existing hardware with a few easy patches.

Loyd Case, PC World

These days, most of your electronics have miniature computers built-in: Home-theater gear, handheld devices, phones, and even appliances now have embedded smarts in the form of a microprocessor, memory, and software. And just like computer software, firmware–the software that runs on your gadgets–needs periodic updating.

Believe it or not, many new gadgets aren’t 100 percent complete when you buy them. Though a spiffy electronic toy may perform its basic functions, some of its promised features may be absent or incomplete. And to keep up with ever-changing kinds of content, your devices may require software enhancements to give old hardware new features.

To avoid antagonizing customers who might spend hundreds of dollars on a cool piece of hardware only to find a few months later that it no longer worked, manufacturers design much of their gear to allow updates. You won’t be able to get every feature of the latest and greatest product via downloadable updates, but firmware revisions can make your old equipment run faster and crash less often.

What Is Firmware?

Firmware is software stored in persistent memory–usually either flash memory or programmable, rewritable ROM (read-only memory)–that’s built into the device. Unlike apps loaded into your PC’s RAM, firmware doesn’t get erased when you power the system down. Firmware may store just the basic software needed to start up the system–like a PC’s BIOS–or it may store the entire operating system and applications suites, as with smartphones. Seguir leyendo “Update the Firmware On Your HDTV, Camera, Smartphone, PC, and More”

Using Light, Intel Confirms Data Will Be Sent Wayyy Faster in the Near Future

Intel announced a prototype technology today capable of moving data at 50 Gbps, comparable to sending an entire HD movie in one second – foreshadowing faster, longer data connections that could be revolutionary for consumers and data center users.

The prototype represents an important advance in Intel’s research into silicon photonics – using lasers instead of electrons to send data – which the company has been working on for years. Intel hopes to scale up the technology until it reaches speeds close to a terabit per second – fast enough to transfer a copy of the entire contents of a typical laptop in one second, the company said.

Data transmission speeds over wire-based connections are limited by bandwidth and distance. Intel turned to silicon-based photonic devices in order to transcend these physical limitations and continue to make more powerful chips.

With the new process, electrical signals are translated into light at different-colored wavelengths, which are combined and travel down a single fiber. Then the light is separated back into wavelengths and converted back to electrons. The speeds are so high that processors, memory and other computer components will no longer need to be placed inches from each other, implying vastly different computer designs in the future, the company said. Seguir leyendo “Using Light, Intel Confirms Data Will Be Sent Wayyy Faster in the Near Future”

How design thinkers imagine the future?

David McClelland.
Image via Wikipedia

Por jabaldaia

The situations and constructive memory

For Antonio Damasio, each memory has an emotion attached to it.

When we have to determine a response to something, we recall the emotions associated with our memories related to that thing.

Sometimes we feel the need of something because we have been there and remember the well being that it gave us . In Portuguese it is said “saudade”!

Those are needs caused by our memory. Seguir leyendo “How design thinkers imagine the future?”