News Stories

Your Laptop Can Predict EARTHQUAKES

...and in the future, no more mouse! - According to computer designers, we will soon no longer need to use a mouse. It won't be replaced by a button on the computer (which already exists on some computer models), we will use HAND GESTURES instead!

In BBC News, Maggie Shiels quotes researcher Steve Prentice as saying, "The mouse works fine in the desktop environment but for home entertainment or working on a notebook it's over?Instead of using a conventional remote control you hold up your hand and it recognizes you have done that. It also recognizes your face and that you are you and it will display on your TV screen your menu. You can move your hand to move around and select what you want?[The new computer] recognizes even when you smile."

We once advised you to get a pet mouse if you wanted to detect an earthquake, but now you can use a COMPUTER mouse: A sensor called an accelerometer that is in every laptop (and was put there to prevent damage to the hard drive if the computer is dropped) turns out to be a good earthquake detector because it detects sudden, unexpected movements. It successfully detected the recent earthquake in LA.

BBC News quotes geophysicist Jesse Lawrence as saying, "When you accidentally knock your laptop off the desk, the accelerometer is detecting a large, strong new motion." He has created the Quakecatcher Network, which is currently linked to just 3 laptops. BBC quotes Lawrence as saying, "If there's just a few [sudden motions], then the server will know it's just people knocking their laptops around accidentally, but if we're flooded with a large number of triggers, then we'll know that there is a large, significant earthquake in the area?If it is an earthquake, we could potentially send out signals to those who need it even before the energy from the quake has expanded out from the epicenter to those other people."

Meanwhile, a 2,100-year-old "computer" discovered by Greek sponge divers in 1901 in a Roman shipwreck may have been a timing device for early Olympics.

BBC News quotes researcher Tony Freeth as saying, "The Olympiad cycle was a very simple, four-year cycle and you don't need a sophisticated instrument like this to calculate it [so] it took us by huge surprise when we saw this."

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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