Engineering

Haptic helmet for firefighters

Imagine firefighters trying to navigate through an unfamiliar, burning building full of suffocating smoke and deafening noise. Firefighting is exceedingly dangerous, and the ability for first responders to maintain communications ...

Engineering

Designing a puncture-free tire

Some golf carts and lawnmowers already use airless tires and at least one major tire company produces a non-pneumatic automotive tire, but we still have long way to go before they are on every vehicle that comes off the assembly ...

Internet

Digital athletics in analogue stadiums

Globally, arenas and stadiums that seat tens of thousands of people are filling up for whole weekends with crowds excited to watch their favourite sports stars sit on chairs and stare at screens. These fans are here to watch ...

Engineering

Machine learning shapes microwaves for a computer's eyes

Engineers from Duke University and the Institut de Physique de Nice in France have developed a new method to identify objects using microwaves that improves accuracy while reducing the associated computing time and power ...

Consumer & Gadgets

From exoskeletons to education at CES

Exoskeletons to give wearers super-human strength and games to playfully teach children software skills for coding—such innovations were on display at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.

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Computer

A computer is a machine that manipulates data according to a set of instructions.

Although mechanical examples of computers have existed through much of recorded human history, the first electronic computers were developed in the mid-20th century (1940–1945). These were the size of a large room, consuming as much power as several hundred modern personal computers (PCs). Modern computers based on integrated circuits are millions to billions of times more capable than the early machines, and occupy a fraction of the space. Simple computers are small enough to fit into a wristwatch, and can be powered by a watch battery. Personal computers in their various forms are icons of the Information Age and are what most people think of as "computers". The embedded computers found in many devices from MP3 players to fighter aircraft and from toys to industrial robots are however the most numerous.

The ability to store and execute lists of instructions called programs makes computers extremely versatile, distinguishing them from calculators. The Church–Turing thesis is a mathematical statement of this versatility: any computer with a certain minimum capability is, in principle, capable of performing the same tasks that any other computer can perform. Therefore computers ranging from a mobile phone to a supercomputer are all able to perform the same computational tasks, given enough time and storage capacity.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA