Can You Do Real Work With a 30-Year-Old IBM 5150?

When IBM released its first personal computer, the 5150, 30 years ago, it was deliberately drab–black, gray, and low-key. That’s because IBM intended the 5150 to be a serious machine for people doing serious work. So how better to celebrate this important anniversary than by using the 5150 for what it was meant to do? Working on a 5150 seems to be a tall task in today’s vastly accelerated computing world, however. Could a PC that’s as old as I am manage to email, surf the Web, produce documents, edit photos, and even tweet?

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MABEL the robot runs like a human but stomps like a cylon

Researchers at the University of Michigan have successfully crafted a chilling portrayal of what the future surely holds: a running, obstacle-scaling robot. This robot, which is called MABEL (not an acronym), is capable of running at speeds of up to 3.06 meters per second, or 6.8 mph. This might not sound very fast — humans jog at around 6 mph, and run at up to 25 mph — but just watch the video embedded below, and then try to tell me that you’re not impressed.

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Home-made grenade launcher digital camera shown off at DEF CON

With the Black Hat security conference out of the way, it’s time for its unruly, wall-eyed brother — DEF CON — to take center stage. DEF CON is always a source of ingenious hacks and unconventional applications of technology, but Saturday’s presentation of Firefly, the grenade launcher-cum-digital-camera, will certainly rank high up the Sklyraov Meter.

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