Information Technology

Here you can find a summary of innovations in the fields of information and data processing and up-to-date developments on IT equipment and hardware.

This area covers topics such as IT services, IT architectures, IT management and telecommunications.

Algorithm makes tongue tree

New computer programme could settle literary debates.

To date, unlike us, computers have struggled to differentiate a page of Jane Austen from one by Jackie Collins. Now researchers in Italy have developed a program that can spot enough subtle differences between two authors’ works to attribute authorship 1 .

The program can tell a text by Machiavelli from one by Pirandello, Dante or a host of other great Italian writers. It constructed a language tree of the

Motion Sickness – could Virtual Reality help?

Playing virtual reality computer games could provide the answer to combating motion sickness.

Scientists are looking at how feelings of nausea can be induced in people who are put into a virtual reality environment. By putting them back into that environment on a frequent basis the researchers are hoping to find out if they become accustomed to the conditions and overcome the symptoms of motion sickness.

The research is being carried out by scientists at Loughborough Univers

Listening device that could save lives

A DEVICE that records and recognises what people are discussing at meetings – and alerts them if decisions are being re-made – is being developed with the help of information systems experts at Staffordshire University.

Staffordshire and Lancaster Universities have been jointly awarded £714,000 by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to carry out the cutting-edge research project which will be partly based on artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

Profes

Solid stops light

A crystal that holds light could facilitate quantum computing.

Researchers in the United States and Korea have brought light to a complete standstill in a crystal. The pulse is effectively held within the solid, ready to be released at a later stage.

This trick could be used to store information in a quantum computer 1 .

Normal computers store information in simple binary form (1’s and 0’s) in electronic and magnetic devices. Stationary light pu

The web needs to get personal

In the 1990s, we dubbed the Internet the `information superhighway`. So why is it still so hard to find what we are looking for online? According to Prof. Wendy Hall of the University of Southampton, it is because the web is mostly linkless. What`s more, if we want the Web to be useful in our daily lives, web links will have to become much more personal.

Prof. Hall is head of Southampton`s Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia (IAM) Research Group. She says that hand-crafted websites generally c

Quantum computers spread the risk

A balanced portfolio of programs could mean a faster quantum computer.

Strategies from the world of finance could help get the best out of quantum computers, say US researchers 1 . The right portfolio of programs could solve a problem many times faster than a single strategem.

Quantum computers – purely hypothetical as yet – would be fast, but you could never be sure whether a program was going to work or not. You would have to keep running the program until

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