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August 08, 2014
By Lisa Dare


IBM’s brainy new toy

IBM researchers have developed a new chip that can perform supercomputing operations using no more power than a hearing aid. The chip employs simultaneous processing along many transistors working together to perform complicated tasks like pattern recognition. In further confirmation that computers are becoming more like humans (albeit ones a bit lacking in the humor department), the researchers who developed the chip were inspired by the inner workings of the human brain.

No more eyeglasses?

As an IT pro tethered to a computer all day, you have a pretty good chance of experiencing vision deterioration. MIT and Berkeley might be able to help. The two universities teamed up to create a transparent overlay for displays that adjusts and corrects your vision—without any need for glasses or contacts. The technology is still in the prototype stage but researchers are excited about the potential applications, which may go beyond digital displays to things like your car windshield.   

This has been around for a year and nobody told me?!

Right now I have 7,615 unread emails in my Gmail account. You read that right: over 7,000 unopened, undeleted emails. As an email user, you can probably relate to the reason why, if not the insane number: Despite guarding my main email account more closely than my bank PIN, several pesky, persistent subscriptions crept in.

Annoying email subscriptions—the kind you thought maybe you wanted five years ago, or the kind you know you didn't sign up for—pollute our inboxes. While you can attempt to correct that problem by unsubscribing (if you can find the option), you probably are only solving a minute part of the problem. “Sure!” the emails mock you. “We’ll unsubscribe you from TravelSiteX’s monthly discount email. But you’ll still receive our daily Backwater B&B deal, our partner rewards (in which we rent your email to every store imaginable—for your own convenience) our monthly hostelbuster, our triweekly wrap-up, our “Tuesday is Travel Insurance Day!,” our bihourly Train Tips for Toddlers…).”

Unroll Me can help, and it can do it quickly. I just discovered this service—which debuted more than a year ago—and gave it a whirl in my Yahoo account (12,439 unopened emails and counting). It took less than five minutes to clean up every single ridiculous email subscription I receive. And the few I was on the fence about keeping? Unroll Me will wrap them all up into one tidy daily digest. Meaning only about 365 emails a year for me to ignore. 

Interested in wasting more time (I mean, enriching yourself) reading about recent technology trends? Read last week's Friday Fun for the IT Crowd.  

Lisa Dare is a marketing writer for TEKsystems who enjoys learning about IT from some of the smartest folks in tech (seriously, these folks are scary-smart). Lisa frequently blogs about IT career advice and the lighter side of tech. 


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