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CES 2011: BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet Demo

RIM was showing off their entry into the soon to be crowded tablet market. What’s unique is that it’s not running Android, Windows, (or even MeeGo). RIM is sticking with their own proprietary operating system that they’ve developed for this tablet, and the multitasking in particular looks impressive.  

Watch a Memory Bit Switch in Real Time

As a replacement for today’s DRAM and flash memory, ferroelectric materials have many desirable characteristics. But to get a better sense of how ferroelectric bits behave on the nanoscale, Xiaoqing Pan of the University of Michigan and his colleagues used a high-resolution transmission electron microscope to watch the switching process in action. They’ve found the switching starts in an unexpected place and can be started with less power than anticipated.   IEEE Spectrum Associate Editor Rachel Courtland speaks with Pan about the new results and the team’s footage of the switching process.  

Software Realistically Adds 3-D Objects to Old Photos

In this edition of The Full Spectrum, we interview Kevin Karsch, a computer science PhD student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He and his collaborators have developed a method for inserting synthetic objects into photographs without having access to the original location. By marking the rough physical geometry of the scene and the location of light sources within it, users can quickly add digital objects that behave as if they were in the original photo.  

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