Category Archives: Articles

Mac Security Hype


The change in Apple’s security marketing message on Mac website has been the issue of debate in tech circles all around the world. The previously set “A Mac isn’t susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers…” message under “Why you’ll love a Mac” on the Mac Webpage has been changed now to “built-in defenses in OS X keep you safe from unknowingly downloading malicious software on your MAC.” This change clearly signifies that the company’s trend in terms of security has been changing especially since the Flashback fiasco. There are several other indications from Apple that Mac security will continue to ripen, which is also the need of the time.

Flashback to the future

This change in terminology from Apple has sprung from the aftermath of the Flashback Trojan attack, which infected some 600000 machines. While the question, as to why is this a recent phenomenon, has been … Read the rest

History of HP


Although Hewlett Packard (HP) is a global computer manufacturing computer, not many people are aware of the fact that the company is fairly old - especially in US terms, having been in existence for nearly six decades. Despite its humble beginnings HP has developed into a global empire, having an influence on several industries during the course of its existence. Many other successful computer companies have actually produced innovative computer technology based on patents that were pioneered by HP decades ago.

The beginning

HP Founders Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett

Co-founded in 1935 by two Stanford University graduates holding advanced degrees in electrical engineering, Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett (pictured on the right), like many technology companies HP started in a garage, outside of Palo Alto, California. It was founded during a fellowship with University professor Frederick Therman, who invested $538 in the company. The name of the company was … Read the rest

Top 5 Photography Apps For Your Phone

iPhone and Android

Nowadays you don’t need an expensive DSLR to have fun with a camera – here’s a few apps you can download to get you feeling more snap-happy using your mobile phone.

1. Instagram

It comes as little of a surprise that Instagram has found a place on the list. Developers Burbn Inc claim that their app is enjoyed by 50 million people, and once you play with it a bit yourself you can’t help but believe them.

Instagram is available on iPhones, iPads, iPods and the more recent Android devices, and allows you to apply a multitude of filtered effects to your photos before sharing them on Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites.

Best of all is that the app is completely free, so you can inject some life into your snaps as often as you like.

2. 360 Panorama

As the name may suggest, 360 Panorama is an … Read the rest

Simulating the Human Brain: Neuromorphic Hardware Simulation

Neuromorphic Hardware Simulation

While the Blue Brain Project is making considerable progress towards accurate simulation of the human brain in a software layer, other research in to hardware simulation is making quite different, but remarkable, gains. This article will look at the state of neuromorphism in hardware engineering, and compare it with the neurocortical simulation that we looked at previously.


‘Neuromorphology’ is the study of nervous system structure. The term comes from the Greek portmanteau of ‘nerve’, ‘form’ and ‘study’. Neuromorphic engineering, then, is the process of engineering hardware with the form of neuronal structures. That is, the implementation of VLSI (very-large-scale integration) systems to model the complex structure of the brain. Each of the analog or digital components must closely model an individual neuron – in this way, their interaction can be made to form an accurate model of a functioning human brain.


Our best shot at this exists in … Read the rest

Simulating the Human Brain: The Blue Brain Project

Blue Brain

In the previous article, we’ve looked at some of the logical barriers to accurate simulation of the human brain. We have divided the possibilities in to two tracks: software simulation and neuromorphic hardware simulation. This article is going to look in detail at the best shot we have of accurately simulating the human mind through software – the Swiss government-funded Blue Brain Project.


The Blue Brain Project has been running since 2005. Its aim? To accurately simulate a mammalian brain at the molecular level. In other words, to build a simulated brain from the individual neurons up.

But hold on, I thought we suggested that this was impossible? The previous article asserted that software layers suffered from an inability to deploy parallelism – a fundamental feature of human-type cognition. Well, the Blue Brain Project researchers may offer a solution.

The fundamental idea

The area under focus for simulation is … Read the rest

Modelling the Human Brain Using Computers: The State of Play

Brain Map Thumb

Welcome to this series on the current state of affairs involved with modelling the human brain using traditional silicon-based computers. In this series, we’re going to look at current best attempts at neuromorphism – the modelling of neurobiological processes using analog and digital circuitry – the components involved, computer simulations and the role of quantum processing. It’s a wide, far-reaching and complex topic, but we’re going to establish the field step-by-step.

1. Is it possible?

The basic theory behind neuromorphic computing is that the human brain performs series of logical operations on data. Just as the everyday electronics we use, like wireless printers, rely on a series of signals from its structural components to execute each function, the human brain does the same – i.e. that our understanding of logical computation is at least a close enough approximation of what the brain actually does to be able to model it … Read the rest

Technology Failures


The world of technology is full of bright new ideas that promise to change the way we live; however, for every success there are numerous failures. Some technologies genuinely surprise us when they fall by the wayside, but others we realise were doomed to failure from the very beginning:

Doomsday Project – The BBC Doomsday Project was a partnership between Acorn Computers, Philips, Logica and the BBC and was designed to mark the 900th anniversary of the original doomsday book. It was compiled over a period of three years and was published in 1986 after having over one million people contribute to the project. The material included maps, colour photos, statistical data, videos, virtual reality tours of major landmarks and the entire 1981census.

This information was stored on specially adapted laserdiscs with the intention that future generations could then look back on the material in years to come, however … Read the rest

Predictions for 2009


With a New Year looming it seems appropriate to look to what the coming year holds for us from a technology perspective.Although the lack of anything major on the horizon almost caused me to shelve the idea, I am an eternal optimist and so must look forward in anticipation of any planned advancements as well as wait in hope for those that are unpredicted.In no particular order, here are my technology predictions for 2009:

-Solid State Drives: Rather than storing data on a standard hard drive (typically the slowest part of a computer), I predict that in 2009 Solid State Drives (SSD’s) will become more affordable and hence start to make their way in to more machines, especially laptops where size and power consumption are important factors.Conventional hard disks rely on spinning magnetic disks which are typically slow, unreliable and noisy but the move to SSD will mean Read the rest

Money Saving


I hate the phrase ‘credit crunch’ and actually take offense whenever anyone around me uses it.As a society we appear to be able to talk the country in to and out of financial difficulty particularly easily and without fail, whenever we hear a little bit of bad news the entire nation takes steps to make it rapidly worse.I’m going to have to be careful not to get on my soapbox here but I remember the problems with Northern Rock some months ago when after a leakage of bad financial news customers queued around the block to draw there money out which resulted in the group being bought to their knees in literally days.

We can certainly give the economy the strongest chance of bouncing back by trying to stick to existing spending patterns as much as possible rather than putting our lives on hold or changing our lifestyles whenever the Read the rest



I like to think that working at Refresh can be an enjoyable experience however after reading through an article featuring the Google campus at work this morning; I feel our employee benefits package may be woefully inadequate.The article focused on the Googleplex complex which is situated a few miles from San Francisco bay and forms the headquarters for one of the most powerful companies in the technology industry.

Although comparatively dwarfed by Microsofts Redmond complex, Googleplex currently houses two million square feet of office space with an additional one million feet planned for upcoming expansion.It is home to approximately 8,000 workers and due to the typically young age of its workforce it has been likened to a college campus.

Looking purely at the physical characteristics, the Google complex includes:

-A number of free cafes that will serve food at any time of the day; these cafes between them serve Read the rest