Lenovo seems to have developed a clear two-pronged strategy: for business, it leans on the knowhow and tradition it purchased from IBM with the demure Think line, and for the consumer end, it’s developed its own, oftentimes flamboyant, Idea range of computers. Prime example of the latter is the IdeaCentre A300 , which features an edge-to-edge glass screen, chrome accenting aplenty, and an unhealthily thin profile. As such, it’s one of the more unashamed grabs for the hearts and minds of desktop aesthetes, so we had to bring it in for a test drive and see what we could see.
As much as we love our Google homepage , computer search remains a pretty rudimentary affair. You punch in keywords and you get only indirect answers in the form of relevant web results. IBM doesn’t seem to be too happy with this situation and has been working for the past three years on perfecting its Watson supercomputer : an array of server racks that’s been endowed with linguistic algorithms allowing it to not only recognize oddly phrased or implicative questions, but to answer them in kind, with direct and accurate responses.
Were Ubuntu Linux ported to any device you could name, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise, but developer Canonical intends to release a tablet-specific branch of the OS this time. Like previous efforts on netbook and MID , you can expect the new version to be something of an Ubuntu Light , but with new multitouch gestures and an on-screen keyboard lovingly baked in. Based on Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat,” the tablet version will actually be rolled into Ubuntu Light later on, but right now the company’s busy romancing hardware providers — Freescale, Marvell, and Texas Instruments have all signed deals, and both Intel and Pixel Qi will reportedly bring power-saving tech to the table.
In the great pantheon of things unlikely to happen , this IBM idea ranks pretty highly, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad one.
The Week in Green is a new item from our friends at Inhabitat , recapping the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us. It was an interesting week in green tech, as Inhabitat explored the past and future of solar technology. We dug up the world’s first modern solar panel (still working after 60 years!) and wrapped our brains around MIT’s plan to create super-efficient photovoltaic panels by folding them up like origami .
Simmtronics’ Simmbook netbook has been floating around for a few months now, but it’s just gotten a considerable boost thanks to a partnership with IBM and Canonical, who have teamed up with the company in an effort to bring the netbook to emerging markets. That confluence of companies means the netbook will run on Ubuntu Netbook Remix and come pre-loaded with IBM’s Client for Smart Work, which includes Lotus Symphony and access to various cloud-based services. As for the netbook itself, it’s about as basic as you might expect, including the usual 10-inch display, Atom N270 processor, 1GB of RAM, three-cell battery, and a 160GB hard drive (with a few upgrades available)