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Desktop PC inventor wins Turing award

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has awarded the 2009 A.M. Turing Award to Charles P. Thacker, for his work in pioneering the networked personal computer. In 1974, while at the Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), Thacker built a prototype of a desktop computer, called the Alto. It featured a number of innovations that have since become commonplace on PCs, including a television-like screen, a graphical user interface and a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) text editor. In an interview with IDG, Thacker recalled that the Alto development was led both by himself — he handled the hardware side — and Butler Lampson, who developed the software. The original prototype cost US$12,000.

Cisco unveils next-generation router

Cisco Systems on Tuesday introduced its next-generation Internet core router, the CRS-3, with about three times the capacity of its current platform. At full scale, the CRS-3 has a capacity of 322T bits per second, roughly three times that of the CRS-1, which was introduced in 2004. It also has more than 12 times the capacity of its nearest competitor. The CRS-3 will help the Internet evolve from a messaging to an entertainment and media platform, with video the emerging “killer app,” Cisco CEO John Chambers said.

Sony to start selling 3D TVs in June

Sony will begin selling 3D TVs in Japan on June 10 and worldwide at about the same time, it said Tuesday. A firmware upgrade to its PlayStation 3 console that adds 3D support and other 3D-compatible home electronics products will also be available to coincide with the television launch. Sony’s first two sets, which are 40- and 46-inch models, will come bundled with two pairs of 3D glasses and will cost ¥290,000 (or US$3,215) and ¥350,000 respectively. In July it will launch six further sets: 52- and 60-inch models that come with 3D glasses and four “3D-ready” models that have 3D circuitry inside the set but require the purchase of glasses and an infrared transmitter.

BlackBerry users blocked from data services

Some BlackBerry users are complaining of an inability to use data services for the second day in a row. It appears that the issue could be related to two separate problems. While some users seemed to be back in business late Tuesday, others were still having problems. Research In Motion does not appear to have commented on the problem and had not replied to a request for comment by the time this story posted.

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