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Photos: Weird datacentres, Tweet Mirror, C64 redux and robots galore

Photos of the month - April 2011

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Topic: Hardware
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1 of 10 Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Photos of the month - April 2011

In April, silicon.com looked at some of the weirdest places on the globe to put a datacentre - from the Antarctic to a floating platform.

This is MareNostrum, one of the fastest supercomputers in the world, which is located amid the colonnades and Romanesque arches of the Torre Girona chapel in Barcelona, Spain.

Explore more pictures of unusual datacentre locations in Photos: The world's weirdest datacentres.

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2 of 10 Google/YouTube

Also in April, search giant Google opened the doors to one of its datacentres to show how it protects customer data.

This picture shows part of the process that Google uses to dispose of defunct hard drives.

Drives are placed in the crusher, seen above, and a steel piston is pushed through the drive deforming the drive's platters and making them unreadable.

See more shots from inside a Google datacentre by checking out Photos: How Google protects its datacentres.

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3 of 10 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Last month, Nokia raised a few eyebrows by announcing two new smartphone handsets, neither of them with Windows Phone 7 (WP7) inside. Despite finalising its strategic pact with Microsoft over the WP7 smartphone OS, Nokia unwrapped two Symbian handsets: the hybrid touch-Qwerty E6, pictured above, aimed at business users, and the consumer-focused touchscreen X7.

If the E6 looks rather familiar, it's because it shares the look and feel of its predecessors: Nokia's E72 and E71 handsets - originally launched in 2008.

For more on the E6 and X7, see Photos: Nokia E6, X7 Symbian smartphones unveiled.

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4 of 10 HTC

HTC also unveiled new mobile hardware. Its HTC Sensation smartphone, pictured above, packs a dual-core processor.

The Sensation comes with a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor and 4.3-inch HD screen.

For more, see Photos: HTC Sensation dual-core smartphone.

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5 of 10 Sony

Meanwhile, Sony announced its first foray into the tablet market with the launch of two tablet devices.

For the moment, the tablets are known by their codenames, S1 and S2, and will be released this autumn. Both slates have touchscreens, run on the Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS and offer wi-fi, WAN and 3G-4G connectivity.

For more on the two tablets, see Photos: Sony Android tablets unveiled.

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6 of 10 iTunes/Fuze Meeting

Talking of tablets, the all-new iPad 2 landed at the end of March - but just having shiny hardware rarely cuts it these days. When it comes to hardware, it's all about the software. So which apps can iPad 2 users boast about using, while their iPad-owning brethren are left enviously looking on?

silicon.com rounded up 10 iPad 2 apps that take advantage of new hardware features such as the slate's dual cameras. Pictured above is the Fuze Meeting HD app, which offers Fuze subscribers multiparty HD videoconferencing, right from the comfort of their iPad.

To see the full list of iPad 2 apps, see Photos: Ten iPad 2 apps for business users.

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7 of 10 Emma Bayly/silicon.com

London's Westfield shopping centre ran a trial of the UK's first Tweet Mirror - a full-length video touchscreen with built-in camera that sends a photo of you in your outfit to Twitter, Facebook or your email address.

Shoppers can create an account using the mirror, which lets them take and store photos before posting them directly to Twitter or Facebook.

For a more detailed explanation of how the Tweet Mirror works, check out Photos: Tweet Mirror comes to aid of UK shoppers.

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8 of 10 Innorobo

April's Innorobo conference in France showcased a menagerie of the latest robots.

The three-day summit at the end of March examined the role that service robots will play in everyday life.

The DARwIn-OP humanoid robot, seen here, was at the event playing football.

Check out Photos: Androids, learning bots and flying drones for more pictures of cutting-edge robotics.

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9 of 10 Commodore USA

Vintage computer lovers were in for a treat last month thanks to a photo gallery of the Commodore 64 - but not just any old C64. Rather these shots, released by Commodore USA, show a prototype of a new version of the machine that the company looks to be toying with releasing.

As well as new - albeit not exactly new-look - hardware, with updates including a DVD slot, shown above, the C64 redux runs an updated version of the Commodore OS, featuring a web browser and a Microsoft Office-compatible suite of productivity tools.

For more on the new C64, see Photos: Brand-new Commodore 64 .

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10 of 10 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Last month, silicon.com also took a closer look at Twitter tools, rounding up 20 apps that can help tweeters get more out of social media. TweetReach - pictured above - is one such tool. This app measures how far hashtags, links and brand names have travelled in the Twittersphere and which users have helped them on their way.

For the full list of tools, see Photos: 20 Twitter tools to optimise your tweets.

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