84 posts • joined Tuesday 2nd October 2012 13:10 GMT
They missed a trick with designing the 'soft covering' by making it only cover the limbs rather than the joints. If they also wrapped the cloth around the exposed joints they would protect them from ingress of dust, water etc. when moving through the hazardous environment. It would be ironic if after smashing through a brick wall to rescue some object, the robot seized up from all the brick dust clogging up its gears. Perhaps they could send a guy in to retrieve the robot.
Yes you are probably right. Oh well.
Gis' a job
Ok, so how do you get to write articles for the Reg?
Honda marks get set go
If this sounds far-fetched why are Honda and various other Japanese companies investing millions into creating autonomous robots (Asimo anyone). The sad fact is, now that we all have smart phones there is no new 'big thing' on the horizon other than robots, or should I say Androids. We all want our own personal butler (perhaps a female one with a 'Siri' voice), preferably one that can do all the mundane things in life, like work.
Where they are going to have to make the paradigm shift is in making cheap plastic cybernetic beings rather than expensive clanking metal robots.
Paris as she is the plastic pal that's fun to be with.
Judging by the spelling and grammar in your posting, I would say you find it difficult to multi-task thinking and typing at the same time. Here's a tip; write first then read it over and correct your mistakes after.
The sky's the limit
Wow there is some seriously sophisticated engineering going on here. Not so sure that 'Garden Shed' boffinry still fits the description of this project anymore.
Paris, as in we'll always have Paris (to remember good old fashioned string and paper bodgery).
An opportunity for the Reg.
Once the Reg SPB have ironed out the Ballocketing project they could offer to loft and launch the solar panels for them. At last a real-world commercial reason for all the garden shed boffinary.
No shortcuts with AI
Although this is an interesting experiment, the fact that it's learning needs 'supervision' shows that this has severe limitiations. Not only do AI machines have to learn to associate they also have learn to dis-associate (as in the Pink example given). This requires an extensive internal 'world model' that, to my mind, can only be achieved through years of cognitive development similar to that of an infant. You can't take shortcuts by simply showing pictures of tanks (sorry, planes) and making associations. It's been tried before and failed.
socially wasteful litigation
Is this the new Euphemism for lawyers? It sounds about right.
How many uses are there for a 2 gram robot. Would this method be at all scalable and that 20 times a second sounds a bit fast to be called flapping.
It certainly doesn't look like that in the video.
Cherry picking again
I suspect the reason that Comp Sci grads find it hard to get employed is due to the high expectations of employers, who want people skilled in exactly their current requirements. They expect someone with a degree in computers to be completely skilled in whichever little niche strand of computing their company uses (e.g. .Net programming or Oracle databases) rather than accept that the degree only provides the base knowledge from which to become skilled. If your degree didn't happen to have a module in say Python Scripting you just won't get an interview. There seems to be a strong reluctance to train up post-grads, the assumption being that the univeristy should have done that already (after all there isn't much to this computing lark is there).
Sadly this cherry picking mentality is prevalent throughout the inductry, no matter the age of the employee, with a far greater desire to employ new staff with the 'right' knowledge than train up their existing staff. The result being that employers keep bleating about skills shortages while the UK is awash with unemployed people desperate to be given a job.
Ooo, I have a bad feeling about this.
I can't help feeling that adding vynyl wrap is going to prove a mistake given the temperature range it has to go through. De-lamination at low temperatures combined with out-gassing at high altitudes could ruin the flight characteristics. But then I am always such a pessimist. I hope it all goes well.
A solution looking for a problem
This does seem to be just a solution vainly in search of a problem. Even taking the bog-light idea, it would be simpler (and probably cheaper) to use 'power-line communication' rather than WiFi (and I am not just talking component costs, there's testing and compliance to be met). And before anyone starts talking about lasers, I will point out that lasers are a generic technology whereas this is a jumped up little logic circuit with a radio attached. There must be much better ways to acheive the same end than use this contraption.
Astonishingly, I had the same memory slip as the author in that I clearly remember the first episode but none of the rest of the story and the next episode in my mind is when they land on Skara.
The Daleks may look rubbish today but nothing has scared the crap out of me anything like as much as the sight of one of those coming into view. Everyone talks about hiding behind the sofa, specifically from these first episodes, that's how scary they were at the time. No other show had that effect on kids as far as I know.
And that title sequence and electronic music is still scarier and more thrilling than any of the ones put up since. I am convinced that the BBC had to tone it down and make it more child friendly in future series. I never felt that the early Doctor Who was intended for children as it seemed far too grown up and real to be a kids show (remember Andy Pandy was still being shown around this time).
Hair brained scheme
Maybe it uses Caps Lock.
The're making some pretty bald statements there.
This is fringe technology at its best.
I suppose they could uses extensions when they want to upgrade.
I hope the price will be a snip, I don't want to be scalped.
But will they have it in Barbie pink for the girls?
Using 3D printers to replace broken parts sounds like a good idea until you factor in the costs of making the new part; the time needed to redesign it in CAD, the cost of ownership of the printer, the cost of materials, the time needed to print an item. When you add in all those costs it will probably be cheaper just to buy a whole new product (especially if it was mass-produced and cheap). It's a bit like furniture making; you could just buy the wood and glue (and varnish and paint and cloth and....) quite cheaply but it would take hours and hours of your time to produce, involve spending money on tools and workshop stuff and the result may not be as good as shop bought. Which is why most of us sit on chairs bought from Ikea.
3D printing is good for prototyping or short runs but I can't see it replacing mass-production any time. The one caveat is where the shape of the item is so complex or so bespoke that only 3D printing will do the job. I guess the real excitement of this technology is in seeing what kinds of complexity can be acheived and how it will improve functionality over the standard techniques. It could lead to a whole new standard of design and efficiency.
Personally the appeal of 3D printing is in being able to create my own robot parts but that assumes I have the ability and time to design them in the first place. It's the ultimate pipe-dream-machine.
Maybe men have bigger noses because over thousands of generations, women with small cute noses have been selected for breeding (i.e. are more attractive and so get married and have kids). Just saying, cause and effect?
Paris as she is obviously a result of natural selection. ;-)
Wot no manual!
Sadly no one (producers) wants to pay for documentation anymore. They assume that the bright spark 'designer' has made it so intuitive that just looking at the startup screen tells you everything you will ever need to know about the product. Of course its made worse by guys saying they never read the instructions, so why bother having them, so you have yourselves to blame.
Sanity at last
Good to see that MS has realised that software development is a team effort rather than one or two heroes doing all the work. The sad thing is, no matter what rewards scheme is put forward, someone will figure out a way to play the system to their best advantage, whether that is the manager and his cronies or the smart arse employee who only gives a damn about his self (the pc crowd can replace his with her where appropriate if they want). There is probably some fair and equitable distribution system that could be used but it would require a level of intelligence rarely seen in HR to work out all the sums. We have a bonus system in our company that is based on a formula that none of us can understand (and we all have science degrees).
- "saw a "burst of flames" shoot out of the iPad's charging port."
Are they sure it wasn't the firewire connection.
I bet I get flamed for this one.
Some bright spark thought it would be good for a laugh but I suspect its a smokescreen.
Good for those with a burning desire to own Apple kit. It must have been a hot deal.
I want one, even though I stopped fiddling with electronics many years ago. So wish I had one of these when the first computers were coming out. I can easily imagine this sitting gathering dust in my home, just waiting for me to start that great home project (sigh). Still nostalga isn't what it used to be.
I used to have the Philips EE Electronics Engineer kit when I was a youngster (liberated from my brother) and it lead me into a career in electronics, computing and now software. So who says these kits won't encourage today's youth. Something like this is so much more practical in schools than just a bare board Pi and a bunch of connectors. Most teachers don't have the time or the resources to assemble a workable experimental kit and develop teaching material to support it. This at least goes half way there.
Calm Down everyone
I don't know what the hoo ha is all about. It is reasonably easy to make firearms using just a lathe and a milling machine, both of which are much cheaper and more readily available than sintered 3D printers. Not to mention that purchasing bars of metal is going to be much simpler and more anonymous than purchasing powdered stainless steel. This has been possible for many years but there hasn't been a mass outbreak of people making their own guns (AFAIK). It's the amunition that's the tricky part but unfortunately in the States obtaining that is as simple as going down to the K-Mart.
The reason the plastic 3D printed gun caused alarm was that it meant the firearm could be produced in a home very easily and cheaply and that being plastic it would be virtually undetectable. All this article shows it that 3D sintered laser printing can produce production ready prototypes.
Where has all the money gone.
Sadly I can see most of this umpteen millions pounds being spent on futile gestures like publicity campaigns and endless commitees etc. You know, projects where the brown nose brigade can get to spend money on themselves or through their companies. I suspect very little of this will ever get into the pockets of young engineers. Call me cynical but i have seen far too many 'schemes' that have been set up that were essentially ways for the rich to skim off as much money as they could without being caught at it. What;'s the betting that the first thing they do is set up a quango to look into how to spend this money! They will probably have to visit lots of other countries to determine which is the best way to help and then conclude that the most 'exciting' solution is to provide every kid with a Rasberry Pi.
I still think my electric kettle idea still holds water (pardon the pun). You glue two flat contacts onto the rear section of the fuselage, connected to the heater and have two spring loaded contacts pressing down on them from the truss above. As the rocket lauches and moves up the launch rod, the contacts slide off the fuselage. If you want I can draw you a diagram.
I don't think i need to explain the Paris Hilton angle.
Much Ado About Nothing
Sorry I couldn't resist.
Re: Two things...
The HUD idea is to diplay vehicle information to the driver, not to display entertainment. The same rules apply as detailed by a previous poster. Google glass will always pose a distraction threat through its ability to display entertainment media or other distracting information (i.e. not related to driving along the road).
The cop was totally right to fine her.
One man's poison
Perhaps when they say unlimitied they mean there will be an unlimited number of excuses to limit your access. And perhaps when they say no capping they really meant 'put a sock in it, you mugs'; an easy mistake to make.
More icons please
Or have a review of the ones available. We could really do with a 'laughing my ass off' icon or a better 'I am not being at all serious, tongue in cheek' icon. I have also been using the Paris Hilton icon to indicate the female perspective but we should have a separate one for that (maybe a Ada Lovelace portrait).
I have used the Divine Being icon here to show what I mean about the confusion/lack of laughing ones.
The're watching us
I always thought those glowing red neon indicators were spying on me. Now I am sure.
Do we need more bedroom programmers? Surely what we need is more professional software developers who can program or is it the age old claim of industry about skills shortages. Yes there is a demand for 'progammers', for want of a better word, but if you look at what is being asked for in the job ads you can see that the industry has fragmented into very narrow verticals. Either you are a web developer or a iOS developer or backend developer etc etc, each requiring specific skill sets and languages. So what looks like a shortage is actually a sign of an industry refusing to invest in cross-training and determined to 'cherry-pick' from a pool of candidates. And its this apparently empty pool that is promoting the idea that there is a need for more programmers and consequently the bleating from government for more bedroom programmers.
It is like when they complained that there was a shortage of plumbers and builders, when what they really meant was there is a shortage of cheap plumbers and builders. Notice how the cry for training more of these disappeared when all those Polish workers started turning up and undercutting the homegrown workforce. Given that large proporations of many software projects are now hived off to programmers in off-shore sites, in places such as India or China, where is the incentive to train up new expensive programmers here in the UK. Software development is going the way of the clothing industry in that only the design houses are here in the UK and the 'making' of the product is done in some poor thrid world country using cheap labour.
So I would suggest that its not more bedroom programmers we need as there won't be any work for them but then that won't allow the industry the room to 'cherry pick' talent and keep the costs down. This whole idea of teaching kids programming is just a distraction from what is really happening and using Rasberry Pis won't change that.
We already use parallel processing to a certain extent. It's called multi-threading, the only real difference being that the processor and underlying OS handles this parallelism by such techniques a time slicing. The reason for avoiding it in the past has been the additional complexity it adds to the code and the greater dificulty in testing. Even the humble smartphone uses it, particularly when connecting to the network or running some kind of media, requiring asynchronous and time-boxed funtionality such as screen refresh for animation.
So initially we should see an improvement in the OS as it handles multiple threads truely in parallel followed by more complex software being able to run faster and more efficiently, making it possible for higher AI functions to be implemented on more compact devices. Currently SIRI is being run as a thin client to a massive backend engine but that could change with this new chipset. Also facial recognition and security could be improved, not to mention how speech recognition would expand to speech comprehension and translation.
I think what scares people the most is the idea of extreme parallel processing of the sort needed to analyse or create video in real time, where each pixel is subjected to its own process but this is already happening with video graphics cards. Or my personal favourite, neural networks where each 'neuron' is given its own process to react independently of but collaborativley with other neurons to form a network. That's the kind of parallel processing I am looking forward to.
This should put an end to shod-dy workmanship. Hoof-its these things anyway.
As my degree was in Cognitive Science rather than Computer Science, pretty much all we did was study NP hard problems and non-deterministic neural networks. The up side of this is that anything that I can recognise as being deterministic, I know I can solve using basic (or not so basic) algorithms, by breaking the problem down using various problem-solving techniques. It's surprising how many seemingly intractable problems resolve down to using a combination of one or two techniques and a couple of algorithms. The down-side of my degree is that I find very little software in the commercial world to be particularly challenging, just tediously long-winded. I long to work on neural-network designs but so far little has escaped from AI research labs to be used in real-world applications. Even visual processing tends to rely on various mathematical techniques involving massive number crunching. The closest we get is using Hidden Markov Models to fudge the parts where deterministic algorithms fail.
To be or not to be
Surely free will boils down to whether you adhere to the single time-line unverse or the multi-time-line universe. With a single time line each event follow on the from the previous in a cause and effect manner, meaning that any decision is predicated on previous events creating an undeniable influence on the thought process. So if we could step outside of time we would see all events in history already defined by this single timeline and hence every decision already made for us.
To accept free will we would have to imagine a universe that can fork into two or more different futures at each decision, with each possible future extrapolating away from the decision point. This has been the subject of many a fiction novel, the 'what if' scenario, often leading to a resolution where the decision becomes irrelevant when it becomes clear that the same future state is obtained. One of the main difficulties with the multiverse idea is where all the energy would come from to generate each possible future for every person that ever lived and generating each universe into a separate reality, completely isolated from all other universes.
The AI proponents argue that as each state of the brain, such as synaptic charge levels, hormonal balances, etc, is predicated on a previously existing state, much the same as a Turing machine can only move from one computation step to another in a predefined manner, then free will does not enter into the decision making process. As a crude example, I may think I have free will to decide to stop and have chocolate but in reality that decision has already been made by my body craving chocolate, my previous experience of eating chocolate and thus desiring it, and what my hormones are telling me would be a good thing to do. However, my initial decision can be totally countermanded by the fact that when I open my drawer I find I don't have any chocolate left! Cause and effect.
Even if I consously override my initial, possibly sub-concious, decision, the decision to override my initial decision has already been predicated on previous states of my mind, due to previous cause and effect on the chemicals in my brain. Hence my free will decision has already been made for me by my brain.
Why not go F1 style
Seeing as the bonnet and boot are so vunerable to damage why not copy the F1 builders and make the chassis and floor pan out of the stuff instead. The roof is also a good alternative, especially if you add a layer of solar cells to it. The car could be constantly charging itself all day long.
Re: Whatever next
Oops, that should have been Thunderbird 3 of course.
I guess this is to go with his Iron Man suit and Batmobile he has hidden away in his hi-tech lair, where Thunderbird 5 takes off. Don't we all wish we could live out our childhood dreams.
Are we sure that they have become extinct on Jersey, or maybe they swam over to Guernsey and forgot how to get back.
Show and tell
Aww come on, where's the video. Nothing can beat a bit of schadenfreude than when it involves robots and smug scientists.
I see great potential in this system, once the engineers have let go of it and the designers can mould it into something that people would like to wear. It really needs to be seen as jewelry with function rather than functionality strapped to the wrist. Curved screens and silver or gold casements, with lots of lovely rounded edges would transform this into something desireable. The multiscreen idea is also neat as it allows the user to select what to display without having to tap through menus. So a watch screen on one facet, with a twitter feed on a another facet and your email or calendar on another. Having all 6 facets as screens may not be necessary but at least three would be good; four if that expanding option proves useful. The other facets could be used for battery space and maybe a NFC transponder.
Re: Prize Bull
> The economists said no such thing.
True, an economist wouldn't have said "please".
It should come as no surprise that a bank is awarding a prize to an economist that says 'Please don't tax the rich'. A robin hood tax is no 'silver bullet' but the real reason for opposition is that it goes against the 'appeal to greed' that is prevelent in financial institutions. This is the ethos that only gaining more money is important, not trying to invest in a sustainable or even profitable future. And the reasoning for not making the rich pay up is that they will go elsewhere, thus removing their wealth from the system. In other words the rich will hit us with a big stick if we dare to make them pay for their gambling addiction.
Sadly this appeal to greed is contageous, with everyone wanting their share of the mythical riches, resulting in people becoming mouthpieces for the rich, shouting out that it is wrong to tax them in fear of losing out on the big money themselves. Whenever there is a call to redistribute the wealth downwards, particularly if it helps the poor, the same arguements of failed communism are dusted off and held up for ridicule. Totally ignoring that one of the largest economys in the world is run on socialist lines and was hard line communist for many years. Secondly, I suspect that if comparison was made between the more capitalist countries and the more socialist ones, it would be seen that the socialist ones have weathered the storm of financial meltdown far better than the capilist ones. However, not being an economist, I don't have those kinds of figures to hand.
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