Posts about geeky (old posts, page 10)

Boston Dynamics Atlas Humanoid Robot

DARPA and Boston Dynamics, of BigDog, Petman, and Cheetah fame, have unveiled their most advanced humanoid robot yet: Atlas. At 6'2'' (188cm) and 330lbs (150kg), Atlas is incredibly imposing; with 28 hydraulically actuated joints, LIDAR and stereo vision, a beefy on-board computer, and some of the most advanced robotic limbs ever conceived, Atlas is remarkably human-like in its behavior. While Atlas is initially conceived as a disaster response robot, such as cleaning up and looking for survivors after a Fukushima-like disaster, it's easy to imagine Atlas being the basis of a robotic army, supported by BigDog mules.

Boston Dynamics Atlas Humanoid Robot

Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework - Doug Engelbart

By "augmenting human intellect" we mean increasing the capability of a man to approach a complex problem situation, to gain comprehension to suit his particular needs, and to derive solutions to problems. Increased capability in this respect is taken to mean a mixture of the following: more-rapid comprehension, better comprehension, the possibility of gaining a useful degree of comprehension in a situation that previously was too complex, speedier solutions, better solutions, and the possibility of finding solutions to problems that before seemed insoluble. And by "complex situations" we include the professional problems of diplomats, executives, social scientists, life scientists, physical scientists, attorneys, designers--whether the problem situation exists for twenty minutes or twenty years. We do not speak of isolated clever tricks that help in particular situations. We refer to a way of life in an integrated domain where hunches, cut-and-try, intangibles, and the human "feel for a situation" usefully co-exist with powerful concepts, streamlined terminology and notation, sophisticated methods, and high-powered electronic aids.

Richard Feynman and The Connection Machine

I got to know Richard through his son. I was a graduate student at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab and Carl was one of the undergraduates helping me with my thesis project. I was trying to design a computer fast enough to solve common sense reasoning problems. The machine, as we envisioned it, would contain a million tiny computers, all connected by a communications network. We called it a "Connection Machine." Richard, always interested in his son's activities, followed the project closely. He was skeptical about the idea, but whenever we met at a conference or I visited CalTech, we would stay up until the early hours of the morning discussing details of the planned machine. The first time he ever seemed to believe that we were really going to try to build it was the lunchtime meeting.

BeagleBone Black Mini Linux PC goes on sale

Although BeagleBone Black costs $10 more than a Raspberry Pi, it comes with a power supply and network cable whereas the Pi does not. BeagleBone Black has 2GB of on-board storage that's pre-installed with Angstrom Linux, and the MicroSD slot can be used for additional storage or to boot another operating system. BeagleBone Black upgrades the RAM over the previous version from 256MB of DDR2 memory to 512MB of DDR3L memory.

BeagleBone Black Mini Linux PC goes on sale

The Art of Physics

Physics laboratories around the world house amazing machines that probe the heart of matter and unlock the secrets of the universe. Incredible as their scientific work is, these particle accelerators, heavy ion colliders, gamma ray detectors, and neutrino experiments are also beautiful. That's the takeaway from the 2012 Global Particle Physics Photowalk, a competition that looked at the intersection of art and high-energy particle physics. In September, hundreds of amateur and professional photographers were invited to take behind-the-scenes tours at 10 top-tier scientific facilities around the world and see some of the devices chasing the latest breakthroughs in physics.

The Art of Physics

NBN Government vs Coalition

The Coalition criticises the NBN as being too costly, claiming that their FTTN approach is vastly less expensive (the Coalition claims $17b less). If we work off the assumption that the copper infrastructure 'comes for free' then this might be a reasonable claim. But it doesn't. The reality is that the Australian copper network is nearing the end of its lifetime and will be in need of complete replacement in the near future followed by ongoing maintenance. To my knowledge, this cost has not been factored into the Coalition's estimates, which significantly underestimates the total long-term cost of the network. Fibre has a very long lifespan - on the order of at least half a century. This is not the case for copper, which deteriorates very rapidly, requiring constant maintenance or downright replacement. I suspect that once this is factored into the pricing, the Coalition's plan will not be quite as cheap as touted. Telstra currently spends $1b per year maintaining their copper network.