Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
BBC reports: [edited]
Robots are developing their own language to help them navigate and improve their intellectual ability. The Lingodroid research project lets robots generate random sounds for the places they visit in both simulations and a real office.
The "words" are shared and the robots play games to establish which sound represents which location. The lexicon has proved so sophisticated that it can be used to help robots find places other robots direct them to.
"Robot-robot languages take the human out of the loop," she said. "This is important because the robots demonstrate that they understand the meaning of the words they invent independent of humans."
One set of the trials with Lingodroids sees wheeled robots fitted with a camera, laser-range finder, and sonar used to map their world - roaming around at an office at the University. The robots also have a microphone and speakers onboard so they can communicate with each other.
The wheeled robots travel about and, when they reach a place that does not have a name, they generate a random combination of syllables that represent that place.
When that robot meets another robot it tells it about the places it has been. Slowly, as the robots travel and talk, they narrow down their lexicon of place names until a mutual gazeteer of their world has been generated.
The robots generated place names such as "kuzo", "jaro" and "fexo".
The power of the language being created by the Lingodroids was starting to become apparent, said Dr Schulz. "They enable the robots to refer to places they haven't been or even places that they imagine beyond the edges of their explored world," she said.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
BikeExif reports: [edited]
The Sora, which comes from Canadian company Lito Green Motion is due to be unveiled next month, with deliveries beginning in October.
Top speed is 120 mph, and there are novelties like an electric seat — so you can change the riding position from sportbike to cruiser-style — and an integrated GPS system.
The $44,000 Sora is designed to be ridden for up to 300 km on a single charge and it also sports a CVT transmission.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Stuff that I have found enjoyable/challenging/thought-provoking:
The Sydney Morning Herald talks to Microsoft co-founder's Paul Allen.
Rense.com has an excerpt from Eric Schlosser's 2001 book 'Fast Food Nation' about the evolution of food flavourings.
Austin Kleon provides ten stimulating 'life-advice' pointers.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Areaware reports: [edited]
Remember those faux woodgrain flip clocks that sat on every bedside table? These were made obsolete by LED clocks and more recently by cell phones.
Jonas Damon’s Alarm Dock allows your iPhone to read as an 'alarm clock', with an opening at the back for routing your power supply. Augmented by a flip clock app, this dock returns meaningful form to the sliver of a device that will wake you up.
$39.50, approximate ship date: 9/15/2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]
The G3 represents the start of Panasonic's third generation of mirrorless camera. It uses the same electronic viewfinder and hinged rear display screen as the G1 and G2, but has the 16.6MP sensor used in the GH2. The G3 is close in size and appearance to a GF2 (with a viewfinder).
Monday, May 16, 2011
We Transfer is a service that allows you to send files up to 2GB for nowt.
There's no registration required either, simply visit the site, select the file(s) you want to transfer, fill in your email address, the recipient's email address, an optional message, then click the 'transfer' button.
When the file(s) has/have uploaded to the server, emails are sent to you and the intended recipient with a download link. Sweet!
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
PC World reports: [edited]
Doris Day is a stylish little brush script from designer Mario Arturo.
Doris Day's capital letters are based on forms from 'The ABC of Lettering' by artist J.I. Biegeleisen, a volume first published in 1940 and a standard reference work for brush letterers. The font's lowercase characters were inspired by ads of the period and vintage lettering books.
Doris Day comes with a full set of upper- and lowercase characters as well as a limited set of punctuation marks, but there are no numerals.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Monday, May 09, 2011
Wired reports: [edited]
Jaguar has leapfrogged Porsche in the race to build the world’s most expensive hybrid.
The British automaker announced today that it is working with Williams F1 to develop the C-X75, the spectacularly gorgeous supercar that dropped jaws at the Paris auto show last fall. Jag promises a car as fast as it looks, claiming it will do zero to 60 in less than 3 seconds and top out north of 200 mph — yet emit almost as little CO2 as a Toyota Prius.
The C-X75 is the latest “green” supercar to come out of Europe, following the striking Porsche 918 plug-in hybrid and the Mercedes AMG SLS E-Cell and Audi e-Tron electric cars. It also promises to be the most expensive, coming in at £700,000.
Friday, May 06, 2011
Thursday, May 05, 2011
Wired reports: [edited]
Developed by German Aerospace firm DLR, Rollin’ Justin has been programmed and outfitted with 84 sensors spread out over its exoskeletal frame. Justin boasts an onboard 3-D camera system for analysing points in space, and there are 43 joints throughout its body that help enable movement in performing complex activities, including seven in each arm and 12 in each hand (a quarter of what humans possess).
Justin can operate a self-service coffee machine or catch a ball. Justin has a response time of 5 milliseconds and its onboard prediction capability figures the speed and trajectory of the ball to guess where it will be within a 2-centimeter area. Justin’s success rate for catching balls is now over 80 percent.
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Wired reports: [edited]
New high-speed videos of hummingbirds have overturned nearly two centuries of conventional wisdom on how they drink. Researchers previously thought tube-like channels in their tongues sucked up fluid by capillary action. But the new analysis shows that their tongues trap nectar by curling around it.
Monday, May 02, 2011
London to Somerset
Chewing Gum (mylo remix) - Annie
Drunken Angel - Lucinda Williams
Teen angst (what the world needs now) - Cracker
Super Trouper - A-Teens
Love You Anyway - Mike Scott
If I had a million dollars - Barenaked Ladies
I'm Outta Love - Anastacia
Moulin Rouge - Tim Buckley
Candyman - Aqua
Snapper - Hugh Cornwell
Baby's coming back - Jellyfish
Goodbye To Love (Remix) - The Carpenters
Life could be a dream (Sh-Boom) - Crew Cuts
Somebody like you - Keith Urban
Hand on Your Heart - José González
Not Dark Yet - Bob Dylan
Bizarre Love Triangle - Frente!
My Beloved Monster - Eels
Metarie - Brendan Benson
Autobahn - Senor Coconut
Atmospherics: Listen To The Radio - Tom Robinson
Scottish pop - Spearmint
Do You Believe In Magic - Lovin' Spoonful
Shake My Soul - Beth Nielsen Chapman
Closing Time - Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Night - Burden Brothers
Time Ain't Nothing - Green On Red
The Scientist (live) - Horse
New Blue Moon - Traveling Wilburys
Sk8r Boy - Avril Lavigne
L.A. freeway - Guy Clark
I Touch Myself (Soda Club Radio Mix) - m*a*s*h feat. Stacie D
Guantan Amerika - Alex Chilton
Back Of The Bottom Drawer - Chely Wright
Lovin' each day - Ronan Keating
You Better, You Bet - The Who
Always The Last To Know - Del Amitri
Somerset to London
I Feel So Good - Richard Thompson
This is my island - Lacus
Static On The Radio - Jim White
My Baby Loves Lovin' - White Plains
Those little things (instrumental) - Brook Jordan
Far Far Away - Slade
Every Other Time (Radio Edit) - LFO
Sexy boy - Air
Slip-In Mules (No High Heel Sneakers) - Sugar Pie DeSanto
Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour (On The Bedpost Overnight) - Lonnie Donegan & His Skiffle Group
I Feel Lucky - Mary Chapin Carpenter
Motorcycles - The Aluminum Group
These Words - Natasha Bedingfield
Crush (new) - Jennifer Paige
Brandy (you're a fine girl) - Looking Glass
Wicked Game - Loni Rose
Right Beside You - Sophie B. Hawkins
Where Will I Be - Emmylou Harris
Jackie - Scott Walker
Queen Of The Underworld - Jesse Malin
Happy Ever After - Julia Fordham
Shoulda Woulda Coulda - Beverley Knight
When You Are A King - White Plains
I Can't Wait - Stevie Nicks
Kickstart My Heart - Motley Crue
I don't mind at all - Bourgeois Tagg
The beat(en) generation - The The
Vindicated - Dashboard Confessional
Elodie - David Mead
This Is It - Ryan Adams
In The Shadows (dance remix) - The Rasmus
I need direction - Teenage Fanclub
Baby Jane - Rod Stewart
Broken Man - Paul Young & The Q-Tips
Born to Hum - Erin McKeown
Far Far Away - Jackpot
Little ways - Dwight Yoakam
Gone So Young - Amber Pacific
You Got The Love I Need - Undisputed Truth
Speedway At Nazareth - Mark Knopfler
Goody two shoes - Adam Ant