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Friday, December 22, 2006

Robot Rights

UK report says robots will have rights
By Salamander Davoudi in London

Published: December 19 2006 22:01 | Last updated: December 19 2006 22:01

The next time you beat your keyboard in frustration, think of a day when it may be able to sue you for assault. Within 50 years we might even find ourselves standing next to the next generation of vacuum cleaners in the voting booth.

Far from being extracts from the extreme end of science fiction, the idea that we may one day give sentient machines the kind of rights traditionally reserved for humans is raised in a British government-commissioned report which claims to be an extensive look into the future.

Visions of the status of robots around 2056 have emerged from one of 270 forward-looking papers sponsored by Sir David King, the UK government’s chief scientist. The paper covering robots’ rights was written by a UK partnership of Outsights, the management consultancy, and Ipsos Mori, the opinion research organisation.

“If we make conscious robots they would want to have rights and they probably should,” said Henrik Christensen, director of the Centre of Robotics and Intelligent Machines at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The idea will not surprise science fiction aficionados. It was widely explored by Dr Isaac Asimov, one of the foremost science fiction writers of the 20th century. He wrote of a society where robots were fully integrated and essential in day-to-day life.

In his system, the ‘three laws of robotics’ governed machine life. They decreed that robots could not injure humans, must obey orders and protect their own existence – in that order.

Robots and machines are now classed as inanimate objects without rights or duties but if artificial intelligence becomes ubiquitous, the report argues, there may be calls for humans’ rights to be extended to them.

It is also logical that such rights are meted out with citizens’ duties, including voting, paying tax and compulsory military service.

Mr Christensen said: “Would it be acceptable to kick a robotic dog even though we shouldn’t kick a normal one?

“There will be people who can’t distinguish that so we need to have ethical rules to make sure we as humans interact with robots in an ethical manner so we do not move our boundaries of what is acceptable.”

The Horizon Scan report argues that if ‘correctly managed’, this new world of robots’ rights could lead to increased labour output and greater prosperity.

“If granted full rights, states will be obligated to provide full social benefits to them including income support, housing and possibly robo-healthcare to fix the machines over time,” it says.

But it points out that the process has casualties and the first one may be the environment, especially in the areas of energy and waste.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2006


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What hath Gutenberg wrought?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Printing Muscle and Bone
Ink-jet printers allow tissue engineers to control cell development and could one day be used to construct complex cellular structures.

By Jennifer Chu









Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh have successfully directed adult stem cells from mice to develop into bone and muscle cells with the aid of a custom-designed ink-jet printer. They say it's a first step toward better understanding tissue regeneration, which may one day lead to therapies for repairing damaged tissues, as occurs in osteoarthritis.


For years, tissue engineers have used souped-up printers, and in some cases off-the-shelf models, to print "bio-inks." These inks consist of anything from proteins to individual cells printed in microscopic patterns. By printing layer upon layer of cell patterns, scientists may one day be able to "print" whole tissues or organs for replacement therapies.


Now Phil Campbell and his team at Carnegie Mellon have added a new branch to the budding field of bioprinting. Certain growth factors spur stem cells to morph into specific kinds of cells, such as bone or muscle. Campbell and his colleagues have successfully printed growth-factor solutions on the same slide, or "paper," forming a scaffold onto which stem cells can interact and differentiate into bone or muscle cells side by side.


The team loaded its ink-jet printer with a dilute solution containing the growth factor BMP-2, known for turning stem cells into bone cells. Meanwhile, the researchers prepared the paper they would print on: a microscope slide coated with a fibrin matrix--a material found in the body that naturally binds growth factors. The team then printed growth factors one drop at a time, in four separate square patterns of 750 microns. Each square consisted of varying shades, or concentrations, of growth factor, depending on the number of times the researchers printed on top of the same pattern.


Once the slide was dry, researchers placed it in a culture dish and evenly coated it with adult stem cells taken from the leg muscles of mice. Stem cells landing on areas with growth factors began to differentiate into bone cells--the greater the concentration of growth factor, the higher the yield of differentiated bone cells. Stem cells that landed on blank spots turned into muscle cells, which is the default developmental path for these cells.


Campbell's technique diverges from previous research, in which different types of stem cells are grown individually in separate flasks or incubation vessels. He says that being able to differentiate multiple kinds of cells, such as bone and muscle, side by side mimics the way stem cells naturally differentiate within the body.


"We're recreating microenvironments that better replicate those that nature normally makes," says Campbell. "You can envision a scaffold structure where one end promotes bone, one end tendon, the other end muscle. That gives you more control over regenerating that tissue."



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Saturday, December 16, 2006

The other side

The inevitable "Down with robots!" movement
There are many cases in which robots are going to start colliding with the human workforce, and when that happens, the inevitable result will be a backlash against the robots. People will say the robots are stealing their jobs, but that's only a limited view of what will really be happening. Useful robots will multiply the effectiveness of human ingenuity and help get more done with less human capital. The bottom line is, if you're the one who owns the robots, you're going to do very well in the future. However, if you are an unskilled worker or laborer, and you're competing against robots for productivity, you'd better learn some new skills.
Some people might say these predictions are all overblown, that we already have robots working in the car manufacturing industry, for example. But I'm talking about self-contained, mobile robots that are humanoid in shape and size, not the large pre-programmed robots that help assemble automobiles in automobile factories. Those robots are stuck in one place, they don't move around on their own or make their own decisions; they are not autonomous. But the humanoid robots of the near future will be autonomous.

These advanced robots will be able to move under their own power and they will have a goal instead of just a preprogrammed motion. In other words, they will know that the ultimate goal is to sweep the sidewalk or do the laundry or do the dishes, but getting to that goal will require lots of decision-making on the part of the robot. So these are robots that are far more capable of taking over basic human labor jobs that now employ a large number of our citizens at the lower end of the economic scale.


The "My robot hurt me!" backlash
Sooner or later of course, one of these autonomous robots is going to directly or indirectly cause harm to a human being. I don't mean intentionally, I mean accidentally; perhaps a human trips over a robot or the robot displaces something causing someone to trip and fall. There's no doubt that such an event would be used by an anti-robot movement to illustrate how robots are dangerous and should perhaps be outlawed.
Of course, a more sinister scenario involves the possibility of someone hacking into a robot and programming it to do dangerous things. There's also the very real inevitability that the Pentagon will purchase robots and program them to cause harm to other human beings, ultimately making them part of the military forces.

So, there's no question that robots will eventually be accused of harming

Sunday, November 26, 2006




For people having to work with limited funds, there is pride in attempting elegant solutions to the formidable problems of robotic walking and stability.

So there is a hint of inverted snobbery in the occasional condescending comment on Honda's full-frontal assault combining massive computing power with overwhelming engineering know-how.

But if you stopped for a moment to think seriously about the challenges involved, the stage show, during which the robot sure-footedly strode up a flight of steps, waved its arms, rocked from side to side, and balanced on one foot, was a persuasive demonstration of the success of Honda's approach.

Comic appeal

Not that there were not moments of comedy. There was an embarrassing silence the first time the master of ceremonies asked Asimo if it was enjoying itself.

Or the whispered instructions "don't move", if Asimo came too close to you, lest you disturb its navigation systems presumably.

As I grabbed my interview with the head of Honda's European Research division in the wings stage right, I could see a back-up Asimo waiting in the background in case number one failed, always a wise precaution in robotics.

The demonstration was immensely slick and highly choreographed. True, you could not expect much else when the UK's press had been invited along


About the Lynxmotion Biped BRAT $286.00
BRAT stands for Bipedal Robotic Articulating Transport. The robot is a 6 servo biped walker featuring three degrees of freedom (DOF) per leg. The robot can walk forward or backwards and turn in place left or right with variable speed. It can even do lots of Robo-One style acrobatic moves. Our combo kits include everything needed to make an operational robot, however the chassis and servos are available separately for those who want to use their own electronics.

The Mechanics
The robot is made exclusively from brushed, or black anodized aluminum servo brackets from our Servo Erector Set. It also includes an electronics carrier made from ultra-tough laser-cut Lexan.

The Servos
We are providing the walker with Hitec HS-422 servos. Due to the robot's light weight, these servos work well.

Powering Options
As with any walking robot, weight is a major concern. The best approach is to keep the weight to an absolute minimum. We recommend using the 6.0 Volt Ni-MH 1600mAh Battery Pack (BAT-03) and the Universal Smart Charger (USC-01).

Controlling the Biped
The robot can be controlled in many ways. The combo kit for PC uses our SSC-32 and the Visual Sequencer to control the robots motion. It's a tethered configuration but can be made wireless with any commercial wireless serial device. We have example projects for the Visual Sequencer to get the robot going right away. We will offer a combo kit for Basic Atom as soon as we have programming available. We are working on wireless play station game controller code for remote control as well.

Important!
To keep costs down we are not providing printed Assembly Guides. They are provided online, so you will need to print them when you order the kits. By providing the Assembly Guides online we can provide more detailed and up to date information than the old hardcopy method allowed.


http://lynxmotion.com/Category.aspx?CategoryID=97




Lego NxT Robot Kit


$250.00


Bow to the next generation of LEGO Mindstorms – now, with a 32-bit processor, redesigned sensors, Bluetooth and more.

Features:

LEGO's newest robot-building kit, with greatly improved functionality
32-bit command center with large LCD, USB 2.0 and Bluetooth interfaces that allow robots to walk, talk and interact with their environment
Technic blocks ("studless legos") create a more human, less boxy look
Intuitive GUI and drag-and-drop icons are PC- and Mac-friendly
Redesigned touch and light sensors, new sound sensor and ultrasonic sensor
Now with three motors – redesigned for smoother, more reliable operation
6-wire digital cables for more precise connections
5 main themes (8 different models) – Vehicle: Roverbot, Animal, Scorpio; Machine: Robotic Arm; Human: Humanoid; Gadgets: Clock, Music, Game and Movers
Models are all built within the LEGO Technic System
Includes:
571 pieces
Quickstart Guide helps you build a robot ready for action within 30 minutes
Model-specific building instructions, tips and tricks, testing methods and programming options
Easy-to-use software
Test panel
The power of the LEGO building system, an intelligent command center and easy-to-use, drag and drop programming software unleash the power of your robot-building imagination.



Robonova



Price: $999.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping. Details


Availability: In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.

Only 1 left in stock--order soon (more on the way).



2 used & new available from $999.99



‹ Return to Product Overview

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Product Features and Technical Details
Product Features
Advanced robot for students, hobbyists, and educators
Gold anodized metal servo brackets serve as strong and lightweight exoskeleton
Controlled with 16 powerful HSR-8498HB digital servos; includes IR controller
Micom control board can operate up to 24 servos and 16 accessory modules
Simple programming with supplied RoboScript and RoboBasic software
Technical Details


Model number: 77003
Height: 12.5 inches
Weight: 47 ounces
Micro controller board: MR-3024
Servos: 16
Battery: NiMH
PC connectivity: Serial port
IR controller: Yes
What's in the box: MR-3024 Micro controller board for 24 servos, 16 digital HSR-8498HB servos, re-chargeable NiMH battery and charger, RoboBasic programming software and manual, PC serial port programming interface cable, Remocon IR controller, assembly guide, user's manual




‹ Return to Product Overview


The three types of jobs robots do well are the dull, dirty, and dangerous



London-based Shadow Robotics - a group of inventors best known for their invention of a multi-use, 'dextrous' robotic hand, which can be used in a variety of domestic and industrial settings. The hand, which has 24 separately powered and controlled movements, has already caught the imagination of leading disability organisations and even NASA, which last year purchased one for €90,000



Each robot has to recognize objects on the field, know where it is in relation to other players, dribble the ball and follow a set of simplified, FIFA-based rules independent of outside influence. Ideally, they should also show some team spirit by cooperating with each other.



"Everything humans can do naturally has to be programmed in the robots," Mainz University's Peter Dauscher said of the machines, which can cost upwards of 3,000 euros ($3,851). "They need to be able to analyze the situation and decide what they should do."




Bildunterschrift: Gro├čansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Not much competition for humans at the moment
Robocup organizers -- the sport has two international robot soccer federations, similar to world soccer governing body FIFA, as well as numerous national clubs -- have set an ambitious goal of fielding a team capable of beating a human World Cup team by 2050.

Saturday, November 25, 2006



But that is only the beginning. By 2015, the US Department of Defense plans that one third of its fighting strength will be composed of robots, part of a $127bn (£68bn) project known as Future Combat Systems (FCS), a transformation that is part of the largest technology project in American history.

The US army has already developed around 20 remotely controlled Unmanned Ground Systems that can be controlled by a laptop from around a mile away, and the US Navy and US Air Force are working on a similar number of systems with varying ranges. According to a US general quoted in the US Army's Joint Robotics Program Master Plan (http://tinyurl.com/yl7s52 - 13.8MB PDF), "what we're doing with unmanned ground and air vehicles is really bringing movies like Star Wars to reality". The US military has 2,500 uncrewed systems deployed in conflicts around the world. But is it Star Wars or I, Robot that the US is bringing to reality?




Japanese researchers have developed a flexible artificial skin that could give robots a humanlike sense of touch.
The team manufactured a type of "skin" capable of sensing pressure and another capable of sensing temperature.

These are supple enough to wrap around robot fingers and relatively cheap to make, the researchers have claimed.

The University of Tokyo team describe their work in the latest issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The materials they're using may not be completely novel but the integration appears to be something new

Douglas Weibel, Harvard University

The researchers explain how pressure-sensing and temperature-sensing networks can be laminated together, forming an artificial skin that can detect both properties simultaneously.

Takao Someya, lead author on the latest research, previously developed a form of artificial skin capable of sensing pressure.

But the ability to sense temperature as well allows the scientists to more closely imitate the functions of human skin.

Someya and his colleagues used electronic circuits as pressure sensors and semiconductors as temperature sensors. They embedded these sensors in a thin plastic film to create a net-like matrix.

Organic materials

The transistors used in the circuits and the semiconductors both use "organic" materials based on chains of carbon atoms.

This makes them mechanically flexible and relatively inexpensive to fabricate.

"Both of those characteristics sound compelling. The material sounds like it could have lots of functions," Dr Douglas Weibel, of the department of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University told the BBC News website.

"The materials they're using may not be completely novel but the integration appears to be something new."

The University of Tokyo scientists say their breakthrough has the potential to improve how robots will function in the real world.

And they add that there is no need to stop at simply imitating the functions of human skin.

"It will be possible in the near future to make an electronic skin that has functions that human skin lacks," the researchers write in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Future artificial skins could incorporate sensors not only for pressure and temperature, but also for light, humidity, strain or sound, they add.

Friday, November 24, 2006





WASHINGTON (AP) -- David Hanson's robots can creep people out.

Their heads are so lifelike, their skin so textured and realistic, that Candy Sidner, a competing roboticist, called his Albert Einstein robot "spookily cool ... a giant step forward."

Hanson, who started his career as an artist and spent time working in Disney's Imagineering Lab, said he flirts with being too realistic for comfort. His work, he said, "poses an identity challenge to the human being."

"If you make it perfectly realistic, you trigger this body-snatcher fear in some people," he said. "Making realistic robots is going to polarize the market, if you will. You will have some people who love it and some people who will really be disturbed."

Hanson's robotics company in Dallas is the flip side of an industry focused on making robots more human on the inside. Hanson makes "conversational character robots." They are mostly human-looking heads using a skin-like material that he invented called Frubber. They are battery-powered, walk and are expressive, but from the neck down they don't look human at all.

The issue of being too human-looking is called "uncanny valley" syndrome, and Hanson embraces it with the passion and line-crossing of an avant-garde artist, which he also is.

Hanson made a robot head modeled on his own, but it wasn't for use as a robot. It was part of an art show where he made his self-portrait robot a "large homeless robot figure in a box." The idea was to go out of the "comfort zone" of science, he said.

But Hanson is also a businessman who is designing entertainment robots for the home. He hopes to have two-foot robots -- with human-looking heads that are more cartoonish than uncannily accurate -- that can dance, make eye contact, talk and recognize your face. The idea is to price them at $3,000 and get them on the market in about a year.

"It would be very much like Astro Boy in the old TV series," Hanson said.

TOKYO - It can greet people, show DVDs and hand out balloons. "Ubiko," a robot-on-wheels with a catlike face, is joining the crew of temporary workers supplied by a Japanese job-referral company to stores, events and even weddings.

ADVERTISEMENT

Next month, the 44-inch tall robot will be selling mobile phones at a store, said Akiko Sakurai, a spokeswoman at the company, Ubiquitous Exchange.

Ubiko can be hired as a temporary worker for two hours for 105,000 yen, or $890.

"We see this as serious business. There are jobs that robots are better at," Sakurai said Wednesday. "People do develop an attachment with the robot, and it's lovable."

The $255,000 robot, which comes a camera and infared sensors, greets customers with a nasal electronic voice, shows DVDs with a projector in its head and hands out balloons and other goods with wireless remote-controllable arms, she said.

Ubiko is short for "ubiquitous computing" and "ubiquitous company" but also sounds like a Japanese female name, which often end with "ko."

Tmsuk, the Japanese manufacturer that makes the robot, sold three last month to a hospital, where they are working as full-time, rather than temporary, receptionists and guides, said company spokeswoman Rie Sudo.

One of the hospital's robots serves as a receptionist and has been programmed to greet visitors. It also has a touch-panel on its body, and visitors can use it to get directions for where they want to go.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Cat Travis (mail) (www):
Our exit from Iraq will be shameful at best. There will be no dignity in it what so ever. For that reason we will be stuck there. We will be unable to admit defeat. Hopefully this will be useful the next time we think about invading another country. Korea, Vietnam and now Iraq, how long will it be before we do it again? Can we ever learn our lesson? Will this be our legacy? What makes us this way? Is it just the nature of the human race? We keep crowing about being some kind of different. Are we any worse or any better than anyone else? We sure do love ourselves. Our nationalism keeps leading us astray just as it did Germany.
11.23.2006 5:28am

http://www.themoderatevoice.com/posts/1164241586.comments.shtml
"If society fits you comfortably enough, you call it freedom." : Robert Frost

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Project participants: Josh Bongard, Victor Zykov, and Hod Lipson (see team picture). Please mention all team members when covering this work. Thank you.
Higher animals use some form of an "internal model" of themselves for planning complex actions and predicting their consequence, but it is not clear if and how these self-models are acquired or what form they take. Analogously, most practical robotic systems use internal mathematical models, but these are laboriously constructed by engineers. While simple yet robust behaviors can be achieved without a model at all, here we show how low-level sensation and actuation synergies can give rise to an internal predictive self-model, which in turn can be used to develop new behaviors. We demonstrate, both computationally and experimentally, how a legged robot automatically synthesizes a predictive model of its own topology (where and how its body parts are connected) through limited yet self-directed interaction with its environment, and then uses this model to synthesize successful new locomotive behavior before and after damage. The legged robot learned how to move forward based on only 16 brief self-directed interactions with its environment. These interactions were unrelated to the task of locomotion, driven only by the objective of disambiguating competing internal models. These findings may help develop more robust robotics, as well as shed light on the relation between curiosity and cognition in animals and humans: Creating models through exploration, and using them to create new behaviors through introspection. Watch a movie here.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

http://www.themoderatevoice.com/posts/1164079994.shtml
Cat Travis (mail) (www):
I too have a problem with anger. It's been diagnosed as borderline personality disorder. It has plagued me since I was a young child. Nothing gives me a bigger thrill than to be uncivil. I just love to go to extremes. It gives me a kind of euphoria. Revenge can feel better than love to some. It's a sick sad existence. I've been in therapy since 1969. I now live in a self imposed solitude. People say behavior can be modified if the desire is there. I feel I am evidence to the contrary. Am I evil? What am I? Of course there is tourette syndrome where the person absolutely has no control. There are so many things out there than can ruin your life. For those of you that are normal be very, very grateful.
11.21.2006 10:49am

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Oh great. As if the potent, robotic cocktail of self-replication, self-awareness, and wireless power weren't bad enough, along comes Cornell University with a robot capable of not only discovering its own nature (something we can't even do) but then adapts to overcome injury. This four-legged robot starts out knowing only what parts it has, not where they are or how to use them for locomotion. It applies a scientific method of theory and experimentation to develop computer models and ultimately, a set of commands to turn its motors for that first cautious step. Even when researchers remove part of the toddling robot's leg, the little guy still figures out a way to limp forward. Cornell scientists go so far as to say that the robot is "conscious," albeit on a primitive level since it thinks to itself, "what would happen if I do this?" Yeah, that's a stretch, but a step closer to our doom nevertheless. Although the robot used to demonstrate these cognitive gymnastics is quite simple, the algorithm could be used to build more complex robots for say, space exploration or defending itself while standing in line for a PS3. Well, at least The Robots don't currently have a place to coalesce under a common roof of intellectual ferment... oh God, no! Still, any robot which drinks puddle water can't be too bright, eh?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dear Diane Hall:

I have BPD, manic depression and attention deficit. I have come across many other people with the same diagnosis. I feel like I only have one thing. It is just the way the DSM is written that makes it into three different illnesses. I live a life of self imposed solitary confinement. I know that anything that I grow to love I'll grow to hate. It is just simpler to avoid it in the first place. This is the most normal that I can be. I once saw attention deficit explained as the search for stimulation. I see manic depression in much the same way. I have seen epilepsy explained as the brain's need for chaos. Both manic depression and epilepsy share a phenomena called kindling. I feel that what I have is a somewhat watered down form of epilepsy. Thank you for letting me share these opinions with you. Sincerely,
Cat

Robot Radiosurgery Firm Files for IPO
Accuray, the makers of the robot radiosurgery machine CyberKnife have applied with the SEC for a stock offering.The Sunnyvale, California company was founded in 1990 to sell the first Cyberknife systems for limited use radiosurgery in treating tumors in the head and neck.Since then, the robot system has advanced and successfully used for many different radiosurgery procedures.Over 140 of the multi-million dollar machines have been installed worldwide.Accuray will try to raise US $230 million in the offering.Making Radiosurgery an Option for Every Cancer Patient
posted by Prospector at 1:25 PM

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Technology Review: Shape-Shifting Rovers: "An early prototype of the tetrahedral robot (above) was tested at Meteor Crater, in Arizona. A larger, more advanced device made up of 12 tetrahedrons is now going through its final assembly in the lab."

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Reaction -- by Michael J.W. Stickings: Why W is such a nightmare: "during his campaign for the GOP nomination in 2000, Keyes said something like, 'All I'm asking people to do is to take a look at George W. Bush, listen to him speak. And I ask you, Does this seem like someone who has ever had to make a serious moral decision in his life? Does this seem like someone who has ever had to take a real stand, to really sacrifice something, to make a genuinely difficult decision? And if he hasn't yet, why would he start now? And is this really the situation to trust that he will?'"
The Moderate Voice - Americans' Love Affair With The Gun: "I can understand the feelings/emotional attachment of those who own guns. But I also feel that an owner of the gun must have certain family/clan/society traditions/values to uphold. A tremendous self-discipline and training is required by those who possess guns...otherwise the gun becomes a mere tool to commit violence."

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Yahoo! News Message Boards Politics News: "I DO utterly hate and despise George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld. It is right to hate and despise people who dragged our nation into an unnecessary and unwinnable war, who break the laws and fail yo uphold the United States Constitution, and subvert everything good our flag stands for--the rule of law, republican government, and freedom from fear. They ate hateful and despicable.

Perhaps it is wrong for a Christian, to hate, but this does not mean the Bush regime has not EARNED a modicum of hatred. No administration in U.S. history has been so deserving of the loathing and detestation of the American people"

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Untitled Document: "ARMAR Humanoid Robot For The Kitchhen - Okay, Roomba and Scooba are doing the floors. Now, what about the dishes? That is up to ARMAR, the kitchen bot."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

ScienceDaily: 'Termite Guts Can Save The Planet,' Says Nobel Laureate: "Chu, who shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997, has begun studying termite guts -- one place in nature where a key hurdle for carbon-neutral energy supply has already been solved. Termite guts take indigestible cellulose, which makes up the bulk of all plant material grown on earth, and convert it to ethanol, which even today is a versatile and popular fuel. "

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Trossen Robotics - Robot Kits - Robot Parts - Robot Sensors - Robot controllers: "It's not a hard concept to grasp. A new model in robotic development. One which allows for students, hobbyists, and research labs to share their code and advancements with each other. For far too long robotics have been reinventing the robotic wheel over and over and over again. It's time we start standing upon each other's shoulders and advancing together as a worldwide community. "

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

robots.net - Robot news and Robotics Info: "Forget about playing checkers or chess with a robot. Yukiyasu Kamitani and other Researchers at ATR Computational Neuroscience Labs have developed a system that does rock paper scissors by reading your mind. How does it work? You'll need to be inside an MRI scanner. A computer decodes the MRI output to identify the 'perceptual and subjective contents' of your brain. As you make rock, paper or scissors hand gestures, your brain configuration is used to control a robot hand that duplicates your movements. Obviously, the real goal here is to develop non-invasive methods of controlling prosthetic devices. So far the researchers have achieved 85% accuracy with a 7 second lag time on the current setup. The good part is that it works on anyone without surgery or special training. The bad part is that you need a massive MRI machine"

Friday, August 18, 2006

Robot Gossip: Robot Works on AIDS Vaccine: "A new lab robot called CrystalMation promises to speed up the discovery of new vaccines for HIV and other diseases.
The robot was developed by the RoboDesign division of privately held Rigaku.

Located at Scripps Research Institute, the $2.2 million Crystalmation, can complete in days a task that had previously taken months to perform."
ScienceDaily: Brain's Cannabinoid System 'Mellows' Seizures: "The same brain machinery that responds to the active substance in marijuana provides a central 'on-demand' protection against seizures, researchers have found. They said their discoveries suggest that the 'endocannabinoid' system might constitute a prime target for drugs against seizures of epilepsy and other neurodegenerative diseases"
Beyond the Event Horizon: "Why spend billions of dollars and numerous years to cure just cancer? Why not spend that time on something that will not only cure cancer, but will also cure every other disease, including aging, and death? And what if that same development also ended poverty and starvation? I think the humanitarian value of that development would far exceed any other."

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Motion Capture Hardware - Gloves: "CyberGlove� is a low-profile, lightweight glove with flexible sensors which accurately and repeatably measure the position and movement of the fingers and wrist. CyberGlove's award-winning design incorporates the latest high-precision joint-sensing technology. CyberGlove is state-of-the-art in instrumented gloves.
The 18-sensor model features two bend sensors on each finger, four abduction sensors, plus sensors measuring thumb crossover, palm arch, wrist flexion and wrist abduction.
The 22-sensor model adds sensors to measure the flexion of the distal joints on the four fingers."
InformationWeek Gartner Gartner Names Hot Technologies With Greatest Potential Impact August 9, 2006: "Researcher Gartner Inc. on Wednesday identified the technologies it believes will have the greatest impact on businesses over the next 10 years, naming such hot areas as social-network analysis, collective intelligence, location-aware applications and event-driven architectures. "

Sunday, August 06, 2006

KurzweilAI.net: "For the first time, scientists have been able to watch neurons within the brain of a living animal change in response to experience. "

Thursday, August 03, 2006

KurzweilAI.net: "Reason is rooted in desire. Reason evolved in order to increase our ability to satisfy our emotional states.

At the heart of every logical and well reasoned human action / thought is an emotion. "
Amazon.com: Reviews for Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz: Gourmet Food: "Resurrection by Milk, August 3, 2006
Reviewer:D. S. Baker (Manassas, VA USA) - See all my reviews

I had recently 'acquired' the milk through dealings with a less than ligitimate source, but the claims were true. This milk has resurrected the dead, my interest in college football, and David Hasselhoff's career; all with only one gallon!"

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Robot-Assisted Prostate Surgery: "Robot-Assisted Prostate Surgery
IN THIS SECTION
da Vinci Surgical System
Frequently Asked Questions
Prostate Cancer

If your doctor recommends surgery to treat your prostate cancer, you may be a candidate for the da Vinci Prostatectomy, a new, less-invasive approach to prostate removal. This method incorporates the latest advancements in robot-assisted technology that allows surgeons to perform complex surgeries with greater visualization and precision while speeding patient recovery."

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Our Technological Future: Are You Immune to Cancer?: "Seven years ago, biochemist Zheng Cui of Wake Forest University was conducting a routine experiment, injecting test mice with a strain of cancer cells so aggressive it caused a 100 percent death rate. Oddly, one of the mice wouldn't die. Thinking he had made an error, Cui injected the mouse with a million times the lethal dose, but it still lived.

Cui was intrigued. He bred the mouse and found that 40 percent of its offspring share a remarkable resistance to many forms of cancer. When the animals' immune systems identify a cancer cell, a genetic tweak allows their bodies to launch a massive attack of white blood cells that kills the budding tumor.

Now Cui and his colleagues have found a clue that may point the way to an actual cure. When they inject white blood cells from any of these anticancer mice into their nonresistant brethren, the injected animals become resistant as well, fighting off induced cancer in a matter of weeks or avoiding it entirely.

Even more promising, Cui has sampled a group of human volunteers and found that 10 to 15 percent have similar super cancer-fighting white blood cells. That could explain why some people never get cancer and why others' tumors spontaneously regress. Cui proposes injecting these people's white blood cells into cancer patients to see if he can transfer their immunity."

Sunday, July 23, 2006

WorldFitness.CA - News - Men Who Sleep With A Partner Are Dumber: "In a new study, researchers found that when men slept with a partner, their sleep was disturbed enough to cause a decline in cognitive ability the next day


Austrian scenists warn that men who sleep with their wives are at risk of damaging their brains - at least in the short term"

Friday, July 21, 2006

People's Daily Online -- First robot restaurant opens in HK: "A robot waiter (L) serves in the first Robot Restaurant in Hongkong opened on July 17,2006. Robots serve as waiters to take orders and give performances in this restaurant.


Guests pose for a photo with a robot waiter in the first Robot Restaurant in Hongkong opened on July 17, 2006. Robots serve as waiters to take orders and give performances in this restaurant."
People's Daily Online -- First robot restaurant opens in HK: "A robot waiter (L) serves in the first Robot Restaurant in Hongkong opened on July 17,2006. Robots serve as waiters to take orders and give performances in this restaurant.


Guests pose for a photo with a robot waiter in the first Robot Restaurant in Hongkong opened on July 17, 2006. Robots serve as waiters to take orders and give performances in this restaurant."

Monday, July 17, 2006

Robot Gossip: Dyson's Robot Vacuum Cleaner: "well known for their high priced bright yellow vacuum cleaners will be offering their version of the home robot later this year.
The US $6000(Yen 684,000)Dyson DC06 will break new ground in the field of home appliances that are more intelligent than their owners.

According to Gizmag, along with the breakthrough pricing you get a vacuum that is:

Capable of 'learning' the layout of a room without and navigating safely around unforseen obstacles, the DC06 is 5% vacuum cleaner and 95% robotic intelligence. Combining over 70 sensory devices and three on-board computers with independent wheel, microprocessor-driven SR electrical motors, the DC06 can make 10 decisions every second, enabling it to manoeuvre precisely and clean efficiently without repetition, even recognising when the job is done."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Mommy, I Want My Tax Cut! - Do whiny kids grow up to be conservatives? By William�Saletan: "A longitudinal study suggests whiny kids grow up to be conservative. They 'turned into rigid young adults who hewed closely to traditional gender roles and were uncomfortable with ambiguity. The confident kids turned out liberal and were still hanging loose, turning into bright, non-conforming adults with wide interests.' The authors suspect 'insecure kids look for the reassurance provided by tradition and authority,' whereas 'the more confident kids are eager to explore alternatives.' This matches a 2003 analysis that suggested 'people who are dogmatic, fearful, [and] intolerant of ambiguity ... are more likely to gravitate to conservatism.' Criticisms: 1) They did the study in Berkeley. 2) The correlations aren't that strong. 3) They skewed the interpretation, calling moral confidence 'rigidity.' 4) They overlooked left-wing rigidity. 5) What about the recent Pew study that showed Republicans are happier than Democrats?(For Human Nature's takes on left-wing rigidity and right-wing sexual liberalism, click here and here.)"

Sunday, March 19, 2006

My problem with people that have BPD - www.ezboard.com: "What about the reclusive/anti-social, hermit-like BPD? Those of us with those traits (well, speaking for myself here) have few friends because it's emotionally draining being around others for a length of time, even family members. I'm quite comfortable with my own company.
When I'm around other people I prefer to engage in intellectual discussions, not the latest gossip about Hollywood tripe or the crap on TV. Rather than suffer through meaningless drivel, I'll sit alone and read instead."

Friday, March 17, 2006

psychiatry-research : Message: Article: Ion Channel Interaction Sheds Light On Epilepsy, Other Neurological Disorders: "Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered the mechanism that facilitates how two ion channels collaborate in the control of electrical signals in the brain. The investigators showed that the channels were anchored by a third protein at key locations on the nerve cell surface, allowing them to work together to set the timing and pattern of nerve impulses. They also found that this channel partnership mechanism is present in all vertebrates, but is lacking in invertebrates, suggesting that the coupling of these channels may be essential for the higher abilities of vertebrate brains. The elucidation of this novel interaction should aid efforts to develop new treatments for epileptic seizures, pain, and abnormal muscle movements. They report their findings in the cover article of the March 8 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience."
'American Theocracy,' by Kevin Phillips - The New York Times - Book Review - New York Times: "As he's done in so many of his earlier books, Mr. Phillips draws a lot of detailed analogies in these pages, using demographics, economic statistics and broader cultural trends to map macropatterns throughout history. In analyzing the fates of Rome, Hapsburg Spain, the Dutch Republic, Britain and the United States, he comes up with five symptoms of 'a power already at its peak and starting to decline': 1) 'widespread public concern over cultural and economic decay,' along with social polarization and a widening gap between rich and poor; 2) 'growing religious fervor' manifested in a close state-church relationship and escalating missionary zeal; 3) 'a rising commitment to faith as opposed to reason and a corollary downplaying of science'; 4) 'considerable popular anticipation of a millennial time frame' and 5) 'hubris-driven national strategic and military overreach' in pursuit of 'abstract international missions that the nation can no longer afford, economically or politically.' Added to these symptoms, he writes, is a sixth one, almost too obvious to state: high debt, which can become 'crippling in its own right.' "

Saturday, March 11, 2006

www.myspace.com/crackedpavement: "Clinically, a personality disorder is an 'enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectation of the individual�s culture, is pervasive and inflexible (unlikely to change), is stable over time, and leads to distress or impairment in interpersonal relationships.' ' - BPD Central. "

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Yahoo! 360�: "Sent To: ��esce?di?g�A?ge?�, *Cara*, *kate*, A Z, angel, Ashley, Ashley, Ashley, Ashley A, Ashley B, Ashley C, ASHLEY M, ashleydale00, Barbara L, Bluet, Boomer, Britney B, Broken Inside, Brooks R, cat, Cherry-L, ChIcK ~a~ DeE, compulsive cancer, Courtney M, crazy gracie, crazy ma, crazy/beautiful, crazybabydoll, Crazybeautiful, cutter, cutter, Dana Lynn, Dani, Dark Angel, DeAtH xxx AnGeL, default user, Depressed_Girl, Dj Doc Holliday, freshfiregirl, Gabe, girliespeedracer, GOTHIC PRINCESS, Heart-Broken And Lonely, J R, Jada, Jess, Johanna G, Judith A, Laurie K, Liliane, Lonely TimeBomb, Mary Lou, Matilda, Michelle, Monte Cristo, PLAYBOY, Rach, reena c, Robyn, rony, sad girl, sad i, Sad-Angel, sad_eyes, sad_eyes, sad_melody, sammy, sheila, SHORTBREAD, sponge, Suicidal Psychosis, Sweet & Spicey, Tamar, Tatiana, tearz, the unknown artist, Tracy F, Velana, Vicious, waukatt, "

Monday, February 27, 2006

914 PC BOTS Community - Home: "Hands, grippers & manipulators
Tuesday, 01 November 2005
Hi, James here and my first 'news' post. I thought I'd revisit robot grippers as I know it came up in the forums a while ago. Hopefully we can start a good discussion thread...

There are various robot hands available on the market that I know of. Firstly the Shadow Dexterous Hand. This is a highly featured product aimed at research institutes and costing over EUR 100,000. It is also powered by compressed air.

Then there's the University of Southampton's Remedi-Hand. This is a lighter electrically powered product aimed at prosthesis. It's a much simpler hand while retaining it's opposable thumb so it can pick up a can of beer (or healthy beans).



There are also various cheaper off the shelf products available. This hand is a future product from Android World. It uses R/C hobby style servos to drive it and each joint is independent.









But does a domestic/office robot even need something this complex?. I remember having one of these toy robot hands as a child, there is also a two fingered 'robot gripper' version available. Would this suffice for a 914 Bot for everyday use?.

And what sort of arm should it be attached to, a fixed 'stick arm', or something a but more flexible like a typical 'industrial robot arm'?. Where would the arm be attached, to the side(s), or on top with a telescopic lifter to reach cupboards or the fridge?

Would you use the arm on a PC Bot for teleoperation?. Having it independently navigate and recognise objects would be a little more tricky but isn't beyond the realms of reality.

What other attachments could the arm have... electric "

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Peter H. Anderson - Embedded Processor Control: "Iraq. New studies indicate the cost or the war at $2,000 billion. This is about $75,000 spent on behalf of every man woman and child in Iraq, $300,000 for a typical Iraqi family. A hefty sum to establish an Islamic Republic.
Its hard to see how anyone in the US can look forward to much Social Security or Medicare. "

Monday, February 06, 2006

Searching for the Person in the Brain - New York Times: "'It's nice to know from this new science that there may be some other way to alter the system' than treating it like a character flaw. "

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Devizes Melting Pot: "'In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.' - Albert Camus/ 'Too many policemen, no liberty; Too many soldiers, no peace; Too many lawyers, no justice.' Lin Yutang (1895-1976)/When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. -- Elayne Boosler"

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Borderline-Bipolars : Message: Just Deb ****TRIGGERS WARNING-SI-Suicide****: "Sorry so long ahead of time my name should have been Wendy instead of
what it is. I tend to say a lot without saying much at all at times.
I have had a lot happen to me in my life though the last couple of
years has been especially rough. I have lost so many things that the
list is better then the tale and shorter: 2 homes, my son, my dog, my
car, my cat, raped, almost starved and froze to death, all my
material things, went to jail for no operator's license, moved seven
times in the last year alone and will probably move again in the next
six months or so. Started going to school and then got kicked out
because i couldn't access the internet to do on line work. My best
friend kicked me to the curb. Ok so now that you got that part and
granted i probably forgot a bit here and there but that is the jist
of it the current stuff. I live in a house with my sister who talks
to me perhaps once a week or so. She is gone much of the time leaving
me here alone. A little alone for me is a ok thing but too much
causes me problems. I tend to cause myself enough stress without
outside help as it is. Currently I am not on meds nor do I have a
doctor due to transportation problems and i don't qualify to be able
get picked up by the local medicare van. I have a lot of times where
all i think about is dying and the peace it would bring to me. I
don't really want to do i just think about it a lot. I look to the
future and see it as the same day just replayed and it will never
really get better no matter what anyone says. I have a hard time
making any decision at all and generally let others do it for me. I
figure they are smarter they might know better then I would at any
rate. I force myself to eat or I wouldn't bother at all. I don't doany of the things that interested me anymore. I jsut can't payattention to it or get interested in it. The thing that bothers methe most well not the most but more then other things is that I livein my fantasy world most of the time. There I have everything that idon't have in life. I am afraid that one day I simply won't come backout of it. I pace all day long in this world of mine. I have donethis since I was a kid though there were brief periods that I didn'tdo it as much for whatever reason.I am a cutter and have been doingit a lot lately. And my dreams about it have gotten more horrificthen ever before. In the last six months I have been in threedifferent hospitals and don't want to go back for a short term fixfor a long term problem. I am afraid taht I will get too adjusted tothe hospital life or instutionalized in some way and that it wouldonly make it worse. I am not sure of what i am asking or what i need.Perhaps just a kind word, or support or just to know that i am notreally all that alone. Thanks ahead of time for being so patient withthis post and sorry that it is so long. Deb

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Experts: 'Decapitation' May Not End Terror - Yahoo! News: "The Israeli assassins caught Abu Jihad in his study. They left the chief strategist of the Palestinian uprising with 170 bullets in his body. Over the next two decades, however, the movement only grew stronger, and Israel bled even more. It's called 'decapitation,' and a missile strike in Pakistan has raised the question anew: Would eliminating Osama bin Laden and deputy Ayman al-Zawahri deal a mortal blow to the al-Qaida terror network?
ADVERTISEMENT

'Decapitation just fuels the movement itself,' says Jenna Jordan, a University of Chicago scholar who has closely studied the historical record of such antiterrorist tactics.
'I think that is the lesson of the Israeli efforts over the years,' says Brian Jenkins, veteran terrorism analyst with the RAND Corp. research firm.

The Pakistan case, where you have all those people killed, that's the kind of `bad press' that keeps a movement going," said Jordan, whose 2004 study reviewed 72 international cases, stretching back almost a century, in which militant movements' leaders were targeted and killed.
In most cases, she found, the movements carried on — particularly if they were religion-based, like al-Qaida. Only one in five violent religious groups collapsed when their leaders were eliminated, she determined.
"Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't," said Richard A. Clarke, who was White House counterterrorism coordinator in 1998, when U.S. missiles were fired at suspected al-Qaida training camps in
Afghanistan' name=its leaders.
"There's no iron law," Clarke told The Associated Press. "But the law enforcement side, the intelligence side, will always want to eliminate the leadership."
One of the most spectacular "eliminations" occurred in 1988, when Israeli commandos slipped into Tunisia and stormed the exile home of the
Palestine Liberation Organization' name Palestine Liberation Organization's Khalil al-Wazir, known as Abu Jihad, the PLO's No. 2 and architect of the uprising that had exploded five months earlier in Israeli-occupied territories.
Abu Jihad was killed, but the "intefadeh" went on, and by the 1990s still more Palestinian groups had joined in, followed by still more decapitations. With the latest tracking technologies, the Israelis have successfully targeted top leaders of the Hamas group in particular
But, he quickly adds, 'that doesn't mean you don't do it.'
The Jan. 13 missile strike on a remote Pakistani border village showed again that the U.S. government is still trying to do it.
The early-morning attack, reportedly aimed at al-Zawahri, killed 13 villagers and possibly a few second-rank al-Qaida operatives � but not the bin Laden lieutenant. Its immediate impact could be seen in the streets of Pakistani cities, where thousands rallied, chanting 'Death to America,' in support of al-Qaida's 'jihad,' or holy war."

Saturday, January 21, 2006

hack a day - www.hackaday.com _: "Jason S. Babcock and Jeff B. Pelz put together this paper on building a simple, lightweight eyetracker (PDF) to foster the creation of open source eyetracking software. All of the components are mounted to a cheap pair of safety glasses. The eyetracker uses a technique called �dark-pupil� illumination. An IR LED is used to illuminate the eye. The pupil appears as a dark spot because it doesn�t reflect the light. A bright spot also appears on the cornea where the IR is directly reflected. An eye camera is mounted next to the IR LED to record the image of eye with these two spots. Software tracks the difference between the two spots to determine the eye orientation. A laser mounted to the frame helps with the initial calibration process. A scene camera placed above the eye records what the eye is viewing. The video from these two cameras can be compared in real time or after the experiment is concluded."
Robot Gossip: FedEx Opens Robot Institute: "With contributions of money and human resources from FedEx Corp., the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis is launching a new research center dedicated to the exploration and development of robotic systems with direct implications to everyday life.
This will be the first new research center at the FedEx Institute since its opening in 2003, and will grow to comprise a team of faculty, students and researchers, a consortium of industrial and government sponsors, and a program of academic work, public events, and research that will range from homegrown inventions to pragmatic test bed and real-world trials with FedEx and other partners.

Eric Mathews, associate director for corporate research and development at the Institute, said, �Robots will be hard to ignore in our lives in the near future. The creation of this center is done in guidance with FedEx Corporation, and collectively we would like to take the initiative to make the future of robotics happen faster. That�s why we exist.�"
Prospector: "Cat Feces and Schizophrenia
Scientists find stronger evidence for link between cat faeces and schizophrenia

Dr Joanne Webster from Imperial College London,lead researcher.

Research published today in Procedings of the Royal Society B, shows how the invasion or replication of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii in rats may be inhibited by using anti-psychotic or mood stabilising drugs.

The researchers tested anti-psychotic and mood stabilising medications used for the treatment of schizophrenia on rats infected with T. gondii and found they were as, or more, effective at preventing behaviourial alterations as anti-T. gondii drugs. This led them to believe that T. gondii may have a role in the development of some cases of schizophrenia.

When the rats were given Haloperidol, an anti-psychotic, and Valporic acid, a mood stabiliser, the behavioural symptoms of T.gondii were reduced. They found the drugs were able to limit the suicidal feline attraction by which the rats became less aware of the dangers of cats.

Imperial College London - Scientists find stronger evidence for link between cat faeces and schizophrenia"
Town Hall Meeting with al-Qaida Declared a Total Disaster: "It seemed like a great idea at the time,' mediator Ted Koppel said afterwards from the Fairfax Medical Center where he was being treated for shrapnel wounds. 'We thought, why not see if we could find some common ground with those people who seem to hate us most.'
According to witnesses, there didn't seem to be much common ground from the onset, as the confused Arabs --who have spent the last 18 months holed up in a trench outside the Tora Bora mountains on the Pakistani/Afghanistan border --began screaming and waving large rifles and threatening to explode the suicide belts wrapped around their waists.
'I was really really scared,' said Arlington resident Pam Sprague who had just asked the the panel if they could each elaborate on steps they were taking to bring about peaceful solution to their longtime hatred towards each other.
'They didn't even answer my question. They shot the guy holding the microphone. Then they started screaming 'Allahu Akbar' over and over and tossing grenades. They were obviously very frightened and angry.'"
Suicide Bombers Replaced With Manic Depressive Party Crashers: "Palestinian leaders, responding to U.S. demands to reform government corruption and reign in terrorists, have implemented a policy replacing suicide bombers with the less deadly, but equally effective, manic-depressive party crashers"
LoserWire Presents: Bob From Accounting: "one can easily compare the twinge of satisfaction we get from watching Martha edge closer and closer to preparing lace doilies in prison, to America's post 9/11 relationship with the outer world. Huh? Sure she's an arrogant, ill-tempered, undiagnosed sociopath with an bad Princess Di haircut, but so is America, dammit! Right or wrong, we enjoy seeing people like Martha fall off their high horse because it's human nature. That's how the rest of the world feels about us. Get it? "
Borderpd : Message: Re: [Borderpd] Tessa - DBT: "Those with bpd see everything in black and white
with no grey or middle area, so everything is either good or bad, nothing is
ever just ok, the group tries to teach ways to change this thinking and to
handle life situations with others etc in a more effective way. Behavioural
therapy is about learning skills and solving problems. Borderline group teaches
skills to tolerate distress, regulate emotions and become more effective in
realationships and to be mindful. Mindfulness is just concerntrating on one
thing at a time, most borderlines like me have a lot of trouble concertrating or
doing just one thing at a time i know ican be trying to do 5
things at once and my head gets all mixed up so
its just like if you are reading a book then read the book and not anything
else, not letting your mind wonder off, hope this helps a bit"

Monday, January 16, 2006

New Technology Boosts Hard Drive Capacity - Yahoo! News: "Since the first hard drive was introduced 1956, bits have been arranged in a flat, horizontal fashion on the spinning platters. To boost capacity, engineers reduced the size of the particles whose magnetic state is what actually remembers data.
But with some drives now topping out at 500 gigabytes, the miniaturization is nearly at its limit. Made any smaller, the particles can begin to interfere with the magnetism of their neighbors. The result is disastrous for data.
By storing bits in a vertical, or perpendicular, arrangement, engineers are able to boost capacity by taking advantage of the real estate that is freed up."

Saturday, January 14, 2006

3Gbps SATA II Hard Drive - Gizmodo: "Buffalo will be releasing a new line of hard drives with capacities ranging from 150 to 500GB. These hard drives will be in SATA II and offer a blazing 3Gbps (gigabits per second) transfer rate. It seems they will be available in Japan only for the moment�sorry folks, keep waiting. Sounds like the perfect kind of a drive for some sexy HD movie creation"
Are They Here to Save the World? - New York Times: "Indigo children were first described in the 1970's by a San Diego parapsychologist, Nancy Ann Tappe, who noticed the emergence of children with an indigo aura, a vibrational color she had never seen before. This color, she reasoned, coincided with a new consciousness.
In 'The Indigo Children,' Mr. Carroll and Ms. Tober define the phenomenon. Indigos, they write, share traits like high I.Q., acute intuition, self-confidence, resistance to authority and disruptive tendencies, which are often diagnosed as attention-deficit disorder, known as A.D.D., or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or A.D.H.D. "


"To me these children are the answers to the prayers we all have for peace," said Doreen Virtue, a former psychotherapist for adolescents who now writes books and lectures on indigo children. She calls the indigos a leap in human evolution. "They're vigilant about cleaning the earth of social ills and corruption, and increasing integrity," Ms. Virtue said. "Other generations tried, but then they became apathetic. This generation won't, unless we drug them into submission with Ritalin."

Parents who attribute their children's inattention or disruptive behavior to vibrational energy, he said, risk delaying proper diagnosis and treatment that might help them.

She said that schools should treat children more like adults, rather than placing them in "fear-based, constrictive, no-choice environments, where they explode."
+Elijah-: "Here is the mechanics of manifestation, in three easy steps:
Get a clear picture in your head of what you want to manifest.
Fire it up with your heart (feel emotion for it)
Let it go, and Trust that it is coming to you. "
The Smirking Chimp: "At an observable level, narcissism involves a self-centeredness that makes one oblivious to the emotional existence of others. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (IVth edition: DSM-IV) defines its pathological extreme (narcissistic personality disorder) as: 'A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy.'

In the odd DSM manner, this condition is diagnosed by having a threshold number of the following symptoms (5 out of 9), regardless of which five symptoms they are. (To be diagnostic of a clinical condition each symptom should be possessed to the extent that it interferes with functioning or causes distress):
'Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

'Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

'Believes that he or she is ''special'' and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

'Requires excessive admiration

'Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

'Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

'Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

'Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

'Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes' "

Rather, it can be used as an indicator of his personality, of long-standing tendencies to think, feel, and behave in characteristic ways, regardless of whether such a personality is a clinical problem

consideration of psychological factors contributing to the blunder hardly seems out of place

narcissism is intimately connected with fear of one's weakness and vulnerability, and with aggression toward the other whose individuality is obliterated by the narcissism. As the weakness and vulnerability needs to be kept out of awareness, narcissism contributes to another process that poses dangers for narcissistic leaders like President Bush in that their narcissism contributes to an ignoring of reality, of possibility of error or other indicators of potential weakness

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Last Word: Noam Chomsky - Newsweek: International Editions - MSNBC.com: "The Bush administration has succeeded in making the United States one of the most feared and hated countries in the world. The talent of these guys is unbelievable. They have even succeeded at alienating Canada. I mean, that takes genius, literally"
Borderline personality disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "'I picture myself sitting with my psychotherapist, and we talk about why I want to injure myself.'"

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Bus driver accused of running marathons while collecting workers comp - By Terri Morgan - Sentinel Correspondent - January 8, 2006: "So when inspectors at the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's office learned that bus driver Johnny Chavarria, 57, allegedly completed the Big Sur Marathon while receiving thousands of dollars in funds from workers' compensation, they grew suspicious."

He was arrested Friday and is charged with fraud and grand theft following an investigation into the injury claim he filed in June 2003.
"You can't run marathons if you are not well enough to drive a Metro bus," said District Attorney Bob Lee. "It's not just wrong; it's criminal."
Chavarria began receiving payments from the fund after being rated at "temporary total disabled," and he continued receiving payments until he returned to work in July 2004, according to the District Attorney's Offi

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Character Disorder: "While individuation is an important developmental step and always involves resistance to authority and pressures to conformity, the character disorder adult has become fixated ar this developmental level and is stuck, more or less, in a posture of exaggerated rebelliousness and anti-authoritarian, aggressive acting out. People who are variably called sociopaths, antisocial personalities, oppositional disorders, conduct disorders, and the like fall into this broad category. They are the ones who are most likely to be at odds with the rules, regulations, and laws that most people live by and, hence, the ones most likely to end up doing criminal acts and being sent to jail or prison. "

Another major defense is the suppression or repression of conscience. Conscience, after all, is the internalized voice of authority and demand for conformity, and this is what the character disorder individual is always trying to overthrow. When conscience is defensively dulled down or deadened, the character disorder's impulses have freer rein. He tends not to concern himself very much with considerations of what has gone on in the past, nor is he very attentive to likely future consequences. Guilt resides too much in the past, and anxiety and apprehension stake too strong a claim in the future. The character disorder, therefore, lives almost wholly in the here and the now. It is the present moment that matters most to him. People who do not profit from past mistakes or alter their behavior in light of probable future consequences are, of course, at very high risk of repeating behavior that society abhors and punishes.
Schizophrenia and the Borderline Personality Disorder: "The first to give the term borderline formal status was a psychiatrist by the name of Stern, who in 1938 outlined the characteristics of a group of office patients as, to quote him �too ill for classical analysis.� That is another person who could not see the patients as being neurotic and/or psychotic, but had to make a different category because these patients were not candidates for classical analysis. Some of the characteristics he stated were narcissism, hypersensitivity, and negative therapeutic reactions, which means that the patients reacted to interpretations as if they were unloved or not important enough or not worthwhile considering"I can see in his findings that the patient’s viewed the analytic interpretations as a method of prying him/her loose from the therapist and of the secondary gains in this symbiotic attachment with the therapist. There are some who hold there is such a condition as borderline schizophrenia.
I see the character disorder as an acquired defensive system to protect the basic condition which has become a lifestyle or survival mechanism for the schizophrenic and also the borderline

According to Margaret Mahlers ideas about symbiosis in the normal, symbiosis leads to separation and indivuation in the early part of the infant’s life. However, in the borderline condition the fear of loss of detachment create an intolerable anxiety which inhibits or prevents indivuation. Compare this to the schizophrenic. They may see attachments as life menacing and they all have a terror of annihilation.

Poor impulse control is another feature of the borderline condition, and also the schizophrenic. In therapy, this is expressed by projection which puts the blame on the therapist for all the wrong doings and harmful things during the course of the patient’s life in the past and at the present time.
Computer chips get under skin of enthusiasts - Yahoo! News: "With a wave of his hand, Amal Graafstra, a 29-year-old entrepreneur based in Vancouver, Canada, opens his front door. With another, he logs onto his computer.
Tiny radio frequency identification (RFID) computer chips inserted into Graafstra's hands make it all possible.
'I just don't want to be without access to the things that I need to get access to. In the worst case scenario, if I'm in the alley naked, I want to still be able to get in (my house),' Graafstra said in an interview in New York, where he is promoting the technology. 'RFID is for me.'
The computer chips, which cost about $2, interact with a device installed in computers and other electronics. The chips are activated when they come within 3 inches of a so-called reader, which scans the data on the chips. The 'reader' devices are available for as little as $50.
Information about where to buy the chips and readers is available online at the 'tagged' forum, (http://tagged.kaos.gen.nz/) where The RFID chip in Sklar's hand, which is smaller than a grain of rice and can last up to 100 years, was injected by a surgeon in Los Angeles.
Tattoo artists and veterinarians also could insert the chips into people, he said. For years, veterinarians have been injecting similar chips into pets so the animals can be returned to their owners if they are lost.enthusiasts of the technology chat and share information.


Graafstra said at least 20 of his tech-savvy pals have RFID implants.
'I can't feel it at all. It doesn't impede me. It doesn't hurt at all. I almost can't tell it's there,' agreed Jennifer Tomblin, a 23-year-old marketing student and Graafstra's girlfriend"

Friday, January 06, 2006

The New York Times > Health > Mental Health & Behavior > For the Worst of Us, the Diagnosis May Be 'Evil': "When you start talking about evil, psychiatrists don't know anything more about it than anyone else,' Dr. Simon said. 'Our opinions might carry more weight, under the patina or authority of the profession, but the point is, you can call someone evil and so can I. So what? What does it add?'"
Researchers have found that some people who commit violent crimes are much more likely than others to kill or maim again, and one way they measure this potential is with a structured examination called the psychopathy checklist.
As part of an extensive, in-depth interview, a trained examiner rates the offender on a 20-item personality test. The items include glibness and superficial charm, grandiose self-worth, pathological lying, proneness to boredom and emotional vacuity. The subjects earn zero points if the description is not applicable, two points if it is highly applicable, and one if it is somewhat or sometimes true.
The psychologist who devised the checklist, Dr. Robert Hare, a professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, said that average total scores varied from below five in the general population to the low 20's in prison populations, to a range of 30 to 40 - highly psychopathic - in predatory killers. In a series of studies, criminologists have found that people who score in the high range are two to four times as likely as other prisoners to commit another crime when released. More than 90 percent of the men and a few women at the top of Dr. Stone's hierarchy qualify as psychopaths.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Yahoo! 360� - Gratz's Lemonade Stand: "Happiness is not achieved by self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose� - Helen Keller (1880-1968"
PsychiatryMatters.MD: "Cigarette smoking reduces schizophrenia risk

Study finding suggest that cigarette smoking may actually protect individuals against developing schizophrenia, although researchers warn that any potential benefits of smoking are still far outweighed by the harmful effects.
Stanley Zammit (University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, UK) and colleagues assessed the effect of cigarette smoking at 18 years of age on the risk of developing schizophrenia in 50,087 Swedish individuals, 98% of whom were aged between 18 and 20 years in 1970. Of these, 362 were diagnosed as having schizophrenia by 1996.
Smoking cigarettes between the ages of 18 and 20 years was found to be associated with a lower rate of schizophrenia development later in life, after taking into account potential confounding factors such as IQ, drug use, poor social integration, disturbed behavior, and family income.
Indeed, analysis showed an inverse linear relationship between the number of cigarettes smoked and the risk of schizophrenia, with a hazard ratio of 0.5 for heavy smokers (>20 cigarettes/day) in comparison with non-smokers.
Interestingly, the researchers report in the American Journal of Psychiatry that smoking did not have the same effect on other psychotic illnesses, such as affective psychoses and substance-induced psychoses. This suggests 'smoking may have a rather specific effect in reducing the development "
PsychiatryMatters.MD: "Poverty relief reduces behavioral disorders

Relief of poverty reduces psychiatric symptoms in children, although the effect may be specific to behavioral disorders and not emotional disorders, US investigators report.
To investigate whether the relationship between poverty and mental illness is one of 'social causation' or 'social selection,' E Jane Costello (Duke University Medical School, Durham, North Carolina) and colleagues carried out annual psychiatric assessments on 1420 children aged between 9 and 13 years over an 8-year period. One quarter of these were American Indian, while the remainder were predominantly White.
Halfway through the study, the economic status of some of these children's families changed due to a casino opening, which resulted in every American Indian family being given an income supplement.
Thus, 14% of families moved out of poverty, while 53% remained poor, and the remaining 32% of families were never poor.
Before the casino opened, children living in poverty were more likely than those who were not poor to have a psychiatric disorder, at rates of 22% versus 15%.
Encouragingly, 4 years after the casino was introduced, the frequency of psychiatric symptoms among children who moved out of poverty fell to the same level as that for children whose families were never poor.
Adding to the income of never-poor families had no effect on psychiatric symptoms of the children.
The researchers note in the Journal of the American Medical Association that the effect of poverty was strongest for behavioral symptoms such as conduct and oppositional disorders, whereas there was little impact on anxiety and depression.
Interestingly, the one factor mediating the effect"
Interestingly, the one factor mediating the effect of relieving poverty was increased levels of parental supervision.
"These findings thus support a social causation for behavioral problems," Costello et al conclude
PsychiatryMatters.MD: "Psychiatrists 'practice defensive medicine'

As many as three out of four psychiatrists may be practicing defensive medicine to protect themselves against legal claims and complaints, a survey shows.
Kirsty Passmore (Stockton Learning Disability Service, Stockton, UK) and W-C Leung (University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK) found that the cautious behavior of many psychiatrists was the result of previous experience by the college, colleagues, or themselves of legal claims, complaints, or critical incidents, as well as concerns about media interest.
'Better and more structured training might reduce the high level of defensive practice,' they suggest, 'and the way complaints and investigations are handled should be improved to maintain a truly 'no blame' environment conducive to learning from past experiences.'
Questionnaires were sent to 154 psychiatrists in England, including "

roach bot Posted by Picasa
we make money not art: Another robot-roach: "Another robot-roach
11:10 AM robots
Researchers at Tsukuba and Tokyo University are surgically implanting roaches with a micro-robotic backpack that allows them to control its movements.
The team equip some of the insects with microprocessor and electrode sets in 'backpacks'. Before surgery, they gas the roach, then remove wings and antennae. Where the antennae used to be scientists fit pulse-emitting electrodes. With a remote, they send signals to the backpacks, which stimulate the electrodes. The pulsing electrodes make the roach turn left, turn right, scamper forward or spring backward.

Unfortunately spammers are emailing the roaches when they broadcast to cell phones. 'We had an incident last week where we sent a roach into an duct to test for an air leak, when we asked the roach to turn right, it responded by asking for our email addresses and offered to send us viagra in return.' said Assistant Professor Isao Shimoyama, head of the bio-robot research team at Tokyo University.
'Insects can do many things that people can't,' he added. Within a few years, electronically controlled insects carrying mini-cameras or other sensory devices could crawl through earthquake rubble to search for victims, or slip under doors on espionage surveillance.
'They are not very nice insects,' Raphael Holzer confesses. 'They are a little bit smelly, and there's something about the way they move their antennae. But they look nicer when you put a little circuit on their backs and remove their wings.'
Via Robot Gossip."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Me Posted by Picasa
The Cute Factor - New York TimesCute cues are those that indicate extreme youth, vulnerability, harmlessness and need, scientists say.

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eureka, California, United States
As Popeye once said,"I ams what I am." But then again maybe I'm not