Sunday, May 24, 2009

So What Do You Know About Memorial Day?

"Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 25 in 2009). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the civil war), it was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Make Up My Mind

Don't you hate it when facts change. I was always fascinated by Komodo dragons when I was growing up. A 200 pound 10 foot long lizard that could eat a deer sounded cool to me, like a dinosaur. When learning more about them with my kids all the documentaries said that the Komodo was not poisonous, but had toxic bacteria in its mouth that could kill you. Now they are saying it is poisonous. I just hope the world is still round.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Warfare: Part Deux

So now that they have robots blowing people up they are thinking about putting ethics in to the software.
"Smart missiles, rolling robots, and flying drones currently controlled by humans, are being used on the battlefield more every day. But what happens when humans are taken out of the loop, and robots are left to make decisions, like who to kill or what to bomb, on their own? Ronald Arkin, a professor of computer science at Georgia Tech, is in the first stages of developing an "ethical governor," a package of software and hardware that tells robots when and what to fire. His book on the subject, "Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots," comes out this month. "
Robots are computers, very fancy computers. Computers are good at copying things, crunching numbers and playing card games. Thinking is not what Computers are best at, but I guess we will tell a robot the same as a soilder;
"We tell soldiers what is right and wrong," said Arkin. "We don't allow soldiers to develop ethics on their own."
Didn't any of these guys read Asimov when they where growing up? Or at least see the movie irobot? At least this guy did; Asimov's Laws of Robotics Are Total BS
Here are some of the Robots, a maars and a terminator;

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Little Black NXT

This is SOOOOOOOOOOO cool. It is cheaper on Amazon than at the Lego store. Black is the new beige.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Paper or Plastic

I had long hard painful learn period on credit card management over the years. Like most people it started in college and grew from there. Now, I manage it, pay to much in interest at times and think of credit cards as a necessary evil that you never trust. But are they necessary? A CNN post talks about how some people have sworn credit cards off all together. And a fact I found interesting is they say 80% of American Families have at least one. I thought that number would be higher. I will say that I fell for the whole "You need credit" pitch along time ago and never looked back. So are credit cards necessary, probably not, but I don't think I am ready to try cutting them all up at this point in my life. Maybe when all the kids are out of school.

Lego NXT Motor Calibration

This is one of those things that if you don't know what the title means, move on. The link takes you to Techbrick, a FLL team from MD, and the organizer keeps a very informative page.