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Slashback: Bots, Time Travel, Turing 340

Posted by timothy
from the good-travel-on-route-81 dept.
More on the Battlebots trademark dispute, proof that some of your are listening to Dr. Who on the Beeb, and a memorial -- finally -- for Alan Turing, in tonight's round of updates, corrections, and further info.

That eerie, eerie theme music will get in your head all day. sideshow-voxx writes: "The BBC has announced that there will be more installments of the Audio Adventure Dr Who - Death Comes to Time available on the web in the New Year."

This is cool news (the accompanying art is a nice touch with this Dr. Who presentation), but it would be nice if they would put the episodes into more audio formats as well.

Things always seem to get more complicated. Eric Molitor, ("Linux hacker and Builder of Violator - Linux powered BattleBot that competed in May") wrote about the BattleBots vs. Battlebots story of the other day, saying:

"As a BattleBot competitor I was horrified when I noticed your article but here are some corrections... BattleBots INC != BattleBots the show.

BattleBots INC is suing and not the TV show. (Comedy Central tapes the tournaments and airs portions of the finals on a TV show. But thats just like showing NFL games mostly. The TV company just pays a licensing fee to broadcast the event.)

Do a little research and the guy registered his domain at least a year after the first BattleBots competition in Long Beach. (Early 1998) In fact the battlebots.org domain was registered after BattleBots.com, and after BattleBots applied for their TM.

So this kid (running a script kiddie hosting service no less) registers a domain after somebody applies for the TM and then asks for $5K to give it up. Sounds like cyber-squatting to me. Also take a look at the dates on the website for the replies, etc. Things don't look right ....

Still BattleBots is dumb not to have registered the .org domain.

For a little history on BattleBots and the law suits, etc. that RobotWars got into that nearly destroyed this sport take a look at http://www.robotcombat.com/history.html.

Greg and Tray gave up a lot and everybody got together to dodge RobotWars/Profile records lawsuits to prevent the sport from happening. I'd hate to see them unfairly get a bad name."

Thanks, Eric.

Something to see in England. slathering wrote with news that the Alan Turing memorial written about in this Slashdot story has finally materialized. He writes: "I read about this in this months IEEE Annals of the History of Computing (who doesn't have a website). But I found the website for the memorial itself. Apparently funding was found for the Alan Turing Memorial since it was unveiled June 23, 2001 in Manchester, England. It was funded without any donations from the computing industry."

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Slashback: Bots, Time Travel, Turing

Comments Filter:
  • Turing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by notext (461158) on Tuesday September 04, 2001 @08:08PM (#2253728)
    I had no idea he was so young.

    Makes you wonder what would have come had he lived twice as long and had the more powerful technology to play with.
  • Battlebots.org (Score:2, Interesting)

    by krugdm (322700) <(slashdot) (at) (ikrug.com)> on Tuesday September 04, 2001 @08:13PM (#2253744) Homepage Journal
    Well, this surely sheds a little more light on the Battlebots situation. The NFL analogy is a good one. CBS and Fox have no rights to the NFL name. They only pay $100's of millions for the right to broadcast the games. So it's not Comedy Central that is not suing the kid, but the owner of the Battlebots properties. Who registered his trademark long before the battlebots.org name was registered. I think the kid would be better off taking his $70 for the domain transfer and cutting his losses now...
  • Doctor Who (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dorward (129628) on Tuesday September 04, 2001 @08:16PM (#2253760) Homepage Journal

    Well it certainly seems that Doctor Who is still popular. Not only is it being published on the web but the BBC releases an old episode on DVD every 3 months, has fequent VHS releases, comes up with two new novels every month and has licensed Big Finish [doctorwho.co.uk] to produce audio plays on CD in to the second half of this decade.

    It's a wonder that with all this interest nobody is filming new episodes for TV.

  • Re:Prejudice (Score:2, Interesting)

    by spudnic (32107) on Tuesday September 04, 2001 @09:48PM (#2254016)
    I've had quite a few homosexual friends. All of them are very intelligent and have achieved great things.

    From talking to some of them, I kind of drew up with my own hypothesis about this. Is it correct? Universal? I don't know.

    While in High School they where outcasts. They didn't participate in regular school functions because they where constantly ridiculed. No football games and school dances. Most social clubs didn't want them.

    With all of this free time and freedom from the standard "clique" mentality, they took refuge in books. They had a few close friends. They didn't really have casual acquaintances to waste their time. The friends they did have where REAL friends. A very close knit group where they could express themselves freely, unlike with the rest of the regular high school society.

    When they moved on to college their lifestyle was accepted a little better. They had spent the last several years pretty much alone absorbing knowledge, and where ideally suited to excel at whatever path they chose to take.

    I think this scenerio is true for quite a lot of homosexuals. Change homosexual to computer geek, and it still holds up pretty well, IMHO.

  • by joneshenry (9497) on Tuesday September 04, 2001 @10:59PM (#2254185)
    Did Enigma play a decisive role in stopping Germany in World War II? Curiously as time has gone by and veils of secrecy are lifted, I wonder if the role is being overemphasized to justify the hidden large budgets of today's intelligence agencies.

    In truth Germany was beaten after it failed to capture Moscow [wiesenthal.com] in fall 1941. The Germans were completely unprepared for a winter campaign, not even having adequate clothing for their soldiers let alone other supplies. After the failure to take Moscow, Hitler dismissed many of his top generals including the father of German armor Heinz Guderian [euronet.nl]. Perhaps his decision to order the army to stand fast in the face of a strong Soviet counterattack that winter saved the front from total collapse, but otherwise, Hitler in command was an endless series of catastrophes such as Stalingrad and Kursk.

    The argument I suppose is that had Great Britain been strangled by the German U-boats than the Soviet Union would not have been supplied by Lend Lease. Lend Lease provided all sorts of supplies including I believe basically the entire truck force that gave the Red Army mobility in the counterattack. However, the facts are that by December 1941 the Germans were already in retreat, they were going to lose stupendous numbers of men in the winter because of unpreparedness, the Soviets had a tank the T-34 coming into mass production better than any tank the Germans could ever produce in mass quantities, and Hitler was in personal command. Even with no Great Britain, Germany after 1941 needed to learn how to fight a defensive war to force a stalemate, precisely the type of strategy Hitler would never have authorized. And in addition, the Germans would not have been able to complete an atomic bomb for many years. Sure they would have had V2s but the Soviets had the more battlefield effective Katyusha [swebase.com]. (Okay mass deployment was helped by those Lense Lease trucks.) Soviet technology was sufficient to counter Germany's, with the possible exception of rocket-powered fighters, a technology that Hitler delayed until it was too late due to his obsession with rocket bombers.

    It is possible that a hundred years from now the real intelligence agency story of World War II will be how Joseph Stalin in his paranoid purges destroyed the finest network of spies ever assembled. Think of this, a time when Communism still had sway as an effective religion to produce loyal agents in any country. The United States for the past few decades has been continuously learning that one can't buy that type of loyal fanatic agent abroad, which is why the US is so dependent on high tech and American citizen agents, a combination totally incapable of predicting anything in hostile areas. Even though Stalin tried to order all his foreign agents back to the Soviet Union to be executed, there was still enough of a remnant such as the Red Orchestra [wiesenthal.com] to give Stalin a precise warning of when the Germans would attack. But Stalin had screwed things up so badly that the Soviets were caught totally unprepared. The initial catastrophe of the first few months when Soviet forces were repeatedly surrounded and annihilated was the only reason the Germans got as far as they did. Had Stalin followed through using the human intelligence network he had at his disposal, Germany would have been beaten years sooner, and perhaps all of continental Europe is occupied by the Red Army.

  • by joneshenry (9497) on Wednesday September 05, 2001 @02:54AM (#2254621)
    Thanks for the reply. I just have to disagree with all the points. :-)

    Overemphasis on new technology actually lengthened the war against Japan by 18 months. Read this [worldwarii.com] for one of many accounts of how the United States' dogged insistence on the efficacy of the magnetic detonation torpedo rendered the US submarine fleet impotent for 18 months, whereas after downgrading to earlier technology of contact detonation (and other fixes) the submarine fleet succeeded in sinking more than half of Japanese shipping, in effect imposing a total naval blockage. Note how scientific theory was perverted to reject empirical evidence from the submarine crews.

    US intelligence had plenty of chances [acusd.edu] to have successfully warned the country of imminent Japanese attack. What saved the US was that the Japanese were so far below the US level of industrial capability and resources that even a perfect plan might not have been sufficient. The only Japanese hope was to have destroyed the oil storage tanks at Pearl Harbor in a follow-up attack. Ironically the Japanese own rigidity in their military thinking possibly influenced the commander of the fleet from pressing home the advantage, a pattern repeated when they failed at Leyte Gulf to seize the opening to attack the landing fleet.

    All the futuristic technology and information isn't going to help if the leadership at the top is incapable or unwilling to determine what is of the most importance. Fortunately for the winning side in World War II the opposition had far less industrial capability and resources. And what won the war was more from the bottom-up as entire populations united and bottlenecks were solved in practical ways. As the war progressed it became easier for men of merit to get their jobs done. In such improved environments a million small improvements could work their way into the war effort, so yes there was some technical progress. But remember the Germans had V2 rockets and jet fighters and they still lost.

    It seems to me the modern American large corporation is not facing a lack of technology problem, it's facing organization problems. The people at the top who are supposed to be setting direction for the company cannot or will not accurately access the reams of information at their disposal. In story after story I read about World War II, the solution to a problem turns out to be putting the competent man in charge and letting him use his expertise. Preconceptions, ideology, and prejudice driving policy are the enemy.

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