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MIT Helping NASA Build Valkyrie Robots For Space Missions ( 35

An anonymous reader writes: NASA announced that MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is one of just two institutions that will receive "R5," a six-foot, 290-pound humanoid robot also known as "Valkyrie" that will serve on future space missions to Mars and beyond. A group led by CSAIL principal investigator Russ Tedrake will develop algorithms for the robot as part of NASA's upcoming Space Robotics Challenge, which aims to create more dexterous autonomous robots that can help or even take the place of humans "extreme space" missions. While R5 was initially designed to complete disaster-relief maneuvers, its main goal is now to prove itself worthy of even trickier terrain — deep space exploration.

Comment Re:Not another one (Score 1) 696

I suspect the reason for wanting more women in programming is simple: it'll drive down pay rates. The larger one's pool of available labor, the less you can pay people to do said job. It's supply & demand 101.

The #1 reason wages has stagnated, and in many respected regressed, since the 60s (adjusted for inflation) is because women entered the workforce in droves. That drove down rates on a society-wide basis and is largely responsible for why it now takes 2 incomes to provide the lifestyle a single income could have afforded a family of four 40+ years ago.

Comment Re:Maybe it's just who we are... (Score 1) 696

It's well documented women and men have different innate drives. The more free a society becomes, the more we can indulge our natural predispositions. That was the general consensus of this documentary that delved into the "gender equality paradox":,...

"The Nordic Council of Ministers (a regional inter-governmental co-operation consisting of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland) has decided to close down the NIKK Nordic Gender Institute. The NIKK had been the flagship of “Gender Theory”, providing the “scientific” basis for social and educational policies that, from the 1970s onward, had transformed the Nordic countries to become the most “gender sensitive” societies in the world.

The decision was made after the Norwegian State Television had broadcasted a television documentary called “Hjernevask” (the Norwegian word for “brainwash”) in which comedian Harald Eia exposed the hopelessly unscientific character of the NIKK."

Comment Re:Bigotry Shmigotry (Score 1) 536

You're right, it is about power. Sexbots would empower men and give them choice on a level never before seen in history. That scares the hell out of people, mainly women, many of whom would for the first time in their lives have to offer more to a man than their looks/sex. There's a good discussion of this topic right here:

Comment Re:All bullshit (Score 2) 265

Actual studies on the subject have found upwards of half of all rape claims in the US are false.

"According to a nine-year study conducted by former Purdue sociologist Eugene J. Kanin, in over 40 percent of the cases reviewed, the complainants eventually admitted that no rape had occurred (Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 23, No. 1, 1994). Kanin also studied rape allegations in two large Midwestern universities and found that 50 percent of the allegations were recanted by the accuser. ...

Kanin's findings are hardly unique. In 1985 the Air Force conducted a study of 556 rape accusations. Over one quarter of the accusers admitted, either just before they took a lie detector test of after they had failed it, that no rape occurred. A further investigation by independent reviewers found that 60 percent of the original rape allegations were false. ...

According to a 1996 Department of Justice Report, of the roughly 10,000 sexual assault cases analyzed with DNA evidence over the previous seven years, 2,000 excluded the primary suspect, and another 2,000 were inconclusive. The report notes that these figures mirror an informal National Institute of Justice survey of private laboratories, and suggests that there exists "some strong, underlying systemic problems that generate erroneous accusations and convictions." (that's 40% for those not counting) ...

That false allegations are a major problem has been confirmed by several prominent prosecutors, including Linda Fairstein, who heads the New York County District Attorney's Sex Crimes Unit. Fairstein, the author of Sexual Violence: Our War Against Rape, says, "there are about 4,000 reports of rape each year in Manhattan. Of these, about half simply did not happen.""

The 2% figure feminists often cite is a good example of the Woozle Effect:

Comment Re:All bullshit (Score 1) 265

This. The girl was quoted in texts that it was consensual and enjoyed their activities and everything was fine. Then her sister, who the boy had a relationship with, found out about them having sex and dragged the girl in front of her parents and police and made her accuse him. This is all by people who know them personally as the sister walked in on the girl in a party talking to her friends about having hooked up with him.

Comment Mailvelop does this (Score 1) 83

I've had great success with mailvelope plug-in it has support for firefox and chrome. It makes PGP encrypting mail secure and integrates well with existing mail accounts rather seamlessly. I'm a longtime user of PGP and mail encryption and this was one of the first times I've seen it done correctly and easy to use.

Submission + - Wireless system allows omnidirectional multiple device charging in 0.5m range (

An anonymous reader writes: A new wireless charging system is being developed by scientists at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), which can charge multiple devices simultaneously and up to a 50cm distance – no matter which direction the devices are facing []. According to KAIST, the charging pad delivers 30 watts of charging power and can accommodate up to 30 smartphones or five laptops at any one time. The components must be attached to a specially designed transmitting coil which receives the power from the main charging system.

"We shall reach greater and greater platitudes of achievement." -- Richard J. Daley