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Robotics

400 Battle Bots Fight, Toss Enemies At RoboGames Competition 58

Posted by Soulskill
from the why-are-we-training-them-to-fight dept.
Andre writes "The 6th annual RoboGames were held in San Francisco last weekend. They welcomed a horde of 400 non-sentient, metallic warriors to do violent battle — against each other, of course. This army of remote-controlled and autonomous combat robots, along with walking humanoids, soccer 'bots, sumo 'bots and even androids that do kung-fu, was put to the test. Among the big winners was Canadian-made 'Ziggy' — one of the combatants in the 340-pound, super-heavyweight division (the biggest division) — who took home a gold medal for the fourth year in a row. The bionic brute proved its might against its final opponent, the 'Juggernaut,' by tossing it around like an empty pop can (and promptly making a mockery of its name) using a pneumatic flipper. Ziggy's newly-improved weapon results in unwanted (but totally cool) free-flying lessons for its opponents. At full power, the flipper can launch an opponent to the arena ceiling."

Comment: Re:Oh come on. (Score 1) 794

by John Anonymous (#28296739) Attached to: Should Undergraduates Be Taught Fortran?

I've never seen Python used in scientific research, except in control scripts or GUI front ends.

I work for a company that does research in the physical sciences. Our scientists use a variety of languages; whatever tool fits the job, so to speak. We have clusters that run Fortran codes. We have folks who write mostly C++. We also have a lot of folks who use Matlab and Python. Those are great languages for exploring ideas-- you can write and modify code very quickly. Not to mention Matlab and SciPy have some really nice routines. Just because you haven't seen Python in scientific research doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

One of the issues is that scientists are not necessarily good software engineers. In fact they're usually not good software engineers. The scientists who are good programmers usually write highly optimized algorithms. There are also those who know nothing but Fortran and have no idea what OO is or how it might help them. For many projects, Python would be a huge time-saver. But they're mired in their ways and use Fortran for even just little I/O projects, like transforming data from ASCII to NetCDF, spending hours doing something that could be done in minutes in Python.

Networking

The Road To Terabit Ethernet 210

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-is-better dept.
stinkymountain writes "Pre-standard 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet products — server network interface cards, switch uplinks and switches — are expected to hit the market later this year. Standards-compliant products are expected to ship in the second half of next year, not long after the expected June 2010 ratification of the 802.3ba standard. Despite the global economic slowdown, global revenue for 10G fixed Ethernet switches doubled in 2008, according to Infonetics. There is pent-up demand for 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet, says John D'Ambrosia, chair of the 802.3ba task force in the IEEE and a senior research scientist at Force10 Networks. 'There are a number of people already who are using link aggregation to try and create pipes of that capacity,' he says. 'It's not the cleanest way to do things...(but) people already need that capacity.' D'Ambrosia says even though 40/100G Ethernet products haven't arrived yet, he's already thinking ahead to terabit Ethernet standards and products by 2015. 'We are going to see a call for a higher speed much sooner than we saw the call for this generation' of 10/40/100G Ethernet, he says."

Comment: Re:I didn't know Feinstein was a Republican.... (Score 5, Insightful) 873

by John Anonymous (#26814087) Attached to: Senator Diane Feinstein Trying to Kill Net Neutrality

Close, but no cigar. Corporations may be people in some legal respects, but they sure as hell can't vote. It's people like us who give politicians their jobs, and it's people like us who can just as easily take them away.

Corporations are much more powerful than people: they are after all comprised of people, who can vote; they can "live" longer than people; they typically have much more money and resources than people, with which to lobby governments; and since there are generally many people working for a corporation, they have a lot more person-hours to spend on lobbying, etc. than a natural person.

Optimization hinders evolution.

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