Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Paro the Therapeutic Robot Baby Seal Screenshot-sm 52

Mike writes "Paro is a therapeutic baby seal robot that is exploring new dimensions in animal therapy. Created to act as a companion for hospital patients and the elderly, the adorable baby harp seal bot aims to increase relaxation and decrease stress. Paro can sense and respond to its immediate environment through five integrated sensors that detect touch, light, sound, temperature, and posture, and it is even capable of learning and responding to a name."

Comment Re:yeah (Score 1) 260

I find it interesting that you are complaining about the last eight years in the US, yet the article is about Europe...

I'm referencing the U.S. because I'm a resident of the U.S., and have more knowledge of the U.S. government's various malfeasances than I do of the U.K.'s.

And no one was "complaining". I was merely pointing out that the OP's claim that a government is somehow more trustworthy than a "grey hat" is patently absurd.

IMO, it shows the anti-US sentiment, apparently because of the US's more or less high position in the world, as opposed to many European countries that are trying to rival it with the EU, etc., but failing.

IMO, you're reading way too much into my remarks, Sparky.

And yet, The UK and Europe have far worse "wire-tapping" sorts of things than the US. But it's not in vogue to complain about it anywhere but in the US, it seems.

Could you please explain your point, seeing as how you have seemed to have made mine for me at this juncture?

Comment Re:More Information? (Score 1) 260

Granted....I'm just making the suggestion based upon the available information that says a Trojan will be involved, which will almost certainly be only written in the M$ flavor...90% of market share and all...

However, as interest in Linux increases, it's only a matter of time before The Powers That Be take notice, and mucking with a repository would be a great way to snare an unsuspecting Linux user. All the more reason to support the growing Paranoid Linux movement...I don't know exactly how effective this sort of thing would be in the real world, but unfortunately, it looks like we're going to have to find out.

Comment Re:Wow! (Score 0) 260

But, of course, if your machine is behind a firewall, they'll just outlaw having firewall because it impedes their ability to investigate you for crimes.

Actually, if you live in Michigan, this has already happened.

Unless this law has been repealed since 2003 (and I've been unable to find any evidence that it has), then I and everyone I know is a felon.

Comment More Information? (Score 5, Informative) 260

Unfortunately, the article cited is maddeningly vague as to how this initiative will be implemented. A little digging turns up this Register article on the subject, which contains slightly more info.

From the Register article:

In practical terms, remote searches would involve planting law enforcement Trojans on suspects' PCs. Police in Germany are most enthusiastic about pushing this tactic, the sort of approach even Vic Mackey from The Shield might baulk at, despite its many potential drawbacks, highlighted by El Reg on numerous occasions.

For starters, infecting the PC of a target of an investigation is hit and miss. Malware is not a precision weapon, and that raises the possibility that samples of the malware might fall into the hands of cybercrooks.

Even if a target does get infected there's a good chance any security software they've installed will detect the malware. Any security vendor who agreed to turn a blind eye to state-sanctioned Trojans would risk compromising their reputation, as amply illustrated by the Magic Lantern controversy in the US a few years back.

Then there are the civil liberties implications of the approach and questions about whether evidence obtained using the tactic is admissable in court.

Despite all these problems the idea of a law enforcement Trojan continues to gain traction and could become mainstream within five years, if EU ministers get their way.

So, in short, here's just one more compelling argument for ditching Windows for Linux...

Comment Seems fairly obvious... (Score 1) 335

1.) Isn't this what a will is for?

2.) If you're really concerned about security, you could have the portion of the will that deals with passwords and such encrypted, and keep the encryption key in a different location or with a different agency, with instructions to each that the key is only to be used upon the event of your death.

Comment Re:What exactly *is* a "soul", anyway? (Score 1) 630

Only if it's enviroment it evolved in has been similar to are own. Otherwise it would show a different type of cognition.

Granted, which is why I used the word "similar". On reflection, even that word is insufficient. I meant "similar" only in that the system would achieve a self-awareness...not that it would in any way resemble our own, since (as you pointed out), there's no reason to assume that it would, and several reasons to assume that it wouldn't. In fact, one of the principal hazards of emergent self-awareness in machines may be that it results in an awareness so radically alien from ours that we each fail to recognize the other as self-aware.

Comment Re:I don't know if that's good or bad... (Score 1) 412

What happened? I thought you were "done here".

Yes, you stated that there's no basis to say that it has been a success of failure. I remarked upon that in my previous post, saying that I was glad you weren't going to try to make the case that the absence of attacks were some sort of evidence that the program was working.

Which, of course, is what you immediately proceeded to do in your next two sentences.

Then, you immediately followed up with another disclaimer, already trying to cover your ass. What you did is equivalent to an attorney asking a witness an improper question, and then immediately saying "withdrawn" when the opposing attorney makes their objection. The judge can instruct the jury to disregard, but it doesn't matter. The subject is already out there. That's exactly the turd you tried to float here, and you're still squalling over my sinking of it.

One. More. Time.

If you honestly didn't intend the implication, retract your words now. If you did, stand behind your words. I'm not particularly interested in anything else you might have to say.

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal