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Are Matt's Robot Hexapods Creepy or Cute? (Video) 32

Posted by Roblimo
from the you-put-your-right-foot-in-you-put-your-right-foot-out-you-pick-up-a-human-and-shake-it-all-about dept.
University of Arizona grad student Matt Bunting doesn't come across as a mad scientist. That's a very good thing, because his robot hexapod creations are easy to imagine crawling across the USA in large hordes, devouring everything in their path and using all the electricity they come across to feed their Queen Hexapod, a 3-D printer mounted on a hexapod chassis that turns everything fed to it into more robots. Luckily, the real life Matt is an affable (self-described) "Roboticist, Electrical Engineer, Musician, and Rock Crawler" who freely admits that at this time his robotic creations have no practical application whatsoever. This is probably true, except for the fact that they can liven up a music video like mad, as you can see on YouTube in Pedals Music Video (featuring REAL robots) . Our little video is a lot simpler, of course. In it, we interview Matt and he tells us what he's up to with his robots, and gives some 'how to get started with robotics' advice for budding young engineers. (Alternate Video Link)

Comment: Not a chance, you crap monsters! (Score 1) 110

by msobkow (#47931109) Attached to: Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home

I used to be a big Logitech fan. Not any more.

I had one of their trackballs for close to 10 years. I was happy with it and loved it, so I bought a new one when it failed. The new one died in 9 months.

So I bought one of their mice, 'cause I've always had good luck with them. It died in 6 months.

Logitech makes absolute CRAP nowadays. There is no way in hell I'd trust them to keep my house working

Comment: Re:Not going to be as rosy as the YES! campaign sa (Score 1) 449

by eclectro (#47930201) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

they're going to find it hard to secure the financing and trade deals they're going to need to make this work.

I submit that current trade agreements such as TIPP only work to lower wages and shift jobs overseas. In which case a vote for independence would be very beneficial to the Scottish people.

Comment: Re:This isn't scaremongering. (Score 1) 449

by HiThere (#47930011) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

Well, as a Californian I'm on the fence about that split. (Not that that's the one people were trying to get on the ballot. The North-South split actually makes *some* sense. And has ever since the Supreme court decided that the Californian Senate couldn't be elected based on geographic considerations rather than population considerations. (Even after the split, though, the agricultural areas would be underrepresented...for cetain definitions of underrepresented.)

In the current situation it feels as if the Southern counties are using their dominance in population (i.e. representation) to pillage the Northern counties...though that's a bit more extreme that what they are actually doing. But as the drought deepens, the folk in the North are forced into severe water control measures, and the folk of the South are still watering their lawns and letting the overflow flow down the gutter. And some farmers are being forced to cut down parts of their orchards because they can't afford enough water for all of the trees. (So even in the North, the city dwellers are less pressed than the farmers.)

That said, even were such an amendment to pass (in the state) it would need the concurrence of the feds. (I don't know the details, but such an agreement is unlikely.)

Comment: Re:This isn't scaremongering. (Score 1) 449

by HiThere (#47929797) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

Charles Stoss seems to believe that Britain is extracting wealth from Scotland. Perhaps he's wrong, but an earlier post above voiced the same opinion...and also agreed that DevoMax was the better choice...but one which had been manuvered off the ballot by politicians.

I think that Stoss is hoping that the nationalist party will become a lot less radical once they get the vote for independence. I don't know them (I live in the US and don't have any close ties to Scotland), but I'm a bit dubious about that.

Comment: On what Constitutional authority? (Score 1) 69

by dublin (#47928967) Attached to: The Case For a Federal Robotics Commission

I know it's silly and old-fashioned to bring up the Constitution when discussing the creation of yet another sclerotic Federal Bureaucratic behemoth, but this proposal is ridiculous on its face. Even the absurdly over-stretched interstate commerce clause and general welfare clause do not even come close to justifying this sort of overreach by the Feds.

IF (and that's a *big* if) this kind of regulation is needed at all (personally, I can't think of one good reason for it), then I see no reason why it can't be handled by the states. Centralizing policy and regulations for what amounts to the convenience and increased power of "bureaucrats armed and clerical" (in the immortal phrase of Dabney) is NOT allowed by the Constitution.

I'd vote in a heartbeat for any Presidential candidate, regardless of party, who would carry out Goldwater's pledge: "I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is "needed" before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents' "interests," I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can."

Sounds to me like every aspect of a Federal Robotics Commission would be the triumph of special interests over liberty...

Comment: Re:Interesting what he chose not to answer (Score 1) 87

by Stargoat (#47928681) Attached to: Interviews: David Saltzberg Answers Your Questions About The Big Bang Theory

I find this show difficult to watch, because it seems to mock the people and groups I grew up with. I have since married and become a bit more "normal", giving up my D&D and video game habits. I do not like seeing my friends (and my self) mocked. I do not believe I have ever met people as lovely, self-effacing and generous as those called geeks.

Those would have been valuable questions to ask.

Comment: Experience counts (Score 4, Interesting) 213

by msobkow (#47925045) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

I've seen plenty of "fear driven development" over the years, but the "fear" was usually on the part of incompetent employees who were afraid they'd be caught out as idiots and fired. They'd churn paperwork and documentation rather than touching a line of code, because if they broke something, their incompetence would become apparent.

Fear is the mind killer.

But if you're afraid to do your job, it's because you have a problem with confidence in your own skills. Blaming management for such fears just takes the incompetence you exhibit to a whole new level of blame-gaming.

Comment: A few things... (Score 5, Interesting) 510

by Entropius (#47923417) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9

What's your litmus test on Windows 9?

I want an OS that:

1) Doesn't attempt to hide the workings of my computer from me -- in particular, don't hide the way that paths and directories really work. (As a bonus: remove the spaces from system directories, dammit, because I get real tired of escaping them when I access my NTFS partition from a real OS.)

2) When something goes wrong tell me what the fuck it was. "The internet connection has limited connectivity" doesn't tell me a damn thing. "DHCP timeout" tells me something. Include both messages, by all means, for the benefit of Grandma -- but Grandma likely can't fix her internet connection on her own anyway.

3) Don't be patronizing. Copying .mp3's to a phone shouldn't give a "Your phone might not be able to play this file, copy anyway?" message, and there are a thousand things like that in Windows.

4) Get rid of file locking, or at least allow an override. I can decide whether a file is sufficiently "in use" that I shouldn't delete it.

5) Don't attempt to push other MS products (cloud services, "stores", and the like) on me, and don't keep spewing Windows Media Player etc. icons around after I delete them once.


Comment: Re:Absolutely false (Score 1) 179

by HiThere (#47922981) Attached to: How Governments Are Getting Around the UN's Ban On Blinding Laser Weapons

Why do you think that would prevent them from being criticized as uncivilized after they had already lost? I'll agree that it's a silly reason, but political decisions are often based around something equally silly...

Were they criticized for it? Not that I know of. This doesn't mean it wasn't a part of the reason. (OTOH, there's no evidence that I know of that *does* indicate it was part of the reason.)

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre