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Comment: Re:Fast Forward (Score 1) 69

by retech (#47517627) Attached to: Robot With Broken Leg Learns To Walk Again In Under 2 Minutes
Both are cool. But the FF episode would have had to have been from 1980-81. The memory we're talking about for me, takes place in my bedroom which would put it in that time frame. I know FF ran previous and post this time period. But I'm relatively certain the ant robot episode ran from around that time. Also recall it having a posterior much like an ant that was solely for the batteries. While the head had a few limited sensors and the main controller was in the abdomen.

Comment: Re:Fast Forward (Score 1) 69

by retech (#47516929) Attached to: Robot With Broken Leg Learns To Walk Again In Under 2 Minutes
I'm guessing on the 2 feet. But based on the room, chairs, table, etc. I think between 12 - 24 inches is the range.

It was one of the few untethered machines they had in the episode and I thought it amazing because it had no centralized intelligence. It had a core command set that told it to "walk". Or more according to them, gave it the desire to walk. How it did that was up to it.

They disabled it by flipping a switch on the back that shut it down. And it was stunning to watch it learn to stumble then walk.

I really wish this show was in the It would be a fantastic reference point. And a great search item, that so few people do seem to do.

Comment: Fast Forward (Score 4, Interesting) 69

by retech (#47515545) Attached to: Robot With Broken Leg Learns To Walk Again In Under 2 Minutes
There was a show in the 1980's from the CBC in Canada called "Fast Forward". Every week it focused on different tech innovations and where they'd go. One week they had learning robots. For the most part these were all simplistic things. But they had an "ant" that was about 2 feet long that was autonomous. The MIT crew that had created it realized that a centralized brain was just too big and power draining to build into the robot. So they had a system of sensors with rudimentary data and needs (leg=up, down, forward, backward, touching, not, moving or not, etc). If they shut it down it lost the memory of how to do anything it learned that day. They turned it on for the camera and it was a flailing ball of legs. Within 5 minutes it not only learned how to walk but circumvent objects, falls, danger. It still sticks out as amazing. Watching this video, I wonder what ever happened to that bot from nearly 30 yrs ago and wonder why does this spider seem to have actually gone back in time?

Comment: Re:Hope their hull is bulletproof. (Score 3, Informative) 80

by retech (#47429071) Attached to: SpaceX Wins FAA Permission To Build a Spaceport In Texas
Used to. The published numbers just do not show the reality. Between friends and family in B-ville and McAllen and knowing the number of shootings and car bombings they've witnessed, not one of them get's to the news. Hell, at my job down there, (worked for the state) we were told to NOT post any stuff on social media like: "OMG there was a shooting outside the mall today." One morning there was a shootout at the mall, 3 ppl hit. I thought surely this would make the news. Not a word of it anywhere.

Comment: Hope their hull is bulletproof. (Score 5, Interesting) 80

by retech (#47428805) Attached to: SpaceX Wins FAA Permission To Build a Spaceport In Texas
Took a job in Brownsville. Left Detroit. Flew down there. In the course of 6 months... The university campus was closed because of a cartel fight that saw bullets crossing the border and hitting classrooms. The daily headcount of dumped bodies (on either side) was greater than Detroit's. Crossed, over to go out to eat. The building across the street had two grenades lobbed into it while we ate. Mind you, this was less than .5 miles from Brownsville.

The area that they want to build (actually have been building for a while now) is flooded during spring break with high school and university kids. It's cheap, beach, and poorly patrolled. If you work for them, you'll have to live in Brownsville and deal with the beach crap for 6 weeks a year.

I really cannot think of a less desirable location to build this "space port".

Comment: Possible... (Score 5, Insightful) 208

by retech (#47274755) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Bequeath Sensitive Information?
You could send them an encrypted file (#1) now with all the info you wish to share with them. Along with a password for a file that will arrive when you die. Then set up a service like and have another encrypted file sent to them (#2). The password they already possess unlocks #2 and that contains the password(s) for #1.

Comment: Re:link? (Score -1, Flamebait) 193

by retech (#47056103) Attached to: eBay Compromised
As I stated, NO ALERTS in my account. So perhaps you should learn to read. Since you missed the major portion of what I wrote.

This may indicate that a specified group of ebay users are affected and is NOT site wide. But you'll miss this too since it's obviously implied and not spelled out letter by letter.

I appreciate that you're an asshole and Aspergers makes it hard to communicate. Perhaps 4chan is more your thing.

Utility is when you have one telephone, luxury is when you have two, opulence is when you have three -- and paradise is when you have none. -- Doug Larson