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Robotics

Stanford's "Autonomous" Helicopters Learn 90

Posted by kdawson
from the not-what-you-would-call-strong-ai dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Stanford computer scientists have developed an artificial intelligence system that enables robotic helicopters to teach themselves to fly difficult stunts by 'watching' other helicopters perform the same maneuvers. The result is an autonomous helicopter that can perform a complete airshow of complex tricks on its own. The stunts are 'by far the most difficult aerobatic maneuvers flown by any computer controlled helicopter,' said Andrew Ng, the professor directing the research of graduate students Pieter Abbeel, Adam Coates, Timothy Hunter and Morgan Quigley. The dazzling airshow is an important demonstration of 'apprenticeship learning,' in which robots learn by observing an expert, rather than by having software engineers peck away at their keyboards in an attempt to write instructions from scratch.'" The title of the linked article uses the term "autonomous," but that's somewhat misleading. The copters can't fly on their own, but rather can duplicate complex maneuvers learned from a human pilot.
The Internet

R.I.P Usenet: 1980-2008 625

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the we-hardly-knew-ye dept.
CorinneI writes "In a way inconceivable in today's marketplace, Usenet was where people once went to talk — in days before the profit-centric Internet we have today. The series of bulletin boards called 'newsgroups' shared by thousands of computers, which traded new messages several times a day, is now a thing of the past."
Google

+ - Google Android not so open after all->

Submitted by Mr. Roboto
Mr. Roboto (666) writes "There may be high expectations for Google's Android mobile platform, but recent developments are leading some to question Google's commitment to the development community and platform. Google is secretly releasing updated SDK versions to Android Developer Challenges finalists under NDA — and to no one else. 'This was revealed yesterday when Google employee David McLaughlin accidentally sent notification of a new SDK release to a public Android mailing list. The message, which was intended only for ADC Round two entrants, says that SDK build 84853 is available through the private ADC download site. McLaughlin later apologized for mistakenly sending the message to the wrong list. ADC Round two participants have confirmed that they have access to updated SDK builds but declined to provide further details because they are bound by non-disclosure agreements.'"
Link to Original Source
OS X

iPhone Not Running OS X 476

Posted by kdawson
from the but-but-steve-said-it-was dept.
rochlin writes "We know that Steve Jobs has said the iPhone won't accept third-party apps. The iPhone looks to be running on a Samsung provided ARM core processor. That means it's not running on an Intel (or PPC) core. That means it's not running OS X in any meaningful sense (Apple can brand toilet paper as running OS X if they like). Darwin, the BSD based operating system that underlies what Apple has previously been calling OS X, does not run on ARM processors. The Darwin / Apple Public Source licensing agreement says the source would have to be made available if it is modified and sold (paraphrased; read it yourself). A Cingular rep has said the iPhone version of the OS source will not be made available. It will be closed, like the iPod OS and not like Darwin. So if it ain't Darwin, it ain't OS X (in any meaningful way). An InfoWorld article on an FBR Research report breaks down iPhone component providers and lists Samsung as the chip maker for the main application / video cpu. So, that leaves the question... What OS is this phone really running? Not Linux or the source would need to be open."

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