I looked at the videos, but mostly what I saw was a robot semi-randomly driving around. Did they do some kind of experiment to prove they had done something more than set loose a stochastic system with wheels? I tried to follow up on some of the references, but after the second not-so-reputable journal with some kind of barrier to entry, I gave up. If I had done experiments in this vein, I would be yelling as loudly as possible about what tests I did to ensure this actually proves something. You know, so people wouldn't think I was just a crack-pot looking for attention. Doesn't help either that this is the same douche-bag that stuck a chip in his arm and claimed he was a "cyborg". In addition to not feeding trolls, can we avoid feeding media whores in future too?
Actually, the link I clicked through looked like a relatively ordinary (and not terribly big) grant program. Looks like the news here is maybe just that they are targeting individual junior faculty (rather than the gigantic industry-academia mega-consortium partnership programs that they usually fund)?
If I had to guess, I'd say this is a physics grad student who is looking to use this hard drive for something other than data storage. Where I work (in academia) we repurpose hardware all the time for purposes other than it's intended one, in order to do science, since commercial stuff is often engineered way beyond our capability to build it from scratch. That is, provided we can overcome details of its implementation that arise from its original (true) purpose. This may be one of those cases where the thing is engineered beyond hope of hacking, but I'm kind of disappointed at the "you're-an-idiot-because-hard-drives-aren't-meant-to-do-that" attitude in these posts. Is this really indicative of the level of imagination and curiosity on Slashdot?
Yeah, we should totally stop putting cow shit on crops. We should also stop putting water on them. Water is what goes in toilets! We should use Brawndo, the Thirst Mutilator instead!
The bias is in the title and the spin. By this logic one should be able to claim "No health benefits to eating veggies not soaked in arsenic". Veggies soaked in arsenic have all of the same vitamins and nutritional content and veggies not soaked in arsenic. Therefore they are just as healthy! All those anti-arsenic-soaked-vegetable conspiracy nuts can just shut up now.
It's not available yet, but Xandros Presto ( http://www.prestomypc.com/ ) is designed to do just this (boot quickly into a simple setup). The fast-boot parts are similar to those in the EeePC version of Xandros which does indeed get up and going really fast (whatever else you might think of Xandros) I'm skeptical about a lot of the suggestions for generic lightweight linux distributions, since even though these run on underpowered machines, few of them actually put any thought into optimizing boot time.