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Are Matt's Robot Hexapods Creepy or Cute? (Video) 34

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)
Programming

Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs? 509

Posted by Soulskill
from the robot-overlord-exterminator dept.
An anonymous reader writes: My niece, who is graduating from high school, has asked me for some career advice. Since I work in data processing, my first thought was to recommend a degree course in computer science or computer engineering. However, after reading books by Jeremy Rifkin (The Third Industrial Revolution) and Ray Kurzweil (How to Create a Mind), I now wonder whether a career in information technology is actually better than, say, becoming a lawyer or a construction worker. While the two authors differ in their political persuasions (Rifkin is a Green leftist and Kurzweil is a Libertarian transhumanist), both foresee an increasingly automated future where most of humanity would become either jobless or underemployed by the middle of the century. While robots take over the production of consumer hardware, Big Data algorithms like the ones used by Google and IBM appear to be displacing even white collar tech workers. How long before the only ones left on the payroll are the few "rockstar" programmers and administrators needed to maintain the system? Besides politics and drug dealing, what jobs are really future-proof? Would it be better if my niece took a course in the Arts, since creativity is looking to be one of humanity's final frontiers against the inevitable Rise of the Machines?

+ - The Q Platform uses Linux/OpenWRT to Control LED Light Bulbs and Stream Audio 1

Submitted by dmtaub
dmtaub (1942940) writes "The Q is the only Open Source platform for music and light control on the market. In addition to using a smartphone to play music, set alarms/alerts, and trigger scenes, the Q will have a scripting IDE on the router configuration web page for aspiring programmers to play with light and sound.
There are only a few days left on the Kickstarter ( http://kck.st/1pCusil ) so now's the time to show support for a hackable smart-home platform that integrates music with colorful LED light bulbs.

Full disclosure: I am one of the co founders. Even though I am not working for them anymore, I still really want to see open-source, hackable LED lighting make its way to the masses."

Comment: Re:Didn't answer anyone's questions directly, did (Score 2) 42

Ditto. Textual information trapped in a linear non-searchable video has always pissed me off.

Your complaint seems wildly off-topic as there's an easily searchable transcript that can be read / searched via the "hide/show transcript" link right below the video.

Science

New Sensor To Detect Food-Borne Bacteria On Site 10

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-eat-it dept.
Zothecula (1870348) writes According to the CDC, around 48 million people in the US get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die as a result of foodborne illnesses every year. One of the main culprits is listeriosis (or listeria), which is responsible for approximately 1,600 illnesses and 260 deaths. Now researchers at the University of Southampton are using a device designed to detect the most common cause of listeriosis directly on food preparation surfaces, without the need to send samples away for laboratory testing.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 4, Interesting) 493

by virtualXTC (#47120983) Attached to: Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

Yes, this is just misplaced paranoia. Vaccinations are legitimate public health information.

Just yes. That is to say, yes they are legitimate public health information. And yes, it is paranoia.

Paranoia says registrations of one kind or another are extremely prone to government abuse. And it isn't valid to say "I know my government representatives and they would never do such a thing." Because you do not know all future government administrations and whether they would do such a thing.

- TFTFY

Further, thouse who's health cannot tolerate vaccanation are exempt from vaccinations for schooling and don't have any place in the milatry. It is unfortunate that madated vaccines are the only way to get us to the ciritical mass that can protect those who cannot be vaccinated, however it's fear mongers like you are what's keeping us below that critical point.

Moreover, intentional fallicies like this call into question your ablity to think critically and rationally:

And if you genuinely cannot imagine how government could conceivably abuse this information, then you shouldn't be speaking up at all. Should everybody be vaccinated?

If you cannot articulate your actual fears are so that they can be addressed, then you are just paronid. I personally can think of very few ways the list could be abused, and none of the abuses outweigh the risk of another Polio outbreak.

Comment: Read the FAQ!!! (Score 1) 193

by virtualXTC (#47007339) Attached to: Are Glowing, Solar Smart Roads the Future?
http://solarroadways.com/faq.s...

Costs: the idea is that this would cost less than building normal solar pannels AND roads; Moreover, they would also replace the need for powerlines as they are inteded to be part of the distrubtion system. Thus price for new developments shouldn't be an issue.

Repair: Most road damage is due to heavy trucking and utilitys digging them up. The solar roads are designed to withstand and excess 250,000 pounds, and the pannels are modular, which means they can be removed and replaced if digging benigh them is required

Wear: there won't be snow plows going across them as they will have a heating element built in, loss of transparancy is currently thought to have a maximum reduction on output of only 9%, see repair (above) for more questions about durablity. Line Display: netherlands failure: used glow

Technology

Reinventing the Axe 217

Posted by samzenpus
from the exotic-weapon-proficiency dept.
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "The axe has been with us for thousands of years, with its design changing very little during that time. After all, how much can you really alter a basic blade-and-handle? Well, Finnish inventor Heikki Karna has tried to change it a whole lot, with a new, oddly-shaped axe that he claims is a whole lot safer because it transfers a percentage of downward force into rotational energy, cutting down on deflections. 'The Vipukirves [as the axe is called] still has a sharpened blade at the end, but it has a projection coming off the side that shifts the center of gravity away from the middle. At the point of impact, the edge is driven into the wood and slows down, but the kinetic energy contained in the 1.9 kilogram axe head continues down and to the side (because of the odd center of gravity),' is how Geek.com describes the design. 'The rotational energy actually pushes the wood apart like a lever.' The question is, will everyone pick up on this new way of doing things?"

I'd rather be led to hell than managed to heavan.

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