Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Image processing; LIDAR; ADAS perspective (Score 2) 130

by volvox_voxel (#48621651) Attached to: Research Highlights How AI Sees and How It Knows What It's Looking At

I've done some image processing work.. It seems to me that you can take the output of this Neural network and correlate it with some other image processing routines, like feature detection, feature meteorology, etc; A conditional probability based decision chain,etc.

I work on a LIDAR sensor meant for Anti-. I work at a start-up that makes 3D laser-radar vision sensors for robotics and autonomous vehicles /anti-collision avoidance. The other day, I learned that such sensors allow robots to augment their camera vision systems to have a better understanding of their environment. It turns out that it's still an unsolved problem for a computer vision systems to unambiguously recognize that it's looking at a bird or a cat, and can only give you probabilities.. A LIDAR sensor instantly gives you a depth measurement out to several hundred meters that you can correlate your images to . The computer can combine the color information, along with depth information to have a much better idea of what it's looking at. For an anti-collision avoidance system, it has to be certain what it's looking at, and that cameras alone aren't good enough. I find it pretty exciting to be working on something that is useful for AI (artificial intelligence) research. One guy I work with got his Ph.D using Microsoft's Kinect sensor, which is something that gives robots depth perception for close-up environments..

“In the 60s, Marvin Minsky (a well known AI researcher from MIT, whom Isaac Asimov considered one of the smartest people he ever met) assigned a couple of undergrads to spend the summer programming a computer to use a camera to identify objects in a scene. He figured they'd have the problem solved by the end of the summer. Half a century later, we're still working on it.”


Comment: Time to switch players? (Score 1) 250

by volvox_voxel (#48526955) Attached to: Apple Accused of Deleting Songs From iPods Without Users' Knowledge

I just read that it's possible to transfer & play your I-tunes files on other devices, like an android phone. With an itunes player, I don't feel I own something if music files can be deleted without my permission. We have one of these players, but I've always been wary of it.

There are plenty of other players/dev boards that can read in music from something like a micro-SD card and play music without all the DRM hassles. There are plenty of open-source projects out there that use inexpensive boards, like the raspberry PI, or the STM32F4 board, running bare-metal, linux, or Free-RTOS..

Comment: what's the up-time? (Score 1) 249

by volvox_voxel (#48306639) Attached to: New Atomic Clock Reaches the Boundaries of Timekeeping
..This looks to be a pretty complicated beast that's built onto a table top and looks very much like a graduate research lab.. I wonder what the up time is?.. Mounts can drift with temperature, the bench does not look sealed, there is the potential for dust and contamination.. The laser power can fluctuate every so slightly and are probably run in optical-power mode.. The lasers can't be constantly up, etc. ..I used to work at a laser company that converted a bench-top tunable femtosecond laser with a lot of knobs that took a graduate student to run, and made it into an OEM product that was controller by a computer. It's hard to make commercial products out of some systems because it's hard to make it reliable (like femtosecond amplifiers).. I'm sure this thing requires a lot of babysitting. I wonder how long the measurement can stay stable?

Comment: List of Animals by number of Neurons (Score 4, Interesting) 154

by volvox_voxel (#48160703) Attached to: Scientists Find Rats Aren't Smarter Than Mice, and That's Important


The rat has an estimated 200E6 Neurons and 4.48E11 synapses, and the mouse has 71E6 neurons and ~1E11 synapses.

There is at least some correlation between intelligence and the number of neurons. A cursory search found this: -- Fact or Fiction: When It Comes to Intelligence, Does Brain Size Matte? http://www.scientificamerican....

It would be interesting to find more definitive articles that support or contrast this.

Comment: Pediatric intensive care delema /cure (Score 1) 193

I have a friend that worked at the Stanford medical center's pediatric intensive care unit, where his patients were often flown in/helicoptered from all over the state. There are certain diseases that have a 100% mortality rate in children, where they could be fine two weeks before, and near death when he gets them. He developed a cure that saves about half the kids, and attributes most of the lost ones for not getting then to him fast enough. Everywhere else in the world they die. Stanford, being a research hospital, allowed him to experiment. He had a dilemma that bothered him immensely-- In order to gain wider acceptance, the medical community wanted to have a double blind test to see if the test, and show statistics.. When I last spoke with him, he was thinking about the minimum set of kids that would have to die and still be statistically acceptable. This was about 8 years ago, and don't know the current status. I'm not a doctor, and may have some of the details wrong. He did mention that his point of view was controversial, and it's hard for other doctors to reconcile that his patients lived though was was normally consider a death sentence.. He mentioned that he had to manage multiple organ failure trying to restore them to health. If a child was flown in fast enough, there was a good chance of a 100% recovery.

He had an interesting theory about the body and death (if I recall correctly) -- He believes that under some conditions, the autoimmune response goes out of control and starts actively trying to kill you. A lot of disease vectors and allergies can trigger this. . He said your body actively produces a lot of nasty toxins that cause multiple organ failures.. He did research on dialysis filters, and made sure to continuously purge the blood stream for the toxins. He would also follow up with chemotherapy to aid in autoimmune response suppression.. His method called for a very high volume of IV fluid which was pretty expensive. Stanford was willing to fit the bill. He believes that this method could be used to treat older patients as well.

Through a fog of memory, I'd like find out how this guy is doing. He's still doing pediatric critical care work, but moved on to Samaritan Hospital. He tells me that a lot of doctors he knows can't handle children dying in intensive care wards. He's an optimist and thinks about the number of children he's saved.. There are unsung heroes all around us.

Comment: plenty of alternatives to adobe (Score 1) 150

by volvox_voxel (#48086075) Attached to: Adobe Spies On Users' eBook Libraries

..Like Okular on Linux, etc. I'm not fond of any program contacting the mother-ship without my permission..

When I was in college, I remember being nervous about checking out books in the library. The librarian assured me that your lending habits are not part of the public record. At the time, I was working in a physical chemistry research lab, and the books in question were locked up in the cage out of a concern for explosives and public safety.

Comment: Taping Conversations? (Score 2) 742

by volvox_voxel (#48084551) Attached to: Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job

This incident sounds like a good case for recording all of your conversations with such companies. It is my understanding that you have to tell them that the conversation is being recorded; something they may not agree to. Does anyone here know more about the terms and conditions of this CYA method?

This example seems pretty hard to believe / outlandish but unreasonable and vindictive if true. It would be interesting to hear if there were similar stories from other people.

Comment: Wynken, Blynken, and Nod .. (Score 1, Interesting) 129

by volvox_voxel (#47884141) Attached to: Researchers Working On Crystallizing Light

Crystal light? .. Reminds me of of the poem by Eugene Field. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W...

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night Sailed off in a wooden shoe — Sailed on a river of crystal light, Into a sea of dew. "Where are you going, and what do you wish?" The old moon asked the three. "We have come to fish for the herring fish That live in this beautiful sea; Nets of silver and gold have we!" Said Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song, As they rocked in the wooden shoe, And the wind that sped them all night long Ruffled the waves of dew. The little stars were the herring fish That lived in that beautiful sea — "Now cast your nets wherever you wish — Never afeard are we"; So cried the stars to the fishermen three: Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

All night long their nets they threw To the stars in the twinkling foam — Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe, Bringing the fishermen home; 'Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed As if it could not be, And some folks thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed Of sailing that beautiful sea — But I shall name you the fishermen three: Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes, And Nod is a little head, And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies Is a wee one's trundle-bed. So shut your eyes while mother sings Of wonderful sights that be, And you shall see the beautiful things As you rock in the misty sea, Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three: Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

Here is the Silly Symphony version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Comment: container ships and bulk transport -- (Score 1) 491

I understand that these are major polluters.. I've seen pictures in a Britannica "Science and the future" book of bulk transport ships using large servo driven metal sails. I wonder to what extent this technology has been explored. When doing a google search, I found this http://www.cnet.com/news/cargo... ..But it doesn't look like it was actually built.

I've heard anecdotal evidence that a transport ship is equivalent to 50,000 cars.. And this site http://www.viewzone.com/sixtee... claims that it's much higher. I'd be interested in in a reliable source for this. I understand that they use different fuel depending on how close they are to a human settlement, and the cheap stuff is a really big polluter. It's a solid a room temperature and has to be heated up to flow into the engine. At the very least, I'd like to see electrostatic percipitators on the smoke-stacks.

We once had world trade based on sail. Much/ most of that cargo does not need to get to it's destination quickly..

+ - The First Sophisticated Domestic Robot - The Dyson 360 Eye ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "Yes it's a vacuum cleaner! But you knew it would be. The real question is why has it taken so long to make a sophisticated robot to do the menial job of cleaning the floor. The typical Roomba style robot vac runs around at random bumping into things and getting tangled in anything it can find. It is an endearing little machine and once you have owned one the idea of not having one is unthinkable but... it is still a little dim, even for the menial job of cleaning the floor.
Enter the Dyson 360 Eye which was launched last week. This is an upmarket cleaner. Not only does it have a radial root cyclone suction machine it also has, as it's name suggests, 360 degree vision.
A 360 degree panoramic lens lets an infrared sensor see all around. The sensors work in conjunction with a video camera to place objects in the scene. As it moves around it builds a model that is accurate to 5mm. It uses SLAM — Simultaneous Localization And Mapping — which is one mark of an advanced robot. In short — this Dyson knows where it is.
And what is the advantage of this?
Simple — the robot doesn't bump into things and it can clean systematically, which is much more satisfying for a human observer at the very least.
Add to this radial root cyclone suction, tank track to avoid slipping or getting stuck and an iOS and Android app to control it and you have a very desirable floor cleaning robot — but is it overkill? At more than $1000 it will be available early next year and you can pre-order now even if you only want it to hack. See it in action in the video."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:*drool* -- FPGA development (Score 1) 181

I do a lot of FPGA programming and It takes me 15-20 minutes to synthesize a design on a modern fast computer. As more of the part is being used, synthesis takes more and more time, as the chip becomes harder to rout.. I'm a user that is primarily CPU bound. I hope that Intel will continue to push on the raw performance. For the past few years, as we've only seen marginal improvements in CPU performance.

There is also the issue that FPGAs keep getting cheaper/bigger, so no matter how fast your rig, it always takes a long time to synthesize. I'd be curious about what other FPGA developers use to boot performance.. Overclocking/water cooling does seem to help, as does using faster ram.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.