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Submission + - New AI ALPHA consistently beats Air Force expert in fighter combat simulation (

Timothy Dyck writes: An experimental AI was tested in simulated combat against retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and fighter instructor Gene Lee. Lee was shot down in every simulated engagement and did not down the AI opponent once. [The AI] is “the most aggressive, responsive, dynamic and credible AI I’ve seen to date,” he said.

The AI, named ALPHA, is designed to pilot unmanned combat aerial vehicles. It uses a fuzzy tree algorithm and has been improving using a selection process where randomly changed descendant algorithms fight against each other, with the surviving versions breeding further still.

Submission + - Giant helium hybrid dirigible to enter market (

Timothy Dyck writes: Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works research division has developed a dirigible that combines aspects of a blimp, helicopter, fixed-wing aircraft and hovercraft. Originally created as part of a classified military program more than 20 years ago, Lockheed continued developing the giant airship and has now just made its first commercial sale of the LMH-1. It can land on water or nearly any land surface, carry 21 metric tons of cargo and uses far less fuel than either a helicopter or a jet.

Comment Re: Tp-link Wr1043nd (Score 1) 334

I have also had good results with the TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND Ultimate Wireless N Gigabit Router running OpenWrt and use them as network firewall/gateways, OpenVPN server/clients and small VLAN-capable switches.

The hardware specs are great for the price ($55-$65): 5 gigabit ports, 802.11n and the real winner is that OpenWrt has good support for the RTL8366RB switch chipset, including tagged VLANs. Getting a switch that has VLAN support for this price is not otherwise available, that I've found. The stock TP-LINK firmware does not expose the VLAN features but they are there and available if OpenWrt is used.

- Chipset is the Atheros AR9132 rev. 2 WISOC, which contains: Atheros 3×2 (3rx, 2 tx) MIMO wireless + MIPS 24Kc V7.4 CPU running at 400Mhz) – 266.24 BogoMIPS
- RAM: 32 MB
- 801.11n/g/b 2.4 GHz
- 4+1 gigabit Ethernet ports (RTL8366RB chipset with 802.1Q VLAN support – see
- 1 USB 2.0 (can put a small USB stick in and use it as swap space to run programs that otherwise wouldn't work given 32 MB of RAM, such as dansguardian)

The one main problem I've found is that some wireless clients have problems connecting using 802.11 -- see the bug "Backfire ar71xx error: ath: Failed to stop TX DMA!" at for examples. This has improved with -rc5 and -rc6.

-Tim Miller Dyck

Comment Impress links images instead of embedding them (Score 1) 503

One thing that burned our test users with Impress is that when images are dragged-and-dropped in, they are linked, not embedded (PowerPoint defaults to embedding). This caused one of our users to take an image-heavy presentation they had carefully assembled and have no images show up on the presentation machine.

When you add images using the menu in Impress (testing with 3.0), you can choose to link or embed, but when dragging-and-dropping, which is what our users were used to, the default is link. This cannot be changed as far as I could determine (see bug 15369).

Impress also converts embedded images to PNG, which can really inflate their size compared to JPG.

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