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Skin deep? Robots To Wear Real Human Tissue (thememo.com) 77

Scientists are already growing muscles, bones, and mini-organs in the lab. But these tissues are generally small and simple. That's why two scientists from Oxford University are proposing that we use humanoid robots to grow engineered tissues instead. From a report: Robots dressed in human flesh would benefit people who need tissue transplants, Oxford University researchers have said this week. At present human cells are grown in stationary environments, but moving humanoids could help them develop in a far more healthier way. Robots could "wear" tissue grafts before transplantation, researchers Pierre-Alexis Mouthuy and Andrew Carr propose in the latest issue of Science Robotics. Today sheets of cells are grown in stagnant tanks, but these "fail to mimic the real mechanical environment for cells," say the scientists. The resulting tissues aren't used to moving, stretching and straining, which make them problematic for use by patients.

Comment Re:I cant believe Uplay is still a thing (Score 1) 120

If someone could make a service that is an umbrella for all of these, I bet it would be popular. "MetaPlay"... although it would be nice to have something similar for social networking too, not just games. Combine my Facebook, Google and LinkedIn networks... maybe under the same umbrella as Steam and UPlay. I imagine it could turn out really crappy, but if they did a really good job, maybe even linking contacts across networks if they were the same person, I'd be interested. Of course then I'd want more control over my circles so I'm not trying to play MMOs with my professional contacts.

That would probably violate patent and copyright law left and right, though.

Comment Re:I cant believe Uplay is still a thing (Score 1) 120

Some games are only available on UPlay; that's the only reason I use it. I think I got some Humble Bundle games that required UPlay. Also, they gave away something like 7 games in 7 months last year. I now have the following games for free (guess there were some I didn't even bother claiming):
  • Assassins Creed III
  • Beyond Good & Evil
  • Rayman Origins
  • The Crew

I actually haven't played any of them since getting them on UPlay, but I intend to play some of them.

If you love some of their series, the lack of updates, extra information and features shouldn't stop you from using UPlay since, before we had gaming services like this, all we had were discs, which lacked the same things, although I'm not sure exactly what "extra information" you're referring to. Obviously information is not hard to come by any more; there are plenty of links from UPlay to game-related info.

I don't know if UPlay points-based features were missing when you last used UPlay, but there are extra features in at least some games now. For example, Heroes of Might and Magic VI will let you collect U points in the game. I think these are shared across all games, but I have only been playing this game, so I used them for the same game. With them I buy in-game portraits and power ups in the UPlay UI, and you can also accessorize your system with other point-based purchases like wallpapers.

Comment Re:What complete nonsense (Score 1) 308

It's not *complete* nonsense. The only phrase they neglected to include was, "at the current market price." I don't think this measurement is as useful in an economic context as in an order of magnitude context. If you told people that there was an asteroid out there with about a billion megatons of iron and nickel (if I did my math right), they might not be able to put it in context as well as if you told them how much that is worth at the current market rate -- more than all the economies on the planet. It is a little sensational and misleading because obviously you can't extract anywhere near that much value from it, but it does help understand the order of magnitude a little. Also, maybe the space program deserves a little benefit of the doubt these days having been cut so much due to irrational psychological issues screwing their budget over. Maybe people who can't put money in a proper context deserve to be misled a little in the other direction with a story that shows what kind of value the space program can offer if you give it a chance.

Comment Re:It can't come soon enough... (Score 1) 239

Self-parking cars came before self-driving cars. What do you see is holding this back? Is it the lack of accurate maps? Is it the understanding unusual road signs or detours? Is it the ability to respond to unpredictable road conditions and obstructions? Is it all of the above? I take it you're not a believer in an imminent technological singularity. Neural networks have shown some remarkable abilities to learn new information without having to be specifically programmed for every outcome. Couldn't they be applied to the problems above to solve them the same way humans solve them? Do you think that will take many decades? I think if we even get close, they will have a huge advantage in that, as soon as one car learns, every car can learn the same thing because it's easier to copy and transmit technology than biology.

Comment Re:TIme flies (Score 1) 97

In case you're up to fiddling with this project yourself, the source code (in a more manageable format usable with Scrolling Game Development Kit 2) is available at https://bitbucket.org/bluemonk.... I'm not sure I have the motivation to maintain it much any more myself. Unfortunately, Scrolling Game Development Kit 2 requires Windows, so you wouldn't be able to use that from OS X. I tried porting SGDK2 to other platforms (namely Linux) once long ago, but there was some difference in the way the Microsoft implementation of .NET treated serialized datasets that made me give up on that idea. I wonder if I would have more success with the new generations of .NET.

Comment Re:TIme flies (Score 1) 97

Unfortunately, this is not a simple fix because some of the logic was assuming that the tile size was a multiple of the movement speed. Breaking that assumption causes the enemies to be able to, for example, walk over a gap which they were supposed to fall into. The player's movement speed is 4 pixels per frame and changing the enemies' movement speed to 3 causes problems. I could make the enemy movement speed 2 and that'd probably work. In case I don't get around to a proper fix, do you think the game would be better changing the enemies to move at half the player's speed or, leaving them at the same speed at the player?

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A large number of installed systems work by fiat. That is, they work by being declared to work. -- Anatol Holt