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BOOK REVIEW | Almost Human: Making Robots Think

March 19, 2007

almost_human

Source: Los Angeles Times — Mar 18, 2007

“Making Robots Think” is an entertaining peek behind the scenes at engineers of the groundbreaking Robotics Institute, much of whose research is funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Defense Department.

The book, however, is more about frustration than achievement. Despite the round-the-clock efforts of the best and the brightest, today’s real-life robots are a dim, lumbering lot, a far cry from the wise, nimble models… read more

Medieval tech support

January 21, 2010

medieval-tech-support

Source: "Øystein og jeg" on Norwegian Broadcasting — 2001

From the show “Øystein og jeg” on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) in 2001. With Øystein Backe (helper) and Rune Gokstad (desperate monk). Written by Knut Nærum.

Health Tips | Boosting your brain, living longer

December 3, 2010 by David Despain

Quit smoking; feel better (Credit: Mike Cohea/Brown University)

LIVING LONGER

Check your BMI (Body Mass Index). A healthy BMI between 20 and 24.9 is generally best for avoiding disease and living longer (calculate your BMI) [NEJM]. 

Eat dark green and orange vegetables daily. They contain alpha-carotene (a cousin to vitamin A), an antioxidant compound that protects your cells and your health by lowering your risk of heart disease, cancer… read more

The Submarines’ song ‘Modern Inventions’

February 11, 2011

declare a new state

The apropos track “Modern Inventions,” from the Submarine’s debut album Declare a New State!, released in 2006. An acoustic version of this track was also used in the closing credits for the documentary The Pixar Story (below).

Related:
The Submarines website

Toward a Science of Consciousness: Brain, Mind, Reality

April 27, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: Center for Consciousness Studies)

Toward a Science of Consciousness: Brain, Mind, Reality will be held May 3–7, 2011 at Stockholm University, Stockholm Sweden, keynoted by Sir Roger Penrose, speaking on “Consciousness and Physical Law.”

I attended the 2010 conference in Tucson; it was one of the most interesting and mind-expanding events I’ve ever experienced. This one should be even better.

It will feature sessions like Brain Electromagnetic Fields andread more

Ask Ray | The Blind Driver Challenge

December 19, 2010 by Ray Kurzweil

blind driver challenge

Hi Ray,

I will be attending a gathering of National Federation of the Blind leaders in Daytona, Florida, on the evening before the Blind Driver Challenge event early on Saturday, Jan. 29 before the start of the Rolex 24 Race. [more information]

This high-profile event will be the first public demonstration of a blind person driving a vehicle without any form of guidance provided… read more

HUMOR | Hilarious computer pranks

January 10, 2008

Source: YouTube — February 15, 2007

Bing likes Britannica, Bruno burns

June 11, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Giordano Bruno, heretical cosmologist

Microsoft has announced a deal with Encyclopaedia Britannica to add entries from the prestigious reference work to Bing search results.

The deal appears related to Britannica’s decision in March to stop producing a print edition and Google’s “knowledge graph,” which consolidates search information about specific subjects.

Et tu, Bruno?

For example, a Bing search for Giordano Bruno would provide a quick overview of… read more

Films inspired by renowned sci-fi author Philip K. Dick

March 30, 2011

(image: Philip K. Dick official website)

Philip K. Dick Films website | Since Ridley Scott turned Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? into the science fiction classic Blade Runner, eight of Philip K. Dick’s novels or short stories have made their way to the big screen.

To date, these films have generated over $1 billion in world-wide box office and ancillary revenue. This astounding success is the result of combining visionary stories with talent from… read more

book review | Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science

December 10, 2007

mind_as_machine

Source: American Scientist — February 2008

In Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science, Margaret A. Boden’s goal, she says, is to show how cognitive scientists have tried to find computational or informational answers to frequently asked questions about the mind — “what it is, what it does, how it works, how it evolved, and how it’s even possible.”

How do our brains generate consciousness? Are animals or newborn babies conscious? Can machines… read more

Brian Malow blog & Time | Science comedian Brian Malow’s Time video gauges our fears of a machine takeover

February 11, 2011

brian malow

Source: Brian Malow blog & Time — February 11, 2011

Time | Science comedian Brian Malow analyzes our fears of a day when machines are smarter than we are.

Brian Malow blog | I have a new video up on Time about the Singularity. If you don’t know what it is — find out here. I wrote it. Craig Duff shot and produced it. Jim Fields edited. The video complements Lev Grossman’s new Time magazine feature story on Ray Kurzweil. 

Also see:… read more

Stephen Malinowski’s ‘Music Animation Machine’

May 15, 2011

Animation Music Machine

Video Source: Stephen Malinowski’s “Music Animation Machine”

Related:
Stephen Malinowski's "Music Animation Machine" on YouTube
"The Music Animation Machine" website

Intuitive music

February 26, 2002 by Amara D. Angelica

bob moog 1976

Bob Moog changed musical history 37 years ago with the invention of the first electronic music synthesizer. On February 26, 2002, he received the prestigious Technical GRAMMY Award for his achievements. Here, he looks at the next 37 years.… read more

COMIC | Extrapolating

January 21, 2010

Source: xkcd webcomics

TechCrunch | Lady-finder app hits the store — totally serious

February 4, 2011

lady finder

Source: TechCrunch — February 1, 2011 | Alexia Tsotsis

TechCrunch | Geo-location has come to this: After three weeks in review, Wheretheladies.at, a web app that aggregates Foursquare checkins by the female gender, is now available on the iPhone. The concept OF A BIG COMPASS POINTING YOU IN THE DIRECTION OF LADIES is so unprecedented that Apple actually called co-founder Jeff Hodsdon on his cellphone to ask about the app during the review process.

Co-founded by… read more

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