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    If you are looking to by me a birthday present…

    …you couldn’t go wrong with this!

    Philosophy and Robot Sex…

    …is covered by Wired in this post: Is Sex With a Robot Hooker Cheating?

    Let me be crude and direct: Sex with a Robot is essentially Masturbation…with some extras.

    If masturbation is cheating, then sex with a robot is cheating.

    May all of the future’s philosophical questions be so easy!

    Interesting Podcast on Chinese Hackers – “The Dark Visitor #1″…

    …is here.

    The blog is interesting too.

    Weirdness in Design of Interfaces for Everyday Things : Why?

    Why is the numeric button layout on my phone…

    123

    456

    789

    …when a standard numeric keypad is…

    789

    456

    123

    Why?

    It is just a weird thought I had in I passing.

    Milwaukee News Item #2: Anti-Lawnmower Gun Violence

    An example of alienation from technology:

    A 57-year-old south side man, who might have been struggling with a
    hangover, was charged Friday with shooting his lawn mower with a
    sawed-off shotgun.

    “I’ll tell you the truth,” a criminal complaint quotes an apparently
    inebriated Keith Walendowski. “I got pissed because my lawn mower
    wouldn’t start, so I got my shotgun and shot it.

    …and then the Journal reporter had some fun:

    Dick Wagner of Wagner’s Garden Mart, 6075 N. Green Bay Ave.in Glendale,
    said shooting the mower didn’t help Walendowski’s odds of getting it
    repaired.

    “Anything not factory recommended would void the warranty,” he said.

    Heh.

    Someday, Roomba-based lawnmowers might strike back!

    FireFox 3.0 Quick Notes

    I just upgraded to Firefox 3.0.

    – Most of my extensions had FF3 versions. I substituted “Extended Copy Menus” for “Copy Plain Text”.

    – Faster page loads!

    – Faster startup!

    – Faster scrolling!

    – Not slowing down for 50+ open tabs.

    I like it so far.

    A Tech-based Energy Idea That I Like – Municipal Plasma Furnaces

    From Cringley:

    The challenge of the Day Cycle is profound: to solve at once the problems of how to power our society and what to do with all of our garbage, all without making the world worse for the effort, which is to say without increasing the problems of greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.
    […]
    Eric and Andrew Day propose going back to burning our trash, but instead of using open-air incinerators or even high-temperature Basic Oxygen furnaces, they like the idea of burning our crap in electric plasma furnaces at temperatures in excess of 15,000 degrees Celsius. Take everything that would have gone to the landfill, add to it, if you like, everything that would have been recycled, and even leave in the really bad stuff like medical waste, toxic waste, heavy metals, and radioactive waste. Grind it all up into little chunks, some of which could be in a chemical or water slurry, and pump it into the plasma furnace.
    […]
    Dividing 251 million tons of municipal trash by 365 days by 100 tons per furnace says we’ll need 7,000 such furnaces to burn all of America’s trash. That doesn’t really sound like a lot of furnaces to me, when you consider that’s about how many landfills we have today and about how many municipal trash incinerators we used to have. Moving to this method of waste disposal and energy generation is a no-brainer… if it works.
    […]
    Their claimed net production from each ton of municipal solid waste:

    112 pounds of hydrogen
    55 gallons of biodiesel
    a little electricity
    926 pounds of oxygen
    […]
    Multiply all these numbers by 251 million tons of solid waste and convert them, where possible, into equivalent barrels of oil and it comes down to about 2.6 billion barrels per year if all waste treatment facilities were so converted. That’s half of our current oil import volume — enough to substantially destabilize the international oil market if that’s the goal.

    If I where a policy maker I would…

    1) Very the feasibility of this.
    2) Create a Plasma Furnace Finance Corp to help facilitate financing of this for municipalities.
    3) Set aside matching funds along the lines of 50% of infrastructure cost to match municipalities investment.
    4) Have a special joint Deputy SecEnergy / Deputy SecTreas position to facilitate this through the federal government with a dedicated White Deputy Chief of Staff to keep the President in the loop.

    Hmm…perhaps naming the new plasma furnaces after sitting US congressmen would speed the rollout and funding.

    [YouTube] When the robot uprising comes, our canine friends will be ready to help us…

    I would buy a Micro-Chill – more then one most likely

    I would buy this – but it should be called MyChill instead:

    The first one, it seems, should be pretty straight-forward. The obvious name for it would be the ‘micro-chill’. Reverend Dave and I have been talking about it for years, yet it’s never been invented yet. Basically, we’re looking for the opposite of a microwave oven. I want an appliance that you can put a bottle of room-temperature beer in, press a button, and thirty seconds later it comes out frosty cold. Seriously–it would be a gold mine. Not only would it be good for beverages, but for blanching vegetables, cooling leftovers, and making ice or ice cream. Who wouldn’t want that? It would be in every kitchen in America, just like a toaster or a blender. [Link Hurricane Mikey]

    They mention SDB saying:

    Basically, he said it was impossible because there is no such thing as hot and cold. There is only heat and less heat. You cannot radiate ‘less heat’ from one object to another.

    Thoughts: How is Ice Cream made? Wouldn’t this just be a fast super efficient (and small)  refrigerator?

    My Current Firefox Setup (as of 6 April 2008)

    I use Firefox as my web browser of choice.

    If anyone is interested, these are the extensions I use:

    Continue reading

    Link: Space Shuttle Processing PhotoGallery

    Here.

    Alternative Idea for Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter

    As covered here (and elsewhere), the Coast Guard is having problems with getting a new production ready ship to fit the role of National Security Cutter.

    My suggestion is this: Buy instead ships of the Visby Class Stealth Corvettes used by the Swedish Navy. The Swedish Navy is essentially a Coast Guard aka a Littoral Navy.

    Swedish Navy's Stealth Corvettes: HMS Visby and HMS Helsingborg

    There is a Wikipedia page.

    The capabilities are layed out nicely here and in photos here, here and here.

    Here is a YouTube video in action:

    Continue reading

    Something for my 2008 Christmas List!

    Hell Yeah!

    Los Angeles Fire Department Blog Use

    The LAFD uses seems to be making good use of their blog for reporting fire activity, including video, mappings, community advice, flickr photos, language translators, and PR stuff.

    Very Cool Link Roundup from John Robb: DIY UAVs/Photo Intel

    The link is here.

    The Futurist Covers “The Top Ten Transhumanist Technologies”

    It is worth reading.

    Globilzation Side-Effect: Students Practice Foreign Languages On Internet Phones

    Found Via Parapundit in the CS Monitor:

    Maurice Acker, a junior at Marquette University in Milwaukee, practices Spanish with natives from Spain every Friday morning at the school’s language lab. They talk about sports, cultural differences – the usual stuff of student conversations – but there’s a twist: Mr. Acker has never met any of his conversational partners in person. That’s because Marquette’s Spanish and Italian curriculums use Skype, a free Internet phone service, to connect students with “language partners” all over the world.

    A Photo of Mine has made it into a Concept Video

    Here’s my photo – which is early in the video.

    Here is the link to the video.

    Converting YouTube to MP3

    I have been using http://vconvert.net/. I have also tried http://vixy.net/, but got errors on several attempts.

    The Coming Killbots – Red, White, Blue, and Deadly

    Join in on the discussion at TDAXP initiated by material at Mountain Runner.

    My two cents:

    I am picturing all of the media information operation possibilities for America’s opponents –>

    “Killer Robots unleashed by evil/uncaring/immoral/soft Americans did
    action A to innocent B who where just minding their own business doing
    C when the killbots struck. Follow link D for the footage at Youtube.
    America sucks, and like the Nazis America is E and F. You should have
    sympathy and give support for the scrappy underdogs who will stand up
    to American and their Red, White and Blue Killbots of Injustice and G!”

    Killbots might win in the Physical and Tactical levels, but they can loose big at the Moral level.

    Killbots might be an interesting 2GW piece of equipment (they would
    have been great going over the top as the first wave out the trenches
    in WW1), but they will be a weakness in 4GW.

    It a 4GW world, not a 2GW world.

    …and…

    Yep, all generations exist at the same time. What I meant was that they are not all created equal.I think a well executing 4GW actor will generally beat a 2GW actor,
    unless the 2GW actor is willing to go all the way and out and out
    destroy the 4GW (assuming it can).

    Early muskets were used to supplement feudal Japanese forces (1GW or
    proto-1gw). They added tactical advantage to a force by increasing the
    options of a field commander from combing arms of different types.

    Right now, the US is unwilling and perhaps undecided about who its
    enemy really is, and is nowhere near having the will/consensus to
    destroy that enemy.

    Unless killbots give the US such an advantage that victory at the
    tactical and physical levels occurs rapidly or allows the US to partake
    in conflict at a dramatically reduced cost (resources and/or manpower),
    the enemy will be able to make many gains on the moral. Undecided fence
    sitters will drift away from the US. Supporters will support us less.
    The enemy will gather strength and rally itself as the scappy underdog
    standing up to the souless/satanic killbots.

    Which is more important for victory, the moral or the
    tactical/physical? WWBS (aka What Would Boyd Say – and yes I just made
    that up – bumper stickers and cofee mugs will be available for sale
    soon on http://makemoneyeasyandfast.purpleslog.wordpress.com )? I think we know the answer to that.

    The US can already win the tactical and physical levels. Killbots weaken us on the moral level though.

    Now I am picturing Daleks with US flags on them. How about – Uncle
    Sambots? USAbots? I can just visualize the anti-US propaganda videos.

    Now I am remembering one of my Iranian relatives (an educated man with
    an Iranian B.S. and a US M.S. in engineering ) telling me at Christmas
    of his fear of a coming future robot rebellion and takeover. I’ve got
    to find out his reaction to this! That might be fun.

    …and…

    I will grant that perhaps with careful design there is a type of
    killbot (Liberty and Justice For All Bots) that can be developed that
    still give a tactical/physical advantage without the moral level
    negative. Read the shrink wrapped post. I like those ideas – but then I
    don’t mind bugs.

    Note, I am not a Technophobe or luddite. I’ve been reading and loving
    Science Fiction since 3rd grade (thank you Miss Heidman for stocking
    the school with Heinlein’s young adult novels) and have been doing
    hi-tech stuff since I was 15 – including AI academic work and real life
    AI projects as a research engineer.

    Check out this Shrinkwrapped post for more idea (linked from this post of mine) too.

    Here is required study material as well.

    Gort

    Link: Adding Randomness to Your Photos

    Via Reddit –> Adding Randomness to Your Photos

    New Technology to Recover Dialogue From Silence

    AllahPundit links to a Telegraph article on:

    New computer software that can read lips at almost any angle has helped make sense of one of the Second World War’s lingering mysteries —Hitler’s home movies.

    The technology allows the dialogue to be dubbed on to the silent films, many of them made by Eva Braun at Hitler’s mountain retreat, the Berghof.

    It might be interesting to recover lost dialogue from news reals and other soundless footage from historical events or about historical people.

    On the technology:

    The technology that has allowed the dialogue to be reconstructed is called ALR — automated lip reading — and has been developed by Frank Hubner, a speech recognition expert. The computer recognizes shapes that lips make, turns them into sounds and matches these to a dictionary.

    I think the technology has a commercial value. There would be a definite market for dialogue-recovered footage (dubbed or not) from news reals and the like. Heck, think of all of the HIstory Channel specials it can generate.

    I can see a big market for dialogue-recovered home movies from the 1920, through the advcent of sound in the 1970’s.

    FireFox 2.0 and RSS!

    I just noticed this feature!

    In options you can select what type of RSS reader you use (I use a My Yahoo with my real identity).

    Then, whenever I click on a RSS link, I am prompted to add it automatically.

    Sweet!

    Airships!

    The Aeroscaraft Airships (via NT Nerd):

    This is not a Blimp. It’s a sort of flying Queen Mary 2 that could change the way you think about air travel. It’s the Aeroscraft, and when it’s completed, it will ferry pampered passengers across continents and ocean s as they stroll leisurely about the one-acre cabin or relax in their well-appointed staterooms.

    Unlike its dirigible ancestors, the Aeroscraft is not lighter than air. Its 14 million cubic feet of helium hoist only two-thirds of the craft’s weight. The rigid and surprisingly aerodynamic body-driven by huge rearward propellers-generates enough additional lift to keep the behemoth and its 400-ton payload aloft while cruising. During takeoff and landing, six turbofan jet engines push the ship up or ease its descent.

    Read it all.

    My dreams of the Future always have had Airships.

    Endpoint Security Risks in Healthcare

    From Watch Your End:

    The endpoint security risks in healthcare or fairly obvious, however once you start realizing how many people have access to personal records and how easy it is to load this information onto a USB flash drive, CD-ROM, or even a camera or iPod it gets a little scarier. Very few hospitals or health insurance firms for that matter have solid enpdoint security measures in place to protect your data and as more records become digitized in becomes easier to steal. So remember that the next time you go in for your checkup, they’re probably a lot more people viewing your records than just your doctor.

    Attention corporate users of endpoint devices like the handy USB thumb drives – your use of them will be ending soon.

    The year 2007 will see widespread deployment of Endpoint Security measures. I am in the startup stages of one such project for a financial firm. It will be bittersweet, because I love my 1gig USB thumb drive. Bad guys love them too. 😦

    Update: I corrected a mistake with formatting. The second to last paragraph was mine, not that of the linked-to author.