David Lee reports from the Innorobo 2012 conference and comes up with 'Is the dream of having a robot companion over?'Apparently it is, because:
1) A five year old girl is mildly frightened by a robot and so this is one of the industries biggest hurdles: 'What will it take for Kibo to be Emi's friend, rather than the subject of her nightmares?'
Sure, it's initially frightening, but leave the robot with her for an hour and you won't get the thing back without an epic meltdown. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of children rather than industry threatening hurdle.
2) '...the industry should perhaps look to recreate simpler, smaller tasks.'
Says the guy that makes the Roomba, a vacuum cleaner. No self interest involved there.
3) 'That kind of notion for a service robot we think is completely wrong.'
So general purpose robots are not happening, because a girl was initially nervous and two companies focused on special purpose robotics would rather talk about their niches. Thanks for wasting my time on this BBC.
I'm wasting more time writing about it for two reasons.
The Internet is killing headlines (something I agree with Paul Carr on). BBC news is egregiously awful, both for overwrought link bait and for using warn too much. The dream of a robot companion will never be over.
More importantly, think about every news story that either covered an event or an industry you're deeply familiar with and you'll realize that it's wrong, usually seriously so. What are the chances that it's only those stories that flawed in this way?
Photo Credit: AV8PIX Christopher Ebdon
I've been going quietly mad trying to fix a constant dropped connection issue with our Linksys E4200 router. There's lots of advice around tweaking the MTUs, upgrading firmware and disabling UPnP (a good idea anyway) but none of this helped at all. The connection just continually dropped, eventually came back, dropped again, ad nauseam.
The fix was to change the 5GHz and 2.4GHz networks to use different network names (SSIDs). I then connected to the 2.4GHz flavor and the connection is now solid.
I guess the problem was that by sharing the SSID devices would keep switching between the networks whenever they got the chance to connect to the juicy 5GHz flavor. The 5GHz network is flakier (higher frequencies having less range) and so the constant dropouts.
Very good, enjoying the entire Harry Hole series. Wishing for translations of the first two now!
Slightly weaker than the others in the series I've read so far but still knocked it back quickly.
Best so far on my quest to read through Nesbo...
On a Jo Nesbo binge...
Compelling crime thriller, rather worryingly one of series featuring Harry Hole so I'm going to have to go back to the beginning and read all of them.
Catfood.Shapefile 1.51: http://t.co/BKtkx9Zq (ESRI Shapefile Parser, fixed release binary issue).
4 of 5 stars to The Snowman by Jo Nesbø http://t.co/IrvdrDBf
Breaking Good: how to synthesize Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) From N-Methylamphetamine (crystal meth): http://t.co/fviYaj5P
ITHCWY: Catfood.Shapefile 1.50: I've just released a small update to my C# Shapefile library on Codeplex. Catfood… http://t.co/lXoGoBsY
4 of 5 stars to The Redbreast by Jo Nesbø http://t.co/PqrOQnQL
A History of the Sky for One Year: http://t.co/UKMjosCK (very cool)
ITHCWY: Badge Driven Development: Microsoft has released Visual Studio Achievements, an extension that brings… http://t.co/5BOyNF03
ITHCWY: GGNRA Dog Management Plan Update: I love it when making some noise works. The NPS is pushing its dog… http://t.co/fzqaJWM2
Unicode Character 'PILE OF POO' (U+1F4A9): http://t.co/LkGffsvW
BBC News - Can the US Army embrace atheists? http://t.co/5ubkKT7r
4 of 5 stars to The Leopard by Jo Nesbø http://t.co/tIIPs1M5
ITHCWY: Reviews and Links for January 2012: Damned by Chuck Palahniuk 3/5 Very much a vehicle for Palahniuk to rant… http://t.co/6kvApyf1
Microsoft has released Visual Studio Achievements, an extension that brings gamification to Visual Studio in the form of badges. The achievements are a mix that include feature discovery, best/worst practices, printing source code and swearing.
Initially I wrote this off as a silly little feature. But it could be the start of a whole new development methodology religion that I'm going to call Badge Driven Development (BDD).
It's related to Test Driven Development, but instead of writing unit tests first you start with creating a set of achievements. These should be a measurable mix of business goals, personal development, coding standards and random mayhem. Once you have measurable badges you can start writing code and build a leaderboard for teams and individuals.
BDD has all the ascetic one-upmanship of TDD, and owes something to EDD as well. It's the Parkour of Agile. I should start a training business where you can become a certified Badge Driven Scrum Master.
Interesting but highly disturbing alternative fuel source...
The latest in the series, Mission:Explore Food, is being crowd funded at PleaseFund.us. There are a variety of levels to choose from, most of which will get you a copy of the book and your name in print. You can also get yourself included as an illustration (or surprise a friend). This is going to be a great book for kids and the young at heart. Check out the sample pages (PDF) and sign up as a backer today.
I've just spent several hours scanning and then shredding tedious statements, medical documents and other nasty paperwork. This is even after I've gone paperless with as many companies as possible. Very tedious, not to mention a monumental waste of time and money.
The companies that are paperless vary in what gets stored, for how long and in what format. And if I ever need some statement from years ago I may not even still have an account. I seem to change medical insurance at least twice a year at the moment.
How about a common standard for pushing paperless whatevers out to a third party storage service? These could go directly to Evernote, SugarSync, etc and bypass the post-scan-shred cycle of doom. Just send a PDF, a date, a summary and maybe a service type. Make it easy (or mandatory) to opt in when signing up to each new bank account, health insurer, wireless carrier, etc. Make the world a slightly greener and slightly less boring place.