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So you know those great robotics articles and such I've been touting about recently? Well pretty much all of them come from TechEBlog. And if you thought those weren't cool enough, here's another dump of some of the highlights. However, if you're into this sort of thing then subscribe to the feed yourself. Nearly everything is awesome, and those that aren't are still pretty cool. It'd be a waste of time for me to syphon any more over here (though the occasional over-the-top post might still leak on over). Now on with the linkage:

To the future and beyond, Robotics, Gizmos & gadgets )
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So it's been a while since I've writ. And, alas, I've no plans to break that strak just yet. But to steer you clear of boredom in the interim, some pictures and sounds to sooth your mind:

Ground Zero. Virgin Digital "Music Muscle"
I'm not usually much of one for viral advertising, but it takes a measure of skill to fit all those songs in there. How many can you spot?
Songs by Helix on Newgrounds
Some interesting free downloads. A good site to explore in general and I don't think I've linked them before.
Xenosaga III PV
For those on the Windows side of the fence you can check out the trailer for the latest Xenosaga and watch the Japanese butcher Hamlet.

And here are some links for humor and horror:

The Moe Image
Justice (part 1): How Mitchell Siegel's murder gave the world its greatest hero
Hanji Smatter
Amazing 3D Sidewalk Art Photos
The Torn-Up Credit Card Applications
May I take your order?
My Eyeball Just Fell Out of Its Socket: What should I do?

And in case you weren't sure, the future is indeed now:... )

...or never:... )

...or will be brought to you by Lego:

Difference Engine: Building A Calculating Machine Using LEGO Pieces
Top 10 Strangest Lego Creations

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Tom Shelley's Emdrive
We all thought the reactionless thrusters of classic scifi were just a quaint plothole, but one day they may be de rigueur for space travel and very small scale robotics. And all without violating the laws of physics as we know them. (Warning, that site doesn't believe in paragraph breaks.)
"The design could greatly improve capabilities for acquisition and recognition of targets in space, as well as demonstrate the feasibility of long-range energy directed devices,"
The newest greatest telescope in Mexico has recieved some funding from DARPA, but "some Mexicans believe its military link teeters on the edge of unacceptable territory for a nation that prides itself on staying non-aggressive on the world stage."
Partner-type Personal Robots from Japan
Alas(?) no, it's not what you think. Though it does have a modest phrase vocabulary, can recognize faces, and more.

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So I've been playing around on OKCupid recently[1]. And I came across this question on a test:

27. Which of the following have you done?

  • I have cheated on a significant other.
  • I have been in more than three physical fights.
  • I have done something unimportant to me, knowing that it would devastate someone else.
  • None of the above.

That third answer gave me pause, trying to think about who could do that, what it would mean about their personality. At first I just couldn't comprehend it, the sentence itself was simply unintelligible. But, slowly, an image began to form in my mind. And despite the warm room, I shivered.


Once again, some of these have been sitting around too long and may be old news by now, but so it goes. So in most recent order:

A Miracle of Science
A webcomic set in the far distant future where mankind has colonized the solar system and where Mad Scientists strike fear into the hearts of all. All save the hard-boiled detective whose job it is to bring them in.
For those familiar with the setting, MoS seems to borrow wholehandedly from Transhuman Space— not it's entirety by any stretch, just enough for a backdrop. I first ran into this comic a long time ago care of The Daily Illuminator. At the time it didn't really strike my fancy. The artwork is a bit simple—especially compared to my normal fare of MegaTokyo—but don't confuse simple with unskilled. In fact, don't follow the link I gave above; start from the beginning; read through the prologue; then decide if it suits your fancy.
Secrecy Power Sinks Patent Case
Guy invents a new device, works with Lucent to get it developed. They are using it as part of a "black" project for the Department of Defense and say they don't need to pay the inventors since it's a matter of "national security". The case is quashed under an obscure state protection clause.
Pledge-a-picket, life on Titan, Katrina: the Gathering, legislation drives clubbing underground in NYC, world's smallest mobile robot, SUV tax deduction, no paradox for time travellers?, photosynthesis sans sunlight, electric bullets, and more! )

[1] I got the account a long time ago for fun and time killing. But I heeded their advice about complete honesty and, since there may be/is stuff I wouldn't want getting back to prospective employers or the like, I've set it up to be unconnected to my other online presence.

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Well, I'm about to shove off. Before I go, these've been on my stack for a while, some of them you've prolly heard about by now, but I figured I'd share them anyways. No time for synopsis writing, but you know how it goes. So without further adieu, Link Roundup:

Super-fast broadband coming via cable

The Canadian Senate has approved a bill legalising same-sex marriages, following a similar decision by the lower house of parliament last month.

Nanotech cure for cancer

Is there a tenth planet afterall? and update

"Because cats can't taste sweets, they're cranky," joked Joseph Brand

Human flesh flavoured tofu?

Japanese develop even more realistic female 'android'

Spammer beaten to death, Russians celebrate

Uplifting, so soon? Ethics: Moral Issues of Human-Non-Human Primate Neural Grafting and more

And, I seem to have misplaced the link but, China and Malaysia have floated their currencies, uncoupling them from the US Dollar. Hypothesizes one Matthew Harris at Free Geek:

This could be very relevant to Free Geek soon.
As we are all aware from looking inside computers, many electronic components are manufactered in East Asia, including in China and Malaysia. For years, they have kept their currencies low, meaning it was cheaper than it should have been to import from them. That is one reason why the price of new electronics can be kept so low. Now that the currency will be more valuable, the price of imports will go up. This means that people will not be able to buy electronics quite so recklessly, and that they may be less inclined to discard the old ones.
On the other hand, it may lead to more inflation in the American economy, which will mean Free Geek will be able to sell items better, since we will probably be able to maintain our super low prices even as retail outlets have to raise theirs.
Also, this will make manufactring jobs, which have been fleeing this country, less relatively expensive, so their should be more jobs for workers.

And now I am well and truly off. I'll try to keep in some measure of touch, and once I return I shall give some posts on the trip. さようなら。

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Sakakibara Kikai recently finished building a Gundam-style walker, and is selling them for, oh, 36M¥. What, you want it in English? The Japan Times has more.

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Today powersuits, tomorrow mecha. The day after? The World.

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Here's yet another step to self-replicating robots: a self replicating robot that can create itself from raw materials. The article even mentions von Neumann and his idea of a "universal constructor".

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It looks like the first major step to self-replicating robots has been made. While these robots can't do much and they can only reproduce from spare parts not raw materials yet, I'm sure that'll come in time.

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