Archive for March 29, 2011

A Bird? No, it’s a Robot!

March 29, 2011 Leave a comment

“There are some developments that are too beautiful to miss, even if you are not interested in the hardware and so it is with Festo’s collection of biologically inspired robots. To a programmer a robot is  “just another platform”,  but to take control of a machine that literally flies like a bird is inspiring.

It makes you think of new things that you could do. First watch the video and just be impressed that at long last we can mimic the flight of birds. Then watch it again more carefully and try to compare it to everyone’s favourite flying robot platform – the quadrarotor or the hexarotor. They are noisy and suck power but they can lift loads and they can hover and position.

Now look at the way the robot SmartBird flies. It has a gentle mastery of the air that allows it to semi-hover and to almost stall in mid turn. This is a type of flight that might not be able to lift heavy loads but its silence and maneuverability suggests many other applications. With the right software it could be made to be much more controllable and sophisticated.”


Can your IP Address Legally Identify you?

March 29, 2011 Leave a comment

“Identifying individuals using nothing more than their IP address has become a key part of anti-piracy and criminal investigations. But just how reliable is such IP address evidence?

British courts have recently begun to cast doubt over its validity. The use of IP addresses to tie individuals to illegal downloads was a tactic employed by ACS Law, which sent letters demanding up to £500 compensation on behalf of copyright holders whose intellectual property was said to have been stolen.

At a hearing where 27 of these cases came to court, Judge Birss QC suggested that ACS Law had “materially overstated the untested merits” of using IP addresses in this way, and questioned if the process of simply identifying an IP address could establish a copyright infringement by anyone related to it. “Even if it is proof of infringement by somebody,” Judge Birss said, “the fact that someone may have infringed does not mean the particular named defendant has done so.””

12 Year Old Autistic Develops a New Theory of Relativity

March 29, 2011 Leave a comment

“A 12-year-old child prodigy has astounded university professors after grappling with some of the most advanced concepts in mathematics.

Jacob Barnett has an IQ of 170 – higher than Albert Einstein – and is now so far advanced in his Indiana university studies that professors are lining him up for a PHD research role.

The boy wonder, who taught himself calculus, algebra, geometry and trigonometry in a week, is now tutoring fellow college classmates after hours.

And now Jake has embarked on his most ambitious project yet – his own ‘expanded version of Einstein’s theory of relativity’.

His mother, not sure if her child was talking nonsense or genius, sent a video of his theory to the renowned Institute for Advanced Study near Princeton University.

People with this disorder can have a range of abilities, from being severely disabled to gifted. It is estimated one in every 150 child has the condition.

According to the Indiana Star, Institute astrophysics professor Scott Tremaine  -himself a world renowned expert – confirmed the authenticity of Jake’s theory.”