|:: posted by Doug, 2:06 PM||
A team of computer scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing (SCAI) has just developed Contpack, a 3D software to solve this problem and to maximize the volume utilization of containers.
More details and references are available in this overview, including a pretty nice screenshot of the Contpack software, showing a computer-generated packing of loudspeakers into a container.
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 12:05 PM||
Saturday, March 27, 2004
RedNova tells us the story of this train, which weighs more than 13 tons, and can be operated by the astronauts aboard the ISS or from Mission Control on the ground. More details and references are available in this overview.
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 12:58 PM||
Friday, March 26, 2004
This robot is intended to help rescue workers after a disaster, such as an earthquake or a volcanic eruption. But this robot doesn't play in the same league. The T-52 Enryu is 3.5 meters high and weighs 5 tons.
This short overview contains more details. It also includes a diagram of the robot and a photograph of a man standing close to Enryu. Pretty scary to think about this big robot in the streets!!
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 12:46 PM||
Thursday, March 25, 2004
The online version of this report includes an interview of Howard Rheingold, "A Major Change in the Political Equation." The interview carries this subtitle: "Howard Rheingold predicted the rise of online advocacy groups. Now, he talks about how they're affecting Election 2004."
This overview contains selected excerpts about what is the essential impact of the Internet on politics today or what are the benefits to using the Internet in politics.
Finally, if you want to discover the universe of Smart Mobs, be sure to visit regularly the Smart Mobs collective weblog.
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 1:38 PM||
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
|:: posted by Doug, 8:40 PM||
Saturday, March 20, 2004
|:: posted by Donald Melanson, 5:42 PM||
Friday, March 19, 2004
And why did he choose an orang-utan design? "I made Lucy as an orang-utan because, can you imagine how scary it would be if she looked like a human baby?," said Grand. More details and references are available in this overview which also includes the cover of Grand's last book, "Growing Up with Lucy: How to Build an Android in Twenty Easy Steps."
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 3:40 PM||
Thursday, March 18, 2004
More than 400 robots are registered for this robotics competition. And the winners will receive hard cash. Nature tells us the story in "Robolympics contestants shoot for gold."
More details and references are available in this overview which also includes a very nice photo of two robots, the larger one either fixing or rocking the smaller one. And for your information, ROBOlympics is not sold out. So if you are near San Francisco, it's still time to buy tickets. They cost $15 to $25. Entrance is free for children under 7.
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 8:48 AM||
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
These electric shocks last only a few billionths of a second while reaching during this very short amount of time power levels of terawatts. They also are very intriguing, apparently forcing cancer cells to commit suicide. For this reason, "there is plenty to be worked out before the human body is zapped with nanopulses."
This overview contains more details and references. It also includes images showing how cells are affected by these electric nanopulses.
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 1:11 PM||
Monday, March 15, 2004
In fact, as cars sound more like computers, the complaints of one Seattle mechanic sound more like the complaints of developers. "If you don't have the code, you lose the job. They have to go to the dealers. It's an illegal monopoly, in my opinion". That sounds familiar. He is also advocating open-sourcing newer cars: "If they freed up the information, it would make things better. It's not a cure-all, but I'd support any legislation aimed at better access to the dealers' trick secrets."
Like computer games, some cars even have easter eggs.
|:: posted by Doug, 10:26 PM||
Sunday, March 14, 2004
NASA is setting up a satellite-based malaria pilot study in the Mewat region of India. The goal is give warnings of high disease risk in a specific area up to a month in advance in order to prepare vaccination programs and save people and animals.
This overview contains a satellite picture from NASA and selected excerpts of the original article about this method and how it works.
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 12:07 PM||
Thursday, March 11, 2004
|:: posted by Donald Melanson, 3:49 PM||
Thermodynamics equations have long been used to describe complex environments, so Ford applied them to computer networks. The result is the Therminator software, which helps Navy system administrators to detect and react to network attacks.
More details and references are available in this overview. There are also very interesting screenshots of the Therminator software, including one of the Code Red attack in progress, back in 2001.
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 1:56 PM||
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Robotcop III can walk, dance, move in any direction, display videos and answer questions asked in Cantonese and English. The previous versions of Robotcops, introduced in 1988 and 1995, were imported from the U.S. and taught 800,000 school children how to fight crime. The promoters of Robotcop III hope it will do even better.
More details and references are available in this overview including a photo of Robotcop III patrolling on Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) campus.
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 9:32 AM||
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
They also made a fascinating discovery. This cheating mechanism also exists in people suffering from amnesia.
More details and references are available in this overview including a spectacular image of a cut-away view of the brain taken with the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology used by the researchers to detect regions where brain activity was reduced when performing repetitive tasks, a concept named 'neural priming.'
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 5:46 PM||
Monday, March 08, 2004
|:: posted by Doug, 8:19 PM||
The unnamed robot is 50 centimeters tall and weighs only 12 kilograms. In case of emergency, such as a fire, its cameras can take snapshots and send them to the owner's cell phone. Likewise, if an unexpected visitor is entering your home, you'll receive his picture on your phone. It also can entertain your kids by reading them a book.
The Korea Times tells us the story while this overview provides somepictures of the cute unnamed robot.
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 8:47 AM||
Saturday, March 06, 2004
The result is a scary robot which is 90 centimeters tall, weighs 35 kilograms, has more than 50 built-in sensors and can transmit an alarm to its master's cell phone if someone tries to invade the house. It doesn't come cheap. The price is about $18,000, but you can choose between five colors.
The Asahi Shimbun tells us the story, while this overview includes several pictures of the frightening dragon.
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 2:34 PM||
Friday, March 05, 2004
The FoodExpert-ID biochip is the first high-throughput gene chip for testing food and animal feed. But it doesn't come cheap. The cost of all the equipment needed to perform the tests is around $250,000, but each test would cost only $350 to $550.
This overview contains more details and references. It also includes illustrations showing how the technology works.
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 2:34 PM||
Thursday, March 04, 2004
A somewhat similar service is just being launched at Narita Airport, where you will be able to rent PDAs which can translate your language into Japanese. The application is based on speech-to-speech technology developed by NEC and implemented in small robots named PaPeRo (Partner-Type Personal Robot), according to BBC News Online.
PaPeRo has a vocabulary of 50,000 Japanese and 25,000 English travel and tourism related words. This overview contains more details about PaPeRo including pictures.
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 12:15 PM||
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
"I was surprised to see these results," says Drew Shindell, an atmospheric scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York. "We never suspected the models were this far out of whack," he says. It remains to be seen if this new model is more accurate than previous ones. However, even if we reduce the emission of CFCs in a near future, another big unknown, the ozone layer will continue to shrink for decades to come.
This overview contains more details and references. It also includes pictures of these polar clouds seen from space and from the ground (the one from space is amazing!).
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 1:43 PM||
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Now that's a lead.
|:: posted by Donald Melanson, 11:04 PM||
|:: posted by Donald Melanson, 4:46 PM||
Why? Because things smell different in spacecrafts which experience a full day/night cycle every 90 minutes. And bad odors into a spacecraft can even lead to the abortion of a mission, like it happened to a Russian mission back in 1976. Wired Magazine tells us more about NASA's nasalnaut, a man whose colleagues call "Most Smella Fella" and has performed 771 flawless smelling missions.
This overview contains more details and selected excerpts from a previous interview with Aldrich given to New Scientist. It also includes a picture showing how the NASA's nasalnaut smells things.
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 2:01 PM||
Bill Gates is out talking on the subject of high-tech jobs as well (NYT, or the same article via the Interesting People archives), trying to make sure that the tech industry will still have an educated pool to draw from. Mr. Gates claims that "people are way overreacting" to the job losses and off-shoring. This view is shared by David Kirkpatrick of Fortune who felt that off-shoring was not only inevitable, but a good thing. After a deluge of angry emails, Mr. Kirkpatrick followed up that article with another, where, he softened his tone, if not his opinion.
We've seen this in other industries as well - in my Pennsylvania home town, parents make certain that their children don't grow up to be steel workers after living through the collapse of that industry. In the same vein, I'm no longer nudging my daughter toward geekdom. Will the dot-bomb not only take jobs from us now, but also cause a shortfall of nerds in the future as the best and brightest become investment bankers instead of programmers? Would you agree that "it's a terrific time to be a computer scientist"?
|:: posted by Doug, 12:30 PM||
Monday, March 01, 2004
This project has an impressive goal: transform the huge amounts of structured and unstructured data available on the Web into business trends. Not the thing that Google does. And not for the same price either. For example, Factiva, an information services company, has licensed WebFountain and plans to offer it to its customers for about $200,000 a year.
This column looks at the goals, the resources and the status of this project as well as its future.
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 12:24 PM||