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February 26, 2011

Darpa Designing Cheetah-Bot to Chase Human Prey

Darpa’s Cheetah-Bot Designed to Chase Human Prey | Danger Room | Wired.com
Perhaps you thought the four-legged BigDog robot wasn’t eerily lifelike enough. That’ll change soon. BigDog’s makers are working on a new quadruped that moves faster than any human and is agile enough to “chase and evade.” Boston Dynamics, maker of the Army’s robotic mule BigDog announced today that Darpa has awarded it a contract to build a much faster and more fearsome animal-like robot, Cheetah. As the name implies, Cheetah is designed to be a four-legged robot with a flexible spine and articulated head (and potentially a tail) that runs faster than the fastest human. In addition to raw speed, Cheetah’s makers promise that it will have the agility to make tight turns so that it can “zigzag to chase and evade” and be able to stop on a dime.

February 21, 2011

Minecraft coming to iPhones later this year

It's basically the best crafting/exploring/swearing-at-creepers-that-blow-up-your-castle game ever. If you have kids who dig Legos, they NEED this. Mojang crafting official iPhone/iPad Minecraft release | Joystiq

February 14, 2011

How To: Read pretty much any manga free online

Mangareader Popular Mangas for - Page 1 Click that link and search for any manga you want. They have thousands of english-translated mangas for you to read online.

February 11, 2011

Penny Arcade on Gawker's awful, awful new layout

Look, we all know that the Gawker family of blogs are the worst, right? For every one decent post they have three dozen that are just cheap linkbait or there to provoke trolls, or are just reiterated PR bullshit. It's like reading commercials written by jerks. The new format is also unreadable on my phone. Penny Arcade! - Gawk-Blocking

February 10, 2011

Tomorrow Dave-o Will Teach You to Make a $10 Electric Guitar!

Webcast: A Stick, Some Wire, A Can, and Some Wax:...

Robots to get their own internet--RoboEarth

They should just call it SkyNet and get it over with. I have a BAD feeling about this story, especially paired with the Carnivorous Machines story, below. BBC News - Robots to get their own internet
Robots could soon have an equivalent of the internet and Wikipedia. European scientists have embarked on a project to let robots share and store what they discover about the world. Called RoboEarth it will be a place that robots can upload data to when they master a task, and ask for help in carrying out new ones. Researchers behind it hope it will allow robots to come into service more quickly, armed with a growing library of knowledge about their human masters.

Machines that are powered by meat

Carnivorous machines. I've got a BAD feeling about this. Meat-Eating Furniture : Krulwich Wonders… : NPR
This carnivorous clock ("8 dead flies makes it work for about 12 days," says co-designer Professor Chris Melhuish, of Bristol Robotics) is just a prototype. It doesn't catch enough flies to power the motor on top and the digital clock. But this is just a first step. . . . I know there's a notion (popular with the sci-fi crowd and especially with "singularity" enthusiasts) that one day machines are going to develop primitive minds of their own, learn how to repair themselves, copy themselves and find their own energy sources. At which point, they will become our evolutionary successors and rapidly evolve into some sort of uber-beings. I am privately wary of this idea, but Auger & Loizeau clearly find it intriguing to think about. . . . ...and, more ominously, a coffee table littered with cheese bits that attracts mice who are ushered up a table leg and then guillotined by rotating blade-looking hole on top. Auger and Loizeaux made a video about the mouse consuming coffee table, but it made me queasy.

February 08, 2011

The inspiration behind Gawker's awful, awful new design

(The joke explained.) [via Daring Fireball]