Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Signatures from the Big Bang

Pretty big stuff! Nine years of observations produce evidence that subliminal imprints of gravitational waves from the Big Bang are present in the free radiation of space, as Einstein predicted should be the case. Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity working at the same scale, possibly a step forward to a real Unified Theory.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Are we ready for the impact of robots?

The military is one front where disruptive technologies (such as the Internet itself) first appear and "proof of concept" is established. So, it's rather sobering to see how fast plans for deploying robotics in the military are progressing - likely starting with supply couriers.

In my opinion, it's just a matter of time before orchestrated platoons of robotic soldiers become feasible. There are already significant strides being made in environmental sensors and muscle emulation, which will help such units to integrate with human troops while becoming a real pain in the posterior for opposing forces.

Such platoons are scary. They might become sold and leveraged into essentially unassailable mercenary forces, highly efficient killing units, for better or worse. And, there is the approaching singularity where robots (and possibly AIs) will start building robots, too, making easy proliferation another challenge. Hmm, are Terminators and SkyNet on the eventual horizon? Let's hope not!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Robots invade kitchens in Portugal

Here's an interesting article about practical application of robotics in the home that's developing a strong demand and following in Portugal and Europe. Not available in the U.S. yet, but I think it will likely do well here, too.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Google solidly plants its stake in Robotics

Search may have sparked Google's beginning but it's now moving hard and fast into Robotics. With this week's acquisition of Boston Dynamics, and several earlier Robotics related acquisitions, Google is positioning itself as a major player in the field.

Scary? Perhaps. I find it somewhat anxiety-raising when one large company moves to put itself in the significant position to call the shots - hopefully they'll remember that motto, "Do no evil!"

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Removing old Ubuntu kernels easily

Ubuntu doesn't automatically remove old kernel packages, so over time the number of unused kernel packages will build up. On recent releases, you could manually use the graphical UI of the Synaptic Package Manager (SPM) to locate and remove the old packages, but as of the Ubuntu Saucy Salamander release the SPM is no longer available.

However, there's a neat way to do it directly from the command line or a shell script, too. See this Ubuntu Forum article for details.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Registering Oracle Java using alternatives on CentOS 6

If you want to add the Oracle JDK to a CentOS 6 box, one easy way is to download the JDK RPM package, and use the rpm(8) command to install it easily, like this:

$ sudo rpm -ivh jdk-7u45-linux-i586.rpm

But chances are the newly installed JDK will not be visible at the command line, especially if the openjdk is already present. How to fix this? You'll have to use the alternatives(8) command to manually register the Oracle JDK. See the instructions on the if-not-true-then-false site for details. I recommend following the "Use Java JDK latest version" example.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Microsoft Office jumps to the net

Remember when Google Docs came on the scene and some commentators said it was the beginning of the end for Microsoft Office? Well, it seems Office may have turned the tables. See here, too.

Things to come

The Open Innovation Forum shares some interesting perspectives on how technology is changing the human race and will continue to do so ahead.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Easy home theater option

Sound bars are a neat way to drop in home theater easily, provided you're not a high-end audiophile. There may be other limitations, too - but if you want an easy installation with few or no wires required - they're worth a look.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Creepy robotics

This stuff is downright creepy to me. I guess I've read one too many Sci Fi stories about robots used for nefarious purposes. These surely give pause for concern - and unfortunately the trend is only likely to continue. It looks like drones are just the tip of the iceberg, folks.