Amazing Laser Graffiti … 15 stories tall!

On our NuMe website, the user rufinorosado posted an amazing video to their NuMe videoWrapplet playlist … this is too cool.  The video is by a group called Graffiti Research Labs and they have set up a giant video projector pointing at the side of a building, and then integrating a laser pointer tracking system to allow people to draw giant virtual graffiti on the side of the building using a hand-held laser!

I’ve added the video to my Inevitable videoWrapplet playlist with the title LASER Graffiti by Graffiti Research Labs … you have GOT to check this out … I want one!

We better be nice to them now …

It seems that someone is thinking ahead . .. to the future where robots and machines might have to make choices about what to do with the “legacy biologicals” roaming the planet.  One robot to another “But remember … they were nice to us in our infancy … don’t we want to stop the humans from becoming extinct?”

Robotic age poses ethical dilemma. The Robot Ethics Charter, an ethical code to prevent humans abusing robots, and vice versa, is being drawn up by South Korea.

“The government plans to set ethical guidelines concerning the roles and functions of robots as robots are expected to de… [ Accelerating Intelligence News]

Touch Interface of the Future

You have to watch the video to really see how impressive this is.  I’ve added the video to my Inevitable videoWrapplet playlist … it’s the presentation that Jeff Han gave at the TED conference of his ‘multi-touch interface’.  This is the stuff of Minority Report … but being demonstrated as reality.  Read the article … check out the video … this is an impressive product.

I keep thinking that I want this on my laptop, or Tablet PC!

TED: Jeff Han, A Year Later. Catapulted to geek stardom literally overnight at this high tech confab in 2006, inventor of mind-blowing touchscreen technology gives Wired News a glimpse into life as an entrepreneur and his new company, Perceptive Pixel. Kim Zetter reports from Monterey. [Wired News: Top Stories]

Dog or Cat Captcha …

My favorite project talked about this article is one where the blurred letters and numbers – called captcha images – are replaced by the image of a dog or cat … with you having to properly identify which it is.  It turns out that this is a hard problem to solve … today … for machines.

Microsoft’s research labs offer freebies. Many projects at TechFest are simply research concepts that will never come to market, but some are being made publicly available.
Images: From pets to panoramas at TechFest [CNET]

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Brain controls for computers and games

As the work in the research labs continue, it was only a meeter of time before the technology begins to enter into commodity markets.  I do have to wonder if the quality and capabilities will meet peoples expectations, however it is only going to improve with time.

I keep thinking of other applications for this product … who will do the first TV Remote Control based on this?  Just think about changing channels …  🙂

Connecting Your Brain to the Game. Emotiv Systems has announced that video-game makers are able to buy Emotiv’s electro-encephalograph (EEG) caps and software developer’s tool kits so that they can build games that, they claim, can use the electrical signals from a player’s brain to c… [ Accelerating Intelligence News]

Kurzweil predicted it accurately

I think it was Ray Kurzweil that said during a presentation at Stanford that the US Patent System was in for some problems.  I believe that he had some charts that showed the near exponential growth of the number of patents being filed … and talked about the fact that reviewing and looking for possible overlap and duplication was going to grow to be near impossible … unless we end up employing the majority of the US citizens!  Well … looks like things are heating up!

What is cool is that they are actually exploring some new and innovative ways to deal with the review of patents …

The U.S. Patent Office Wants You. A plan to help overburdened patent examiners solicits online advice from outside sources (read: you), calling on Slashdot’s founder for a system to rank user comments. Plus: China blocks LiveJournal. In 27B Stroke 6. [Wired News: Top Stories]

Another release of our videoWrapplet

I’ve been working on my videoWrapplet some more, and just added a few new features, and fixed some bugs.  I’m really restructuring the internals of the code to prepare for some of the bigger features … more flexible playlists, and preferences.

With the new version the videos will automatically advance to the next video if they can (the Flex video player events are pretty hosed!), and I’ve also added a video info button next to each title to see, and copy, the URL of the video.  All of this to make it easier to put videos into your playlist.  And yes … I’m working on a way to do a one-click add of a video into your playlist … stay tuned!

Also … Scott has been jamming on the home page of NuMe to show the users who are getting the top plays, and who have recently updated their playlist!

The one reason I have a Laptop *and* a Tablet PC

I saw this article, and imediately read through it … it’s #5 that I agree with the most.  The reason that I have a laptop *and* a Tablet PC is the screen.  The screen size and resolution that is included on most convertibles is still just too low for me.  I heard that the Gateway was a full 14″, but then the resolution is still only 1280 x 768 pixels … too small for what I am used to.  I’ll look forward to seeing what Dell does in this space … but I want pixels!

As for the value of a Tablet PC … I love the Tablet PC for notetaking.  It is still the most amazing computer to take into presentations or conferences, or when walking around having to take notes and sketch diagrams of things.  For these purposes, the Tablet PC beats out the laptop any day.

Eight reasons tablet PCs have missed the mainstream. Tablet PCs haven’t caught on with consumers and remain a niche market for certain users, such as medical personnel and insurance adjusters. Cost and technology problems are among the reasons, according to analysts.

[Computerworld Mobile/Wireless News]

Global Warming Caused by Sun!

No … it’s can’t be!  <sarcasm>There is no way that I can believe for a second that the earth is at all warmed by the sun!  Although I haven’t yet seen Al Gore’s movie, I’ve heard it’s all full of hard evidence that Global Warming is caused by us humans.  How could it be otherwise?</sarcasm>

Uh … wow.  This scientist is probably going to come under a lot of attack from folks about this … but he’s saying that maybe … just maybe … there are bigger forces at work than us humans.  Imagine that.

Sun May Be Warming Both Earth and Mars.  [Slashdot]

Numenta Research Release

A few years back I attended a conference at Stanford and watched a presentation by some of the folks at Numenta.  It was very impressive, and discussed the architecture of the hierarchical temporal memory (HTM) system.  There were several other presenters that discussed the learning of how the brain stores patterns, and does pattern matching.

What I really like is the thinking that dovetails with other articles and books that I have read, and how the brain – from childhood – constructs a model of the universe, and we the interact with the world using that model as a base reference for predictions and “next moves.”

Numenta has now released their Numenta Research Release.  It is now at the stages for researchers to begin to look at and experiment.  Of course it’s not just download and run … in Jeff’s own words:

We have found that it takes some developers months to get familiar with the
concepts, and maybe a year to get commercially useful results. It also is
possible that your first attempts at using HTM will be valuable for learning,
but not valuable for commercial applications. The learning curve is similar to
the learning curve for writing computer software. It takes anywhere from several
months to a year to become proficient in writing computer software; HTMs have
similar complexity.

The best part that I like about these theories and examples of possible brain models, is that we can learn a lot about ourselves from these.  How we work.  If the brain creates a model, and that is then used to interact with the world, then that model begins to define the limits of our interactions.  The funny part, is that most people fail to distinguish that it is simply a model … not the “truth”, and not fixed.  And so quite often their own model of the universe constrains their behaviors and actions, limiting what they can do.  I took a number of courses from Landmark Education
that focus on this specific area … learning to distinguish that model, and to then learn to evolve and update that model.  It is amazing experience each time I distinguish something new about how flawed my model of the universe is.

Even with the understandable doubts expressed by the author of this article … I am impressed with Jeff and his work, and believe that he is on the right track.

Quest for the Thinking Machine. Jeff Hawkins created the Palm Pilot and the Treo. Now he says he’s got the ultimate invention: software that mimics the human brain. By Evan Ratliff from Wired magazine. [Wired News: Top Stories]