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Syfy Reality Show Will Feature Giant Boxing Robots

chroma Re:You don't get to design your robot (82 comments)

True, though there is some precedent for human-machine pairing in sports like auto racing.

The old NASCAR was a great example of this. Fans who drove Chevys would root for the Chevy to win.

about 2 years ago
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Syfy Reality Show Will Feature Giant Boxing Robots

chroma Great News (82 comments)

The best thing I've heard about this is that Mark Setrakian is involved. Competitors and real fans of robot fighting know him as one of the great geniuses of the sport.

He won the first Robot Wars with The Master. His later machines, Mechadon and Snake, were far less competitive, but were much more interesting.

Here's a video of Mechadon in action:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El8ne4zSCY0

about 2 years ago
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Syfy Reality Show Will Feature Giant Boxing Robots

chroma Re:You don't get to design your robot (82 comments)

I've been involved with robot fighting for over 15 years.

You're incorrect. Autonomous robots aren't as fun to watch as human controlled ones for at least 2 reasons:

1. The current state of the art just isn't good enough.
2. It's hard to root for a soulless lump of metal, whereas you can vicariously experience the competition through the human competitors.

Also, every robot fighting competition I've ever competed in has allowed autonomous competitors, as long as they have fail-safe remote control. So you're welcome to build your own autonomous fighting robot.

about 2 years ago
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Pirate Bay To Offer Physical Item Downloads

chroma Inevitable, but more illegal stuff on the way? (343 comments)

Copyright and trademark infringement are common and this sort of thing has been a source of controversy for a while now.

But the next big blowup will be over things that are illegal in themselves just by their shape and arrangement of parts. I'm talking about things like weapons, drug paraphernalia, and pathogens. It's likely we'll see a crackdown or at least a panic resulting in calls for licensure of many of the most useful creation tools ever designed.

Take the humble AK-47 rifle, for example. It's designed for ease of manufacture, making it a likely target for replication. This makes enforcing highly restrictive gun laws very difficult in a world full of machines that can build them from simple raw materials.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Giving Google TV Another Shot

chroma I've got one arriving Wednesday (199 comments)

Over the holidays, I got a chance to give Google TV a serious tryout at my parents' house. They bought the Sony Blu Ray player with Google TV built in.

I liked it so much that I ordered one for my living room. It arrives tomorrow.

The Netflix/Amazon/web integration works very well and there's even an app store. I'm planning to use it for all my TV viewing and getting rid of cable.

more than 2 years ago
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The Science of Password Selection

chroma Generating and remembering passwords (340 comments)

I've become a recent convert to the idea of using a password card or
password chart to remember my passwords for me. There's not nearly as much to remember, as you use a code to look up the password on a printed card. But if you lose the card, anybody finding it will only see a random sequence of letters and numbers.

more than 3 years ago
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Huge Shocker — 3D TVs Not Selling

chroma Sony's implementation (535 comments)

I saw Sony's setup at one of their stores. If you're at all interested, I suggest you go check it out, but please lower your expectations.

The 3D effect is OK and the glasses aren't too awful to deal with, but the image is very flickery, especially if you move your head. It's also not quite as good if you're viewing from an angle; you really need to see it straight on.

more than 4 years ago
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Armadillo Aerospace Claims Level 2 Lunar Lander Prize

chroma It's not over yet; They didn't actually win (134 comments)

The summary is misleading. They didn't actually win the $1 million yet. Masten Space and Unreasonable Rocket are both going to have a crack at the prize and have until October 31 to best Armadillo's performance.

more than 5 years ago
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Apple Kills Google Voice Apps On the iPhone

chroma Re:Hmm (541 comments)

You're too young to remember "The job's not done 'til Lotus won't run." Microsoft apparently would make minor changes in MS-DOS and early versions of Windows so that Lotus 1-2-3 (the most popular spreadsheet of the era) wouldn't work right.

more than 5 years ago
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Mono Outpaces Java In Linux Desktop Development

chroma Re:This is beyond garbage (598 comments)

Try the Yoxos Eclipse distribution tool. It lets you easily roll your own version of Eclipse with the add-ons you want. The plugin list is very extensive. I assume that it supports the Subversion plug-in, though I haven't needed it.

more than 5 years ago
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Lenovo Tinkers With Larger Delete and Escape Keys

chroma Goldtouch Keyboard (586 comments)

I've got a couple Goldtouch keyboards that have a great improvement: extra Delete and Backspace keys on the left hand side of the keyboard. It's very helpful when you've got your right hand on the mouse.

Also, Goldtouch moved the Windows and Right Click/Context Menu keys off of the main area into a separate space. Both of these are great improvements.

more than 5 years ago
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Dean Kamen Awarded Patent For Robot Competition Rules

chroma The term "gracious professionalism" (110 comments)

I've volunteered with FIRST every now and then when I'm able to.

The phrase "gracious professionalism" always struck me as both condescending to the contestants and unnecessary.

We have the perfectly good term "sportsmanship" which means pretty much the same thing. At various other robotics competitions (BattleBots, Robot Battles, etc.) nearly everyone I've met has been a good sport, and likeable too. Going on and on about "gracious professionalism" at the various official functions implies that the contestants are unable to figure it out on their own and thus need to have it drilled into their heads.

more than 5 years ago
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The Problem With Estimating Linux Desktop Market Share

chroma From my website (409 comments)

It's technology oriented, but not computer-oriented:
1.Windows 80.60%
2.Macintosh 13.83%
3.Linux 4.36%
4.(not set) 0.52%
5.iPhone 0.43%

From there, market share starts to get vanishingly small.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Big Blue Saw offers "Free Part Day"

chroma chroma writes  |  more than 6 years ago

chroma writes "Online custom manufacturer Big Blue Saw is offering a free custom metal or plastic part to everyone on August 6. You can design a part and they'll make it for you, just pay the shipping. Looks like a good opportunity for robot builders, hardware hackers, etc."
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Google's $30,000,000 Lunar X PRIZE

chroma chroma writes  |  more than 7 years ago

chroma writes "It's been a long time since anyone has explored the surface of the moon. But now Google has teamed up with the X PRIZE Foundation to offer a $30,000,000 bounty to the first privately funded organization to land a robotic rover on the moon. Google, of course, has offered the free Google Moon mapping service for a few years now. Looks like the other search engines have some catching up to do in the space exploration department."
Link to Original Source
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Google to Announce $30,000,000 Lunar X-Prize

chroma chroma writes  |  more than 7 years ago

chroma writes "News has been leaked of the Google Lunar Prize. This new X-Prize contest is expected to be announced today at 2 PM Eastern Time. The news was leaked on a Huffington Post blog posting, though it was later redacted, presumably because the official announcement has yet to happen. You can still see the remnants of the original post on Google. The scoop: $30 million to the first private organization to put a rover on the moon."
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chroma chroma writes  |  about 8 years ago

chroma writes "The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is now taking the position that amateur rocket propellant made from ordinary sugar is considered an explosive. This means that experimenters and hobbyists who want to move their rockets to an appropriate field for launching will need a special permit. No word yet on if anyone has actually been busted for having fun with household chemicals."

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