Older blog entries for Flanneltron (starting at number 86)

Hype Alert: Robot Learns Self-Awareness

What the Hyped News Article Implies An anonymous—aka spineless—person wrote a Kurzeilai.net article a few days ago titled “Robot learns ‘self-awareness.’” Self-awareness is in scare quotes. I’m not sure what that’s supposed to imply…maybe it was just a huge joke? Various other news sources are claiming similar things (e.g., BBC’s “Robot learns to recognise itself in mirror”). The [...]

Syndicated 2012-08-28 04:07:22 from SynapticNulship

The Disillusionment of Math

The Early Years When I was in elementary school, a consultant who offered optional advanced studies taught a small group of us some basic algebra. This was amazing to me at the time—solving for the mysterious x! The next amazing mathematical concept I learned of was imaginary numbers. Just like pornography, I learned about it long before [...]

Syndicated 2012-07-16 06:49:20 from SynapticNulship

Detectives and Debugging

Debugging a program—or any system, such as a robot—often involves reducing the amount of unknowns until only one culprit is left. The situation is like a mystery story. A detective interrogates all the suspects and gathers clues until everybody but one suspect has an alibi. Along the way various red herrings lead the hero astray. [...]

Syndicated 2012-07-15 14:59:52 from SynapticNulship

My Other Blogs

Guess what? I have non-technical blogs as well: The Adventures of Sam in Imaginary Danger A tumblog for my acting career. Mostly photos of me, behind the scenes photos, videos, notes about acting, screenplays, filmmaking, etc. The Immute Button A tumblog of found images and occasional photos taken by me. These images are mostly glitch, sci-fi, surreal, film noir, [...]

Syndicated 2012-07-14 21:26:40 from SynapticNulship

The Timeless Way of Building Software, Part 1: User Experience and Flow

The Timeless Way of Building by Christopher Alexander [1] was exciting. As I read it, I kept making parallels between building/town design and software design. Architecture We’re not talking any kind of architecture here. The whole point of the book is to explain a theory of “living” buildings. They are designed and developed in a way that [...]

Syndicated 2012-06-01 01:26:48 from SynapticNulship

UX Conference 2012: Design Studio

One of the particularly good presentations at the UPA Boston 11th Annual User Experience Conference (#UPABOS12) was called “Design Studio” by designer Adam Connor. The main points are: Why brainstorming is usually implemented wrong. How to properly generate ideas and consensus (the “design studio”). Charrettes (are used by the design studio process). Design As a super condensed version of the presentation, [...]

Syndicated 2012-05-11 22:20:42 from SynapticNulship

User Experience Conference 2012: Link Blast

This post lists tools and websites I learned about today at the UPA Boston 11th Annual User Experience Conference. Tools for Mobile Prototyping and Usability Testing Although I’m familiar with wearable computers, especially for the military, and have developed for PDAs back in the day, I am fairly new to the current popular commercial mobile [...]

Syndicated 2012-05-08 03:20:31 from SynapticNulship

Illuminated Armbands

I felt like building something physical on Saturday. Since I was going to be at a military fetish dance party later that night, I decided to make some chevron arm bands. The goal was to have them stay on my bare upper arms. And illuminate. Fortunately I just happened to have materials lying around to throw this [...]

Syndicated 2012-04-24 13:48:12 from SynapticNulship

Snake vs. Robosquirrel

Animal behavior scientists are teaming up with engineers to devise new kinds of research tools: mechatronic animal models. Or you could just call them robots. Robosquirrel Is that a real squirrel? Nope! Chuck Testa. That was a joke…Chuck Testa was not involved with this study. But given his talents, maybe he should be involved with ethology research robots. Now you may [...]

Syndicated 2012-02-06 02:28:10 from SynapticNulship

Does a Chinese Boy Really have Nightvision Eyes?

Well, no. But so many people seem to be taking this seriously that I felt the need to make a skeptical commentary on society’s desire for mutants (and the lack of skepticism in memes): Alien Mutant Hybrid Has Super Cat Eyes That Glow In The Dark

Syndicated 2012-01-31 06:26:02 from SynapticNulship

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