Links for 10th September 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Awareness Is Everything – Jamais Cascio

    "… imagine if you combine the sensory awareness with a more complex Bayesian-style learning system. What if your digital device could learn your habits, and adjust accordingly?

    Imagine a phone that pays attention to what kinds of lighting and noise conditions typically cause the user to turn off the ringer (or perhaps turn it up), in order to eventually do so automatically.

    Or a mobile device that could keep track of the user's location, changing settings (network, mail servers, desktop image, even available applications) automatically." Actually, my Android phone can do a limited amount of those things as it happens. Weird times, people.

    Tagged with: technologydesignmobileaugmented-realityubicompBayesianlearninggadgetsawareness

  2. Snort stem cells to get them to brain

    "When the researchers pre-treated the nasal membrane of the mice with an enzyme called hyaluronidase to loosen the junctions between epithelial cells, even more stem cells entered the brain through the nose.

    Other researchers have shown that you can also deliver therapeutic proteins such as neural growth factor into the brain in this way. If the results of this study can be repeated in humans, snorting stem cells might be a way of getting large numbers of cells into the brain without surgery. Repeated doses could also be given in the form of nasal drops." Your Warren Ellis moment for the week.

    Tagged with: snortinhalestem-celltherapymedicinedelivery-systemnosenasal

  3. A Turing Test for Computer Game Bots

    "Artificial intelligence has long been crucial to creating convincing and compelling computer games, whether a player is competing against drivers in Mario Kart on the Nintendo Wii or alien invaders in Halo 3 for the Microsoft's Xbox 360 games console. And, as competition increases in the $21 billion game industry, developers are striving to make game AI even more convincing. But creating a good bot presents a formidable challenge, says Steve Polge, lead programmer of Epic Games, the company that created Unreal Tournament. "You don't always want your AI to perform just like a human," he says. "Humans can be pretty annoying and obnoxious opponents." Instead, Polge says, developers often strive for "AI that can make unexpected plans and present emergent and surprising challenges to the player, which will definitely lead to better games.""

    Tagged with: computergamingbotAIartificial-intelligenceTuring-testsentienceperception

  4. New York City Girds Itself for Heat and Rising Seas

    "With only a foot and a half of sea level rise — a realistic prediction for 2050 — a storm as severe as Katrina could require New York City to evacuate as many as 3 million people. A three-foot rise in sea level — which could well occur by the 2080s — could turn major storms into minor apocalypses, inundating low-lying shore communities in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Long Island; shutting down the city’s metropolitan transportation system; flooding the highways that surround the city; and rendering the tunnels that lead into the city impassable."

    Tagged with: climatechangeenvironmentsea-levelriseNew-Yorknew-southsea

  5. 8 Useful and Interesting Bash Prompts

    Beginner's guide to buggerin' with the BASH prompt.

    Tagged with: linuxbashshellcustompromptcommand-line

  6. I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script

    "It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you're in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you're dealing with someone who can't.

    (By the way, here's a simple way to find out if you're a writer. If you disagree with that statement, you're not a writer. Because, you see, writers are also readers.)"

    Tagged with: writingcritiqueprofessionalhumourtruth

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