Posts Tagged ‘Science and Technology’

DARPA’s Robotic Drivers Exam has Good Results

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

This is a nice step forward for robotics. In 2004, not a single car entered to race in the relatively open space of the “Desert” challenge. Just a scant three years later, six of the eleven entered in this year’s Urban Challenge finished the course (also here).

Cars from Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, and Virginia Tech were the top three, in that order.

Someone Needs to Invest in Some Master Locks

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Now this gives a whole new dimension to the term “data security”.  Seems like CI Host had one of their data centers in Chicago robbed of $15,000 worth of hardware, not to mention whatever data might happen to have bee    n on said hardware.  What’s more, this was the 4th time this one particular colo had been hit.

I’ve never been happier to not be a CI Host customer than I am now.

DARPA’s Robotic Drivers Exam is Underway

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

The DARPA Urban Challenge is well underway, and at least 3 of the 11 teams have bombed out.  You can check out the webcast if you’re interested in the progress…and you probably should be interested.  I mean, someday you might have to share the road with the descendants of these automated automotive automatons.

It’s OpenSocial Season

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Facebook is all the rage today for it’s open API, which has led to all kinds of apps being created for the social networking darling of the moment. Of course, that also means they’re squarely inside the crosshairs of a host of other companies looking to do the same thing.

Well, Google is spearheading a set of social networking APIs called OpenSocial (also here, here, and a screencast here) which will allow the same kind of functionality across a host of different sites — including MySpace, Friendster, Ning, Orkut, etc. — and will make it easier on app developers by letting them write code for an open system instead of a closed, proprietary one.

By teaming with others, Google hopes to create a rival platform that could have broad appeal to developers. A person briefed on the plans said the sites in the alliance had a combined 100 million users, more than double the size of Facebook.

Some doubt if this new platform will work, but I have faith in the power of open systems. Should be interesting to watch how it all plays out at any rate.

F1 Goes Green

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Well here’s something I sure didn’t expect to read about.  Looks like Formula-1 racing is making more than just the starter’s flag green, by banning team from further invest in engine development and shifting their focus to hybrid and eco-friendly powerplants:

The 10-year “total freeze” on engine development announced in Paris Oct. 24 is a stunning move. It shows the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile — the Paris-based organization that governs much of the world’s auto racing — is serious about having F1 lead the way to a greener future. More importantly, it will spur rapid innovation in hybrid and alternative fuel systems.

Seeing as how the racetrack is the lab for just about every kind of technology that makes it into your car and mine, this can only help.