18 Nov 2014
grasshopper

Creating a Worm

"The nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is tiny and only has 302 neurons. These have been completely mapped and the OpenWorm project is working to build a complete simulation of the worm in software."

"The key point is that there was no programming or learning involved to create the behaviors. The connectome of the worm was mapped and implemented as a software system and the behaviors emerge."

http://www.i-programmer.info/news/105-artificial-intelligence/7985-a-worms-mind-in-a-lego-body.html

10 Oct 2014
1968 ... '2001' by James Vaughan

Be Very Afraid.

Majorana particles, the kind of non-Abelian anyons that Station Q and its collaborators seek, are particularly elusive. First predicted by the reclusive Italian physicist Ettore Majorana in 1937, not long before he mysteriously disappeared, they have captivated physicists for decades because they have the unique property of being their own antiparticles, so if two ever meet, they annihilate each other in a flash of energy.

- From Microsoft's Quantum Computing Research Group (called Station Q)

19 Sep 2014
352461415_0ab94caa02_o

Scene Graph Traversal

<rant>

For some reason, Unity has made it a chore to work with their scene graph.

There are loads of problems with it: there's no root so you can't actually traverse the whole scene without using tags, there is a terrible traversal API (IEnumerator or GetChild(int)), you can't add and remove objects from the scene graph, in code it's difficult to tell whether or not a GameObject is a prefab or an instance, there's no central management of the scene, the Transform-GameObject relationship is simply weird as there is a 1-1 relationship but only one of them allows graph traversals-- the list goes on and on.

Read more...

17 Sep 2014

The IBM 360

I look back on all that turbulence and think, "What exciting times!" Then I realize: I could've gone into engineering in any age and the story would've been the same. It wasn't the times at all. Rather, that's what science and technology are all about. Go into those areas, and you'll always find yourself in the center of complex and far-reaching alterations of the human condition.

John H. Lienhard

Read more...

05 Sep 2014
Train

Homeless

"I could watch for hours," he said. "Every time a train ran by I'd watch the grass get pushed around." He paused and moved his finger across the table slowly and down the engraved leg. "We had picnics out there between the tracks-- there was this spot," here he licked his finger and let it wander through the air, "where you could see the track and the grass and behind it the sugar factory and its boarded up windows." He took a deep breath. "There were so many windows. Seemed like the building had just given up cause not one of those windows was whole!"