Thursday, May 28, 2015

Does Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 predict the future?

A recent article in the Guardian by Keith Stuart titled "Does Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 predict the terrifying future of warfare?" is well worth a read. It doesn't matter if you're not a player of combat games, because this isn't about games but about how the future of warfare is looksingincreasingly like scenes from The Terminator. The article even points to a Japanese company called Cyberdyne, that has created a "Robot Suit HAL® for the benefits of humankind in the field of medicine, caregiving, welfare, labor, heavy works, entertainment and so on." However, the military are developing similar systems to support troops. You've been warned!

Monday, May 25, 2015

A "beautiful mind" has died

News is breaking that the Nobel prize winning mathematician John Nash and his wife were both killed in a taxi crash in New Jersey, USA. John Nash is famous for his "Nash Equilibrium" in Game Theory, which can be most easily be described by the game of paper, rock, scissors. If a player randomly plays each of the three options 1/3rd of the time they can guarantee they will never be beaten over a large enough number of games. As soon as a player deviates from the Nash Equilibrium, perhaps by slightly preferring to play scissors, then they can be exploited by an opponent preferring rock. Of course as soon as the opponent tries to play the exploit they themselves become exploitable. John Nash's life was famously documented in the movie "A Beautiful Mind," a clip of which is shown below.  

Friday, May 22, 2015

Take a better selfie with Lily

Selfie sticks were the must have Xmas gift last year and now a team out of the UC Berkeley robotics lab, who built the first prototype using a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino, have developed the Lily camera drone. Watch the video below to see how it works but basically it flies itself and can take video or stills of its owner. It's on my Christmas list.

Monday, May 18, 2015

From Interaction to Understanding

This Thursday evening's Gibbons Lecture is by Mark Billinghurst of the Human Interface Laboratory New Zealand, at The University of Canterbury. The lecture titled From Interaction to Understanding  will focus on Empathic computing where computers can recognise and understand emotions. The lecture is this Thursday the 21st at 6:00pm for a 6:30pm start. Click the lecture link for full venue details and if you can't attend the lecture will be streamed live and after the event.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Do you want a computer for $9


Can't afford a Raspbery Pi ($35), well they have a competitor now. The ultra cheap CHIP; a 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, with 4GB storage, WiFi, Bluetooth, support for most monitors and even a mobile capacity. It runs Linux and therefore supports many free productivity apps. As you can see from the picture it's very small and so can be easily embedded in pieces of equipment. CHIP is a Kick Starter project and be honest for just $9 (US) can you not afford to own one.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Innovation in Airline Human Computer Interaction

This Thursday evening's Gibbons Lecture is by Paul McGlashan, Chief Architect, for Air New Zealand. The lecture titled Innovation in Airline Human-Computer Interaction: from ALC to IoT  will describe how Air New Zealand has taken control of its IT in-house and has been correspondingly more innovative than its competitors. The lecture is this Thursday the 14th at 6:00pm for a 6:30pm start. Click the lecture link for full venue details and if you can't attend the lecture will be streamed live and after the event.

Friday, May 8, 2015

404 Not Found

As we come to rely more on the web as a research and reference tool it's important that references to other works from a web page remain constant. But visit any old research web site and chances are half the pages it refers to will result in a "404 Not Found". An article in Nature called The trouble with reference rot highlights the issues involved. Recommended. This article was brought to my attention by my colleague Mark Wilson.