It might be a stretch to suggest that there’d be no AI without John McCarthy, but at the very least, we’d likely be discussing the concept much differently. The computer scientist, who died on Sunday at 84, is credited with coining the term “Artificial Intelligence” as part of a proposal for a Dartmouth conference on the subject. The event, held in 1956, is regarded as a watershed moment for the subject. Early the following decade, McCarthy pioneered LISP, a highly popular programming language amongst the AI development community. In 1971, he won a Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery and 20 years later was awarded National Medal of Science. A more complete obituary for McCarthy can be found in the source link below.
John McCarthy, AI pioneer, dies at 84 originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 25 Oct 2011 19:07:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Tags: artificial intelligence
, turing award
The robots; they’re walking — and this one’s doing it under its own steam. This passive robotic frame requires no energy input, and is instead powered by its own weight and a gentle slope. The BlueBiped can be adjusted to match the proportions of any user, and researchers plan to use it to assist people who find it difficult to walk and transport unwieldy sports equipment. It already holds the Guinness world record for the longest distance walked by a bi-pedal robot, plodding 15 kilometers (9.32 miles) in a single 13-hour stroll. Those fearing the impending Robopocalypse can at least breathe a sigh of relief that — like some other homocidal robots — stairs still remain out of bounds.
Continue reading BlueBiped robot needs no power to walk for miles, as long as it’s downhill (video)
BlueBiped robot needs no power to walk for miles, as long as it’s downhill (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 25 Oct 2011 15:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, robot apocalypse
Hope you weren’t planning on falling asleep tonight. We’ve got a very spooky episode of The Engadget Show coming at you this week. We get a behind the scenes tour of the technology that goes into running Manhattan’s Nightmare
haunted house. And we swing by New York Comic Con
, to discuss the state of digital comics and shoot the breeze with geek legends Mark Hamill
and Stan Lee
We also announce the winners of our Frankengadget contest and give away the clothes from Tim’s back to the winner of our in-studio costume contest, courtesy of Halloweencostumes.com — oh, did we mention that Tim and Brian and dressed as Darth Vader and a storm trooper this whole episode? Because they are.
Intel’s staff futurist Brian David Johnson stops by to talk about the near future of the chipmaker and the role science fiction plays in his daily work. We pay tribute to Steve Jobs with the help of some eager Apple fans. And we take a look at the iPhone 4S, Amazon Kindle and the ASUS Zenbook UX31.
Hosts: Tim Stevens, Brian Heater
Special guests: Brian David Johnson
Producer: Guy Streit
Director: Alexander Vietmeier
Executive Producers: Joshua Fruhlinger, Brian Heater and Michael Rubens
Download the Show: The Engadget Show – 026 (HD) / The Engadget Show – 026 (iPod / iPhone / Zune formatted) / The Engadget Show – 026 (Small)
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The Engadget Show – 026: A visit from Intel, a trip to New York Comic Con, haunted houses and costume contests originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 25 Oct 2011 12:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
No matter what country you’re in, you’ll find at least one body-painted sports nut willing to act a fool in the name of fandom. To figure out what makes these hooligans tick, Sharp’s setting up trucks outside EuroCup 2012 matches to measure fans’ brainwaves using biometric technology. Once inside these mobile FanLabs, volunteers will watch the game while wearing the company’s NeuroSky headsets — a super sensitive EEG that uses dry electrodes to measure cerebral activity. By looking at brainwaves, along with heart rate and vocal excitement, scientists hope to reveal what levels of attention, stress, relaxation and excitement a fan goes through while supporting a specific team. Even if you’re not lending your melon to science, you can still join in the fun online, and see how you stack up against fans from around the world. So, bust out the body paint, grab your foam fingers and check out the video after the break.
Continue reading Sharp FanLabs goes inside soccer fans’ minds, measures loyalty with brainwaves (video)
Sharp FanLabs goes inside soccer fans’ minds, measures loyalty with brainwaves (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 22 Oct 2011 22:26:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, euro 2012
, neurosky headset
All right, so technically this isn’t a Rube Goldberg machine (it doesn’t actually perform a task, merely loops endlessly), but the spirit is the same. Students in the Media Interaction and Design program at the University of Applied Sciences FH Johanneum in Graz, Austria strung together a pile of Arduinos to create a chain reaction of unbelievably geeky proportions. Seriously, you just need to watch the video — you know you’re in for a treat when you get Homer Simpson, Darth Vader and Hello Kitty in under one minute. Don’t waste any more time here, hit that read more link and watch more Arduino’s than you can shake a stick at work in tandem.
Continue reading Pile of Arduinos hooked up in Rube Goldeberg-esque chain reaction (video)
Pile of Arduinos hooked up in Rube Goldeberg-esque chain reaction (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 20 Oct 2011 03:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Sometimes you just want to make notes on your forearm. Put that permanent marker down though, because PhD student Chris Harrison et al at Microsoft Research have created a new system that allows touchscreen interaction on hairy and uneven surfaces. It uses a short-range depth camera instead of the infrared sensor we’ve seen on similar devices, which allows it to gauge the viewing angle and other characteristics of surfaces being used — and it can even handle pinch-to-zoom. There’s a video after the break, if you fancy a bit of wall-based digital finger painting.
Continue reading OmniTouch projection interface makes the world your touchscreen (video)
OmniTouch projection interface makes the world your touchscreen (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 18 Oct 2011 08:33:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, depth of field
, omni touch
Is it more gauche to pull out your phone in the middle of a date, or to draw a bunch of crop circles on your pants? That’s the question we were asking ourselves after coming across PocketTouch — a new Microsoft Research
prototype that lets you manipulate your handset without ever removing it from your pocket. Developed by researchers Scott Saponas, Chris Harrison and Hrvoje Benko, the device essentially consists of a customized, multitouch capacitive sensor hooked on to the back of a smartphone. This sensor is capable of picking up gestures through fabric
, allowing users to execute a wide array of eyes-free, gesture-based functions (including simple swipes and alphanumeric text) without ever having to actually whip out their phones. To do this, the team implemented what it calls an “orientation-defining unlock gesture,” which helps the prototype get its bearings, before testing the capacitive sensors across different fabrics. According to Microsoft, the outcome “exceeded expectations,” though there’s no word on when or if this Goliath of a device could ever hit the mainstream. Head past the break to see a video of a man playing tic-tac-toe on his pants.
Continue reading Microsoft’s PocketTouch prototype is like x-ray vision for your fingers (video)
Microsoft’s PocketTouch prototype is like x-ray vision for your fingers (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 18 Oct 2011 05:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Salt: sure, you might use it to cure meats for your latest solar-powered circumnavigation. But hold onto your kippers, Magellan, because Singaporean scientists have found that sodium chloride — ordinary table salt! — can also dramatically increase storage capacity. You see, typical hard drives have randomly-arranged magnetic grains, which allow data density of about 0.5 terabit per square inch. But a high-resolution e-beam lithography process, aided by our good friend NaCl, arranges the grains in a tighter, more orderly fashion, upping the density to 3.3 terabits per square inch. Called nanopatterning, this technique enables a 1TB drive to hold 6TB without additional platters; it also works with current manufacturing technology, meaning no expensive upgrades. If that’s got you dreaming of a higher-capacity future, hit the source link for more glorious technical details. We’ll warn you, though: the pictures of luscious, bee-stung lips stop here.
Salt enables six times the storage capacity for snail-unfriendly hard drives originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 17 Oct 2011 05:22:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, data density
Think only Boy Scouts can earn badges in bad-ass activities like robotics and video games (whatever happened to wood carving and fire building)? Well you are wrong sir (or ma’am). The Girl Scouts of America are giving their merit badges a 21st century makeover, adding high-tech accomplishments like Computer Expert and Digital Movie Maker, as well as more esoteric points of pride like Locavore. Even old standbys are being reinvented for the modern age like the Fashion, Fitness and Makeup badge, which is now known as the Science of Style and focuses on how things like sunscreen work and making your own perfume. The update sounds like the sort of thing that strong, tech-savvy women like Lady Ada might approve of and we’re all for it, why should the Boy Scouts be the only ones to learn about nuclear fusion? Just make sure our Thin Mints still arrive on time… seriously, we’re starting to go through withdrawal over here!
Girl Scout merit badges get a 21st century facelift, focus on science and technology originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 15 Oct 2011 07:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Tags: activity badges
, science and technology
We’re getting reports today that Dennis Ritchie, the man who created the C programming language and spearheaded the development of Unix, has died at the age of 70. The sad news was first reported by Rob Pike, a Google engineer and former colleague of Ritchie’s, who confirmed via Google+ that the computer scientist passed away over the weekend, after a long battle with an unspecified illness. Ritchie’s illustrious career began in 1967, when he joined Bell Labs just one year before receiving a PhD in physics from Harvard University. It didn’t take long, however, for the Bronxville, NY native to have a major impact upon computer science. In 1969, he helped develop the Unix operating system alongside Ken Thompson, Brian Kernighan and other Bell colleagues. At around the same time, he began laying the groundwork for what would become the C programming language — a framework he and co-author Thompson would later explain in their seminal 1978 book, The C Programming Language. Ritchie went on to earn several awards on the strength of these accomplishments, including the Turing Award in 1983, election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1988, and the National Medal of Technology in 1999. The precise circumstances surrounding his death are unclear at the moment, though news of his passing has already elicited an outpouring of tributes and remembrance for the man known to many as dmr (his e-mail address at Bell Labs). “He was a quiet and mostly private man,” Pike wrote his brief post, “but he was also my friend, colleague, and collaborator, and the world has lost a truly great mind.”
Dennis Ritchie, pioneer of C programming language and Unix, reported dead at age 70 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 13 Oct 2011 09:45:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, bell labs
, dennis ritchie
, turing award