geek check

I just read "Understanding Object Oriented Programming" and it's a hoot --

Every if and every switch should be viewed as a lost opportunity for dynamic polymorphism.

Until I got to the last page, there was no doubt in my mind that this was a hilariously deadpan satire. I'm going to continue to believe that because I have to believe that.


War Rationale: Version 10.0

Here then, in Silicon Valley terms, is a review of the Bush administration's year in Iraq:

  • Version 1.1 - The smoking gun will be a mushroom cloud
  • Version 1.2 - We can't afford to wait
  • Version 1.3 - We never said imminent
  • Version 1.3.1 - OK, maybe we did say it once or twice
  • Version 1.4 - We should have been more precise
  • ... and so on ... (read the rest, they're really good!)

today in "our new robot overlords" news

Triton Logging:

"A chainsaw-wielding robotic submarine is roving beneath Lois Lake in British Columbia, Canada. It is chopping down a forest that was left submerged decades ago when the valley was flooded by a hydroelectric dam. After it cuts the trees, they are floated to the surface, where they are dried out and sold to mills for use in furniture and construction, like any other lumber.

Trees left standing in flooded forests die, but they do not rot because the water keeps out oxygen. Worldwide, some 200 million trees are thought to be standing on the floor of hydropower reservoirs."

Enryu rescue robot in action:

"Robot venture Tmsuk yesterday held a press day to officially launch and demonstrate its massive tractor-with-arms rescue robot, Enryu. See Enryu rip the door off a perfectly good car! See Enryu pick up a steel girder with one hand! etc.

"The impression we get from the videos is that it's rather a sluggish beast, though it turns out this is deliberate [...] The original settings had the robot arms moving at the same pace as the operator's, resulting in a lot of dangerous high-speed flailing about that would have made it impossible to use at the scene of an accident. This is a creature that can lift half a ton with one arm, mind. The arms now track the operator's movements at a slower speed, though they do stop immediately the operator does."

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