August 21st, 2003


Boomer development watch.

Brian Dinnigan over at posted this:

Japanese researchers in robot technology are advocating a grand project, under which the government would spend 50 billion yen a year over three decades to develop a humanoid robot with the mental, physical and emotional capacity of a 5-year-old human.

The researchers believe the Atom Project, inspired by the popular robot animation series "Tetsuwan Atom" by the late cartoonist Osamu Tezuka, would help promote scientific and technological advances in Japan, just like the U.S. Apollo Project, which not only succeeded in landing men on the moon but contributed to a broad range of technological breakthroughs.

Letsee now... 2003 + 30 years is almost equal to 2032. Coincidence?? I THINK NOT!!


This is a "I swear to god, I'm not making this shit up!" entry. From now on, these entries will have the acronym "ISTGINMTSU" in the title. ;]

"Eternal Wars: The Shadow of Light" is not the type of game Ned Flanders of the The Simpsons would buy for his do-good sons Rod and Todd. Built with the Quake game engine, "Eternal Wars" is a first-person shooter: You are an angel named Mike sent by God to battle assorted demon spawn. The prize: the soul of a troubled teenager.

For Mackenzie Ponech, president of the development company Two Guys Software, the purpose was to deliver a Christian message, but not at the expense of game play.

"We focus on building great games without shoving the bible down your throat," he said.

Is Christian gaming going to be like Christian rock? You know, the video game equivalent of Creed? ("Jesus says, Creed sucks!!")

The only other thing I have to say is:

Mmmm... the tender, JUICY soul of a teenager... (Evil, evil cackle.)

(Thanks to Becky_Sharp over at for the link.)

Ernie Ball CEO smacks up M$.

I'm gonna start omitting "From Slashdot". If you see something about technology here, assume it's from Slashdot, Kuro5hin or Fark if not otherwise indicated... m'kay?

Ernie Ball is pretty much known as a musician's buddy. How does it feel to be a technology guru, as well?

I think it's great for me to be a technology influence. It shows how ridiculous it is that I can get press because I switched to OpenOffice. And the reason why is because the myth has been built so big that you can't survive without Microsoft, so that somebody who does get by without Microsoft is a story.

It's just software. You have to figure out what you need to do within your organization and then get the right stuff for that. And we're not a backwards organization. We're progressive; we've won communications and design awards... The fact that I'm not sending my e-mail through Outlook doesn't hinder us. It's just kind of funny. I'm speaking to a standing-room-only audience at a major technology show because I use a different piece of software - that's hysterical.

Electron Band Structure In Germanium, My Ass

Ah yes, college physics lab! Well do I remember it!!


Electrons in germanium are confined to well-defined energy bands that are separated by "forbidden regions" of zero charge-carrier density. You can read about it yourself if you want to, although I don't recommend it. You'll have to wade through an obtuse, convoluted discussion about considering an arbitrary number of non-coupled harmonic-oscillator potentials and taking limits and so on. The upshot is that if you heat up a sample of germanium, electrons will jump from a non-conductive energy band to a conductive one, thereby creating a measurable change in resistivity. This relation between temperature and resistivity can be shown to be exponential in certain temperature regimes by waving your hands and chanting "to first order".

The elderly Japanese welcome their new robot mas... oh, hell with it.

The powered suit, code-named HAL-3 (Hybrid Assistive Leg), consists of a computer and batteries in the backpack as well as four actuators attached around the knees and hip joints.

The motor-powered devices guide movement of the legs as the computer calculates the user's next motion by detecting faint electric signals from the muscle, the professor said.

With the equipment, the user can walk at a speed of four kilometres (2.5 miles) per hour with little physical exertion and avoid the jerky stop-go moves of ordinary robots.