You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2009.

Not particularly specific to life in space, but nonetheless equally applicable there:

  • Never get angry at something you can outsmart.
  • You’re not shocking us; you just look like an idiot.
  • If something is real, you can measure it.

I think the headline of this story says a lot:

Robot warriors will get guide to ethics

It was going to have to happen sooner or later – we would end up with robots capable of killing us, so someone was going to have to program some kind of guidelines into them. Without that vital code, a robotic tank would blow up civilians at an even more alarming rate than the flesh and blood American armed forces. If you thought the USMC was all about the overkill, wait until you see a fully autonomous mobile howitzer platform choose the wrong ammunition (high-explosive fragmentation rounds, or maybe some kind of charged plasma burst, perhaps) to take out a sniper in an occupied apartment building.

You would want this to be fairly well road-tested well before implementation, of course. As reconnaissance flight leader Debenham pointed out (with a turn of phrase of the highest calibre) when he brought this issue to the attention of the CIC: “Has they not seened Robocop where ED-209 kills that guy till he is dead at the demonstration?”

Curiously, the article makes no mention at all of Asimov‘s Three Laws of Robotics, which I shall repeat here for fear of having yet another Wikipedia link in one of my posts (seriously, I pimp that shit way too hard).

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Oh, wait – that doesn’t work for military robotics. AT ALL. Oh well, still, no reason to not conjure up the name of Isaac Asimov.

Man, I really don’t trust the Yankees with this one. The Canadarm is yet to kill anyone, maybe we ought move this program north?

I suggest everyone stock up on copies of How to Survive the Robot Uprising, just in case this turns out poorly. Like, Terminator poorly. Or Battlestar Galactica poorly. Or Hardware poorly. Or Runaway poorly. Or Judge Dredd Poorly.

So I’m being particularly wanky and attempting a post from the world’s latest must-have gadget, the iPhone.

Obviously, the typing situation is less than ideal but I’ve had far worse PDA keyboard experiences. The biggest gripe is the lack of cut and paste (a feature which is supposedly confirmed for iPhone o/s 3.0). I was going to share a few links to some groovy iPhone apps, but without cut and paste I can’t be bothered including links, so it’s going to be an old-school list – you know, like from the past, before everything was hypertext.


Erk, well, that was short lived.  Everything worked fine until I wanted to do dot points, then the WordPress interface failed to do any interfacing. Maybe this technology isn’t totally ready for absolutely everything you can do on the internet just yet.

Well, I suppose I’ll share my favourite iPhone apps anyhow.  This time, links included free of charge!

  • Word Fu – Kind of like Boggle, except with powerups and stuff. Also, you get to shake your phone like a baby.
  • WikiMe – Have your iPhone feed you Wikipedia articles about places close to your current location.
  • – Full-featured synthesizer for the iPhone. I’ll admit now that it confuses the hell out of me. I suppose I ought to read the manual.
  • Translator – I wish the iPhone had existed when Atomique and I toured Europe. I only know so many lauguages!
  • RJDJ Album – Crazy app with several ‘albums’ that turn input from the iPhone’s microphone into crazy audio landscapes.

Ahoy, chummers!

Well, I’ve finally recovered from Bootie Brisbane last weekend.  Okay, so not really that shagged from the gig, but it certainly was a exhausting, exhilarating event.  I saw you there, shaking your asses, during my set. I hit the dancefloor for Brewski’s and Guy’s sets. I said ‘yarrr!’ a lot and wore a pirate hat.

In short, it was super-badass, attended by plenty of badass folks who partied it up like only badasses can.

And on that note, a collection of videos about the most badass of all: Darth Vader.

Snatch Wars

Darth Vader is a Jerk

Chad Vader – Day Shift Manager

Robot Chicken – That Phone Call

Is it a live mashup? Is it a remix?  You decide.

Also, mad props to DJ AM for the sample selection at about the halfway mark.

DJ AM & Travis Barker – Fix Your Face

Shout out to my homeboy Pushrod_Equipped on the low-orbit repair platform HMAS Datsun for throwing this tune my way.

So the guys in the Labour Day march who were heckling the pro-life fuckwits along the parade route were Atomique and I. It felt pretty darned good.

Too bad no-one else took up our chant of “ask a doctor, not a guy with a sign!” – although the nurses’ union was behind us and they gave ’em their own brand of fury.

(I mention this because it’s pretty effing immoral to suggest that someone should get health advice from anyone other than someone who has studied life and the human body for five+ years.)

This short film by Neill Blomkamp dates back to 2005, and looks pretty sharp despite four years of improved CGI since then and the budget constraints on a smaller project. News has just hit the intarwebz that it’s now being made into a feature-length film. It will be interesting to see what can be done with this premise with a big sloppy Hollywood budget. My gut feeling is that a short film was the right format unless there’s more to it than the very obvious ‘Alien Nation with bigger guns’ direction I suspect that Paramount or Warner Brothers will push this towards.

Here are some more Blomkamp robot goodies:

Check this video out for some sexy iPhone goodness.  Dude is using both the touchscreen and the accelerometers to control his VJ rig (which appears to be running Jitter, but I’m not 100% sure).  If I had more time I’d certainly have a go at doing this, but for now I’ll just marvel at other peeps’ work.

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Looking for music by Viper Pilot? This blog is the current home of Viper Pilot's Munition Works, where he stores all of his mashes and mixes.

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