Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Back Home Again

Obviously I have returned!

I usually go to the Bahamas in late April and I would say the weather then is a bit more settled. The mornings while we were there had quite a bit of rain and clouds. By 10am things cleared up for the day but a slow start most mornings. As always I love the Bahamas! I had a great time and got plenty of rest.

When I go on vacation I do not bring anything with me. No computer, no cell phone (which would have worked, Verizon is online down there now), and I do not watch TV. OK, I did catch the last 5 minutes of the wild Patriots vs. Chargers game and saw the San Diego field goal attempt clang off the upright! Go Patriots! This way I get plenty of distance from the usual stuff and I can relax and chill out. We forgot to take any pictures as well! We are not big picture people anyway, but we both totally forgot, what can you do.

Anyways, I am back and the yard here is showing that fall is in full effect. It is going to be a LONG weekend of yard work this weekend for sure, yuck.

Just a few light items tonight, I need to get back into things and it may take a few days.

Robots Learn to Break First Rule of Robotics
The first rule of robotics (via Asimov) was that a robot cannot harm a human or allow it's actions to harm a human. No worries, scientists now are already teaching the robots to either hurt human or just torture them:
Robot arm punches human to obey Asimov's rules
ISAAC ASIMOV would probably have been horrified at the experiments under way in a robotics lab in Slovenia. There, a powerful robot has been hitting people over and over again in a bid to induce anything from mild to unbearable pain - in apparent defiance of the late sci-fi sage's famed first law of robotics, which states that "a robot may not injure a human being".

But the robo-battering is all in a good cause, insists Borut Povše, who has ethical approval for the work from the University of Ljubljana, where he conducted the research. He has persuaded six male colleagues to let a powerful industrial robot repeatedly strike them on the arm, to assess human-robot pain thresholds.

It's not because he thinks the first law of robotics is too constraining to be of any practical use, but rather to help future robots adhere to the rule. "Even robots designed to Asimov's laws can collide with people. We are trying to make sure that when they do, the collision is not too powerful," Povše says. "We are taking the first steps to defining the limits of the speed and acceleration of robots, and the ideal size and shape of the tools they use, so they can safely interact with humans."
Famous last words if I ever heard them!

Not to be outdone, now when you are chatting up that smoking hot young lady online and think you are making moves like a true player, it may just be a computer program stringing you along:
Meet Suzette, The Chat Program that Convinced an Expert She was Human
Have you met Suzette? If you have, you might not know it — because Suzette has passed the Turing Test. This chatbot convinced a judge that she was a human.

The Loebner Prize is given out every year for the machine that can fool a judge they're talking to a person for the space of a conversation. The judge chats to both a human and a machine about a few subjects - such as "What is a hammer for?" - and at the end of the time period, the judge has to pick which is the bot. After a twenty-five minute conversation with Suzette, a judge picked wrong.
Again, you have been warned.

Book Review for "The Force Unleashed II"
Warning Star Wars content coming up!

As a hard core Star Wars fan I can stay silent no longer!

Understand that I do not play computer/video games in any format. No XBox, no Wii, nothing. What I do is read Star Wars material. Any and all of it in the expanded universe. What has been going on as of late is disgusting and I can only hope the Star Wars community gets their head on straight soon.

I let the original "The Force Unleashed" novel go by because I understood that they were trying to tie in a game they wanted to sell. Fine, whatever. There were so many things wrong with the book it would take way to long to cover, but a few issues:
-In the book/game Galen Marek is found as a boy by Darth Vader and taken as a "secret" apprentice. In some way his training by the sith lord allows him to be about 4 times as powerful as Vader!? How does that work? He can use force lightning, but Vader cannot, so who taught him that? His name becomes "Starkiller" (how dumb) and he can tear entire Star Destroyers out of the sky which seems funny because Vader could not stop the Millennium Falcon from leaving Hoth. A total mess. Ad to this by the end Starkiller fights BOTH Vader and Darth Sidious and about kills them both. So this guy was the most powerful force user ever it seems? What a joke.

Anyways, I let it go even though I thought the entire crap show should not be true Star Wars canon.

The new game/novel, The Force Unleashed II goes even further in it's stupidity and silliness. In this one it is not clear if the original Starkiller was cloned or what and it does not matter. Now in addition to being the most powerful force user ever, get a load of all this stuff:
-Force powers that can disintegrate people by the crowd size
-Starkiller can enter the atmosphere of a planet on the outside hull of a starship and not get burned up due to his "force bubble"
-During the story Starkiller goes to Dagobah and sees Yoda, yet this makes no sense in any way as Yoda never speaks of it
-Again, Starkiller is so powerful he beats Vader easily and then even imprisons him for transport to Dantooine?? What a freaking joke as in the novel Princess Leia knows about this but it never comes up anywhere else

I could go on and on but the story remains the same:
In the expanded universe the move has been to show both Darth Vader and Darth Sidiuos as total lunatic idiots incapable of much of anything. Both are inept and weak and only luck allows them to remain in power. This makes them both silly looking and flies in the face of all other work in Star Wars.

There I said it. Can Darth Sidious, the master that took over the Republic, hid himself in front of the jedi using sith sorcery, killed jedi by the score and outlasted Grandmaster Yoda in a fight be practically a buffoon? I hate this stuff so much.

Get your heads on straight Lucas Arts, you are killing a great story with this pandering to game sales and liberal invention of force powers never before seen. What a joke.

Sorry for the side track, back at the regular stuff soon!

Have a good night.


Jake said...

welcome back. you a celts fan if so, they either look real good or heat look real bad.

getyourselfconnected said...

It is not over yet but I think the Celts are a strong team this year.

Thanks for coming by!

GawainsGhost said...

Well, that was painful.

Yep, just got back from the Monday Night game. I watched the entire gruesome scene unfold live, on the big screen.

Good Lord, what a massacre. These kinds of losses destroy franchises.

Who comes into a billion dollar stadium, which sucks by the way, blows the opening, goes down by 10, then turns around and forces a $100 million roster, highest-paid in the league, to quit before half-time? At home, no less, in front of a sell-out crowd, on Monday Night Football--bet that show got huge ratings--the biggest stage in the world. Tens of millions watching. Knocks the quarterback out for the season, totally exposes the defense, cripples the offense, fools around and lets them back in the game, only to be utterly destroyed in the end. Who does this? Who could come to Dallas, kill the Cowboys and leave nothing but a wasteland behind? Who!?

The New York Football Giants for one, the first in a long line of many to come I suspect.

I'm telling you, I've seen this movie before. The story doesn't end well.

It's going to take years to rebuild this franchise and field a championship team. Years.

And, no, Jerry Jones is not capable of doing it.

au soleil levant said...

Glad you had such a nice time on your trip! Sounds like it was the perfect break.