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futurescope:

The future of robotics according to robotocists

At Automatica trade fair 2014 we asked the visitors of the ECHORD++ booth one simple question: “What do you think is the future of robotics?” We got the most interesting answers from roboticists from all over the world (in order of appearance): 

Vijay Kumar, University of Pennsylvania
Uwe Haass, euRobotics
Pere Homs, nelmia Robotics Insight
Christian Schlegel, Hochschule Ulm
Mary Torrico, Universidad de Tarapacá
Peter Heiligensetzer, MRK-SYSTEME
Renaud Champion, Robolution Capital
Rich Walker, Shadow Robot Company
Reza Sahand, Rahal Technology 
Vladimir Čop, SPINEA
Suraj Nair, SMErobotics
Dickshon Gange, MAS Holdings
Holger Wirth, ISRA VISION
Roko Tschakarow, SCHUNK

ECHORD++ is funded under EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), Grant Agreement No. 601116.
For more information about the project please 
vistit www.echord.eu

Music:
“Quail and Robot Convo” by Podington Bear
Available on the Free Music Archive freemusicarchive.org/
Under CC BY-NC 3.0 license: 
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b…

“Noahs Stark” by krackatoa
Available on the Free Music Archive freemusicarchive.org/
Under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license: 
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b…
sa/3.0/legalcode

[via robohub]

(via emergentfutures)

Orderly Processions are Over

simonterry:

Hierarchy likes order. Networks manage complexity.
Hierarchy walks in an orderly procession. Networks hustle.
Hierarchy wants projects to go from a through to z. Networks experiment across the alphabet.
Hierarchy wants a clean status. Networks solve for problems & mess.
Hierarchy reinforces status. Networks value results
Hierarchy manages stocks. Networks manage flows.
Hierarchy likes secrets. Networks share.
Hierarchy approves, authorises and allocates. Networks learn, enable and do
You can wait for your spot in the orderly procession. However the orderly procession might never reach you or might pass you by blind to your talents to walk in lockstep.

Join the network of doers instead.

unwrapping:

Tumblr iOS App Update:Get version 3.6.2 of the Tumblr iOS app from the App Store. Tapping tags now filter posts on individual blogs. Plus, you’ll find an option to search all of Tumblr for the tag. When you tap the magnifying glass icon (also known as the Explore tab), the app showcases blogs using the blog appearance settings. Also, Tumblr changed new user signup when done via the app.

unwrapping:

Tumblr iOS App Update:
Get version 3.6.2 of the Tumblr iOS app from the App Store. Tapping tags now filter posts on individual blogs. Plus, you’ll find an option to search all of Tumblr for the tag. When you tap the magnifying glass icon (also known as the Explore tab), the app showcases blogs using the blog appearance settings. Also, Tumblr changed new user signup when done via the app.

Violence in the Prehistoric Southwestern United States

gearbooks:

image

https://news.wsu.edu/2014/08/04/wsu-researchers-see-violent-era-in-ancient-southwest/#.U-1uKyDnZjq

When the drought set in with a vengeance at around A.D. 1130, the ancestral Puebloan culture known as the Anasazi began to crumble.   In his classic work, MAN CORN, Christy Turner documented kivas (subterranean ceremonial chambers) filled with nothing but severed heads, or filled with headless bodies, infants shoved into the ventilator shafts to block the air, cannibalism, and other episodes of extreme violence.  The fascinating thing about this new study is not the kinds of violence but the stunning figure that around 90% of the human remains recovered from Mesa Verde, Colorado, (that date to between A.D. 1140-1180) demonstrate trauma to the skull or arms.  The warfare, probably caused by a scramble for food resources, must have been constant and ugly. 

(via buffleheadcabin)

It’s dubious and dangerous, Drucker is saying, to take what’s measurable for what’s important. But he’s also saying something much more radical, even subversive: Some things that can be measured shouldn’t be.

If iPad Was A Company, It Would Be Bigger Than Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Groupon and Tesla, combined

Mossberg counters the conventional wisdom about tablet explosive growth petering out with two charts:

Walt Mossberg, In Defense of Tablets

When I first reviewed the iPad, I wrote that, to succeed, “It will have to prove that it really can replace the laptop or netbook for enough common tasks, enough of the time, to make it a viable alternative.”

For me, and for many, many others, the tablet passes this bar. And the results in the marketplace have been impressive, especially considering that the iPad was introduced only four years ago. Since then, Apple has sold 225 million of them, despite its famous premium pricing. And total tablet sales are, by some estimates, approaching half a billion units.

According to respected venture capitalist and analyst Mary Meeker, in her annual Internet trends report presented at our Code Conference in May, tablet sales have exploded in a way that PC sales — including sales of cheap netbooks — never did.

Tablet Sales Have Grown Faster Than PCs Ever Did

Mary Meeker, Kleiner Perkins — Tablet Sales Have Grown Faster Than PCs Ever Did

What’s more, Meeker said, tablets have lots of growth ahead of them.

To get a sense of how big the iPad alone has become in just four years, check out this chartby Slate.com. It shows that, in Apple’s last fiscal quarter — a quarter in which iPad sales declined — the tablet (not all of Apple) still brought in nearly $6 billion in revenue, an amount exceeding the quarterly revenues of Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Groupon and Tesla combined.

iPad Sales Remain Large
So the next time someone tells you that tablets are done, remind them of the relative size of the iPad market.

Twitter’s New Favorite: I Want Groupings, Instead

Farhad Manjoo probes Twitter’s new model for favorites, and never quite gets to the heart of the matter. But he tees it up well:

Farhad Manjoo, Save the Fav, Twitter’s Digital Body Language

There’s a kerfuffle at the moment on Twitter about what should happen when you fav something.

Until recently, when you pressed the “favorite” button on a tweet — that is, the little star below a Twitter posting — almost nothing happened. Other users, including the one who originally posted, might see that you’d starred the tweet, but Twitter’s “favorite” was different from the “like” button on Facebook. It wasn’t taken to mean that you actually liked or were interested in the substance of that tweet.

This made the fav one of the few forms of online speech that were mostly disconnected from consequence. When it wasn’t being used as a bookmark to help you remember links for later, pressing “favorite” on a tweet was the digital equivalent of a nod, a gesture that is hard to decipher. The fav derived its power from this deliberate ambiguity.

But now Twitter is slightly altering what happens when you press “favorite.” In what may or may not be a short-term experiment, the service is beginning to use faves as signals in deciding how to arrange users’ timelines. Under its new policy, if Twitter notices that a lot of your friends have faved a tweet, it may show you that tweet, even if you don’t follow the person who posted it.

The reason this feels odd is that it breaks the convention we’re used to, and replaces it with something that doesn’t follow network connections. If Twitter changed the rule so that all my followers would see my favorites it would follow the retweet model. But in that case, why have both retweet and favorite?

The new model is a popularity-oriented approach, but what about something more semantic? What if twitter allowed us to tag ourselves in our profiles, and then would direct tweets to us that matched our preferences? This is the concept of groupings, or Chris Messina’s Channels concept, inverted (see Hash Tags = Twitter Groupings). A grouping is a collection of people related through the use of a tag. You don’t get invited to a grouping, like a group: you invite yourself by tagging.

So when someone in my social scene (like friend of a friend) tags a tweet with #postnormal or #hashtags I would see that in my feed, because I am a member of the #postnormal and #hashtags groupings.

Of course, Twitter could simply develop the new favorite algorithm in a way that does the same as self-tagging and groupings would. I’d be happy with that.

Saying No

I recently stepped down from leading the Future Of Work community that I had spearheaded earlier in the year, realizing that I wasn’t able to give it the time that it perhaps needed, or perhaps realizing that no one person could do get it off the ground. I’ve backed away from other commitments locally, like civic working groups here in Beacon NY, for the same reasons: I felt spread too thin, and committing to yet another Thursday evening was shadowing the joy I feel in my work and play.

This excerpt from a recent piece by Courtney Martin shows that I am not alone:

Courney Martin, The Spiritual Art of Saying No

Forget balance. Balance is bullshit. What I mostly crave is integrity and joy — a sense that I’m doing what I do excellently and getting a lot of pleasure out of it, that I’m used up and useful.

I’ve noticed lately that when I try to do too much, the things I should have said no to manifest as monsters under the bed. I wake up at 2 a.m. and am immediately aware of the outsized presence of that thing that, in the light of day, seemed barely possible, and, in the unforgiving darkness, I realize I can’t faithfully execute. I write rambling emails backing out. I apologize sloppily under the moonlight, as if drunk on over-commitment. I hurt people. There’s no grace in it.

I’ve been learning to grow things over the last year — my daughter, first and foremost, but also plants and trees that we share with our co-housing community. Louise is the garden guru in our little community, and she’s been showing me how to trim back the bougainvillea and layer leaves into the compost and pick the artichokes before they explode purple. One of the first things she ever taught me was how to tend to the apple trees.

I was about halfway through my pregnancy, finally and noticeably carrying a creature in my belly rather than an extra layer of blueberry glaze donuts. It was a sunny Saturday and Louise — well into her 70s, willowy, and often wearing a t-shirt with some slogan of peace — showed me how each branch of the tree can only reasonably support two apples. You have to go, branch by branch, and pluck off little baby apples until every branch has only as much as it can support.

It felt sad to me at first, twisting off these hopeful little apples and dropping them into a bucket. They amassed quickly, collectively robbed of possibility by this big-bellied goddess of destruction lumbering her way along the front gate. I felt bad. But then I looked over and watched as Louise pruned without fanfare, gentle and direct. She had lived long enough to know that in order for some things to thrive, some things must die.

You say no so you can say yes. It’s sad in the way that all limitations are, but also liberating. You are human and finite and precious and fumbling. This is your one chance to spend your gifts, your attention, most importantly your love, on the things that matter most. Don’t screw it up by being sentimental about what could have been or delusional about your own capacity. Have the grace to acknowledge your own priorities. Prune and survive.

Yes, Courtney: I say no to say yes.

To all the people that I said no to recently, forgive me. And like me, you must learn to prune to survive.

The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation in violence. The frenzy of the activist…destroys his own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.

Thomas Merton


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