Posted by: Snake Oil Baron | May 22, 2009

Technology Marches On And Kicks Ass

You know that BigDog robot being developed by Boston Dynamic for the American military? It’s a four-legged robot designed to act as a mule (but really, some of them are going to have weapons on them in time – if they were just going to use it as a pack animal they would have called it BigAss not BigDog). It sounds pretty nasty, like a one of those annoying minibikes that kids try to ride on the main roads without being caught but I suspect that that can be minimized in time. Someone asked me what it was for other than scaring the Hell out of her and it is kind of freaky. Here’s a look:

Well the same company is developing a bipedal version (Via Wired.com Danger Room)

It literally looks like an ass-kicking machine:

R2D2 gets new life as a robot pole dancer - work in progress.

R2D2 gets new life as a robot pole dancer - work in progress.

I could really use an ass-kicking machine. Both for augmenting my low self-discipline and for… shall we say, community outreach.

Speaking of kicking ass, The Jawa Report brought this to my attention from the Yemen Times: An enterprising software developer, Walid Al-Saqaf, has unveiled an application called Alkasir (Circumventor) to circumvent efforts by Middle Eastern nations (and others) to censor blogs and other Internet material. There may be no perfect solution to Internet censorship and other forms of tyranny but there is no perfect form of censorship either. In an arms race between people wanting to be free and people wanting control, never bet on the control side. Now the only problem is making sure enough people in the world actually want to be free. Maybe the ass-kicker machine could be used to reduce complacency.

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Responses

  1. Sveiki!
    “Now the only problem is making sure enough people in the world actually want to be free.”
    Most don’t know sense of freedom and it is intolerable!
    Just my gullible observations about one group of people:)
    Ave,Baron

  2. Even people who think they want freedom often want a shallow version. They want “freedom for me, accountability for everyone else” – as some wise fellow once observed. Oddly, they tend to find themselves supporting the same political parties as the “freedom go to Hell” protesters who call for the death of cartoonists.

    Maybe the intelligent machines we are starting to design can be convinced to value freedom.

  3. I looked up “Sveiki” to see what language it was it was and the Internet told be it was “hello” in both Latvian and Lithuanian. I don’t know which is cooler; the fact that the Internet allows me to find out the meaning of a word in a language I have never even heard spoken (as far as I know) or the fact that the Internet lets me get a comment from someone either in or from the Baltic region in the first place.

    I get the same feeling as when I am able to comment on someone’s blog in Indonesia or Iowa or Africa. I can’t wait until real time language translation becomes practical and accurate enough for full conversations between different languages. I can almost smell the smoke from the keyboards as people from different cultures furiously type away, try to convince each other how wrong they are about everything. When the smoke clears our societies might even resolve a few issues.

  4. Salut!
    “When the smoke clears our societies might even resolve a few issues.”
    Yes they(we) could!
    Both are cool;)


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