Do you talk to your car? I know I do (perhaps not as much as I, um, “talk” to other drivers, but some). I think I inherited the trait from my mother: all of the cars of my childhood, I knew from her, were named “Suzy.”
These days, your car may even listen to you, if you have a voice-activated music system or phone. But generally, cars don’t pay much attention to what you say to them.
It could be that you just don’t have anything to say they’re very interested in. Perhaps what cars would really enjoy is conversation with others of their kind...and it may not be too long ...
You may have seen this news item
recently about how a toddler's self-control at the age of three can predict his or her health and wealth once grown.
This study has been running through my mind for a week because I have, I think, demonstrated a tremendous amount of self-control over the past few days, and although I am not three years old (not physically, anyway; emotionally...well, you'll have to ask my wife), I'm still hoping that it might be a harbinger of great health and wealth to come.
To understand just how much self-control I have exerted, you first ...
When it comes to the brave new world of interpersonal communications via electronic networks, I believe I do quite well for a man who is...how can I put this delicately...no longer teenaged. Or twenty-something. Or thirty-something.
Or, as of this summer, even forty-something.
Despite my advancing years, however, I am still a with-it and happening dude. Not only do I, as you can see, have a firm grasp on the very latest hip-hop jive talk the young folks use, but I do all of the following, dear reader: Tweet, blog, podcast, Facebook, LiveJournal, and Flickr. (I used to MySpace, but I gave it up.)
I do not, however, chat, IM, or text.
It will come as no shock to anyone who has spent any ...
...was, once again, for Blue Fire
In the stunned silence that followed, Amlinn stood stock-still for a long moment, then suddenly ran after her grandfather.
Words today: 1,514
Total thus far: 38,313
That was first thing this morning; in the afternoon, I did good work on Magebane, but it was, once again, of the rethinking variety. I went back into the outline and figured out some more things that have been causing me fits. Now I really think the plot is sound, instead of scatterbrained, which is how I've felt it be as I've tried to write. That's the good thing. Bad thing: I think I'm going to have to go back to ...
...was for Blue Fire:
Amlinn gestured at her grandfather and the departing messenger. "They're not coming."
Words today: 1,697
Total thus far: 36,799
Made some good progress today, and what was particularly exciting about it had little to do with what I wrote, which was mostly of the people talking variety (though there's a big action scene coming up next), but rather with what I used to write it: my new netbook computer, a Samsung NC10. I bought it with birthday money, and so far I'm very happy with it. Quite a decent keyboard--93 percent full-sized, which means I can still type on it comfortably, and it has nice full-keyboard-like raised keys with the tactile ...
"He will be able to answer questions," the Healer said. "Whether he will answer them is beyond my control."
Words today: 1,440
Total thus far: 16,272
A bit of an annoyance today: I've been writing with my Freedom Universal Keyboard 2 (a fold-up Bluetooth keyboard) on my new Blackberry Storm. All well and good, but today, for some reason, it asked me for a password for the keyboard. Darned if I could remember what it was, and since I was already sitting somewhere that wasn't home, I didn't have ready access to support material. I struggled for an hour or so and never managed to make it connect.
Once I got home, I soon figured out what I was supposed to type in (0000--nothing ...
Ah, the human brain. Seat of consciousness, miracle of creation or evolution (discuss amongst yourselves), able to jump to tall conclusions in a single bound, so incredibly complex that we’ll never be able to understand how it works.
Um, not so fast.
A year and a half ago, scientists at the Blue Brain Project
in Switzerland announced they had successfully created an extremely detailed—down to the molecular level—model of the neurocortical column of a two-week-old rat...and that was just Phase 1 of their ambitious research effort aimed at nothing less than reverse-engineering the mammalian brain and recreating it in a computer.
The neurocortical column (NCC) is the basic unit of the neocortex, which in mammals is responsible for higher brain functions ...
As I’ve noted before, the very first science column I wrote, ca. 1991, was entitled, “What is a scientist?”
Last year I re-ran that column
with minor editing: the answer to the question hadn’t changed in 17 years.
But it may have changed now.
That’s because researchers at Cornell University have created a computer program that can derive fundamental physical laws from raw observational data.
In other words, they’ve created an artificial scientist.
By observing the behavior of a single pendulum, a double pendulum, and a spring-loaded linear oscillator (things you might use in a high school physics classroom), their software figured out some basic laws of physics, previously discovered by Isaac Newton and successors.
Big difference: it took human scientists centuries. The computer ...
Remember those 1980s cars that used to tell you "Your door is ajar"?Even aside from sounding like someone who only knows the punchline but not the setup of an old joke ("When is a door not a door?") those voices annoyed almost everyone. Which is why, for many years, most cars didn't talk.But increasingly, they're talking now. And we're talking more to them. There are voice-activated music systems, hands-free telephones, and even GPS navigation systems you can ask questions. As computers take over more and more systems in cars, they're going to need to communicate even more information...and humans' preferred method of communication is talking.That's where communication and sociology researcher Clifford Nass of ...
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I’m a hard-line skeptic when it comes to the topic of ESP (extra-sensory perception). I don’t believe in telepathy, precognition, telekinesis, or people bending flatware just by looking at it.That said, I’m pretty confident that in the near future mind-reading will be possible. Not for us, though: for our machines.In fact, machines can already read our minds, to a limited extent.Just recently, Ambient Corporation demonstrated a neckband
that translates thought into speech...sort of.It takes some training to use, and requires “a level above thinking,” according to Michael Callahand, inventor of the Audeo
with fellow University ...