We are back!

Technology
Well, Automatons Adrift is finally back after a malicious hacking by... someone. In any case, I was able to recover all of the posts and I am going through doing some updates and changing things up making everything a little more informative and colorful! I hope you all enjoy it!
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Game changer.

Fun Bits, Technology
Virtually every electronic device around has one of these and the technology hasn't changed substantially in decades. Batteries. From your cell phone, to your tv remote, your car to your laptop, they all have batteries. One of the more common types now seen is the lithium ion battery. It works by moving lithium ions around between an anode and a cathode. This is the same process that every other battery follows. Depending on how many ions your anode can store, you can store more charge in the battery. Now what if you could increase the capacity of your anode by 1000%. Your laptop would could run for 10 hours on a single charge, your iphone could keep going for 8 or 9 days instead of 1, your electric car could…
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The evolution of time.

Personal, Technology
Ok, well not really the evolution of time in the sense that time is everwhere in the universe and is an innate feature of it. Instead this video shows the evolution of a clock. It is a very elegant representation of how a genetic algorithm can evolve surprising and different solutions to a problem. For anyone that doesn't really understand genetic algorithms this video can give you a feel for how they work. It is quite exciting to see a solution evolve from a simple program. This video actually comments on the long standing debate between creationism vs evolution. I do not wish to comment on that debate, I simply want to educate on the use of evolutionary algorithms. We can leave creationism vs evolution to those who enjoy the…
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Discovery! By a robot?

Fun Bits, Technology
Achieving a scientific discovery has been the sole domain of humans for quite some time. However, artificial intelligence is starting to catch up. Enter "Adam" an artificially intelligent robot with the tools to analyze biological data, formulate a novel hypothesis about that data, derive a set of tests to verify the hypothesis and then carry out those tests, and present conclusions from the data! Adam's repeated experiments resulted in the system identifying a few unknown genes in baker's yeast that work together to form an orphan enzyme, this relationship was not previously known and Adam independently identified it. Tools like this can allow human researchers to think at even higher levels, theorizing about broad spectrum experiments and leaving the systems to explore the frontier for them.
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Technology update

Technology
Doing a little technical work with Automatons Adrift right now. I just upgraded the wordpress to 2.7.1. I might even change the theme. Though if I can't find something I really like I will probably alter the code of this theme instead. Just an FYI!
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The Memristor and you. Technology to program nanotechnology.

Technology
Right now we have resistors, capacitors, and incutors we also have four basic circuit variables current, voltage, charge and flux. I am not an engineer but my understanding is, that with these variables you should be able to have four different components and not just three. The fourth component known as a memristor was first theorized in 1971 by Leon Chua. This theoretical fouth component would have properties that were not reproducable by the other three components alone or in any combination. Both New Scientist and an even more mainstream magazine Maximum PC have reported on the memristor. This component is simply that big a breakthrough! The memristor is indeed different from its brothers. When a charge is passed through the circuit in one direction its resistance increases, when it…
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Navigating dynamic 3D environments while flying!

Technology
Moving through busy environments is a complex task that is becoming increasingly easy for computer systems to perform on the groud. The task is made even harder while flying if you want to fly low to the ground. New obstacles become serious problems, like power lines and overpasses. A team at Carnegie Mellon University have modified a UAV to fly low to the ground successfully. The UAV can have a pre-loaded map or it can build its map as it flies using its laser range finder sensors. The lasers sweep an oval pattern out front of the vehicle and develop a dynamic map. If an obstacle is detected the system plans a route around it. Current UAV's cannot fly low to the ground because they lack a system like this.…
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The military gives the Turing Test a go.

Fun Bits, Technology
We have talked about the turing test before, now it appears the US Army wants to give it a shot in World of Warcraft. Along with several other advanced technologies like regenerating body parts, erasing bad memories, and electronic telepathy they are attempting to develop virtual soldiers that look and behave like a real human. To test these virtual humans they are going to deploy them in World of Warcraft. The virtual soldiers should be able to convince humans they are real, going as far as emulating emotion and using local slang correctly while responding to questions and communicating effectively with other players. It appears the Army is attempting to tackle some very complex AI and Nanotechnological problems. If one of their AI soldiers does manage to fit in properly…
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Desktop Super Computers and Singularity Friday

Fun Bits, Technology
What is the Singularity? Ever hear of Moore's Law? If you are reading this blog you probably have. Moore's Law is an informal law about technological advancement. In a nutshell it states, that every 18 months or so, the power of computers doubles. Computer power has been following this trend for 40 years and it is set to continue following it for another 40 years. The idea of the singularity is, if technology does indeed continue to double at this rate, in another 40 or 50 years the sheer power of the computing systems available will so far surpass mankinds abilities that the formation of an artificial mega intelligence will be impossible to avoid and it will be a new age of evolution. Of course, this new age could go…
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I used to grow crystals as a child

Technology
When I was quite young my mother gave me a grow your own crystal kit. It came with a bag of Alum and instructions. I first had to grow seed crystals in a super saturated solution of Alum and water. Then I placed the best seed crystal at the bottom of a jar and covered it in another saturated solution of Alum. After several weeks I had a fairly nice big crystal, formed from my seed crystal. It didn't do anything except look pretty. Scientists have really stepped that up a notch with these Self-Assembled Orgaic Circuits. In order to form these complex structures they create a silicon dioxide substrate with gold electrodes using conventional techniques. They then submerge the substrate in a solution containing the organic semiconductor and the…
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