Daily Archives: October 10, 2016

Google Wants Robots to Acquire New Skills by Learning From Each Other

Google is combining cloud robotics and deep learning to teach robots how to acquire new skills better and faster.

Robots of the world, unite!

Google has a plan to speed up robotic learning, and it involves getting robots to share their experiences and collectively improve their capabilities.

Sergey Levine from the Google Brain team, along with collaborators from Alphabet subsidiaries DeepMind and X, published a blog post on Monday describing an approach for “general-purpose skill learning across multiple robots.”

Teaching robots how to do even the most basic tasks in real-world settings like homes and offices has vexed roboticists for decades. To tackle this challenge, the Google researchers decided to combine two recent technology advances. The first is cloud robotics, a concept that envisions robots sharing data and skills with each other through an online repository. The other is machine learning, and in particular, the application of deep neural networks to let robots learn for themselves.

In a series of experiments carried out by the researchers, individual robotic arms attempted to perform a given task repeatedly. Not surprisingly, each robot was able to improve its own skills over time, learning to adapt to slight variations in the environment and its own motions. But the Google team didn’t stop there. They got the robots to pool their experiences to “build a common model of the skill” that, as the researches explain, was better and faster than what they could have achieved on their own:

continue http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/artificial-intelligence/google-wants-robots-to-acquire-new-skills-by-learning-from-each-other

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Man charged with wearing clear plastic wrap bikini on beach

BEACH HAVEN, N.J. (AP) — Police say a 59-year-old man who wore a bikini fashioned out of see-through plastic wrap on a New Jersey beach is facing a criminal charge.

They say Stephen Wojciehowski spent two days on a Long Beach Island beach wearing a homemade bikini in which his genitals were clearly exposed and was charged with lewdness. NJ.com reports the Stafford Township man was arrested Monday and was released pending further court proceedings. A woman who answered the phone at his house said “nobody’s here” and hung up. It’s unclear if he has an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

continue http://www.usnews.com/news/offbeat/articles/2016-09-30/man-charged-with-wearing-clear-plastic-wrap-bikini-on-beach

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Violent J of Insane Clown Posse writes impassioned op-ed about national creepy clown sightings


Don’t fear us clowns, says Violent J (right), seen with Insane Clown Posse cohort Shaggy 2 Dope.


Insane Clown Posse is jumping behind the #ClownLivesMatter cause.

One half of the carnival-ready rap duo penned a pensive op-ed for Time about the nationwide epidemic of clown sightings — arguing that the real killer clowns are the ones with political power.

“There’s a whole army of scary, terrifying and dangerous clowns out there in this country trying to suppress the rights of thousands of people to exercise the most basic part of the Declaration of Independence, which evokes the freedom to ‘Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,’” Violent J wrote in his op-ed, published Friday.

“The only difference is these clowns don’t wear greasepaint.”

continue http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/insane-clown-posse-violent-writes-op-ed-creepy-clowns-article-1.2823881

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Gay pride flag launched into space ‘to spread peace’

Organisers said they wanted to declare space gay friendly, “in a peaceful, beautiful way”.
continue http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37504749

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Super Mario 64 hack reinvents the game and adds 130 new stars to collect


A new motivated mod called Super Mario 64: Last Impact has just been released to revive the 20-year-old classic Super Mario 64. The project Super Mario 64: Last Impact is as an act of love and the result of 4,000 hours of work by Kaze Emanuar, and it looks unbelievable. The additional content included almost makes Mario 64 a completely new game.

Kaze has added 130 new collectible stars, 12 power-ups, areas, enemies, and bosses to the original Mario 64. This can be Super Mario Bros. greatest hits, as Mario uses abilities and power-ups from a range of other games in the series as seen in the trailer. Kaze has used cool characters, mechanics and ideas from all kinds of different Mario games, and has wrapped them into one solid world. Despite of all these different elements, one can also clearly notice in the trailer that everything in this mod is thoughtfully put together and not just randomly.

continue http://www.techworm.net/2016/10/super-mario-64-hack-reinvents-game-adds-130-new-stars-collect.html

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Family Dog Put Down Over Outdated Microchip

(Newser) – A Florida family is warning pet owners to keep their animals’ microchip information up to date after their failure to do so meant their beloved beagle was put down. Kristi Durham says her husband called three shelters and posted to a Facebook page for lost pets when their dog Lefty disappeared from their Lakeland yard last Thursday, per WFTS. While visiting a shelter the next day, he learned Polk County Animal Control had euthanized the 3-year-old beagle almost immediately after he was found because of health problems—Lefty had sight and hearing issues and turned in circles from a past head injury—and because a phone number associated with the dog’s microchip was out of date.

continue http://www.newser.com/story/232161/family-dog-put-down-over-outdated-microchip.html

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Half the plastic in HP’s new 3D printer is 3D printed

The decision to include the 3D-printed parts in the two new devices was a purely economic one, says HP

HP’s Jet Fusion 3200 3D printer.
HP’s Jet Fusion 3200 3D printer. Photograph: HP

Half the custom parts in HP’s first 3D printer in over a decade were themselves 3D printed, according to the company’s head of 3D printing, Stephen Nigro.

The decision to include the 3D-printed parts in the two new devices, which will start shipping by the end of this year, helps the company highlight the quality of the printers’ output, but Nigro insists that the decision was a purely economic one.

For any given small plastic part, he told the Guardian, if you’re making fewer than 55,000 pieces you’re actually better off printing than moulding. . He said: “The reason we’re doing it is not because we can, although that certainly would be one reason. It’s because we should: it actually makes economic sense for us to print those parts; we can actually save money.”

The economics is made simpler by the comparatively limited quantities of 3D printers that HP expects to sell. It is not building desktop 3D printers, of the sort that sell to hobbyists and educational establishments: instead, it’s pushing straight to the prototyping and short-run manufacturing markets, selling hefty devices that start at $130,000 a piece, for the Jet Fusion 3D 3200.

continue https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/04/hp-3d-printer

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