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Programming

Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on nail-like stilts on a park bench

When it comes to the diminutive robot kits you find at hobby stores, most have what can only be described as a primitive sense of balance. If, however, you happen to be an expert roboticist like Dr. Guero (aka Masahiko Yamaguchi), then it's surprising how much can be squeezed out of these pet projects with the right programming. His latest trick is to have his robot balance on a pair of nail-like stilts, which you can see it do after the break.  Read More

Eben Upton (left) at the Raspberry Pi demo stand at Technology Frontiers

After a handful of days of furtive suggestion, spring made its presence felt in London today, where the second Technology Frontiers conference got underway. The Economist-organized event sees leading technologists and cultural figures take to the podium to beclue and/or befuddle some 250 ideas-thirsty businesspersons. Among them was Raspberry Pi Foundation founder Eben Upton, who proved to be one of the day's most lucid speakers. He went into some detail as to the inception of the Raspberry Pi and the need for more computer programmers.  Read More

Philip M. Parker has created a computerized system to automatically compile data into book...

Philip M. Parker, a marketing professor at INSEAD (the European Institute of Business Administration), has written and patented a system that uses an algorithm to automatically compile data into book form. Between his works and those of his research group (ICON Group International), he has over 900,000 books currently for sale on Amazon. More than a smart search engine, his system only requires a few minutes or a few hours to scan the databases relevant to any given topic and organize that data into a technical report. Next stop? Romance novels.  Read More

Two students designed a slingshot-style controller just for Angry Birds out of a motorized...

It's hard to believe just how popular Angry Birds and its spin-offs have become since the first game's release in 2009, but there are plenty of people still enjoying Rovio's series even now. With numerous ports for almost every popular mobile device, game console, and web browser, not to mention downloads totaling over one billion, it's clear that casual gamers are still enamored with the game about suicidal birds and explosive pigs. A couple of students have even gone so far as to create a slingshot-style controller just for the game out of a motorized slider from a sound mixer and an Arduino microcontroller.  Read More

The ComeHackWithUs tropical island hackathon should appeal to those who enjoy sun, sand an...

Do you have sharp programming skills, a passport and a love of adventure? If so, be aware that an ambitious new startup named ComeHackWithUs is currently seeking a dozen candidates to travel to a tropical island retreat and spend two months coding. You'll bring the ideas and the company will be tasked with providing the environment to help develop those ideas into a finished project.  Read More

Petit Computer brings back the days when apps were still called programs

Petit Computer is a new application which brings the golden age of home computing to Nintendo 3DS and DSi - no cassette tape required. Available on the DSiWare store and 3DS eShop, the app allows both hardened BASIC veterans and new recruits to get stuck in to the venerable programming language and to this end, several tools are provided which are written in BASIC and thus can be tinkered with easily.  Read More

BlackBerry 10 Cascade interface

Research In Motion made its anticipated BlackBerry 10 platform available for developers at its annual conference in Orlando, Florida, this week. BlackBerry 10 devices are expected to be released by the end of the year.  Read More

A Cornell robot successfully identifies a keyboard within a cluttered room

If we're ever going to have robot butlers, then they're going to have to learn how to figure things out for themselves. After all, if you have to reprogram the robot for every slight variation on a task, you might as well do it yourself. Scientists at Cornell University's Personal Robotics Laboratory are tackling the formidable challenges posed by "machine learning" by programing robots to observe new situations and proceed accordingly, based on what they already know from the past.  Read More

.NET Gadgeteer's sample camera built by Nicholas Villar

DIY gadgets' makers have a new solution for quick and easy building of custom devices in the form of the .NET Gadgeteer platform. Utilizing .NET Micro Framework and C# programming language, .NET Gadgeteer is an open-source toolkit combined of a basic ARM CPU-equipped mainboard and a choice of easily attachable modules, including displays, buttons, camera, Ethernet, USB ports, or WiFi. The idea resembles the Arduino platform or EZ-Builder kit for DIY robotics projects like DJ Sures' WALL-E.  Read More

A new software tool has been developed, for getting frozen computers out of infinite loops...

There are few things as maddening as being in the middle of a task on a computer, and having the software freeze up on you. This can be particularly enraging if you haven’t backed up your work recently, and you know that the only way of “thawing out” the program will be to execute a force quit – your work will be lost, all because the (insert word of your choice here) computer didn’t know what to do next. Fortunately, however, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed a tool that jolts stalled programs back into action.  Read More

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