All posts by Mr. P

How Do Robots ‘See’ the World?

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 5.39.40 PMThe world has gone mad for robots with articles talking almost every day about the coming of the robot revolution. But is all the hype, excitement and sometimes fear justified? Is the robot revolution really coming?

The answer is probably that in some areas of our lives we will see more robots soon. But realistically, we are not going to see dozens of robots out and about in our streets or wandering around our offices in the very near future.

This article on The Conversation explores the feasibility of robotics in several fields.

“The Icehouse” On the Hunt for Young NZ Talent

Andy Hamilton, CEO of The ICEHOUSE.
Andy Hamilton, CEO of The ICEHOUSE.

There was an article in the NZ Herald on Christmas day:

Kiwi students and start-ups matched in new summer internship programme.

This summer, between 15 and 30 students will conduct summer internships at The Icehouse and portfolio companies it and Ice Angels have invested in.

Matching the best and brightest students with New Zealand start-ups is the aim of a new internship programme being launched this summer by business incubator The Icehouse, angel investment group ICE Angels, and education consultancy Crimson Consulting.

The Technology Leaders of Tomorrow programme will see between 15 and 30 students from the Crimson network conduct summer internships at The Icehouse and portfolio companies it and Ice Angels have invested in.

…. read more at the NZ Herald ….

Aparna Rao: High-tech art (with a sense of humor)

Artist and TED Fellow Aparna Rao re-imagines the familiar in surprising, often humorous ways. With her collaborator Soren Pors, Rao creates high-tech art installations — a typewriter that sends emails, a camera that tracks you through the room only to make you invisible on screen — that put a playful spin on ordinary objects and interactions.

 

Blender Has Come a Long Way

I learned 3D on Lightwave which, in 2002, was a contender with Maya and 3D Studio Max. Because it was free, I downloaded Blender back then, took it for a spin and was a bit disappointed. Because it was open source and community driven I filed it in my brain alongside Ubuntu Linux as “wait and see”.  I had a look recently and have to say, I’m impressed. Check out this user contributed demo video:

Computer Science Field Guide

sys-uc-logoThe Computer Science Field Guide is an online interactive resource for high school students learning about computer science, developed at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and funded by Google.

We’ll be using this as a first point of reference as it was developed here in New Zealand specifically for the purpose of Digital Technology classes like ours.

The Moral Failure of Computer Scientists

This article from The Atlantic raises numerous questions about technology, privacy and ethics. Do developers have a responsibility towards society to not create systems that allow personal information to be disclosed to government bodies? With the privacy laws in New Zealand, how far away are we from a complete surveillance state?

Edward Joseph Snowden is a computer professional, former CIA employee, and former government contractor who copied classified information from the United States National Security Agency (NSA) and United Kingdom Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) for public disclosure in 2013. The information revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA and Five Eyes with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments. On June 21, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed charges against Snowden of two counts of violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property.
Edward Joseph Snowden: wanted by the U.S. Department of Justice for violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property.

“Computer scientists and cryptographers occupy some of the ivory tower’s highest floors. Among academics, their work is prestigious and celebrated. To the average observer, much of it is too technical to comprehend. The field’s problems can sometimes seem remote from reality.

But computer science has quite a bit to do with reality. Its practitioners devise the surveillance systems that watch over nearly every space, public or otherwise—and they design the tools that allow for privacy in the digital realm. Computer science is political, by its very nature.”

This article is well worth a look as many of our assessments require discussion of ethical considerations.