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Linucon 2004

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Biologically Inspired Robots: a Linucon 2004 panel

P548 The Babbling Robot Head, a Robot Group project exhibited at Linucon

The panelists reiterated the relevant discoveries that were new in 2004: growing organs in another location of recipient's own body (whether human or animal) -- while those discoveries weren't about growing a robot from biological cells, that could potentially be a potential future use. Modeling robots after roaches, rats, or other small animals that can pass through narrow spaces -- for example, to lay computer cables. Attaching sensors to a swarm of very small, fast, disposable robots the size of a grain of rice. What the state of artificial intelligence looked like in 2004, years before the significant advances made by neural nets -- not very promising. Our panelists thought that since our brain is wet and analog, we won't be able to simulate it in digital systems. Researchers are inspired to generate power from biological sources, because batteries running out are a common problem with robots, whereas a human body can do a whole lot on just a peanut butter sandwich.

Dating 101: Remedial Flirting: a Linucon 2004 panel

CIMG0930 Eric and Cathy Raymond

Official Synopsis: Cuddling with the computer too much? We've been there too. Ways to learn (or relearn) social skills.

Panelists Eric and Cathy Raymond discuss flirting tactics and first date ideas that work well for geeks.

Eric Raymond's speech: Linucon 2004

P0000554 Eric Raymond at Linucon 2004

At Linucon 2004 Eric Raymond gave a speech on the basic principles of the Unix philosophy. They are the same principles as described in the "Basics of the Unix Philosophy" chapter of Raymond's book "The Art of Unix Programming". Since the book is available online, I put a link to each rule so you could compare what's said in the book with what was said in the speech. He dwelled a little longer on each rule and gave more examples than he does in this chapter of the book. At the end of the speech he answered questions, some more, some less related to Unix philosophy. He also ranted on XML (after admitting not having an opinion about it) and expressed his opinion on Hurd.

Pictures from Linucon 2004 are in my photo gallery.

Costuming 101: a panel at Linucon 2004

EX000045 The Tron Guy up close

Synopsis from Linucon program book: Wanting to build a costume? Grab a seat for some tips and tricks from those who know.

Panelists: Kim Kofmel, Jay Maynard, Cathy Raymond

My impression. There are several ways you can win a costume award at a masquerade. By making audience laugh, for example. By being original. There is also a fairly self-explanatory "workmanship" category. This panel devoted quite a bit of space to the tips and tricks of how to make a costume, and they managed to be quite entertaining while doing that. Far from being tedious, their discussion was enlivened with all kinds of titillating details from the costume history. The panelists also spoke about the psychology of wearing a costume, and the motivation for making one in the first place. All in all, an interesting panel even for those who, like myself, have only a marginal interest in costuming.

Pictures from Linucon 2004 can be found in my photo gallery.

Read more about The Tron Guy in my blog.