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Archive for May 2014

Ultra-Fast, the Robotic Arm Can Catch Objects on the Fly

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Ultra-Fast, the Robotic Arm Can Catch Objects on the Fly
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (05/12/14) Sarah Perrin  (from ACM TechNews on 14 May 2014)

Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne’s (EPFL) Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory have developed a robot that can react in real time to grasp objects with complex shapes and trajectories in less than five hundredths of a second. The arm measures about 1.5 meters in length, and the robot keeps it in an upright position. The arm has three joints and a hand with four fingers. The researchers note the ability to catch flying objects requires the integration of several parameters and reacting to unforeseen events in record time. “Today’s machines are often pre-programmed and cannot quickly assimilate data changes,” says EPFL’s Aude Billard. To overcome this limitation, the researchers developed a new technique, programming by demonstration, which does not give specific directions to the robot, but rather shows examples of possible trajectories to the robot. In the first learning phase, objects were thrown several times in the robot’s direction. The robot uses a series of cameras to create a model for the objects’ kinetics based on their trajectories, speeds, and rotational movement. The researchers then translate the data into an equation that enables the robot to position itself very quickly in the right direction.

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Written by youryblog

May 14, 2014 at 5:46 PM

It’s Judgment Day for Killer Robots at the United Nations

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It’s Judgment Day for Killer Robots at the United Nations
The Wall Street Journal (05/13/14) Amir Mizroch  (from ACM tech news on 14 May 2014)

The United Nations on Tuesday began its first-ever multinational convention on “lethal autonomous weapons systems.” The meeting is taking place over three days in Geneva under the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, which aims to ban or restrict conventional weapons considered to cause unnecessary or unjustifiable suffering to combatants or civilians. The 117 member-states will attempt to define what an autonomous weapon is and whether it fits into the definition governed under the convention, and delve into legal and ethics questions. The meeting will hear from robotics, military, and human rights law experts, as well as from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which held a seminar on the issue in March. The ICRC said in its report there was a sense of “deep discomfort with the idea of allowing machines to make life-and-death decisions on the battlefield with little or no human involvement.” Georgia Institute of Technology professor Ronald C. Arkin, who will participate in the meeting, believes autonomous weapons could reduce human casualties in war. However, he says the systems should not be deployed unless they can comply with international humanitarian law.

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Written by youryblog

May 14, 2014 at 5:46 PM

European Court Lets Users Erase Records on Web

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European Court Lets Users Erase Records on Web
The New York Times (05/13/14) David Streitfeld  (from ACM tech news, 14 May 2014).

The European Court of Justice on Tuesday said Google should allow online users to erase links to content about them after a certain amount of time, in a ruling that rejects long-established Internet practices. The court said people had the right to determine what others can find out about them by searching the Internet, and said search engine operators should erase links to Web pages unless there are “particular reasons” not to do so. “Some will see this as corrupting. Others will see it as purifying,” says Harvard University professor Jonathan Zittrain. “I think it’s a bad solution to a very real problem, which is that everything is now on our permanent records.” The court’s decision cannot be repealed and clashes with U.S. First Amendment rights. The European Court said search engines played an active role as “data controllers” and should be held accountable for their links, and also said “as a general rule” they should place the right to privacy over the right of the public to find information. Google said the ruling was disappointing and noted it differed significantly from a preliminary verdict last year. Analysts say the ruling leaves many unanswered questions and could lead to the imposition of digital borders.

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Written by youryblog

May 14, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Posted in Interesting, News, privacy

Job Search Tips for 2014 College Grads CIO.com, April 11

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http://www.cio.com/article/751355/Job_Search_Tips_for_2014_College_Grads

Job Search Tips for 2014 College Grads
CIO.com, April 11

For recent college graduates looking for a job in the IT sector, expressing early interest in a profession, company and a role can give you an edge over the competition. Even with a bright employment outlook for 2014 graduates, the job market gets flooded at graduation time and with every passing semester, even more competition enters the market. As a result, college graduates should begin their search as early as possible to gain an advantage. And it’s not just candidates who are beginning their job searches before diplomas are even handed out — many organizations begin the recruiting, screening and hiring process almost a full year in advance when looking to fill entry-level roles.

Even if you haven’t begun your job search, there are a number of ways you can prepare for entry into the job market. An internship opportunity is always a great way to gain on-the-job experience and work with potential future employers, and an internship may well turn into an offer for full-time employment. Internships are exploding across the IT industry and more and more companies are using these types of programs with college students. New college graduates without much relevant work experience aren’t necessarily at a great disadvantage when looking for jobs if they know how to highlight their strengths and their knowledge. They are often far more aware of and skilled with cutting edge technologies and best practices than even more seasoned, experienced jobseekers.

Even if you haven’t participated in an internship program, making sure your social media presence is up-to-date, polished and professional is also crucial during a job search. LinkedIn is a huge advantage, especially for college graduates or potential graduates. If you’re establishing a presence there, it shows a level of professionalism and tech savvy that’s enticing for employers. Potential graduates should get involved with available career resources and continually make contact with on-campus recruiting efforts and events, because networking is such an important part of landing a job. Don’t underestimate the importance of being connected to career resources on campus, and get involved in the events and offerings from companies at your school.


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Written by youryblog

May 6, 2014 at 11:31 AM