But first, a rant about silver bullets. CEOs love them. Shareholders love them. Politicians love them. It’s too bad they are hardly ever real. The world has a way of keeping itself in balance by using opposing forces and feedback loops (you know, like our government used to). Sure, we find disruptive advancements in technology, math, and even anthropology, but even these usually have some sort of cost or downside. While you keep trying to make alchemy work, we’ll just keep on finding significant, but incremental, improvements, and we’ll see who wins.
No, alcohol isn’t involved this time. These are military robots. Lots of ’em. All different kinds. According to this article on Network World, the Marines are looking for, among other things, robots that weigh 10 pounds or less and can be litterally tossed into battle for reconnaissance or other support operations. They’re looking to other types of robots (some of which already exist as prototypes) to carry gear, assist with communications, and actually fight.
Check out this YouTube video showing the Barbecook grill. This is ridiculous. I get poked fun at because I grill with gas (then again, I often grill three times a week, and in the dead of winter). But here you have a grill that uses coal, but the food’s never directly over the coals. I’m sorry, if the drippings aren’t hitting the heat source, and that flavor ending up back on the food, it ain’t grilling.
Microreview: Most Excellent!
I bought this book because I was working on some gnarly multithreading problems. I was hoping to get up to speed on the wonderful new concurrency classes added in Java 1.5 to replace the boring old Thread class. What I got was so much more. It goes into great depth in:
- Preventing thread data escaping (what happens in thread, stays in thread)
- How to divide work among threads
- Exactly why the New Hotness is better than the Old Stuff
- The difference between the various implementations of the New Hotness