Continuing our headlong race to the Terminator Apocalypse, researchers at MIT have have devised an algorithm that allows their mad creation not only to run at speeds of up to 10 mph but also to jump over obstacles, all without being tethered to anything. Because reasons.
If the thought of a large robot running straight at you freaks you out, this is one video you might want to miss:
The researchers say that eventually MIT’s cheetah robot should reach speeds of up to 30 mph, presumably right after becoming self-aware and developing a taste for human blood. To put that in perspective, that’s faster than legendary sprinter Usain Bolt.
Unlike some quadruped robots, MIT’s cheetah doesn’t need to be tethered to a power source. And thanks to the new algorithm, which causes each of the robot’s legs to exert just the right amount of force at the right time, the robot no longer needs external support. So we’ve lost our only potential advantage.
As a recent Gizmodo article about MIT’s revised cheetah bot put it, “Yep, it’s time to start getting seriously concerned.”
South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham is a man I suspect pisses his pants on a regular basis.
During na appearance on Fox News (where else?) Sunday, Graham called the president “delusional” for believing that ISIS can be defeated without boots on the ground. Personally, I don’t think they can be defeated with boots on the ground, but I digress. But then he then went from me half-agreeing with him to then predicting certain doom for all mankind.
Comparing the estimated 30,000 ISIS fighters to the Nazis, Graham warned that “this idea we’ll never had any boots to defeat them in Syria is fantasy.” He argued that given the growth of the “radical Islamic army” and its control of territory in northern Iraq and Syria, “it’s going to take an army to beat a army.” “This is ISIL versus mankind,” he said, using another acronym for the group. [...]
“This president needs to rise to the occasion before we all get killed back here at home.”
I definitely think that ISIS is a terrorist threat to western nations, mostly Europe, and I also believe it’s a threat to women, children, and other civilians who live within the territory they occupy. In addition to the beheading of numerous individuals, unspeakable violence is being committed against women as they’re removed from their homes forced into sex slavery.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t take the group lightly, but the idea that ISIS is a threat to “mankind” or even to the United States as a whole, is absurd and hysterical.
Someone this unhinged has no business influencing foreign policy and Graham should seriously consider looking into a mirror before he accuses someone else of being delusional.
*Not actually deadly.
Not just one, but two strong solar flares burst off the sun’s surface earlier this week, and Earth is getting hit with the aftermath.
Due to these significant solar events, two waves of highly energized solar material from the eruptions are travelling toward Earth and are expected to impact this weekend. In fact, the National Weather Service has issued a “geomagnetic” storm watch until Saturday, Sept. 13.
While the solar storm headed our way could affect power lines, radio transmissions, communication systems and satellites to a small degree, scientists say it’s nothing to worry about. Minor issues aside, radiation from solar flares can’t pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically harm humans and these recent storms should not endanger satellites and astronauts in space.
On the upside, scientists say we may see an increase in auroral displays during the storm.
If like me you consider yourself a gamer, you’ve probably heard that between August 27th and 31st news broke that Anita Sarkeesian of Tropes vs Women fame was forced to flee from her home when faced with threats of necrophilia and possible cannibalism from a degenerate known as “Kevin Dobson.” According to her Twitter feed, this threat prompted Anita to call local authorities only to be turned away by their blatant incompetence and lack of regard for her safety.
The story naturally exploded in games media circles and was reported, without scrutiny, as yet another example of misogynist, terroristic attacks against modern gaming’s messiah and anyone who demonstrated any amount skepticism was immediately branded as an Anita-hating misogynist, typical fare from today’s gaming media. Even more mainstream outlets such as The Washington Post, The L.A Times and Yahoo News picked up on the story, again blindly accepting Anita’s side of the story without scrutiny while exploiting the “gamers are horrible misogynists” angle.
As the story continued to get more and more coverage, I noticed an odd pattern: None of even the mainstream news outlets included any statement from the police. Granted, many of the pieces were ultimately editorials about how awful male gamers are, but the lack of third-party corroboration was conspicuous. Since I actually paid attention in my journalism classes, I found it strange and a little irresponsible that these outlets failed to get a statement from the relevant authorities when addressing an event they allegedly dropped the ball on.
In the last couple of days however, someone finally decided to find out how the cops handled Anita Sarkeesian’s call that night. If the cops really did suggest that she should just stop talking about video games to stop the threats, then there would be a serious case of victim blaming and negligence, sparking a massive outcry towards the police department. If the police report told a different story however, it would reveal yet another example of Anita’s dishonesty and outrage mongering.
When someone reached out to the police department and asked them what happened on the night in question they likely weren’t prepared to hear the dispatcher tell them that they did not receive a call from Anita Sarkeesian that night nor at any time in the last several months. They reportedly did have a report from March but nothing from the end of August, the time when she claimed to have been driven out of her home a deranged troll.
Not only that, but police department had apparently been unsuccessfully trying to contact Anita over the last two days in order to inquire about her claims that she talked to authorities about the threats against her.
It seems that Anita Sarkeesian has provided a clear example of why the message of #GamerGate has more relevance than the opposition would have their audience believe. The gaming media took one look at Anita’s Twitter feed and decided to run with it as if it were above scrutiny and didn’t do any fact checking, critical thinking, or even bother to try a phone call to a third party involved in order to corroborate the story. The laziness and disregard for journalistic ethics is mind boggling.
Many questions still remain: Why did Anita do it? Was the threat legitimate? If so, why didn’t Anita take it more seriously? Why did the press assume she was telling the truth and immediately blame gamers instead of doing simple due diligence and asking the cops for their input? What will their response be to this new information? Will they even care? Did Anita really think that no one was ever going to check for a police report? Was this a case of collusion? Did the timing of the threats and articles coincide with Anita’s latest video underperforming?
Who can say? Hopefully the answers will come, but I wouldn’t look to the press for them.