Swarm robotics


Uber-geek [James McLurkin] was in Austin recently demoing his robot swarm. He’s on tour with EDA Tech Forum. [McLurkin] has multiple degrees from the MIT AI lab and worked at iRobot for a couple of years. Lately, he has been working on distributed robot computing: robot swarms.

[McLurkin] was an entertaining speaker and had an interesting view of robotics. He is optimistic that robot parts will become more modular, so it will be easier to build them, and more importantly, faster to design them.

Some quotes:

  • “There’s more sensors in a cockroach’s butt than any robot”
  • “12 engineer years to design, 45 minutes to build”
  • “If it can break your ankle, it’s a real [rc] car.”

[Read more...]

Cold boot encryption attack video


We haven’t made a regular habit of watching BoingBoing TV, but lately they’ve been covering topics we’ve been interested in… not the dolphin pr0n. In yesterday’s episode they talked to Jacob Appelbaum and members of the EFF about the cold boot encryption attack. The attack involves dumping the contents of memory to a storage device by power cycling the system. Cooling the memory chip with compressed air helps preserve the integrity of the data. The attacker can then search the data to find encryption keys protecting the contents of the hard drive. A fool proof solution to mitigate this attack hasn’t been developed yet. You can read more about cold boot attacks at the Center for Information Technology Policy. The BoingBoing TV episode, bizarre editing and all, can be downloaded directly here.

Pocket Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy (Wikipedia style)


[PKM] decided to breathe new life into a Psion 5mx handheld. He slapped linux on it, added a wikipedia dump to a CD card, and voila: pocket wikipedia. It’s the closest thing to an actual hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy I’ve ever seen. So long and thanks for all the fish!

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