Archive for December, 2010


Should pandas be extinct? There is a lot to be said for the panda’s maladaptation to nature, but this comment is interesting:

Panda’s evolutionary path has lead them down a very narrow cul de sac from which there is no escape. By all Darwinian rights they should become extinct.

But I like pandas, as do many others. Pandas have the one survival trait that is very important in today’s environment – they have value to human beings.

And on that note,

How about DOGS people? I mean come on, those little dogs do not serve any purpose in this life!! Billions of dollars go to them for food and cleaning, drugs etc.

chivava or something, why waste resources on DOGS? esecially little one with nothing to do but look pretty!?

Indeed, looked at in this way, pandas and dogs are very well adapted — to humans, who determine their survival. It’s an increasingly singular niche that likely all animals will fall into. In a million years, if humans are still around, probably all animals will look like stuffed toys.

kinect and smart input devices

The Kinect hardware seems to be in high demand at the moment, perhaps for a good reason. Smart input devices such as beamforming microphone arrays, vision-algorithmic 3d scanners, and the like are finally moving out of research labs. Given the right software, these can do quite sophisticated things… even an ordinary webcam can acquire 3d models, so these can only be better.

The nice thing about these input devices is that they don’t require anything special in terms of hardware — maybe a duplicity of some parts, but not expensive ones — all the smarts are in software. This can only mean two things: the devices will get smarter and smarter as time goes on, and, they will (soon) become standard parts of computers (and indeed, all devices), enabling a new field of naturally human-interactive applications. Definitely something to look forward to.