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Xntra City 2012
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Image by Daniel Voyager
maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Xntra%20City/85/165/24

Xntra Cityβ„’ is an interactive role-playing game in the REACTORβ„’ enabled sim of Xntra City. – Nano-based robots known as The Blanks are tasked by their creator to do their part to help him save the world. robot, hovercrafts, balloons, baby, tinies

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Cool Toys pics of the day: Be a Martian
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Image by rosefirerising
Be a Martian:
beamartian.jpl.nasa.gov/

Today I saw an announcement of Microsoft’s new Townhall application,
which is part of Microsoft’s Campaign Ready collection of campaign
social media management tools. Townhall is partly social network for
politicians and partly crowdsourcing app for constituents. I had
intended to blog that, and then I saw a sidenote that said NASA was
already using parts of this. I bop over to visit NASA, and well,
everything else left my mind. "I want to be a Martian citizen" was the
first thing I saw. I just finished reading the famous Mars Trilogy (Red
Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars). I spent most of the last six months
placing what little precious time I had for reading into these
volumes, which I feel I need in hard bound library editions on my
shelf next to Shakespeare. After roughly six months immersed in the
evolution of Martian culture, you bet I want to be a Martian citizen!

Sign me up! and off I go. Or not. This is, true to advertising, a site
built in collaboration with Microsoft. That means to get much of
anywhere I am going to have to install Silverlight, which I loathe.
Slows my computer down so much I might as well give up trying to do
anything. So I don’t. However, despite that, it sure looks like a lot
of fun β€” deeply educational, promoting science, technology,
engineering, and more. Characters have a variety of biologically based
avatars to choose from, so I am guessing that means the life sciences
are also included. Likewise you can choose primary roles to play of
explorer, volunteer, knowledge creator, innovator, witness, learner. I
couldn’t make up my mind. I hope you can change roles once you get
into it.

Personally, I’m not sure just what the relationship is between a
political campaign and crowdsourcing tool and what seems to be an
astronomical and outer space roleplay game, but I hope to find out, if
you know what I mean. πŸ™‚ Me, I’m off to the map room, to start
exploring. Cheers!

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OBLIGATORY DWARFIN MURDER SCENE OH MY THE THINGS YOU SEE IN SL
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Image by β–“β–’β–‘ TORLEY β–‘β–’β–“
Dwarfins: A Fantasy Community Building Game, Dwarfins (55, 66, 46) – General

Banished from the land they were born, separated from their creator, the DWARFINS must now find a way to survive on their own. Will you help them build their community and learn the secrets of creating life?

Dwarfs, dwarf, dwarven, dwarvin, roleplay

Visit this location at Dwarfins: A Fantasy Community Building Game in Second Life

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Video Games
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Image by KROCKY MESHKIN
"I like video games, but they are very violent. I want to create a video game in which you have to help all the characters who have died in the other games. ‘Hey, man, what are you playing?’ ‘Super Busy Hospital. Could you leave me alone? I’m performing surgery! This guy got shot in the head, like, 27 times!’"
―Demetri Martin

βš”

View full size 3000 x 1993

Note: This photograph was taken at the geographical center of Los Angeles.

To purchase prints: www.krockymeshkin.com

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DARPA Grand Challenge “Driverless Racing”

Everyone can appreciate a good race, well, maybe almost anyone. Regardless, the speed, the rush and the breathtaking sight of vehicles moving gracefully and powerfully over courses has been a source of astonishment and amusement for sports fans all over the world. Beyond the cars, the tires, the engines, the gas and the entire buzz, almost all race enthusiasts will agree, it is not the car, but it is the driver that wins the race. Indeed, it is the human element of having a driver making decisions as to how to approach a tight curve or deep slope or a simple turn that makes each one different and fun to watch.

So what happens when you make a race of cars and remove the drivers? Enter the DARPA Grand Challenge. The initials stand for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is basically a government agency that focuses on the research, development and creation of new technology. The DARPA Grand Challenge however, is a race; a race for cars without drivers. In an effort to develop better artificial intelligence and also enhance the technology of self-driving vehicles, this tournament is held annually in order to determine what kind of control system works best for unmanned and autonomous vehicles.

Autonomously Awesome

There are no professional athletes in this race. The competitors are usually teams of programmers, engineers and system developers from various institutions and colleges, each creating their own unique artificial intelligence system and vehicle. In the actual race, the cars left to fend for themselves in a race to a goal. All the developing teams can do is stay back and monitor the progress of their entry through the race, but they are not allowed to interfere with the performance of this vehicle. This race is entirely focused on the cars themselves.

Using a variety of input devices such as cameras, global positioning satellite systems, radar, infra-red and other technologies, the cars must drive, navigate and find their way first to the goal. As impossible as it may sound, they do. The DARPA Grand Challenge is a sight to behold for both race sports fans and tech buffs alike. This event features the latest the most innovative ideas and design for cars of the future.

The application of various technologies in cars is incomparable when considering the entries to the DARPA Grand Challenge. Vehicles utilize both the latest in existing technology and also in experimental technology as well. There are vast innovations in terms of navigation tools and also in the gathering and processing of data for use in transportation.

Unmanned Courses for the Unmanned Race

The race itself is challenging, starting from simple tracks and recently stretching to urban looking locations, the cars must be able to detect and avoid not only obstacles but also each other. The vehicles will not have any form of human interference or control making it a completely under the control of artificial intelligence systems. The vehicles are marked according to performance in speed, maneuvering and coping the driving rules and safety measures. A car wins by being the first to reach the goal safely. This race is a testament to human ingenuity and innovation. GP

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