Brains, Not Trains
This month's focus on engineering turned out to be pretty exciting, what with articles on wind tunnels and lasers. We thought we'd put some nice destructive lasers burning through steel (or space shuttles) on our cover, but Brian Gollsneider at the Army Research Lab at Adelphi, Maryland informed me that the lasers with which they work have an 850nm wavelength intended for communication purposes only and are outside the range of human visibility. Being a “journal”, we like to keep our covers realistic and article-related (remember the little man inside the computer on the February 2001 issue?). So we went with the skier.
As Marcel Gagné reminds us in his column this month, engineers have traditionally been conceived as people who drive trains (hence the notion of chemical engineers as those who take drugs and drive trains). But as this month's articles show, most engineers seem to have abandoned internal combustion and moved to other types of engines. Rick Lehrbaum reveals Isamu, a robot with remarkably humanoid abilities for movement. The project is a joint venture between the University of Tokyo's Jouhou System Kougaku (JSK) Laboratory and the Aircraft and Mechanical Systems Division of Kawada Industries, Inc. Professor Hirochika Inoue heads the JSK Lab, and his views are among those of the many roboticists featured in the book, Robo-Sapiens, which documents current robotic projects around the world and speculates as to the future of robo-human relations.
There seems to be three schools of thought among roboticists concerning this future: robots will surpass humans in intelligence and ability, robots will never approach humans or humans themselves will become increasingly robotic.
One particularly impressive project highlighted in the book is DB (Dynamic Brain) of the Kawato Dynamic Brain Project at Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute near Kyoto, Japan. The DB robot is used by neurophysicists who work with the robot to learn more about the functioning of the human brain. The scary thing about DB is it learns, not through programming, but by watching and mimicking the movements of humans. It's already learned to balance objects and juggle better than its instructors. There is one glimmer of hope however, at the book's press time, it still couldn't dance very well.
If the future should bring robots superior to humans, let's hope they run Linux—perhaps running open-source software will make them more inclined to share the earth with their inferior humanoid cousins.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Tech Tip: Really Simple HTTP Server with Python
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
- Rogue Wave Software's Zend Server
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide