Tag Archives: North Korea

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of China Copying Everyone Else

Anyone who knows China well enough can attest to the fact that a lot of what you see in China was taken from elsewhere. That’s why there are high profile cases like the Huawei telecommunications company, which was featured on 60 Minutes – the investigative American TV program – for its alleged role in stealing trade secrets and espionage. But not all of what China has been doing – stealing, copying, imitating, or whatever you want to call it – is a bad thing. In fact, there are some imitations that should even be celebrated.   The question is really about how much should be celebrated vs. condemned.

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Skeptikai Notices (Aug9) – Video games, news, hacking, Japan, science

Video Games:

Robots use Kinect to understand our world – Robots can’t view the world like we do, but technology is advancing, and soon they may be able to understand it enough to convince us that they can experience it similar to us. Researchers at Cornell University’s Robot Learning Lab have manipulated the Kinect system – created essentially for entertainment purposes for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 video game console – so that the robots could image their environments in “colored 3D pointclouds.” The accompanying video shows the world as they see it. The robots can locate objects, and robotics will probably be advancing exponentially, now that we have examples of robots learning skills through reinforcement – such as the robotic arm that learned to flip pancakes after 50 trials.

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Skeptikai Notices (July25) – Japan, psychology, news

Japan

Fukushima Plant ‘Successfully Stabilized,’ 131 Days After Tsunami – Finally, plugging the reactors at the battered Fukushima Power Plant is no longer a goal. I mentioned last month that they had started implementing a promising new water system, which works by decontaminating radioactive water while cooling the reactors. Now, TEPCO may achieve a cold shutdown within six months. This is great news, but it’s still important to remember that cleanup efforts will continue for years. The damage from the tsunami seems like it went on forever. In fact, recent research has found that in places like Miyako, the tsunami reached 40.4 meters.

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