by simon baird

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Robot ideas

A robot beating federer at tennis would be pretty cool.

Would a robot tennis tournament be interesting?

Already we have robot soccer (but it's not really prime-time ready).

A humanoid robot with the speed and dexterity of this guy would be capable of amazing things.

How about a decathlon type event where a single humanoid robot competes against its peers at:
  • tennis
  • judo
  • gymnastics
  • chess
  • jai-alai
  • fencing
  • etc
  • perhaps some kind of obstacle course ala american gladiator
The prize would be $X million. Sponsored by Red Bull and Virgin Galactic. The cost of entry would be large, but not incomparable to Formula 1. It would be televised once a year in a weekly format, possibly with elimination rounds. The winning robots become celebrities and would get sponsorship deals like Michael Jordon or Tiger Woods.

And for about $2000 (in today's money) you could buy a consumer model of the winner to do your vacuuming and fetch your groceries.

coordinating new maintainers for _why's projects

Listen while browsing the above.

another way that php sucks

~> cat test.php
$a = array('foo','bar');

$a .= 'baz'; # php: "i guess you wanted to convert that to a string? no problem"
print_r($a); # oh joy...
~> php test.php
    [0] => foo
    [1] => bar
Arraybaz~> # weep

~> cat test.rb

a = ['foo','bar']
puts a.inspect

a += 'baz' # dear php. notice how this is an error? sanity prevails. thank you ruby
puts a.inspect
~> ruby test.rb
["foo", "bar"]
test.rb:4:in `+': can't convert String into Array (TypeError)
    from test.rb:4

Test if two date periods overlap in php


function overlaps($first_start, $first_end, $second_start, $second_end) {
    return !(
        ($first_start < $second_start && $first_end < $second_start)
        ($first_start > $second_end && $first_end > $second_end)

$tests = array(
    array( 'data=> array(10,20,30,40), 'result=> FALSE ),
    array( 'data=> array(30,40,10,20), 'result=> FALSE ),
    array( 'data=> array(10,40,20,30), 'result=> TRUE ),
    array( 'data=> array(20,30,10,40), 'result=> TRUE ),
    array( 'data=> array(10,30,20,40), 'result=> TRUE ),
    array( 'data=> array(20,40,10,30), 'result=> TRUE ),

foreach ($tests as $test) {
    $foo = overlaps(

    echo ($foo == $test['result'] ? "ok\n: "FAIL\n");

Here is fremnet's version that works even if you get the start/end dates the wrong way around:

Monday, August 24, 2009

bat for lashes

especially: timpani, robert smith guitar sounds, the drummer in general, the drumming in general, stretch velour, bare feet, sparkle stretch velour, chunky fringes, wolves, medieval/fantasy themes, big brown eyes, that silky voice... ... ... ... ahem... is it hot in here?

Haven't had any robots for a while...

Check out when he catches the phone.

Just as Kasparov has been beaten at chess, in in a few years a robot will be able to beat Roger Federer (or his modern day equivalent) at tennis.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Last tweet?

RT: @_why: programming is rather thankless. u see your works become replaced by superior ones in a year. unable to run at all in a few more.

I don't think he would pull his code. It doesn't seem right...

Woah... I'm shocked.

Retiring a blog and starting a new one isn't the same thing as disappearing source code for projects like like hackety, syck etc, and contributions like the poignant guide.

I'm worried about this guy. Thanks and great respect to Jeresig for writing this piece.

Fwd: MotionX-GPS Track: Track 002


Simon uses MotionX-GPS on the iPhone 3G and is sharing with you the following track:

Name: Track 002
Date: 20/08/2009 7:51 am
Distance: 1.81 miles
Elapsed Time: 32:59.2
Avg Speed: 3.3 mph
Max Speed: 12.7 mph
Avg Pace: 18' 15" per mile
Min Altitude: 185 ft
Max Altitude: 223 ft
Start Time: 2009-08-19T21:51:47Z
Start Location:
Latitude: 27.473003º S
Longitude: 153.023949º E
End Time: 2009-08-19T22:24:46Z
End Location:
Latitude: 27.472671º S
Longitude: 153.001089º E

Click on this link to display the track in Google Maps. This link will be valid until Sep 18, 2009 3:27 PM PDT.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fwd: TomTom for iPhone. Available now!

Is it worth it? Actually I don't have a car at the moment. But I borrow one sometimes and I do get lost constantly.

This email was sent to you by TomTom. Having trouble viewing the email below? Click here to read the online version.
TomTom Go to shop | My TomTom
TomTom for iPhone Turn-by-turn navigation for iPhone is here
It's here! TomTom has made navigation available for your iPhone 3G and 3GS. The TomTom app is now available in the iTunes App Store, from just AUS$ 99.99*.
TomTom app The TomTom app offers you:
  • TomTom's award-winning navigation technology
  • Always the fastest route with IQ Routes™
  • Detailed and up-to-date map
  • Designed and optimized for the iPhone
Buy now
TomTom app From AUS$ 99.99* Available in the iTunes App Store
TomTom for iPhone
Privacy policy
*Or the equivalent amount in your local currency. This email was sent to you because you registered to receive email communications with us. Please do not reply to this message as we will not be able to answer you personally.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Starting to learn why no-one around here likes PHP...

These similar php functions have params in THE EXACT OPPOSITE ORDER.

    bool array_key_exists ( mixed $key , array $search )

    bool property_exists ( mixed $class , string $property )

Stick THAT up your PAAMAYIM NEKUDOTAYIM. (Or "double colon" in phpspeak/Hebrew...)

Fremnet contributed some more examples:

For Tony Abbott...

Please fwd this link to your daughter.

I suspect that in fact you're just a lame, churchy loser.



Friday, August 14, 2009

Grinchy's new home

I think he likes it.

Last night I bought dishwashing liquid and dishwasher cubes despite not having any plates/cups/glasses/cutlery. Hmm.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

some art


Hmm, I wonder, I think I need my google stick.

Oh no, not the g-stick.

According to Wikipedia, blah blah...

Thank god. I'm addicted.

Friday, August 07, 2009