Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hey Bill: why not put your money where your mouth is?

Bill Gates made his annual pilgrimage to DC today to ask the federal government to spare him from raising his employees' wages. He says pay isn't the problem. Bill, if you want us to believe that this isn't just about money, why don't you help out the nearest university campus to you? We desperately want to start science and engineering majors, but the State doesn't have the money to build us a building with labs, buy us equipment, etc. You already employ dozens of our graduates, how about helping us help you with some more? Why not do your part?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

IEEE Spectrum: Video Viewer

Here's a very interesting video of the CMU autonomous vehicle they've been developing for the Army. I have mixed feelings about this.

  • The chasis is very impressive. This thing would be great at a monster truck rally.
  • I don't want to be anywhere near this thing when its gun is loaded. Not based on my assessment of how formidable it will be, but rather how reliably it will function. Shades of ED-209 from "Robocop".
  • I wonder how vulnerable this vehicle would be to very primitive countermeasures, like a guy with a can of spray paint.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Math & science: it's good for the economy

An interesting article in that well-known socialist rag, The Wall Street Journal. Math and science do matter, not just for the individuals involved, but for the US economy as a whole. And, despite decades-ago calls to improve science and math education, the US still lags other industrialized nations.