This is a tool we should all have in our arsenal: Portable Apps, the ability to take any open source program and use it anywhere the mood strikes us. Just because using any program wasn’t enough, using that same program in any operating system is even more important. For the final tweak, you should be able to use it from any local launch platform; the two most important being a Memory Stick and a LiveCD. This system does all of that, built in. Then it gives you a simple programing environment to add your own additional software, modify the basic environment (wallpaper, sounds, security protection, etc.), and otherwise make it your own. It comes pre-bundled with some very powerful software, like FileZilla, The Gimp, and NVU Portable. Then it gives you some more build-your-own tools, like Virtual Dub and WinMerge. My favorite bit, is it is dirt simple to add your own open-source programs to the arsenal; see the Development Guide for specifics.

Future music from past equipment; Akihabara, the bleeding edge center of all thing Otaku, recently held an event called Silent Live. 8 bit chipsets from decades old game systems were the musical instruments, and if you wanted to join the party you had to bring your own pair of headphones to jack in to the audio. Some things you just have to do for the fun factor.

A 49 foot tall Giant Robo Asimo kicked off the 120th Rose Parade on New Years to help celebrate Honda’s 50th year in the US. Not as powerful as the Anime Giant Robo, but not as silly as the Live Action Giant Robo, this version was biodegradable and hydrogen powered for that green effect. Also not to be confused with the chain of art galleries banded together under the Giant Robo flag, like GR-SF, GR-NY, or the LA outlet, simply called GR2. And then there is the robot-building farmer…

Not only has the Turing Test been passed, but it was the IEEE who accepted the computer as a human, publised its paper, and asked it to chair a session at the CSSE (Computer Science and Software Engineering) 2008 Conference held a few weeks ago. Alan Turing proposed a test of intelligence as a replacement for the question “Can machines think?” back in 1950, and there is even an award, the Loebner Prize, for whoever pulls it off. The test itself is simple: if a conversation with the computer was indistinguishable from that with a human,the computer could be said to be thinking. The machine that generated the paper accepted by the world’s leading professional association for the advancement of technology was SCIgen – An Automatic CS Paper Generator, and this is not the first time it passed for human. This MIT-built program was also accepted to the 2005 WMSCI conference and has been published elsewhere; you can get details on its blog.