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4 posts from May 2010

May 27, 2010

Robots That Do Dishes - Soon To Be A REALITY!

Get me one... get me one....GET ME ONE..  

Those were the first words out my mouth after watching the videos and reading the stories about the Robot Graduation that happened yesterday in Silicon Valley. I understand that it will be some time before the Robots are ready for consumers, but I can wait!

OVERVIEW from the SFGate article in the Technology Chronicles section: "Touted as the first graduation party of its kind, Willow Garage in Menlo Park gave a big sendoff Wednesday evening to 11 robots worth more than $4 million.  The program is part of Willow Garage's effort to "get robots out of factories and into the real world," said Steve Cousins, president and CEO of Willow Garage. By "real world," Cousins means homes or other environments where personal robotics can assist in everyday life, such as folding laundry or helping seniors lift heavy objects."

The article also mentioned that the PR2s will be shipped off to mostly academic institutions around the world and that the robots come pre-installed with Willow Garage's free and open-source software platform, ROS.

VIDEO: Here is a video of the Robot Graduation

Here is a link to a video from Spectrum Mag that has interviews with some of the engineers - who explained the most important use of all for these robots "helping in the kitchen" (seriously - there is a big need for that).

Spectrum Mag's YouTube Channel:

I hope to be learning more about these robots, dreaming about them for many uses around my house and fascinated by the technology that runs behind the scenes. I even imagine that my three boys would have no problem listening to a robot ask them to clean their rooms, that is until they figure out how to re-program it to clean for them.

May 10, 2010

TwitterFreakout: Follower Counts Down To Zero - Then Restored

As the world is battling important issues such as the world financial crisis, oil spill and the recent Dow plunge - what may push social media types over the edge is what happened today: Twitter follower/following counts were set to 0.

Yes, I sent a tweet out, pushed enter then could not believe my EYES as I saw my follower count reset to 0.

After frantically searching on the Twitter support forum (which had no information) - I found the Twitter "support" Twitter ID that had updates:

1. "Following and follower counts are temporarily unavailable. You should still receive updates. We're working to resolve this." at around 10am.

2. The follower count reset was related to a bug they found which had the effect of "forced" following. A few minutes after that the bug was posted about in the Twitter status blog: http://status.twitter.com/post/587210796/follow-bug-discovered-remedied

I tweeted updates to my followers so they did not need to go through the shock that I experienced. Seeing the behavior of my tweeps (and myself), this made me think of the old saying ""If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?".

The modern equivalent of that is "If My Twitter count falls to 0, Do I exist?". This is a subject that can reflect modern society's dependence on social networking, which leads to many who now feel a connection between their "friend" or "follower" count and their self esteem.

Not that I feel that way.. Really.. OK! I DO and will feel calmer after my Twitter follower count is restored. I hope a get a few more followers out of this. If I just tweeted that, I would use the hashtag "#sadstateofaffairs. I may need to search out a Twitter follower loss support group after this.

My value add for Twitter has been connecting with an amazing community - that I ended up making many real life business connections from. I view Twitter as a place I share "whats going on" in my niche of parenting and technology and read what my followers are up to. So while I may joke about my Twitter addiction, I have seen real value from the site.♠

Conan O'Brien also shared my emotions with his tweet: "Twitter exploded today! I guess my dream of a world where Twitter runs our stock market, phones, and nuclear defense is still a ways off."

UPDATE: A short time after I posted this, Twitter restored follower counts and all is well (I do exist again - at least for now..).  Here is my Pearltree that summed up this morning's exciting Twitter events:

May 09, 2010

Mother's Day: Low Tech and High Tech Adventures

HIGH TECH - CARDS FOR GRANDMOM:

Last night we realized that we did not send Mother's Day cards to our out of town Grandmoms. So this morning I picked 2 digital pictures of my boys and created a Hallmark photo card and then we are going to finish that off with a fun audio card using Fotobabble.

LOW TECH - HANDMADE GIFTS FROM MY SONS:

This morning I had the fun of my three sons busting in the room to give me their homemade gifts. For Mother's Day, I always ask for something homemade.

  DSC_0064
One of my twin 7 year olds twin sons (J) made this framed card. I shared the story behind that in my post at my Silicon Valley Moms Blog.

  DSC_0063
My other twin 7 year old son (D) made a paper card that said "I Love You".

  DSC_0070
My tween son B played me a song on his guitar. His brother's J&D were dancing in the background. I see a brother's band coming up in the near future..

We missed our Grandmoms from far away - but had the fun of lunch with our local Grandmom. Dad cooked a vegetable and tofu stir fry inspired by Jamie Oliver for dinner. All the boys enjoyed it, mom was happy her boys were eating their veggies.

A perfect Mother's Day for me is a combination of low tech handmade gifts from my boys and some easy high tech ways to send cards to their grandmoms.

Being a mom is so yummy!

May 05, 2010

(Winners)Giveaway: 90 days MetroPCS $40 Wireless For All! Service plan and Samsung Messager™ II phone

**Winners of the phones were choosen and sent to MetroPCS.  Here is a link to the origina giveaway post

UPDATE: MetroPCS got back to confirm they are set to notify winners-  so here they are (Winners must live in the stated areas as explained in the rules, if not - a runner up will be choosen):

LA:  Delia, Tim Evans

Dallas: Ben Randolph , Melissa Cook

Miami:  RoPi , Marlyne Johnson 

San Francisco: Sherri J., William Henry

Las Vegas: Deborah Cartwright, Lily Kwan

Detroit:  Reine B., Ross R

Jacksonville : Sarah, nikromatt 

Sacramento: MOLLY CAPEL, Ben 

Atlanta: Mir, Steven Lindsey

Philadelphia: Brett David, Laura Blankenship

Tampa : Maria, Ruthie

NYC: Krista K, Dan B2

Orlando: Marci P

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