Thursday, December 22, 2005

Robot is self-aware?

According to a Japanese scientist, they have created a robot that may be regarded as 'self-aware' or recognizes itself and distinguishes from others. If this is true artificial intelligence (AI) then this is a big step indeed. The article in the Discovery Channel News said that:
The ground-breaking technology could eventually lead to robots able to express emotions.

Under development by Junichi Takeno and a team of researchers at Meiji University in Japan, the robot represents a big step toward developing self-aware robots and in understanding and modeling human self-consciousness.

I sure hope this is a positive thing that could genuinely help humanity and not become a nightmarish situations as espoused by the horrific scenarios in sci-fi movies like The Matrix or Terminator.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Black Eyed Peas London concert

Black Eyed Peas concert tickets
I'm still buzzing from the great time we had in the Black Eyed Peas' London concert tonight that I thought I just had to blab about it. Although I like a number of BEP's songs I'm not really into it as my two older kids (14 & 13 yo). I was thinking I'm just going there to be a chaperone but no, I did enjoy it more than them. And I even outlasted them both, by about 10:30 PM my daughter was already complaining she's tired while I was still raring to go. Hah! they did not reckon their mum was a veteran party goer. ;)

The concert hall was packed to the rafters. I was sheepishly looking at other concert goers in case I was the only middle aged one. I need not have worried, there were a number of oldies plus lots of kids even younger than mine. The crowd was great, responsive and was almost consistently on their feet singing and dancing to the music.

The show was fantastic, not only were the music and the singing/rapping very very good but I didn't know they all could dance very well. (the Pinoy one) could really break dance then Fergie did a belter while doing several one-handed somersaults - wow!! I really really love their show. But what made it more special for me is when Apl rapped 'Bebot' - their all-Tagalog song! I just want to say to Apl - I AM SO SO PROUD OF YOU, man!!! Unlike some Pinoy performers who chose to ignore or hide their heritage, this man celebrates and flaunts it. Well done, Apl, I know this is redundant but - I'm so proud singing/rapping that song at the top of my lungs! I know I know, my kids were cringing saying I was embarassing them but really, I couldn't care less.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Water of Life

I’ve always believed that plants react to their environment including people and their prevailing emotions. Several times when I was in high school I experimented with my mother’s plants talking everyday for several weeks to one plant while ignoring the other identical plants in identical pots sited on the same place in the yard. The one I talked to without a doubt looked more lush, healthier, and grew faster than the rest. After about 2 months I stopped talking to it and it sort of regressed to the same average state as the others.

Now in Jaime Licauco’s column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, he discusses not just the effect on plants of human thoughts and emotions but also of a Japanese research on the effect in water. Yes, that’s right – water. Click here for the full article.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

And Now the End Is Near

We’ve been handed our marching papers today so officially my last day of work should be 8th of March 2006 (I have 3 months’ notice period). But my very last day of being here on site would be 23rd December. After that none of us are required to come in to work.

*sigh* Such an ignomious end to a 10-year tour of duty in this company. Despite knowing for about 2 years, since it was taken over by a large banking group, that we had to go most of us are still kinda wistful in leaving this company. We surely are gonna miss the heyday of our IT dept. The time when we didn’t have enough man power and resources to fill our growing business requirements, the time when our customer base were soaring, the time when everybody was eager to work towards a lofty goal – to be the very best company in our industry.

Our old CEO was very charismatic and he was in the thick of things. You often saw him walking around talking to people and he took time to listen to gripes and complaints. There were certainly problems and troubles, afterall there’s no such thing as a perfect company. However, a lot of our former colleagues who’re now employed in other firms often say that our old company was the best working environment they’ve been in. Certainly among us IT people, there was this palpable feeling of trust from the business people that we will do all we can to help them in the resources available to us because ultimately that was our role – to support the business. Unlike a lot of IT people I know who keep dissing users and generally want them all to go away. The work environment that I recall was that in say projects – the budget, resources, and deadline are all agreed with all parties. After that we were generally left to get on with the work. Not many managers micro manage their staff. It’s one of the reasons why most of us are multi skilled. Sometimes one may be resolving some technical issues with an intranet server when his main job was project management – that sort of thing.

Well so much for my reminiscing. I’ve got to wake up to the truth that I have to find work again. One thing I hate about it is the interviews. It just gives me the jitters so much so that often I get mental block especially in technical interviews. And god help me if it’s a panel one. Once someone asked me something about ‘triggers’ and for the life of me I couldn’t remember a thing while just the day before I was using it! Duh! Then one time I kept on nodding while the interviewer chatted on and then he stopped he was waiting for me. It turned out he was asking a question and just kept on nodding. Hehehe. Must be because of his heavy Indian accent. I think I have to learn to relax, yeah right relax … just don’t let my mind drift to the fact that if I don’t land a job my kids would be starving – talk about pressure.

These days I just quote the US $1 bill – In God We Trust. :)