ICub

I just love this little guy – ICub. It’s part of a EU program for cognitive learning, here some examples of what ICub is able to do:

ICub pouring cereals in a cup:

Visual competencies:

Fear conditioning:

Learning to scribble

Video

Good news from the conspiracy department

Although being usually not very interested in conspiracy theories, this one did catch my attention. Anonymous claims to have prevented Karl Rove from “stealing the election” like he supposedly did in 2004.

First anonymous announced that they would watch the involved IT infrastructure:

Now, after the election, which Obama won, anonymous claims to have put password protected firewalls on the tunnels which would have been used to reroute election numbers to servers they could be manipulated at. This reroute would have happened while a backup/restore operation due to a crash of the official election servers (which did happen) – if I understand the letter by anonymous correctly.

www.velvetrevolution.us/images/Anon_Rove_Letter.pdf

Copy on wordpress

It seems to some people that said Karl Rove had a ‘meltdown’ on Fox News at the time when the number were supposed to be fixed:

personally I can’t see a meltdown, but then I don’t know how Karl Rove appears under other circumstances and thus can’t really judge if that is a meltdown or not.

If the claim by anonymous is true,  this must be one of the best hacks that became public I would know of. However, without any evidence provided by anonymous, it’s just a beautiful story of hackers that saved democracy.
More info and speculation can be found here:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/17/1162678/-Anonymous-claims-it-stopped-Karl-Rove-from-hacking-the-vote

http://www.salon.com/2012/11/20/did_anonymous_stop_rove_stealing_the_election/

http://www.examiner.com/article/anonymous-claims-to-have-affected-u-s-elections-through-hacking-gop-s-orca?CID=obinsite

Good news from the conspiracy department

Political software

Here are some nice articles about Narwhal and Orca, the IT systems of Democrats and Republicans, what they do, how they were tested and what happened on the election day:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/11/when-the-nerds-go-marching-in/265325/

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/12/1160632/–Orca-vs-Microtargeting

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/11/inside-team-romneys-whale-of-an-it-meltdown/

Two really good examples of how to develop/test software and how not to.

Political software

“Three Myths About Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix It”

Amazing things are happening, only to be retracted shortly after:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121116/16481921080/house-republicans-copyright-law-destroys-markets-its-time-real-reform.shtml

The document can also be downloaded

rsc_policy_brief_–_three_myths_about_copyright_law_and_where_to_start_to_fix_it_–_november_16_2012

“Three Myths About Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix It”