Fem-bot’s my love machine

A BOFFIN too busy to find real love has INVENTED his idea of the perfect woman – a female ROBOT.


Perfect couple … Le Trung with Aiko

Inventor Le Trung, 33, created Aiko, said to be “in her 20s” with a stunning 32, 23, 33 figure, shiny hair and delicate features.

She even remembers his favourite drink and does simple cleaning and household tasks.

“Fem-bot” Aiko, who has cost £14,000 to build so far, is a whizz at maths and even does Le’s accounts.

Le, a scientific genius from Brampton in Ontario, Canada, said he never had time to find a real partner so he designed one using the latest technology.

He said he did not build Aiko as a sexual partner, but said she could be tweaked to become one.


Odd pair … Le with his robot girlfriend

“Her software could be redesigned to simulate her having an orgasm and reacting to touch as if she is playing hard to get or being straight to the point,” he said.

The former software programmer has taken out credit cards and loans, sold his car and spent his life savings on perfecting the machine.

“I want to make her look, feel and act as human as possible so she can be the perfect companion,” said Le.

The odd looking pair go out for drives together in the Canadian countryside, before sitting down at the dinner table, but Aiko never eats anything.

Le said: “So far she can understand and speak 13,000 different sentences in English and Japanese, so she’s already fairly intelligent.

“When I need to do my accounts, Aiko does all the maths. She is very patient and never complains.”

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Google Earth accused of aiding terrorists


Aerial photographs of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre on Google Earth

An Indian Court has been called to ban Google Earth amid suggestions the online satellite imaging was used to help plan the terror attacks that killed more than 170 people in Mumbai last month.

A petition entered at the Bombay High Court alleges that the Google Earth service, “aids terrorists in plotting attacks”. Advocate Amit Karkhanis has urged the court to direct Google to blur images of sensitive areas in the country until the case is decided.

There are indications that the gunmen who stormed Mumbai on November 26, and the people trained them, were technically literate. The group appears to have used complex GPS systems to navigate their way to Mumbai by sea. They communicated by satellite phone, used mobile phones with several different SIM cards, and may have monitored events as the siege unfolded via handheld Blackberry web browsers.

Police in Mumbai have said the terrorists familiarised themselves with the streets of Mumbai’s financial capital using satellite images, according to the sole gunman to be captured alive. The commandos who stormed the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai said the militants had made a beeline for the building’s CCTV control room.

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The 10 big energy myths

There has never been a more important time to invest in green technologies, yet many of us believe these efforts are doomed to failure. What nonsense, writes Chris Goodall

Myth 1: solar power is too expensive to be of much use

In reality, today’s bulky and expensive solar panels capture only 10% or so of the sun’s energy, but rapid innovation in the US means that the next generation of panels will be much thinner, capture far more of the energy in the sun’s light and cost a fraction of what they do today. They may not even be made of silicon. First Solar, the largest manufacturer of thin panels, claims that its products will generate electricity in sunny countries as cheaply as large power stations by 2012.

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Meditation May Protect Your Brain

Research is confirming the medicinal effects that advocates have long claimed for meditation.

For thousands of years, Buddhist meditators have claimed that the simple act of sitting down and following their breath while letting go of intrusive thoughts can free one from the entanglements of neurotic suffering.

Now, scientists are using cutting-edge scanning technology to watch the meditating mind at work. They are finding that regular meditation has a measurable effect on a variety of brain structures related to attention — an example of what is known as neuroplasticity, where the brain physically changes in response to an intentional exercise.

A team of Emory University scientists reported in early September that experienced Zen meditators were much better than control subjects at dropping extraneous thoughts and returning to the breath. The study, “‘Thinking about Not-Thinking:’ Neural Correlates of Conceptual Processing During Zen Meditation,” published by the online research journal PLoS ONE, found that “meditative training may foster the ability to control the automatic cascade of semantic associations triggered by a stimulus and, by extension, to voluntarily regulate the flow of spontaneous mentation.”

The same researchers reported last year that longtime meditators don’t lose gray matter in their brains with age the way most people do, suggesting that meditation may have a neuro-protective effect. A rash of other studies in recent years meanwhile have found, for example, that practitioners of insight meditation have noticeably thicker tissue in the prefrontal cortex (the region responsible for attention and control) and that experienced Tibetan monks practicing compassion meditation generate unusually strong and coherent gamma waves in their brains.

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Pentagon hires British scientist to help build robot soldiers that ‘won’t commit war crimes’

“It sends a cold shiver down my spine. I have worked in artificial intelligence for decades, and the idea of a robot making decisions about human termination is terrifying.”
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The American military is planning to build robot soldiers that will not be able to commit war crimes like their human comrades in arms.


The Pentagon aims to develop ‘ethical’ robot soldiers, unlike the indiscriminate T-800 killers from the Terminator films

The US Army and Navy have both hired experts in the ethics of building machines to prevent the creation of an amoral Terminator-style killing machine that murders indiscriminately.

By 2010 the US will have invested $4 billion in a research programme into “autonomous systems”, the military jargon for robots, on the basis that they would not succumb to fear or the desire for vengeance that afflicts frontline soldiers.

A British robotics expert has been recruited by the US Navy to advise them on building robots that do not violate the Geneva Conventions.

Colin Allen, a scientific philosopher at Indiana University’s has just published a book summarising his views entitled Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right From Wrong.

He told The Daily Telegraph: “The question they want answered is whether we can build automated weapons that would conform to the laws of war. Can we use ethical theory to help design these machines?”

Pentagon chiefs are concerned by studies of combat stress in Iraq that show high proportions of frontline troops supporting torture and retribution against enemy combatants.

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Ocean currents can power the world, say scientists

A revolutionary device that can harness energy from slow-moving rivers and ocean currents could provide enough power for the entire world, scientists claim.


Existing technologies require an average current of five or six knots to operate efficiently, while most of the earth’s currents are slower than three knots Photo: AP

The technology can generate electricity in water flowing at a rate of less than one knot – about one mile an hour – meaning it could operate on most waterways and sea beds around the globe.

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Japan-U.S. missile defense test fails off Hawaii


A missile is launched from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship Chokai in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii November 20, 2008. (Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force/Handout/Reuters)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Japanese warship failed to shoot down a ballistic missile target in a joint test with U.S. forces Wednesday because of a glitch in the final stage of an interceptor made by Raytheon Co, a U.S. military official said.

The kinetic warhead’s infrared “seeker” lost track in the last few seconds of the $55 million test, about 100 miles above Hawaiian waters, said U.S. Rear Admiral Brad Hicks, program director of the Aegis sea-based leg of an emerging U.S. anti-missile shield.

“This was a failure,” he said in a teleconference with reporters. It brought the tally of Aegis intercepts to 16 in 20 tries.

The problem “hopefully was related just to a single interceptor,” not to a systemic issue with the Standard Missile-3 Block 1A, the same missile used in February to blow apart a crippled U.S. spy satellite, Hicks said.

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The cost of resisting China’s Big Brother

CHINA: Clampdown on activists who expose surveillance through new technology

“WE HAVEN’T seen you before. Which media are you from?” a middle-aged woman asked a tall man operating a video camera outside a Beijing court.

“I’m from an independent newspaper,” the videographer replied with a slight smile on his face. The woman and her friend, who were queueing to take documents into the court, chuckled after hearing a statement that they all knew was false. “He’s police,” one of the women said a few minutes later.

The exchange outside the Beijing No.1 Intermediate People’s Court was a rare moment of levity in the normally serious, sometimes violent business of monitoring and controlling rights activists, dissidents, independent religious leaders, separatists and others deemed a threat to China’s state security.

Related article: China: Police State 2.0 is Ready for Export

The plain-clothes police officer was taking footage of petitioners, journalists, lawyers and supporters of dissident Hu Jia, who was sentenced that day in April to three and a half years in prison for subversion. “Surveillance is both overt and insidious,” said Phelim Kine, a Hong Kong-based researcher for Human Rights Watch. Overt surveillance in China is used “both to intimidate, and as a lesson to the neighbours”, Kine said.

Hu won the EU’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought last month. He and fellow activist Gao Zhisheng were also nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Hu, 35, is the most prominent of a growing number of activists who have tried to reflect the intense glare of state surveillance back at those trying to monitor and control them.

The activists’ photographs, video, transcripts and diaries, usually distributed via the internet, have given outsiders rare glimpses into surveillance and abuses of power by China’s vast public security network. China tolerates some local activism but it confronts those who begin to operate at a national or international level. The relatively few national-level activists who have mastered the use of the internet and digital technology like Hu and his wife, Zeng Jinyan, are “desperately outnumbered” by the people watching them, Kine said.

“It tells you that those people like Hu Jia, who do master the technology and get the message out, are prey to retribution,” Kine. “What you see in China is that anyone who reaches a certain level of prominence, those people face serious consequences,” he said.

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