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Animal Communication: What do we know ?

A recent workshop on Analyzing Animal Vocal Sequences provided some illuminating views of what we know and what we don't know about animal communication. In particular one notes the increased use of Machine Learning algorithms that are currently used to make sense of human interactions on the web. Talks at the workshop included:Unraveling dolphin communication complexity, Singing isn't just for the birds, Automated identification of bird individuals using machine learning, A receiver's perspective on analyzing animal vocal sequences, Animal communication sequence analysis using information theory, Machine learning for the classification of animal vocalizations and Information theoretic principles of human language and animal behavior
posted by IgorCarron on Jan 25, 2014 - 12 comments

 

Go home, Duolingo, you are drunk.

Weird Duolingo Phrases (SLTumblr). [more inside]
posted by Elementary Penguin on Aug 29, 2013 - 34 comments

So Much Blood

Japan's gory horror comedies. [more inside]
posted by dortmunder on Jul 18, 2013 - 13 comments

It will have 10-20 failures and two successes. That's my hypothesis.

7-year old Audri builds a Rube Golberg machine to trap a monster. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Apr 23, 2013 - 42 comments

Tell 'em Big Bertha sent ya!

Meet Bertha, the world's largest underground tunnel boring machine that will soon begin digging a controversial roadway underneath downtown Seattle, similar to Boston's Big Dig
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 2, 2013 - 36 comments

Stop it. Stop it! STOP IT!!

Useless Machine: Advanced Edition [slyt] [via (with a how to)]
posted by quin on Dec 24, 2012 - 8 comments

i could do it all day

If you like watching other people work, you are going to love the YouTube channels of Myfordboy, Keith Fenner and Tubal Cain. [more inside]
posted by DU on Dec 12, 2012 - 11 comments

More Machine Now Than Bird

120 years ago, in Paris, Blaise Bontems made a mechanism for reproducing birdsong. More recently, Michael Start restored it to working condition and recorded a video. [more inside]
posted by gilrain on Dec 6, 2012 - 8 comments

Answer on Back

Flash cards are an effective study aid because they are founded on the principles of rote and memorization. With Flashcard Exchange | Study Stack and Flashcard Machine, you can use web-based flashcard makers to create, share, export and print flashcards to assist your studying.
posted by netbros on Oct 28, 2012 - 26 comments

Kyle McDonald Explains FaceTracker

FaceTracker is an example of a complex technique that builds on top of a series of computer vision, image processing, and machine learning functions in order to achieve its result. Here's an interview with Kyle McDonald, artist and researcher in New York with a background in computer science and philosophy. He released FaceOSC, a tool for prototyping face-based interaction. Kyle has a growing body of work that uses face tracking in an artistic context, notably Face Substitution.
posted by netbros on Jun 2, 2012 - 12 comments

The ternary calculating machine of Thomas Fowler

The ternary calculating machine of Thomas Fowler. And electromechanical calculating machines from the 1960s.
posted by Wolfdog on May 28, 2012 - 11 comments

Dialing Back

Hear how popular music has changed from 1940 to today with the Radio Time Machine. Choose a year and hear samples of songs from the top of the Billboard 100 (or full songs if you're logged in to Rdio).
posted by jocelmeow on May 7, 2012 - 19 comments

Dissecting OV's 103, 104 and 105.

Orbiter Autopsies "What NASA will learn from dissecting Space Shuttles Atlantis, Discovery, and Endeavour" before they transition into retirement. (From the May 2012 issue of Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine.)
posted by zarq on Mar 23, 2012 - 13 comments

The Chinese Typewriter

As you can see, the [Chinese] typewriter is extremely complicated and cumbersome. The main tray — which is like a typesetter's font of lead type — has about two thousand of the most frequent characters. Two thousand characters are not nearly enough for literary and scholarly purposes, so there are also a number of supplementary trays from which less frequent characters may be retrieved when necessary. What is even more intimidating about a Chinese typewriter is that the characters as seen by the typist are backwards and upside down! [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Feb 27, 2012 - 43 comments

Crashed Spitfire machine guns fired after 70 years buried in Ireland

Machine guns still firing, 70 years later. The BBC's Dan Snow joins in an dig in Ireland to uncover a Spitfire mk2, hoping to find one o the machine guns in reasonable conditions. They find six, and then it's time to see if they still work. Okay so they stripped the six to rebuild just one good one, and used modern .303 calibre ammo as opposed to the ammo in the ground, but hey. 70 years and still spitting fire. Of course the WWII in me will point out that the mk V's Hispano cannons were far more effective, but hey, that's not romantic enough for a modern news bulletin.
posted by ewan on Nov 10, 2011 - 19 comments

Google's Self-Driving Car, a Presentation

Here's a really cool presentation on how Google's self-driving car works: Part 1, History. Part 2, Implementation. Part 3, Use Case [more inside]
posted by odinsdream on Nov 8, 2011 - 55 comments

New Jersey Time Machine

If you live in New Jersey, you can see what your home and the surrounding area looked like from above in the year 1930.
posted by candasartan on Sep 19, 2011 - 25 comments

A Whack of Mousetraps

2D Photography Rube Goldberg. SLYT. 4.13 [more inside]
posted by bwg on Jul 23, 2011 - 16 comments

No, not that one...

More recently, Wilson has drawn fan and media attention for his thick, black beard and eccentric behavior. There's a relatively strange baseball player called Brian Wilson. [more inside]
posted by SomaSoda on Jul 14, 2011 - 63 comments

Polargraph

A polargraph is a drawing machine that uses a dual-polar coordinates system. It was created by programmer, designer, and maker Sandy Noble. See the webcame here. More pictures on Computerlove.
posted by shakespeherian on Jul 7, 2011 - 2 comments

Machinations

Henning Lederer's Machinatorium features art and animation of pictograms and other abstractions of the human form. Lederer is also known for animating Fritz Kahn's classic poster Der Mensch als Industriepalast.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jun 21, 2011 - 3 comments

The Clock in the Mountain

Kevin Kelly describes how a clock designed to run for 10,000 years will function and the efforts behind its creation and building.
posted by reenum on Jun 18, 2011 - 73 comments

This week in love

This week in love: the winning submission of the NYT's now-annual college Modern Love essay contest, the 2011 US pole dance champion (probably NSFW), and a Japanese kissing machine in development.
posted by wpenman on May 3, 2011 - 16 comments

Eight Minutes of Nothing But Balls

Lego Great Ball Contraption. (YouTube). Not enough balls? Try this one. (YouTube) More about Great Ball Contraptions: one two
posted by Legomancer on Apr 21, 2011 - 31 comments

IOU Blue

The IOWEYOU project. You can't go to a shop and buy these clothes. Because each textile is unique they have an app that allows you to trace your garment right back through the production process to the actual weaver that hand-wove the fabric. You can see some of the delightful people involved in the project at their YouTube channel.
posted by unliteral on Apr 12, 2011 - 18 comments

Round and round

A perpetual motion machine based on the improbable physics of Escher's Waterfall.
posted by logicpunk on Feb 16, 2011 - 72 comments

Feed me! Feeeeed Me.

What does the future of electricity hold? Microbial Fuel Cells? How about a carnivorous clock?
posted by The Whelk on Feb 10, 2011 - 19 comments

Defense firms lure retired generals

From the Pentagon to the private sector - In large numbers, and with few rules, retiring generals are taking lucrative defense-firm jobs [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 10, 2011 - 56 comments

The processes that process food before food becomes processed food

Various harvesting machines: Plum. Cucumber. Potato. Chicken. Green bean. Cherry. Asparagus. Tree. Sugarcane. Tomato. Coal. Carrot (another view.) Grape. Onion. Pecan. Watermelon. Chestnut.
posted by twoleftfeet on Dec 29, 2010 - 29 comments

"Don't say 'reflected acoustic wave'. Say 'echo'."

Richard Feynman and The Connection Machine [more inside]
posted by A dead Quaker on Sep 27, 2010 - 28 comments

.

The Menstruation Machine: an invention created by artist Hiromi Ozaki. "As a female designer I had one big problem I wanted to solve. "It’s 2010, so why are humans still menstruating?" "Fitted with a blood dispensing mechanism and lower-abdomen-stimulating electrodes, the Menstruation Machine is a device which simulates the pain and bleeding of an average 5 day menstruation process of a human (As a female designer I have done my best to simulate my own, at least)." Also: Menstruation Machine - Takashi's Take is a music video about a boy ‘Takashi’, who builds the menstruation machine in an attempt to dress up as a female, biologically as well as aesthetically, to fulfill his desire to understand what it might feel like to be a truely 'girly' girl. He determinedly wears the machine to hang out with his kawaii friend in Tokyo, but…"
posted by Fizz on Aug 14, 2010 - 83 comments

Steve Durnin's D-Drive

Steve Durnin's D-Drive is a fascinating new infinitely-variable transmission that doesn't use friction components or a clutch of any kind. Video of a prototype with detailed explanations is included.
posted by odinsdream on May 15, 2010 - 44 comments

Read-Write-Erase

A Turing Machine [SLYT]. [more inside]
posted by daniel_charms on Apr 24, 2010 - 41 comments

Oh The Inhumanity

Andrew Levy reviews a lot of food in a little time. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Inhuman Eating Machine!
posted by Mountain Goatse on Mar 23, 2010 - 18 comments

Dog and cat washing machine

Dog and cat washing machine (SLYT)
posted by water bear on Mar 20, 2010 - 50 comments

More Than a Best Friend

Are you using the full potential of your dog? Dog-powered cars, then and now. Dog-powered scooters, bikes, and skateboards (previously). Churn butter. Drive sewing machines. Turn roasting spits. Power your home or vehicle with dog poop biofuel. Pull a cart with your dog. Ride your dog. Monkey riding a dog.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Mar 7, 2010 - 36 comments

Crankin'

Antique Circular Sock Knitting Machines [more inside]
posted by Chrischris on Feb 24, 2010 - 23 comments

I Spy a Peek-a-fail!

Animals often fail at games. [more inside]
posted by Cold Lurkey on Feb 12, 2010 - 21 comments

Existance is futile

Let's start the year off right with The Most Useless Machine Ever!. AKA The BEST Machine Ever! via [more inside]
posted by Cat Pie Hurts on Jan 1, 2010 - 49 comments

cooking with contraptions

Top 10 Food-Based Rube Goldberg Machines (videos) If this type of food preparation is too elaborate for your tastes, the Super-Fast Pancake-Sorting Flexpicker Robot might be more to your style.
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 27, 2009 - 31 comments

ATM card skimmer removed and examined

In the Netherlands somebody has removed an ATM card skimmer and examined it in detail. This site is in Dutch only, but appears to show high resolution photos of an ATM card skimmer with integrated PIN-capturing video camera.
posted by thewalrus on Apr 8, 2009 - 55 comments

Felix's Machines

Felix's Machines look like someone took a sledgehammer to a player piano. They thump and plink out electronic compositions, embodying Felix Thorn's concept of musical performance without a performer. Perforations is a free album of machine performances put together by Eileen Simpson and Ben White of the Open Music Archive, based on out-of-copyright piano rolls. (also available)
posted by carsonb on Apr 2, 2009 - 14 comments

Type Writin' Beats

QWERTY rock. [more inside]
posted by dhammond on Feb 27, 2009 - 25 comments

What Good Is Half A Machine?

One of the classic arguments against evolution by natural selection is "what good is half an X?" where X is an eye, a wing or some other complex body part or system. Directly responding to the implicit challenge some researchers have been not just figuring out how X could have evolved, but actually evolving new complex machines (previously). The basic ideas are so simple that web versions (explanation and discussion) have been popping up.
posted by DU on Dec 9, 2008 - 67 comments

Incredibeta

Incredibots. Make crazy machines! Solve puzzles! Share with your friends! And that's just the beta. Similarly [more inside]
posted by DU on Nov 13, 2008 - 36 comments

Theatres of Machines

Database Machine Drawings - Early modern machine drawings from the late Middle Ages up to 1650. Traced by engineers (or by their order), some are inscrutable, others Escherian.
posted by tellurian on Aug 15, 2008 - 18 comments

Not to be confused with the Glooper.

The Phillips Machine, also known as the Moniac, is a early analog computer for economic modeling with an unusual twist: all of the computation is done by water flowing through its pipes. The flows represent taxes, income, and so on, and the chambers represent balances held by various bodies. Floats attached to pens can provide graphical output such things as GDP and interest rates, and valves can be opened and shut to change the state of the system in real time. You can listen to a BBC radio segment on the origin of Phillips machine, or see a demonstration of one of the only extant working models at the University of Cambridge. [more inside]
posted by Upton O'Good on May 24, 2008 - 12 comments

Crank the beat. Place the beat. Glitch the beat.

You say you don't like drum machines? Well, here's one even the staunchest Luddite has gotta love. Or you might like some of the recent experiments in making the interfaces more physical. And surely you'll admit this one's really very charming. Wanna go non-Western? Get yer talas out with this tabla machine. It'll be only a matter of time, then, till you get into the whole classical Hindustani gitchtronica thing, which is what the cool kids are into. [NOTE: see hoverovers for link descriptions]
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 7, 2008 - 22 comments

Ball! Ball! Ball! Ball!

Jerry the Dachshund + Ball Machine = Quality Entertainment SLYT. That is all.
posted by miss lynnster on Apr 12, 2008 - 45 comments

Vroom tick tick tick vroomvroom

Miniature motorcycles, made from watch parts. [via It's Knuttz]
posted by mediareport on Jun 28, 2007 - 17 comments

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