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June 3rd, 2008

Plugging in (while you can)

One thing with travelling a lot; you quickly appreciate the simplicity of USB as a generic charging technology. I don't need to carry several adapters in my already bulging luggage, and with one charger I can now provide power to my phones, my iPods and my voice recorders.

If I fly through Columbus Airport, I don't even need that charger...

The laptop stations at the gates offer USB power along with standard mains outlets.

Airport USB chargers

Now that's what I call quite useful.

Meet the BallmerBot

The BallmerBot joined Bill Gates on stage at his last public keynote here in Orlando earlier today.

Developed by UMass Amherst and using Microsoft's Robotics Studio as a development platform, the robot uses dynamic balancing to stay upright on its two oversized wheels. The hands are able to grasp most objects, and even throw a baseball (or an egg...). It also was one of the few attendees at the conference that flew in first class. The development team don't want it to go wherever Philip K. Dick's head went...

It's an impressive piece of work. What's more impressive is that the software components can be reused by the next generation of hardware...

The BallmerBot

The BallmerBot

I wonder if I could get one to do the dusting? It'd go well with the Roomba...

It's just a little disturbing when it wanders around chanting "Developers! Developers! Developers!"