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May 25, 2006

Thoughts on Robotic Artificial Intelligence

Ok, this is really cool. I found this video link awhile back that was published by the BBC, and had bookmarked it for it had really intrigued me. Many of you may have seen this already as it has been out for some time. An inventor created robotic fish using modern technology of artificial intelligence and displayed them at the London aquarium. These fish can move and operate on their own, and their movements are so realistic that they swim like real fish! How cool is that!

Remember about ten years ago when the Tamagachi pet craze was happening? They were selling out like crazy and I recall running to the store to buy a couple of them, one to give as a gift and the other for myself. If you’re not familiar with the Tamagatchi pet, this was a small egg-shaped video game ($10US) where you get to raise a virtual pet from the time it hatches from its egg to the day it dies of old age in about 2-weeks. You didn’t know what was going to hatch, whether it was going to be a boy or girl, whether it was going to be cute or ugly, or even if the personality of this thing was going to be shy or outgoing. It was like having your own kid!

The purpose of this gizmo was to raise your pet how you would a real child. There were regular feedings, regular diaper changings, and even regular playtimes. If you took good care of your pet it would be happy and grow up well, but if you neglected it, it’s personality would change to be mean and grumpy, and the pet would eventually die. You were graded on its 2-week life cycle…

It was such as chore to take care of this thing, and I remember 5-days into it I had a happy pet who got regular feedings, diaper changes and play time. I felt like the best parent in the world! That was until I accidentally dropped the gizmo onto the ground causing it to reset! I felt horrible! I had killed my Tamagatchi! But after all that work, that was it, I had decided to just put it away… This was my Tamagatchi experience.

In Japan a few years ago, came the development of the Sony AIBO, a robotic dog with a cult-like following. The AIBO had movement like a real dog, and like the Tamagatchi, grows up over time depending on how its care taker interacted of it. The AIBO was such a hit, that there are many websites devoted to its followers. The only drawback is the price, which can cost up to $10,000 US. Just recently, Sony pulled the plug on the AIBO.

So, we’ve progressed from robotic eggs, dogs, and fish. It’ll only be a matter of time before the first robotic human is built, with the capabilities to stand and sit on 2-feet, and to have the ability to hold a conversation. I guess this’ll be a good thing, If anything, we’ll at least be able to use the carpool lane!

May 24, 2006

All About Mike

Alright, if you are reading this, then apparently you want to know a little bit about me...

I'm fairly new to the X10 world and love the fact that I am learning new things about X10 everyday. I've been a web producer for over 10 years, working on many startup projects ranging from eZines, Informative sites, and even business sites.

My background is in the Customer Service area, and i've been told that I am a good communicator. I earned my BA in Communication at Western Washington University in 1999, with a strong emphasis in the Technology field. I love organized speech, and especially presentation using electronic media.

In 2002, I don't know what came over me, but I decided to go back to school to earn my Master's in Education Technology. I graduated from Lesley University in 2004, and am now working many hours to pay off my humongous student loans bills. Man, am i poor! People keep telling me that I should go into teaching, but if you think I am poor now, imagine if I became a teacher!

Well, i've been with X10 for just over a month now. I'm enjoying my time here and am also learning new things along the way. I've been asked to head up, and am also handling the Affiliates Department.

I've worked in the Airline Industry as a Customer Service Instructor, and have also worked in the fundraising field as an Account Executive. I am always looking for exciting challenges!

For fun, I enjoy both watching and playing sports, and am also an aspiring Glamour Photographer, working with models, musicians, and bodybuilders to assist them with their aspirations.

I guess, that's basically me in a nutshell. Check out my blog, and I hope you enjoy what I have to say!


May 23, 2006


I’m at work today pondering several things as I perform my daily tasks. Each day I log into my email system, and every time I have a bazillion emails waiting for me, the majority being spam. Here's a thought, imagine some type of technology where each time a spammer sends you an email you can press a button on your keyboard and send that person a shock through the computer! Now that would be the ultimate device!

I guess that kind of leads me through my topic. I was just wondering about what types of breakthrough inventions that are left to be discovered? Not just things that people have a "want" for, like the Pet Rock, but things that become a "need" in life and have the capability to truly change the world?

Nowadays, just about everyone has access to a computer, whether by purchasing or even using one at the public library. The computer has become such a part of our daily life that even our language has evolved to a point that everyone uses terms like e-mail, Internet, and World Wide Web, as part of their daily vocabulary and assumes that the person they are talking to knows what those words mean.

What life changing events are left to be discovered? Any ideas or guesses? Write to me at and share your thoughts.

May 22, 2006

What does the future of Home Automation look like?

According to many people I’ve talked to, home automation is still in its infancy stage. The development of x10 started about 30 years ago and has evolved since. Imagine into the future 30 years from now, when possibly all modern houses come standard with the capability to turn on a specific light when you walk into the room, then automatically turn off as soon as you walk out., or if your television automatically turns on while in the room then automatically shuts off when you leave.

Technology is already developing which allows your home to automatically temperature-control your house and each room through the use of timers. In the morning, your house can turn the heater on prior to you awakening, then turn off after you leave for work.

A great benefit to home automation is the savings in the cost of energy usage. As the cost of living increases, many people believe that home automation helps to control these rising costs.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service offers a great website in regards to the future of home automation. Here’s the link in case you were interested:

May 18, 2006

My Introduction to X10 technology

It wasn’t until very recently that I had the chance to understand what x10 technology was about. I had seen this type of stuff before, but only on television. Gadgets that can turn your lights on and off while not even being in the same room, that being just the basic of things. This type of stuff has always piqued my interest, but I had never had the opportunity to try them until recently.

The day I started working for x10, I was given a box full of product to mess around with, and the goal was to take the product home and see what I could make of it. I remember that the big boss’s instructions were pretty straightforward on how to start setting up, so by the end of the day I found myself walking out of the door with this full box, a set of oral instructions, and a somewhat confused look on my face!

I was trying to focus on my task by trying to remember what the big boss had told me, but all I could recall when I got home was “After you hook up the doohickey to the watchamacalit and then plug into the thingamajig, that’ll tell your coffee pot to tell the refrigerator to tell the microwave that it’s time to wake up!”

I unloaded the box and found myself playing with the modules, transmitters, and receivers, making crazy things happen to my house. Lights were flashing at the click of a button, and appliances were turning off and on like crazy. This was fun! And it wasn’t as difficult as it seemed. The cool thing, I started to think of innovative ways to be creative and was even able to test some of the thoughts that would pop into my head.

Now with a little bit of a background, I have made it my mission to talk about some of the things I am able to accomplish. I know many of you are experts in this kind of thing so may have ideas that work better that what I discover. But this is the great thing about technology, there are more ways get a result than we can think of!

I’m looking forward to hearing from many of you. I’ll be posting many of the ideas I encounter, and am especially looking forward to reading about those of you who have found a creative side too.

Stay Tuned