Friday, December 11, 2009

Intel, do tell

I know I said no more meta posts, but just a quick explanation. I had a death in the family (second in a month), which happened literally the day after I posted last. So, things have been exceptionally crazy.

To tide you over, here is one of the more trumpeted pieces of BCI news.

Apparently Intel is now in the techno-voodoo-Kurzweilian prediction business, because they're saying we'll all be controlling our computers with brain signals by, and I quote, "2020". What's better is that they are basing this claim on fMRI findings. Is this reasonable, I mean, are we really that close to this amazing new world? In a word: OMGWTFNONONO. A) No one is going to wait a week for their BCI to magnetize. B) MRI requires that the whole head be subjected to a strong magnetic field, which means a gigantic, neck crushing apparatus. C) Power. Unless we are all driving out own buses filled with batteries, not even close. D) MRI. Magnets. Computers. Railroad spikes. Manhole covers. Nuff said. E) Temporal fidelity. Imagine playing a game with 400-500ms lag. That's also assuming there are massive improvements in processing and predictive algorithms, because right now it is between 3-10 SECONDS (deCharms, 2007). F) Consumer tech will push for better interaction, not more exotic. If I can control a mouse with my arm, why get a BCI that does worse? Things like multitouch at least provide something new beyond simple 2D control. G) Just, just... *facepalm*

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Back on the attack

Ah, that's what I needed. A little reprieve from the guilt of being a bad blogger and not updating the site on a totally self-imposed schedule does wonders. So, as I slowly get back into the swing of things, including my RSS feeds, postings will become more frequent.

Right now I have two advisees, a bunch of MatLab code, and a #$*@-ton of neural data to attend to, so this is a quick announcement that DNI lives on.

Super Paper Friday will hopefully resume next week, since I need to migrate and sync all my paper lists, and catch up on the past 6 months or so. I'll also be sticking with Mendeley for citation management, but also post an EndNote file to my public DropBox.

A few random other personal things...

Great to meet folks at SfN! Ah, Chicago. And to the person that gave me swine flu, I wish nothing but the worst for you! j/k, though no idea who it was. I ended up staying with family an extra few days in Chicago because I was too sick to fly. Thankfully the bug hit on the last day of the conference. If you got sick, don't blame me! Our whole lab was a sea of virus shedding nerd phlegm, it was a pretty widespread thing.

Windows 7 is spiffy. Installed it on 4 PCs and they're all popping along pretty happily. 64-bit Business edition. No driver issues with any of the 11-ish devices I have here (list at bottom of post), x58 chipset (x2), Core2Duo laptop, and G45 chipset (x1). Matlab's happy, installed (but haven't messed with) Visual Studio 2010 Public Beta, PeerBlock being all PeerBlocky (replacement for PeerGuardian that has a signed driver, meaning no more booting in Test Mode). Performance is slightly better than Vista on computational stuff, but where 7 really blows away Vista is in I/O. In Vista, you'd boot and then your hard drive would be thrashing for 20 minutes after on some mysterious process of no consequence - even on my RAID 0 Velociraptors. In 7 you boot, and, like a normal computer, everything loads and settles down after 30 seconds (even on my laptop's 5400rpm HDD). Only two programs gave me trouble: Instant Eyedropper (gets values of colors anywhere on the screen), and Eraser 6 beta (secure file deletion program - haven't tried the stable v5 yet). Other than that, about 30-40 other programs launched and worked fine during the minimal testing I did.

So, posts will be forthcoming. Apologies for being all meta again.

(Devices: Logitech: G19 keyboard w/ color LCD, G9 mouse, Illuminated keyboard, G13 Gamepad, Quickcam 9000, Quickcam Pro for Notebooks. iPod Classic, iPhone, Wacom Bamboo tablet, Connexion3D SpaceNavigator, Gateway docking station.)