Cyborgs VS Androids

Bionics is the application of biological principals to the study and design of engineering systems (especially electronic systems).

A cyborg is a biological being who has certain physiological processes aided or controlled by mechanical or electronic devices. (See bionic man, bionic woman, bionics)

Cybernetics is the theoretical study of communication and control processes in biological, mechanical, and electronic systems, especially the comparison of these processes in biological and artificial systems.

So what’s this is saying I think is that a bionic leg is one that replicates a biological leg – when its attached to a human, the human becomes a cyborg or a bionic human. When you attach it to a robot, the robot is a step closer to becoming an android.

Asimov’s robots had a positronic brain which was suppose to replicate the functioning of the human brain which makes it a cybernetic device

Cyborg: any organism which has synthetic hardware which interacts directly with the brain, and alters the way it functions
Robot: a machine designed to perform a task
Android: a robot designed to mimic human behavior and/or appearance
Bionic: any organism which has mechanical or robotic hardware designed to augment or enhance the body

Now, lets look at some popular sci-fi characters and see which they are…

Star Trek’s “The Borg”
These are pretty much the definitive cyborgs. They have an extremely large amount of hardware implanted into their brains designed to change the way their brains work (efficiency, collective consciousness, etc.). But they are also extremely bionic. Cyborg, however, is the dominant designation, so they are classified as a cyborg.

Deus Ex’s “JC Denton”
It is hard to classify JC, since his brain is the player’s brain, and we have to cybernetics in our minds to change the way we think. However, if we decide that all of JC’s bionic implants are activated merely by JC’s will alone, we realize that his nanites are interacting directly with his brain, therefore potentially classifying him as a cyborg. If one could prove, however, that his implants are not activated by thought (but rather by a switch on his arm or hormones) then he becomes a bionic.

“The Terminator”
No, he’s not a cyborg. Living flesh added over a totally robotic being in order to make him appear human. He’s an android. There is no living tissue in his AI unit.

Star Trek’s “Data”
The definitive android, based directly from Issac Asimov’s original androids.

Star War’s “Darth Vader”
Since we never saw any evidence to believe that ol’ Darth had any cybernetics in his highly bionic body, we are forced to classify him as bionic.

AI’s “David”
This is definitely an android. Data is centuries more advanced, of course.

System Shock’s “Employee 2-4601”
The Hacker’s bio-neural interface makes him a true cyborg. He can hack a computer by plugging it into his temple and “thinking”.

System Shock 2’s Hero (Goggles)
Like JC, it’s hard to classify him, since I do not remember any hard evidence to support if or if not his augmentations interface directly with his brain. He does not enter cyberspace the same way his predecessor did, (remember?) Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I’d say he’s a cyborg as well.

The Matrix’s “Neo” (et al)
He (they) has hardware in his brain which allows his consciousness to interface directly with a computer network. Yes, he’s a cyborg.

The Ghost in the Shell Girl (I forget her name… )
Assuming that she does indeed have some biological cells in her brain left (something she had a bit of anxiety over), she’s a cyborg. However, if she does not – even if the entire rest of her body was organic (which we know not to be the case) she would become an android. In fact, one of the points of the movie was where to draw the line between human and machine … cyborg and android.

Star War’s “C-3pO” and “R2-d2”
Are they androids or robots? They can mimic (feel?) human emotions … so no matter how robotic they may look, they are androids. Droid is, after all, short for android.

System Shock’s “SHODAN”
Thought I’d throw this one in. Is she an android? Maybe … are robotic components required to make a synthetic being which mimics human behavior an android, or is it simply the capacity to mimic human behavior? Is SHODAN “alive?” Are any androids “Alive?”

System Shock’s “Cortex Reaver”
The Cortex Reaver is a rather unique cyborg, in that it does not use any part of the body other then the brain, it does not implant any hardware into the brain, and the brain which it uses, is dead. (For those of you who did not play Shock 1, whenever you die, SHODAN turns you into a Cortex Reaver, which is basically a huge spider-like being with a human head lodged in the center as the CPU … your head.) Considering all of this, is the Cortex Reaver truly a cyborg, or is it a robot?

Thief 2’s “Servants”
People, still living, or possibly animated corpses, with magical, or highly technological, masks which control them. Are they cyborgs? We don’t know enough about them to say.

“The Six Million Dollar Man”
How could I leave out the original bionic man?

“RoboCop”: Bionic


meaning of: OM MANI PADME HUM


“It is very good to recite the mantra Om mani padme hum, but while you are doing it, you should be thinking on its meaning, for the meaning of the six syllables is great and vast… The first, Om […] symbolizes the practitioner’s impure body, speech, and mind; it also symbolizes the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha[…]”
“The path is indicated by the next four syllables. Mani, meaning jewel, symbolizes the factors of method: (the) altruistic intention to become enlightened, compassion, and love.[…]”
“The two syllables, padme, meaning lotus, symbolize wisdom[…]”
“Purity must be achieved by an indivisible unity of method and wisdom, symbolized by the final syllable hum, which indicates indivisibility[…]”
Thus the six syllables, om mani padme hum, mean that in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha[…]”
—H.H. Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, “On the meaning of: OM MANI PADME HUM”[11]

Privileges of money independent democratized domain

The one thing that distinguishes software and IT is the money independent access to capabilities atleast for learning, if not always for using.

All one needs to learn anything is to simply look it up and there is always some free resources for acquiring that skill and some cloud provider offering free preview.

Such kind of setup needs to be replicated in other fields as well to truly democratize opportunity and open access.

rememberthemilk (RTM) app tips

TLDR: Read

Spent embarrassing amount of time customizing the RTM web app, which i’m using as my new task manager. Here are some tips:

  • This getting started guide is great:
  • Instead of adding dates and tags etc. to existing tasks manually, you can drag the task to preset date filters in sidebar or tag labels and add them that way easily.
  • Some of the important features like notifications and reminders on mobile and location based reminders are all pro features…
  • Their blog publishes tips and updates frequently:
  • At times the tasks don’t sync instantly between different machines. In such cases refreshing the app is the easiest option
  • Try the desktop app but I prefer web app as desktop one uses electron which is basically a web browser running the web app as native.
  • To enable desktop notifications, go in the app settings and enable it for desktop. The when the web app is open, chrome notifications should show up.
  • On Web, make sure the app is allows to show notifications using app:
    • Capture.JPG
  • You can subscribe to RSS feed of tasks as well
  • Prefer Tags over Lists. They are actually the same under the covers. As a rule always use one of these. Never Mix them. I always use Tags coz:
    • Multiple Tags can be added to a item allowing for deep hierarchies like if a item needs to be identified as belonging to X project and X2 sub-project, you can add both X and X2 tags to it.
    • Moreover, tags show up as pills on the item allowing easy visual identification
  • Smart Lists are best coz they allow mixing multiple attributes Eg. tag = “home” AND due = “today” for “Home Today” Smart List.
  • Moreover, when you add tasks in context of a smart list. the new task automatically has the attributes of the smart list set. Eg. If you add new task to the “Home Today” smart list described above, the new task will have  tag = “home” AND due = “today” attributes set on it automatically.
  • Add smart lists that you want to pin to top as your “Favourites”
  • As a rule, every scenario that can be described by a single attribute should be a “Tag” while multiple attributes should come together to form a “Smart List”
  • Use this to Hide rememberthemilk app logos
  • Use “location” for things like home/office instead of custom tags. This way you can use location reminders as well.
  • Use smart add features like @ for location and # for tag/list selection for quick add
  • when adding, time is interpreted automatically. So is date. Eg. “buy eggs at 4pm on fri” interprets 4pm and friday both.
  • Subtasks are pro feature so use Notes instead for the same thing
  • There are hidden smart list queries that aren’t exposed in friendly view Eg. “now” can be used as a dynamic value of any date attribute.
  • There’s a hidden “Undo Last Action” in the “…” menu that can be used repeatedly to undo past actions. Worst case, you can go to completed or deleted task list and sort by time to see recent mistakes and correct ’em.
  • For saving references/info which aren’t toDo items, the trick I use is to firstly create a tag for it called “info”. Then when I have to add a info item, I click on the smart list for it and then add it. This way the new task gets auto tagged as “info”. The hack is actually that I use the “No Due Date” to catch orphan tasks. But in that smart list, i’ve added filter to exclude items having “info” tag. This way they slip under that radar.
  • Use shift+? to see all possible shortcuts
  • You can enable sms notifications as well
  • Setup everything for minimal effort. For instance I had this smart list for “Home Today” and another for “Office Today” which was perfect coz I classify my tasks as home or office ones. I used to happily add location tag to every task. But then I realized that this would work out even if I change the “Home Today” query to all tasks NOT having “office” location tag. This way I’ll have to add location tag to only half the tasks going fwd. Awesome.
  • If you’re not sure what list/context you’re on, always goto All Tasks before adding new task. Else it’ll add the new task with the attributes of that list/tag. GA is shortcut for Going to “All Tasks” and T for adding new task. Infact you can type “gat” as if typing out a word.
  • When to create a tag?
    • Never do it upfront. Instead, if you find yourself repeating and searching same keyword over and over, then it makes sense to have it in a tag.
    • For instance I was writing buy this and buy that…and then searching for “buy” to figure out stuff to shop for. But then when I created “buy” tag and now I just say #buy when creating the same buy tasks and instead of searching, just click on buy tag label to find shopping list
  • Create recurring tasks to enforce  habits like:
    • read a new book every week
    • listen to one new artist everyday
    • do an online course every month etc.
  • For every section, you can choose to show only items with non zero tasks, to save clutter:
    • Capture.JPG
    • Setup smart lists for everything u want
    • favourite the smart lists that you use all the time. I maintain 3 daily task lists for 3 places i’m at at any time, home, office or outside. The 2 other favs I have are “Overdue” and “No Due Date” lists to identify orphan tasks and give them dates ASAP. These 2 lists disappear automatically coz I have selected “Show with incomplete” option shown in screenshot above, for my Favourites Group.
    • All other lists are in “Smart List” section where Show All Option is selected.
  • You can quickly “postpone” tasks by simple shortcut “P”
  • recursive tasks are easy to set as well. There are two kinds of repeating tasks in RTM, repeat every and repeat after.
    • Note that even if you postpone a instance of a recurring task, the next one is auto created for the original date and is unaffected by the fact the the previous instance was postponed
    • Also, when you change the date of a recurring task to date-time, all recurring tasks are created with the new date-time instead of old date.
    • Add Task: t
    • Smart Add:
      • Smart Add
        Start Date
        Due Date
        Give to
    • Find List:
      • gm: go to list
    • List View Actions:
      • J to get context to first item in list
      • J or K to move down and up the list.
      • I to select currently highlighted task
        • C to Complete
        • D to change it’s date
        • ShiftP to postpone by 1 day
        • Y to add note
        • L for location
        • S for tagS
      • H to switch Complete/Inc lists
  • Here’s how my sidebar looks like:
    • Capture.JPG

Autohotkey Script to share google photos album

Trigger this script after writing the album name:

Screenshot (13893).png

SetKeyDelay -1
Send +{Tab 5} 
Send {Enter} ;  to click the checkmark to save album
Send +{Tab 1}
Send {Enter} ;  to open the menu with album actions
Sleep, 2000
Send {Down 5} 
Send {Enter} ; to select the share album action
Sleep, 1000
Send {Tab}
Send {Space} ; to enable sharing
Sleep, 6000
Send {Tab 4} 
Send {Enter} ; to copy the album's shared link to clipboard