英語のニュースでお勉強。 知らない単語や表現を、こっそり調べてエラそうに説明してみるブログです。 元の記事から数日遅れることもありますので、ニュースとしては役に立たないこともある。IT系・技術系が主たる対象であります。


Here’s how to keep track of Elon Musk’s Roadster and Starman in space


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Elon Musk’s Starman, the mannequin driver of the Tesla Roadster SpaceX launched aboard its Falcon Heavy rocket, is taking a trip around our solar system, in a large elliptical orbit that will bring him relatively close to Mars, the Sun and other heavenly bodies. But how to track the trip, now that the Roadster’s onboard batteries are out of juice and no longer transmitting live footage?

イーロン・マスクのスターマンこと、SpaceXによりファルコン・ヘビーで打上げられたテスラ・ロードスターのマネキン・ドライバーが、現在、我々の太陽系を旅しています。彼は、火星や太陽や他の天体の比較的近いところまで行ける大きな楕円軌道に乗っています。 しかし、この旅をどうやって追跡しましょう。もはやロードスターに搭載されたバッテリーは切れており、ライブ映像は送信されて来ません。

Thanks to the work of Ben Pearson, a SpaceX fan and electrical engineer working in the aerospace industry, who created ‘Where is Roadster,’ a website that makes use of JPL Horizons data to track the progress of the Roadster and Starman through space, and to predict its path and let you know when it’ll come close to meeting up with various planets and the Sun.

SpaceXファンで宇宙航空産業で働く電気技師 Ben Pearsonは、JPL Horizonsデータを利用してロードスターとスターマンの宇宙の中の経路を予測して追跡し、様々な惑星や太陽に近づいてきた時、あなたに知らせてくれるウェブサイト「Where is Roadster」を作りました

The website tells you the Roadster’s current position, too, as well as its speed and whether it’s moving towards or away from Earth and Mars at any given moment. It’s not officially affiliated with SpaceX or Tesla, but it is something Elon Musk is apparently using to help remember where he parked his galactic ride.

このウェブサイトは、ロードスターの現在の位置と速度、またその瞬間に地球や火星へ向かっているのか離れているのかも、教えてくれます。 これはSpaceXやテスラと公式に提携していませんが、明らかにイーロン・マスクは、この銀河ドライブで、どこに駐車したかを思い出すために使用しています。

At least he can stop freaking out about leaving it onboard the Heavy just before launch.





Silicon Valley’s Singularity University Has Some Serious Reality Problems

  • It’s lost Google funding and dealt with allegations of assault and fraud.


The pitch was simple: Forget accredited graduate schools and think big at Singularity University. Google co-founder Larry Page and futurist Ray Kurzweil could be among your lecturers in the Graduate Studies Program at Singularity, named for the notion that humans will someday merge with machines. You’d work in a kind of combination think tank and startup incubator, trying to address challenges as grand as renewable energy and space travel. Kurzweil announced the program during a TED Talk in 2009, adding that the Singularity team had leased its campus from NASA, just east of the agency’s historic Hangar One in Mountain View, Calif. The team received 1,200 applications for its first class of 40 later that year.

ピッチは単純だった:認定された大学院は忘れてシンギュラリティ・ユニバーシティを大きく考えて下さい。 いつか人類は機械と融合するだろうという概念に名付けられた「シンギュラリティ」の卒業研究プログラムでは、あなたの講師の中に、グーグルの共同創業者ラリー・ペイジと未来学者レイ・カーツワイルがいたはずです。あなたは、再生エネルギーや宇宙旅行チャレンジといった壮大な挑戦をしながら、シンクタンクとスタートアップインキュベーターを組み合わせたようなところで働くことになるのです。カーツワイルは2009年のTEDトークで、このプログラムを発表し、シンギュラリティチームがNASAからキャンパスを借りたことも加えました。 キャンパスはカリフォルニア州マウンテン・ビューにある、この政府機関の歴史的なハンガー・ワン)のすぐ東です。 チームはその年の最初の40クラスに対して1200通の出願を受け取りました。

  • accredited - 認定された
  • lecturers - 講師
  • Graduate Studies - 大学院、卒業研究
  • notion - 概念
  • as grand as - 壮大な
  • applications - 出願という意味もあるそうです。

Reality hasn’t matched the hype. Previously unreported police files, other documents, and interviews with current and former students and staff paint the picture that almost from the beginning, some Singularity staffers weren’t able to curb their worst impulses. A teacher allegedly sexually assaulted a former student, an executive stole more than $15,000, a former staffer alleges gender and disability discrimination, and Singularity dismissed 14 of about 170 staffers and suspended GSP, now called the Global Solutions Program, after Google withdrew funding last year.

現実は誇大広告に合致しませんでした。 これまで報告されなかった警察の資料、他の文書、そして現在と元生徒や元職員のインタビューで、ほとんど最初から、何人かのシンギュラリティのスタッフは、彼らの最悪の衝動に歯止めをかけられなかったという図式を描いでいます。 元生徒に対する性的暴行の疑いをかけられている教師、15000ドル以上を盗んだ重役、元職員はジェンダーと障害者差別を訴えており、 シンギュラリティは約170人の職員の14人を解雇し、昨年グーグルが資金を撤退したGSP ― 現在グローバルソリューションプログラム ― を中断しました。

  • curb - 縁石、ブレーキをかける
  • impulses - 衝動
  • withdrew - 撤退した

Alumni say for-profit Singularity is becoming just another organizer of conferences and executive seminars. It’s weighing buying the seminar company Abundance 360, started by Singularity co-founder Peter Diamandis. “It’s lost its soul,” says Vivek Wadhwa, who ran the faculty until 2013 and is at Carnegie Mellon University. “It’s become a moneymaking corporation.”

他のカンファレンスや役員セミナーの主催者によって営利目的のシンギュラリティが開始されていると同窓生が言っています。 それは、シンギュラリティの共同創業者であるPeter Diamandisが始めたセミナー企業のAbundance 360を買収しようとしています。 「それは魂を失ってしまった」と2013年まで教職員を務め現在カーネギーメロン大学にいるVivek Wadhwaが言っています。 「いまや金を作る会社になった。」

  • Alumni - 同窓生
  • faculty - 学部
  • ran the faculty - 教職員を務めた

“If we want to make true impact … we need to do it in a sustainable fashion”

もしも我々が真の衝撃を生み出したいなら … 継続可能な方法で行う必要がある」


While Singularity says it takes seriously its community’s security and any related allegations, most of those matters are far in the past, says Chief Executive Officer Rob Nail. He says he was already planning to suspend and reevaluate GSP before Google ended its annual grant of $1.5 million. The grant covered about half the costs of the program, which was free for participants. Google, whose senior manager Jen Phillips left Singularity’s advisory board late last year and won’t be replaced, says it plans to focus on Singularity’s entrepreneurship programs instead.

Nail says although GSP may be reborn largely online, conferences and executive education (tuition: $14,500 for a weeklong program) will become the bulk of Singularity’s work. It held 10 conferences last year and has 18 planned for 2018. On Feb. 15 it announced it raised $32 million in venture funding led by Boeing Co. and investment firm WestRiver Group. Erik Anderson, WestRiver’s CEO, is replacing Diamandis as Singularity’s chairman. These changes, Nail says, will help the company turn a profit and thereby aid more people. “If we want to make true impact,” he says, “we need to do it in a sustainable fashion.”

Singularity had NASA connections beyond its rented buildings. Early GSP students speak highly of a lecture by former astronaut Dan Barry, a physician who got into the space shuttle program after 13 rejections. Several say they saw him as a mentor. Barry hasn’t taught GSP students since 2013, when the company investigated him for allegedly sexually assaulting Yasemin Baydaroglu, a French student who attended GSP in 2011.

Baydaroglu says Barry arranged a 2013 meetup in Paris. They went for a bike ride, during which she complained of back pain, and then went to his hotel to chat. He reminded her he was a doctor, she says, and offered her a massage, speaking in strictly medical terms. Because he was a mentor, she trusted him—until, she says, he touched her breasts and genitals, and she fled. “I really didn’t see it coming, and I’m so careful,” she says. “This time my guard was low.” She reported the incident to police several days later, then visited a doctor.

“I completely deny her accusations,” Barry says, adding that the inquiries that followed led to “a distressing time for me and my wife.”

Baydaroglu showed signs of psychological distress that she said were linked to a physical assault, according to a copy of a May 31, 2013, doctor’s report reviewed by Bloomberg Businessweek. According to a copy of a letter sent from France’s Office of the Prosecutor, it declined to pursue the case because authorities hadn’t been able to find Barry.

Singularity began its internal investigation after Baydaroglu separately reported the alleged assault to the company. Barry left that summer’s program in June; his wife was ill, and the company told students he left for personal reasons. In a June 22, 2013, email to Baydaroglu reviewed by Bloomberg Businessweek, a Singularity human resources official told her Nail believed “the facts around the central allegation of unwanted sexual touching are inconclusive” but that he told Barry the circumstances indicated “poor judgment.” The official wrote that Barry wouldn’t be present for the remainder of the 2013 GSP and asked Baydaroglu not to discuss the matter with other parties.

The email outlined steps Singularity was taking to reduce the likelihood of staffers being in “potentially intimate situations” on campus, including prohibiting them from being alone with a student at the end of a program day and installing webcams to monitor classrooms. Baydaroglu says Singularity’s response left her feeling deeply depressed and betrayed. Particularly galling, she says, was “asking me not to talk about it.” The company declined to discuss the case except to say Barry hasn’t been an active faculty member since 2013.

Singularity leaders have a history of shady financial practices. When the organization was in its infancy in 2009, Alicia Isaac, the financial controller, used its credit cards to make $13,500 in personal purchases; she also kept the cash from a $2,000 check to Singularity, according to a subsequent police report. And she helped the president of an artificial intelligence institute try to steal almost $80,000. Police arrested Isaac in 2009; she pleaded no contest to felony fraud charges. Isaac didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Another early Singularity architect, Bruce Klein, was convicted in 2012 of running a credit fraud operation in Alabama. He’s no longer associated with the company. Board member Naveen Jain was convicted of insider trading in 2003. He appealed a $247 million judgment and ultimately settled.

Nail, who previously helped found an automation company, arrived in late 2011 with Chief Strategy Officer Gabriel Baldinucci, a former Virgin Group executive. They soon changed Singularity from a nonprofit to a for-profit B Corporation, which means a private accreditor certifies it meets certain social and environmental standards.

For years several staffers close to Baldinucci lived alongside him in a series of rented houses nicknamed the SU Villa, in Atherton and Woodside, Calif. Other employees say the group got favorable treatment and the general atmosphere was unfriendly to women. Eleanor Schuermann, a lawyer at Kastner Kim LLP, is representing a staffer who alleges Singularity discriminated against her because of her gender and disability, paid her less than men in the same position, and retaliated against her for complaining. The attorney’s filings with state regulators, the first steps toward a lawsuit, aren’t yet public record. Schuermann, who wouldn’t name her client, says she’s heard from two other Singularity employees about similar claims. The company declined to comment on the case but says it works hard to support women.

Singularity is a long way from 2009, when the first GSP led to the creation of Getaround, a car-sharing company that’s raised $85 million from investors including Toyota Motor Corp. “It is amazing what all has happened here,” Google’s Page said during the program’s opening ceremony the following year. “It exceeded all my expectations.” These days, Page isn’t involved with Singularity. Kurzweil doesn’t dispute that while he attends board meetings, he rarely speaks.

Anderson, the new chairman, says the company expects to meet its revenue and social goals. Nail says it’s making good on some of its grander ambitions, citing work on United Nations anti-hunger efforts. Still, he says, Singularity can do better: “We’re nowhere near impacting the billion people our students talk about.”

BOTTOM LINE - Singularity is using a $32 million lifeline to steer its programming hard toward a series of executive training seminars and conferences.



Telexistence: How This Tokyo Startup Is Building Real-Life Avatar Robots

It’s 10 years in the future and you have to inspect a prototype that’s just been made in an Asian country. Business travel, however, is becoming a thing of the past because you can now port yourself into a local robot avatar to see and feel the prototype while interacting with factory staff. With your gestures transmitted in real time while the robot relays audiovisual and haptic sensor data, you feel like you’re right there. Welcome to the world of “telexistence.”

これは10年後の未来の話です、あなたは、あるアジアの国で作られたプロトタイプを検査しなければならなくなったとしましょう。 仕事での渡航は過去のことになりつつあります。なぜならあなたは、あなた自身をロボットのアバターに乗り移らせて、工場のスタッフとの対話を通じて、そのプロトタイプを見て感じることになるのだから。 そのロボットが音響、視覚、感覚的なセンサーデータを連携させ、あなたの身振りをリアルタイムに送信されることにより、あなたは、まるでそこにいるように感じるでしょう。

Telexistence Inc.'s innovative robotics platform works via a master-slave arrangement and a head-mounted display, allowing the user to operate the humanoid robot from a remote location.
Telexistence Incの革新的ロボット化プラットフォームは、マスター・スレーブの仕組みで動作し、ヘッドマウントディスプレイを通じて、遠隔地から人型ロボットを操作できるようにする。

What is telexistence? If you’ve seen the 2009 science fiction films Avatar or Surrogates, the concept is familiar. The technology, which has even garnered attention from America’s X Prize Foundation, allows human operators to manipulate genetically engineered bodies or lifelike robots from a distance, giving them enhanced abilities such as superhuman strength. Today, veteran Japanese researchers have teamed up with younger engineers and businesspeople to turn this fantasy into reality.


From robotics to space development, high-tech fields in Japan have posted steady expansion amid an improved investment environment. In 2016, venture companies in Japan poured huge sums into three key areas: robotics was up 329%, artificial intelligence (AI) 246%, and the Internet of Things (IoT) 184% over the year before. The country’s Fourth Venture Boom, one result of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s growth strategy centered on economic reforms, began in 2014. Throughout Japan, industry, academia and government have jointly created an ecosystem focused on evolving technology that will enrich people’s lives in a society characterized by a rapidly aging population. Leading this charge is telexistence technology.


Researchers in Tokyo have developed a prototype “telexistence” humanoid robot that can be controlled by a user wearing a virtual reality head-mounted display (HMD) and haptic feedback gloves. Through this setup, the user can see and feel what the robot senses, allowing him or her to make changes to the robot’s environment. “Telexistence gives you a whole new body,” says the inventor of the technology, Susumu Tachi, Professor Emeritus of The University of Tokyo, and chairman of Telexistence Inc. One of the latest versions of his robots is the TELESAR (Telexistence Surrogate Anthropomorphic Robot) series. They can be controlled via master-slave links, effectively enabling human motions and control to be replicated in the robot platforms. They can even convey tactile and thermal sensations to the operator’s fingertips through haptic gloves adding to the realistic audio-visual sensation.

東京の研究者たちは人型の「テレイグジスタンス」ロボットのプロトタイプを開発しました。 これは仮想現実ヘッドマウントディスプレイ(HMD)と動作をフィードバックできるグローブを装着したユーザーによって制御可能です。 ユーザーはこのセットアップによりロボットの感覚を見て感じられ、ロボットの環境を変化させられるのです。 「テレイグジスタンスはあなたに新たな身体を与えるのです」この技術の発明者である東京大学の名誉教授でありTelexistence Inc.会長のタチ・ススム氏がこのように語りました。 彼のロボットの最終バージョンのひとつが、このTELESAR(遠隔存在代理擬人化ロボット)シリーズです。 これらは、人の動きを効果的に可能にするマスター・スレーブリンクを通じて制御され、ロボットプラットフォームへ複製されるように制御します。 これらは、現実的な音と視覚に加えて、触覚的グローブを通して触感と温度の感覚まで操作者の指先に伝えられます。

“Telexistence gives you a whole new body,” says the inventor of the technology, Susumu Tachi.

“Telexistence lets you work remotely, travel all over the world, entertain distant guests, or play sports you couldn’t play otherwise” says Tachi. “Children who are hospitalized long-term could visit Disneyland and share real experiences with their friends and family. Elderly people with mobility issues could attend a grandchild’s wedding.” The potential applications are enormous, and stretch from mining and manufacturing to medicine and outer space. “This technology can help free people from repetitive, tedious work so they can focus on creative activity,” says Telexistence Inc. cofounder and CTO Charith Fernando, whose engineering PhD was based on his work on TELESAR V. Moreover, it has the potential to change how people work in a society characterized by a low birthrate and an aging population.

「テレイグジスタンスが、リモートワークや世界一周の旅を可能にします。遠くにいるゲストをもてなしたり、逆に、あなたが出来なかったスポーツをプレイしたりできるようになります。」タチはこのように言います。「長期間入院している子どもたちが、彼らの友人や家族と一緒にディズニーランドを訪れて、実際に体験を共有できるのです。移動の問題を抱える高齢者たちも、お孫さんの結婚式に参加できるのです。」 潜在的な適用先は巨大で、採掘や製造から医学や宇宙空間まで幅広い。 「この技術は、退屈な繰り返しの作業からの人々の解放を支援できるので、彼らは生産的活動に集中できます。」 Telexistence Inc.の共同創立者で、最高技術責任者であり、Charith Fernando博士が言います。彼の博士号は彼のTELESAR Vへの取り組みに基づいています。さらにいうなら、少子高齢化社会での人々の働き方を変える可能性を持っています。

Factories and other facilities equipped with telexistence robots can operate 24 hours a day, with workers located anywhere in the world, and overcome the problem of staff shortages. For instance, during the daytime, doctors in Japan could cover a night shift at a hospital in Brazil before handing the robot over to personnel in another time zone.

“In this way, telexistence allows you to overcome time and space,” says Jin Tomioka, a former business producer at Mitsubishi Corporation who is cofounder, CEO and CFO of Telexistence Inc. The state-backed Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) has aggressively supported the development of this university-originated technology and invested in the startup in its seed round of funding. Tomioka and other staff came together from various backgrounds and established Telexistence Inc. in 2017. The team consists of experts from a variety of countries such as the Czech Republic, Panama, China and the Netherlands. In Japan, they have overcome both language barriers and work restrictions -- recent changes to Japan’s visa policy allow foreign staff to get work permits in only one or two weeks.

Telexistence Inc. cofounders Jin Tomioka (left) and Charith Fernando (right) say, "Factories and other facilities equipped with telexistence robots can operate 24 hours a day with workers located anywhere in the world.”

For decades, Japan has been a robot superpower. This is especially true in the field of industrial robots, where key players such as Yaskawa Electric, Fanuc and Kawasaki Heavy Industries have cultivated advanced robot technology and helped Japan maintain a high global market share. To overcome Japan's rapidly shrinking workforce issue, The Government of Japan has been increasing its efforts to promote the use of robot technology as one of the measures to deal with these challenges. In 2015, the government announced its “New Robot Strategy” as part of the prime minister’s Abenomics economic reform program; it aims to enhance productivity in manufacturing, medical and nursing care, construction, agriculture and infrastructure. In addition, a new robotic conference called the World Robot Summit will be held in 2018 and 2020 with the aim of accelerating the social implementation and research and development of robots in daily life and industrial applications.

Tachi has been showcasing his technology outside Japan, demonstrating it at the X Prize Visioneers 2016 Summit, where it was deemed “ready to launch.” The X Prize Foundation acknowledged that Japan holds the world’s most advanced avatar robotics technology. Telexistence Inc. has been gaining more and more attention and has attracted investment from several VC groups including KDDI’s Open Innovation Lab and Global Brain 6.

“Telexistence is a device to change the world and a worthwhile task with a great potential,” says Tachi. “AI and Japanese technologies are perfectly compatible. By using telexistence, we can build a system in which many people who want to work can really work, and thus make the impossible possible.”

For more information about TELEXISTENCE Inc.: https://tx-inc.com/