Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo and former president and star programmer at HAL Laboratories (he was one of their first programmers), main coder of Earthbound, programmer of NES/Famicom Balloon Fight, coder on some early games in the Kirby series and many other games besides, and the author of the Iwata Asks columns on Nintendo's website, has died at 55 of a bile duct growth. Kotaku article. The Verge.
The Ultra Hal chatbot converses with itself. Ultra Hal is a learning chatbot and virtual assistant from zabbaware, as well as a $29 ticket to an Uncanny Valley of sexism, materialism and banality.
For the upcoming digitally restored theatrical re-release of Kubrick's classic Sci-Fi film, 2001: A Space Odyssey (previously, and previously) a beautiful new trailer for the movie has been put together by the British Film Institute. Via Polygon.
Comedian and voice actor H. Jon Benjamin redubs the voice of HAL 9000 during a guest appearance on the Late Night Basement live show in Brooklyn.
Legendary lyricist Hal David, most famously partnered with composer Burt Bacharach, and countless pop performers ranging from Dionne Warwick to Tom Jones to The Carpenters and beyond, has died at age 91.
The Earthbound Journal is the Mother of all fan projects; a labour of love that took journalist Armand Kossayan over 150 hours to complete. And it's amazing. Armand describes it as "a retelling of the game’s plot from the point of view of primarily Paula and Jeff, with some smaller parts from Ness and Poo." Did I mention it's free. Go get it!
Why are computer voices mostly female? Apple's 1987 vision of a computerized personal assistant was originally male. Siri's voice is female in the US and Australia, but male in the UK and France. [more inside]
See that Mechanical Red Eye? That's YOU, and you are an Insane Rogue AI. (Friday Flash Fun) [more inside]
Touch screen. Awesome graphics. Online community. No, I'm not talking about the latest handheld device to hit the market, I'm talking about Control Data's PLATO system. [more inside]
"2001: A Space Odyssey" is back in theaters for a short year-2001 run. It is currently playing at the Seattle Cinerama October 5-18, and is next scheduled to be shown at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C. (where the film had its original 1968 premeire) November 2-15. After that, it will be shown at the Castro Theater in San Francisco November 21-December 6, and at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood December 20-January 1.
Israelis (who else?) prepare to bring a new life into the world. One that will hopefully pass the Turing test.
The real HAL? The Project already has consumed an estimated 500 person years and $50 million in investments.