The robots are here.
George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen predicts that the trend towards automation will squeeze the middle class further still, and compares its effects on American politics to a too-overlooked 1955 short story
by Isaac Asimov.
posted by Jacob Knitig
on Nov 14, 2013 -
is the ultimate tool for telecommuting. From anywhere in the world, you have a physical presence in the office and can speak to co-workers at anytime. Double is a remotely controlled, mobile teleconferencing system, enabling conversations to happen anywhere and anytime.
posted by andoatnp
on Nov 8, 2013 -
Peter Purgathofer, an associate professor at Vienna University of Technology, built a Lego Mindstorms robot
that presses "next page" on his Kindle repeatedly while it faces his laptop's webcam. The cam snaps a picture of each screen and saves it to a folder that is automatically processed through an online optical character recognition program. The result is an automated means of redigitizing DRM-crippled ebooks in a clear digital format. It's clunky compared to simply removing the DRM using common software, but unlike those DRM-circumvention tools, this setup does not violate the law.
posted by SpacemanStix
on Sep 8, 2013 -
is a nine year old South Carolinian who used to be homeschooled, due to heart and immune system problems. But this spring, her family began experimenting with an alternative — a camera-and-Internet-enabled robot called VGo
that swivels around the classroom and streams two-way video between her school and house. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen
on Jun 7, 2013 -
What won the war? The weather helped. For while the Allies had access to all the Atlantic meteorology, the Axis couldn't easily predict what systems were rolling in from the West - and with the Battle of the Atlantic the one thing
that Churchill said kept him awake at night, knowing which way the wind blew certainly needed a weatherman. Or Britain would never be starved into submission.
The Weather War was complex and engaging, [more inside]
posted by Devonian
on May 17, 2013 -
The Monopoly game has used the same 8 "base tokens" (car, thimble, boot, scotty dog, battleship, top hat, iron, wheelbarrow) since the 1950s (with a few extras added to "Deluxe Editions"
), and since it's been 15 minutes since Parker Brothers' last promotion, they're doing internet voting at their Facebook page to "SAVE YOUR TOKEN"
. In "American Idol" style, the one with the fewest votes will be replaced by the top-vote-getter among 5 "New Tokens" (robot with mustache, big-ass diamond ring, cat, helicopter, awkwardly-balanced guitar). So far, Scottie Dog has a third of the votes (take THAT, cat people), while Whellbarrow and Absurdly-Oldfashioned-Iron are bringing up the rear. VOTE DAILY
to support your favorite "chocking hazard for under 3 yrs. old"
posted by oneswellfoop
on Jan 10, 2013 -
A harpsichord automaton. Malcolm Messiter
: "After hours of struggling with a soldering iron, suddenly it all became worth it when the system just worked flawlessly. The sheer joy and satisfaction of seeing and hearing it work for the first time was extraordinary. It played Soler’s Fandango, Brandenburg 5, the Goldberg Variations, and even the Flight of the Bumble Bee, late into that first night!" [Project direct link
(PDF, from p.27)].
posted by urbanwhaleshark
on Oct 20, 2012 -
'textbook definition of surrealism'
In his epic new bio of James Brown, "The One
"--an account of not just the man's life and music, but a panoramic view of African-American, southern and American political and cultural history of the 20th Century--author R.J. Smith briefly discusses "Future Shock," a dance show that Brown hosted in the mid-1970s. It aired on a pioneering Atlanta station, WTCG, a Ted Turner-owned UHF station that would become a satellite channel by the end of 1976. Along with the pay-only HBO (started in '75 in select markets), WTCG paved the way for a cable TV revolution. Its name would be changed to WTBS
(otherwise known as Superstation WTBS) in 1979. [more inside]
posted by raysmj
on Aug 14, 2012 -
A whole new level of Cosplay
From the shut-up and take my money division of way kool comes this fan boy wet dream.
With water driven rockets and a BB spittig Gatling gun this is sure to spice up the next Con you attend. Price (if you have to ask). I love Japan!
YouTube Link with sound
posted by pdxpogo
on Jul 31, 2012 -
(Season One video) is a series of 90-second CGI cartoons made for MTV Japan about two Russian rabbits. It begins in a Soviet-era prison where Kirenenko*, a mob boss sentenced to death is sharing a cell with Putin (yes, that's his name), a common worker imprisoned on a trumped-up charge and counting the days until his release. And then it gets weird. (contains extreme cartoon violence, scatological gags, Russian stereotypes, transvestite chickens and shoe fetishes) [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop
on May 28, 2012 -