The Adventures of Snowdenbot
June 13, 2014 2:08 PM   Subscribe

Inside Edward Snowden’s Life as a Robot. "Since he first became a household name a year ago, Edward Snowden has been a modern Max Headroom, appearing only as a face on a screen broadcast from exile in Hong Kong or Russia. But in the age of the telepresence robot, being a face on a screen isn’t as restrictive as it used to be." Indeed: Snowdenbot performs tele-diagnosis and offers aid to reporter who had first epileptic seizure. posted by homunculus (20 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

And before you even ask, yes Robot Snowden has a Twitter account.
posted by antonymous at 2:35 PM on June 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

A few years ago, my company beta-tested some very similar telepresence robots for remote workers. Sadly, the test program ended before I got around to trying it out. If they ever bring the robots back, I'm definitely going to use them.
posted by mbrubeck at 2:38 PM on June 13, 2014

Oh, it looks like Snowden's Beam Pro bot is the successor to the Willow Garage Texai robot that my co-workers were testing.
posted by mbrubeck at 2:43 PM on June 13, 2014

The heartwarming story of a lovable telepresence robot who sacrifices everything in order to expose the abuse of power.
The @ACLU Office

Ok, *now* I know I'm finally alive in 2014.

damn those flying cars
posted by infini at 2:46 PM on June 13, 2014 [4 favorites]

Thing should have a Roomba installed in the base. Why not clean up a bit while you're telepresenting?
posted by benito.strauss at 3:23 PM on June 13, 2014 [14 favorites]

Ehhh, an extra-Constitutional surveillance state is bad, but I heard Snowden possibly has a personal foible, so let's just say both sides are equally wrong and move on.
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:25 PM on June 13, 2014 [26 favorites]

Did anyone see the recent hour-long Snowden interview on NBC? I'm receptive to his cause, so do with that what you will, but I was genuinely taken aback by how thoughtful, measured, and intelligent he comes across. Like, I am somewhat accustomed to interacting with people who are on that level in my professional and personal lives, but it wasn't until I saw him speak that I realized how rare those qualities are in individuals who get a national TV audience. (I also thought it made Brian Williams look really obtuse in comparison, though Williams didn't help himself in that regard by acting like he was interviewing Joseph Goebbels).
posted by threeants at 3:50 PM on June 13, 2014 [5 favorites]

In other Snowden news: Did US Send CIA Rendition Jet To Europe In The Hope Of Grabbing Snowden?

Interesting piece:

That's a wonderful example of how a network of enthusiasts, using low-tech kit and the Internet, are able to piece together highly-sensitive information like the flight paths of CIA rendition jets. It's a useful reminder that no matter how much the odds seem stacked against ordinary citizens, human ingenuity has a way of making the struggle against even the most powerful adversaries far from hopeless.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:41 PM on June 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Did US Send CIA Rendition Jet To Europe In The Hope Of Grabbing Snowden?

No. The Register disproves its own headline:

In 2011, the "black" jet switched roles again, transferring from the CIA's contractor to use instead by the Department of Justice (DoJ).

With its new tail number N977GA the plane became part of the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation Systems (JPATS), operated by US Marshals.

So the U.S. may have sent a Department of Justice jet to Europe to transport Snowden, but that doesn’t have the same ring to it.
posted by Fongotskilernie at 8:11 PM on June 13, 2014

"The television screen is the retina of the mind's eye."

Someone was doing it before Max Headroom made it cool.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 9:49 PM on June 13, 2014

Long live the new flesh.
posted by homunculus at 10:00 PM on June 13, 2014

Prosinger had her first-ever epileptic seizure, brought on by the flickering screen where [Snowden] appeared. Snowden [...] correctly diagnosed Prosinger and explained to his attorney, the ACLU's Ben Wizner, how to help the reporter during and after the seizure.

posted by Joe in Australia at 3:04 AM on June 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Unless you're over 60, you weren't promised flying cars.

James P. Hogan wrote the Giants' Trilogy from 1977 through 1981. While he's faded lately in those days it was popular enough that when Giants' Star came out, it had dedicated cardboard display racks in the front of B. Dalton's. And the Giants' universe most definitely features flying cars; in fact, certain features of their maneuverability are a critical plot element at the turning point of Giants' Star.

So your typical then-eleven year old hard SF fan who was born in 1970, making him 44 today, would most definitely remember being promised flying cars. I remember them from several other stories in the mid-late 1970's and I'm only 50.
posted by localroger at 4:51 AM on June 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Back to the Future promised me in 1985 that flying cars were coming in 2015.
posted by mbrubeck at 8:01 AM on June 14, 2014

Like I said, flying cars FTW
posted by infini at 11:47 AM on June 14, 2014

"Snowbot" would be a better name.
posted by Ratio at 10:01 PM on June 14, 2014

In the next season I would anticipate legions of Snowbots helping Jon Snow defend the Wall in Game of Thrones.
posted by localroger at 6:53 AM on June 15, 2014

One year after Snowden
posted by homunculus at 7:57 PM on June 17, 2014

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