Posted tagged ‘funny’

I absolutely don’t encourage you to try this at home unless you want to electrocute, burn, or harm yourself in some other novel way…

March 21, 2010

….yet this is still pretty cool! I don’t endorse smoking or pyromania though if that’s your thing then have it but this was pretty creative.

Now, for something far less dangerous and a bit more retro, here’s a laser phaser! Beam me up Scotty!

The best part of waking up is coffee in your car… What has science done?

March 11, 2010

I love it when science gives us something to smile about. It’s not all just dystopian futures and killer robots but sometimes it’s cars powered by espresso. The Volkswagen Scirocco is powered by coffee grounds that go through a fairly complex processing system that derives energy from them to power the car. While I don’t suspect that you should look forward to a coffee bean powered car, I still think it’s pretty great to see the ingenuity it took to make this slurping speedster. Another example of how machines and humans are becoming more and more alike: we both need that pick me up first thing in the morning.

Silly and sleek technology on display in Germany’s CeBit convention.

March 4, 2010

That's what I call a fashion statement

At the CeBit technology convention, there was plenty of new tech on display to get any gear-head’s heart racing. There was an assortment of innovative new technology that will be hitting the market and will both be useful tools and useful for making some mischief. On the useful side of things is a robotic tutor who will teach you how to speak Chinese (it wasn’t specified whether it was Cantonese or Mandarin). Her/its name is Amy and she comes equipped with over 400,00 sentences and the entire Encyclopedia Britannica in her head. Using AI and voice recognition she can communicate with you in real-time. A screen serves as her face or it seems she can project her avatar on a wall as well. Another interesting gizmo is the eye tracking computer. One can control a computer just by the movement of his/her eyes. A proposed use given in the article is to allow business people to know what products a customer looks at first.  However, I think this could also be used with people suffering from neurological problems such as stroke and brain damage to train their brain to keep their eyes level or focused on a certain object, a problem people will sometimes suffer after these incidents.

Not all the devices on display were so serious. A little gadget called the Tunebug Vibe can turn any surface into a stereo by sending vibrations through it, making it create sound. Another fun thing was a team of four robots who could play football (i.e. soccer). Another neat thing to program a smile to your face was a remote control that can turn off any television in Europe. This was just a sample of the tech on display. Some extra bits of info and lots of pictures can be found through the link.

I honestly wish I could have been there. The great thing a show like this does is to demonstrate that technology can be as fun as it is useful. The AI in the Amy system is really exciting as it shows progress in the way we can interact with intelligent machines. Voice recognition is still a big problem since there are so many parts of language that need to be understood for the meaning of something to be ascertained. Syntax, semantics, the sound and rhythm of the voice are all things that must be picked up on. But this certainly shows we’re making strides in the right direction. Still, technology can just be fun and some of the devices on display have a wonderful, childlike sense of fun about them. A lot of technology can seem far removed from us, locked away in special labs, or threatening us with import impinging on our lives. This expo, and expos like it, give us a chance to see that technological progress can be a boon for us and can add some novel fun to our lives.

Rise of the sexy-bot. Wait, what!?

March 1, 2010

One of the things I love about sci-fi is that many times, it gives us glimpses of technologies, political situations, and social changes  that might be totally possible given enough time. They may not always be accurate but still, sci-fi is unique in its ability to blend the imaginative with the scientific. Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence dealt with robot sex slaves or gyneoids. We saw this same issue at least briefly in Blade Runner with the character of Pris, a “basic pleasure model.” Yet now, it seems that we’ve finally gotten to the point where it’s no longer science fiction to shack up with your serv0-articulated sweetie.

It seems that sex robots are already here and they’re getting to the point where it’s not just about sex but also pillow talk. Roxxxy (Clever buggers they are in the marketing department. Just look at all those X’s), a new model sex-bot, can actually communicate with you and have some limited conversation. This whole concept is very strange. We’re not talking about just a sex toy but a person or companion simulator. This brings up all kinds of ethical and practical issues. Who knows how much more advanced they may get? With artificial intelligence picking up speed and better robotics, maybe the android isn’t too far away either. If they can spend this much time developing the technology for sex, I don’t see why they can’t put it towards something a little more, I don’t know, practical and public-friendly.

My technology’s better than yours!

February 27, 2010

I used to hear that the Gameboy Color had more power than the first shuttle to the moon. I don’t doubt it. Today’s Blackberry or iPhone probably has more power than the second and third shuttles combined. With electronics getting smaller and speeding up, a lot of formerly top of the line technology is being left to rot in obsolescence which is wy updating is so important. However, it turns out that the Secret Service is running mainframes that date from the 1980’s. Now, I have to say, just being able to run those junkers must mean they invested in some good stuff but holy crap people! Windows 98 has left them in the dust twenty times over! I just find it comical that the people who should be getting the best tech on the block could be one-upped by my mp3 player.

Rise of the mosquitos… almost.

February 22, 2010

Science is a thing of beauty. It’s allowed us to see further into the cosmos, discover the stuff that makes the universe itself. Then sometimes it blows stuff up as demonstrated in this poetic, ballet of insectile carnage. Never mind mosquito spray, this will knock them right out of the sky! I can just imagine the misuse now as ERs flood with people who get zapped in the eye by their drunk Uncle Ned. Still, in the quest for laser weapons, we’re getting there. One species at a time, we’re getting there.

It’s like Disney Land, only cooler.

February 21, 2010

The world of Sci-Fi never sleeps, just goes on power saver mode. So, here I am again to share an interesting find from Cyberpunk review. You can access it here: Robot Land.  To sum up, South Korea will be opening a theme park called Robot Land which has as its theme, you guessed it, robots! Wall-E, Johnny 5, and if we’re lucky Major Kusanagi might be there! Ok, maybe I’m a little over-zealous but it’s a cool idea. The park itself is part of what the South Korean government thinks is a foot in the door for future economic potential of robot based products. To be honest, I’d buy a ticket to go visit the place though I expect to be given a tour by a fully functioning robo-guide. Still, we’ve been wanting or imagining a world filled with intelligent robots since Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and we haven’t gotten it yet. I can understand no flying cars and jet packs (there are enough accidents with people moving on terra firma) but I would like to have a robo buddy. Maybe with all the new advances in materials sciences and artificial intellifence research, we may eventually get some androids. Until then, there’s Robot Land.