Rossum's Universal Robots

Rebooting “Rossum’s Universal Robots” for the 21st century

“It is over three hours long, and it is like a cross between Noel Coward and The Terminator” – Ivor Benjamin describing the original version of “R.U.R.”Last Wednesday I went to see an adaption of Karel Čapek’s play “Rossum’s Universal Robots”, presented at the British Library. | There was one question from the audience that suggested Benjamin had gone too far in the adaptation. “This [play] is more about philosophy…

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Television is Now the Second Screen for Kids with Tablets

Of course, not all kids have tablets, and at least some of what the kids are doing on their tablets is watching videos. There’s only so much one can draw from a survey-based study, and much more that could be learned from a controlled experiment that actually gives kids the choice and reports what they do. [I]n households where tablets and smartphones are accessible, they’ve now taken the lead with…


Facebook Updates News Feed So Your Favorite Friends Rise to the Top

Now, News Feed, at its most basic level, is defined by secrecy. Facebook doesn’t reveal exact details of the algorithms that determine what you see (and what you don’t) based on the company’s ever-evolving, ever-more-granular analysis of your preferences. And not just the preferences you explicitly set. Your likes, comments, clicks, even how long you linger over a specific post are fed into Facebook’s hyper-intelligent artificial brain. —Wired

80 Days (Map)

80 Days: “1872, with a steampunk twist. Phileas Fogg has wagered he can circumnavigate the world…”

I stayed up way too late last night playing 80 Days, a choice-based interactive fiction romp from Inkle .  I had read all the glowing reviews, but kept putting off the purchase until I really had time to enjoy it. I started my first play through at about midnight, and was up past 3am. (I made it around the world with one day to spare, though in order to make…


Headline Capitalization Generator!

Headline Capitalization Generator! Simple concept. Type your headline in a box. Invisible typing fairies will capitalize your words for you. One of the settings is for AP Style.  You should probably actually learn the rules for capitalizing first, but this is a useful tool for checking.

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A Robotic Dog’s Mortality

Fascinating video journalism from the New York Times. They didn’t shed, chew the sofa or bite the postman, but for thousands of people Sony’s Aibo robotic dog was the closest thing to a real canine companion. So when the Japanese company stopped servicing the robots last year, eight years after it ended production, owners faced a wrenching prospect: that their aging “pets” would break down for good. —The New York Times