Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Exploding phone? There's an app for that

It was the best of times:

Mobile phones get cyborg vision

And then, suddenly, it was the blurst of times:

Apple probes iPhone explosion reports: EU

Maybe I should just get a couple of tin cans and a piece of string.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Not your parents' Fantastic Voyage

Robot Can Crawl Through Human Body

Once they figure out how to put a camera and transmitter on this thing, WOULD IT NOT MAKE THE AWESOMEST VIDEO GAME EVER?

And wouldn't it be furtherly awesome if you earned huge discounts on your health insurance for every minute you've spent playing with this?

Yes. Yes, it would.


Kinda Bizarre Audience-Building Strategy: Come to My Apartment

Would I want 60 strangers in my apartment every week? Probably not -- but it would be a fantastic way to piggyback PR for a personal project. Will mull this over.

Feelin' like a cyberpunk Monday

"I've never really been very interested in computers themselves. I don't watch them; I watch how people behave around them. That's becoming more difficult to do because everything is 'around them'." - William Gibson, 2007
[John] Shirley convinced [William] Gibson to write a story for the television series Max Headroom for which Shirley had written several scripts, but the network canceled the series. - interview, 1994
"After witnessing the first 20 minutes of landmark cyberpunk film Blade Runner (1982) which was released when Gibson had written a third of the novel, he 'figured [Neuromancer] was sunk, done for. Everyone would assume I’d copped my visual texture from this astonishingly fine-looking film.' He re-wrote the first two-thirds of the book twelve times, feared losing the reader's attention and was convinced that he would be "permanently shamed" following its publication . . . ." - interview, 1986
". . . . in 2005, Time included it in their list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923, opining that '[t]here is no way to overstate how radical [Neuromancer] was when it first appeared.'" - Wikipedia

Human circuitry?

IBM Scientists Build Computer Chips From DNA

This technology might still be in its infancy, but it's already suggesting to me the Maas-Neotek biosoft which William Gibson mentions in his novels Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive. Once computing materials are made of human tissue, what's to stop us from directly attaching DNA-based hardware (er, fleshware?) to ourselves, saving our memories to it and using it to augment our own strengths?

[William Gibson, 2008; groovy person, not actual inventor of DNA chips]

Which further reminds me: Gibson mentions saving our personalities (or 'constructs') to hardware so that we can continue 'living' -- or, at the very least, interacting with anyone who activates our constructs. Which makes me all sorts of nostalgic for Max Headroom:

According to the ever-infallible Wikipedia, Gibson wrote an episode of the TV series "Max Headroom", but the show was canceled before his contribution ever aired. Sigh. To see the pilot episode, check out the Google video. It has mediocre sound, but is still well worth viewing.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

double your pleasure, double your fun

First there was this:

The Twins from Brazil: Did Nazi doctor Mengele - the Angel of Death - cause twin surge in South American town?

And then there was this:

Doctors baffled by Indian village of over 200 sets of twins

It would be interesting if it turned out Mengele also visited India, although I doubt it. What creeps me out is that the Kodinji water supply might be contaminated -- but as long as the contamination simply provides twins and nothing injurious, I guess I'd be OK with that.

Weird, weird, weird.

UPDATE (HT pursuit agent):

Ghana: seeing double; Research has shown that West Africa has the highest rate of fraternal twinning in the world

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Feel the burn, bionic Grandma

A.R.M.S. - Adaptive Responsive Muscle Support

I found this by accident when, per someone's mention on Facebook, I searched for "Clever" brand underwear. Turns out that by "Clever" they really mean "Festive palettes for your weekend on Fire Island, but not necessarily as witty as the label would suggest."

A.R.M.S., however, strikes me as truly clever underwear. From the site: "A.R.M.S. is a collection of clever underwear that increases the user's muscle power after suffering a stroke, spasms etc." Great for Grandma, stupendous for athletes; the whole do-we-really-need-to-ban-certain-athletic-clothing debate is already rearing its ugly head, and I for one enjoy seeing fuel added to the fire. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing my mom bench-pressing an Escalade.