Ready or not, we're about to enter the age of robotics.
That's the message underlying Google's announcement on Wednesday that former Android honcho Andy Rubin would be aiming the company's next "moon shot" at robots. Google has bought its way into the robotics game, purchasing seven companies to become the foundation of its robotics team, from makers of robotic arms and powered caster wheels to companies specializing in computer vision.
I have a new favorite artist: bacteria. Imprinted onto cell phones, it can look like flowers, or even distant galaxies. Some types of it can rotate in ways that cause light to scatter, creating a visible shimmer.
It can also make you sick, of course. But let's focus on the pretty little light pulses here.
Two London-based artists have taken magnetotactic bacteria, which can orient itself along Earth's magnetic fields, and combined it with electronics and photo manipulation to create real-time "portraits" of anyone who visits their interactive installation. They call their bio-display "Living Mirror," as the cells "form a 'living mirror' within liquid media from live portrait images captured of individuals."
In other words, if you've always wanted to see how you'd look as a glowing cell culture, this if your chance. … Read more
Peter Clatworthy, a 19-year-old in the UK, has been saving his pounds to buy an Xbox One console for his young son. In particular, he had his sights aimed at the special and hard-to-find Day One edition. Day One editions on eBay UK have been selling for upwards of $800, so Clatworthy thought he had gotten a deal when he found one for $735.
There was one big red flag on the listing. The description noted the item up for auction was a photo. However, since it was listed in the consoles category and the seller had good feedback, Clatworthy went ahead with the purchase. "It said 'photo' and I was in two minds, but I looked at the description and the fact it was in the right category made me think it was genuine," he explained to the Nottingham Post.… Read more
Game maker Ubisoft has released Assassin's Creed: Pirates for iOS. The game is essentially a pirate simulator, allowing gamers to engage in naval combat, build up their pirate ship, and explore the Caribbean. Gamers play as Alonzo Batilla.
The Assassin's Creed franchise has been extremely popular on consoles. The latest launch, Black Flag, is also set on the open seas and features pirates. Black Flag is available on consoles, but not on iOS.
Assassin's Creed: Pirates is available in Apple's App Store for $4.99. It … Read more
Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime made abundantly clear in a recent interview that his company's direction is driven by strategy and not the changing desires of its fan base.
In an interview with Siliconera published on Wednesday, Fils-Aime was asked how does "what fans want or say influence [his] decisions." His response, which centered mainly on petitions brought to Nintendo by fans asking them to bring legacy games to newer devices, was telling of Nintendo's view of the market.
"I have to tell you -- it doesn't affect what we do," Fils-Aime … Read more
It's that time of year, when Google helps little ones around the world track Santa. This year, instead of only tracking Kris Kringle on Christmas Eve, Google is giving you a different glimpse into what's occurring at the North Pole every day leading up to Christmas.
The announcement from Google came courtesy of a post on its Google Maps blog early Wednesday. With a countdown timer at the top of the page, you're able to view familiar Google Maps pins for each day leading up to Santa's busiest day of the year, and see prep work … Read more
Nevermind HBO Go, Hulu Plus, or Pandora. The app that could show the depth of Chromecast as more than a short-range, media broadcasting dongle is TicTacToe.
Last updated on the Google Play Store in October, this iteration of tic-tac-toe requires two players, and works on both Android and iOS. Once you and a friend have installed the game on your smartphones, you'll be able to connect to the Chromecast and play X's and O's until your thumbs fall off.
The two-player nature of the game foretells a possible future for Chromecast, where the increasingly higher quality of … Read more
Microsoft's Project Spark, an ambitious attempt on the company's part to turn gamers into developers, is making its debut on Windows 8.1 on Tuesday.
The app, which will be available later today in the Windows Store, according to The Verge, will be in beta when it's launched. In order to actually start using the app, users will need to download the program and then input a special beta key to activate it. Microsoft has not said how many people will be allowed to test the beta, but has a section on its Project Spark page letting … Read more
Tuesday night, when Rabbi Yosef Langer lights a 22-foot menorah in San Francisco's Union Square, he'll get a helping hand -- an aluminum helping hand, that is -- from Isaac the robot.
The 5.5-foot humanoid will be responsible for lighting the shamash (the helper flame used to kindle the candelabrum's other lights) on the 3-ton "Mama Menorah," a fixture at San Francisco's annual public Hanukkah candle lighting since 1975. In doing so, Isaac, namesake of sci-fi author Isaac Asimov, will bring a decidedly geeky gild to the decades-old proceedings.
"As CP Snow observed, new ideas often emerge from the clash of cultures," said Ken Goldberg, an artist and UC Berkeley robotics professor who organized Isaac's Union Square Hanukkah appearance. "Menorahs represent the past and robots represent the future. Rabbi Langer and I have a hunch that a ritual that brings them together will generate some interesting new sparks." … Read more
She's 887 feet long, displaces 45,000 tons. She's sailed all around the world and served her country for decades. She's the Mighty Mo, the USS Missouri, and her tale starts while the world was at war, and continues to this day as a piece of distinguished history.
Wearables are largely aimed at the person who just wants to maintain a good weight, sleep enough, and maybe get in a little cardio. CNET's Brian Cooley tells you why 2014 could be the breakout year for wearable tech.