Two stories this week shows the ever-going robot evolution now includes emotions… or at least some acting ability.

Kokoro’s DER-2 Actroid Makes Acting Debut In Commercial

Story originally from Pink Tentacle. This fifteen second spot for Preshower shows an eerily lifelike (from a distance anyway) fembot whose acting can rival some Oscar contenders:


Will you (heart) Heart Robot? Also, A Robotic Love Story to Rival Wall-E and EVE.

Report from the BBC on July 29. The University of the West of England’s David McGoran has created a robot/puppet that uses a flashing “heart” to show its “emotional state.”

The Heart Robot could be among the first robots to signify a new era of “emotional machines” used for medical treatment and enjoyment, according to one of its inventors.

David McGoran, of the University of the West of England, predicts the part-puppet, part-machine creation he helped develop is an example of how robots will increasingly adopt human characteristics.

McGoran hopes to develop more sophisticated “emotional machines” for social care. More information can be found at the Heart Robot Site.


There’s also a video of McGoran taking Heart Robot to see Micromagic Systems’ “ic Hexapod,” a spider-bot with face recognition and tracking. The one on the BBC site may not work, so here’s the one on YouTube (though the first thirty seconds don’t play):

This post has been filed under Rise of the Robots, News as Cyberpunk by Mr. Roboto.

July 26, 2008

Tron 2 (TR2N) trailer seen @ Comic Con

A bootleg video of the TR2N trailer/teaser has been posted on YouTube:

Hopefully, this won’t wind up being a rickroll.

The trailer itself should be posed sometime after Comic Con ends.

TR2N is scheduled for release in 2010, and yes, Jeff Bridges is going to return as Kevin Flynn. Judging by the cycle battle scene shown, TR2N looks like it’s going to be FNA.

There’s already a Tron 2 blog up to give further information about the upcoming sequel.



Here’s a “tweaked” version of the video. It was reportedly recorded from a cellphone camera, so the quality isn’t the best, but at least it’s now “full screen:”

This post has been filed under Movie News by Mr. Roboto.

Read Wired’s article online.

Wired Magazine issue 16.08 (August 2008) will feature a salute to the movie WarGames, featuring responses from the screenwriters, technical and military consultants, and a couple of the actors (Ally Sheedy in a sidebar on the third page. No Mathew Broderick, though).


Before WarGames became WarGames. It should come as no surprise to learn that the WarGames we know and love actually started with a different concept:

In 1979, Walter Parkes, the future head of DreamWorks Pictures, was a young screenwriter with the outlines of an idea he’d developed with Lawrence Lasker, a script reader at Orion Pictures. Called The Genius,it was a character film about a dying scientist and the only person in the world who understands him — a rebellious kid who’s too smart for his own good. The idea of featuring computers and computer networks would come later.

Then a quick trip to a computer company called SRI and a conversation with a futurist/consultant would trigger the rewriting of the script with new concepts, a shift in the central character focus, more consultants for the new concepts, …

And the rest became cinematic history.

This post has been filed under Movie News by Mr. Roboto.

Bill Frezza
Bill’s piece on the Internet can be read here.


I actually found this article on Friday, but forgot to bookmark it. Fortunately, I re-found it via Reddit’s search.

Bill Frezza was a weekly columnist for InternetWeek (now known as InformationWeek). This short piece does not have a date to it, but from what little I was able to find on the net it may be from 1997.

Our civic fabric is unraveling. And as it does, uncontrolled, undigested and unmanaged information is spewing out. Free reign is being given to a wild cornucopia of ideas and opinions that would never have passed into broad circulation filtered through the conformity of the old media.

Watch carefully as the various organs of state waken to the threat and fire up their immune systems.

We’re already seeing what those “immune systems” are doing, or attempting; Lawsuits for “piracy,” corporate controlled newsrooms, telco immunity for conspiring to create a security-surveillance grid. But as Bill wrote, “each assault on freedom-of-the-Net will breed 10 technical work-arounds. Cybercrats can’t outfox cypherpunks.” Wishful thinking these days? Maybe, but it can inspire people to rally to take the Internet back and make it the Great Equalizer to corporate-government tyranny it once was… and can still be.

The Net will subvert the centralized economic and social control mechanisms that allowed the great welfare-warfare states of the 20th century to dominate our commerce, our psychic landscape and even our definition of who we are.

Just something to wrap your carbon/silicon - based brains around.

This post has been filed under Internet Find, Essays by Mr. Roboto.


The System Is Broken. Late last year, I blogged about Dan Rather’s accusations about corporations running the newsrooms. Now Bill Moyers echos that sentiment with a piece called “Is The Fourth Estate a Fifth Column?” and even goes so far to blame the media of “colluding with the powers that be in a culture of deception that subverts the thing most necessary to freedom, and that is the truth.”

When you have two respected veterans in network news saying something’s fubar in the newsroom, there’s something REALLY fubar in the newsroom.


Case in point: While trying to get information about HR6304 (aka the “telecom immunity bill”) being passed and made into “law,” I don’t remember any of the major news outlets reporting anything of the bill’s progress. That might be my bad; I don’t bother to watch the news anymore, except for the weather. But unless one had access to an insider’s blog or a government site that tracks bills in Congress, one would not know of the HR6304’s progress or passage. Without coverage from the mainstream news outlets, virtually nobody knew of the bill’s passage. It was like the corporate newsrooms didn’t want the public to know that the fourth amendment was being revoked. (You can LART me on the lack of mainstream news coverage if I’m wrong. I was expecting something more than just a quick on-screen scroll.)

What could be worse than getting no information? Maybe getting the wrong information:

Democracy without honest information creates the illusion of popular consent at the same time that it enhances the power of the state and the privileged interests that the state protects. And nothing characterizes corporate media today more than its disdain toward the fragile nature of modern life and its indifference toward the complex social debate required of a free and self-governing people.

Need more proof that corporate control of information is dangerous? Moyers references incidents with Comcast’s shills at a net-neutrality meeting being exposed by and Verizon trying to censor NARAL text-messages. Information control = mind control.


How to reclaim democracy. Moyer’s solution to the lies dispensed by the corporate board-newsroom is quite simple… and dare I say… a bit of punkish DIY (!):

But we’re not alone and we know what we need to say. So let us all go tell it on the mountains and in the cities. From our websites and laptops, the street corners and coffeehouses, the delis and diners, the factory floors and the bookstores. On campus, at the mall, the synagogue, sanctuary and mosque, let’s tell it where we can, when we can and while we still can.

Like starting your own newspaper… or maybe a blog…

This post has been filed under Internet Find by Mr. Roboto.

R.I.P. United States of America, July 4, 1776-July 9, 2008.

News: Wired, New York Times/AP, CNN.


Welcome to 1984. King Duh’bya gets his darkest wish fulfilled in bringing his country- and possibly world-wide security-surveillance grid to reality. Congress has passed a “bill” (HR6304) that hands the regime expanded spying powers without the fear of legal reprisals. This railroading comes three weeks after the House sold out to the telcos. Wired’s Ryan Singel:

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives quickly passed a bill Friday that will expand the government’s ability to install blanket wiretaps inside the United States. It will also put an end to the lawsuits filed against the nation’s telecoms for helping the government spy on Americans without getting the necessary court orders.

The neo-con fist-fucking of America is now complete… and they were helped by the Democrats… INCLUDING BARACK OBAMA.
Barack Obama sells his soul.
In a preceeding post by Singel, the reason given for the democrat’s sudden cave-in was “to avoid being labeled soft on terrorism in the fall campaigns,” but one has to wonder what the real reason for the sell-out was. After all, some of these traitors are up for re-election and do need “campaign funds.” Even Barack Obama supports selling American’s privacy for “security.” Change we can believe in. Oh yeah.

Although the “bill” still passed, there was some strong resistance from those who knew better than to help build the United Police-States of AmeriKKKa: AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein said the “bill” “Creates ‘Infrastructure for a Police State.” Senators Christopher Dodd, Russ Feingold, Patrick Leahy, and Jeff Bingaman introduced ammendments that would have stripped the immunity out of the “bill,” or at least delay it until an investigation into exactly what the domestic invasion-of-privacy program was really doing.

In case you don’t believe the government-telcomm complex isn’t already too powerful, consider the following: Duh’bya was determined to get his surveillance grid set up only weeks after stealing the White House. When Quest refused, they were ostracized and vilified by the government. Then Duh’bya allowed 9/11 to happen to justify the spying. Recently, a report about the “bill” from The Seminal submitted to Digg had over 500 digs, yet was kept off the front page. TechCrunch noticed this. Telecomm money is suspected.

The timing of this bullshit bill could not be any worse as Sweden’s Parliament passes its own domestic spying bill. From Sveriges Radio International 19-Jun-2008:

The Swedish Parliament passed the controversial bill to permit the National Defense Radio Establishment to monitor all SMS, e-mail, and other data traffic crossing Swedish borders Wednesday evening with 143 in favor and 138 opposed, and 1 abstention.

Only one of the center-right coalition government MP’s voted against the plans, and another abstained. Liberal MP Camilla Lindberg said that in most issues she agreed with her party, but at some times you have to draw the line. Other potential government rebels were either not in parliament, or voted in favor of a new deal, made Wednesday, which set up even more checks and balances on the surveillance system.

But protesters claim that the deal is purely cosmetic, and nothing has really changed. Organizations such as Journalist unions, newspaper publishers associations, the Swedish bar council, Police authorities, the Swedish Security Service and above all, countless political blogs have all been negative to the new law. It will now come into effect next year.

Note: If the link does not work, click here to access the English-language site and use their search engine for “surveillance bill.”


Final words… that, hopefully, won’t be final words. About the only good thing that be said about this traitorous telco spying bullshit is that America will have a regime change in a few months, hopefully in Ralph Nader’s favor, and this “bill” will head straight to the shredder before it becomes an enforceable “law.”

Just in case I should suddenly fall of the face of the Earth, there’s a University of Washington report showing arrests of bloggers exposing political corruption is on the rise worldwide. Well, IF I do get arrested, at least I will have one final word about king Duh’bya’s spying shit: The Supreme Court upheld America’s right to bear arms. No ammount of legislation will EVER give NSAT&T or your dumb ass enough immunity from the politics of a bullet.


Click this thumbnail to see this “motivational poster.”

This post has been filed under News as Cyberpunk by Mr. Roboto.

July 9, 2008

Robocop… circa 1924

With the vast expanse of the Internet, you can come across some pretty amazing… and unbelievable… finds. Such as this description for a “Radio Police Automaton,” aka Robocop done steampunk.

Gernsback's Robocop

Originally, I found it via a Reddit link from Wired. But had to do a web search due to some technical problems at Reddit. The search lead me to the website of one David S. Zondy who had the images of the Gernsback-bot (a “Gernsbot”?) on his site.


Hugo Gernsback’s take on Alex Murphy. Only three years after Karel Čapek introduces the world to the word “robot” with his play “Rossum’s Universal Robots” (which came only one year after his brother, Josef, coined the word), Hugo puts his idea of a radio-controlled mechanical cop down on paper, complete with illustrations:

The Gernsback

Click on the image to see it full size (1161 x 1645)

As if the bot wasn’t intimidating enough, looking like it might be a good twelve feet high at least, Hugo added some non-lethal armaments:

For fighting mobs use is made of tear gas which is stored in a tank under pressure and which alone will quickly disperse a mob if neccssary. The arms are provided with rotating discs which carry lead balls on flexible leads. These act as police clubs in action.


In addition, they would also have headlight “eyes” and a loudspeaker “mouth,” and caterpillar-tread “feet” to advance on a mob while the police controllers operating the bots are safe “behind the lines” in their radio cars observing the action.


Wonder where the US military got the idea for a robot army from? Gernsback’s bot looks like a killer weekend project, just not many applications for such an army. Fortunately, we’re a long ways away from seeing police or soldier robots…

This post has been filed under Internet Find by Mr. Roboto.

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