Sunday, June 17, 2007

Newsweak


& tomorrow
Originally uploaded by Seidl.
If I told you that a senator called for an ambulance to have himself rushed to a television interview, I'll bet you'd assume it was one of ours. It's OK, though, President Bush was involved, so you can blame him if you want.

Who owns the media?

Mark Evanier said:
Ray Stevens' ... most recent record was a thing called "The New Battle of New Orleans," which I haven't heard. A couple of folks have written me in the last hour to say that they have, and that it's wingnut claptrap with a racist edge. The lyrics to the song, which are posted over here, sure lead one to that viewpoint. It's amazing that someone could be from that area and write a song about Hurricane Katrina with zero sympathy for the victims.
It's amazing to me that anyone could read those lyrics and conclude that they are "racist wingnut claptrap." In order to accept that view, one would have to grant that any criticism of Jesse Jackson or Louis Farrakan is inherently racist. And in order to read the song as expressing "zero sympathy for the victims", one would have to believe that Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco are victims.

Jeff Bezos: We lose money on every unit we sell, but we make it up in volume.

It would appear that this writer can think of only one use for a "female" robot. Shouldn't feminists resent that? The Japanese designers' intent, as best I can determine from this one-note summary, is to create a machine that moves with something that might be called "grace". It's probably another approach at bridging the uncanny valley charted by Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori in 1970. The theory is, the more you humanize an object, the cuter people tend to think it is -- up to a point. But past that point, when something is close to human but clearly not human, we react with revulsion. Stuffed animals are cute, lifelike prosthetics are creepy. Monkeys are cute, zombies are horrific.

The Shatner Show: "Every artist has their muse. Leonardo was inspired by the ceiling in the great chapel. [Huh?] Michelangelo found his art in the Italian marble. Who am I to stand in the way of all these fine artists and artisans who want to use my lumpy, aging face for inspiration?"

Getting rid of noisy kids in one easy step: Lean toward their caregiver and softly say, "According to the terms of my parole, I'm not really supposed to be this close to children." The gentler and more friendly you are, the more dramatic the reaction when the meaning of the phrase sinks in.

"I'd like to smack the idiot who designed this intersection."

Now that USB drives (or flash drives, or thumb drives, or whatever you want to call 'em) are so ubiquitous, inexpensive, and small, we have to face facts: The cost of losing one is not the cost of replacing the drive, but the consequences of losing the data it contains.

Daily Show: 'Don't they know we're all recording this stuff?'

The truth about doctors. "For a new patient, I book it for 40 minutes. Some doctors make it ten. For a second visit, some make it five. If you’re an HMO doctor, the network will tell you to see, on average, a patient every seven minutes. HMOs tell us to see more patients; malpractice insurance tells us to take all the time we need."

3 comments:

John C. said...

Actually, I can think of lots of uses for a female robot that probably aren't the one you were thinking about, but I know that one reason the Japanese are developing the female androids in the videos are for receptionist-type duties. The first video shows this, albeit for a trade-show sort of situation. Hey, if it's good enough for the Fantastic Four...

Anonymous said...

'Bezos held up several new items from Amazon's online stores, including a Swiss Army knife larger than his hand...'

It's the Swiss Navy cutlass!

F451

R2K said...

: )