Here’s a few amusing and/or alarming videos, news, and blogs I scooped up from the Internet this week. Share and enjoy.
The Animated AT-AT
This video by Patrick Boivin was posted back in 2010, but I just saw it this week and loved it. As a Star Wars-crazed child of the ‘80s, I longed for the Kenner AT-AT toy. Apparently so did Patrick.
We Need Punchable Robots
An inebriated man was arrested in Japan for kicking a robot after he got frustrated by a human sales clerk at a cell phone store. We’ve all been frustrated by bad customer service, but we can’t perpetrate violence, even on robots.
Unless of course, someone were to build a robot designed for being punched, kicked, sworn at and otherwise abused by frustrated customers. We could set them up at the DMV, the returns desk at big box retailers, and other locations where customer frustrations boil over.
Even better would be a home version for the next time you have to call your cable company. I think there’s a whole new market segment waiting to be born.
Goodbye Internet, Hello Utopia?
Alex Balk, a writer at The Awl, shared a funny piece on what might happen if the Internet was wiped out. He positions the post as an excerpt from a rejected novel. It’s sarcastic and truthy and full of gleeful spite. Here’s a sample:
Once there was no Internet on which we could be gigantic fucking loud morons shouting our imbecilic, poorly-informed thoughts about things all the time, we were so embarrassed by what we’d done that we all promised to stay silent in public for a year.”
2016 Presidential Race: McAfee Vs. Lessig
Just in case the 2016 presidential race didn’t have enough candidates, two new aspirants joined the race this week.
John McAfee, founder of the eponymous anti-virus company, is running on the newly-formed Cyber Party, with a platform based around privacy and freedom.
Also this week, Harvard Law professor and campaign finance reform activist Lawrence Lessig announced that he’s running as a Democrat. He has pledged that if elected, he will only stay in power until his campaign finance reform bill is passed, and then will step down and turn the reins over to his Vice President.
If The Government Can’t Read Your Email, The Terrorists Win
Suspicion and mistrust of pervasive government surveillance seems like a healthy attitude for Americans, particularly when the FBI, NSA and other agencies want a ‘golden key’ to unlock all encrypted communications. It’s dismaying to me that the leaders of U.S. intelligence agencies can’t seem to comprehend why such power would alarm citizens.