Category Archives: Geek Culture

Will You Like Being a Computer’s Pet?

We’ll all be pets of computers, says the Woz! Yike!

Apple’s co-founder: We’re all going to be robots’ pets one day

Fortune – By: Benjamin Snyder – “Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak thinks we’re all probably going to become robots’ pets.

Speaking at a recent technology conference, Wozniak said that at first the thought of artificially intelligent beings in charge of everything scared him. But now it’s a comforting thought.

Fast forward hundreds of years to when robots are in charge. At that time, humans will probably be treated in a similar fashion to dogs, Wozniak said during an event at the Freescale Technology Forum 2015 in Austin, Texas.

‘It’s actually going to turn out really good for humans,” he added. ‘And it will be hundreds of years down the stream before [artificially intelligent beings would] even have the ability.”

‘They’ll be so smart by then that they’ll know they have to keep nature, and humans are part of nature,” he continued. ‘So I got over my fear that we’d be replaced by computers.”

Wozniak believes robots will helps us because we’re the ‘gods originally.’

At the event, Wozniak also took the time to discuss the Internet of Things. He likes it, but cautioned that connected devices in the home have the potential to attack humanity.

Wozniak isn’t the only tech leader with thoughts on future human and robot interaction. In a recent interview with scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk warned that robots will use humans as pets once they achieve a level of artificial intelligence known as ‘superintelligence.”

They’ll treat humans like ‘pet Labradors,” he said.”

Supergirl Pilot Leaked to the Torrents

SupergirlIt is out there. Is it on purpose, or theft?

‘Supergirl’ Pilot Leak: Theft Or CBS Marketing Ploy?

Forbes – “Following the release of what became the most watched trailer of this past month’s upfronts, CBS CBS -0.77% was running on a major high to the fact that it may have finally grasped the millennial market in a way it’s typically not known for thanks to the help of Supergirl. Unfortunately, that excitement may now be short lived as many fans awoke this morning to find the pilot of the series had leaked online through a variety torrent sites in a high-def, 1080p format. However, the high quality nature of the file is making some question the validity of the leak itself. Is it actually possible Warner Bros. (the show’s producing studio) and CBS (who declined to comment on the matter) put the pilot out themselves in order to get people talking this early?

Unlike the leaks of Game of Thrones and Orphan Black back in April, the release of the Supergirl pilot is not very damaging to the show itself for a variety of reasons, the first of which being the fact that the pilot doesn’t air for another six months. This isn’t a case of four episodes leaking the day before the season premiere. This is a case of one episode leaking before there’s even a legitimate marketing campaign to be spoken for. Any damage the release of the pilot could have done to viewership is going to off-set by the fact that it’s most likely going to be screened at San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic-Con in July and October for the same people downloading it now anyway.

In addition, this isn’t the first time a Warner Bros. produced DC series leaked early as the pilot of The Flash also leaked online in a legitimate theft of the episode from a screener disc around this time last year. But, as we can see from the reception of the show’s season finale earlier this week, if that release did anything, it’s help The Flash garner some much needed buzz to what was, at the time, serious speculation about its capability to be good based on set photos that had been released online weeks earlier. The damaging nature of a leak also comes down to its timing, and a leak six months ahead of schedule for a television series is not nearly as bad as one for a major blockbuster release such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

However, there still remains the question of whether or not CBS (or, more likely, Warner Bros.) released the Supergirl pilot early to drum up some buzz. While it may sound like an insane notion that CBS would allow, or Warner Bros. would be willing to release the episode in a 1080p format, keep in mind CBS already went against its own mold earlier this year with marketing when it sent the full 13-episode season of Battle Creek to critics ahead of the show’s premiere – which according to showrunner David Shore, is the first time that had ever been done by the network. In addition, Supergirl wouldn’t be the first time the question of intention came up concerning a Warner Bros. pilot leak. Back in 2008, the studio was thought to be the source of a leak surrounding the pilot of Fringe, a show that would go on to survive five seasons on Fox for a grand total of 100 episodes.

Should it turn out the leak of Supergirl occurred through theft of the episode via an unauthorized release, then we can just add it to the pile of series from this year to suffer at the hands of overly excitable fans with access to thing they perhaps can’t be trusted with. However, should it one day be revealed the pilot was leaked online by none other than the studio that actually produced it in order to create some early buzz that will more than likely be serviced at July’s San Diego Comic-Con, then the move can only be considered what it is, a genius beginning to what’s already looking to be a stellar marketing campaign. But, the odds of the studio ever admitting that truth, should it be the case, is slim to none due to the consequences it would create for the industry in the long run.”

Pong, Doom and Super Mario Bros. in New Video Game Hall of Fame

PongThese are all “blasts from the past!”

The first inductees into the new World Video Game Hall of Fame

News.com.au – “The first inductees into the new World Video Game Hall of Fame include ‘Pong,’ the game that introduced millions to electronic play, ‘Doom,’ which triggered a debate over the role of games and violence in society, and ‘Super Mario Bros.,’ whose mustachioed hero has migrated to everything from fruit snacks to sneakers.

The first six games to enter the hall of fame cross decades and platforms, but all have impacted the video game industry, popular culture and society at large, according to the new hall at The Strong museum in Rochester, where the games were enshrined Thursday.

Joining ‘Pong,’ launched in 1972, ‘Doom,’ from 1993, and 1985’s ‘Super Mario Bros.’ are arcade draw ‘Pac-Man’ (1980); Russian import ‘Tetris’ (1984); and ‘World of Warcraft’ (2004), which has swallowed millions of players into its online virtual universe.

The newly created World Video Game Hall of Fame pays homage to an industry that rivals Hollywood in the entertainment pecking order.

The Strong, which bills itself as the national museum of play and also houses the National Toy Hall of Fame, has been preserving and collecting games and artefacts for years through its International Center for the History of Electronic Games.

‘Electronic game play is increasingly influential and important,’ Strong President and Chief Executive G. Rollie Adams said.

‘It’s changing how we play, how we learn and how we connect with each other across boundaries of geography and culture.’

The inaugural hall of fame class was recommended by a panel of judges made up of journalists, scholars and other experts on the history and impact of video games.

They chose from among 15 finalists that also included: ‘Angry Birds,’ ‘FIFA,’ ‘The Legend of Zelda,’ ‘Minecraft,’ ‘The Oregon Trail,’ ‘Pokemon,’ ‘The Sims,’ ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ and ‘Space Invaders.’

Nominations for the hall can come from anyone and be from any platform — arcade, console, computer, handheld or mobile.

But they must have had a long stretch of popularity and left a mark on the video game industry or pop culture.

‘Doom,’ for example, introduced the idea of a game ‘engine’ that separated the game’s basic functions from its artwork and other aspects, but even more significantly was one of the early games cited in the debate that continues today over whether violent games inspire real-life aggression.

‘World of Warcraft,’ is the largest MMORPG — ‘massively multiplayer online role-playing game’ — ever created.

As of February, it had more than 10 million subscribers, represented by avatars they create, according to The Strong.

Sixteen-year-old gamer Shaun Corbett, of Rochester, said after the induction ceremony that he was expecting ‘Doom,’ ‘Super Mario Bros.’ and ‘Pac-Man’ to get in.
”Tetris’ I wasn’t expecting but I can see where they’re coming from. It made puzzle games popular,’ Corbett said.

He said his fascination with video games started with Pokemon.

‘I enjoyed watching the show. I enjoyed playing the card game,’ he said.

‘I got the video game on the Game Boy Advance for Christmas when I was 7 and I just have a lot of good memories of playing it with my cousins, my parents showing me how it worked.’

More than 150 million Americans play video games, according to the Entertainment Software Association, and 42 per cent play for at least three hours a week.

In 2014, the industry sold more than 135 million games and generated more than $22 billion in revenue, according to the ESA.

Nominations for the hall of fame’s class of 2016 are open from now through the end of March.”

Chinese Businessman Builds His Own Enterprise!

Now this guy is a Star Trek fan! He wanted to build a new headquarters for his business, so he built the Enterprise! The business is NetDragon Websoft, a Chinese gaming and mobile Internet company. According to Mashable: “Company Chairman Liu DeJian is reportedly an uberTrekkie, licensing from CBS the rights to build an Enterprise replica. Construction began in 2008 and was finished in 2014; the project cost $160 million total. The building is the only officially licensed Star Trek building on the planet.”

An Iron Man Phone? Awesome!

Iron Man PhoneThis would be very cool… if a bit over the top!

Samsung’s Iron Man Galaxy S6 Edge Is Coming – Will Robert Downey Jr. Be Inside?

TechCrunch – By: Darrell Etherington – “Samsung is indeed making a special Iron Man-themed edition of its Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone, as The Korea Times reported in April. The mobile maker posted a teaser image to its official Twitter account today, depicting what looks like a special edition box wherein the phone is likely to be.

What will said phone look like? If I have to guess, I’m thinking it’ll sport red and gold finishes. The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge industrial design actually lends itself perfectly to this kind of treatment – Samsung is using a new metallic undercoating for the colored front and back portions of its device, which lend it a unique metal sheen. Iron Man red would indeed look quite fetching given that treatment, while the metal edges in gold would be equally eye-pleasing.

Avengers-themed Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge devices already got the render treatment a couple of months ago, so you can take a look below to see what the final product might look like. There’s even a picture of what an Avengers-style Clear View case might also look like with Iron Man styling.

Samsung’s Twitter account posted today’s teaser with a disclaimer, saying availability for this limited edition phone would ‘differ by region.’ There’s no guarantee it’s coming to all markets, then, but chances are big ones like the U.S. will get a chance to pick one up.

In retrospect, I almost get the sense that the Galaxy S6’s design was tailor-made for these kinds of limited editions and customizations, giving Samsung the opportunity to do with its smartphones what Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft do with their consoles (collectible paint job after collectible paint job).

The phone is probably going to be pretty, at any rate, and if an Iron Man version does well, others could follow.”

The ScreenSavers Returns!

The New Screen Savers: TWiT resurrects the show that launched tech video into the stratosphere

ZDNet – By: Jason Hiner – “Leo Laporte unexpectedly turned the TWiT retrospective into a launch party on Sunday.

At the event celebrating 10 years of This Week in Tech, Laporte announced that the TWiT Network would relaunch the show that launched his career. The New Screen Savers will debut on May 2, using a show format that will echo the classic ZDTV (later TechTV) show that was such a hit with technology lovers during its run from 1998-2005.

Unlike the original show, which was daily, Laporte will host The New Screen Savers weekly on Saturdays at 3:00PM Pacific. It will stream live at live.twit.tv and afterward it will be available on-demand and as a podcast download. The official site for The New Screen Savers will be twit.tv/tnss.

‘This is not something I would have tried even a couple years ago,’ said Leo, in an exclusive interview with ZDNet. ‘But we’ve built this infrastructure over time to be able to do what is essentially a broadcast show over the internet.’

The show will be filmed at the TWiT Brickhouse studios in Petaluma, California using a set similar to the original set in the ZDTV studios at 650 Townsend Street. Laporte will host the show every week and bring in a rotating carousel of guest hosts, including current TWiT hosts and a bunch of former hosts from The Screen Savers.

Several classic names from the original Screen Savers are already booked to come on as guest hosts, including Kate Botello, Patrick Norton, Kevin Rose, Morgan Webb, John C. Dvorak, and Martin Sargent. In fact, many of them were at the 10-year anniversary event but none of them knew about the launch of The New Screen Savers until the announcement was made on air during the show. All they knew was that they were booked to come to Petaluma to do a segment for a new TWiT show.

The New Screen Savers will be more produced than most TWiT shows, which are primarily talking heads discussing the top issues and the most important niche topics in tech.

TWiT CEO Lisa Laporte said, ‘Leo built TWiT because he wanted to capture the magic of ‘The Screen Savers,’ and after ten years of building his vision, we decided it was time to launch our very own variety show. We couldn’t resist naming it, ‘The New Screen Savers.”

The day before the 10-year anniversary event, Leo and his team were in the TWiT studios rehearsing for the first episode. We caught up with him right after it was over and he said, “We just finished the rehearsal. I’m really impressed by the ability of my team to pull together something this good.”

The New Screen Savers will feature seven different segments:

News – Discuss the top 1-2 tech news stories of the week
Call For Help – Answer questions from the audience over Skype
Long variety segment – Rotating
Short variety segment – Rotating
Call For Help – Answer more quesitons
Hot Button – Discuss a trending topic in the tech world
Mailbag – Calls and emails from the audience

People will be skeptical about whether TWiT can recapture the magic, and whether it’s even a good idea to try. “The idea is not to relive the past, but bring back that name,” Leo said. “That name meant something to people — the idea that they were going to be honored and valued for being tech enthusiasts [and] that show was going to celebrate it in a way that nothing on TV at the time did… Still nothing really does. And I got tired of waiting.”

Leo said he stills regularly meets people who come up to him and say, ‘I’m a geek because of The Screen Savers.’ The TWiT team hopes the second iteration of the show will inspire another generation of geeks.”

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