Just look at the video below of this pathetic Russian "combat" robot riding an ATV at about one tenth of one mile per hour. The look on Putin's face says it all. The ruble is collapsing; the rest of the world hates him; pretty soon his own people will too; and now he has to get dragged out to some wasteland and look at this piece of shit robot that can't even keep its ATV inside the red lines, while a bunch of dumbass Russian army guys stand around pretending that this is not a massive fail and wondering which of them is going to get killed, demoted or canned because of this fiasco. Note also that the military guys made sure to put a burning pile of shit in the background, because fire.
The service is called Invisible Girlfriend, and the idea is that you sign up and pay $25 and they will send you text messages and photos and make you feel as if you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend (your choice), and if you can laugh at this without your laughter getting caught in your throat and turning to sobs, then you are a heartless tool.
Imagine a room full of these things. Like maybe a hundred of them. Now imagine you're going to tell them what to do, and they're going to listen to you, because they know about Asimov's Laws and of course are willing to obey some things written in a short story in 1942. Good luck with that.
Barri Rafferty is CEO of Ketchum North America, a PR firm. In 2012 and 2014 she attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, but this year she is staying home. She talked to Fortune about what it's like being a female CEO at a conference where this year only 17 percent of attendees will be women. In some ways the conference is amazing. But:
Minh Nguyen, a co-founder of Plaxo and a techie who was involved in several other startups, was arrested and charged with murder after allegedly shooting his ex-wife's new husband in Virginia. Police say Nguyen's ex-wife was returning home with one of the kids when the attack took place. Two other kids were in the house at the time. NBC reports Nguyen and his wife had gone through "months of strife" over "child custody and visitation issues."
Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking aren't the only ones freaked out about AI and robotics killing us off, apparently. That theme keeps bubbling up everywhere, including at Davos, where the agenda for this week's World Economic Forum contains a bunch of "scary robots and AI" panels sprinkled throughout the week.
Performance artist Shanley Kane (@shanley) agitates on behalf of women and demands greater diversity in the tech industry (good) but according to Breitbart, it turns out that in 2011 and 2012 she was dating Andrew "weev" Auernheimer, a white supremacist and Internet troll. Auernheimer tells Breitbart that he taught Kane how to be a troll. He also claims that she shared his racist views. Now he says he's sorry for creating a monster. Whoa!
Diversity activist Shanley Kane (@shanley) is "cofounder and CEO of ModelViewCulture," as well as a "cultural critic, organizer, writer and feminist." Yesterday she went on a tirade about Linux creator Linus Torvalds for some dismissive comments about diversity that he made at a conference, and now the other side, whoever they are — Linux hackers? Gamergate trolls? I have no idea — have fired back with a fake website devoted to a fake organization called The Feminist Software Foundation, which is creating a new Unix variant, called ToleranUX.
Linus Torvalds created Linux, and you didn't. What else do you need to know? Torvalds was at some conference in New Zealand this week and pesky question people started giving him shit for not being very nice on the mailing list where
sad pee-stained losers Linux developers communicate and work together to make the glorious software known as Linux. Someone pointed out that Torvalds was kind of abrasive online, only to find out that in fact Torvalds is even worse IRL.
Man-god Elon Musk tried to do something amazing last week, and he almost pulled it off. His company, SpaceX, was going to fire a rocket, and then have it fly back down from 50 miles up and land on a floating barge so that it could be reused. "Close but no cigar," is how Musk puts it. He also said the rocket had "landed hard." Now there's a Vine that shows just how hard. To be honest, it's amazing that SpaceX even came this close. Elon Musk is 43 years old, and the greatest human being alive on the planet today.
Is your smartphone up to your lifestyle? That's a question a lot of us ask ourselves, and for some people, until now, the answer has been no. But now there is a Lamborghini smartphone and it costs $6,300. Basically it's an Android phone in a garish, vulgar, tacky case. You can see it on the company website, but you might also enjoy this video on Business Insider where they interview Mr. Bob Hatefi from Lamborghini. It feels a bit like something you might see on Saturday Night Live.
The battle: Elon Musk versus killer robot with AI brain. On one side, enormous intelligence combined with a completely ruthless, amoral worldview and limitless resources. On the other side, a robot. Who will win?
Yesterday I posted an item about how someone at BlackBerry had sent out a tweet using an iPhone, and how this proves just how bad BlackBerry sucks. Then all of a sudden a rumor hit that Samsung was going to acquire BlackBerry, and the stock popped nearly 30% in a single day. Great news! But then the dopes at BlackBerry had to throw cold water on the whole thing by issuing a statement saying that they've never engaged in any acquisition talks with Samsung. Guys! This is not how you manipulate a stock! You're supposed to play coy for a couple of days, so that
I can dump my shares whoever created the rumor can sell off their position. Damn you, BlackBerry. You guys can't do anything right.
I have this friend who works as a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. I call him the Vulture. He always has the best stories about what really goes on inside these crazy startup deals, and how VCs really behave once they've put money into a company — usually, like a pack of assholes. Last night he sent me an email about an item that was in the news yesterday: Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg and formerly a partner at Google Ventures, is bailing out of Google Ventures and starting an incubator, North Technologies. He has raised $5 million to get started, and admits he has no idea what the big idea will be. "You're investing in a couple product people getting together and trying a bunch of different ideas," he told re/code.