An idea whose time has come

typed for your pleasure on 10 April 2006, at 8.02 pm

Sdtrk: the main theme from ‘Get Carter’ by Roy Budd

Y’know how the first podcast series of The Ricky Gervais Show had ‘Monkey News’ as a regular feature? Well, lately, ‘Shouting etc etc’ has turned into ‘Synthetiks News’. I mean, moreso than usual.

Soon he’ll be in two places at once
February 1, 2006

Students of Hiroshi Ishiguro will struggle to tell their teacher from his robotic doppelganger, writes Deborah Smith.

TRAVELLING long distances to meetings and conferences will soon be a thing of the past for Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, the creator of the world’s most human-like robot – a female named Repliee Q2. Ishiguro, of Osaka University, is close to finishing an even more advanced robot – a male, this time – that will be a physical replica of himself.

“I will not need to come here again,” he told a conference in Sydney earlier this week. “I will send my android instead.”

The busy Japanese scientist expects his $500,000 lookalike will prove most valuable for avoiding the regular trips to see his research students at the ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories in Kyoto, an hour’s drive away from his Osaka office.

Its lifelike presence will keep his researchers on their toes during teleconferences, he hopes. “If they feel my authority with my android there, it will be good,” he told the Herald.

Hollywood’s robotic creations usually have hard, metallic shells. But people prefer human-like machines with soft skin, Ishiguro says. “They don’t like to spend time with a robot-like robot.”
the rest of the article is here

This is exactly the sort of thing Andy Warhol was attempting to do. Even back during the Sixties, long before the concept of an Android double had crossed his mind, he had Factory hanger-on Alan Midgette do the lecture circuit thing dressed as Andy — black rollneck jumper, some talc liberally sprinkled in his hair, black shades, the lot. But this is even better. We have the technology.

So will the Android Ishiguro-san be allowed to eventually head new robotics projects? That would be very… meta. But entirely appropriate!

Technorati tags: Actroid, Repliee, Gynoid, Andy Warhol

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(place informal greeting in Suomi here)

typed for your pleasure on 7 April 2006, at 2.45 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Un br Che’ by Merzbow

Checking the stats for ‘Shouting etc etc’, I see that the issue of Image has indeed hit the (Finnish) stands! It’s the issue with Alex Kapranos and Kelly Osbourne, or whoever the hell they are, on the cover.

Alex and Kelly went cosplaying as Jack and Meg White this year

Also, suzi9mm’s post helped quite a bit, too. 🙂
Sidore-chan and I say a hearty ‘Hallo!’ to everyone dropping in from the aforementioned places. Enjoy your stay, leave a comment, try the fondue, etc etc

UPDATE (5.50 pm): Just received my copy through the post!
I, err, can’t read a word of it! But it looks ace

Technorati tags: Davecat, Sidore, RealDoll, ,

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Robot South Korea*

typed for your pleasure on 4 April 2006, at 2.35 pm

Sdtrk: ‘A bargain at twice the price’ by Vitesse

I have to agree with Ryan here — South Korea’s lookin’ rather good right about now. Well, in a couple of years, anyway.

In a Wired South Korea, Robots Will Feel Right at Home
Published: April 2, 2006

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea, the world’s most wired country, is rushing to turn what sounds like science fiction into everyday life. The government, which succeeded in getting broadband Internet into 72 percent of all households in the last half decade, has marshaled an army of scientists and business leaders to make robots full members of society.

By 2007, networked robots that, say, relay messages to parents, teach children English and sing and dance for them when they are bored, are scheduled to enter mass production. Outside the home, they are expected to guide customers at post offices or patrol public areas, searching for intruders and transmitting images to monitoring centers.

If all goes according to plan, robots will be in every South Korean household between 2015 and 2020. That is the prediction, at least, of the Ministry of Information and Communication, which has grouped more than 30 companies, as well as 1,000 scientists from universities and research institutes, under its wing. Some want to move even faster.

“My personal goal is to put a robot in every home by 2010,” said Oh Sang Rok, manager of the ministry’s intelligent service robot project.

(the rest of the article is here. Since the article’s on the money-grubbing New York Times, you’ll have to log in to see the whole article; in which case, you can either use my login — hope_u_like_it, password 123456 — or get round to and use another one)

It’s almost as if South Korea has said, ‘You know, the simple fact that North Korea’s government even exists is spewing poison into the very earth’s atmosphere, and by doing what we’re doing, we’re trying to put Right what they’re putting Wrong.’
Good job, South Korea, and keep it up! If we can’t have Actroids immediately, we’ll settle for Android SAYA

*I was originally going to title this one ‘Robot Seoul’, after the Add N to (X) track ‘Robot New York’, but no-one would get it, and instead believe that I was just making a horrible pun

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Ship without a rudder

typed for your pleasure on 3 April 2006, at 12.21 am

Sdtrk: ‘The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore’ by The Walker brothers

It’s Sunday eve! I should be writing Emails and calling people, but instead I’ve been playing through ‘Devil may cry 3‘ using Vergil (he doesn’t have a gun — he just launches spectral swords at his opponents instead), and watching the original (read: Good) ‘Bedazzled!‘ So I have nowt of any real significance to write about today. Sorry!

Alright, well, I sorta do.
You know me — I loves me some Sixties culture, especially if it’s from the UK or Europe, and the more nostalgic or obscure, the better. In between DMC3 and ‘Bedazzled!’, I had a sit-down in front of the computer for a bit, subsequently got distracted on the Autoroute de l’information, and found an ace site which replicates, in Flash, the idents and break bumpers from British television stations, from the late Fifties, to the early Eighties. They’d show idents such as these before a television programme, just in case you’d wandered in or whatever and simply had to know what station you were viewing. Upon retrospect it doesn’t make a tremendous amount of sense — how could you not know what channel you were on? — but UK television had, and still has, a very alternate universe vibe to the way they run things. ‘Terrestrial’? ‘Satellite’? ‘Regional programming’? Huh?

Anyway, the page that grabbed my attention is from a site called 625: Andrew Wiseman’s Television Room, which is quite interesting in and of itself, but my favourite areas are the Flash reproductions of station idents, and the clocks and opening bumpers for school programmes. Due to their minimalism, quite a few of those graphics had a certain air of menace to them; which makes them all the more appealing for me, anyway. Just have a look at the one for Ulster Television, for example; subtle, yet sinister. Or the BBC2 Colour one from 1967! Look at it! Look at it.

*looks at time/date stamp* Gah, it’s Monday already?! What the hell happened to my evening?

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typed for your pleasure on 1 April 2006, at 10.39 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Psychedelic underground’ by Nurse with wound

Mostly print-related, but yes, there is news!.. Anu of Image Emailed me today, stating that the issue with the story will see print next week, so for those of you who live, or can otherwise just bicycle over to Finland, go grab a copy. He says that he’ll send a translated version rather soon, as my knowledge of Suomi is shockingly limited.
I’m debating whether or not I should sit on it and post it on Sidore-chan’s site when it’s back up, or to post it here.. hrmm..

Also, there’s apparently an article about an iDollator colleague in the latest Sacramento News and Review, which can be found right here. Quite ace!
In that vein, I really need to be more up on reporting about Synthetik-related articles that have to do with people who aren’t myself or the Missus. Like, did you see the one related to fellow sexy iDollator Wanda? It’s appeared in an English publication called Metro UK, and the online version would be here. My personal opinion? It’s a bit judgemental, but my friend Wanda is in print, so there’s some good that’s come of it..

And there’s a new Synthetik-related manga available in English — well, it’s a manhwa, actually, as it’s by a Korean bloke named Youjung Lee. ‘0/6‘ is the title, and it’s published by Netcomics. So far, nothing can top Mitsukazu Mihara’s ‘DOLL‘ series as far as Synthetik-related manga for me, but I’m finding ‘0/6’ to be only okay; the art is passable, the story seems to be off to a slow start, the main character is a bit of a nebbish, and the Gynoid seems to be a wee bit overpowered, but I’m hoping that the story begins ramping up soon, as indicated by events in the last couple of pages in the first volume. We shall see!

Err, and that’s the lot for now! Have an obligatory picture of Actroid DER-chan for your trouble

Awww, somebody wants a hug!

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typed for your pleasure on 31 March 2006, at 2.18 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Slug bait’ by Throbbing gristle

During one of my recent phone crashes — I have a Kyocera 7135 Smartphone, and I swear, the OS on the fucker crashes at least once a week, cos Kyocera seem to have this ‘fire and forget’ policy when it comes to making their phones, so their customer support is nonexistent — I seem to have lost all my saved birthdates for mates. *glares menacingly at phone*
It’s embarrassing. This is what Technology has brought us to. I don’t remember phone numbers anymore thanks to Caller ID, and birthdates are just a string of random numbers vaguely assigned to the mental image of a human I don’t hate.

So yeah; please let me know what your birthdate is again — either leave it in the comments, or Email me or something. Or you can call me! AH HA HA HA HA SO FUNY

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typed for your pleasure on 30 March 2006, at 9.53 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Honey honey (Swedish version)’ by ABBA

What’s the best thing about the Vernal equinox and the coming of Springtime? Lasses nationwide rummaging through their wardrobes and breaking out their sandals and open-toed shoes. An actual reason for me to leave the house? Unpossible!
Could that be why I wear my shades as much as I do, so I can steal brazen glances at all the delectable girlfeet that cross my field of vision, without getting socked in the chops? Maaaybe!

Ahh, Spring
Are these delicious? Y / N (circle one)

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