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Showing posts from March, 2009

HRP-4C Robot, Proof of Concept

The HRP-4C Robot (pictured right - photo, Yahoo News) that recently strutted down the catwork at a Japanese fashion show is a very exciting development in humanoid, robot technology because, as far as I'm concerned, it's 'proof of concept'.

What I mean by that is it looks good enough and is functional enough as a piece of hardware to say the technology is there to build human like robots. Stating the obvious really but that's what 'proof of concept' actually is, a working example of an idea. Watch the video below to see HRP-4C in action.


Video posted by sys2074

This humanoid fashion model is 158 cm (5 ft 2 inch) tall, weighs in at 43 kg (95 lb) can walk, talk and even express some facial emotions was developed by Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

The only thing that really spoils its human like appearance is that the robots hands are currently not automated from the wrist down. No doubt this will be addressed on f…

Watchmen Movie (2009) Don't read the novel.

I've come to the conclusion that reading the graphic novel of Watchmen prior to seeing the movie is a really bad idea. I'm very glad that I didn't (and at the time of writing this haven't read it).

I wasn't familiar with Watchmen, the movie or the novel, until the anticipation for this movie's release started creeping into the conversations of the Batman On Film podcast team. Their interest in this DC comics title and film first piqued my interest, then I saw the trailer in the cinema and thought it certainly did look promising.

Then I listened to the BOF Podcast for Watchmen with their in depth analysis of the film. I wasn't concerned about their podcast containing spoilers because, not being familiar with any of the characters, I doubted much of the details discussed would stick in my mind - I tend not to remember things that I have no vested interest in.

One thing that did stick was that everyone involved in BOF's podcast seemed to feel that this movie …

Ellen DeGeneres Interviews Portia de Rossi

March 16, 2009 will go down in history as either an important day in gay and lesbian relationships or, if you're like me, it'll be just another Monday.

I'm not a regular Ellen TV show watcher, the show's just a bit too light entertainment for me, but Ellen herself is one of the funniest comedians around, so I'll watch once in a while.

I was very interested when Ellen announced that she would be having her partner and wife, Portia de Rossi, on the show. Not because she's Ellen's partner but because she's kind of the 'forgotten' Aussie in America. She's not known in Australia in the same way as Nicole Kidman or Simon Baker or even Julian McMahon whom Portia stared alongside in the US TV show Nip/Tuck. Perhaps it's her openness about being a lesbian or perhaps it's because she's mostly played supporting roles rather than lead, I don't know? Whatever the reason she's been consistently working as an actress in the USA since she …

DC: Batman's Future in Comics

I came across this video thanks to the Batman on Film web site. It's an interview with several key players over at DC comics talking about the Future of Batman in the comics.

For those of you not in the know we are currently at a crossroads in the comics where Bruce Wayne is no longer Batman due to events that happened in Batman RIP and Final Crisis. That's as much as I can tell you because I don't read Batman comics at all. I'll tell you more about why after the video.

DC: Batman's Future in Comics


Batman on Film's founder, Jett, is clearly not happy with this new era as he lets fly in his recent post on his site, BATMAN IN COMICS: BOF's mad as hell and ain't going to take it anymore!

For my part, this video highlights exactly why I don't read Batman comics and I agree with Jett's call for at least one Batman Comic title that simply tells good Batman stories with Bruce Wayne as Batman, Alfred as his Butler and maybe, just maybe Robin appearing ever…

Biker Gangs Unite in Gawler for Poker Run

I went out for my regular walk this morning and headed onto the path following the main road into Gawler (my home town), South Australia. Unusually this morning the streets were lined with people, families with cameras, video cameras and as well there were, seemingly hundreds of police. Police in cars, on bikes, even in helicopters. The main road was almost completely at a stand still with the number of vehicles.

All this fuss just to see me take my morning walk?

Well, no. The Gypsy Joker Poker Run is an annual event that starts in Gawler and tours the Barossa Valley. For those last few of you on the planet that have never heard of the Gypsy Jokers they're considered an 'outlaw' Biker Gang (or a Biker 'Association' depending on who you talk to). Each year the event attracts probably around 100-200 Gypsy Joker members and about the same number of Police to make sure nobody gets out of hand.

This article, Reckless' bikie run angers police, that appeared in the Sunda…

Jeff Simmermon : "Foreign Soil" (Internet Relationships)

Some of you may be aware that I'm someone who has been through the whole experience of Internet relationships - going from online to offline. I met my current partner, Enigma, online back towards the end of 1999. By May of the following year I'd moved half way across a continent to at least live in the same town and ultimately the same house.

For anyone who has ever done this kind of thing then this video by Jeff Simmermon perfectly captures many of the thoughts and anxieties that people trying to transition relationships from online to offline and in person face.

Thanks to Boing Boing for sharing the video.

Jeff's Description of his video:

Back in 2003, way before online dating was remotely acceptable by the general public, I met a woman from Perth online. I ended up selling all my stuff and flying from Virginia to meet her in person in Sydney.

I told this story at The Moth's story slam at Union Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I actually won the slam with it, which is a big…

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