the robots are coming

Man Vs. Machine: Ping Pong Pro To Face Off Against Super Powerful Robot

WHO WILL WIN? (YouTube)

In a few weeks, man will face off in an epic battle against machine — in a game of ping pong. 

At the beginning of March, robot manufacturing company KUKA Robotics will open its first plant in Shanghai, China. To celebrate, KUKA has recruited ping pong pro Timo Boll to challenge the company’s fastest robot to a table tennis battle royale, which will ultimately determine whether humans or robots will win the race for world domination. Just kidding. It’ll probably just show that KUKA’s “Agilus” is a really freaking fast-moving and powerful robot. Read More

Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (Shorty Awards, NYU Startup Week, Big Apple Smackdown, NY Tech Meetup, PSFK, British Invasion, LeanUX, Investor Feedback Forum, Assembled Food)

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This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.

R.I.P., Roger Ebert. Over the years I’ve learned a lot from Mr. Ebert, inspired not only by his style of writing and communicating but also by his personality and approach to life. Check out this TED talk he gave–”Remaking My Voice“–and here’s a wonderful essay from his book Life Itself: A Memoir. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Kevin Ryan Is a Ping Pong Champ and AllThingsD Knows All About Mustache Rides

We'll use this as an artist's rendering. (Photo: flickr.com/lac-bac)

Silicon Alley Smackdown One of the many tech events on rain delay because of Hurricane Sandy was the Big Apple Smackdown ping pong tournament, whose guest list included an impressive number of familiar names from the New York tech scene. (Betabeat is one of the media sponsors, so we may be a little biased.) Among the techno-athletes scheduled to play was Gilt Groupe CEO–and soon-to-be Gilt Groupe chairmanKevin Ryan. Apparently, we missed quite a show.

The tournament was scheduled for Sunday, “and I played on Friday and on Sunday just to get ready for it!” Mr. Ryan told Betabeat. Really? “Oh yeah, because I won a tournament about a month ago.” That was an invitation-only affair for ping pong ringers at the Hamptons manse of ABC Carpet & Home’s Ken Pilot. “You had to put $100 into the pot and the winner got two-thirds of the pot, so I was pretty excited about that,” Mr. Ryan enthused. Read More