What if your boyfriend was really sweet and helpful and you could shrink him into a tiny cyborg that lives inside your phone? Regardless of what Honey I Shrunk the Kids taught you, we don’t have the technology to do that–yet. But luckily there are Happiness Engines, little bots made by a startup in San Francisco that help make using your smartphone a little bit easier.
As you might have noticed, here at Betabeat we’ve put ourselves on Skynet watch. As part of our duties, we like to keep one eye firmly fixed on the rise of robots. So far, we’ve seen them making burritos, lifeguarding, even kicking your ass in rock, paper, scissors.
But what of the future? How will the robots talk amongst themselves? This video (created a 3D artist working under the name Fluxel Media) proposes a possibility more awful than we’d previously considered: Dubstep.
“Rather disgruntled” programmers, rejoice! Apple says it fixed that bug that was causing apps to crash on launch. [AllThingsD]
Jerry Seinfield now has a web series? [Daily Dot]
Facebook tab engagement has declined 53 percent since the introduction of Timeline. Perhaps that’s why Buddy Media was so eager to sell? [Mashable, h/t Nicholas Carlson]
Microsoft researcher: Oops, that whole thing about an Android botnet was just an “educated guess.” [The Verge]
The Singularity is nigh: For the first time ever, scientists have controlled a robot using only their thoughts. [Gizmodo]
Twitter engineer says that today search and discovery are “set to change forever.” Does that mean they’ll actually be good? [The Next Web]
If your cell phone is a robot that is coming to destroy you, meet this robot, which is coming to shame you at a classic hand game. The janken robot, developed at the Ishikawa Owu Laboratory in Japan, can not only play you in rock-paper-scissors, but it will beat you. 100 percent of the time. It’s programmed that way!
FreedomBox cofounder and Columbia law professor Eben Moglen is widely recognized for his controversial ideas about the Internet and privacy, so it was unsurprising when we learned that he’s not really that into Facebook and Twitter. But did you know that he thinks your cell phone is out to kill you? Or maim, at the very least.
Mr. Moglen certainly believes that smartphones are more foe than friend. This is because, according to Forbes, smartphones still don’t have the first rule of robotics encoded into their technological makeup. That rule, written by scifi writer Isaac Asimov, is, “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.”
Last week, Betabeat met 33-year-old Dmitry Grishin, the so-called “Russian Mark Zuckerberg,” to talk about robots. Or more specifically, to talk about the $25 million investment Mr. Grishin just made to launch Grishin Robotics, a global investment firm–based in New York City!–with the goal of bringing personal robots into every household in the world.
Mr. Grishin is the CEO of Mail.ru, one of the largest Internet companies in Russia, offering services like email, instant messaging, and social networking. After going public on the London Stock Exchange in 2010, Mail.ru currently has a market cap of $7 billion. Mail.ru also happens to have sold a hefty chunk of its Facebook stock in the company’s recent IPO, which might explain why Mr. Grishin decided the time was right to pursue his dream. “I have personal passion for robotics,” Mr. Grishin, a graduate of Moscow State Technical University’s Robotics and Complex Automation program. “I really believe this is a cool, cool area.”
As it happens, talking to Mr. Grishin was not our first conversation about the impending robot revolution in recent weeks.
Some terrifying news to end your day: The robots are beginning their takeover. First they came for the vaccums. Then they came for the baccarat tables. Now, they’re coming for the Air Force.
Teen heartbreaker Justin Bieber will be on hand at the Consumer Electronic Show from 1 to 3 p.m. on January 11th, pimping out some robots. Specifically: a BRAND NEW ENTERTAINMENT ROBOT by Vietnamese electronics maker TOSY Robotics, to be unveiled at the show.
“TOSY Robotics produces 4 types of products: Gigantic robots, Service robots, Industrial robots and High-tech toys,” Robonexus reports breathlessly. There is also a tiny robot. TOSY robots can play ping pong and bartend.
GREAT MOMENTS IN ADORABLY CLICHED TECH REPORTING
Over the weekend, the NY Daily News published a piece entitled ‘New York City’s R train is the Silicon Subway, connecting high-tech startups to their workers.‘ How many cringe-worthy tech reporting cliches can you spot?
There a few things that set Resorts World Casino, which opens its doors at 1 p.m. today, apart from its Las Vegas brethren. First of all: it’s in Queens, which means its New York City’s first casino. Secondly, it might technically be a “racino” since its connected to the Aqueduct racetrack in South Ozone Park. But what really distinguishes the joint–which features 5,000 gambling terminals, 6,500 parking spaces, Chinese dim sum, and the Asian dice game sic bo–is the robots.