First robot that can convey emotions

It’s not often that I have cause for patriotism as most of the innovations in technology seem to be in the USA but this is an exception. A team of highly talented British computer scientists at Hertfordshire university lead by Lola Cañamero  have developed Nao, an artificially intelligent robot utilizing hierarchical temporal memory technology meaning the robot is running a learning software that is aimed at emulating the human neo cortex. Nao uses sensors and cameras to read proximity and visual feedback and is aimed at emulating human development up to 5 years.

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Facebook To Disable Boxes, Shrink Custom Tabs

Facebook has announced that they will be disabling boxes for profiles and pages, which includes the boxes tab.  They will also be changing the width of custom tabs (such as Static FBML tabs) to 520 pixels.  These changes will take effect publicly on August 23, but page admins see the changes already so they can reformat as necessary.

According to Fran Larkin of Facebook, the changes “are designed to simplify navigation for users, reduce complexity for developers, and enable us to build the next generation of tools for growing your business with Facebook.”   Read more of this post

Ustream Goes Hollywood

Today, video streaming network Ustream is taking a big step forward.  They have opened a new office in Hollywood, and hired Jason Kirk, formerly MySpace’s VP of Video & Entertainment.  Also new to the company is Wayne Sieve, now Ustream’s VP of Sports, who was formerly head of business development at Yahoo Sports.  They’ve also hired Jeff Varnell, another former MySpacer, as executive director of business development.   Read more of this post

Twitter Is Now More Torrent Friendly

Twitter just got a little more torrent-friendly with the release of BitTorrent’s Torrent Tweet, an app you can add to torrent client uTorrent to organize Twitter discussions about individual torrents.  With this app, individual torrent files are given hashtags that can be searched on Twitter, like this one.   Read more of this post

Bill Cosby On His Most Recent Death: Please Stop, It Isn’t Funny [Video]

One bad thing about Twitter is that it is a huge medium for misinformation.  So many people see an interesting tweet, instantly believe it, and retweet it, without fact-checking anything.  That’s exactly what happened recently when Bill Cosby was reported dead for the fourth time.

He’s not dead, of course, but thanks to the guy who tweeted it, everyone thought he was.  Cosby’s family and friends called his house in tears to find out if he was okay.  The person behind this clearly does not understand how upsetting this is.  “I just wanna say to friends of that person,” Cosby said in a CNN interview, “just tell him to stop because it isn’t funny.”   Read more of this post

Nicholas Negroponte: The Physical Book Will Be Dead In 5 Years

Today at the Techonomy in Lake Tahoe, Maria Bartiromo sat down with a few panelists including Bill Joy, Kevin Kelly, Nicholas Negroponte, and 
Willie Smits.  The topic was the future of technology, and Negroponte had something very interesting to say.

He said that the physical book is dead.  According to him, people are going to have a hard time accepting it, but it is happening.  Think about film and music.  Back in the ’80s, people like him were predicting that physical film was about to die, and companies like Kodak were denying it.  Back then, everything was physical, but things are changing now.   Read more of this post

Microsoft’s Mystery Hardware: Arc Touch Mouse, Set To Launch In September

Microsoft has been teasing a new piece of hardware via Twitter over the past week, and we now know what it is:  The Arc Touch Mouse.

Details of the device began surfacing in early July as retailers began publishing store listings for a “Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse.”  Microsoft registered arctouchmouse.com on March 30, and redirected it to a Bing search for “arctouchmouse.”  According to inside sources, it is set to launch in September 2010.

Presumably, the mouse came about as a result of Microsoft’s “Mouse 2.0” research project.  The project outlined different designs for a possible multi-touch mouse, one of which looking very similar to the Arc Touch Mouse.   Read more of this post

Eric Schmidt On Google Wave’s Death: “We Celebrate Our Failures.” [Video]

As you may have heard, Google Wave is now dead.  But why?  Google CEO Eric Schmidt took some time after the Techonomy conference to answer that.

Thanks to MG Siegler of TechCrunch for the video.   Read more of this post

So 20 Android Phones Outsold 1 iPhone? But How?!

Shocker:  On Monday, Android sales overtook iPhone sales.  This seems to be a big deal to the media, but why?  How many Android phones (that are still being sold) are there in the US?  I’d say 20, more or less.  Why is it so shocking that those 20 phones, on 4 carriers, overtook 1 phone, on 1 carrier?  Sure, it’s a known fact that Google Android is an iPhone competitor, but on what world is it logical to compare the sales of 20 different phones to 1 single phone?   Read more of this post

Google Wave Waves Goodbye

It was fun while it lasted.  Google has announced that it will be ending further development of Google Wave, their real-time messaging platform.

Wave was unveiled in May of 2009 at the Google I/O event in San Francisco.  It could be described as a combination of email, IM, and Twitter.  Users can drag and drop files from their desktop to the conversation.  It also allows for real-time document collaboration.

Although Wave had some loyal users who loved the service (including our own Devon Schreiner), “it has not seen the user adoption we would have liked,” says Google.   Read more of this post