Filed under: Art, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Brave New World, Connections, Expert systems, General Musings, Humor, Marketing, movies, NYT, Predictions, Publishing, Science, Science Fiction, Society, tech | Tags: art, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, blogging, Communion of Dreams, Drea Cooper, DVD, Emma Cott, Expert, Grindr, humor, jim downey, Matt McMullen, New York Times, predictions, Robotica, robotics, science, Science Fiction, Seth, sex, technology, Tinder, Topless Robot, VHS, video, Zackary Canepari
Via Topless Robot, this article/video from the New York Times:
Matt McMullen has proved that some people are willing to spend thousands on sex dolls.
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Mr. McMullen’s new project, which he is calling Realbotix, is an attempt to animate the doll. He has assembled a small team that includes engineers who have worked for Hanson Robotics, a robotics lab that produces shockingly lifelike humanoid robots.
Mr. McMullen is first focusing on developing convincing artificial intelligence, and a robotic head that can blink and open and close its mouth. He’s also working to integrate other emerging technologies, like a mobile app that acts like a virtual assistant and companion, and virtual reality headsets that can be used separately or in tandem with the physical doll.
It’s accepted wisdom that many new technologies come into their own and are quickly disseminated through the public when a way can be found to use them for sex and/or the depictions of same. Printing. VHS tapes. DVDs. The internet. Smartphone Apps like Tinder or Grindr.
So why not artificial intelligence?
Which isn’t the way I saw the technology for an expert system/assistant like Seth developing, but hey, I suppose whatever works …
Filed under: Augmented Reality, Connections, Predictions, Science, Science Fiction, tech | Tags: augmented reality, blogging, Charles Lieber, Communion of Dreams, Devin Powell, Harvard, jim downey, Nature Nanotechnology, predictions, Science Fiction, Smithsonian, technology
From Chapter 14 of Communion of Dreams:
“No problems with either hand since your incident with the artifact?”
“No. They were sore last night when I first woke up, but I figured that was due to the shock or whatever it was.”
She nodded. “You know how the palmkey is installed and works, right?”
“Yeah, sure. It’s a thin film injected just under the skin, forms a fluid web across the palm that is programmed to function as a close-range transceiver. Simple enough.”
News item this morning:
What if the next gadget for sending messages to your friends wasn’t a watch strapped to your wrist or a phone stuffed in your pocket—but an electronic device embedded in your brain? Now, a new kind of flexible circuit has brought us one step closer to this science fiction future. Implanted via injection, a grid of wires only a few millimeters across can insinuate itself with living neurons and eavesdrop on their chatter, offering a way for electronics to interface with your brain activity.
“We’re trying to blur the distinction between electronic circuits and neural circuits,” says Charles Lieber, a nanotechnologist at Harvard University and co-author of a study describing the device this week in Nature Nanotechnology.
OK, not exactly the same thing … but pretty damned close. I’m going consider that another prediction come true.
Filed under: Art, Book Conservation, General Musings, Survival | Tags: 1885, art, blogging, book conservation, hope, jim downey, Legacy Bookbindery, Marshall Missouri
One of the lessons I’ve drawn from my years of book conservation experience is that what may initially look to be a hopeless case can sometimes surprise you. Take a look at this 1880s dance card for the Marshall Missouri ‘Christmas Hop’. Here it is this afternoon when I took it out of the stack of items a client had brought in:
Looks pretty bad, eh? Actually, it looks a LOT better there than it did in person, thanks to the automatic filters/functions on my phone camera. In person, that light grey was the color of charcoal, and almost no color or words were clear to the human eye. That’s because it was covered in charcoal — it had spent approximately 100 years hidden behind the chimney in a house. The charcoal was more than 1mm thick over most of the card, and had to be physically scraped away before I got to the surface cleaning. Here it is after I spent some time cleaning it:
Not perfect, but a distinct improvement. Not everything can be fixed. Not every problem can be solved. And even when you can improve things, you’re seldom going to be able to make it perfect.
But that’s OK. That’s life. You do what you can. And almost nothing is completely hopeless — at least, not as hopeless as it might seem at first.
Filed under: Humor, Writing stuff | Tags: blogging, cats, entirely too cute, Greystoke, humor, jim downey, kitten, Shakespeare, writing
A drama in three acts.
SCENE 1: A bedspread, The Queen Mel in her comfort. A quiet, rainy summer’s day. Enter the young challenger.
SCENE 1: A bedspread, The Queen Mel defending her position.
SCENE 1: A bedspread, the young Lord Greystoke surveying his new demesne.
Filed under: Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Brave New World, Connections, movies, Predictions, Science Fiction, Survival, Violence | Tags: artificial intelligence, augmented reality, blogging, Communion of Dreams, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, jim downey, predictions, Science Fiction, technology, The Last One, video, Vimeo
This is a good short, and ties in nicely with the end of Communion of Dreams:
Filed under: Alzheimer's, Amazon, Connections, Feedback, Health, Hospice, Kindle, Marketing, Promotion, Publishing, Science Fiction | Tags: Alzheimer's, Amazon, blogging, care-giving, caregiving, Communion of Dreams, direct publishing, feedback, free, health, Her Final Year, hope, jim downey, John Bourke, Kindle, literature, memoir, promotion, reviews, Science Fiction, writing
Playing a bit off of the title of my previous blog post …
Why? Because offering free downloads is one of the basic promotional tools on the Kindle platform. It’s a way to generate sales and interest in a book. And also because it’s important to get the books to readers who may not be able to afford even the modest price of an e-book. For someone struggling as a care-provider, sometimes even a $2.99 price tag can be hard to budget for. Likewise for people who find themselves on hard times, and need a little hope and escape … something which I like to think Communion of Dreams can provide.
So we’ll give this a try. If you know anyone who might enjoy either or both books, let ’em know that they can download them for free tomorrow. And July 1st. And August 1st. And …
Filed under: Ballistics, Book Conservation, Connections, Guns, Humor, Writing stuff | Tags: 1776, ballistics, BBTI, blogging, Boberg, book conservation, bookbinding, cats, entirely too cute, humor, Independence Day, jim downey, kitten, predictions, Science Fiction, St. Cybi's Well, writing
Remember this little fellow?
That was three weeks ago. Well, here he was about an hour ago, watching me from a rag bag under my workbench in the bindery:
Kinda hard to tell from those pics, but he’s grown and is starting to take on more “cat” characteristics, though he is still *very* much a kitten. And my shins have the scratches to prove it.
* * *
Been busy: Ammo test results in the Boberg XR45-S
Prep & clean-up took most of a full week. But good to get that test sequence done.
* * *
“Spirit of 1776″? It’s a little early to be invoking Independence Day stuff, isn’t it?
Yeah, I know. There’s more than a month before we get to that.
But that’s the number of this blog post, in the running tally which WordPress keeps. Who woulda thunk it?