SociBot-Mini: The Robot That Reads Your Emotions And Talks To You About Them

socibot-miniConsider this infomercial pitch:

Have you ever found yourself wondering if you look as old as you are? Do you think that your deep, dark depression leaks out through your expression when you aren’t paying attention? Did you ever want to feel like you’re being eye-molested in your own home? Well, we’ve got just the thing for you…the SociBot-Mini, the new socially aware robot phenomenon, which isn’t just one of a kind, but one of any kind. Order now, and we’ll throw in this set of knife sharpeners and a spray that gets rid of goo!


Halt And Catch Fire Introduces AMC’s Series About The Early Computer Industry

Computer technology has become so prevalent and advanced so quickly over the past few decades, it’s easy to forget how comparatively recent their origins truly are. We’ve seen several dramatic looks at the personalities who helped shape the computer revolution, from Ashton Kutcher’s 2013 performance in Jobs to TNT’s 1999 TV movie Pirates of Silicon Valley. Now a new series from the network that brought us Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead is returning to the early days of the computer industry with Halt and Catch Fire, which premieres June 1 on AMC. You can check out the first trailer for the series up top.


Star Wars Prequel Storyboards Reveal A Younger, Mohawked Qui-Gon Jinn

Qui-Gon HawkEvery once in a while there’s a story that flies under our radar but which simply must be given its moment in the spotlight. The release of more Star Wars concept art is an interesting but hardly earth-shattering semi-regular event these days, and it’ll only become more prevalent in coming years as new Star Wars movies roll into theaters. But for this story we’re looking back, not forward, back to a time before the prequels had erupted through our collective childhoods, covering everything in a sickly sheen of too-pristine CGI and Gungan poop. Because while I’m not sure if The Phantom Menace would have been any better if Qui-Gon Jinn had been sporting a mohawk, that’s an unrealized reality I would totally be willing to take for a test drive.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Rumored To Be Facing Delays And Reshoots

TMNTAre we sure Terry Gilliam isn’t secretly directing the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot? Because normally for a production to be this plagued with bad news and controversy, it has to be poor old Gilliam behind the camera. So what’s the problem now? Rumors have hit the Internet that TMNT’s release may get kicked back months in order to facilitate some major reshoots.

The claims originate over on Geeks of Doom, and I don’t know how solid their track record is with exclusive news like this, so consider this firmly in the RUMOR camp until officially confirmed or denied. The Geeks of Doom folks say that their information comes from “a source connected with production,” and the news is major. Reshoots this late in the day are hardly unheard of, and they don’t necessarily bode ill, but GoD says that nearly one third of the movie is slated to be completely reshot, and that producer Michael Bay is taking time away from Transformers: Age of Extinction in order to oversee the reshoots.


Walking Dead Shatters Ratings Record And Promotes Three To Series Regulars

If you haven’t seen last night’s season finale of The Walking Dead, know that there are some spoilers ahead, but it’s mostly only about when [redacted] shows up to [redacted] in the [redacted].

walking deadWhile The Walking Dead often draws a small gasp out of me with its shocker moments, it’s hard to argue against this being one of the more predictable shows on TV, which helps to make those shocks all the more rewarding in the long run. In any case, it’s no shock that with last night’s season four finale the AMC show broke its own ratings record with 15.7 million total viewers (10.2 million in the key demographic), up from last season’s 12.4 million finale viewers. The producers are also predictably securing the cast for next year before the blood-red paint dries from last night’s conclusion. They’re officially promoting Alanna Masterson, Christian Serratos, and Andrew J. West to “series regulars” going into Season 5.


The Carnival Of The Future Stars Robots

emergeWhat do you expect to see at a carnival of the future? Maybe someone levitating a heavy object via the power of his mind (with a little help from an EEG)? Or someone with bionic limbs lifting 1000 pounds in each hand? Maybe some kind of alien party tricks? Regardless of what acts might invade the next iteration of Barnum and Bailey’s, one thing I think we can all agree on is that there’s going to be plenty of robots.

Emerge is put on by Arizona State University, and held in Phoenix. The annual event, comprised of performances and interactive exhibits, attracts artists, scientists, geeks, and robots, and is meant to urge attendees to think about their roles in the world of the future. “The future is going to be a strange place,” says co-director Ed Finn, so a carnival seems like the perfect venue to celebrate that weirdness. In addition to robots, this year’s event featured projection mapping, 3D printing, and games, and explored the theme, “The Future of Me.” While it might sound a little egoistic, the creators were trying to get participants to think about how the definition of self changes in a dynamic society, and how we as individuals can use the power we wield.