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Results for “technology”

Do Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot have free will?

When lists of sci-fi artificial intelligence are compiled, the robots from Mystery Science Theater 3000 rarely get their due.

They may seem to be thrown together out of household junk. But their abilities far surpass those of many better-known sci-fi counterparts, such as HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Lt. Cmdr. Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation or C-3PO and R2-D2 of the Star Wars franchise.

Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo demonstrate an amazingly sophisticated artificial intelligence, with a vast knowledge base of human culture and history and the ability... More

Apple Watch, revisited

I work many mornings from a coffee shop near my apartment before heading into the office.

When people come in for coffee, being Americans, they politely form a rigidly hierarchical queue. And being Americans in 2016, they almost immediately pull out their phone and start fiddling with it.

We’re less than a decade into the smartphone era, and the device has become so ingrained in our lives that spending a few minutes with our own thoughts is less compelling than what’s on our magic internet-connected pocket computer.

I mention this not to judge my fellow humans (for a... More

I thought giant phones were ridiculous. Until I got one

I remember the first time I saw someone using a giant phone. One of those really oversized Samsung phones.

It looked silly, as if the person was holding an iPad Mini against their head to make a call. Who wants to look silly?

Not me. I had my iPhone.

When the iPhone debuted in 2007, it was the thinnest, smallest smartphone available. In typical Apple fashion, they had designed a phone years ahead of others in capability and then made it impossibly small. 1

Some of bulkiness of their competitors was due to limitations of the era.... More

The keys to my heart

I learned to type on a manual typewriter.

By college, computers and word processors had taken over, but in grade school and high school it was still click click click ding.

Getting the letters to swing the 8- or -10 inch arc and strike the paper with a solid thwack took some force. A typist on one of these machines had to hit through the key and do a clean followthrough.

The IBM Selectric that came after was much easier to use. I recall it hummed menacingly when switched on. The keys felt more like switchgear – hard... More

Just nice enough

The Apple Watch is very nice.

It’s nice to use. It feels nice on your arm. It looks nice, too, and is quite nicely built. It’s surprisingly nice to make phone calls from, and it’s a nice way to get notifications on the go.

The haptic feedback buzz feels nice when a new push alert pops in. The alert sounds are nice, and the digital crown has a nice smooth, precision feel when rotated. The inductive charger that effortlessly drops into place is very nice compared with the fiddly plug on a cell phone.

Even the packaging is nice. All... More