Science Summary of The Week - thanks /R/Futurology
Siri, Accessory to Murder via Independent
So Siri assists a murderer:
US police say a Florida man accused of killing his roommate asked Apple’s digital assistant Siri for advice on hiding the body the day the man went missing. According to evidence reproduced from the trial by local news stations, Siri responded “What kind of place are you looking for?” before offering four options: “Swamps, reservoirs, metal foundries, dumps”.
But the iPhone data (including flashlight records!) gets him prosecuted:
Police say that Bravo was using the phone’s flashlight function to hide the body in the woods, and say that location data gathered from the smartphone doesn’t fit with Bravo’s account of his movements that evening.
Watson, the IBM supercomputer, might replace the loudmouth in your business meetings
While plenty of modern conference rooms are outfitted with technology, IBM is imagining a future in which computers figure into office meetings not only as tools but as active participants.+
According to the MIT Technology Review, IBM is testing the idea at a lab where everything said in a demo room lined with microphones can be transcribed, and in some cases synthesized, by Watson, the Jeopardy! champion supercomputer.Participants can ask Watson for something as simple as a statistic, or as complex as a list of acquisition targets based on its understanding of a pre-meeting strategy memo and a set of verbal conditions (“Watson, show me companies between $15 million and $60 million in revenue relevant to that strategy” is an example from the article).+
In the demo, Watson was able to make further suggestions on companies to eliminate from the group of potential targets, essentially generating a shortlist. In time, the software might be able to log contributions of different people to a meeting, or fact-check statements.
Full Story: Quartz
Lego Mark VI Mindstorms Robotic Hand and Arm
Four independently motorized fingers controlled individually by four touch sensors; powered by one Mindstorms EV3.
Flair includes a mount for my cell phone (just for my convenience), a blue light-up bar, and 5 blue LEDs.
I wore this for 2 hours in low light during the “world of lights” event at BrickFair VA 2014 (all overhead lights in the expo hall turned off so lit-up MOCs could shine).
I also wore this for several hours during the public days, Saturday & Sunday, August 2nd & 3rd — shaking hands with attendees all day.
Physical build time: off & on for many evenings.
Programming time: 1 hour.
No I don’t have instructions written up to share.
Protecting 3D Printing Designs: Featured Speaker Patience Jones
As the consumer 3D printer space grows, so too are concerns about pirating of digital files which allow people to 3D print designs without the designers permission or any direct compensation for its use. In a way, the physical world is about to embark on a similar journey the media industry continues to struggle with in managing and monetizing products that have now gone digital. We sat down with Designers of Things speaker, Patience Jones, who graduated from the University of Michigan Law school to get glimpse into this topic which she will be also speaking about at the conference in September.
Image via Kickstarter
Measuring is the hardest part of baking (or so we’re told. We’re more of the walk-down-to-Dominique-Ansel folks). Thankfully, here’s now a Kickstarter campaign designed to take the human error – and human mess – out of measuring the ingredients for any recipe.
Meet PantryChic, the new kitchen product just waiting for your dollars and support. This handy gadget stores all the ingredients you’ll ever need in airtight canisters, then, with the touch of a button, can measure out exactly the right amount and dispense it in seconds. The microprocessor “registers” the type of ingredients as soon as the PantryChic-system canister is attached to the standing machine, and can even work with Bluetooth-enabled tablets, phones and computers with a “recipe walk through” system designed to make cooking and baking utterly thoughtless. Now if only we could find a way to make those ooey gooey homemade cookies healthful…