Automata in the Modern Age

The early machines featured in this story are things of beauty, imagination, and elegance. The novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, along with the film version by Martin Scorsese, has renewed interest in the mysterious and captivating creations known as automata: mechanical people made long before the computer age. BBC has a nice 5 minute video (stills and narration only) that shows how some craftsmen are breathing new life into them.

Watch it here.

Not Every Job is Made Better by Robots

F’rinstance: South Korean prison guard.

And this is necessary because … CCTV is too efficient and cost effective and doesn’t involve cool proto-Daleks? Now, if Robo-Guard wandered up and down gen-pop shouting “EX-TER-MI-NATE!” randomly, then I might be able to get behind this.

This article at Phys.org appears to have an accurate read on this. It’s not that South Korea thinks robo-screws are really all that necessary, but that prisons have a compliant population upon which to test new technology.