February 10, 2013 |
The Kid With a Bike Criterion, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.95 Belgian filmmaking brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne settled on their signature style in the mid-'90s with "La Promesse," a movie about a working-class youngster in a desperate situation, shot mostly with a handheld camera, using a lot of follow-shots. The Dardennes' latest shows that there's plenty of life in the brothers' approach as they tell the story a pre-teen foster child who goes looking for his father and ends up befriending both a kindly hairdresser and a shrewd drug dealer.
February 1, 2013 |
Stand by the Double Robotics booth at the Macworld trade show, and you hear the same thing over and over again as people walk by: "I would never have to leave the house again. " Or: "I would never have to go to the office again. " That's the reaction to the Double, a remote-controlled robot stand that will be available this spring for $2,000. Built by Double Robotics , a Sunnyvale, Calif., company, the gizmo is essentially a stand for an iPad with two wheels at the bottom. 10 tech companies to watch in 2013 Insert an iPad on top of the Double and download the company's app on that iPad and another iOS device.
January 8, 2013 |
LAS VEGAS -- Robotic vacuums are nothing new. We're all familiar with Roomba. But there are some other higher-plane jobs made just for robots: namely, washing windows. Enter Winbot. At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Ecovacs Robotics is showing off the latest version of its window-clinging-and-cleaning robot, Winbot 7. Winbot uses suction cups to cling to its work surface and then it zigzags its way across the glass, washing that massive living room window or small shower door you had no reasonable expectation of ever cleaning yourself. It sports a three-stage cleaning process, kind of like a car wash.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 22, 2012 |
WATERTON CANYON, Colo. - The concrete-floored room looks, at first glance, like little more than a garage. There is a red tool chest, its drawers labeled: "Hacksaws. " "Allen wrenches. " There are stepladders and vise grips. There is also, at one end of the room, a half-built spaceship, and everyone is wearing toe-to-fingertip protective suits. "Don't. Touch. Anything. " Bruce Jakosky says the words politely but tautly, like a protective father - which, effectively, he is. Jakosky is the principal investigator behind NASA's next mission to Mars, putting him in the vanguard of an arcane niche of science: planetary protection - the science of exploring space without messing it up. PHOTOS: Stunning images of Earth at night As NASA pursues the search for life in the solar system, the cleanliness of robotic explorers is crucial to avoid contaminating other worlds.
December 11, 2012 |
An experimental robotic space plane was launched into orbit atop an Atlas V rocket Tuesday for a classified Air Force mission that could last more than nine months. The 19-story Atlas V and the space plane, dubbed the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, blasted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida just after 1 p.m. Eastern time. The unmanned X-37B, which resembles a miniature space shuttle, is 29 feet long with a wingspan of 15 feet. The spacecraft draws solar power for energy using unfolding panels.
November 29, 2012 |
In some minds, the road from Count Dracula to Richard Nixon is a short one, but throw in some 40-odd personalities in between the two and you get just part of the versatile 50-year career of Frank Langella. (His 2012 memoir, "Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women as I Knew Them," offers up some serious dish on the many people he's worked or cavorted with along the way.) This year, he starred in "Robot & Frank," an indie film that received big critical acclaim when it opened this summer.
November 21, 2012 |
Food and restaurant analysts are already placing their bets for next year's top restaurant trends, including automatons in the kitchen, mini dishes, pricier drinks and something called “bar snackification.” Step one, though, is going casual. Categories including pizza, fish, Greek and Asian are all going the Panera route, delivering faster service than high-end restaurants but better ingredients and a more premium vibe than fast-food. Customizable sushi joints , easy Indian wraps and other options allow Americans to sample ethnic foods and new takes on once-boring standbys with minimal fuss and intimidation.
November 19, 2012 |
LA JOLLA - Futuristic theatrical effects are deployed like a hypnotist's pocket watch in "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. " But the real mesmerizing aspect of this new musical at La Jolla Playhouse, inspired by the music of the psychedelic rock band the Flaming Lips, is the way it sounds. Our ears are delighted at a higher level than our eyes - or our minds, for that matter. The show's sophistication lies in the floating lyricism of its score, which can be categorized in that Tower Records-era indie catch-all known as "alternative rock.
November 13, 2012 |
In my previous post, I described the potential for a new era of automated manufacturing in which it's easier for entrepreneurs to create products but harder for workers to find jobs on the assembly line. A contrary note was sounded, ironically, by a robotics executive, who insisted that the next generation of smart machines would make human employees more valuable, not more dispensable. The executive, Rethink Robotics' Rodney Brooks, didn't offer any concrete examples to support his argument.
September 15, 2012 |
Robo-mule has arrived on YouTube, and he is a hit. This week, robotics company Boston Dynamics dazzled us with the latest member of its robot menagerie: a robot that looks and acts like a mule, with hoof-like feet, a trotting gait and special sensors that enables it to follow a human over difficult terrain. Oh, and it can carry up to 400 pounds of stuff for 20 miles without refueling. Boston Dynamics calls the robot the Legged Squad Support System, or LS3. Its development is being funded by DARPA and the U.S. Marine Corps.