The Null Device


Researchers in Japan have developed a new solution for taking care of their growing elderly population: a robot teddy bear which contains health sensors and speech recognition, doubling as a health monitor and social companion:

But the robo-ted can also alert staff if conversation breaks off suddenly, indicating perhaps that its owner has collapsed. Interactions, by voice and touch, are recorded and can be analyzed remotely to detect changes in a resident's behavior.

So if you stop talking to the damned thing, perhaps realising that it's not a very interesting conversationalist, it calls the men in white coats?


A company has developed speech synthesis with user-selectable accents, including an Australian accent and a Scottish brogue. Wonder on which platforms this technology will be available.

accents speech synthesis tech 0

So much for objective search results; the Google search engine (you know, the only one that gives you something other than porn sites) now blacklists anti-Scientology websites from search results; Google has programmed its filters to elide all references to sites such as Operation Clambake, which criticise the Church of Scientology and its practices, from search results, presumably for fear of Elron's legal rottweilers. At the moment, only search results for "scientology" are censored; looking for "operation clambake" still takes you to


How to make a bootleg remix; you know, one of those post-ironic collages of two songs; one traditionally cheesy bubblegum and the other ultra-hard-core, and/or one of them being by Missy Elliott. (via Lukelog)


The kittens get their own back. But what the smeg is a Domo-kun? (via gimbo)


See, the luck I've had could make a good man bad: New research discovers that rejection dramatically reduces one's IQ and reasoning ability, increases aggression. It is speculated that being rejected affects one's faculty of self-control (which is exercised in social situations), which affects problem-solving ability (used in IQ tests) and tendency towards violent, impulsive or self-destructive behaviour. Which probably explains Trent Reznor and the like.