This is Ceti Alpha 5!

Sexy robots, giant monsters, Web 3.0, and more sci-fi goodness than you deserve.

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

You Down with MCP?

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Jeff Bridges in "Tron: Legacy."


Greetings, programs!

In anticipation of the release of Tron: Legacy, let’sĀ revisit the legacy of Tron by taking a trip in the way, way back machine to May 2007.

No, that’s not when the original Tron came out, but rather when the now defunct publicationĀ Los Angeles CityBeat published an article of mine on the film’s 25th anniversary.

The article features interviews with Tron’s writer and director Stephen Lisberger and visual effects supervisor Richard Taylor, among others.

Thanks to then CityBeat editors Rebecca Epstein and Andy Klein for letting me share one of my personal obsessions with the larger world.

Oh, and if you prefer to see how it actually appeared in print, you can download a copy here.

And now, further with ado, here’s the lovingly retyped article.

Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Mike Winder

November 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Droid 2

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“I want more life, fucker!”

Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty in Blade Runner (1982).

Written by Mike Winder

August 11, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Weekend Tip: Beware of flaming robots

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Here’s your Ceti Alpha 5 weekend tip. If you see a U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent leave one of these in the middle of Times Square, call the authorities. Or record it with your FlipCam and post it on YouTube. Whichever is easier. Thanks to reader Steven L. Anderson for the link.

Written by Mike Winder

May 7, 2010 at 4:45 pm

It’s so hard to find good help these days

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First Stephen Hawking tells us that coming into contact with aliens might spell mankind’s doom, and now the Germans are claiming that robotic domestic helpers may slice-and-dice us.

From a BBC report:

German researchers studied what happens in accidents involving robots using sharp tools alongside humans.

. . .

The robot arm was programmed to use the bladed tools to stab and cut a silicone lump, a leg from a dead pig and the arm of a human volunteer.

Can you guess how this ends?

Thankfully, no humans were harmed during the course of this study.

Written by Mike Winder

May 7, 2010 at 1:00 pm

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I wanna get invisible, let’s get into invisible

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Those damn Romulans are at it again.

The BBC is reporting today that scientists from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany have created a device that can render an object invisible in three dimensons.

Tolga Erin, who led the study, likens their method of cloaking via a photon metamaterial to placing a “carpet cloak” over a “carpet mirror.”

“It’s like a carpet mirror. If you hide an object under it, there is a bump, so you see a distortion in the reflected image,” Erin told the BBC. “We put the carpet cloak on top of that bump and it bends the light so that the distortions disappear.”

Oh, those crazy Germans and their carpets!

Written by Mike Winder

March 19, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Are you ready for an autonomous car?

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Big Think recently interviewed Geoff Wardle, Director of Advanced Mobility Research at Art Center College of Design (where, ahem, I work) on the future of transportation.

Among the many fascinating things he had to say, he predicts we’ll have autonomous cars within a decade.

Sounds good to me!

Written by Mike Winder

March 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm

“That’s one really small step for man…”

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According to a report from the Register, the U.S. Airforce has confirmed that the unmanned X-37 mini spaceplane will finally be launched into orbit.

The X-37 has already been shipped to Florida, where it will play piggyback with an Atlas V launch rocket on April 19, and stay in orbit for at least 270 days.

Sigh, looks like Boeing’s little baby is all grown up.

Written by Mike Winder

March 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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