Episode 167 – Robotic Physics


Michael and Michael start this episode with big robots.  As in extra huge robots.  Like Mecha-sized robots.  The articulation of the robot Jeff Bezos piloted was reminiscent of the one that the character Eileen Ripley piloted in the Aliens movies (see video above).  Michael R was also reminded of the NASA Valkyrie robot, and it’s mission to go to Mars ahead of humans to set up the environment for human habitation.  Walking on two legs, and being roughly human-sized, the form factor is well suited to ensuring that the habitat structure such robots would build would be on the appropriate scale and work for the humans to follow.

The team also looks at a few learning games, starting with Big Bang Legends, which teaches the players about particle physics, and uses a SaaS subscription method the game company Lightneer calls “Learn to Play” that replaces video ads with a monthly fee.  This game reminded Michael M of DragonBox, a game that his kids really enjoyed that taught them algebraic skills while they weren’t really looking.

Michael R gave a shot at compiling the ported Pokemon Yellow Game Boy game to Apple Watch, but did not succeed during the recording session — will be interesting to see how it goes!

Rounding out the show, and just as Michael R predicted in the last episode, Michael M has been playing the new Nimblebit Bit City game, and, again, just as Michael R predicted, has been crushing it.

selected links 

PC Mag article: Jeff Bezos Pilots a Giant Robot — http://www.pcmag.com/news/352476/jeff-bezos-pilots-a-giant-robot

TechCrunch article: In a Massachusetts warehouse, NASA’s Valkyrie robot helps lay the groundwork for Mars settlements — https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/18/nasa-valkyrie-robot/

NASA’s Valkyrie robot — https://www.nasa.gov/feature/valkyrie/

Mecha — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mecha

Robotech — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macross

Mashable article: This game is teaching particle physics to five-year-olds — http://mashable.com/2017/03/23/big-bang-legends/

Big Bang Legends — http://www.bigbanglegends.com

DragonBox — http://dragonboxapp.com

Making Giovanni, a Game Boy Emulator for the Apple Watch — http://gabrieloc.com/2017/03/21/GIOVANNI.html

Nimblebit’s Bit City — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bit-city/id914343148?mt=8


Episode 166 – Interactive Interaction

Episode 166 – Interactive Interaction

Teachers Breaks the Code

Interesting news this week about two new interactions for people in AR – Voice and Tilts. So our co-hosts Michael R. and Phaedra looking a bit further to see what it may all mean. But first we start off with a look at the teacher who solved Adobe’s Semaphore challenge. We continue looking at AR, VR and voice input and how this may play out as the future for human-computer interaction.

Speaking of computer interaction, we talk some TV with quick discussions on both Black Mirror and Humans. If you haven’t seen either of these shows, stop what you are doing and go – right now – watch some TV! This gets us thinking about Kurzweil’s talk at South by Southwest. Will AI’s have rights? If you upload your brain, is it you? Or is it a new consciousness with separate rights? Think about it for a while…

And while you’re at it, go and drop us a review over at iTunes, we’d love to hear from you!

Show Links:
Math Teacher Cracks Adobe’s Semaphore code: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/03/13/adobe-semaphore-code-cracked-by-tennessee-high-school-teacher/

Tilt gesture control: https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/17/tilt-gesture-keyboard-could-hold-promise-for-typing-in-vr/
Surgeon Simulator: http://www.surgeonsim.com/

Amazon Alexa on your iPhone: http://fortune.com/2017/03/16/amazon-alexa-iphone/

Black Mirror: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/black-mirror/episode-guide/
Humans: http://www.amc.com/shows/humans

Kurzweil at SXSW: https://www.facebook.com/SXSWFestival/videos/10154414699178994/

What we are playing:
Michael R. – Bit City: http://www.gamezebo.com/2017/03/16/bit-city-review-best-of-both-worlds/
Phaedra – Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light – https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/lara-croft-and-the-guardian-of-light-ps3/


Episode 165 – Virtual Math

Phaedra, Michael and Michael get together to discuss some very interesting articles, kicking things off with how 3D pictures are used to explain mathematical concepts in a new pictorial language called Quon.  The paper explaining the concept dives into quantum concepts, including teleportation, topological algebra and Bloch spheres, quickly reaching the mathematical limits of the trio.

A Fast Company article on how the Knight Foundation and Google are providing jump start grants to journalists to engage with virtual reality connects with the team, and one of the CNN 3D videos prompts Michael R to share a story about how he flew in one of the large tanker planes as a student.

Closing out the show today, Michael, Michael & Phaedra take a look at the Sococo virtual office space, which provides a sense of place to people who use it to make virtual teams feel more in tune with one another — going to specific spots in the virtual office building to meet and collaborate.

selected links 

Harvard Gazette article:  Making math more Lego-like — http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/03/making-math-more-lego-like/

Quon 3D language for quantum information — http://www.pnas.org/content/114/10/2497.full

Arrival (movie) — http://www.arrivalmovie.com

Floo network — https://www.pottermore.com/writing-by-jk-rowling/the-floo-network

Weapons of Math Destruction — https://weaponsofmathdestructionbook.com

Understanding Variation: The Key to Managing Chaos — https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Variation-Key-Managing-Chaos/dp/0945320531

Diagon Alley — https://www.pottermore.com/explore-the-story/diagon-alley

Alternet article: How Using Big Data to Understand Social Problems Can Create More Inequality — http://www.alternet.org/culture/data-science-inequality

Fast Company article: VR journalists could get $35,000 from Knight Foundation and Google for innovative projects — https://news.fastcompany.com/vr-journalists-could-get-35000-from-knight-foundation-and-google-for-innovative-projects-4032048

CNN VR — http://www.cnn.com/VR

Sococo — http://sococo.com


Episode 164 – Addictive AR




Michael and Michael start this episode off with an excellent roundup of how technology gets that dopamine drip going with an article from The Guardian that focuses on the newly published book by Adam Alter, Irresistible.  Starting with the psychological and cultural affinity with liking content, and proceeding quickly to the linkages between gambling and games, the article walks the path to augmented reality and virtual reality — what makes an experience repeatable and desirable to come back to again and again.

Turning their attention to augmented reality, Michael and Michael imagine the the future of not only designing 3D spaces with the Microsoft Hololens, but also how the perspective of the user of such technology is afforded the chance to see directly what could not be physically possible.  Not everyone can have a front row seat in the operating (or other) theater, but with AR & VR you can — and this begins to open up whole new worlds of possibility.

Michael M shares his experience from an Uber ride in New York this past week, where the car was outfitted with a Mobileye device that watches for speed limits, distance between the driver’s car and those ahead, as well as lane departure warnings.  This aftermarket option provides visual and audio alerts to the driver, and sparked a conversation on the nature of event data recording in automotive black boxes.

The team rounded out the episode with the Sony Xperia Touch Projector, which turns any surface into an interactive environment, prompting Michael R to break out his Magic Cube virtual laser keyboard.  Only a matter of time before the sharks with lasers appear…

selected links 

The Guardian article:  How Technology Gets Us Hooked — https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/feb/28/how-technology-gets-us-hooked

Irresistible by Adam Alter — http://adamalterauthor.com/irresistible/

Mashable article:  Why I Flooded Instagram With Likes — http://mashable.com/2014/02/14/lovematically-instagram/

Microsoft Devices Blog:  Stryker chooses Microsoft Hololens to bring operating room design into the future with 3D — https://blogs.windows.com/devices/?p=259304?ocid=newsletter_ema_omc_hol_Stryker

Techcrunch article:  Mobileye outfits 4,500 for-hire cars in NYC with collision avoidance tech — https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/17/mobileye-outfits-4500-for-hire-cars-in-nyc-with-collision-avoidance-tech/
Mobileye features YouTube — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXpiyLUEOOY

Event data recorder — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Event_data_recorder

A Car’s Black Box — http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/09/how-your-car-is-tracking-you/index.htm

Wired article:  Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium screen is so high-quality it’s better than most people’s TVs  — https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/17/mobileye-outfits-4500-for-hire-cars-in-nyc-with-collision-avoidance-tech/

Magic Cube virtual laser keyboard — http://www.virtual-laser-devices.com/Magic%20Cube_Final.pdf