Roomba Swarm Art

That first one looks very much like the "Vermiculate" screen saver.


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"This is going to change the way the bar industry runs."

This douchebag's startup is actually getting bars to pay them for this:

Wow. Just wow.

Facial detection cameras that will keep track of the number of people in a bar, including a running tally of ladies.

Cameras are set up at the bar's exits and entrances, says SceneTap CEO Cole Harper. The software is not savvy enough to, say, be linked up with Facebook and detect identity; it's just able to detect a face and its gender.

"This is going to change the way the bar industry runs," says Harper.

While the software can tell you the gender ratio, it unfortunately doesn't rate attractiveness.

This post is part of an ongoing effort to identify the people, places, ideas, products and companies that are poised to become central to the global conversation over the next six to nine months.

Cole Harper, may you never have sex again.

And you stay klassy, Forbes.

This idiotic idea is not even an original idiotic idea: there's a twitter feed called "yo bro, where the wimmins at" (it's not actually called that but I'm not telling you its real name because I don't want them getting the hits) who have been doing this by mining the gender field on Foursquare checkins for years. Every time they at-spam us on the Twits I mark them as spam, but the account is still there, despite being a pretty clear violation of Twitter's ToS. (Though actually it looks like they haven't updated in a while, so maybe their douchebro investors finally sobered up.)


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DNA Lounge: Wherein we present our regular installment, "Photos of GEAR".

Hey, we got some new stuff! Look at our stuff.

First there's the espresso machine. It arrived yesterday, and the service guy came out today and fixed a few things, but we're still waiting on a few parts, so it will probably be next week before it is pumping the magic. You were wondering what they look like inside, right?

Someone told Barry, with regards to buying a used espresso machine, "It's exactly like buying a motorcycle. If you haven't driven it yourself, assume it doesn't work and the the very first thing you have to do is take it to the shop." Given how much the interior of this thing looks like a Vespa, that makes perfect sense now.

The service manual is kind of adorable, though:

Also we have a coffee grinder. The espresso grinder is arriving in a few days. And a menu! Have you seen our giant, honkin' menu? Giant menu is giant.

And we got some new lights! Finally, ten years later, we have a real backline, so that the front of the stage and the back of the stage can be different colors without climing up on a ladder and re-gelling and re-aiming the par cans. Jeremy replaced eight of the pars with LEDs, that are independently addressable. Also, they run off of 110v instead of needing a dimmer pack, which is nice. I hope that someday, now that we live in the future, we can replace all of our lights with these things and not need dimmer packs any more, rendering that stupid transformer and its stupid 208v power obsolete.

I can dream.


Dial-up sound 700% slower


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Le Butcherettes

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Exterminate all rational bots., a virtual prosthesis for the online introvert allows people to install a bot on their Facebook and/or Twitter account. The bot will combine the activity the user is already having on other channels such as youtube or flickr with a set of keywords selected by the user to attempt and simulate that person's activity, feeding their account with more frequent updates, engaging in discussions with other users and adding new people to their list of contacts.

[...] However a lot of user are digitally shy, introvert, etc. The bot has been programmed to be extrovert so it doesn't worry about posting ridiculous or interesting contents, contacting users that it doesn't know or contacting users that you wouldn't dare to contact. All those things put together will help the user keep an activity on social networks which make them visible to the others. That is why i like to compare the bot as a virtual prosthesis for introvert users.

I'm happy with the feedback of the users, some really interesting things happened which i couldn't have imagined. For example, one of the users couldn't recall if it was him or the bot who was posting messages; another began to interact with his own bot.

Also, when you've died at home and are being eaten by your cats, nobody will know, because you're still posting to Facebook! Bonus!

Actually I can't tell if this is doing anything more than running DadaDodo or Eliza on your past postings. But I do like the idea of it. I've read many books where having your voicemail system grow into a digital agent that simulates you on the phone is the shallow end of the slippery slope leading to consciousness uploading and subsequent machine apocalypse.

And who doesn't love a good machine apocalypse.

Update: Rob Beschizza tried it and it doesn't actually do anything interesting. He says, "What it actually does is this: send vague and overly familiar tweets @ people you follow. Neat!"

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"You'd be crazy not to buy that. I mean, look at it. IT'S FULL OF WHIMSY."

"And that's why you should learn to pick your battles."

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DNA Lounge: Wherein there are photos, photos, photos, videos and photos.

It's been a busy month! This month's photo galleries:

Incidentally, there's been a slight calendar glitch, and Mortified will not be happening here in July, but it will continue monthly from August onward, every second Friday just before Blow Up.

I also went back and updated the photo galleries of the Drag King contests for 2010, 2009 and 2008 to include all of the video clips they've posted to Youtube over the years, to get you in the mood for this year's contest next month. (I'm not sure how I missed those the first time around.)

Check out their new promo video, with clips from last year:


Woman sprays police with breast milk

Woman sprays police with breast milk

Robinette's husband told authorities the pair had been attending a wedding when his wife got drunk and started a dispute. He said that she hit him multiple times before locking herself in her car outside a banquet facility on Saturday.

Sheriff Walter L. Davis III said that when police approached the car to speak to her, she yelled profanities and refused to get out.

"When deputies attempted to remove Robinette from the vehicle she advised the deputies that she was a breastfeeding mother and proceeded to remove her right breast from her dress and began spraying deputies and the vehicle with her breast milk," Davis said.

Previously, previously, previously.

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Add new sensory organs, weaponize them.

Haptic soldiers guided by buzzing belt

He and his colleagues have now developed a range of vibrating mini electric motors known as tactile actuators, or "tactors", and tested them in various configurations. "What's best is a belt around the torso with eight tactors signifying the eight cardinal directions."

The tactors vibrate at 250 hertz, which is just enough to give a gentle but noticeable buzz around the torso at regular intervals indicating the direction in which the soldier needs to travel to reach the next waypoint.

The belts are hooked up to a regular GPS device to access directional information, as well as an accelerometer and digital compass. These mean the device knows which way the soldier is facing, even if they are lying down. "As long as you are going in the right direction you will feel it on your front," says Elliott, who will be presenting the technology at the Human-Computer Interaction conference in Orlando, Florida, in July. "As you get to within 50 metres of the waypoint all the tactors start to go off, and within 15 metres they will quicken."

Besides directions, the tactors can communicate commands such as "halt", signified by the front, back and side tactors pulsing simultaneously, or "move out", when they pulse from back to front, almost as if they were pushing the soldier forward.

While commands could be sent from base, Schmeisser and Elliott are also working with a company called AnthroTronix, which has developed a glove that has integrated accelerometers to detect hand gestures. The hope is to allow a platoon leader to be able to communicate with their squad while out in the field through standard military hand gestures sent wirelessly to their belts, says Elliott.


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