Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Robot Border Patrol

Source: Popular Science

No it isn't US/Mexico, hell it isn't even the US/Canada border we are talking about here! It is in a little place between South Korea and its neighbor to the North (North Korea, FYI) known as the DMZ.

South Korea has recently unleashed not one, but two killer sentry robots to patrol the area between the two countries Korea. Each robot cost $334,000 but they have some serious hardware, just looking for an excuse to decimate some commies, such as fully automatic weapons and 40-millimeter grenade launchers.

Before you run to the hills and barricade yourself in for the Robocalypse these robots are not fully autonomous, and when a potential threat is encountered a real live operator makes the final kill/let live call.

I would try to do the humane thing and warn the North Koreans about the robo-twins of death, but they are a simple people who don't have fancy things like the internet ... or electricity.


Source: Wired

The 3D World Cup broadcasts spread out the over past couple of weeks were only the beggining of a much larger 3D push into the wide world of sports.

And now the biggest name in sports, ESPN, has made a year long commitment to this booming technology by starting its very own 3D production unit. Expect to see various 3D sports events over the coming months.

Initially the events featured will be ones that will be easier to shoot in 3D, such as golf and baseball (The Home Run Derby was already shot using 3D cameras) but if these are successful expect more variety soon.

If you are wondering how serious ESPN is about its new 3D mission just look at the camera setup for just the initial 3D Home Run Derby broadcast:

  • One 3D camera suspended behind the pitchers mound 15 feet in the air.
  • Dual 3D rigs, set up 5 feet away on both sides of of the batters box.

That is a lot of new hardware, and it should make for a very unique viewing experience. I feel if 3D can be at home anywhere, it would be in sports. I would love the rush of sitting on my couch staring down a pitcher who is about to throw a 102 mph pitch right into my living room, I would probably flinch like a little girl and that would be awesome.

There are some obvious limitations to ESPNs ambitions 3D programming as most viewers do not yet have the new 3D TVs, but ESPN VP Anthony Baily has a simple game plan to combat that initial problem, "The more 3-D content we give the viewers, the more people will want to watch it."

I am inclined to agree with that logic.

Deal: WB Blu-ray Sale

Source: Warner Bros

Warner Bros wants you to have a decent Blu-ray library, so yet again they are having an excellent sale over at WBShop.com.

For the remainder of this week (ending Monday, July 19th) you have the opportunity to get 5 Blu-ray discs for $45. Some of the titles do cost a little bit more, so it may take some shuffling and mathmagic to get yourself the optimum deal for the movies you want.

There are over 50 Blu-rays to choose from included in this deal, so I figure you need all the time you can get to make an educated decision by Monday.

The Usually $9.95 Blus Include:

  • Every Which Way But Loose
  • A History of Violence
  • Letters From Iwo Jima
  • Natural Born Killers: Director’s Cut
  • Observe and Report
  • Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves Extended Cut
  • Bullitt: Special Edition
  • Blazing Saddles
  • Speed Racer
  • Grumpy Old Men

The Usually $14.95 Blus Include:

  • The Hangover
  • All 6 of the Harry Potter films
  • The Invention of Lying
  • Terminator Salvation
  • Watchmen