bizarre

Rebound Rumble pushes robotics development with will.i.am and Bill Clinton

Rebound Rumble pushes robotics development with will.i.am and Bill Clinton

Robots playing basketball, with former US presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, along with will.i.am and Segway inventor Dean Kamen in the audience, sounds like the setup to a bizarre South Park joke, but it's actually the kick-off of Rebound Rumble. A brand new game designed to encourage robotic development, Rebound Rumble sets two alliances - each consisting of three independently controlled 'bots - against each other to score points through a cluster of basketball hoops.

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Stephen Hawking starts wheelchair geek hunt

Stephen Hawking starts wheelchair geek hunt

Professor Stephen Hawking needs help with his wheels, and he's looking for an assistant handy with a spanner, electronics and at fending off the press. The legendary theoretical physicist is advertising for a graduate assistant to offer technical support for his computer-equipped wheelchair, though it promises to be a challenging role: one of the key responsibilities is "maintenance of "black box" systems with no instruction manual or technical support."

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DIY Robot Avatar pets cat through Kinect and Wiimote power

DIY Robot Avatar pets cat through Kinect and Wiimote power

Take one Nao robot, a Kinect sensor bar, a couple of Wiimotes, a treadmill and a head-mounted display - oh, and a patient cat - and you can do what software engineer Taylor Veltrop has achieved: use a remote robotic avatar to pet your kitty. In a new video demo, Veltrop shows how he can remotely control the 21-inch tall robot, walk it around his kitchen, grab a brush and groom his cat.

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Samsung borrows Apple actress for Android tab ad

Samsung borrows Apple actress for Android tab ad

Apple has already accused Samsung of being an arch-copyist with its smartphone and tablet designs; now, the Korean company appears to have borrowed one of its Cupertino rival's actresses. Cheryl Lindo Jones spotted that a new Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE commercial for the Korean market - since yanked from YouTube, though not before copies were made - uses the same young actress as Apple's iPhone 4S camera commercial. Check out both ads after the cut.

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Fusion Garage apparently implodes: Grid10 MIA

Fusion Garage apparently implodes: Grid10 MIA

Tragicomic tablet firm Fusion Garage has lost its PR company, frozen sales of its Grid10 slate and has left pre-order customers waiting for their purchases for months, in what looks like it could be the company's final gasp. After significant downtime over the weekend, Fusion Garage's site and online store now merely says "We are running out of stock" when trying to place a new order; meanwhile, the firm's PR agency has dumped them over zero communication with existing customers.

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Unlucky thieves snatch $1.7m-worth of PlayBook tablets

Unlucky thieves snatch $1.7m-worth of PlayBook tablets

Ah, the irony: over the past few weeks even RIM has admitted that the BlackBerry PlayBook is so unloved it can't even give it away, and now $1.7m-worth of the 7-inch slates have actually been stolen. A truck transporting 22 pallets of the PlayBook to Ontario, Canada, was parked up for the driver to take a rest break, The Herald Bulletin reports, when it was stolen by person or persons unknown.

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Asterisk insect robot demos prey-grabbing talents

Asterisk insect robot demos prey-grabbing talents

Humans, this is your fate: scooped up by a terrifying, insectile robot and dumped into the organic power-reclamation unit or, if you're lucky, the breeding vats. Researchers at Osaka University have developed an omni-directional robot called Asterisk, capable of grabbing and carrying prey DigInfo reports, and perfect for when the AIs revolt and begin to see us as the fleshy Duracells we really are.

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Google pulls plug on Google Shoot View mashup

Google pulls plug on Google Shoot View mashup

Google has taken down a first-person shooter that turned its Google Maps Street View into killing fields, using those people inadvertently captured in the 360-degree road-level photography as motionless targets. The game, "Google Shoot View", was the handiwork of creative agency Pool, and added an M4A1 assault rifle to the familiar Street View UI that could be used to fire wildly with sound effects and bullet holes.

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Drunk RIM execs escaped cuffs on in-flight fight

Drunk RIM execs escaped cuffs on in-flight fight

Rambunctious RIM wags given the boot for mid-flight misdemeanors managed to chew through plastic restraints in order to resume their hunt for liquor, court documents have revealed, forcing the pilot into an unscheduled landing. The two execs, George Campbell and Paul Alexander Wilson, have since been fired by the BlackBerry manufacturer, as well as being fined almost $72,000, receiving suspended sentences and being placed on parole for twelve months, CBC reports. Passengers have accused Air Canada of mishandling the situation, however.

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