Wait! What? 7/17: 2 Words – Hitchhiking Robot

Credit: QuadrilinearFilter
Credit: QuadrilinearFilter

In this week ‘s Wait! What? we bring you a round-up of Midsummer oddities including the wonderfully bizarre and charming hitchBOT. Enjoy!

  • In this time of planned obsolescence, it’s nice to see that some things really do last. Take a trip, and get an ice cream in a cone crafted using the first ever waffle cone maker!
  • The end of SIM card tyranny is upon us! And as someone who is literally always battling SIM card failure, this news is truly a mid-summer miracle.
  • There is nothing else I can add to this beautiful sentence; a HITCHKING ROBOT is currently making its way from Salem, Massachusetts to San Francisco. Remember hitchBOT – nobody rides for free.
  • Uber has been getting very passive aggressive this week. Using their popular app, the company fired shots at NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. Is this the first in-app burn? Historians will certainly remember this day.
  • And finally, we may be getting close to some sort of Turing test benchmark as it was announced earlier this week that our phones can now accurately tell when we are depressed. Siri better be cool about this one.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @BlancandOtus! Have a great weekend!

Wait! What? 5/29: Justice for gifs, a robot cheetah

You can finally post this robot cheetah gif on Facebook. #progress #hope #change (Source: futurist-foresight.tumblr.com)
You can finally post this robot cheetah gif on Facebook. #progress #hope #change (Source: futurist-foresight.tumblr.com)

Hey there, Friday people! It’s been a short week, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve some cool tech stories. Let’s get this weekend started off right:

  • Google held a big fancy party for itself this weekend and announced about 18 million new projects in development. Even still, that didn’t seem to be enough for some journalists. They must have been holding out for Google Glass 2.0.
  • Comcast, like the Houston Rockets, couldn’t seem to close the deal to buy Time Warner. But this week Charter announced that it had scooped up the company for a cool $55B.
  • Finally the pressure to actually type responses to friends and loved ones has been obliterated completely – gifs now work on Facebook; this is not a drill.  On the flip side this is totally a drill.
  • You ever get the feeling you’re being followed? Well according to recent reports it may be because Facebook Messenger tracks you by default – so you know, check your settings.
  • MIT has created a robot cheetah and they’ve taught it to jump without losing its pace. While it may terrify some of you, the video is insanely awesome.

Now that you’ve had your fill of tech news, go out there and rewatch the new Mad Max for the second, or third, or fourth time.

Wait! What? 4/3: Pranks, Posts and Periscoping

(Uber)
(Uber)

We can’t slide into the weekend without taking a moment to consider some of the truly baffling things tech companies did this week. And with April Fools Day, you can be sure shenanigans were at an all time high. So we have no time to waste:

  • As an April Fools Day prank, Uber jokingly announced Uber Boat. Just in case you were interested in recreating any Gilligan’s Island fantasies you might have.
  • Plenty of companies thought pranks involving selfies would be funny. Can we all agree they weren’t that funny?
  • In a staggering example of not getting it – Jeb Bush went around this week defending a controversial bill while hitting up Silicon Valley for cash. Is there a phrase for the opposite of preaching to the choir?
  • Microsoft announced plans to remove “Do Not Track” as the default setting in their upcoming browsers. I am sure this will go over well with the Internet.
  • While we’ve all had a lot of fun Periscoping and Meerkatting through life these past few weeks, we may be in for quite a shock when our phone bills come in. These hot new apps chew through data like nobody’s business.

That wraps it up – hopefully you survived April Fools without getting pranked too hard. Check back next week for more tech and PR news.