Geeky Greek Gods
The Greek god Zeus may never have called down thunder with a high-tech device, but San Francisco artist Adam Reeder's sculpture of the king of the pantheon depicts him making the command from an iPhone. And why not? Artists always incorporate modern symbols into their work; the marriage of Greek gods and geek cred actually works better than you'd think.
Reeder, who just graduated with a master's degree in sculpture from San Francisco's Academy of Art University, wants his work to speak to geeks. "Classical sculpture is typically very serious and everyday people come in and they're kind of ready to be bored. Then, they see this and say 'Dude, this is great.' That is because this is going right from me to people who like technology. Instead of art buffs, I want it to be geek to geek," Reeder explains.
Other Reeder sculptures on display show Pan cavorting to music coming from, not his Pan pipes, but his iPod; Atlas balancing an enormous iPod on his shoulders; and a satyr passed out, not after a night of partying, but gaming, video controller still in his hand. Dubbed Sleeping Gamer, that one has already sold, to one of the creators of Gears of War. If you'd like your own Reeder sculpture, you'd better be prepared to pay; although he can work very fast, completing a life-sized piece in 50 hours, a portrait bust goes for at least $4,000 and an original life-size sculpture can set you back as much as $80,000.
more about this
Robot Designed with Human-style Bones
C-3P0 from Star Wars moved like a human because of the actor inside the suit. The Eccerobot, however, moves like a human because it is the first robot based off of actual human anatomy muscles, tendons, and bones.
The team that built the Eccerobot hails from five European countries. They used plastic to make the bones, which are moved by a tough kite line to duplicate tendons. Elastic cords deliver the bounce provided by muscle in the human body.
The result looks rather like C-3P0 from the prequel trilogy, before he received his gold metal covering. And like the droid from that movie, Eccerobot has a long way to go. Human movement is too complex to think that all one needs to do is build a machine that mimics human anatomy, but the team thinks it's a good first step. They hope to add artificial intelligence and eventually create a robot that interacts with its environment in a more human manner.
more about this
Sony Enters Wireless E-Reader Market
Think Amazon has a lock on the ebook reader market? Think again. Dubbed the Daily Edition, Sony's new wireless reader, due out in December, may give Amazon's Kindle a run for the money. While Sony's reader, at $399, is $100 more expensive than Amazon's, it features an aluminum body and a seven inch touch screen. AT&T will be stepping up to provide 3G wireless Internet service for the new reader.
The Daily Edition follows Sony's earlier introductions of the Pocket Edition for $199 and the Touch Edition for $299. As of January, Sony said that it had sold 400,000 readers. In contrast to Sony's three models, Amazon offers two Kindles, a basic model for $299 and a large screen model for $489, neither of which feature a touch screen.
The addition of the touch screen and wireless service are just two signs that the battle between Sony and Amazon is heating up. Sony recently announced that it would convert all of the titles in its digital bookstore to the EPUB publishing standard. Users would be able to read these books on multiple devices unlike those using the Kindle, who are limited by Amazon's proprietary system. Plus, a new application, Library Finder, will make even more ebooks available to Sony customers.
more about this