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Conspiracy thriller 'Mr. Robot' is back, and it looks and feels like nothing else on TV

Los Angeles Times

Robot" begins a second season on USA on Wednesday night with a two-part opener broadcast back to back. A conspiracy thriller set in the present day – it's still 2015 on the series' clock – it's science fiction in the sense that it involves technology, but not in the quasi-supernatural manner of flying saucers, Godzillas, time travel or synthetic human or mutant superheroes and such. Still, it shares with much sci-fi a sense of the ordinary world pushed a click toward the uncanny. Into every generation a confused and disaffected hero is born. Robot" it's Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a cyberwhiz who was recruited – Season 1 spoilers ahead – to the underground hacking collective fsociety by a person (Christian Slater) who turned out to be his father, who turned out to be dead, a figment of his imagination projected wholly into his world, though invisible to everyone else – a "Sixth Sense" move, dramatically.


Video Friday: The Omnicopter, Diving Drones, and Skinless Robot Babies

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your baby-loving Automaton bloggers. We'll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next two months; here's what we have so far (send us your events!): Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos. We got a teaser about the Omnicopter during Raff D'Andrea's most recent TED Talk, but this dedicated video shows it off much better: Like all the coolest robots, the things it can do look like CGI, right? On July 27, 2016, Michigan-based Vayu, Inc., in collaboration with the Stony Brook University Global Health Institute completed the first ever series of long-range, fully autonomous drone delivery flights with blood and stool samples, setting records in the process.


WhatsApp temporarily suspends sharing European user data with parent company Facebook

The Independent - Tech

WhatsApp has temporarily suspended giving parent company Facebook information about users in Europe for ad targeting, responding to concerns there over privacy, a source close to the matter said Tuesday. Conversations with officials in Europe over the past few months resulted in the social network deciding to only tapping into WhatsApp user data there for purposes such as fighting spam, according to the source. The break was described as an effort to give regulators time to share privacy concerns and for Facebook to consider ways to address them. German data protection authorities in September cited privacy concerns when they blocked Facebook from collecting subscriber data from WhatsApp there. "It has to be (the users') decision whether they want to connect their account with Facebook," Hamburg's Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Johannes Caspar said at the time.


Parents told to destroy baby doll because of spying fears

The Independent - Tech

An official German watchdog has told parents to destroy an internet-connected doll because hackers can use it to spy on children. My Friend Cayla was found to be equipped with an insecure Bluetooth device, which cybercriminals could hijack, in order to steal personal data and listen and talk to the child playing with it. Germany's Federal Network Agency, the regulatory office for electricity, gas, telecommunications, post and railway markets, has now warned parents to destroy it. The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie'Avatar' and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company Waseda University's saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi and Kaptain Rock playing one string light saber guitar perform jam session A man looks at an exhibit entitled'Mimus' a giant industrial robot which has been reprogrammed to interact with humans during a photocall at the new Design Museum in South Kensington, London Electrification Guru Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart talks about the electric Jaguar I-PACE concept SUV before it was unveiled before the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S The Jaguar I-PACE Concept car is the start of a new era for Jaguar. Japan's On-Art Corp's CEO Kazuya Kanemaru poses with his company's eight metre tall dinosaur-shaped mechanical suit robot'TRX03' and other robots during a demonstration in Tokyo, Japan Japan's On-Art Corp's eight metre tall dinosaur-shaped mechanical suit robot'TRX03' performs during its unveiling in Tokyo, Japan Singulato Motors co-founder and CEO Shen Haiyin poses in his company's concept car Tigercar P0 at a workshop in Beijing, China A picture shows Singulato Motors' concept car Tigercar P0 at a workshop in Beijing, China Connected company president Shigeki Tomoyama addresses a press briefing as he elaborates on Toyota's "connected strategy" in Tokyo.


Robot Babies Not Effective Birth Control, Study Finds

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

CANBERRA, Australia--A weekend spent mothering a robot baby to mirror the "real experience" of parenting is meant to discourage teenage girls from getting pregnant. But so-called Baby Think it Over dolls don't cut teen pregnancy rates and in fact increase the risk, Australian research has found. In a study published in The Lancet medical journal Friday, researchers found teenage girls who used the lifelike computerized dolls as part of a pregnancy-prevention program were more likely to become pregnant compared with girls receiving a less high-tech sex education. "The program was supposed to put students off and then they would take extra steps not to get pregnant," said study author Sally Brinkman, of the Telethon Kids Institute in Western Australia. "Unfortunately, and surprisingly for us, the intervention we can say definitely didn't work and it actually seemed to increase the pregnancy rates.