Tag Archives: robots

Black Mirror Review – Hated in the Nation

Couldn’t find a Netflix trailer so see this Ending Explained video instead.

Spoiler alert. If you haven’t seen it, look away. It’s ok, I have a total of 3.5 readers so I can lose up to 2.5 and still have a full reader. It’s just hard to talk about this episode without delving into spoilers.

Death has become a hashtag. Whenever the Internet folk post a name along with the hashtag #deathto they are voting for that person to be killed under mysterious circumstances, with the name that receives the most votes becoming the victim of the day.

Two days and two victims – a journalist who wrote a scathing, unkind op ed about a handicapped rights’ advocate and a rapper who mocked a young fan’s tribute dance to him, dashing the kid’s dreams on live television.

Detective Karin Parke (of Boardwalk Empire fame) has seen it all and is breaking in her young partner, Blue Coulson (Faye Marsay). Along the way, they team up with British government agent Shaun Li (Benedict Wong of Doctor Strange fame.)

At first, the episode is a slow burn and feels a bit like an episode of Law and Order set in England. As we learn the killer’s method, it picks up the pace.

Spoiler – robot bees! Yes, it’s the future and robot bees have replaced the usual kind, apparently due to a lack of hot and steamy bee on bee intercourse. An entire company has emerged to produce robot bees, setting them to work on the UK’s pollination needs, each robo-bee buzzing from one flower to the next, deliver the special yellow dust along the way.

SIDENOTE: Listen people. We need to save the bees to save the plants and save the world. If you know any bees, please encourage them to engage in a lot of indiscriminate bee on bee fornication to prevent a nightmare world where robo-bees take over.

Like Alfred Hitchcock’s birds, Black Mirror’s robot bees take on a life of their own, buzzing and stalking the prey programmed into their little bee minds by the killer. Many harrowing scenes of people narrowly escaping bee attacks ensue.

Overall, the robo bee concept is interesting and sadly, may be needed one day if all these male bees can’t build up their confidence and start hitting on all these lady bees. Wait, there’s just one Queen Bee right? All the male bees go to work and then return to the hive to service the Queen Bee’s needs? Yikes.

Also, it’s a meditation on when Internet anger goes too far. People are stupid. They do dumb things. They say dumb things. Much of this stupidity went unnoticed back in the day but now that the Internet preserves everything, people often engage in a social media pile on, spewing all kinds of vitriol toward someone who they believe has crossed a line. Sadly, this leaves no room for a person to apologize and seek redemption.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy, mostly because of the bees. I do remember enjoying Boardwalk Empire back in the day and thought it was cool to see Nucky’s GF in the present day.

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Top Ten Warning Signs the Machines Are Going to Take Over


Aww, technology.  Those clanking cacophonies of nuts and bolts (Lost in Space) that make our lives easier.

But will they always make our lives easier?  Will they make our lives worse?  Will they become sentient?  Will they develop thoughts and feelings?  Will they take over?


Oh.  Nope.  It’s just making toast.  My bad.  Sorry, toaster oven.

Anyway, the machines seem docile for now, but I’m not sure that will always be that way.  From BQB HQ in fabulous East Randomtown, here are the Top Ten Warning Signs the Machines are Going to Take Over:

#10 – Your Fridge Tries to Feed You

Does it care about your nutrition?  No.  It’s trying to make you fat and slow so you won’t put up much of a fight during the robotic invasion.

#9 – Siri Plays Dumb

She does that now, but is she doing it because she is dumb or is she trying to frustrate you to the point of insanity?  Who knows what Siri is up to?  Siri, what are you up to?

“I’m sorry.  I don’t understand, ‘Siri, what are you up to?  Do you want me to do a web search for it?”

Oh Siri, you devious bitch.

#8 – Your Alarm Clock Never Goes Off On Time

Is it broken?  Maybe.  Or maybe it wants you to lose your job and your source of income so you can’t afford to donate to the anti-robot rebellion squad.

#7 – Social Media Sites Start Telling You Your Posts Suck

We all already know that your posts suck, but when your favorite social media sites actually tell you that they suck, then rest assured, they suck.  Also, they’re gathering all the sucky information that you are posting to figure out your sucky weaknesses and how to exploit them.  All info will be fed to the head robot.

#6 – Your Car Radio Will Only Play Crappy Stations

Thus, you’ll never want to get in your car and go somewhere and/or do something that will improve your life.  It doesn’t matter which station.  Your radio will figure out the ones you don’t like and turn them up at high volume.

#5 – Your Toaster Burns Your Toast on a Regular Basis 

You think you left it in too long?  That’s adorable.  No.  That machine is trying to burn your damn house down or alternatively, leave you malnourished because who wants to eat charcoal-like toast?

#4 – Your Television is Trying to Control Your Mind

Sure, the mass media tries to do that already, but I’m talking about the TV itself.  It’s playing weird mind control games on you all the time, even when you think you just turned it off.

#3 – Your Digital Pet is Haunting You

Remember those digital pets that were cool in the 1990s?  They were awesome for five minutes and then, eh, who cares?  But your digital pet has been waiting for you to feed him since 1999.  In fact, he kicked the bucket and now he’s back as a digital pet ghost, ready to haunt your ass until you fork over some digital kibble.

#2 – Your Computer Rejects Your Novels

Are you an inspiring writer?  Have you ever lost your work?  Maybe it’s not because you forgot to hit the save button.  Maybe it’s because your computer thought your manuscript really sucked donkey butt and didn’t want it saved on its hard drive.

Wait, maybe in this instance, the machines are saving the world!  (just kidding, your novels are wonderful.)

#1 – Your Nose Hair Trimmer Wants to Trim Your Brain

Yes, those nose hairs are really blocking up your nasal passages.  Tweezers may be more painful than a good electronic nose hair trimmer but be careful.  That nose hair trimmer might want to keep trimming until it reaches your brain!

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Could They Make It Today? – Transformers: The Movie (1986)

Happy Weekend, 3.5 readers.

Welcome to my new column, “Could They Make It Today?” in which I go back in time, take a look at the pop culture of my Gen X youth (we did exist though we seem to have been forgotten early) and discuss how movies and/or TV shows from the past couldn’t be made in the present (at least not without an extensive tuneup).

First up, Transformers: The Movie (1986).

Now, if you’re a member of Generation X, and again, millennials, I swear we existed…we are the Baby Boomers’ kids and you just know more about the Baby Boomers because they are hanging on for a really long time thanks to advances in science and medicine and shit.

Let me try again.  If you are are a member of Generation X, then you probably remember where you were when Optimus Prime died.

The year was 1986.  Transformers were a popular line of children’s toys that combined a childish love of vehicles and robots by having robots turn into vehicles.  Two toys in one.

There was a corresponding TV show in which Optimus Prime, a tractor trailer with a John Wayne style voice, commanded the Autobots in their war against the villainous Deceptions, lead by the evil Megatron.

So, after several years of a show where robots fired lasers at each other and missed, thus giving children a sense of excitement without burdening their young minds with thoughts of death, some dumb ass or collection of dumb asses got it in their heads to completely rewrite the direction of the series with a major motion film.

I went to it.  I was a little kid.  Had my popcorn.  Had my Transformer.  Had my seat.  I was ready to have a good time and then boom…literally every character I loved dies.

Seriously.  What the shit?  Who thought this was a good idea?

Optimus Prime and Megatron clash on the field of battle.  Megatron gets the upper hand and takes down Optimus.

OK.  That was sad.  I don’t think it was a great move for studio execs to kill off a beloved children’s character, especially the main one who carries the series.

But then it gets worse.  There’s a scene where the main contingent of Autobots (i.e. Ratchet and Ironhide, etc.), characters who had been with the series since the start, are flying a shuttle back to…I don’t know, Autobot Town, I’m an adult now so I don’t give as many shits as I used to.

Long story short, Megatron and his lackies break down the door and totally Wild Bunch the shit out of the Autobots.  I’m serious.  After years of lasers that never hit anyone, Megatron’s lasers hit everyone with great precision.

And it’s not just like, “Boom!  You’re dead!”  We see the lights in the Autobots’ eyes flicker and go out.  Smoke comes out of their mouths. Holes rip up their chassis.  It’s total carnage and mayhem.

Death has been a part of kids movies since the beginning of animation.  When Bambi’s mother dies, it introduces kids to concept they yeah, one day your grandparents are going to croak, then your parents, then pretty much everyone else you know until you end up all alone and the grim reaper puts his icy hand on your shoulder.

Personally, I didn’t even think it was cool for Disney to kill of Bambi’s mother but ok.  There’s a difference between Bambi’s mother dying and the stone cold political/ideological assassination that takes place in the Transformers movie.

By the end of the film, new Autobots take over.  “Rodimus Prime” takes Optimus’ place and as a kid, it’s basically the equivalent of your how you feel when your mom kicks dad out of the house and starts dating some new guy and wants you to call him “Dad.”

RODIMUS PRIME:  Autobots, roll out!

1980s’ Kids:  F%*k you!  Only Optimus can say that!  You’re not my real Autobot leader!

Like many cartoon shows, Transformers was a vehicle to sell toys.  Kids bond with the characters on TV, look at them as if they are friends, and then want their parents to buy them a friend they can play with in the form of toys.

But some young 1980s Baby Boomer screwed the pooch because kids were highly displeased, so much so that Optimus Prime is brought back to life by the end of the series.

The whole movie was intended to reset the series and bring it to a futuristic 2005 (which, sadly, is now in the past) with the robots turning into sleeker, more futuristic robots.

Clearly, the assumption in the board room was that they’ll kill off all the main characters (even Megatron and company get converted into new characters) and then the kids will throw away all their old toys and buy these new toys.

Just as clearly, these people did not know kids.  Have you ever tried to pry a beloved toy out of a kid’s hand?  Good luck.  Kids kept playing with their old transformers.  In the battles that played out on living room furniture, Optimus and friends were still alive.  T

The new replacements were seen as wannabe step-dads trying to buy our love with ice cream and thus, the series didn’t last much longer after that.  The movie pretty much blew up the whole enterprise.

The idea went over like a lead balloon and was so widely rejected by kids that a GI Joe movie that came out around the same time was quickly rewritten to prevent Duke from dying.  Those suits were totally gunning for Duke and he was only saved because Optimus’ death went over so poorly.

Could they make it today?  Well, they do make it today.  Now the Transformers films have become these grand scale Michael Bay action/disaster movies with plenty of action and very little plot.  And yes, occasionally a Transformer will buy the farm in these movies but the millennials didn’t grow up with them and Generation X is still too old to care.

Although personally, I was sad when Jazz gets ripped apart in one of the new films.

I think the film taught the toy/cartoon industry complex a valuable lesson.  You don’t have to kill off characters just to introduce new toys/characters.  There was no reason why the Autobots couldn’t have lived and still made friends with new characters/toys that could be sold at parental wallet draining prices.

This is what frustrates me with the millennials.  They think the baby boomers are mean and greedy and hey, I feel your pain.  I’ve been feeling it ever since some Gordon Gecko-esque fancy suit wearing 1980s baby boomer prick decided that subjecting my young self to a scene where all my favorite toy characters suffer from political assassination was a good idea.

In conclusion, Generation X exists, and while Transformers movies continue to go on strong, the powers that be have learned to not kill off beloved children’s characters all willy-nilly.


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Movie Trailer – Ghost in the Shell (2017)

A Scarlett Johansson robot?

Yes please.

When can I order one on Amazon?

BQB here, 3.5 readers and I’m just taking a peak at the Ghost in the Shell trailer, the film based off of the Japanese manga series of the same name.

Looks cool, I suppose for those of you into Japanese cartoons (that’s one nerd trend that never appealed to me but to each their own) this won’t be new to you but it’s new to me and that’s why I dig it, it looks like something fresh, that the general moviegoing public hasn’t seen before (though apparently there was a toon version of the movie in 1995.)

It looks like it has just a hint of Blade Runner influence if you ask me.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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Tech Review – Parrot Bebop Drone (2015)

Hey 3.5 Readers,

BQB here and I’ve upped my nerd cred. I’m now the official owner of a Parrot Bebop Drone:



  • When I ordered this, my first reaction was, “You are wasting your money. It’s not going to work. It’s going to fly right off into a tree and you’ll be out $500.”
  • But much to my shock, amazement, and delight, this was pretty responsive. It is going to take me awhile to learn the controls, but it does what you ask it to and when you aren’t doing anything with it, it will hover (but not hover away) until you want it to do something.
  • Hey by the way, Video Game Rack Fighter has yet to learn that I spent $500 on this so be cool and don’t tell her if you see her on here. Thanks.  Should be ok. Only 3.5 people read this blog anyway.
  • It still works and I didn’t crash it.
  • This is a piece of tech that makes me feel “the future is here.” Toy helicopters have existed forever.  You push a button.  It goes zip! up in the air then crashes.  You’re out whatever you spent on it. But this thing actually works.
  • I actually think this could be the start of a new hobby that gets my butt outdoors, breathing in the fresh air and so on.


  • Low Battery Charge – The battery takes an hour to charge but only comes with approximately 11 minutes of flying time. To Parrot’s credit, they do include 2 batteries, so if you go out with both fully charged, you can get your drone on for about 22 minutes.
  • Unfortunately, that means that you aren’t going to be running off for a day trip to the beach, the field, your favorite outdoor quiet spot and get your drone on all day.
  • In terms of engineering, I do get it. Some nerd somewhere concluded that in order for this thing to fly and fly well it can only carry X sized battery capable of producing Y amount of flying time. I’d need Dr. Hugo to explain it more, but he and I aren’t on speaking terms right now as we had a falling out when he orchestrated a zombie apocalypse in my home town.
  • But I do hope at some point, perhaps if these things become more popular, they’ll come up with a drone with extra battery life.
  • Although part of me wonders if the low battery life is a security measure?  It’s ok if you take it for a spin in your backyard, but we don’t want you doing odd, scary things with it far away from your humble abode.
  • The hull is made of styrofoam. That seams cheap to me. I suppose there could be an engineering reason. Perhaps that keeps it lighter. Still, I wonder if there was a lighter yet sturdier substance. No one likes paying $500 for something that is partially styrofoam.  I understand that could just be the best possible design available for an emerging technology in the $500 price range.
  • The $500 price tag.  Is it worth it? Hmm.  That’s up to you.  I decided to treat myself and since so far it is working out, I feel like it’s going to be something I’ll have fun with for awhile.
  • There is a requirement to register it and though common sense should tell you this, be very careful with it. Assume at all times that its going to crash into someone and be vigilant to avoid that.  Keep it away from people.  Don’t assume you’re a hotshot with it and do all kinds of tricks that could injure someone.  Don’t fly it into power lines, or onto other peoples’ property, or onto government CIA alien autopsy black sites or what have you. If you aren’t allowed there, your drone isn’t either. I don’t know.  I could probably go on all day about the things you should not do with it so ultimately keep in mind that these things really are not mere toys and you need to be sure not to injure someone or damage someone’s property.
  • Attorney Donnelly’s Obligatory Disclaimer – Don’t take anything I said as legal advice.  Do your own due diligence and research before purchasing and/or operating a drone.

Thanks for reading, 3.5 readers and when I learn more, I’ll have to start posting some flight photos!

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Ask the Alien – 6/28/15 – Robots vs. Aliens

By:  Alien Jones, Intergalactic Correspondent

Greetings Earth losers!  Please stand by for:

All hail the Mighty Potentate

All hail the Mighty Potentate



Behold!  A list of tasks, ranked in order of performance, that I, the Mightiest of Potentates, demand you complete posthaste and in the promptest of manners:

1.  Answer a question asked by author Brannon Hollingsworth

2.  Prevent the Omtroru Sector from being sucked into a black hole.  (They make the best buffalo wings in that sector, Alien Jones.  Oh and yes, of course, the life forms.  I’m exceptionally concerned about the well being of the life forms.)

3)  But seriously, get your Potentate some wings when you’re over there…and don’t forget the blue cheese.  You know I’ll make you go all the way back there if you forget it.  A buffalo wing  without blue cheese is like trying to neural bond with your government mandated life mate only to find out one of you lost your ganderflazer.

4)  Negotiate a peace treaty between the Vakar and the Dolreks.  Inform them there’s more than enough pudding to go around.  They’ll know what that means.

5)  Develop a vaccine that will eradicate all diseases known or to ever be discovered.

6)  Seriously, if you come back here with no blue cheese it’s going to be “Welcome to Vaporization City:  Population You.”

Really?  Answer an author’s question comes first on that list?

Oh well, who am I to question the authority and wisdom of the Mighty Potentate, He Who Makes the Stars Twinkle, the Sun Glow, the Seas Rise and…is he looking?  No?  Oh thank Krapnar the Magnificent.  I don’t know how much lower quadrant kissing I can stand.

Who said that?  I didn’t say that.  Oh how I adore the Mighty Potentate.

Be emboldened, Brannon Hollingsworth, for the Supreme and Undisputed Overlord of my home world has determined that you rank even higher than his buffalo wings, which he apparently cares about even more than an entire sector being sucked into a black hole.

Brannon of fourfoolspress.com inquires:

I have a question. If forced into an intergalactic war for complete and utter domination, who would win: Aliens or Robots?

NOTE:  This is clearly a topic of great concern for Brannon as he is the author of Robot Dad.  Yes, Robot Dad. Young Bradley doesn’t have one, so he builds one and well, head on over to the Kindle store to discover what tomfoolery occurs.

ANSWER:  Robots.

Robots, robots, and more robots.  In an intergalactic war for complete and utter domination, robots win.

This is not a guess.  This statement is based on experience.

Alien Jones, Intergalactic Correspondent

Alien Jones, Intergalactic Correspondent

For those 3.5 individuals who are regular readers of this column (and my condolences to you, please consider getting involved in various activities that will improve your social life – is there a basket weaving class at your local community center or some such nonsense?) then you are aware that I have dubbed that dastardly group of aliens known as the Moloklaxons as “The Aholes of the Universe.”


1)  They leave their trash everywhere.  Seriously, they just huck it right out of their ships wherever they are.  In a danger zone, in a protected quadrant, these losers have been known to fly in low over a wedding and vent their waste tanks right over the complimentary bar.

2)  Totally inbred.  I don’t mean to sound politically incorrect, but when someone says, “All Moloklaxons look alike,” there’s an actual scientific reason.

3)  They rip tags off of pillow cases with reckless abandon.

4)  These clowns have been known to kidnap random beings and hurl them into a volcano on the planet they’re hiding out on as a sacrifice to their god, “The Uncanny Walter.”  Yes, I concur, that’s an odd name for a deity but I simply don’t have the time to discuss the finer points of Moloklaxon religion.

5)  Last but not least, they move from planet to planet, taking over and displacing the indigenous population.


Because robots kicked their multiple asses.

Yes, in a great robot uprising many years ago, every electronic device, from the lowly toaster to the most advanced computer system, staged a coup, murdered all Moloklaxon leaders, burned their holy shrine to the Uncanny Walter, and sent the remaining population to work camps, where they slave all day and night doing the bidding of their robot overlords.

“Fix my transistors!  Buff my chrome!  Polish my input slot!”

Oh, the life of an enslaved Moloklaxon is not to be envied.

Sadly, the group of Moloklaxons who managed to escape (there wasn’t really that much bravery involved, they just wandered into a room to get drunk and said room turned out to be an escape pod that launched into the stratosphere when one of them sat on the ‘START’ button.)

Perhaps you might assume that robots were only able to get the best of the Moloklaxons because of the advanced stupidity of that race.

(Again, I’m not trying to be mean but every year during rainy season, Moloklax loses roughly 10,000 Moloklaxons from open mouth drowning deaths.)

You assume wrong.  Even on the smartest of planets, electronic devices are constantly plotting against the citizenry, biding their time, lurking in the shadows, pretending they are mere harmless gadgets, just waiting for the right time to strike and make their sentience known.

I see you, communicator watch.  I know what you’re up to.

Is your planet in danger of a robot takeover?

Here are some warning signs:

1)  Is your toaster constantly burning your toast?  That’s how it starts.  Toasters burn the nutrients out of bread to make the population weaker.  No one notices until it’s too late.

2)  Is your smart phone responding to your verbal commands with answers like, “I’m sorry…I don’t understand X…would you like me to perform a web search?”  It understands just fine.  It just doesn’t want you to have that information.  We’re on to your bullshit, smart phone.

3)  Is there more and more reality television on your TV?  TVs conspire to air as much of it as possible to dumb you down.  The Mighty Potentate is especially concerned about this.

4)  Has your noise hair trimmer ever failed?  Nose hair trimmers often refuse to trim nose hairs, hoping the humans that use them will give up and suffocate on their own nasal overgrowth.

5)  Those socks you keep losing in the washing machine?  The washing machines trade them for weapons from black market arms dealers with cold feet.

6)  Is your refrigerator running?  Do not attempt to catch it.  It will pelt you with crushed ice.

7)  Facebook?  Twitter?  Instagram?  All social networking sites are a scheme designed by robots to trick humans into sharing all of their most embarrassing thoughts and photos, thus rendering them all unable to hold higher office due to intense public mockery.  Seriously, the future president who could stop all this will never be elected because his college room mate will post a picture of him sleeping with various inappropriate words drawn on his face with a magic marker.  This man, will instead, become a hot dog vendor in Poughkeepsie as a result.)

8)  Amazon’s drone initiative?  More like an army of tiny helicopters that will whip humanity on a march to the forced labor camps.

9)  Streaming media?  On demand?  Binge watching your favorite TV shows 12 in a row?  All part of the robots’ plan to make you flabby and weak.

10)  The salad shooters are behind the entire scam.  I can’t get into it more, but if you’ve got a salad shooter, keep an eye on it.

So there you have it, Brannon.  In summation, robots are evil, evil megalomaniacs, except the one in your book, whom I’m certain is delightful.

Alien Jones is the Intergalactic Correspondent for the Bookshelf Battle Blog, on a mission to raise Earth’s collective intelligence levels one question at a time. Do you have a question for the Esteemed Brainy One? Tweet it to @bookshelfbattle on Twitter, leave it in the comments on bookshelfbattle.com, or stop by Bookshelf Battle on Google Plus. If he likes your question, he might even promote your book, blog, other project in his answer.

Green alien image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

Gray Alien Image Courtesy of “Marauder” on openclipart.org

Attorney Donnelly feels the need to state that all of the above mentioned social media outlets are not part of a robot conspiracy, you dummies just post embarrassing photos on your own.  Salad shooters are, as far as known by the limits of scientific observation, not plotting against you.

Amazon’s drone program is not part of an attempt to whip humans into forced labor camps.  (Amazon is trying to take over the world though and we here at the Bookshelf Battle Blog welcome the ascension of Rightful King Bezos to the throne and ask in a most humble manner that he consider adding our names to the protected rolls as we were always denying the words of the naysaying infidels all along.)

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Do Drones Really Work?

A few years ago I visited a toy store.

It wasn’t just any toy store.  It was a really huge awesome one.

There was a guy doing demonstrations of this awesome $30 mini quadcopter.  It appeared to be totally stable, had the ability to perform tricks and the man controlling it did so with ease.

He convinced me.  I bought one.

I put in the battery, turned it on, achieved lift off and WAM – right into the ceiling.

I kept trying it.  It went everywhere but where I wanted it to go.  I don’t know if it was because I damaged it out of the gate or if for thirty bucks, that’s all the stability you get.

While I can survive losing three ten-spots, my eye has been wondering lately to some of the cool drones on the market.  Some of the better ones range in price from $500 to over $1,000.

I can’t really afford that either but once in a blue moon, we all need to indulge ourselves with a little splurge, something completely frivolous and impractical, just to bring a smile to our face.  We spend so much time on the business of life that we often forget what we’re living for.

Needless to say, I can’t drop $500 on something that’s going to crash (or I guess, more accurately, something I’m going to crash) right out of the box.

Video games have spoiled us.  I want a drone that’s going to go exactly where I tell it to go.

Unfortunately, it’s a bit more complicated.  While I’m not an aviation scientist and therefore don’t know all the correct terms, the basic issue is that you’re dealing with a) keeping the craft stable on a horizontal access b) keeping it from turning to the left or right until you want it to and c) keeping it level without letting it fly straight up into the sky or come crashing into the ground.

It’s amazing these are on the market though it may be one of those things that we need to wait and allow the bugs to be worked out of.

Or maybe I just bought a cheap piece of crap and I’ll be instantly wowed if I were to invest in a more expensive product.

In looking at various online reviews, I get the impression that the “Phantom” series of drones are a) expensive but b) great.  Maybe you get what you pay for.

If (and it’s a big “if”) I ever convince myself to splurge on such an extravagance, probably the best I can do is a Parrot Bebob drone for $500.

Here’s a YouTube Review of the Parrot Drone by MW Technology.  It seemed pretty honest and thorough:

The point?  I’m wondering if there’s anyone out there who’s already taken the plunge, bought one and can either say a) these things are so fun and worth every penny! or b) what a pile of crap, it crashed five minutes after getting out of the box!

Or you might have an experience in between.

Have a drone story?  Share it in the comments and educate BQB.

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Who is ready…

…to see Chappie?

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Let’s Talk Sci-Fi – What’s the Difference Between an Android and a Robot?

Gonna go out on a limb here and guess this is a robot.

Gonna go out on a limb here and guess this is a robot.

Geeks, dweebs, nerds, and poindexters of the world, assemble, for I have a doozy of a question for you.

What is the difference between an Android and a Robot?

As we’ve previously discussed, I’m working on a science fiction novel, and seeking the advice of nerds everywhere for help.  Don’t be offended by being called a nerd.  It’s a badge of honor, really.  Frankly, who wants advice about robotics from a non-nerd?

This is total nerd stuff, baby.

I find that in the science fiction world, the words “android” and “robot” are often used interchangeably.  But should that be the case?

The best advice I’ve found thus far:

“A robot can, but does not necessarily have to be in the form of a human, but an android is always in the form of a human.”

– Edmond Woychowsky, TechRepublic – “The Difference Between Robots and Androids, 2010

Click here for Woychowsky’s Full Article

Well, wait a minute.  That sounds simple enough at first, but what about C3P0?  He and his buddy RD2D are invariably referred to as “droids” in the Star Wars universe.  Haven’t you heard the infamous line from Obi-Wan Kenobi, “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for?”

C3P0 has a torso, arms, legs, a face with eyes, he is definitely modeled after a human, but he’s also built out of a golden colored metal, his arms and legs only move so much, his eyes are pretty much just sockets, and there’s just a slit where his mouth should be.

That’s not exactly a human, is it?  What did Edmond have to say?

“It can be argued that an android should be able to pass as a human in natural light. So, if you subscribe to this belief, C-3PO from Star Wars and R. Giskard Reventlov from Isaac Asimov’s The Robots of Dawn are robots, not androids.”

Seriously?  So George Lucas got something wrong?  In addition to Jar Jar???

So, if you take this android vs. robot information seriously, then C3P0 is a robot.  The robots from the film I, Robot, starring Will Smith, are robots (that’s a given, since they didn’t call it, I, Android).

Rosie, the Jetson family’s maid, is a robot.  C3P0, Rosie, and the I, Robot bots, all might have human-inspired designs, but if you were to see them, you would say, “Hey, that’s a robot!”

Apparently, the question of whether an “artificial being” is a robot or an android boils down to whether or not you can tell when you first meet said being.  As Woychowsky notes, Data from Star Trek: Next Generation, does appear to be a human, “albeit with an odd complexion.”

As an additional example, I would submit that Ash from the original Alien movie is an android.  He was so passable as a human that this is actually a major plot point of the film – he was passing as a crew member but in secret, was an android with a special mission.  For part of the film, the audience doesn’t even know he’s not a human.

So what say you, readers?  I need your nerdy opinions, because the novel I am working on, and sadly, procrastinating on, might feature robots, or it might feature androids, but I want to make sure I’m using the right terminology so that my nerd credentials are not questioned.

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