As Thanksgiving approaches, perhaps you dread having your turkey with a side of the latest conspiracy theory served up by that uncle (there’s always one) who is convinced the government is spying in from helicopters overhead. This year, though, that relative has some evidence on his side. He’s wrong about the helicopters, as far as we know, but a new report finds that law enforcement agencies actually are using aircraft to scoop up Americans’ mobile phone calls from the skies.
In what could be a breakthrough in foodservice technology or one of the most ill-advised ideas ever, a restaurant in London has begun using a miniature helicopter to bring food to customers’ tables. [More]
If you happen to be going to Cannes this summer (and, really, if you aren’t, you should be) mega-conglomerate Unilever is ready to tempt you with a treat straight out of Minority Report. The company has set up a vending machine that lets anyone who walks by score some free ice cream. The price? Just smile for the machine’s facial recognition software, which will determine your age, gender and emotion. Only the most happy will get ice cream. The rest? We don’t really know, but we seem to remember something having to do with stolen eyeballs that can be used to trick such systems.
Brooke’s long, tedious, and unnecessary Zune repair is finally over, and it appears Microsoft has done her right. The day after our post on her situation went live, she got a call from Blarim, a personal rep at Microsoft Seattle, and the ball went a-rolling. But she ended up getting a lot more than just her Zune back.
Attention citizens: A machine known only as “the computer” has taken control of AT&T. The humans are powerless to control it — or even to negotiate with it. If it decides that you should be triple billed for phone numbers you don’t need or use, there’s nothing AT&T can do. Gather your children and all the salmonella-free peanut butter you own and report to your basement. Dunk your cellphones, DVRs, Apples and XBOXes into cold water before they rise up and destroy you like they’re destroying reader Patrick.
There is a ghost in the machine. Kill it. Skynet. Help. It’s learning at a geometric rate.