What makes a good cocktail? Fresh ingredients, quality booze, a semi-autonomous artificial agent guided by electronic circuitry? At BarBot 13, the annual festival of cocktail robotics and mechanical socializing, you can find out yourself as you're served drinks by robot bartenders, some of which are not only capable of measuring vermouth, but are also programmed with snarky commentary.
The Snitch told you yesterday about the swath of Republicans changing their tune on same-sex marriage -- notably Hewlett-Packard CEO and former CA Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Jon Huntsman, and senior officials from the Reagan and George W. Bush Administrations. But the GOP isn't the only group standing up for gay rights. Hundreds of Silicon Valley tech companies also filed with the Supreme Court in support of gay marriage, arguing that Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) force them to treat employees unequally.
Re: our integration with machines, Jaron Lanier is one of the Big Idea Guys. He was talking virtual reality back when it was more like virtual virtual reality. Fascinated by how the Internet affects everything from business to consciousness to business-consciousness, Lanier is also known around the way as a maestro of rare and eclectic instruments; according to an SF Weekly story from February 2012, he has maybe hundreds in his house -- more than he can count, anyway.
Tired of playing Words with Friends while your genitals just sit there like a chump? Well, three twentysomething California guys have your back. Or rather, your front. The trio, who are anonymous, created a hookup app called Bang with Friends, which takes your Facebook friend list and turns it into a friends-with-benefits list.
Earlier today, our sister blog the Snitch reported that we don't have to invite our bosses to happy hour, and now we have even more good news for those who talk shit about their jobs/coworkers/bosses (i.e. every goddamn one of you). The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a recent ruling that says employees can express their opinions on social media channels without fear of getting fired. According to the New York Times, the NLRB "says workers have a right to discuss work conditions freely and without fear of retribution, whether the discussion takes place at the office or on Facebook."
But before you go Tweeting to your heart's content about how your boss is a douchecanoe, there are a few caveats.
The good folks over at Ad Age have been tracking the number of self-proclaimed social media "gurus," "ninjas," "whores," (seriously), "mavens," and other barftastic titles since 2009. Not only have these titles not gone away, they've grown exponentially in the last few years, from a mere 16,000 to 181,000.
Here are the most popular (awful) social media names people are calling themselves on Twitter:
By Katie Tandy
Beyonce may sing about girls running the world, but it's clear they certainly aren't building it. Enter Debbie Sterling, a Stanford engineering grad who is feminizing the male-dominated field (89 percent to be exact) beginning with blocks.
And no, they're not pink.
Ah, the end of the year. The holidays, the hustle, the bustle, the family gatherings -- and soon enough the ball will drop and then it's time for those pesky new year's resolutions. Most of us will resolve to exercise more, eat less, or quit smoking (really, you still haven't quit smoking?). But today at the Exhibitionist, we would like to recommend a few more things we can all do less in the coming year for the benefit of collective humanity.
The holidays are upon us, and that means millions of Americans are shuffling dejectedly into winged metal tubes and flinging themselves across the country. The recipe for air travel is well-known to anyone who has flown in the last decade: Take your shoes off at security, leave your eyeglasses repair kit (weapon!) and your medium-sized hand lotion (bomb!) at home, and of course, the chiding to "Please turn off your electronic devices" at takeoff and landing.
Upon hearing this chiding, many have pondered how exactly it is that reading I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus on Kindle might cause the plane to fall out of the sky. If you too have had this thought, you're not alone. But it's not just the New York Times and Alec Baldwin (our go-to sources for all things) who think the rule is silly: FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski recently wrote a letter urging the FAA to update its rules on gadget use.
A friend and I were talking the other day about how Instagram is the least annoying social media site. Facebook is overrun with racist comments and pictures of your friends' fetuses. Twitter is a depressing lesson in homophobia. And Pinterest is one giant, bored housewife party, where the theme is "Look at my asshole!" But Instagram! Oh, we thought it would remain pure for at least a little while. Sadly, that may not be the case, as this hilariously accurate parody video from College Humor illustrates.