And Now An Intellectual Moment, brought to you by Gilbert and Sullivan
My object all sublime I shall achieve in time-- To let the punishment fit the crime-- The punishment fit the crime; And make each prisoner pent Unwillingly represent A source of innocent merriment! Of innocent merriment!
While some of you may want a Lego Spybotics (rt) I prefer a kinder and gentler robo-pal. One I don't have to put together. AIBO by Sony is my idea of what an AI pet should be.
Three years ago Sony introduced AIBO (lt) a robotic pet who's worst habit would be running out of power before he could hit his recharging station. He had the personality of an Irish Settler (dumb), didn't shed, was trainable and upgradable. I didn't get one, because my 10 year old Lab would have been jealous and AIBO was very pricey at over $1000. I could see my black Lab Teddy playing "catch" WITH AIBO. Wheeee!
Now several versions later, Sony is now introducing its AIBO Pal 3rd Anniversary Special Edition (rt lower), that looks like a brown colored Chinese pug or bulldog. I've played with an AIBO before, (Goldie the original is still my favorite with his tail,) and I have to admit they're fun. The new AIBO has upgradeable software, a 75-word vocabulary, photo-taking capabilities (saves JPEG image onto Memory Stick on voice command, had 200 expressive behaviors and responds upon command. He even has a special "Wake-Up Dance" as a way of saying good morning. The price of this new version is $599, a serious price drop from previous AIBOs.
Should you wish to "adopt" an AIBO, Sony's going to start taking pre-orders on June 3 pre-orders will be accepted via the Internet at www.us.aibo.com or by calling the AIBO Adoption Hot Line: toll free 1-888-917-7669 24/7. They will be available in the Sony Style stores in San Francisco and New York, as well as the Sony Gallery in Chicago. The third anniversary edition AIBO will include a a free AIBO Life AIBO-ware software package, which allows the owner to raise the robot from an infant to an adult in you purchase an AIBO SE in June.
Far more interesting than debating left versus right political blogging is framing a different debate around left- versus right- brain blogging. I would argue that you need to have a good mix of both in order to maintain an interesting (and successful) blog, but you can see definite leanings in many bloggers.
Left-brain bloggers tend to provide insight and commentary rather than just reposting a link. Examples in this category would be Lawmeme, Jim McGee, 802.11b News, and Dan Gillmor. They do some right-brain musings, too, but often they provide something missing from the article itself - context.
Right-brain dominant blogs appeal to me emotionally and they personalize a link or story. They tend to include in their posts one-liners that do a beautiful job of summarizing an issue, often making a backhand point to the story (good or bad). I'd include librarian.net, bOing bOing, Doc Searls (the blog version) and Mary Wehmeier's Blog Du Jour in this category. That's not to say that they don't do some wonderful left-brain analysis, but it's definitely the tunnel into their emotional thoughts that keeps me coming back. The word "fun" often comes to mind when reading these.
The>Kottke.org, Scripting News, Adam Curry, and Ernie the Attorney to name a few. Sure, these guys get all of the press, but they are also the "big picture" folks who provide analysis and emotional connection, and from their standing in the blogger community (and hit counts), I'm not alone in this assessment.....
Years ago someone told me to: "Always write what you know. Write personally but honestly. Give your readers the facts simply and clearly. Be prepared to back up what you write with sources and information. Keep the story or concept in a simple, logical order so people can follow along. Give your readers your personal point of view, but relate the bigger picture in a simple manner they can grasp."
Play the The FindLaw Court "Congratulations! You've been asked to represent a client in a well-publicized TV trial, the 'Case of the Fallen Abs'. This is a chance for all you attorneys (and would-be attorneys) to test your legal trivia skills and become eligible for a shot at a $500.00 Grand Prize*. Or, you may also qualify for other prizes from the FindLaw Bureau of Assorted Goodies (B.A.G.). Good Luck!" (Requires Flash.) [FindLaw, via Bag and Baggage]
Okay I confess. I have two uncles and an Ex who are lawyers. I spent a way too much time working in the family law office and running around inside the court house in my younger years. Not only do I know how to spell Amici Brief, but I also know how to file one. So I took the bait and answered the question correctly in less than 5 minutes! It's cute, well done and fun! Try your hand and if you answer correctly tell emI referred you. I could use the $100 for the referral to pay for the new astronomy software (Voyager III) Doug bought. (Thanks to Doc's raving endorsement. Darnit!)