Star Wars, Dancing Otters, Tea Cups, And Robots That Feed You: A Weekend Video Roundup - InformationWeek

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2/22/2015
01:06 PM
David Wagner
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Star Wars, Dancing Otters, Tea Cups, And Robots That Feed You: A Weekend Video Roundup

A weekly roundup of fun, mostly technology-related videos, including thoughts on innovation and a very interesting robot.

Welcome to your weekend brunch video round up. We've got a fun selection today. With the emphasis on fun, let's start with dancing otters. My favorite thing about this is that there is a dancing otter dance-off. Dozens of people have taken this same vine of a dancing otter and set it to different music. First, you’ve got reggae otter:

Or with the same video you have Lady Gaga otter:

Or my personal favorite is this person who took the same video and looped it for a whole song:

I think the Lady Gaga fits the most, but I give the Uptown Funk video (the last one) credit for length.

On a more serious tech bent is this video from what appears to be Stephen Fry's Quite Interesting, a show on the BBC. The video was put up this week, but I don't know when the original air date was. This is a fascinating lesson about how innovating one thing really fast might lead you to fail to innovate in other crucial areas:

It is all about being satisfied, I suppose. Speaking of being satisfied, our weekly robot video is about satisfying your hunger. A juice company has invented a robot to feed you tomatoes while you are running. Before I go too into it, you have to see it:

Tomatan is the name of the robot. Which is great because it is a combo of tomato and automaton (at least in my mind). But who needs this? I mean, I get that you might want a snack on the run, but what is wrong with an energy bar in your pocket? Also, why tomatoes? Don’t runners seem to eat bananas? Is someone running right now thinking, "Oh geeze, I wish I had a tomato, and then after that another one would roll out and I could eat a whole bunch of tomatoes"? That said, I enjoy the sheer silliness of a man running with a tomato on his head. Thank you for existing, Japan.

(Image: Thehappiesthourinaustin.com via Someecards)

(Image: Thehappiesthourinaustin.com via Someecards)

Normally we wrap with the robot of the week, but I'm sharing a bonus video. It is old. I don't know how I missed it, but I did. In case you missed it, too, I love this guy who edited the Star Wars trailer as if George Lucas made it. This is sheer beautiful revenge for those of us forced to watch the "special editions" that ruined our childhood favorites. Have a great weekend, and enjoy the mocking of George Lucas:

Remember: Han shot first.

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio
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zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
2/23/2015 | 2:56:38 PM
Re: Star Wars, Dancing Otters, Tea Cups, And Robots That Feed You: A Weekend Video Roundup
Wow, what an eclectic bunch of videos. It's funny that all of these have a slightly more serious aspect to them, too. Well, except for the dancing otter - the reggae was my favorite, by the way. The tomato robot raises questions not only about what we can build versus what we actually should (seriously, even as a promotional stunt, I don't fully get the appeal), but also what we're really going to get away with calling a 'robot' as the age of IoT approaches. I wonder if this thing is really smart in any way (or if it even has a processor) or if it's just a single mechanism attached to a button. As for the Tomato itself, I have noticed that it's often considered a snack in asian cultures and put in all kinds of dishes we wouldn't imagine in the west. I have no idea why, though. I can't stand them.

The Star Wars trailer (which got several laughs out of me despite my resistance) brings a similar message - we've come a long way since Mr. Lucas first messed up Star Wars, and now any video editor can pull of a similar level of visual effects from his/her PC with enough time and effort. Still, that doesn't mean we need to crowd every shot with them, and I didn't appreciate how pleasantly sparse the Episode VII trailer was until seeing this one. If I was clever enough I could think of a way to tie that back to innovation and the chinese teacups (maybe I just did). Glass certainly isn't the only technology you could apply that line of thinking to. All things are connected, which is a lesson we learn in IT a lot. You might say that the chinese developed other technology sooner as a result, and it's fortuitous that we all met up in the middle as cultures. That's another lesson we could take home for IT.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
2/23/2015 | 2:12:03 PM
Re: No Fiber Optic Cables?
Well, as a runner, I was really perplexed and intrigued at the tomato feeding, so I poked around and found this statement: "Tomatoes have lots of nutrition that combats fatigue," Kagome employee Shigenori Suzuki told Deccan Chronicle. Kagome, which claims to be Japan's largest supplier of tomato juice and tomato ketchup, apparently designed this lovely contraption. Who knew? Thanks David!
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
2/23/2015 | 1:28:06 PM
Re: Wearable Robots
Haha, the tomato cracks me up. I've been running for years and have yet to see a vegetable on a race course, but who knows, maybe I'm missing out on something. I'll stick with bananas for now.
glenbren
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glenbren,
User Rank: Ninja
2/23/2015 | 12:51:09 PM
Re: Wearable Robots
Tomatoes are messy! Is the robot going to wipe your chin too?

Loved the video from Stephen Fry's Quite Interesting. Reminded me of the old Hollywood Squares. Have to see if I can find some to watch now.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
2/23/2015 | 12:43:38 PM
Re: Wearable Robots
I would think that in Japan runners prefer to eat a tomato instead of an energy bar while they run. I think the robot carrying a human would be a bad idea.  If we do, there would be people with more chronic illness becuase of a sedentary life.  Robots in hospitals will be better, I do not want more nurses hurting their backs because of heavey lifting.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
2/22/2015 | 11:17:54 PM
No Fiber Optic Cables?
It is extremely interesting to consider that the discovery of Jupiter by Galileo Galilei, all the other amazing discoveries that came thereafter as the long telescope transformed into the Newtonian telescope, and fiber optic technologies, etc., are based upon the technology of glass. It seems plausible that if glass technology did not develop at a fast enough pace then, the sun would still be (perceived as) going around the earth. 
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
2/22/2015 | 11:07:38 PM
Wearable Robots
David, the Tomatan robot!!. We are looking for a robot which can carry us on its shoulder. 
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