Technology

In Short: An app of robot demos, a ruling on eyewitness testimony

Posted by: Kate Torgovnick May

Can’t get enough robot demo videos? Neither can we. The new IEEE Robots app for the iPad is full of walking, grasping, tea-making robots. Each one gets a stat sheet, a 360-degree view and an action video. With games and a daily robot news feed, this app looks like it could entertain a robot-curious kid for a good long while. But should you still want more ‘bots, check out our playlist How to Live With Robots.

It’s the year in photos. In Focus at The Atlantic has selected the 135 images that define 2012. Check out the beautiful and often unsettling collection, broken into part 1, part 2, and part 3.

The Oregon Supreme Court made a unanimous decision last week, downgrading the reliance on eyewitness identification in criminal trials. The New York Times reports that the court now calls for eyewitness testimony to be treated as trace evidence. For more on this, watch Scott Fraser’s TED Talk “Why eyewitnesses get it wrong.”

Lucy-McRae-Maker

Lucy McRae, who gave the talk “How can technology transform the human body?,” exists in the Venn diagram overlap of art, fashion, technology and the body. Her work is provocative and grotesquely beautiful. In this new video, “Make Your Maker,” McRae imagines a bizarre experiment where bodies are repackaged for consumption.

Good neuroscience doesn’t necessarily make for good headlines. The New Yorker takes a look at why brain imaging is not nearly as conclusive as it may sound.

Everyone knows the rage that builds waiting for a bus that won’t come. An Italian conceptual artist had a fascinating idea — leaving bubble wrap at bus stops to let people relieve their stress while passing the time. As Robert Krulwich of NPR shares, the effort was so successful that the phrase “happy bubble wrap popper” might be warranted.

Drinking tea was once considered reckless for women. This Smithsonian Magazine blog post will make you wonder what thing we think of as a big no-no is actually benign.

Thanks, Lifehack! The site has come up with 20 TED Talks that will improve your productivity.