Hi, I'm Molly Wood, and welcome to the Buzz Report. This week, a special
Halloween edition, featuring NEWS THAT SCAAARES ME! Let?s jump right in.
A New York Scientist has created a virtual character that he describes as ?pure
evil.? Doctor Selmer Bringsjord is chairman of the Department of Cognitive
Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. And he?s trying to understand what
evil is, and how to formally define it. So, he?s created this character, E, and
he?s building in artificial intelligence so he can ask E about certain
scenarios, and figure out how a truly evil person would act. Dr. Bringsjord says
he knows his work is ?creepy,? but swears that he would never let E out of the
virtual world he?s built for him ? at least not without the proper controls.
In an article about Dr. Bringsjord in Scientific American, a colleague describes
him as someone on the ?fringe? of science. So, let?s picture this for a moment.
A ?fringe? scientist obsessed with defining and understanding EVIL creates a
character that represents pure evil, which he endlessly refines and ultimately
grants artificial intelligence. And as he becomes more and more drawn in to his
work, studying his creation late into the night, perhaps, he becomes more drawn
in to the character he?s created ? and that character?s awareness,
intelligence, ability to manipulate its surroundings starts to grow ?
I think I just wrote a movie in my head.
In other news, it has been revealed that Apple has added spill detection in the
keyboards of its new MacBooks and MacBook Pros. This technology already exists
in cell phones, it?s a little dot that lets the company know if you dunked your
phone in water, and therefore your repair warranty doesn?t apply. But we hear
this is the first time it?s been used in laptops.
There are also unconfirmed reports that Apple?s technology is more advanced,
and can tell if you spilled water, orange juice, coffee ? or whiskey in a
coffee cup. They know all about me.
In other scary news ? GOOGLE. [[shudder]]
Dolly Parton has decided to weigh in on a debate about whether the FCC should
vote to open up unused parts of the TV spectrum band, known as white space.
Google, Microsoft, Intel, and others want the white space opened up for
unlicensed use, so that they could use it to create new wireless broadband
services. But opponents ranging from Las Vegas casino owners to mega-church TV
preachers and bands oppose the move, because they fear it will interfere with
television broadcasts and, in the case of the musicians, wireless microphone
So, what?s so scary about this? Dolly Parton. Geez. Have you SEEN that woman
Anyway, the FCC is scheduled to vote next week.
And finally, let?s have a look at what?s Clogging the Tubes. This week ? it?s
the election. Obviously. But this year?s election has really had an
unprecedented Internet effect ? from thousands of campaign ads and spoofs and
commentary on YouTube to entire Websites like PalinAsPresident.com and Obama?s
YesWeCarve.com pumpkin cutouts for Halloween. Sure, the McCain and Obama
campaigns are on Twitter, but this is about you, the people, taking to the
Internet in a way that didn?t happen even four years ago. It?s really amazing,
it?s really inspiring, and it?s really, really scary. Why? What?s scary about
Some of you STILL WON?T VOTE. What is WRONG with you!? Vote. You numbskulls.
AND that's the Buzz Report for this week, everybody! I'm Molly Wood and thanks