Talks About Tech Weekly 073: Attack of the Robots

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On this episode I talk about Apple eBook news, the new Nokia Lumia phone an more.

Apple eBook Price Fixing
Last year Apple and a number of book publishers were accused of price fixing. A lawsuit followed and Apple and these publishers were brought to court.

Just this week Apple the court found Apple guilty of pricing fixing eBooks to increase prices. Apple worked with publishers Hachette Book Group Inc, Macmillan, HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Penguin Group and Simon &Schuster to remove competition in order to raise prices.

It was done to challenge Amazon’s dominence in the eBook market by raising the price over Amazon’s preferred $9.99 price.

Rethink Robotics Baxter Project
Baxter has a new type of robot that can be used in manufacturing environments. The robot was developed by Rethink Robotics. Rather than replacing people, workers can program the robotic arm to do tasks for them while they tackle the more skilful tasks.

In many cases workers can’t work close to robotic arms because of their strength and the fact that it’s impossible to know where the arm is going next. This arm has a screen that points in the direction that the arm is going in and can detect when a human is near and will stop.

This arm will cost about $22,000 per unit. I think that it will revolutionise robotic manufacturing.

Atlas Termin8tor-Like Robot
Atlas is a 6-foot tall humanoid robot designed by the people who built the famous BigDog robot. Atlas is funded by DARPA and could be terminators cousin. Atlas can adapt to its surroundings and do push-ups, climb and more. This robot is amazing and might just take over the world!

New Nokia Lumia Phone
Nokia had a large event on this week. At the event they announced a new flagship phone, the Lumia 1020. The specs of this phone are decent with a 4.5 inch AMOLED display, 1.5GHz Dual Core Snapdragon processor and 32GB of storage but the biggest feature of this phone is the incredible 41 megapixel camera.

To put this into perspective, the Canon 5D Mark III has a 22 megapixel sensor. There is a cradle available that adds a camera grip, camera button and extra battery life to the phone. There is also another cradle that adds wireless charging to the phone as it is not built in. The camera features an LED flash and a Xenon flash and it can shoot 1080p30 video.

The huge sensor allows for extreme detail in images. The camera app included with this Windows 8 phone has features for fully manual control over the camera. This is really a 2 in 1 device.

Pre-orders are starting on the 16th July and they go on sale on the 26th July in the US. There is no word on pricing and availability for Ireland yet.

Valve’s Pipeline Project
Pipeline is a project by Valve where they are going to take a group of high school students to design a website and to create a game. The website will also act as an information centre and forum for students looking to become a game developer. The website is a Work-in-Progress right now but it should be ready within the next month. You can also sign up for the newsletter now. The website is pipeline.valvesoftware.com.

Tech We’ve Been Using this Week
Michael
This week I was doing week 1 of the Podcasting for Free Challenge for my other podcast, Inside the Studio. As part of the challenge I had to edit the podcast using free software so I used Lightworks.

Lightworks is a free, professional video editor for Windows, Linux and coming to Mac soon. There is a pro version as well that gives you a huge range of import and export codecs. Lightworks has a very different interface to most NLE’s and there is a steep learning curve but once you understand the way that lightworks does things it is very easy to use. I will be releasing a YouTube video soon if you are interesting in the Podcasting for Free Challenge. If you want to find out more information about Lightworks you can go to lwks.com.

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