Wednesday, April 26, 2017

News You Can't Use: Robot 'Sent Back to Humanoid School'

We're rapidly approaching a technological singularity where robots will be able to type letters that are blurry and have lines through them or participate in the internet without immediately becoming racist against every single people group. The frustration comes in being so close but falling just short, as even promising bots must be returned to "humanoid school" [common core joke goes here] after failing spectacularly in basic interactions with the meat bags they will one day destroy. Hopefully this will prove corrective, because I have a feeling I'll make a great pet.

A robot has been sent back to 'language school' after she forgot where the Great Wall of China is.

The hero types "Who is buried in Grant's tomb?" into the supercomputer, causing it to melt down, throwing off sparks and billowing clouds of smoke.

China's talking robot Jia Jia stumbled over her words during her first live TV interview in English.

We expected it to effectively mock Mercerism, but instead it was a total mess.

The mechanical marvel 'forgot' basic words and phrases in conversation with American journalist Kevin Kelly. 

He's interviewed Obama, he's used to it.

Jia Jia, wearing a wig and long flowing robes, was unable to respond to questions about the number of letters in the English alphabet.

It's going to be a great interview, I'll ask the metal woman about the alphabet and the Great Wall, maybe slip in something about a turtle in a desert if there's time.

And when quizzed about where in China the country's Great Wall was located she paused before stating: "China!"

*checks Google* She's right!

Kelly, an authority on robotics and artificial intelligence, asked Jia Jia if she could talk about him. The robotic reply was unintelligible. 

It sure sounded like "Kill all humans" but my ears were probably wrong, what with just being rapidly dying biological material and all.

Chen Xiaoping, leader of the team, claimed Jia Jia was asked some "challenging" questions and failed to answer some.

Just because the average American would get it wrong doesn't make it "challenging."

Yet observers watching the conversation on a live stream expressed disappointment. "It does not work!" one commented, while another said: "It needs some major revamping." 

The real story should have been "Most Polite and Literate Commentators in History of Internet."

Full Story. 

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

News You Can't Use: DC Building Bans Balcony Banners

Anyone keeping a list of “Seemingly Harmless Things Ruined by Donald Trump, His Supporters, and His Detractors” can pencil in “banners that sports fans hang from their apartments”—at least in one building across the street from Nationals Park.

Another harmless thing ruined by the Democratic process and the fact that people are allowed to disagree for some reason. If we'd just eliminate all free expression, and we were making great progress until just recently by the way, we could go back to hanging banners. I feel a part of all of us has died.

Since the 11-story Camden South Capitol building opened in 2013, some residents of the units facing South Capitol Street—directly across from Nationals Park—have hung flags and pennants supporting DC’s baseball team.  

Do you like sports? Hey, great. I also enjoy sports. Clearly you can see the value of smoothing out unbelievably painful social interactions with our fellow biological work units, but dirty old politics is wrecking this.

“While we love our residents creativity and unique decorating, the time has come for us to remind all residents it is a lease violation if you…hang anything off of your balcony—yes this even include banners/flags supporting our beloved Washington Nationals,” reads the email from building manager Shaun Lambert.

We live in a nation of laws, as evidenced by our prisons packed with the wealthy and powerful who felt they could get away with things. Even your devotion to our beloved American Cricket squadron must be subsumed beneath the rule of law.

The likely inspiration for this sudden order, according to one resident, was a rush of political banners in the past few months, starting with a “Trump: Make America Great Again” flag that appeared shortly after last November’s election.

One guy was yelling this, so it seems plausible as an explanation.

But people in the building say it was the “Make America Great Again” flag that set off a sign war. An apartment one floor above the Trump-friendly apartment hung a flag proclaiming “Resist.”

We should be seeing "2 + 2 = 5" and "Ignorance is Strength" banners any day now.

The newest addition, which went up shortly before the start of baseball season, positions the word “Nope” accompanied by an upward arrow directly beneath the Trump sign.

My sophisticated and highly adult political discourse, full of cogent four-letter arguments.

And now, what was once a gallery of local sports fandom is just another political shouting match.

I just wanted to watch roided-up monsters hit dingers, but then you went all C-SPAN up in here.

 Mostly empty stadium offers advice to Congress.

His note also warns tenants against installing grills or household furniture, leaving unattended pets, and smoking on balconies.

I don't see how this pocket Hitler has the right to decide what I put in my mouth or how neglectful I am toward my furry friend-substitutes.

Tenants of Camden South Capitol who object to the redecoration order on First Amendment grounds are unlikely to prevail, according to Joel Cohn, the legislative director for DC’s Office of the Tenant Advocate.

When you signed that lease you gave up a lot of your inherent rights, sorry.

Komment Korner   

I wouldn't want to live in a building with different kind of flags all over it. although, i wouldn't want to live in DC either

Suppression of other people's speech is a FEDERAL CRIME under our civil rights laws.

Anyone keeping a list of “Seemingly Harmless Things Ruined by Capitalism and Contracts” can pencil in “Witty Criticism of Idiots in Shared Common Areas of Condos."

No smoking on your own balcony?

I'm not even going to click on those hashtags.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

News You Can't Use: Young Driver Gets Help From YouTube

Arguably the best aspect of today's story is how the headline suggests we're going to get an inspiring tale of a dorky sixteen year-old who conquered his awkwardness and learned how to drive with a little help from the magic of the information network. Instead of this sort of eighties sex comedy hi-jinks, the actual story is about an eight-year-old driven mad by a craving for pink slime from the local burger box who then drove a car. It's wacky and funny because no one died! This time.

An 8-year-old East Palestine boy used YouTube videos to learn how to drive his father’s van to McDonald’s on Sunday.

HELLO EVERYBODY!!! MY NAME IS SUPERKITTEN854849 and today we're going to continue our "let's drive" game with a VAN! Please like and subscribe. Here's some links for donations. Be sure to share this video. If you already liked and subscribed, please create several new accounts and like and subscribe with those. I'm now on Patreon. Be sure to follow me on Twitter. All right, time to put this thing in drive. We'll just shift to do that...and hit that Dee! Get it? That's a joke! Did you donate yet? The red subscribe button, go ahead and click it.

East Palestine Patrolman Jacob Koehler responded to the restaurant that evening after the police department received reports from several people who witnessed the boy driving the van effortlessly through the downtown area.

"Effortlessly." As opposed to when I drive, with veins popping out of my forehead, sweating like Sean Spicer after saying something moronic about basic 20th Century history, using ample sailor talk and generally struggling just to maintain.

Koehler said that according to reports from witnesses Matt Stanley, David and Rachel Crowe and Lindsey Balmenti, the boy obeyed all traffic laws, stopping properly at red lights and waited for traffic to pass before making the left turn into the McDonald’s parking lot.

Clearly we should lower the driving age to eight, because a lot of adults don't follow these basic rules and like, society, man, besides [awkward reference to the movie "Idiocracy goes here].

When he pulled up to the drive-through window after ordering a cheeseburger he had been craving and intended to pay for using money he gathered from his piggy bank, the McDonald’s workers at first thought they were being pranked.

I was worried my deep personal dignity as a burger-flipper was under attack by outside forces.

“I think there is a good teaching point here. With the way technology is anymore kids will learn how to do anything and everything. This kid learned how to drive on YouTube. He probably looked it up for five minutes and then said it was time to go,” he added.

Yeah. That's almost certainly the correct lesson to take away and not something about "absentee parents" or "our dying country."

“He didn’t hit a single thing on the way there. It was unreal,” he said.

Speaking of not hitting a single thing, how about that local baseball team, haw haw.

He also said that he was able to get the keys to his father’s locked van by standing up on his tip-toes to get to where they were hanging.

Yet another miracle! How does he do it? Totally unreal, dudemar.

The boy, in tears when he realized he had done something wrong, told Koehler he just really wanted a cheeseburger.

Also I'm not on drugs, I'm just thinking.

Koehler said it was not a case of neglect — the boy and his sister had already eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner that day, but he still really wanted that cheeseburger.

We can all agree this is some of the best parenting ever displayed outside of a "Home Alone" film.

The children were picked up by their parents at the station and no charges were filed.

We're overworked as it is. *eats doughnut, falls asleep*

Full Article. 

Komment Korner 

I hope his dad whupped him for not going to Wendy's.  

The kid later said he was almost finished watching a video series on open heart surgery. We'll see what happens next.

and this is news why?????

Emergency update to Youtube vid... " do not use drive through services if you are a toddler or young child driver."

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.  

Saturday, April 8, 2017

DotTeeVee: X ARM - Rick Vardell vs Bond Laupua

If you unironically enjoyed the movie "Over the Top," think that metal cage in the corner of your gym is the "curl rack," derive pleasure from human misery and enjoy people at a table punching each other have I got the exciting new (from 2014, sorry) pseudo-sport to satisfy all your gun show and blood lust needs. It's X Arm, created by "The Godfather of the UFC" who wisely got out of that business by selling it for some glass beads at a point in time when that probably seemed like a good deal for him. One can't mourn over lost millions forever, instead we've got a new sport that's even better (not a truthful statement)! It might sound like a generic underarm product, but it's much, much more.

  I'll take the guy not currently being throat-punched.

The man that guided the Ultimate Fighting Championship when it had about a dozen loyal fans (I would know, I was one of them) at least seems cheerful and upbeat about his new, doomed venture. He tells "Gary" that we're going to see a combination of "hardcore arm-wrestling, kickboxing and jiu-jitsu. Well, that or two anthropological curiosities happy slapping each other while a table gets in the way, but let's take our time and allow this video to unfold like the beautiful flower that it is.

Also there's a ten thousand dollar first prize, or as the UFC would call it "The amount of money we spent on doors during the Rampage Jackson season of our television show."

Let's meet the fighters! Rick Vardell is highly decorated in arm wrestling! He's big! Unfortunately, we're doing the "hardcore" version, so I'm not sure if the skills will translate. Meanwhile his opponent Bond Laupua has a kickboxing background and a bit of an attitude. He calls his hulking opponent a "marshmallow" and promises to "melt him." Meanwhile the man running the risk of being the central ingredient in a S'more isn't afraid of being hit and feels being strong might give an edge in a test of strength. 

We also introduce an aspiring actress, but she promptly goes away, further adding to the already surreal and dreamlike qualities of the proceedings.

The defending champion.

Now the formal introductions, full of useful information like the fact that Bond is actually the heavier man, despite what was implied earlier. Yeah, the introduction video was somewhat misleading. Next you'll tell me those early UFC tomato cans weren't really 88-0 in bare knuckle challenge matches. Also, Vardell is 46 years old. Never has the phrase "Too old for this shit" been more appropriate.

Both competitors are wearing colorful outfits that call to mind a re-imagining of the Power Rangers as giant, doughy middle-agers with attitude. We run down some rules and I'm glad the tradition of endless talk while waiting for fights is still alive and well here. Pin the arm, knock the guy out, decision, the usual stuff. Time to make "becoming an X Arm judge" my new and best life ambition.

 Please approach this comedy club table and prepare for glory.

Art Davie thinks Vardell has the edge, what with his "big arm." This quality analysis wisely ignores the fact our prohibitive favorite is doing a goofy dance during the interminable preparation phase for some reason. The modern gladiators are harnessed together and this is starting to look more like something the NEA would fund than the death fight we were promised. Unconventional desires notwithstanding, it's time to tape the hands together with duct tape, which we are told can hold together anything. Airplanes, for example. Talk about a missed sponsorship opportunity. Maybe this guy isn't as good at business as his impressive track record would suggest.

Also the referee is Cal Worsham, one of the competitors in an extreme no-rules cage fighting match that was described as "all I saw was swingin'." 

The bell is gone and the human game of chess quickly breaks down into awkward brawling. It's nothing but big hands as they're feeding each other the meat candy! I don't know about this, we're forgetting it's supposed to be about the Sport of Cheaters, not table boxing. Vardell gets the worst of it and is "almost defenseless!" leaning away where he can't be reached to survive. Yes, adding harnesses and a table makes the "kickboxing" better, of course it would.

"He's thrown his game plan out!" Everyone has a plan for pinning the back of your hand against a flat surface while taped and harnessed together, until they get hit.

Youth might give you an advantage in Stockton Slap competitions, but don't underestimate the experience and cunning of age, as Vardell jumps up on the table and attempts to put Lapua in a straight arm-lock. Unfortunately, a red flag is thrown, because you're not a real sport unless officials are throwing snot rags or whatever. That's the end of that bit of excitement, thank goodness. Let's get back to the awkward striking.

Despite the penalty, it's another arm-bar attempt, immediately. I mean, they can't call it illegal every time you do it, can they? Time is now the enemy, however, as only ten seconds remain. Sure enough, Bond is saved by the bell.

 Welcome to a Brazilian nightclub.

The announcers heap praise on the "underdog," who despite being younger and heavier was somehow able to lay heavy leather on his grizzled opponent. Vardell's face is starting to look like uncooked meat, so we're clearly not playin' up in hee-ah. It may have been a 10-8 round, but no explanation on the flag from Art, sadly. I created this sport and I don't know what the rules are. 

Round Two! More unanswered punches from Lapua! And it's already over! Call me crazy, but that round seemed much, much shorter. Oh well, probably time compression caused by the Maslowian peak experience I'm having viewing this incredible "sport." 

Vardell is starting to look like he went through the windshield in a car crash, but there's one round left and anything can still happen!

Final round! Our heroes play to the crowd and then we get a scene reminiscent of "Rocky" (why not bring in another Stallone film, right?) as the older and more badly hurt contender mounts a valorous comeback in the eleventh hour. He's coming on strong with looping punches! This is the most inspiring thing I've ever witnessed! He's gonna do it! 

Then it ends and the other guy wins.

After the match the loser vows to "come back some day," maybe when he's in his fifties, and X Arm is an international billion dollar property. This is clearly the sport of the future and you've still got a big part to play in it. I can't wait!

Komment Korner  

this is the dumbest shit ive ever seen.

Most cringe-tastic thing I've ever seen in my life. Thank you, now I'll need a truck or two of mind bleach.

OMG, I am literally blown away, and in another way...offended, at how dumb this is. This is offensively dumb. It's so dumb, that it hurts my feelings.

even if you win, your still a loser

Here I was, thinking chess-boxing was the most idiotic thing mankind could possibly come up with.

...??!!!..Organised BARfights...  Rounds...???.... nice...!!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

News You Can't Use: Video Gaming Becomes a Scholarship Sport at University of Utah

It's extremely important that we encourage America's most talented video game players to use their abilities for the betterment of society as a whole, rather than making endless "watch me play" videos before revealing their Third Reich sympathies and ruining it all. To this end, the Bee Hive State is, as usual, way ahead of the curve by offering scholarship opportunities to the real student athletes of the future: vidiots who are wisely investing the precious gift of life in murder simulators. After all, if we're going to totally pwn foreign newbs in this most important of all arenas it's critical we develop the very best Mormon gamers.

The University of Utah will become the first big-time sports school to offer scholarships for competitive video gaming, so far the most high-profile entry into collegiate esports.

It's much bigger than other "esports" like, ah, building ham radios or whatever. All we need now is academic incentives for "committed self-abuse seven times in one night instead of writing the term paper."

Backed by the Salt Lake City school’s video game development program, Utah’s first varsity esports team will play Riot Games’ popular League of Legends and compete in Riot’s collegiate league. More teams in other games will be announced this year. 

Pffft, call me when you get a Bayou Billy team together.

"We want others schools to join us," said A.J. Dimick, who will run the new esports program. "Let’s move this along together."

Some people think the safe spaces, thought crime laws and general retrograde atmosphere has ruined higher education and it can't get any worse, but I'm here to tell you it can and we need to get this moving along.

Funding for the program will come directly from Utah’s Entertainment Arts & Engineering department, which The Princeton Review named the country’s best video game design program in 2016.

Their alumni were responsible for both the "hit stick" and the "passing cone" options in Dat Madden.

Gamers on Utah’s League of Legends team will all receive partial scholarships at first, Dimick said. The long-term plan is to expand to more games and to make money through marketing and sponsorship deals, eventually offering full scholarships to as many as 35 gamers. 

At least we have our priorities straight.

The exciting future of collegiate athletics.

The University of California, Irvine, recently built an esports-specific arena on its campus, and the Big Ten Conference’s television network earlier this year began broadcasting competitions between club teams from its member schools.

Whether we'll start giving incentives for television viewing remains unknown as of this writing.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.