Hackaday Links: CES Is Over

CES is over, and once again we have proof technology does not improve our lives. Here’s the takeaway from the @internetofshit. There’s a garbage can where you can drop your DNA sample. This is obviously not a Bay Area startup, because they just leave DNA samples on the sidewalk there. The ‘smart cooler’ market is heating up (literally) with a cooler that’s also a grill. Someone duct taped an air filter to a roomba, so your air filter can go to where all the dirty air is in your house. Internet of Rubik’s Cubes. The world’s first autonomous shower made an appearance. Now you can take a shower over the Internet. What a time to be alive.

Need some more bad news from CES? We have more proof the entire tech industry is astonishingly sexist. How so? Well, VR sex simulators can win best of show. That’s a given, obviously. But a ‘smart’ sex toy designed by and for women was selected for a CES 2019 Innovation Award in the Robotics and Drone category. This award was given, then rescinded, by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) because it was, ‘immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in keeping with the CTA’s image’. We presume they mean the latter, but we’re not sure.

Sometimes, though, there are actual engineers behind some of the gadgets on display at CES. Bell (yes, the aerospace company) unveiled the Bell Nexus, a five-seat VTOL ‘taxi’ powered by six ducted fans. These fans are powered by a hybrid electric power system. We assume a turboshaft connected to a generator powering electric motors. Most interestingly, speculation is that this will be the vehicle Uber’s Elevate air taxi program. This initiative by Uber intends to turn a random parking lot in LA into the busiest airport in the world. This is what the official marketing material from Uber says, I am not making this up, and it’s beyond stupid. You know what, just have Uber buy the Santa Monica airport, close it down, and turn it into an air taxi hub. This is the dumbest and funniest possible future imaginable.

Okay, CES is terrible, but here’s something for you. You can get a free ‘maker license’ of Solidworks. Just go here and enter promo code ‘918MAKER’. This info comes from reddit.

The Impossible Project was founded in 2008 as an initiative to remanufacture Polaroid film and refurbish cameras. The project was a rousing success with many supporters. It is a beacon of hope for anyone who wants to keep obsolete formats alive. Now, another format will live on. MacEffects, a company (or eBay store) in Indiana is remanufacturing color ribbons for Apple ImageWriter II printers. The ImageWriter II was the dot-matrix printer in your elementary school’s computer lab if you’re in the Oregon Trail generation, and yes, it could print color pictures. It could print very high-quality color pictures. The problem is getting color ribbons, and now you can get new ones. We’re very interested in seeing the art that can be made with a color ribbon in an ImageWriter, so if you have a portfolio, send it on in. If you have an ImageWriter, try to print something. It’s a serial printer, not a parallel printer.

17 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: CES Is Over

  1. Oh Gawd, my ImageWriter II is still in the basement. Those full-color ribbons were awesome. With a little trickery in SuperPaint, you could get a 144 dpi color image, which was pretty hot stuff in 1987.

  2. @Brian, why are you assuming that Gizmodo is telling the truth about the reasons that the award was rescinded? Gawker Media has a terrible record when it comes to skewing its articles to suit its agenda. Yes, the item in question has some seriously impressive tech in it, but if the CTA doesn’t want to be known for awarding sex toys, that is their business.

    Maybe they took a lot of flak over E.Sensory’s ‘Little Bird’ (…which was also designed by a woman, and is intended for women), which won exactly the same award three years ago, and don’t want to have to go through it again. Giz, while it linked to a number of other articles that supported its position (…while whitewashing things like CES not being able to get a suitable woman as keynote speaker one year, a fact that was mentioned in the article that they linked to), didn’t mention the Little Bird either initially or after someone linked to it in the comments.

    If I sound rather salty, it is because I used to be a fan and hang around on the Gawker outlets before they hired a crew that turned the sites into mouthpieces for a particularly odious, alt-left ideology that doesn’t care about truth as long as they get clicks and a chance to attack anyone who doesn’t believe as they do.

    1. It doesn’t take more than a couple seconds to search for sources that you should find more palatable that completely agree with Benchoff’s write-up.

      If anything, he may have been too lenient.

      1. Gawker Media (the company behind Gizmodo) has a well-established record of twisting everything to fit their leftist, SJW, militant feminist biases, attacking anyone who doesn’t believe as they do. The linked article outright states that the reason that the prize was rescinded was because the CTA is sexist, NOT because they didn’t want to be publicly seen as giving awards to sex toys. (…any more. As I linked to in my post, just three years ago they gave an award to another sex toy from a company that was run by a woman. Has the CTA suddenly become sexist in the last three years?) I’m pretty sure that it was a purely business decision; how many tech companies would be comfortable to have a booth at a convention that is known for demonstrating sex toys? (Yes, I am aware that they have been around at CES for quite a while, but not on the main floor.)

        Yes, I have no doubt that there are sexist attitudes involved in any number of both major and minor decisions surrounding CES and the CTA, but it isn’t clear that that is the case with rescinding that award, especially considering the evidence of it being given recently and not rescinded in a VERY similar case. Something clearly changed, but sexism is highly unlikely to be the case.

        (As for things like ‘booth babes’, sex sells products; that is well-known, and businesses who put profit above societal health will do whatever it takes to sell their products. It is just another business decision motivated by a desire for wealth and power. If the best way to make big bucks would be to have ‘booth bros’ dressed in plaid parkas, that is what will be used.)

    2. I don’t think a Vegas show is uncomfortable with a vibrator.
      I think what happened is that they realized that the vibrator has nothing to do with the “Robotics and Drone” category.

      I’ve looked at the Osé product page and it’s just a lot of buzzwords and marketing wank with no technical information. Smells like a PR stunt.

      1. “an existing power imbalance”, that is. I’m sorry you are tired of double standards, but you might feel differently if the current single standards were oppressing you. I’m also sorry you feel women finally being heard about the amount of sexual assault we are subject to is a “witch-hunt”

        1. Until someone just slanders your father/brother/… and they lose their job and their life is ruined without due process.

          This is why we have courts and due process, so that we don’t end up burning people on the stake because someone said “they are witches”. Or against the government/revolution/dear leader …

        2. I’m not sure you are using the same definition of double standard that I use.
          double standard: noun, a rule or principle which is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups.
          A single standard is the “ideal” because it treats everybody equally, anything else is special treatment, that the less favored group can resent. In a world without any double standards stores would only have size differentiated clothes sections, all bathrooms would be coed, and rich people would actually pay their share of taxes.

  3. Sigh, that whole internet of shit thing mostly made me wonder about all the city/region logos on the posters. It seems loads and loads of tax money is being wasted on bullshit like this

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