The Weekest Links : prosthetics, robots, Home


Hi again. Welcome to the second edition of this weekly column of internet goodies, brought to you directly from Lisbon, the land of deep budget cuts, avant-garde rap, and never-ending sunshine. This week we'll be focusing a lot on technology, but before we begin I'd like to clarify a few things that you guys have been mentioning a lot in your emails and Facebook comments: First, The Weekest Links is not exclusively dedicated to stress.fm's original content. The stuff mentioned in these posts is mostly from my own web browsing  and it's here because I find it interesting and important. OK? 
Secondly, I don't do blind dates! Thanks anyway guys, you sure know how to make a girl feel special.

So let's get to it. Here is:

The week of  the 1st of April to the 8th of April, 2013

The Alternative Limb Project


This is something. The Alternative Limb Project offers a "personal and friendly bespoke service" in providing unique and artistic prosthetics, ranging from the ultra realistic to amazing tech-inspired pieces that celebrate their artificial nature. What this is saying, much like the rise of cyborg athletes like the infamous Oscar Pistorius, is that technology will radically transform the nature and our understanding of disabilities. First by leveling the playing field, so to speak, allowing people to hear, see, run, and talk again. But then, the curves will kick in and those who were once disadvantaged will soon be endowed with superhuman capabilities: better hearing, better sight, faster legs, unbelievable voices. Just look at these pictures, check out the project, and get ready for the arrival of a new breed.


Botworld: Designing for the new world of Domestic A.I. ( by Matt Webb )


BERG is a design consultancy in London and one of my favorite sources of inspiration. They make Little Printer, put out radical ideas, and once in a while publish some of their presentations. This one is from 2011 and it was given at the Royal Institution by Matt Webb. It's an apparently light but actually quite deep reflection on how Artificial Intelligence will not enter our lives as it was once imagined - HAL-like supercomputers and such - but it will, and it has already, been infused in countless daily objects like toys and house appliances. This is the domestication of A.I., when the cutting edge of technology is made for the home. The iPhone, Kinect, probably the computer you're reading this on: all have more computation power than old-school science fiction could ever imagine. Check out our domestic A.I. overlords.

Facebook's Phone is Another Triumph of Mediocrity ( by Mat Honan )


Facebook Home has just hit the airwaves and here comes a burning critique of Mark Zuckerberg's latest mobile strategy. This piece is brilliant in that it clearly points out Home's major strengths while reminding the reader of what Facebook's game is all about: average communications for the average consumer. But lo and behold, that seems to be more than enough to connect a billion people so they must be doing something right. Now with Home, Facebook is deep inside Android, and more able than ever to mine the data habits of its users. Go read what Mat Honan is saying about all this.
(If you can read Portuguese, you might also want to check out stress.fm's coverage )

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Voilá, that's it for this week in links. If you're in Lisbon this week (and you should be!) be sure to go to the City Lab Art festival, an international get-together by a group of Europe's coolest urban thinkers. Don't forget to check back again next Monday for more of the web's best content, right here on stress. Take care of yourself, and of each other.

Alice Politics