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Super Human

I was as excited as anyone when I discovered that a new RoboCop movie was in the works. The 1987 original is one of my favourite films and I think a lot more could be done with today’s movie making technologies to improve on what was already a really great concept. It’s fantastic to see that there remains such an active group of fans and that Columbia Pictures and MGM are finally giving us all what we want.  There is certainly a great deal of buzz around this movie.

There is also renewed enthusiasm and discussion taking place regarding the ethics of combining man with machine, which is something I felt I needed to weigh in on. While Cybridity has not been named explicitly in any of these ethical discussions, “cybridity” is very much at the heart of RoboCop and human/machine interaction and I want to make a few things clear about our organization and how we conduct our business.

First of all, unlike what you see in movies, our company operates under a mandate of ethical standards and transparency. Detailed descriptions of every single one of our projects are listed on our corporate website.

Second, Cybridity follows a strict ethical guideline put in place and enforced by a third-party firm. We respect the rights of all living things and design our research and development scenarios accordingly. We have received awards and accolades from a number of engineering, medical and animal rights organizations, and are proud to tout an impeccable safety record.


Finally, while much of our products boast a seamless integration between human and machine, our technology is very much at the service of its human operator(s). Our products empower people who would otherwise not be able to walk, enjoy the beauty of a sunrise or embrace a loved one. They connect people with the world around them. They allow humans to live.

RoboCop and other movies like Minority ReportSurrogates and the recent Elysium (I’m still waiting for a modern Necromancer) have done much to grow the public’s interest in science and inspire young minds. And while these movies do much to provoke public dialogue and all-important self-reflection, they do not reflect the current view or spirit of what we are working towards at Cybridity.

At Cybridity, we strive to enhance the power and spirit of humanity through assistive technologies that do not replace,  but rather enhance, our everyday experiences of life, expression and love.

Dylan McConnell
CEO, Cybridity Industries

Brand You

In 2006, the editors of Time magazine named “You” (yes, you) their “Person of the Year.” Some may consider this blanket accolade a blatant and shameless attempt to grab the attention of boxing day shoppers who passed by news stands on their way to the biggest deal of the 2006 holiday season. And, considering the Christmas date of the issue’s release, it probably was. But the honour may not have been bestowed entirely without merit. After all, Time‘s celebration of You was really more of a tribute to the technology that allows You to broadcast yourself to anyone who cares to listen—with the advent of Web 2.0 websites came a “New Digital Democracy,” whereby anyone with an Internet connection may lobby, postulate and discuss ideas to and with a mass audience. In effect, Time‘s dedication to You was a signal for You to get blogging, YouTubing or Facebooking (if You have not been already), almost as if it was your civic duty.

However, consistent with the technological development of the Internet as a whole, this utopian vision of Web 2.0 websites has been met with its share of criticism. In fact, in the “Talk Back” section of the 2006 Time Person of the Year issue, a reader named Eli Stephens pointed out the irony “in having named ‘us’—bloggers, YouTubers, Wikipediasts, and others expressing ourselves on the web, as [Persons of the Year], but then, despite talking about ‘digital democracy,’ not even bothering to MENTION the results of [Time‘s] online poll [for Person of the Year], won by Hugo Chavez in a landslide.” Eli’s comment reminds us, perhaps, of the true authoritative voice that (so far) remains in print. But even this, with diminishing newspaper sales as proof, is becoming less of a concern for online publishers.

What has become a bigger concern for users of Web 2.0 technology recently has been the debate surrounding whether there is too much information published online. Are those who publish personal information or opinions in the frontier of “new democracy” opening themselves up to public scrutiny or harassment? How secure is the information entered behind the walls set up by popular Social Network Sites? How do our online personas reflect our offline identities? These questions have become particularly pressing of late due to the growing use of Web 2.0 websites by employers who are looking to find out more about their job applicants. Horror stories of hopeful job applicants who have their dreams of employment dashed due to an ill-advised Facebook photo or inebriated tweet can be found all over the Internet. But as popular marketing guru Scott Stratten would tell us, for every opportunity we are given to fail online, we are given a reciprocal opportunity to “be awesome.”

In this study I will define “Web 2.0 technology” and “Social Network Sites,” and explain why skepticism surrounds these media regarding their use as professional communication tools. I will then use rhetorical theory to explain why and how these media—specifically websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogging sites—should be used to cultivate an online persona.


Tell us what you thought of “Slot N’ Flap”

The Machine

Seriously discussing the vices and virtues of "Slot N' Flap"