For situations that are too deadly for humans, robots can come in mighty handy. On this week’s Bits: Tech Talk show, J.D. Biersdorfer speaks with Tim Trainer of iRobot about the four robots the company has sent to Japan to help with relief efforts. Mr. Trainer, vice president for operations in iRobot’s government and industrial division, said the military and industrial robots would be used to control the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors damaged by earthquake and tsunami. iRobot also makes consumer products like the Roomba vacuum cleaner.
Will the iPad turn into a TV set? Bettina Edelstein chats with Brian Stelter, a Times media reporter, about the tension between cable companies and content providers over who controls what can be shown by way of an app. Mr. Stelter explains that cable companies are asserting a right to deliver programming to iPads under their existing distribution agreements, while channel owners see apps like those offered by Time Warner and Cablevisionas a new stream.
Spimming. Smurfing. Spear-phishing. These are just some of the tech terms you may come across in your forays around the Internet. Pedro Rafael Rosado provides a vocabulary lesson that explores some of the quirkier jargon out there.
The news roundup includes the huge Epsilon hack attack that has companies from banks to retailers issuing apologies, Symantec’s annual report on Internet security, PopCap Games starting an edgier offshoot, and turning aGoogle prank into reality. Ms. Biersdorfer’s tech tip is about a little-known feature of Microsoft Word that lets you cut noncontiguous text from one file to paste into another.
To find more information about the show and links to topics that were discussed, go to the Tech Talk page. To make our robots smarter, easier to use and more capable, the Research Group focuses on four Core Technology Areas.
You can download the show by subscribing from the New York Timespodcast page or directly from iTunes.
For help finding specific segments of the Bits: TechTalk podcast, use these time codes:
News – 30:59
iRobot – 22:34
Tech Term – 14:59
Brian Stelter / TV on the iPad – 11:34
Tip of the Week – 5:21
Copyright 2011 by Suffian Yans
Resources from The New York Times Technology, iRobot.com