They Made The Doc Ock Suit
But nobody asked if they should.
Researchers at KIMLAB—the Kinetic Intelligence Machine lab at the University of Illinois—have made what is essentially the Doc Ock robot arms backpack thing from Spider-man.
They call it "PAPRAS: Backpack," standing for "Plug And Play Robotic Arm System." It is essentially a backpack with four robot arms that move by reading the movements of your upper body. Currently, the arms just kinda waggle around, so I doubt they'll be chasing Peter Parker through the streets of New York City any time soon, but the idea is that it is a sort of exoskeleton expanded-human-capability project.
So. I mean. Maybe get a bug-out bag ready regardless.
Twitter Traffic is Down Across Everything Except…
According to newly published analytics from web traffic research firm Similarweb, Twitter's traffic has dropped significantly since the hostile takeover of the company by Elon Musk.
Global traffic to Twitter.com is down 14% year over year. US traffic alone is down 19%. Mobile traffic is down similarly, with a 17.8% year over year drop.
Most social media sites tracked by the firm are down in traffic as well, but nowhere near the same numbers. The industry average is down 3.7%, with the major outlier being TikTok, which is up 22.8%.
Good news for ol' Musky though! Traffic specifically to his twitter profile is up 96%. So, I guess he got what he wanted.
Talker of the Apartment
Update: Literally as I was uploading stuff, the third vote for Speaker of the House began, and it already looks like ya boi Jimmy doesn't have the votes. Okay, carry on.
Things are not looking any better for US House Republicans trying to elect new leadership. Jim Jordan has now lost two attempted votes to become Speaker of the House, losing out on more votes from the second attempt than his first, despite attempts to rally his party behind him.
Holdouts in the party have reported receiving death threats after refusing to back Jordan, who is among the furthest-right members of the party and has a history of being bombastic and belligerent during public hearings. Many in his party see him as a dangerous pick to put in such a high position of power.
Now, the Speaker Pro Tempore—the person who was selected to essentially be a temporary speaker who doesn't really have much power beyond procedural stuff—is threatening to quit, and Republicans seem further than ever from electing a Speaker. Without a Speaker of the House, no bills can be passed, which is especially wacky since we're barreling towards the not-so-far-out deadline to extend the budget and keep the government open. That can't happen without a Speaker, so the Freedom Caucus, who orchestrated this whole situation, is pretty happy since they'll get to shut down the government after all.
Lil' bonus tidbit: There's discussion going around about how Jim Jordan, who has been in congress for 17 years, has never passed a piece of legislation. This is kiiiiiinda true, and I don't wanna sit here and defend this guy, but it's not a super helpful argument to make because it's rhetoric that is framed specifically to sound worse than reality. Jordan has co-sponsored a decent bit of legislation, but not much. He has also been a sponsor of some resolutions that passed, but that's not laws. Jim Jordan is a piece of shit and likely covered up sexual assault of students under his watch when he was a collegiate coach. There's plenty to him him on that is much more cut and dry.
Biden Wants $100+ Billion for Israel and Ukraine
In a late night televised speech, Biden announced intent to seek billions of dollars of additional funding to send to Ukraine and Israel to "hold the world together" and address "vital national security" for the US.
The number he is seeking is $105 Billion dollars.
Unrelated, it is estimated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that it would cost about $20 Billion to end homelessness in the US.
Unrelated, the US is projected to spend $6 Trillion a year on healthcare spending by 2027, while virtually all market research projects that a Medical for All approach would significantly reduce government spending and healthcare costs and out-of-pocket payment from people resulting in the average person ending up with more money in their pocket while also reducing government spending, despite possible additional taxes.
Related, I don't live in fucking ISRAEL and I do not support the continued airstrikes on civilians in Gaza in locations that Civilians were advised to flee to, yet Biden wants to use my tax money to fund Israel as they prepare a ground invasion into Gaza under the guise of "rooting out Hamas" despite decades of attempting to establish an ethno-state in a region that historically played home to a religiously and ethnically diverse population.
On This day…
On this day in 1973, the Sydney Opera House opened for the first time after a 14-year-long period of construction.
Queen Elizabeth (the one who kicked it last year) formally opened the building, largely considered to be a hallmark of modern architecture.
The facility is capable of hosting more than 1,500 acts a year.
Here's the Weather
- YouTube is reportedly working on an AI tool that would let people record audio using the voice of famous musicians and is seeking legal rights to make it A Thing
- The FCC in the US is moving forward to restore Net Neutrality after it was scrapped during the Trump administration despite a massive public outcry against it
- The Tesla Cybertruck is delayed again, as Musk said that Tesla "dug [its] own grave" with the Cybertruck (read: Big Money Boy Refuses To Take Responsibility For His Bad Ideas)
- The FBI claims that North Korea has been having IT workers with fake credentials doing remote work in the US, then sending their salaries back to North Korea to help fund weapons programs
- Sidney Powell, a co-conspirator with Trump in trying to subvert the 2020 election, has plead "guilty" in the ongoing court cases in Georgia, taking a plea deal to testify against her co-defendants, including Trump
- Nokia is laying off up to 14,000 people to try and cut costs amid their slowing infrastructure equipment sales
- 23andMe was hit by another hack, and anyone using the platform is encouraged to change their passwords. Reminder: use a password manager which provides a unique password to each service. I recommend Bitwarden. Or use Passkeys where available, which is a technology that will likely begin taking over passwords.
- John Stewart's show on Apple TV has been abruptly cancelled, reportedly due to his coverage of AI and China