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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 6-27-16: Inevitable Robot Uprising

Google’s holding company, Alphabet, has a new robotic dog from its Atlas-making Boston Dynamics subsidiary capable of clearing up after its human masters.  The new small robotic dog has a articulating arm on its back, which is capable of lifting and holding objects as fragile as a glass. Robots cleaning up after us. This is literally exactly how the First Cylon War started in Battlestar Galactica.

A restaurant owner fired the bartender for insulting a customer on a credit card receipt as “fatty.” It was a significant move, because the bartender was his own son. He’s gone as far as banning him from the property altogether.

The Battlecreek Bombers minor league baseball team decided it was a good idea to hold a “bring your gun to the game” night. They officially called it “2nd Amendment Education Night.” As my colleague Garry Meier says, “timing and good lighting are everything.” Maybe they should have rescheduled that after the Orlando terror attack. That reminds me of the time I won a gun rack at a Huntsville Stars game… I was 11 years old at the time.

Last week, I mentioned the story of the guy who was released from prison after years when it was proven he did not do it. I somewhat tongue-in-cheek asked if you’d take the $30 million he’s asking for in exchange for spending 13 years in prison. This week there is a guy who has served 20 years in prison for a murder he apparently didn’t commit. Rather than having the charges against him thrown out, he wants to stand trial again to prove in a court of law that he did not do it and the prosecution did not do its job. That’s strange, because it leaves the murder conviction in place until the trial proves his innocence. He’s that set on making a point about the job the prosecution did in his trial. Also, at this point is there anyone in prison who is actually guilty?

Say what you want about special interest groups, but a new poll says Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are less popular than the NRA and Planned Parenthood.

In science news, NASA has authorized five more years for the Hubble Space Telescope.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 2-11-16: Skynet Just Got The Keys To Your Car

U.S. vehicle safety regulators have said the artificial intelligence system piloting a self-driving Google car could be considered the driver under federal law. So basically, if your self-driving car is in an accident, you won’t be on the hook. Google’s self-driving cars have an excellent record so far. Actually, all of their accidents have been caused by humans driving other cars. This is exactly how Skynet got started.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina both suspended their campaigns on Wednesday. Jim Gilmore remains.

Hillary Clinton has no idea what it means to “go viral.” She said it sounds “like some kind of disease.” In other news, Clinton also expressed confusion about why Bernie Sanders seems to be doing a better job of appealing to young voters.

Funny or Die has created the can’t-miss biography of Donald Trump. It’s called “Donald Trump’s The Art of The Deal: The Movie”, it’s an hour long and stars Johnny Depp as The Donald.

The hits keep coming for poor Jeb Bush. Bush was speaking at a rotary club in New Hampshire when the event hosts came up and kicked him off the podium.

The budget tightening continues here in Illinois. Now, in addition to being on your own when it comes to your license plate renewals,the state will also stop sending reminders about emissions testing. That’s required every other year. So you’ll have to remember that yourself. Good luck with that.

The Chicago Museum of Art has dressed up a one bedroom apartment in the city to look like Vincent Van Gogh’s bedroom. You can rent it on Airbnb for $10 a night. The listing is actually set up as if you are renting the room from Van Gough. Cutting your ear off is not required, but it is encouraged.

Someone dug up film footage of a ski-jump contest at Soldier Field from the 1930’s. The Chicago Ski Tournament was held in 1936-1938 and 1954, according to the Chicago History Museum. Ski jumpers landed on shaved ice, not snow.

An Alaska Airlines flight from Boston to San Diego was diverted to Denver after an intoxicated passenger became disruptive and threatened crew members. The pilot decided to put her down in Denver out of an “abundance of caution.”

Something to think about as Navy Pier prepares to open the new, much larger ferris wheel: A couple was arrested in Las Vegas for having sex during their ride on a 500 foot-tall ferris wheel on the strip. They told police they did not think anyone would be able to see them, but the surrounding cars got a great view and so did the security cameras in each of the cars.

If you’re heartbroken in Florida this Valentine’s Day, there’s a great new way to get out all of your feels and move on with your life.The Florida branch of Goodwill is encouraging people to donate all of the ex’s stuff on Valentine’s Day. Get rid of your emotional and physical baggage all at once.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 11-16-15: Rent-a-Mom

Ronda Rousey has actually lost. That is all.

A woman in New York is renting herself out as a surrogate mom to millennials who just aren’t getting enough attention for their liking. Her name is Nina Keneally, she’s 63 years old and offers services ranging from ironing and cooking to a shoulder to cry on, all for the low-low price of $40 per hour.

Interesting Stat of the Day: $720 million. That was the amount wagered on Major League Baseball in Nevada in 2014, up 6 percent from 2013.

CBS decided to push back episodes of Supergirl and NCIS:LA because they dealt with terror attacks.

In technology news, a Google driverless car was pulled over Thursday for driving too slow. Google caps speeds for the vehicles at 25 mph.

Plus, a Boston woman will be allowed to wear a colander on her head in her drivers license photo.

Each morning Keith Conrad will give you a few stories useful for starting conversations around the water cooler at work. Assuming that your office actually has a water cooler.

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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 10-14-15: Behaving Badly On Camera

A new study says there’s less violence and fewer complaints when police wear body cameras.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 16 days. That’s the average number of vacation days taken by the American worker last year, a 35-year low and down from 21.1 days in 1996

A jury has ruled that a gun shop in Milwaukee must pay $6 million to a pair of police officers who were wounded by a gun they sold. The gun was sold to someone who was ineligible to buy one. The lawsuit argued the store should have done more to ensure something like that would not happen.

Donald Trump’s lead in the Republican race is down to 1 point in a new Fox News poll.

In technology news, believe it or not, For the majority of the world, “Googling” and “Facebooking” are not second nature. There are currently 4.2 billion people — 57% of the world — who are still offline on a regular basis according to a new survey.

Plus, a Cessna landed on a highway in Idaho in the middle of rush hour on Tuesday morning.

Each morning Keith Conrad will give you a few stories useful for starting conversations around the water cooler at work. Assuming that your office actually has a water cooler.

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What Are We Going To Call This Thing? – #6: Through The Bowels With Gene Hackman

Dave and Keith talk about their experience at the Cubs game at Wrigley Field last week.

The fact that Keith is the second person to come up in a Google search of his name is still a major sore spot for him. Don’t bring it up.

Dave has one goal when meeting celebrities: Don’t be the creepy guy that they end up talking about on The Tonight Show. When he met Patton Oswald, he wasn’t exactly successful.

Plus, a cherished TV show may be returning to the small screen.

Dave Stripling and Keith Conrad are producers for rival Chicago morning radio shows, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get along. This forbidden friendship is a lot like West Side Story, except with less finger-snapping.

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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 8-4-15: They Don’t Love Hunters, And It Shows

Delta Airlines has decided to ban lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo trophies on their airplanes.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 47.9 percent. That’s the amount of email that was spam during the month of June of this year.

A 103 year old World War II veteran is still reporting for duty at his job five days a week.

In technology news, Google has quietly been running its self-driving car program under a subsidiary company called Google Auto LLC.

Gawker decided to give out Donald Trump’s cell phone number on their website.

Plus, a chicken in Massachusetts has been given a $2500 prosthetic leg.

Each morning Keith Conrad will give you a few stories useful for starting conversations around the water cooler at work. Assuming that your office actually has a water cooler.

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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 7-17-15: Hastening The Inevitable Robot Uprising

Google’s self-driving cars just keep getting into accidents, and none of them are the fault of the cars. This time a human-driven car slammed into a stationary Google car. So far the Google cars have been in 14 accidents, and all of them were the fault of humans driving other cars.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 33 percent. That’s the percent of people 65 and older who think that Americans work too little, the highest percentage to hold that view among any age bracket.

A jury convicted Colorado theater shooter James Holmes of first-degree murder and attempted murder for killing 12 people and wounding 70 others.

In technology news, Siri is a great source of information for iPhone users, but now it’s apparently correcting mistakes. If you try to ask a question about “Bruce Jenner” it will automatically correct it to “Caitlyn Jenner.”

People in the news, you’re about to see a lot less of the Duggars. The comically massive family has lost it’s TV show.

Plus, it’s summer time and that means two things: Shark attacks and kids lemonade stands being shut down. This time it’s an 11 year old boy in Florida.

Each morning Keith Conrad will give you a few stories useful for starting conversations around the water cooler at work. Assuming that your office actually has a water cooler.

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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 6-24-15: US Spying On The French

WikiLeaks claims to have published documents that prove that the National Security Agency has spied on the last three French presidents. The communications were between 2006 to 2012, include discussions about a top U.N. appointment, the Middle East peace process, and the euro crisis, along with the French president’s cell phone number.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 67.6 million. That’s the number of Americans over the age of 25 who are obese. Another 65.2 million are just overweight.

People in the news, composer James Horner has died in a plane crash near Santa Barbara, California at the age of 61.

In technology news, Google is trying to idiot-proof email so you won’t accidentally send messages to the wrong people. They are adding a 5 to 30 second “Undo Send” feature.

In world affairs, there was an unlikely visitor to a meeting of various secessionist taking place in Russia. Nathan Smith is the self-styled foreign minister of the Texas Nationalist Movement. He says their movement is bigger than you might think.

Plus, Warner Bros. has decided that they will no longer license any models of the car because it has the Confederate Flag on it.

Each morning Keith Conrad will give you a few stories useful for starting conversations around the water cooler at work. Assuming that your office actually has a water cooler.

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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 5-12-15: The Selfie Heard ‘Round The World

Every day this week is actually a Palindrome, the same backwards as it is forwards.

A man in Australia decided to take a selfie in front of a giant cutout of Darth Vader. His kids are big fans of Star Wars, as all good kids are. It was his very first selfie, since he’s an adult and not completely self-absorbed, so he asked some nearby kids if he was doing it right. The kids mom saw him talking to her kids and immediately assumed that he was a pedofile up to no good, took his picture and posted it on Facebook. It immediately went viral, and before the guy even knew what happened, his friends were calling him about it.

In technology news, Google has been testing their new self-driving cars since last September. So far they have been in 11 accidents, and Google claims that none of them were the fault of the cars. They were all because of other human drivers.

In sports, Tom Brady has been suspended by the NFL for 4 games for his role in Deflategate. The league also fined the Patriots $1 million and docked them two draft picks — a first-rounder in 2016 and a fourth-rounder in 2017 — for violating the playing rules “and the failure to cooperate in the subsequent investigation.”

The truth is out there, and now we know when Mulder and Scully will be looking for it again. Fox announced Monday that a six-episode miniseries of “The X-Files” will debut on Sunday, Jan. 24th, 2016.

Plus, someone in Washington state decided it was a good idea to donate a grenade to Goodwill.

Each morning Keith Conrad will give you a few stories useful for starting conversations around the water cooler at work. Assuming that your office actually has a water cooler.

Follow Keith Conrad on Twitter
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