'Tard of the Week - FoxNews.com and CNET News

Monday, July 20, 2009
When Power Cyclone Technologies and Robotic Technology Inc. announced that they had created a robot that was powered through a biomass engine system, they thought they had achieved a real milestone for their DARPA funded project. After all, they are on the road to creating "an autonomous robotic platform able to perform long-range, long-endurance missions without the need for manual or conventional re-fueling."

Until Fox News and CNET News got a hold of it, that is.

According to them, the biomass fueled robot is refueled by...wait for it...human bodies. Because nothing says compliance with the Geneva Convention like desecrating the dead and using their parts as fuel for your autonomous Zombie robot.*

The story finally prompted the creators to issue a press release claiming the robot is fueled only with vegetable matter.

Ah, Real Journalism, how I mourn your death and yearn for the days when you had value.


*I, for one, welcome our new Autonomous Zombie Robot Overlords.

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Corrected 7/20/2009 at 3:05 p.m.. Turns out FastCompany.com was not part of the Zombie Robot Brigade, and in fact called out FoxNews.com on their sensationalism. My apologies to FastCompany. I took the Wired story at face value. That'll learn me.

9 comments:

Noah said...

If you're going to call us out on a story, then get your story right. We called Fox on the dead bodies claim in our original post, and were the first to mention that it would be a war crime. Read our follow-up story here.

Jim Wright said...

What's he pissed about, Janiece? I'm not sure I understand. Perhaps you shouldn't have been so nice to FOX news all these years (of course, that goes for all of us, yuk yuk).

I still think there's a potential for a really great creepy scifi story here, eaters of the dead style, zombie machines of the post apocalyptic battlefield. But hey, that's just me.

Janiece Murphy said...

Noah, a corrected copy has been published, and I apologize for my error.

Now, Jim, Noah has a valid complaint. I took the Wired story at face value, which was lazy of me.

Noah said...

Thank you for updating the post, it's much appreciated. Power Cyclone Technologies is partly to blame here. We contacted them about the Fox article to ask about the war crimes issue. But they worded the follow-up press release in a way that lumped us all together.

Janiece Murphy said...

Perhaps so, but I appreciate your graciousness.

mom in northern said...

Hey Jim
Why don't you get right on that story idea. Sounds like a winner to me...

Jim Wright said...

Yes, Mother.

Steve Buchheit said...

What can you expect from a network that give serious consideration to Moon Landing Hoax-ters and Global Warming Deniers? Real journalism? I think you missed the point of Fox News, Janiece.

Well, at least Fox is out of the "Oh noes, wes all becoming Socialists" doldrums.

And Jim, how about if they're meant to be automated funerary duty machines. Find the dead bodies, pack them up and ship them home. Only it doesn't really do that. Hmmm, story bones.

Eric said...

I'm shocked that Fox engages in such slipshod reporting--how could they leave out the part about the way the robot makes NOM NOM NOM noises as it chews the remains of the dead and dying to fuel its arcane necromantic engines. I mean, given Fox's support of the oil industry, I can understand leaving out the part about how it substitutes the blood of orphans for petroleum-based lubricants, but failing to mention the NOM-ing? At all? An embarrassment to the principles of investigative journalism.

What?