Is “Blinky” the horrible reality of a robotic future?

Although Hollywood films warn of sentient artificial intelligence looking to overthrow and exterminate its human creators, they’re mostly a reason for their big-name stars to jump through the air in slow-motion while dual-wielding rocket-propelled grenade launchers while a hovership explodes behind them. Blinky, on the other hand, paints a much more likely reality of the dangers we may soon face as intelligent robotics become as commonplace as smartphones and voice-activated assistants like Siri.

Going all in: How to run a company on 21 apps in the cloud

A lot of companies are debating whether — and what — to move to the cloud. The company I work for, Australia-based Proactive Accountants Network (PAN), made a pretty unusual decision to go all-in on cloud technology and made the leap in a span of 10 weeks, dramatically changing our IT infrastructure. So, for those of you still debating, here’s a look at life on the other side.

With Kinect, Skyrim’s Dragon Shouts are easier to bellow (hands-on)

Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensing system is making its way into hardcore games, but not in the way everyone thought. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, one of the hottest-selling games from the fall, will exploit the voice-recognition feature in Kinect so that you can more easily navigate through the game’s complex interface. And you can cast spells more easily by shouting them.

One doctor explains why the Internet hasn’t really changed medicine

Every single person in the world has a health story. As a doctor, my job is to help people edit the story that your health is telling and to treat your story as unique to make you healthier. It’s our signature challenge to become more efficient and accurate editors as digital healthcare begins to scale worldwide, which can create 8 billion health stories.

5 tech deals that need to happen

Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram was the topic on everyone’s lips at Mega Startup Weekend last Saturday and Sunday. The world’s most expensive “Like” has clearly gotten tech entrepreneurs buzzing about who will be next. While there’s no way to know which big deal will be next, here are five tech deals that make sense and need to happen:

Author David Kushner tells the inside tale on Grand Theft Auto and the video game violence wars (interview)

David Kushner has been on the front lines of the video game culture wars. In 2004, he published Masters of Doom, a portrait of the founders of id Software (the makers of the seminal first-person shooter game Doom). Now he has published a book about Rockstar Games, the company at the heart of the culture war on game violence and creator of the Grand Theft Auto series.

The DeanBeat: GamesBeat 2012 to focus on crossover strategies

GamesBeat 2012 is going to be all about crossover strategies. The game industry as we know it is changing. We’re seeing established companies cross over from one market to another, where once they faced barriers. As companies adapt to change, we are witnessing disruption, change, consolidation, innovation, and the arrival of big money. We’re talking billions of dollars that are at stake.

The top 25 technology books of all time

Technology teaches us to forget the past. Last year’s tech news seems like it has no use whatsoever. Thankfully, historians beg to differ, and they have begun to preserve the history of the tech industry as it becomes more and more important to the evolution of our lives and world. Those who understand the history of technology and the people who made it happen can probably figure out more quickly how to build on the shoulders of giants and advance technology further. Here’s some books that are great fun to read because they either relate great ideas that influenced a generation of technologists or because they chronicle the lives of people who changed the world. This list includes books that have stood the test of time and are worth a look for the history lover. And it includes new books, such as Walter Isaacson’s tome on Steve Jobs, that are likely to be the new classics. It doesn’t, however, include any tech textbooks. My focus is on books that deliver not just a technical understanding of how something works today, but hard-earned wisdom.