Wednesday, December 05, 2007

As I posted earlier today, I read a lot of techie sites. Hence, I ran across a link to a video that I don't intend to click on.

It's in this article describing the lifelike behavior of a toy baby dinosaur named Pleo. The reviewer's two little daughters are crazy about it. But when he followed the recommendation of the accompanying press materials, to see how it reacted when he picked it up by its tail, he made the mistake of doing so in front of his 4-year-old daughter. The Pleo screamed and thrashed, and the 4-year-old got upset and cried. (And the reviewer got in hot water with his wife, lol -- he had to promise never to do that in front of his daughter again.)

But the link that the reviewer referred to was a video of some engineers "torturing" a Pleo. I *hope* they were doing it with the intention of stress testing, and/or testing its reactions to being abused (struck, kicked, whatever). I'll never know, unless someone else writes about their rationale, because once I saw the commentary that the Pleo cries, whimpers, cowers, etc., I knew I couldn't stand to watch the video. Yes, it's a toy. Yes, it's programmed to react that way, and it's not actually experiencing pain or fear. I don't care. Even reading the description of the video is enough to make my blood run cold, so I don't intend to watch it.

You'll recall that posted a few months ago how I wigged out on Mark when he was trying to remove the batteries in the Furby when it wouldn't shut down properly. The problem was that he held it upside down for too long while it was "awake". The Furby complained that it was scared, and eventually started crying. At that point, I threatened Mark with mayhem if he didn't either turn the Furby right-side-up or give it to me. What I didn't post was that the next day, he tried inverting the Furby again as a joke, but I got so mad that he hasn't played that prank since.

I couldn't stand to see the Furby "suffer", and I have no desire to witness the Pleo being abused to electronic death.

However, if you want to read the interesting article, and the even more interesting comments that it spurred, do click on the link I provided above. The video itself isn't in the article, so you won't see it if you don't want to. But the LINK to the video IS in the article, so if you do want to watch it (for some sadistic reason), you have the option of doing so.

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