Saturday, April 11, 2009

Marketing 101

So, your company name is “Cyberdyne”. Yes, THAT Cyberdyne. Wikipedia says this about Cyberdyne

“The Cyberdyne Systems Corporation is a fictional company depicted in The Terminator films, as well as various novels and comic books all taking place in the Terminator universe. They are responsible for the genesis of the supercomputer Skynet, the primary antagonist of the Terminator series, and its armies of machines.” You know, they created these:

Ok, so you like the name, its no big deal, you can call your company Cyberdyne.

Then you come out with a product. An exoskeleton.

Ok, this is not cool man. You should really consider better marketing. But no, instead you name the product “HAL”. Yes, HAL. You know, the Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer that went paranoid and killed the crew in “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Now in fairness, he had a good reason, HAL was programmed to give "accurate processing of information without distortion or concealment". (Clearly Clarke adhered, at least loosely, to    "Three Laws of Robotics", would you expect anything less?) But THEN he is told to keep the existence of the monolith a secret, so he is required to lie, OR, he could just kill the crew. So he kills the crew. THAT HAL.

So to recap: CYBERDYNE has created an exoskeleton and named it HAL.

“Mr. Christen, I have a Mr. Nostradamus on line 2, he wants to talk about the coming apocalypse.”

“Ask him to hold please, I’m cleaning my gun.”


  1. Me thinks the author was Arthur C. Clarke, not Asimov.

  2. Wikipedia agrees with me, check the link "Three Laws of Robotics" in the article, or go here

  3. Uh... Site Wikipedia as an official source at your own risk. Odyssey is by Clarke. And anybody who cites an article on the THREE laws of robotics doesn't know their Asimov. How many laws are there Uncle Pat?

  4. PS Terminators are endo-skeletal cuborgs. Technically not robots, due to the use of actual living tissue used in their construction, and technically not animals due to the robotic endoskeleton. From the photo, the HAL exoskeleton appears to be a strength-enhancing tool, akin to those used by space marines (Warhammer 40,000, Starcraft, Starship Troopers). While this is certain to be useful for military and construction applications, it's not a robot, and it's the opposite of a terminator endoskeleton. This is the thing Christian Bale uses to kick Arnold's ass in T4.

  5. First,
    I understand that wikipedia is a dubious citation, at best. But I DO believe in the wisdom of crowds and wikipedia will be correct, over time. :)

    Second, yes Clark wrote Odyssey, Asimov did the laws of robotics. I DID imply that Asimov wrote Odyssey (in fact, I outright SAID it), my bad, that is clearly wrong. I thought that Uncle Pat was saying Clark wrote the three laws. DOH! my bad. I fixed the article to be more clear and accurate.

  6. Upon further review the referees have determined that PaulC did not "imply that Asimov wrote Odyssey", rather he blatantly stated it as fact. The penalty is 10 yards, automatic first down, and PaulC has to re read Odyssey.
    Thanks Pat and Andy!

  7. Batman,
    I dont disagree with your knowledge of termintar lore, far from it. But you don't go from a standstill to 100mph overnight.

    The exoskeleton is a first step (no pun intended). First we have exoskeletons, at the the same time we are working on artificial intelligence. Next thing you know, the AI is running around in exoskeletons looking for John Connor.

  8. Glad we cleared THAT up! Asimov, Clarke, and Dork. Know your galactic lawyer.

  9. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. Perhaps the most remarkable, certainly the most successful book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor. More popular than the Celestial Home Care Omnibus, better selling than Fifty-Three More Things to do in Zero Gravity, and more controversial than Oolon Colluphid's trilogy of philosophical blockbusters Where God Went Wrong, Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes and Who is this God Person Anyway? It's already supplanted the Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for two important reasons. First, it's slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words DON'T PANIC printed in large friendly letters on its cover.