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The Wrap: 22 January

Bot heroes

It may not be long before robots replace the humans that save us from disaster, and one of the latest candidates is Robosimian.


Created by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, Robosimian looks like a cranky spider as it crawls and rolls around in the American DARPA Robotics Challenge.

It’s capable of opening and closing a valve, walking over uneven surfaces, climbing, picking up objects and going through doors. People in rescue professions may need to prepare to get a new breed of colleague.

Coinye under attack

Singer Kanye West and his lawyers have struck back at the creators of Coinye, the bitcoin that borrows his name. The lawsuit takes aim at 0daycoins.com, Newchg.com, Coinye-exchange.com, Amazon.com,Inc, Jane Does 1 through 50, John Does 1 through 50, FNU LNU aka Johnny Bravo and Dogecoin, alleging willful trademark infringement, unfair competition, dilution and right of publicity violations and “other blatant statutory and common law violations”.

“[The] defendants have willfully and admittedly traded upon the goodwill and notoriety of KanyeWest, one of the most famous entertainers and brand names in the world,” it says.

The action comes as representatives for former action star Chuck Norris had Norris Coin shut down.

Magic down the Vine

It’s nearly a year since Twitter launched Vine, the service for showing off six-second videos. Since then Vine has been some weird and wonderful creations and Zach King’s collection of digital magic tricks is no exception.

Of course every trick is achieved thanks to digital editing magic and creative ideas, but these little clips are so well done they’re entertaining and memorable. Be warned you’ll want to watch the whole series, so will waste more than seven minutes of otherwise productive work time.

When pet selfies meet super powers

Here’s a ridiculous app for fans of lolcats and pet selfies who want to take their obsession to the next level. It’s Tuxedo Kittie’s Power of Bub, which offers nine effects and 60 stickers to transform photos of kitties, other pets and your favourite humans. And if you think it’s all just silly amusement, you should know some of the proceeds from the app downloads (it costs $1.19) go towards helping animals in need.

Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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