It was amazing... At that time the big difference between science fiction in print and in movies was that science-fiction films were stupid. But Forbidden Planet got much of it right ... the special effects were state-of-the-art for the time. Robby the Robot was incredible. I've seen it over 100 times since.
Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google, and author of The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business, discusses when computers will pass the Turing test.
Over at DailyKos, Mark Sumner provides a review of Iain Banks's (sans the M.) final novel The Quarry.
Anyone who has seen the films like The Big Chill will instantly be familiar with the basic structure of this novel. A small group of former university pals, now 40ish, get together for a long weekend of reminiscing, arguing, indulging in drugs, and fumbling toward sex at the home of one of their members. It's a chance to see how they've grown, how they've grown apart, and to look back wistfully at missed opportunities. The group includes the expected mix: a couple who have become wealthy and successful in business, a frustrated writer who has trouble squaring her convictions with her life, a would-be politician, a couple of idealists turned cynics, and the half-baked tag end of the group, still rolling in a haze of drugs unbroken since their days together in university. Sifting through the characters of Chill or Peter's Friends, you can do a good job of mentally casting each role.
Banks, who peppers the book with film references, was surely conscious of the similarity in structure, but in addition to updating the sources of nostalgia by a quarter century, there's one huge difference between the cluster of former friends who gathered in the comfortable space of Harold and Sarah Cooper's South Carolina vacation home, and the group that huddles together in chilly Willoughtree House. The former classmate who brought everyone together in The Big Chill was dead. In The Quarry the situation is much worse—he's still dying.