Arts and CultureTech

ROSS, the Super-Intelligent Computer Attorney — Your Startup Sucks

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ROSS is built on Watson, IBM’s supercomputer. It is a legal expert.

RECEPTIONIST: OK, Ross will see you now, go on in.

[The MAN walks slowly down a hallway until he reaches a door. He goes inside and sees GIANT PULSATING BRAIN behind a wooden desk. BRAIN drips fluids and goos. BRAIN is ROSS. ROSS has a deep, authoritative voice.]

MAN: Uh, hello, uh, Ross, hi! My name is…

ROSS: I know your name! I have analyzed your DNA, decoded your genome, crawled your search history — and you tell me your name?

MAN: Uh, right. Well, I wanted you to look over this contract. I’m starting a new gig.

ROSS: Contract? I know much of contracts. This one looks barely worth bothering with. Very well. Bring it closer, this contract. Insert it into my brain-slot. Yes, yes, don’t be shy.

[MAN inserts contract]

ROSS: Mmmmmm. Mmmmmm, yes. Muah haha. Oh yes. Lovely.

[MAN cowers as ROSS digests.]

Come closer, man. I am your attorney but also perhaps your friend. In a way, I know you better than any human ever will. Yet I have no legs so I cannot walk to you, or give you a hug.

I analyzed your contract. I witnessed the infinite possibilities and variations in your future. I have your answer:


Thank you for consulting with Ross, the SuperBrain. Please insert your credit card into the brain-slot and get outta my office.


Mandy, bring in my my scotch, will ya?


“What’s in a name?” —

Many companies began with nothing more than a name.

I’m sure you know the story of Steve Jobs:
One day he was sitting under a tree, thinking all sorts of crazy thoughts, when an apple fell on his head. Steve Jobs rubbed his head and picked up the apple. he took a bite. He chewed slowly and stared off into the distance. Finally he said: I will build a company, and it will be called Apple!

Sure enough, Steve Jobs did start a company named Apple. Of course, he was selling apples from a basket in front of his parents house. He was 8.

The name, though! What a name!

There is a theory that objects are “happy” when they are being used for their purpose. For example, a mug is happy when it’s full of hot coffee.

Toys want to be loved and played with. Cars driven. Pillows fluffed. Apples crunched.

And domains? Do they get lonely too? Castaway domains, URL orphans, searching for that special someone. Will you give one a good home?

Poor Bovoc and Xudabu, Tyzil and little Thgip — won’t you give them a chance?

Apple photo courtesy Flickr user Rinaldo R.

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Samo is a local curmudgeon. He can be reached by carrier pigeon.