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    The Minds & Algorithms That Make Hollywood Spectacle

    We may not have realized it at the time, but during the 1990s, Hollywood movies were infiltrated by a new presence that outshined even the biggest screen stars: Images created on computers became the main draws for movies like Jurassic Park, Toy Story, The Matrix, and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Since then, […]

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    Osmos, a Physics Game Where It’s Survival of the Fattest

    A screenshot from Osmos showing the player’s mote bright blue mote surrounded by smaller blue bubbles, which you can eat, and larger red blobs, which can eat you. In an era when fashion demands thinness, the video game Osmos, in which the goal is attaining ever greater levels of corpulence, stands as a rare exception. […]

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    Preserving Yesterday’s Tech to Get a Better Grasp on Today’s

    In 2009, more than 47 million computers in the U.S. were ready for “end-of-life management”—so hopelessly outmoded that no reasonable amount of refurbishment could redeem them. Market-driven innovation, thus far hewing to the demanding prediction of Moore’s law, means that every few months, the gadgets in our pockets and on our desktops are pushed closer […]

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    A Computer Program That Hacks Language & Exposes US Secrets

    One of the most significant effects of the ongoing NSA surveillance scandal is that it drew so much attention to the massive secret, official world that’s grown up in the US since the 9/11 attacks. These clandestine operations have undergone a dramatic recent expansion, though there is of course a long history of clandestine activity […]

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    In Art Made From the Digital, Its Imperfections Are Revealed

    Postcards from Google Earth (one of five images in the collection)Clement Valla A wave of digital art, and its acceptance in the mainstream art world, has been building since computer technologies entered people’s lives over 20 years ago. Just last year, MoMA acquired 14 video games for its collection. Now comes the first-ever auction of […]

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    Grand Theft Auto 5 & the Stories of the Future

    Screenshot from Grand Theft Auto 5Phil Rose Last week saw the launch of the world’s fastest revenue-generating piece of entertainment in history. There’s a good chance that this strikes you as utterly obvious or so unexpected that it seems just wrong. But it’s quite true: The video game Grand Theft Auto 5, which came out […]

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    Will We Reverse-Engineer the Human Brain Within 50 Years?

    Gary Marcus can’t understand why people are shocked when he calls the brain a computer. The 43-year-old professor of psychology at New York University, author of Kluge, about the haphazard evolution of the brain, and a leading researcher in how children acquire language, grins and says it’s a generational thing. “I know there’s a philosophical school of […]