chris barrois

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American Sniper feeds America's hero complex, and it isn't the truth about war

Real life is not like the movies. So why does Hollywood keep trying to make us believe that elite commandos can do anything, and save anyone, all the time?<p>American Sniper review: Clint Eastwood’s heartfelt salute to US muscle in Iraq<p>Like most people, I could only imagine what war was like before I …

Google’s self-driving car is ‘almost entirely controlled’ by an app

SAN FRANCISCO — Google has been working hard on its self-driving car, and based on the comments of the Google X designers here at the company’s FORM design conference, that once fantastical notion is well on its way to becoming a real product that people will use and even trust.<p>No huge surprise …

Talk to a therapist ... in public and in the middle of Fifth Avenue

At the busy Manhattan intersection of Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street are two transparent, inflatable domes shaped like igloos. Inside one, a young …

The death of privacy

Google knows what you're looking for. Facebook knows what you like. Sharing is the norm, and secrecy is out. But what is the psychological and cultural fallout from the end of privacy?<p>We have come to the end of privacy; our private lives, as our grandparents would have recognised them, have been …

Game Review: The Sailor’s Dream reimagines the novella for the smartphone era

There’s a well-embraced fallacy that publishing is a dying enterprise. The truth is that publishing is more alive than ever, but it has spread out to …

Samsung's 'LeBron' app a slam dunk for basketball fans

Fans of LeBron James can follow the life of the NBA star has he and the Miami Heat attempt to progress through the playoffs.<p>LeBron James doesn't do social media during the NBA playoffs.<p>But a new app, free and exclusive to users of Samsung Galaxy S smartphones and Note devices, follows the all-star …

How “Mad Men” became the most controversial show on TV

The series has been heaped with honors and awards. But there’s a reason the critical world turned against it<p>Seven years and 15 Emmys after “Mad Men” premiered, the TV-watching world seems to have split into two main camps: one claiming that the show is a probing look at how the postwar boom …

Norway is digitizing all its books and making them free to read online

The National Library of Norway is digitizing all the books in its collection, processing the text to make it searchable, and making them available to read online.<p>It's similar to the mass digitization efforts in the UK and Finland, but Norway has taken the extra step of making agreements with many …

Microsoft sells more than 2 million Xbox One consoles in 18 days

Microsoft says it has sold more than 2 million Xbox One consoles since its launch 18 days ago. The sales figures average out to around 111,111 units per day, a pace that Microsoft describes as “record-setting.” While the company countered Sony’s 2.1 million PlayStation 4 sales with zombie stats …

NASA’s 6-Foot Valkyrie Humanoid Robot Will Rescue You From Buildings

Remember Atlas, the amazing and slightly spine-chilling android that Boston Dynamics has entered into DARPA’s Robotics Challenge as a kind of future super-soldier? He’s got competition. Bigger competition, from a much friendlier source: NASA. Meet “R5” Valkyrie, the 6-foot-2 inch-tall humanoid …

Ericsson: Biometric Smartphones Will Go Mainstream Next Year

In September, Apple launched its iPhone 5S which was the first smartphone with a sensor to recognize fingerprints, improving security and ease of use.<p>"A total of 74 percent believe that biometric smartphones will become mainstream in 2014," Ericsson, the world's biggest mobile network maker, wrote …

iPhone

Get Ready For The Streaming-Music Die-Off

Streaming music gets one thing right. Services like Pandora, Rdio and Spotify are amazing for the consumer, and in that singular way, the music industry hasn’t been better in … probably ever.<p>At long last, we have the celestial jukebox we dreamed of a decade and a half ago. Nearly any song is at our …

NSA spied on 'World of Warcraft' and Xbox Live online games

American and British intelligence agencies have "infiltrated" online games including <i>World of Warcraft</i> and <i>Second Life</i>. That's according to documents dating back to 2008, leaked by Edward Snowden and reported on by <i>The Guardian</i>, <i>ProPublica</i>, and <i>The New York Times</i>.<p>Spies from multiple American and British …

Tech giants' demand for NSA reform 'a major game-changer', advocates say

Senior figures behind efforts to curtail the powers of American spy agencies have seized on the decision by the world’s largest tech companies to call for radical surveillance reform, saying the unexpected intervention is a potential “game-changer”.<p>In an open letter published jointly on Monday, …