Flipping Bits

By Mr. Bit | These bits are flipping

Behind the scenes of sci-fi spectacular 'Valerian'

"Fifth Element" director Luc Besson says he's waited his entire life to adapt the influential sci-fi comic into this eye-popping movie.<p>"Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" is set to be one of the most spectacular movies of 2017. Here's a look behind the scenes -- or should we say, a Luc …

Science Fiction

How we made Roy Ayers' Everybody Loves the Sunshine

‘I was recording at Jimi Hendrix’s studio in New York. It was a beautiful hot sunny day – and I just got this phrase in my head’<p>Roy Ayers, singer-songwriter, vibraphone<p>I was writing songs so fast in those days. I was recording at Electric Lady in New York, which had been Jimi Hendrix’s studio. It …

Music

A Sociology of the Smartphone

<i>Adam Greenfield</i> | Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life |<i> Verso | June 2017</i> |<i> 27 minutes (7,433 words)</i><i></i> <i>Below is an excerpt from</i> Radical …

Long-form Journalism

The Potemkin Policies of Donald Trump

The simplest summary of White House economic policy to date is four words long: There is no policy.<p>It’s “Infrastructure Week” at the White House. Theoretically.<p>On Monday, the administration announced a plan to spend $200 billion on infrastructure and overhaul U.S. air traffic control. There was a …

The White House

Rise of the machines: who is the ‘internet of things’ good for?

Interconnected technology is now an inescapable reality – ordering our groceries, monitoring our cities and sucking up vast amounts of data along the way. The promise is that it will benefit us all – but how can it? By Adam Greenfield<p>In San Francisco, a young engineer hopes to “optimise” his life …

Internet of Things

The Road to Superintelligence

<i>This article originally appeared on Wait But Why by Tim Urban. This is Part 1 — Part 2 is here.</i><p>“We are on the edge of change comparable to the rise …

Singularity

Google’s AlphaGo Levels Up From Board Games to Power Grids

When researchers inside Google’s DeepMind artificial intelligence lab first built AlphaGo—the machine that plays the ancient game of Go better than …

Artificial Intelligence

Hack the Planet With This Gift Guide for Coders

If you’re trying to learn how to code or know somehow who is, there are some very valuable pieces of media out there you can use on your own or give …

Raspberry Pi

Want to Raise Emotionally Healthy Kids? Try to Keep Them Off These Two Social Networks

A UK mental health group's survey of 1,500 shows there are real dangers in social media.<p>Is spending lots of time on social media good or bad for your mental health? Mostly bad, according to a comprehensive new study by the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. The Society looked into many …

Mental Health

This computer language is teaching kids to code

Last year, I went to Nigeria with Mark Zuckerberg. One of the first stops on the trip was a program that taught kids how to code.<p>When Zuckerberg entered the room, many of the young students had a hard time pulling themselves away from their projects, even to gawk at one of the world’s richest men. …

Computer Science

Become a Google Chrome power user

Do you want to become a Google Chrome power user? Read on!<p>Do you use Google Chrome? Do you want to become a Google Chrome guru? Read on!<p>What follows …

Sex robot Harmony looks, feels and responds like a human - but she won't do the washing up

With her tiny waist, enormous breasts, auburn tresses and long-lashed eyes, Harmony is the girlfriend of a million male fantasies.<p>She knows …

The Hindenburg disaster, 80 years on: a 'perfect storm of circumstances'

On 6 May 1937, the zeppelin caught fire and crashed in New Jersey, killing more than 30 people. Disaster could have been averted, experts say<p>The huge airship had circled three times around the Empire State Building. It was on its way to land in New Jersey. From her home in southern Pennsylvania, …

Aviation

Sandy Hook father Leonard Pozner on death threats: ‘I never imagined I’d have to fight for my child’s legacy’

Noah was the youngest victim killed in the 2012 school massacre. His parent talks about dealing with the conspiracy theorists and hoaxers who have taunted him ever since<p>Noah Pozner was reluctant to go to school that day. A mischievous little boy, who had celebrated his sixth birthday three weeks …

Guns

Why You Really Need to Stop Using Public Wi-Fi

In today’s busy world, convenience seems to outweigh consequence, especially with how people use their mobile devices. Using free public Wi-Fi networks, for example, comes with any number of serious security risks, yet surveys show that the overwhelming majority of Americans do it anyway. In a …

Wi-Fi

How ‘superagers’ stay sharp in their later years

A new study shows how strenuous mental and physical exercise keeps your brain firing on all cylinders<p>When it comes to retirement, experts recommend that everyone do some hard thinking. By this, they mean you should plan your finances responsibly, consider carefully where to live, and decide what …

The Brain

Why Do We Have Blood Types?

The story of an amazing discovery.<p>When my parents informed me that my blood type was A+, I felt a strange sense of pride. If A+ was the top grade in …

Human Anatomy

Cassini Is Ready to Sacrifice Itself for the Good of the Solar System

NASA’s Cassini orbiter has spent the last 13 years studying Saturn and its moons, but this year, it has to die. Its fuel has run out. With each …

Go back in time with the Internet Archive’s collection of Macintosh programs from the 1980s

Black, white, and gray<p>The Internet Archive is an indispensable resource for web users, backing up websites and documents and providing copies of historical software, such as the earliest home console and arcade games. Now, there’s a new collection that should delight anyone who grew up in the …

Software

Malwarebytes Details Cybersecurity Threats Seen During Q1 2017 For Windows, MacOS And Android

Cybercrime 2017<p>Many people don’t know as much about personal cybersecurity as they think they do. The bad news is that misunderstanding and lack of knowledge can put you at serious risk. The good news is that in many cases simply knowing what to be wary of is enough to provide a fairly effective …

Cybersecurity

RealDoll's first sex robot took me to the uncanny valley

During my four-hour visit to the birthplace of the RealDoll, the frighteningly life-like full-body sex toy, I've seen mounds of silicone vaginas, sheets of detached nipples, headless women hanging from meat hooks, a 2-foot penis and skulls with removable faces that attach like refrigerator</i> …

Google’s AutoDraw uses machine learning to help you draw like a pro

Drawing isn’t for everyone. I, for one, am definitely not very good at it. But with AutoDraw, Google is launching a new experiment today that uses machine learning algorithms to match your doodles with professional drawings to make you look like you know what you’re doing.<p>You can use AutoDraw on …

Machine Learning

A New, More Rigorous Study Confirms: The More You Use Facebook, the Worse You Feel

The average Facebook user spends almost an hour on the site every day, according to data provided by the company last year. A Deloitte survey found that for many smartphone users, checking social media apps are the first thing they do in the morning – often before even getting out of bed. Of …

Psychology

What in the World Is Causing the Retail Meltdown of 2017?

In the middle of an economic recovery, hundreds of shops and malls are shuttering. The reasons why go far beyond Amazon.<p>From rural strip-malls to Manhattan’s avenues, it has been a disastrous two years for retail.<p>There have been nine retail bankruptcies in 2017—as many as all of 2016. J.C. Penney, …

eCommerce

Former Google Designer Says Silicon Valley Hacks Our Brains

On the April 9 edition of <i>60 Minutes</i>, Anderson Cooper sat down with former Google product manager Tristan Harris to discuss a troubling issue: how …

15 free games that will help you learn how to code

When I started learning to code, the options were limited—lots of books (not even e-books), some very basic online tutorials, and a whole lot of experimentation.<p>Online learning has come a long way in the last few years. There are interactive courses, tons of online tutorials, and one of my personal …

Programming

Can the world economy survive without fossil fuels?

The past three centuries of progress have been powered by coal, oil and gas. Burning much of what’s left will lead to environmental and economic catastrophe. Here’s how to save the earth without giving up on growth<p>The final chapters of The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell’s 2014 novel, describe a future …

Climate

How Dilbert’s Scott Adams Got Hypnotized by Trump - Bloomberg

In August 2015 viewers of the first Republican primary debate could be forgiven for thinking that Donald Trump was finished. “You’ve called women you …

Ghost in the Sell: Hollywood’s mischievous vision of artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence experts on which movies, if any, have gotten AI right<p>Watch enough science fiction movies and you’ll probably come to the conclusion that humans are living on borrowed time. Whether it’s HAL 9000’s murderous meltdown in “2001: A Space Odyssey“ <i></i>or Skynet’s sadistic …