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Friday, April 27, 2018

2001: A Space Odyssey’s iconic music, explained - Vox

"Even if you haven’t seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick’s mind-melting 1968 science fiction epic, which turns 50 this month, you probably know at least something about it. It’s one of those movies, like Star Wars or Citizen Kane, that has become so thoroughly dissolved into our pop culture that you’ll have heard of the villainous computer HAL or know the famed music cue (Richard Strauss’s “Also Sprach Zarathustra”) that plays over its most indelible images.

But how were those moments created? The story of 2001 is the story of an almost obsessive attention to detail, of a budget that almost completely destroyed the film’s studio, of an initial wave of terrible reviews that might have killed a lesser movie. At every step of the way along its production process (and even after its release), 2001 is a fascinating example of big-time moviemaking gone right.

For the most recent episode of my podcast, I Think You’re Interesting, I talked with author Michael Benson, whose new book, Space Odyssey, is perhaps the most comprehensive look ever at the making of the film. Benson talked with me about the construction of five of the film’s most enduring elements, and we started with that soundtrack full of classical music.

In many ways, the story of how Kubrick found the score of his film is the movie in a nutshell, with some of his colleagues immediately getting what Kubrick was going for and others being driven so hard by the man that they eventually buckled. Indeed, several composers were hired to write an original score for 2001, but Kubrick eventually discarded those contributions in favor of his classical music “temporary” tracks.

The portion of my discussion with Benson about the music of the film, lightly edited for length and clarity, follows."

2001: A Space Odyssey’s iconic music, explained - Vox

For Apple's iPhone X, is it time for 'full panic mode'? - CNET


"The 5.8-inch iPhone X starts at $999, or $300 more than the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 and $200 more than the 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus. For those extra hundos, you get a sharper, bigger screen in a smaller package; Face ID to unlock the device using your, well, face; and the ability to send animated emojis of yourself masquerading as a unicorn or a pile of poop.

Those changes haven't been enough to get consumers pumped, and worries remain that the mobile market will continue to fall after its first-ever year-over-year decline, in the fourth quarter of 2017. The slide underscores the industry's dilemma: It's becoming tougher for phone vendors to make huge, jaw-dropping changes to their devices, and prices for the newest flagship phones are increasing at the same time US carriers have gotten rid of subsidies. That means we're holding onto our "good enough" devices longer than before..."

For Apple's iPhone X, is it time for 'full panic mode'? - CNET

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The new bill to regulate Facebook and Google's data might actually do the trick.

"Facebook may not be able to ride out its bad news cycle scot-free after all. On Tuesday, Sens. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, and John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, released a sweeping new bill that, if passed, would impose strong new regulations on companies like Facebook and Google that collect data on users.

The Social Media Privacy Protection and Consumer Rights Act of 2018 would require that websites provide users a copy of the data that’s being collected on them, free of charge, as well as a list of who has had access to their data, either through a sale or simply by it being made available. The new bill also proposes that companies disclose how personal data collected about users is leveraged—for example, through targeted advertising—and how employees of the company have access to it. And if a website does mishandle users’ personal data, the internet company would be required to alert users within 72 hours—a far tinier window than what happened after Facebook learned user data bad been improperly obtained by the voter analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. When Facebook learned in 2015 that tens of millions of its users had their data harvested by app developers who later transferred that data to Cambridge Analytica for use in voter targeting on Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, the company decided not to alert users about what happened until more than two years later, when the Guardian and the New York Times reported on the incident and reportedly learned that the firm had not deleted the data even though it had previously said it did.

The proposed legislation comes two weeks after the House and Senate grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in two hearings on how the company treats the personal data of the Americans who trust it. Republicans and Democrats were unhappy with the CEO, who spent the hearings promising to clean up his company’s act. But Facebook has made promises about respecting user privacy before—a troubled history that gives lawmakers good reason to push for regulation now.

Until 2014, Facebook allowed developers to extract data not only from people who downloaded their apps but from all their friends, too—a practice that Cambridge Analytica’s partners were far from alone in pursuing. And it wasn’t until last month that Facebook admitted that it believes that most users have had their public profile information harvested by third parties via a Facebook feature that allowed users to search for other users via someone’s phone number or email address, which Facebook says has been abused by malicious hackers that would scour Facebook using lists of emails and phone numbers they already had.

Facebook already has a tool that lets users download some of the data that the company collects on them, like photos and videos uploaded, facial recognition data, and history of searches—it even includes what advertising categories Facebook has put you in. Still, the current download doesn’t include your browsing data or what information about you an advertiser may have uploaded months ago, as Wired points out. The new proposal would require companies like Facebook to hand over a copy of the personal data it processes on people—Facebook wouldn’t get to pick and choose which bits it wants to share.

There’s currently no comprehensive digital privacy law in the United States, unlike in Europe, where a new sweeping suite of online privacy rules is slated to go into effect at the end of May. Companies aren’t currently required by federal law to alert users if their data had been stolen or improperly removed from a platform, nor are they required to share what information they collect on people or how it’s used.

The momentum in Congress to do something to rein in the sprawling online data collection industry appears to have some support on both sides of the aisle, though it’s yet unclear how deep that support goes on either side. The next move belongs to constituents, activists, and advocates."

The new bill to regulate Facebook and Google's data might actually do the trick.

Amazon Key In-Car delivers right to your car's trunk

Monday, April 23, 2018

iPhone X Review: Amazing

The New iPad Really Matters. A Lot.

Apple HomePod Review | Painfully Honest

Apple HomePod Review - Is it Really That Bad?

iPhone 8 Unboxing Red - Does it Really Look That Good?

Huawei P20 Pro Review: The Triple Camera Smartphone!

Apple Watch vs. Fitbit Versa

Net neutrality repeal: What you need to know - CNET


"Though many people agree with the basic principles of net neutrality, those specific rules had been a lightning rod for controversy. That's because to get the rules to hold up in court, an earlier, Democrat-led FCC had reclassified broadband networks so that they fell under the same strict regulations that govern telephone networks.

Sarah Tew/CNETChairman Ajit Pai has called the Obama-era rules "heavy-handed" and "a mistake," and he argues that they deterred innovation and depressed investment in building and expanding broadband networks. To set things right, he says, he's taking the FCC back to a "light touch" approach to regulation.
But supporters of net neutrality, such as big tech companies like Google and Facebook, as well as consumer groups and pioneers of the internet like the creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, say the internet as we know it may not exist without these protections.
"We need a referee on the field who can throw a flag," former FCC chairman and Obama appointee Tom Wheeler said last week at MIT during a panel discussion in support of rules like those he championed. Wheeler was chairman when the rules passed three years ago…."

Net neutrality repeal: What you need to know - CNET