How the World’s Oldest Computer Worked: Reconstructing the 2,200-Year-Old Antikythera Mechanism

≡ Category: Astronomy, History, Technology |3 Comments

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In 1900, Greek sponge divers discovered a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera. The artifacts they came back up with included money, statues, pottery, and various other works of art and craft, as well as a curious lump of bronze and wood that turned out to be by far the most important item onboard.

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The Corkscrew: The 700-Pound Mechanical Sculpture That Opens a Wine Bottle & Pours the Wine

≡ Category: Art, Food & Drink, Technology |Leave a Comment

We’ve shown you a very simple way to open a bottle of wine, with nothing but a wall and a shoe. (Try it at your own risk.) Now comes the most artfully complex.
Above, watch Rob Higgs demo his mechanical sculpture, “The Corkscrew.

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Hear Alan Watts’s 1960s Prediction That Automation Will Necessitate a Universal Basic Income

≡ Category: Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Technology |9 Comments

One of the most propulsive forces in our social and economic lives is the rate at which emerging technology transforms every sphere of human labor. Despite the political leverage obtained by fearmongering about immigrants and foreigners, it’s the robots who are actually taking our jobs.

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Learn Python: A Free Online Course from Google

≡ Category: Google, Online Courses, Technology |1 Comment

Google has created a free Python class designed for “people with a little bit of programming experience who want to learn Python.” A fortunate thing since Python is a computer language that’s now strongly in demand. (By the way, did you know that Python takes its name from Monty Python? A true story.

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Iconic Footage of Jimi Hendrix Playing “Hey Joe” Rendered in the Style of Moebius, with the Help of Neural Network Technology

≡ Category: Animation, Music, Technology |1 Comment

We are less than a year into neural network technology, and Google’s Deep Dream software is already yielding impressive results beyond the dog-slugs of its first videos.

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Thomas Edison’s Hugely Ambitious “To-Do” List from 1888

≡ Category: History, Technology |1 Comment

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Even beyond developing the phonograph, the motion picture camera, light bulb, and the creepy talking doll, Thomas Edison got a lot done in life. With his even greater knack for enterprise than for invention, he might, had he lived in the 21st century, traded on his reputation for productivity and industry by selling us his personal “life hacks.

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When Franz Kafka Invented the Answering Machine (1913)

≡ Category: History, Literature, Technology |Leave a Comment

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We’ve all had the experience, punctuated by interminable waiting, of circling over and over again through some enormous company’s automatic telephone answering system.

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The Graceful Movements of Kung Fu & Modern Dance Revealed in Stunning Motion Visualizations

≡ Category: Animation, Art, Dance, Technology |Leave a Comment

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When I first saw what was then the height of motion capture in 1999—The Matrix’s “bullet time” and kung fu sequences—I was suitably impressed, and yet… the extreme manipulation of the real (which couldn’t have happened in a more appropriate film, granted) also seemed a little like a cheat.

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The 20 CDs Curated by Steve Jobs and Placed on Prototype iPods (2001)

≡ Category: Music, Technology |Leave a Comment

On October 23, 2001, almost exactly 15 years ago, Steve Jobs introduced the very first iPod–an mp3 player, capable of “putting 1,000 songs in your pocket” and playing cd-quality music. A novel concept back then. A product we take for granted today.
Above, you can watch Jobs make the first iPod pitch.

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What Happens When Blade Runner & A Scanner Darkly Get Remade with an Artificial Neural Network

≡ Category: Film, Sci Fi, Technology |Leave a Comment

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Philip K. Dick, titling the 1968 novel that would provide the basis for Blade Runner, asked whether androids dream of electric sheep.

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