A Threat to Internet Freedom: Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger Explains Why Net Neutrality Matters

≡ Category: Technology |Leave a Comment

A couple weeks back, we mentioned that Brian Knappenberger had released his new documentary about Aaron Swartz, The Internet’s Own Boy, under a Creative Commons license, making it free to watch online. He now returns with a short op-doc for The New York Times.

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Percussionist Marlon Brando Patented His Invention for Tuning Conga Drums

≡ Category: Music, Technology, Television |Leave a Comment

Maybe you knew about Marcel Duchamp’s passion for chess. But did you know about Marlon Brando’s passion for conga drums? Longtime fans may have first picked up on it in 1955, when the actor gave a microwave-link television tour of his Hollywood Hills home to Edward R. Murrow on Person to Person.

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130 Free Microsoft eBooks & Guides

≡ Category: e-books, Technology |Leave a Comment

Quick fyi: Eric Ligman, a Microsoft Sales Excellence Manager, has gathered together a big list of free Microsoft ebooks and resource guides that will help you navigate through various Microsoft issues. Some of the texts are geared toward consumers; others toward IT professionals working with Microsoft products.

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Sound Effects Genius Michael Winslow Performs the Sounds of 32 Typewriters (1898-1983)

≡ Category: Technology, Writing |Leave a Comment

“When forced to leave my house for an extended period of time, I take my typewriter with me,” once wrote essayist-humorist David Sedaris. “Together we endure the wretchedness of passing through the X-ray scanner. The laptops roll merrily down the belt, while I’m instructed to stand aside and open my bag.

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Learn to Make Buttons with Filmmaker Miranda July

≡ Category: Comedy, K-12, Random, Technology |1 Comment

We humans have relied on the deceptively humble button since its first appearance in the Indus Valley some 5000 years ago.

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Thomas Dolby Explains How a Synthesizer Works on a Jim Henson Kids Show (1989)

≡ Category: Music, Technology, Television |Leave a Comment

We’ve all heard the musical fruits of audio synthesis, especially if we regularly listen to the pop of the 1980s. But how, exactly, does a synthesizer work? Ask a modern electronic-music enthusiast and the answer may come out too technical, and at too much length, to bear.

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Short Film Takes You Inside the Recovery of Andy Warhol’s Lost Computer Art

≡ Category: Art, Technology |Leave a Comment

A couple weeks back, we told you how Carnegie Mellon’s Computer Club used its tech savoir-faire to recover nearly 30 paintings that Andy Warhol made on the Amiga computer back in the 1980s.

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Andy Warhol’s Lost Computer Art Found on 30-Year-Old Floppy Disks

≡ Category: Art, Technology |Leave a Comment

If you saw our post on Andy Warhol digitally painting Debbie Harry at the 1985 launch of the Commodore Amiga 1000, you know how effusively — effusively by the impassive Warholian standard, anyway — the artist praised the computer’s artistic power.

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Close Personal Friend: Watch a 1996 Portrait of Gen-X Definer Douglas Coupland

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Whether we lived through them as kids or as grown-ups, few of us feel sure about whether we miss the 1990s. No generation did more to define the decade before last, at least in the West, than the unmoored, irony-loving, at once deeply cynical and deeply earnest “Generation X” that succeeded the wealthier, more influential Baby Boomers.

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Two Artificial Intelligence Chatbots Talk to Each Other & Get Into a Deep Philosophical Conversation

≡ Category: Philosophy, Technology |6 Comments

The folks at the Cornell Creative Machines Lab are “interested in robots that create and are creative.” Here’s one such example of robots getting creative. Above, the lab lets two chatbots (essentially computer programs designed to simulate an intelligent conversation) start chatting with one another.

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