Hollywood Is Quietly Using AI To Help Decide Which Movies To Make
AI will tell you who to cast and predict how much money you’ll make. Despite skepticism about specific applications, the tide might be turning. A single factor has convinced Hollywood to stop dismissing big data: Netflix.
No, You Don’t Really Look Like That
Every digital camera uses algorithms to transform the different wavelengths of light that hit its sensor into an actual image. What makes the iPhone XS’s skin-smoothing remarkable is that it is simply the default for the camera. Snap a selfie, and that’s what you get.
How Online Shopping Makes Suckers Of Us All
Will you pay more for those shoes before 7 p.m.? Would the price tag be different if you lived in the suburbs? Standard prices and simple discounts are giving way to far more exotic strategies, designed to extract every last dollar from the consumer.
Toyota To Build Prototype City Of The Future
Toyota revealed plans to build a prototype “city” of the future on a 175-acre site at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan. Called the Woven City, it will be a fully connected ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
The House That ‘Parasite’ Built (From Scratch)
What’s in a house? Much of the shock and thrill in Bong Joon Ho’s genre-flexible movie Parasite — nominated for six Oscars including Best Production Design — hinges on the fictional house built by a fictional architect owned by the wealthy Park family.
Amazon Is Trying To Control The Underlying Infrastructure Of Our Economy
Jeff Bezos’s big bet is that he can make buying from Amazon so effortless that we won’t notice the company’s creeping grip on commerce and its underlying infrastructure, and that we won’t notice what that dominance costs us. Amazon has unprecedented power to steer our choices.
How Much The Public Knows About Science, And Why It Matters
A survey finds striking differences in levels of science knowledge by education and by race and ethnicity. About half of whites (48 percent) score high; by comparison, much smaller shares of Hispanics (23 percent) and blacks (9 percent) correctly answer at least nine of the questions.
When The iPhone Nearly Killed A Nation
Nokia dominated the first decade of the cellphone boom, becoming a beloved brand around the world and pumping billions of dollars into the Finnish economy. Then, along came Steve Jobs and his iPhone in 2007 and ruined everything. Tens of thousands of jobs were lost. Nokia sold its phone business to Microsoft. And Finns took a serious hit to their country pride.
Inside Google’s Civil War
With its “Don’t be evil” mantra, Google was a central player in creating the rosy optimism of the tech boom. Some employees say Google is losing touch with that motto. What happens when an empowered tech workforce rebels?
Inside China’s Massive Surveillance Operation
Xinjiang, northwest China, is in a state of surveillance lockdown. Every message, word and movement is monitored for its extremist potential. A million Uyghur muslims are being held in concentration camps.
Why Government Websites Fail
While the rest of the world has evolved to a place where we can track anything at all times and order anything from anywhere, government has been hopelessly stranded on an island in 1993.
How To Find New Music You’ll Actually Like
Some people can dig up great music like magic, or have friends inside the industry who keep them updated. Others are perfectly content with their weekly Spotify Discover playlist. But if you need more ways to find music, here are some ideas.
Scientists Use Recycled Sewage Water To Grow 500-Acre Forest In The Middle Of Egyptian Desert
Serapium Forest is the most prosperous of Egypt’s 36 tracts of land that make up an ambitious program to combat desertification by creating sustainably managed commercial forests fed entirely by wastewater.
The Future Of Energy Storage Beyond Lithium-Ion
Over the past decade, prices for solar panels and wind farms have reached all-time lows. However, the price for lithium-ion batteries, the leading energy storage technology, has remained too high. So researchers are exploring other alternatives, including flow batteries, thermal batteries, and gravity-based systems.
Total Recall: The People Who Never Forget
Around 60 people in the world share a condition called “highly superior autobiographical memory”. They remember absolutely everything. The extremely rare condition may transform our understanding of memory.
Deepfake Video: The Weaponization Of Fake News
The technology to manipulate video has become so sophisticated that words can literally be put into people’s mouths. Mark Kelley explores how it’s done and why the implications have led the U.S. Defence Department to work to protect itself against the “weaponization” of fake news.
The State Of Qatar’s Hack Of Democracies: A Global Cyber-Crime Operation
In one of the largest state-sponsored computer hacks ever detected, Qatar’s proxies cyberattacked more than 1,400 high-status and ordinary citizens who were exercising their free-speech rights in democracies across North America, the Middle East, Asia and Europe, according to U.S. court filings.
How Facebook Works For Trump
During the 2016 election cycle, Trump’s team ran 5.9 million ads on Facebook, spending $44 million from June to November alone. He won the presidency by using the social network’s advertising machinery in exactly the way the company wanted. He’s poised to do it again.
McLaren Thinks Synthetic Fuel Could Save The Engine As We Know It
McLaren plans to produce a development car that runs on synthetic fuel to showcase the technology’s potential. The company says the fuel would require minimal tweaks to today’s internal combustion engine, and it’d still be much better for the environment from a CO2 standpoint.
Inside The Apple Team That Decides Which Apps Get On iPhones
Before a developer can sell an app on the App Store, it must be approved by Apple’s app review team. The former head of App Store reviews discusses why apps get rejected, competition between Apple and developers, and planning for WWDC.
Credit Card Companies Are Tracking Shoppers Like Never Before
Transactions have given rise to a complex data-selling ecosystem. At the heart of it are credit card processing networks, including Visa, American Express, and Mastercard, the latter of which took in $4.1 billion in 2019 for services that include marketing analytics as well as fraud detection.