The new technology Cold War runs through a cable on the ocean floor

The new technology Cold War runs through a cable on the ocean floor

Source:  Field of Vision

The United States and China are in the midst of a power struggle: a new Cold War of technology with companies like Huawei at the center.

Field of Vision’s “Cablestreet” offers viewers an unprecedented look inside the notorious telecom company.

Watch “Cablestreet” above, and read the story at Field of Vision.

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 Westinghouse films offer intriguing look at how factories — and technology — worked in the early 20th century

 Westinghouse films offer intriguing look at how factories — and technology — worked in the early 20th century

Source:  The Washington Post

Women in blouses and long skirts clock in, then lean over machines, winding wire into large spools.  Men use cranes to nudge parts of a massive generator into place.

Over a century ago, these workers, all employees of Westinghouse companies, contributed to the most ambitious, high-tech projects of their day.

On a Library of Congress website, their labor — and innovations that changed the way Americans worked and traveled — comes to flickering life.

Shot in 1904 and conceived as “actuality films,” the 21 Westinghouse Works documentary shorts were designed to show off Westinghouse’s industrial innovations.

Read the story at The Washington Post.

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“I Am Human” explores the future of neurotechnology

“I Am Human” explores the future of neurotechnology

Source:  The Verge

We’re in a dark moment for the tech industry: a time when some new technologies have been adopted recklessly and backfired terribly, and others have developed far more slowly than their creators hoped.

Against the backdrop of this pessimism, a film like “I Am Human” — a fundamentally optimistic documentary about neuroscience and brain medicine — feels surprisingly refreshing.

“I Am Human” is a moving trio of narratives about people who are trying to overcome serious physical limitations with cutting-edge brain science.

The debut feature from Taryn Southern and Elena Gaby offers an accessible look at a complicated subject — even if it occasionally succumbs to unnecessary hype.

“I Am Human” recently screened at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Read the story at The Verge.

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“Picture Character” explores the mysterious emoji approval process

“Picture Character” explores the mysterious emoji approval process

Source:  The Hollywood Reporter

Chances are you use them every day and know very little about them.  We’re talking about emojis, those cute graphics which apparently no email or text message can be without these days.

Martha Shane and Ian Cheney’s documentary, whose title is the English translation of the Japanese word “emoji,” delivers a quick primer on their history and several human interest stories about people petitioning to get new emojis approved.

If you had no idea such a thing was even possible, then “Picture Character,” receiving its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, will prove enlightening.

Emojis don’t spring into being all by themselves.  They must be approved by the Unicode Consortium, whose name makes it sound like an evil organization in a dystopian sci-fi thriller.  It’s actually a nonprofit organization based in Silicon Valley, composed in part of representatives of all the major tech companies.

Anyone is free to petition for a new emoji and make an argument for its existence.  In recent years, bagel and sloth emojis have been approved, while Jesus and condom emojis have been rejected.

Read the story at The Hollywood Reporter.

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In “Anonymous Comes to Town,” hackers take on sexual assault in Ohio

In “Anonymous Comes to Town,” hackers take on sexual assault in Ohio

Source:  The Guardian

The sleepy, rust-belt city of Steubenville, Ohio was once best known for high school sports and for being the birthplace of Dean Martin.

That all changed after the 2012 rape of a 16-year-old girl by members of the local high school football team, brought to national attention by the hacking network Anonymous, which published videos and social media from the night of the assault.

“Anonymous Comes to Town” explores the aftermath of the events of August 11, 2012—a night that divided Steubenville but in the process emboldened generations of women to speak up about abuse.

The documentary also asks: when is it OK for outsiders to intervene?

Watch “Anonymous Comes to Town” above and read the story at The Guardian.

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“Sakawa” exposes the underbelly of Ghanaian internet scammers

“Sakawa” exposes the underbelly of Ghanaian internet scammers

Source:  The Austin Chronicle

How much flirting does it take to unlock a lonely man’s wallet?

Spoiler alert: For the Ghanaian scam artists in “Sakawa,” the answer is “roughly seven days’ worth.”

Much of “Sakawa” takes place inside a cramped house where a dozen Ghanaian men sit on couches, tapping away at their keyboards to build relationships with “clients” on dating sites.

The scammers pose as women, augmenting their voices with special cell phones or simply by speaking in a higher pitch.

Female scammers “use what they have to get what they want.” (For better or worse, the gritty, long-distance sex acts described never appear on screen.)

It’s lucrative: The first ask is usually for $50, but the sky is the limit once a client is hooked.

Read the story at The Austin Chronicle.

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