10/09/2015

Nile Rodgers – The Disco Ambassador Gets Lucky

Last month, when the band were filming the video for Get Lucky in Los Angeles, Rodgers says he realised that the dancers didn’t really know what they were listening to.

“Somebody called out, ‘Wow, what kind of music is that?'” Rodgers recalls. “I didn’t hesitate, I said, ‘disco!’ And they all screamed back, ‘Yeah!’. It was like they’d found something mythical that they’d heard about but didn’t know. There was an organic connection between the kids and the music. At the end they were literally weeping. I’ve seen those moments. I’ve been that guy – and it was for real.”Read More…

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10/08/2015

SS United States Faces the Scrapheap

Marilyn Monroe, JFK and the Mona Lisa all enjoyed the luxurious Atlantic crossing provided by the Titanic-sized SS United States.

But the famed liner, which still holds the speed record for a crossing between the US and Britain by a passenger ship, now faces its final journey – to the scrapyard.

The SS United States Conservancy organisation can no longer afford the $60,000 a month it costs to dock the ship on the Delaware River in Philadelphia, where it rests, empty and rusting.

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08/06/2015

Surfing the Internet… from my TRS-80 Model 100

The true test of a man’s patience is crimping pins onto the end of a cable that leads to building a custom serial cable—especially if it’s the first time you’ve even handled a serial cable in a decade. So as I searched under my desk, using my phone for a flashlight, I wondered whether I had finally found the IT project that would send me over the edge. On a recent day, I set out to turn my recently acquired vintage Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100 computer into a working Internet terminal. And at this moment, I crawled on the floor looking for a DB-25 connector’s little gold pin that I had dropped for the sixth—or maybe sixteenth—time.

Thankfully, I underestimated my patience/techno-masochism/insanity. Only a week later, I successfully logged in to Ars’ editorial IRC channel from the Model 100. And seeing as this machine first saw the market in 1983, it took a substantial amount of help: a Raspberry Pi, a little bit of BASIC code, and a hidden file from the website of a certain Eric S. Raymond.

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06/16/2015

Exorcist Director William Friedkin: Superhero Movies are Ruining Cinema

From The Telegraph:

William Friedkin, the Oscar-winning director of The French Connection and The Exorcist, has dismissed the modern craze for superhero and sci-fi movies.

The acclaimed 79-year-old filmmaker, who is currently working for television channel HBO on a series about Mae West, told AFP reporter Sophie Laubie: “Films used to be rooted in gravity. They were about real people doing real things. Today cinema in America is all about Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Avengers, Hunger Games: all kinds of stuff that I have no interest in seeing at all.”

The Chicago-born director, who also wrote and directed To Live and Die in L.A, was speaking at the Champs-Elysees Film Festival in Paris. He believes that the chase by studios to appeal to the broadest audience possible is why his own films fell out of favour after the Seventies. “That is when my films went like that – out of the frame,” added Friedkin.

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05/13/2015

New Smartphone Gets Iris-Scanning for Mobile Payments

The common objection to using your phone for purchases is that any sufficiently-motivated criminal could lop off your thumb and go on a spending spree. That’s one of the reasons why Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo and Fujitsu have teamed up to unveil the Arrows NX F-04G. The pair say that it’s the world’s first smartphone with iris recognition technology that can be used to both unlock a device and certify mobile wallet payments.

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04/24/2015

Head transplant: The Aim is Immortality (Foolishness – The Result Will Be Misery)

Image Credit: kl5film

 

The patient for Canavero’s first attempt at the head transplant has already been chosen, and identified as Valeri Spidonov. He is a 30-year-old Russian man who has Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, which wastes away his muscles and means that his health is rapidly declining.

As well as casting doubt on the scientific likelihood of the procedure, doctors have said that if successful it could cause huge problems for Canavero. One expert warned that Spidonov could suffer something “a lot worse than death”.

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