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Thursday, January 8, 2015

The top 20 Artificial Intelligence films - in pictures

Since Fritz Lang gave us ‘false Maria’ in 1927’s landmark sci-fi film Metropolis, robots have terrified and fascinated moviegoers in equal measure.


With the release of Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, Michael Hogan picks his top 20 films (in no particular order); including Star Wars, The Terminator, Star Trek and Blade Runner; that star A.I. beings who have challenged what it means to be human


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English National Ballet's Swan Lake: Alina Cojocaru fits the bill – in pictures

Alina Cojocaru dances the roles of Odette and Odile opposite Ivan Vasiliev as Prince Siegfried in ENB’s production at the Coliseum in London. All photographs: Tristram Kenton for the Guardian


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What happened when I tried to learn Toki Pona in 48 hours using memes

Toki Pona is an invented language that borrows from Dutch, English and Chinese. It has only 120 words but is two days enough time to become fluent?


Mi jo e soweli lili tu. soweli mi li moku e kala.”*


Only around 100 people in the world understand this language. This is Toki Pona, created in 2001 by Sonja Lang, a Toronto-based linguist, and I’m one of a group of 17 who recently took on a challenge to learn it in 48 hours. Being far from a natural linguist myself – mere mention of verb conjugation brings me out in a cold sweat – this might have seemed like folly.


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Pleisurewear: or how to survive winter – in pictures

One way to get through the damp dark gloom is to wrap up in something warm and cosy, ideally cashmere, loose-fitting and with a zip


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Charlie Hebdo: We must not stop laughing at these murderous clowns

Mockery is hated by the powerful and despotic – which is why it must continue



Charlie Hebdo attack – live updates

The death threats come with the territory. Since the advent of the internet, people around the world who are disgusted or enraged by my cartoons have been able to threaten to kill me via email. Over the years these have included Muslims, Zionists, Republican Americans, a few angry Chomskyians, Catholics, Russians, some Serbs, and, I imagine, a large number of teenage boys locked in their bedrooms “having a laugh”. Hitherto I’ve tended, in my turn, to laugh them off, joking that a death threat by email doesn’t count: it needs a letter sent to my home address containing one of my loved ones’ ears to be taken seriously.


However, after the murders of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists Cabu, Wolinski, Tignous and the paper’s editor-in-chief Stéphane Charbonnier, who signed himself “Charb”, there’s a terrible temptation to stop laughing. Although that, I believe, would be a fundamental error.


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Chop wood, carry water

You are desperate to communicate, to edify or entertain, to preserve moments of grace or joy or transcendence, to make real or imagined events come alive. But you cannot will this to happen. It is a matter of persistence and …



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Police Officer Killed After Gunman Opens Fire in Southern Paris

Police Officer Killed After Gunman Opens Fire in Southern Paris


Further raising tensions in Paris amid a manhunt for two suspected shooters in yesterday's Charlie Hebdo office massacre, a police officer was killed and another person injured after an unidentified assailant opened fire early Thursday. French police do not believe there to be connection between this morning's shooting and yesterday's killings.


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First Draft: Today in Politics

Congressional Republicans have had their issues with France as an ally, but there were nothing but expressions of solidarity and pledges of aid from Capitol Hill after Wednesday’s attack in Paris.





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What We Want Data Trackers To Tell Us

Anne Helen Petersen identifies a major reason why tracking devices have taken off: The future will be quantified … because these devices promise the latest iteration of what we’ve always sought: happiness. Which, at least in the 21st century, doubles as simplicity. A life in which your heartbeat and respiration and location dictate when your […]



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The Old College Sigh

Get Dear Prudence delivered to your inbox each week; click here to sign up. Please send your questions for publication to prudence@slate.com . (Questions may be edited.)






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Jon Stewart on the Charlie Hebdo attack: 'Comedy shouldn't have to be an act of courage'

Daily Show host, Tina Fey and Conan O’Brien reflect on Paris killings and impact of such violence on those who work in comedy


Jon Stewart opened Wednesday night’s Daily Show with a moving tribute to the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack, while also reflecting on the implications of the shocking violence for comedians:


Our hearts are with the staff of Charlie Hebdo and their families tonight.


I know very few people go into comedy, you know, as an act of courage. Mainly because it shouldn’t have to be that. It shouldn’t be an act of courage. It should be taken as established law.


You look at [the Charlie Hebdo attack] and you look at the controversy surrounding The Interview, it makes you think about how important free speech is and how it absolutely must be defended. [We] cannot back down on free speech in any way. We all have to stand firm on the issue of free speech …


We’re Americans, and even if it’s dumb jokes in The Interview, we have the right to make them.


This story really hits home for anyone who, day in and day out, mocks political, social and religious figures. In this country, we just take if for granted that it’s our right to poke fun at the untouchable, or the sacred.


But today’s tragedy in Paris reminds us, very viscerally, that it’s a right some people are inexplicably forced to die for.


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Paris attack: Nigel Farage blames ‘gross policy of multiculturalism’

Comments by Ukip leader condemned by senior politicians including Tessa Jowell, who describes them as ‘sickening’



• Charlie Hebdo attack: follow the latest developments

The Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, has drawn criticism for blaming the shooting of Charlie Hebdo terror attack by Islamist extremists on a “really rather gross policy of multiculturalism” in the west.


The politician claimed there was now a “fifth column” operating in the UK, which, though small, was trying to undermine British society. As he argued against multiculturalism, he also brought up the grooming of children in south Yorkshire by men mainly of Muslim Pakistani heritage.


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North Koreans review The Interview

The fictional story of a CIA plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un triggered a cyber attack against Sony Pictures, and led the US to bolster sanctions against the secretive state. But what have North Korean defectors made of the film?


In North Korea, where I used to live, there are no comedic films. There are only education and propaganda movies. Films are made for the sole purpose of inculcating faith in the Kim family and idolising the father and son. But this movie employs comedy in treating the heavy topic of a plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un.


In North Korea, there are no comedic films


The first time I watched the movie I thought the movie was just pointless and meaningless


Some people did not even know that North Korea existed, but now they do


Joo Kwang-hyun, 58


Many now know that such a dictator exists today, and I highly praise the film for this


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Media condemn Charlie Hebdo attack as assault on freedom of expression

Newspapers, novelists and scholars across the globe seek to make sense of the murders in Paris and their implications

French newspapers have united in condemning the killing of journalists at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo as an unacceptable assault on freedom of expression.


Le Parisien’s front-page headline on Thursday read: “They shall not kill freedom”. For Le Monde, Wednesday’s attack was “The French 9/11.”


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Unfolding STLs #3DThursday #3DPrinting

Using the power of math and trigonometry, I’ve been working on a way to unfold 3D STL files into sections that can be cut on the laser cutter. via: http://ift.tt/1FeQQGZ Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we […]



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City Room: New York Today: It’s That Cold

Thursday: brutal weather, empty arraignment courts, and the return of the plastic-foam container ban.

















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If America wants to make sure it never tortures again, it must choose law over secrecy

Memos to Obama aren’t enough when neither politicians, nor the president, nor the courts can stand up to the CIA’s wall of secrecy. Let’s tear down that wall


On Monday afternoon, Senator Dianne Feinstein released a letter to Barack Obama, suggesting a series of reforms “to make sure that the United States never again engages in actions that you have acknowledged were torture”.


A month after her office released the landmark (but still heavily redacted) Senate torture report, Feinstein is now calling for legislation to strengthen the prohibition against torture. This is a laudable and necessary step, but torture has been a felony for decades. So have war crimes, lying to Congress and obstruction of justice. The fundamental problem is that the US government has been unable or unwilling to enforce those laws against the CIA. If reform does not confront the reasons for that failure, it may not deter the United States from engaging in torture under a future president.


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After the Charlie Hebdo attack, let’s not pretend we’re not afraid

For all the brave words, we are scared, and that’s OK – sensible people are scared in scary times



Follow the latest developments on the manhunt

Atrocities like Wednesday’s brutal assault in Paris are meant to intimidate people and they do. For all the brave words uttered with absolute sincerity since the attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine, those that strike close to home have an effect. We are afraid and we over-react. When the media is directly involved as victim, not observer, the over-reaction is amplified.


As Simon Jenkins reminds us the west’s most seriously ill-judged response to the steady trickle of Islamist provocations against the west – as distinct from Islam’s internal feuds – was the “war on terror” launched by Washington after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. It was a criminal conspiracy, not a war, but it led to Guantánamo Bay and torture chambers. Just what the al-Qaida death cult wanted.


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Ofcom deals blow to Greens’ election debate hopes - but boosts Ukip’s

Broadcast regulator says Greens do not qualify for major party status, making it harder to argue case for inclusion in debates

Ofcom, the broadcast regulator, has declared that the Green party does not have sufficient support to qualify for “major party status” in the general election, but Ukip may have.


The decision makes the Green party case to be included in the TV leader election debates much harder to prosecute successfully, although the Greens have until early February to make their case prior to a final decision in early March. It is also harder to mount a successful legal challenge to the broadcasters if they persist in excluding the Greens.


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France’s history of home soil attacks

THE slaughter of staff at Charlie Hebdo, is France’s deadliest terror attack in decades — but it’s not the first time French Islamists have struck on home soil.

















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Lone wolves unveil terror group war

OPINION: The Paris terror attack revealed the professionalism of network terrorism, designed to bolster the reputation of al-Qaeda in the face of Islamic State.

















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Two armed gunmen ‘spotted’

THE two armed gunmen in hiding after the Paris magazine terror attack have been spotted in north France, as the country paused to remember the victims who died in their brutal slaughter.

















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Cartoonists stare terror in the face

THERE could be no response more appropriate or poignant. Here’s how the world’s cartoonists picked up their pens to denounce the massacre of the staff from Charlie Hebdo.





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Science Graphic of the Week: Mesmerizing Animation Shows the Turbulent Weather at the Edge of Space

Science Graphic of the Week: Mesmerizing Animation Shows the Turbulent Weather at the Edge of Space

A supercomputer-powered simulation shows how thunderstorms, jet streams, and cyclones affect the weather at the edge of space.


The post Science Graphic of the Week: Mesmerizing Animation Shows the Turbulent Weather at the Edge of Space appeared first on WIRED.




















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