Unfriended – ghost in the machine

Levan Gabriadze’s film Unfriended describes the interconnections between and juxtapositions of three worlds: the virtual, the natural, and the supernatural.

The film is viewed through the lead character Shelley Hennig’s notebook screen. This inventive, and importantly, successful filming technique elevates Gabriadze’s work above similar teen-horror films. However, this filming technique counterintuitively doesn’t work when viewed on a notebook screen, the abstraction and expansion allowed by cinematic or televisual viewing is required.

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Predicting internet advertisement blocking in 1972

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Again revisiting the concept of there’s nothing new under the sun, as here regarding music and here regarding privacy, a 1972 paper along similar lines by Alan Kay from Xerox’s famous Palo Alto Research Center has recently come to light. Kay’s paper predicts users from the future will wish to block online advertising on their interconnected devices.

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There’s nothing new under the sun

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Alex Ross’s recent article in The New Yorker gives a good example of the old adage ‘there’s nothing new under the sun’ regarding the current debate over paid for vs. rented—or ‘streaming’—music. This is a debate that was going on close to two hundred years ago in classical sheet music:

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