Last week, a group of Googlers did something strange: They quietly revealed a new operating system that theoretically competes with Google’s own Android OS.
Dubbed Fuchsia, the open-source OS-in-progress could run on everything from lightweight, single-purpose devices (think ATMs and GPS units) all the way up to desktop computers. But unlike Android, Fuchsia isn’t based on Linux, nor is it derived from any of the other software that underpins nearly all personal computing and communications today. Instead, it’s an attempt to start from scratch.
Google has yet to make any big announcements about how it might use Fuchsia, which is still in early development and could be nothing more than an experiment. Still, Google has plenty of reasons to hit reset on decades of software history.
Facebook knows more about your personal life than you probably realize. As part of the company’s increasingly aggressive advertising operation, Facebook goes to great lengths to track you across the web. The companycompiles a list of personal details about every user that includes major life events and general interests. For years, details have been murky about how exactly the social network targets ads—but the company has finally given us a glimpse into how the secret sauce is made.
Some mind-ponderers, notably philosopher Colin McGinn, argue that consciousness is unsolvable. Philosopher Owen Flanagan calls these pessimists “mysterians,” after the 60’s-era rock group “Question Mark and the Mysterians.”
Recently, physicist Edward Witten came out as a mysterian. Witten is regarded with awe by his fellow physicists, some of whom have compared him to Einstein and Newton. He is largely responsible for the popularity of string theory over the past several decades. String theory holds that all of nature’s forces stem from infinitesimal particles wriggling in a hyperspace consisting of many extra dimensions.
A stop-motion samurai film — that’s the germ of an idea that grew into the sprawling fantasy film, Kubo and the Two Strings.
It’s a coming-of-age epic set in fantasy Japan about a young storyteller who makes magic with music and origami paper. The film stars Art Parkinson as Kubo, the Samurai’s son, as well as Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara, George Takei and Matthew McConaughey.
While the Disney and Pixar brands have become synonymous with blockbuster animated films, the small Portland-based studio behind Kubo has been quietly making its mark. Since it was founded a decade ago, Laika Entertainment has earned three Oscar nods for animation for the films Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls.