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I Watched Hackers Pull Off a Real Life Ocean's 11 Heist 

The scene was set: a surveillance camera, a safe full of money in a Las Vegas casino, a pair of thieves with lock picking tools and a laptop. I watched in awe as the skinny geeks clipped wires and rewired the feed so that it would loop ad infinitum. Basically, they recreated the climax of Ocean’s 11 before my very… » 8/10/15 12:50pm 8/10/15 12:50pm

Citizenfour Awarded Oscar for Best Documentary in 2014

CITIZENFOUR, Laura Poitras' riveting documentary about Edward Snowden's efforts to shed light on gross surveillance abuses by the United States government and its partners, just won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Tonight's Oscar win recognizes not only the incredible cinematography of Poitras,… » 2/23/15 3:47am 2/23/15 3:47am

Game Lets You Hack the Mainframe Just Like in Jurassic Park

Every nerd born before 1990 knows the Jurassic Park hacking scene. "It's a UNIX system—I know this!" Now, thanks to some nostalgic developers, you too can hack into the mainframe. A newly developed game mimics the 3D interface that Lex conquered to save everyone from the dinosaurs over 20 years ago. It's pretty fun! » 2/18/15 11:30am 2/18/15 11:30am

Cecil B. DeMille Kept a Wolf and Guns To Defend Against Edison's Thugs

Why did Southern California become the epicenter of the American film industry? The nice weather certainly helped. But there's another element that modern Hollywood probably hopes you'd forget: Rampant piracy. Even though it was just the piracy of movie camera tech rather than the Jack Sparrow variety, there were… » 1/29/15 4:15pm 1/29/15 4:15pm

15 Things the Hollywood Sign Has Said Besides "Hollywood"

Thanks to the reopening of a key hiking trail, a lot more people will now get to take pictures of the famous Hollywood sign. It wasn't always like this. Over the years, the iconic word-on-a-hilltop has been altered by everyone from pot heads to protestors to say things other than "Hollywood." Some of them are pretty… » 1/07/15 9:47am 1/07/15 9:47am

A Brief History of the Movie Rating System

When you were a kid, sneaking into a rated R movie was a big deal. Everyone had their own tricks, but this author's was to buy a ticket to a rated G Disney movie, say, Mulan; when the usher turned their back, I would run into a rated R movie like, for example American History X. But it wasn't always this way – not… » 12/30/14 8:00am 12/30/14 8:00am

There Is No Such Thing As An Unbiased Map

Who knew that asking for directions to the Hollywood Sign could be such a complicated question? Well, it is. After writing recently that a group of residents have succeeded in effectively erasing the Hollywood Sign from Google Maps to lead tourists astray, I was floored by the response that came from every corner of… » 12/05/14 3:15pm 12/05/14 3:15pm

The U.S. Court Case That Made Movie Theater Concessions So Expensive

In 1948, the Supreme Court ended the stranglehold Hollywood studios and distributors had on the U.S. movie market. Declaring the big eight a monopoly and ordering them to divest of their ownership of movie theaters and cease other non-competitive practices, with U.S. v. Paramount Pictures, et al., the Court opened the… » 11/24/14 5:15am 11/24/14 5:15am