Bond films are like cultural time capsules: each film introduces the world to a new car, new gadgets, and a new theme song forever linked to an actor who’s typecast as liking his martinis shaken, not stirred.
Sam Smith’s “Writing’s on the Wall” for SPECTRE debuted today under the shadow of Adele’s Grammy and Academy Award winning song for 2012’s Skyfall. It has all the hallmarks of a successful Bond song: earnest vocals, pop-orchestral arrangement, and a composition that feels weirdly somber compared to the exploits of everyone’s favorite government assassin. Here, have a listen:
In the UK, the "James Bond Theme" has hit the top 20 charts 15 times since the first Bond film — Dr. No — was released in 1962. Here's every theme song from the previous 23 films:
How do you think it compares? Let's put it to a vote!
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You can now listen to Sam Smith's Bond theme song 'Writing's on the Wall’
Sometimes, James Bond films don't have theme songs so much as gently crooned CVs, letting you know what Bond's good at (shooting people!) and how he's feeling (conflicted!). Sam Smith's contribution to the oeuvre with "Writing's on the Wall," the theme song for the upcoming Spectre, falls right into this category, with lines like: "I've spent a lifetime running, and I always get away," and "I'm prepared for this, I never shoot to miss!" Sure, and you're also a self-starter who's happy working as part of a team.
Google is now better at listening to you than ever
Of all the big companies that use voice controls and interaction in their software, Google is perhaps the most low-key about it. Unlike Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana, Google doesn't personify its Now voice assistant. And yet, Google might have the best voice recognition algorithms of them all: it can recognize even mumbled input and does it with almost no processing delay. And now it's getting even better.
Microsoft Office for iPad Pro will require a subscription
Microsoft surprised everyone almost a year ago by allowing iPad and iPhone owners to download its Office for iOS software free of charge. You don't need an Office 365 subscription to edit documents or store them in the cloud on an iPad or iPhone, but if you're planning to buy the larger iPad Pro you won't get Office for free. Microsoft has confirmed to Ars Technica that Office on the iPad Pro will require an Office 365 subscription to edit documents.
Steven Soderbergh might be making an interactive movie for HBO
Never one to shy away from narrative experimentation, Steven Soderbergh is reportedly working with HBO on a mysterious project that'll break new ground in terms of viewer interactivity. Entertainment Weekly is reporting that the project is a movie called Mosaic, and it's set to star Sharon Stone — and if Soderbergh has his way, it'll allow viewers to shape the plot and choose from multiple endings using an app.
Let's go inside Samsung’s new Silicon Valley headquarters
While Apple has gone for a flying saucer design, Samsung's new Silicon Valley offices look more like a giant Rubik's Cube. The $300 million campus opened yesterday, cementing the South Korean company's presence in the Valley. The 1.1 million-square-foot site in San Jose is intended to accommodate up to 2,000 employees, bringing together Samsung's American R&D teams as well as providing a home for its local sales and marketing staff. Samsung says the site's open design is intended to foster collaboration between employees, enabling those "impromptu, spur-of-the-moment interactions that are the genesis of many great ideas."