'Fract' is a trippy game that tricks you into making music

The first time I played Fract, I thought the sound was broken.

I was wandering around a strange, neon-lit landscape — think the world of Myst with a Tron makeover — filled with hard angles and imposing towers lingering in the background. But the game itself was completely silent. It wasn't until I started interacting with the world that it slowly started to fill with sound. Eventually I was...

Mad Men in space: the ads that sold NASA's golden age

Of all the alternative and privately funded spaceflight experiments to crop up in recent years, Mars One has arguably been among the most visible. Which is, of course, exactly what Bas Lansdorp wanted. After all, the Dutch entrepreneur modeled his endeavor, a mission to send regular folks to Mars, after the reality TV show Big Brother, going so far as to meet with the series' producer for guidance. “We’re talking about creating a major media spectacle,” Lansdorp told the New York Times near the project’s launch a little over a year ago. “Much bigger than the moon landing or the Olympics.”

But despite Mars One’s unconventional business plan — which involves funding the colonization effort through crowdfunding, corporate sponsorship, and what it hopes will be massive ad revenues — Lansdorp’s group isn’t exactly rewriting the playbook. Spats with NASA notwithstanding, the Mars One website still borrows the agency’s most famous slogan: “The next giant leap,” it reads, “starts right...

Carefully crafting the images of astronauts


Aereo fights for its life at the Supreme Court this week

Aereo, a startup that streams broadcast television over the internet, is headed to the Supreme Court tomorrow just two years after its debut, and stakeholders across the internet and television industries are watching closely.

The case is arguably the most important to hit the television industry since the landmark ruling over Sony’s Betamax format in 1984, which legalized home recordings. It will determine to some degree how broadcast television will be offered online in the future, and...

Quick read

Inside Microsoft's '90s chat war with AOL

Microsoft might have killed off its Messenger service in favor of Skype recently, but back in 1999 it was the centerpiece of a heated war between the software giant and AOL. At the time, Microsoft had just introduced its MSN Messenger Service as a direct rival to AOL's popular AIM instant messenger. David Auerbach, a former Microsoft engineer who worked directly on MSN Messenger, recounts his unusual role in a chat war with AOL. Auerbach had...

Joss Whedon releases new movie as $5 rental on Vimeo

Joss Whedon is currently working on the next Avengers movie, but being entrusted with one of Hollywood's biggest franchises hasn't stopped the creator of TV shows Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer from experimenting with smaller films and new distribution models. His latest project, In Your Eyes — for which he provided the script and acted as executive producer — is now available for 72-hour rental on streaming site Vimeo for $5. See a...

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