Hollywood, 1992. Mark Snow was already a pro at TV scores—dramas, procedurals, comedies—when a producer recommended him to Chris Carter, a veteran of Disney TV movies who needed music for a new TV pilot, The X Files, an unlikely supernatural procedural inspired partly by Kolchak, The Twilight Zone, and Twin Peaks. As he sat in
Sometimes, it can be hard to know how to act around artificial intelligence. In the first half of Radio Motherboard this week, staff writer Jason Koebler explores how people treat Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana when no one’s listening. (A small spoiler: Apparently, people like to harass it. One new challenge in AI programming is learning
How to Think About the Biggest Earthquake Ever So scientists are saying an earthquake—a quake that is so big and so powerful you probably can’t even properly comprehend it—is probably going to hit your city, hard. It could be five years out, ten years, fifty years, or it could be tomorrow. But it’s going
The tyranny of the set-top box may soon be over. The way it works now, you’re forced to rent a cable box from the likes of Time Warner Cable and Comcast to the tune of about $230 per year. The very idea that in 2016 you need a dedicated piece of hardware, whether it’s Comcast’s
Earlier this week, a federal judge in California ordered Apple to help the FBI brute force hack into the encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters, setting up a legal showdown that could have far-reaching ramifications for the future of encryption and privacy in the United States. Here’s what you need to know.
There aren’t many black characters in video games with speaking roles, which is why it’s controversial when some of them are voiced by white actors. The most recent example is Nadine Ross, the strong, black, female antagonist in the upcoming Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, who is played by a white voice actress. To some
The hyperloop, Elon Musk’s futuristic, tube-based “fifth mode of transportation” has stoked imaginations unlike any recent transportation technology except for maybe self driving cars. Lots has been said about it—Musk called it a “cross between a Concord, a railgun, and an air hockey table,” while the media has latched on to the promised speeds of
The Zano drone raised £2.3 million in one of the most successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaigns of all time. A year later all the money is gone, Zano’s creator is having a nervous breakdown, and its 13,000 backers are livid.
What does it take to get a good night’s sleep? In this episode of Radio Motherboard, managing editor Adrianne Jeffries talks to the greatest sleep hacker she knows: her little brother William. We cover blackout curtains, smart light bulbs, sleep headphones, the best white noise mixes, and sleeping in the office.
If you live in India, or happen to have visited in the past month, you probably noticed the seemingly-ubiquitous advertising for something called Free Basics. It’s what you might call a full-court press: full-page ads in newspapers, billboards, and movie theater trailers. Also, if you were to log into Facebook, you’d be presented with an
If you want high speed internet in most any spot in New York City, you’re stuck with Time Warner Cable. Or at least, that’s how it usually works. But increasingly around the city, citizens and small community groups are setting up their own locally owned and operated free wifi networks. This week on Radio Motherboard,
2015 was a banner year for science fiction; Motherboard’s resident sci-fi editors, Claire Evans and Brian Merchant, review the year of Mad Max, Ex Machina, and, yes, Star Wars. These are the top stories about the future of 2015.