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Worth the “Upgrade”

Upgrade is the most recent film from director Leigh Whannell (of Saw fame). The Science Fiction film seems to be flying slightly under the radar, likely as a result of its microscopic budget. In an era where Sci-Fi films like Blade Runner 2049 are produce for upwards of $185 million, a $3 million-dollar sci-fi film seems to pale by comparison.
But Upgrade gets back to the basics of science fiction. In true Asimoff style, the story is a collision between mankind and technology. Set in the near future, the film explores life in the perpetual surveillance state. The film also explores implants and augmentation, and when we combine the human body with tech, where does one end and the next begin. For a Luddite like me, this is the most terrifying film I have seen in a long while.

Spoilers.

The film follows Grey (Logan Marshall-Green) an auto mechanic who makes a living in the digital-world of the future by restoring classic cars. He is a man desperately out of touch with the rest of the planet. After his wife is murdered in a car-jacking and he is left a quadriplegic. After contemplating, and then attempting, suicide, Grey ends up hospitalized where he meets a tech-billionaire who promises to restore his motor-function. STEM is how he does it, an AI spinal cord implant which help to reconnect his nervous system.

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At least one reviewer liked “The Circle”

What would happen if everyone was connected via social media? What if all their information was public? What if there were cameras literally everywhere to make sure that any and every experience was accessible to all? What if people voluntarily agreed to this world because a slick talking ceo convinced them it was better? These are just some of the questions raised by “The Circle.”

While many critics didn’t like “The Circle,” I actually thoroughly enjoyed it. I think some of those issues came from the marketing of this movie, as the film isn’t really worthy of the title “gripping thriller” that it claimed. “Thought-provoking drama” is more appropriate. The story starts when Mae (Emma Watson) gets a job at “The Circle,” which is like the love child of Apple and Facebook.

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Losing It: Never Leave Items Behind Again

Have you ever forgotten your keys? Ever worried about where your luggage went when you checked it through the airline?

Mu Tag is a Kickstarter-turned-product that’ prepared to change the way we find lost items. It’s pretty simple. Attach a $25 Mu Tag to any item and it will track the item with a tiny GPS sensor. Then connect the tag to your phone and give the tag a name for the item. Then you can track that item anywhere, anytime. The battery on each Mu Tag lasts three months.

The world’s smallest consumer tracking device should prove to be an unforgettable new offer in tech, and for lost luggage.

What do you think? Worth the $25?

Periscope

Periscope – The New Way to AMA and Connect

As I write this, screenwriter David H. Steinberg (Slackers, American Pie 2) is broadcasting from his own smartphone, answering questions from followers via the app Periscope.

While AMA (ask me anything) sessions are very popular on Reddit for users when someone interesting pops on to answer questions about their career, life or any other topic, it’s limited in that it’s all done via a keyboard. With Periscope, all Steinberg had to do was bring up the app, connected through his twitter, and start broadcasting video and take questions via text on the app from his followers. A tweet went out and notified his fans that he was on and ready to talk screenwriting and the movie business or anything that comes up.

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