An illustrated history of the computer virus

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Computer viruses have come a long way, starting as the practical jokes of computing’s early days and ending up as modern military weapons. A site called Computer Virus Catalog is walking through the history one virus at a time, pairing each one with a fitting illustration. The list leans heavily on the DOS era, particularly the late-’90s virus boom, and shines a light on many pivotal malware moments that have since been lost to history. And since so many of the viruses had a visual component,…

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Elon Musk tells Stephen Colbert his wild plans for cars, jetpacks, and wireless charging

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Last night, Stephen Colbert’s guest on The Colbert Report was Elon Musk. And, after Musk dodged the question about his inevitable slide into supervillainy, he talked a bit about the future of Tesla, SpaceX, his plan to go to Mars, and a few ideas that are somehow even more ambitious.

Musk told Colbert that he and SpaceX are focused on reusability for space flights: building a rocket that can take off, land, refuel, and take off again is incredibly important. He also says that he’ll be sending people to space in two years. He talked about Tesla’s desire to personalize your car, and told Colbert that he named his Old Faithful. But the most interesting part of the interview came when Musk asked Colbert what he wanted to see in the future….

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DC comes for Marvel on the small screen: a first look at ‘The Flash’ and ‘Constantine’

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While DC doesn’t have quite the spread of TV shows and movies that Marvel has developed, it’s a few months away from launching three new series based on the lower-profile parts of its comics empire. Wednesday night, we got a look at the pilots from two of those series: The Flash, airing on CW, and NBC’s Constantine. Both have potential, but they couldn’t be more different – and neither is a sure bet.

The Flash ties into CW’s existing Green Arrow adaptation, and the protagonist, Glee star Grant Gustin, seems to nail the tone it’s going for: earnest and incredibly excited at its own geekery. The pilot quickly sets up Barry Allen’s rise to World’s Fastest Man: raised as an orphan after his mother is mysteriously killed and his father…

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‘The Wolf Among Us’ season one review: a terrifying fairy tale

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The Walking Dead video game was a remarkable series, one that turned a zombie apocalypse into a never-ending stream of gut-punching moral dilemmas. It was also proof that developer Telltale games hadn’t been wasting its time. The studio spent nearly a decade perfecting a formula that turned video games into a series of episodes, just like TV, each of which you could play in a single sitting once a month. But it wasn’t until The Walking Dead that Telltale finally had a hit. “The Walking Dead…

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New trailers: ‘Predestination,’ ‘Dear White People,’ ‘Honeymoon,’ ‘Nightcrawler,’ and ‘Out of Print’

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Hope you aren’t already overwhelmed from Comic-Con. The huge convention isn’t even halfway through, and we’ve already gotten looks at some of the most exciting movies and TV shows coming up over the next year. And while Comic-Con may be the epicenter of entertainment this week, there have been a good number of movie trailers coming out around it too. Below is five of our favorite new trailers and three that you’ll want to watch if you missed them earlier.

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Google Voice now lets you call people using Hangouts

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Google Voice is now providing the option to make calls with Hangouts. Alex Wiesen divulged the update through the company’s social networking platform, noting that the new functionality does not require a G+ account and works “even if you aren’t using Hangouts in Gmail.” The feature can be accessed by selecting Hangouts from a drop-down menu labeled “Phone to call with.” The website will then launch a separate Hangouts window, allowing conversation to take place as normal.

Hangouts is seen as Google”s solution to its fractured messaging systems, and even offers the ability to place phone calls. But while the new platform has been heralded as “the future of Google Voice,” little has been done to merge the two services. Nonetheless, the…

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Google is collecting medical data to paint a picture of perfect human health

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Google has started to collect medical data from volunteers as part of an ambitious project designed to build a database of records that show what a healthy human being should be. The project, developed by Google’s experimental Google X wing and called Baseline Study, sees the company first harvesting anonymous genetic and molecular information from 175 people. According to The Wall Street Journal, Baseline Study will soon draw information from thousands more in a bid to create a picture of a person in perfect health.

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Everyone can now play the ‘Destiny’ beta on PlayStation or Xbox

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Anyone with a compatible console can now download and play the beta version of Destinythe next video game from Halo creators Bungie. The early trial version of the game lets players create a character to blast both computer-controlled aliens and other players in a multiplayer arena, and can be downloaded on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, in addition to PS3 and Xbox 360. To play, you’ll need a PlayStation Plus account or an Xbox Live Gold subscription.

The beta began on July 17th on PS4 and PS3, but Xbox One and 360 owners had to wait a week before their version of the trial started on July 23rd. Developer Bungie had previously only given access to players who had pre-ordered the game, in addition to a select few who had been sent codes,…

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Major League Baseball takes a swing at the FCC’s fast lane internet proposal

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Do you know who’s not a fan of the Federal Communication Commission’s proposal to let internet service providers offer different speeds to online services? Major League Baseball. In a letter to the FCC last week, the league’s digital group argued that the most recent open internet proposal could do more harm than good to consumers and upstart businesses, and likened the move to “rolling the dice.”

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What’s the deal with ‘Seinfeld’ coming to Netflix?

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Jerry Seinfeld has confirmed that he is in talks to bring his iconic comedy series Seinfeld to Netflix. Speaking in an AMA question and answer session on Reddit, the comedian replied “conversations are presently taking place” when asked if the hit show, created by Seinfeld himself and Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David, would be brought to the streaming service. The show originally aired between 1989 and 1998, but maintains its grasp on pop culture: one man recently developed a virtual version of Jerry’s on-screen apartment that fans could navigate using the Oculus Rift headset.

In addition to confirming that his show could soon be on its way to Netflix, Seinfeld used the Reddit AMA to reminisce on his comedy career, describing the…

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Christopher Nolan talks up the science of ‘Interstellar’ in surprise Comic-Con appearance

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Details on the plot of Christopher Nolan’s upcoming Interstellar are still scarce, but the film may be his most ambitious to date. In a surprise appearance at Comic-Con, the director of The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception says that his latest film is his grandest in scope. One of the film’s executive producers is the theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, who gave Nolan extensive guidance on how wormholes could work — a hint at how the film’s characters will accomplish their interstellar travel. But the film’s emotional core lies deeper, the director said. “It’s about what it is to be human, and what our place is in the universe,” Nolan told a rapt crowd in Hall H. “The further that you travel out into the universe, the more you realize…

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This is Hot Wheels’ life-size ‘Darth Vader Car’

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A visit to the Hot Wheels booth at Comic Con’s exhibition floor will give visitors a look at a life-size car that looks just like Darth Vader’s iconic helmet. And is it ever strange. Hot Wheels went all out with the car, giving it all the Star Wars touches you could think of: Sith lightsaber-style exhaust pipes, Imperial insignias in the wheels, and even Vader’s life support panel.

The Darth Vader Car is actually a modified Chevy Corvette C5, with the Darth helmet comprised of fiberglass that sits atop the car’s frame. It comes complete with a 526-horsepower engine, and can reportedly hit a top speed of 150mph. It’s not the most attractive car we’ve ever seen, but we can still sense the good in it.


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Philips’ light bulbs will bring ‘Sharknado’ into your living room

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Finally there’s a reason to invest in smart light bulbs. Syfy and Philips have announced that Sharknado 2: The Second One viewers will be treated to a custom light show designed to sync up with the film when it premieres on July 30th. It’s all made possible with Syfy’s “Sync” second-screen app, which listens for audio cues from the film and then sends lighting commands to the Philips Hue system. Beginning at 7PM, any Philips smart bulbs in your living room will change color “to reflect the increasingly stormy weather conditions, chainsaw-induced shark carnage, and more.” (Don’t worry, the “light track” will repeat during Syfy’s 9PM encore presentation.)

But here’s the best part: you don’t even need to wait to experience this perfect…

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Watch the first trailer for Ridley Scott’s live-action ‘Halo: Nightfall’

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At San Diego Comic-Con 2014, Microsoft has finally provided the very first look at Halo: Nightfall, the original new live-action show based on the sci-fi video game series. The show stars Mike Colter with Ridley Scott serving as executive producer, and based on this first glimpse it looks quite a bit like some of Scott’s earlier work, most notably Prometheus. “With Halo: Nightfall, we’re pioneering a new medium in terms of interactive storytelling on Xbox,” says Scott. Colter plays agent Jameson Locke, a character who will supposedly play a relatively large role in the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians, which is expected to launch next fall. Halo: Nightfall will be available to Xbox Live users on November 11th, as well as packaged with the…

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Philip K. Dick’s cult novel ‘Man in the High Castle’ becoming an Amazon TV pilot

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Amazon is preparing its third round of TV show pilots, and Deadline reports that one of the upcoming titles will be an adaptation of a Philip K. Dick novel in which Germany and Japan have won World War II and taken over most of the United States. Titled The Man In the High Castle, the show will be based on Dick’s 1962 Hugo award-winning book of the same name. A writer from The X-Files will reportedly create a script for the pilot, which will be directed by David Semel — who was also behind the first episode of Heroes.

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Google integrates Drive features into its mobile Gmail apps

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Google is making it easier to send files from your Google Drive account using its Gmail apps for iOS and Android. Recent updates to both versions of the app now let users attach files from their Drive accounts to outgoing emails, as well as save attachments from incoming mail directly to Drive. Google Drive integration with Gmail has been available on the web version of the service for some time.

In addition to adding Google Drive support, the iOS app will now let users change their profile picture from within the app, as well as hide unwanted Google accounts from displaying. The latest versions of Gmail for iOS and Gmail for Android are available in their respective app stores now.

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Best New Apps: Ultratext

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Ultratext is a dead-simple iOS app for creating GIFs and sending them via MMS and iMessage. It creates flashing neon messages, with the words you type blown up in all caps, accessorized with emoji and selfies and other photos from your camera roll. Every time you hit the space bar, Ultratext gives you a new box to type into, chaining your words into a looping animation. At any point you can add a picture using either the front or rear camera. The result is a message that looks more like a billboard than a message bubble, and it’s incredibly fun. “It’s like you literally discovered fire and gave it to me,” one friend told me, after I tweeted a link to the app.

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Rihanna destroys Paris in Dreamworks’ upcoming ‘Home’

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What to do, when you find the Louvre in a hopeless place? It’s up to Rihanna to save the world in Homean upcoming animated buddy comedy from Dreamworks, and a new clip shown at Comic-Con today finds the character she plays turning Paris upside-down. Rihanna plays Tip, who teams up with an outcast alien named Oh to stop an alien race named the Boov from relocating humanity. In the clip shown at Comic-Con, Tip and Oh find themselves surrounded at the Eiffel Tower, which the aliens have set up as a radio transmission tower floating above the city.

Rihanna’s character springs into action, using alien technology to turn the Eiffel Tower upside town. A wild chase follows, during which big chunks of Paris are turned into rubble. The good…

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Watch Jimmy Kimmel convince people that a $20 Casio is Apple’s iWatch

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“Do you like that it tells you the date, and the time?” “Yes, that’s a neat feature.”

Jimmy Kimmel loves a good prank. He hoaxed the Sochi Olympics. He created a pretty epic twerking fail. He convinced the world that the iPad mini was the new iPhone. This week he went out onto Hollywood Boulevard and convinced a bunch of people that a $20 Casio watch with a white Apple sticker on it was actually Apple’s iWatch. Or iTime, as he refers to it, because Jimmy might know something we don’t.

The best part? People were into it. It has a stopwatch and a countdown, so it has to be amazing. And it’s always in Airplane Mode! But the real lesson here is that there are a whole lot of people (at least in Hollywood) who will basically buy anything…

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