There Will Be A Silk Road Movie_

silk

With the trial of alleged Silk Road kingpin and known library computer user Ross Ulbricht currently underway, it’s a pretty good time to announce a true crime book and movie package based on the whole thing, don’t you think? Yes, the Associated Press reports that Hatching Twitter author Nick Bilton is writing a book on the Silk Road and has already sold the rights to 20th Century Fox for the full movie treatment.

It makes sense that Bilton, who’s also a New York Times columnist in addition to penning the Twitter bestseller, would be the one to tell this story. It’s the juiciest, sexiest, druggiest Silicon Valley story out there, no? Plus Hatching Twitter has already been optioned for television, so he’s basically “the guy.”

For the Twitter and Silk Road adaptations, we can probably expect stuff along the lines of The Social Network, which was in turn based on the book The Accidental Billionaires. So, if you find Hollywood’s Silicon Valley obsession cool, and if you like watching movies about people working on computers, then expect to be on the edge of your seat. At least the Silk Road adaptation could have more elements of, say, Breaking Bad.

(Link)

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Etam Cru creates a new mural for Wonderwalls in Port Adelaide, Australia _

Sainer and BEZT from Etam Cru are currently in Australia where they were invited to paint a massive building somewhere on the streets of Port Adelaide.

In town for the first edition of the WonderWalls street art festival, the Polish street art duo quickly worked their way through this signature mural. This time they created a large figurative piece showing a young lad in a vintage royal uniform with his eyes closed. In their signature style, the image features couple of their recurring visual elements such a white rat on hs shoulder or a skull logo on a ring. Being very familiar with working in large scale, this piece shows their ability to create almost photo realistic works, while still staying recognizable through their fine touches.

(Link)

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Hong Kong Unrest – immersiv.ly_

Spherical 360 video documentary on the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ from immersiv.ly, a platform for news reports to be experienced in VR:

Hong Kong Unrest is a news documentary filmed in 360-degree video that tells the story of the 2014 pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. The film breaks fresh journalistic ground by providing a news narrative, on a topic of world importance, using live-motion 360-degree video. It is a format that puts the user at the heart of the action, and enables them to view the footage from any angle.

Hong Kong Unrest was created by Immersivly Ltd, creators of immersiv.ly, an app in development for the presentation of news in virtual reality.

You do not need a VR headset to view the video and works on various types of media (you can use a mouse or touch on tablet to change the viewpoint).

You can watch the documentary here_

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Scientists Develop Squid-Inspired Synthetic Skin That Can Change Color and Texture on Command_

Researchers at MIT have managed to create synthetic skin inspired by the adaptive properties of cephalopods like octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish that can change its color, fluorescence, and texture simultaneously via remote control. Early applications for the skin would likely be aimed at the military uses with potential consumer applications following.

While troops and vehicles often move from one environment to another, they are presently limited to fixed camouflage patterns that might be effective in one environment but stick out like a sore thumb in another.

(Link)

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Visual Experimentation_

The Daily Task_

(Link)

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Bioluminescent Plankton Illuminate the Waters Off Hong Kong_

Noctiluca scintillans, a species of bioluminescent plankton, illuminated a stretch of coastline near Hong Kong yesterday in a stunning display that was captured in long exposure photos by photographer Kin Cheung. Unfortunately, as The Atlantic reports, the glowing bloom is caused by farm pollution. The plankton is also known as “Sea Sparkle.”

(Link)

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Here’s the Secret Silk Road Journal From the Laptop of Ross Ulbricht_

As the saga of the Silk Road has unfolded over the last four years, everyone has had an opinion about the unprecedented, billion-dollar online narcotics bazaar, from press to politicians to prosecutors. Even the pseudonymous mastermind of the site, the Dread Pirate Roberts, gave an interview and posted many thousands of words to the Silk Road’s users forum. The one voice that’s been missing, however, is that of Ross Ulbricht, the 30-year-old Texan accused of actually running the site from behind the Dread Pirate Roberts mask.

As Ulbricht faces trial on conspiracy charges that include running a narcotics ring, laundering money, and selling counterfeit IDs, a jury may now be hearing Ulbricht tell his story for the first time. The FBI has said it found a journal on Ulbricht’s laptop, seized at the time of his arrest. Those journal entries have been entered into evidence against Ulbricht. And they seem to detail everything from Ulbricht’s time growing psychedelic mushrooms in a remote Texas cabin to serve as the Silk Road’s first product, to his early days trying to code a stable website, to recruiting Silk Road staff and attracting a coterie of drug dealers.

Ulbricht’s defense team will no doubt challenge the authenticity of the journal entries. His lead defense attorney Joshua Dratel argued in his opening statement that Ulbricht had created the Silk Road, but gave it up after a few months and was only “lured” back to the site in 2013 to be framed by the real Dread Pirate Roberts. The defense hasn’t yet explained how the journals ended up on Ulbricht’s laptop, and declined WIRED’s request for further comment.

In addition to the journal, Ulbricht’s laptop also contained what seemed to be a log of daily activities, which is embedded at the bottom of this post below the long-form journal entries. The dates marked are those originally included in the text, and neither the journal nor the log is necessarily complete. Both are only the portions of text that have been admitted as evidence in Ulbricht’s case, and we’ll update the journal or log if more entries are added by the defense or the prosecution.

In the meantime, here’s Ulbricht’s story in—according to the Department of Justice, at least—his own words.

Ulbricht Log

(Link)

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2015 Pier 9 Artist in Residence Exhibition_

A look at artworks created at the Pier 9 workshop run by Autodesk, which offer state of the art facilities and seeks to explore the future of artmaking.

This exhibition celebrated the community and work created by the Autodesk Artist-in-Residence Program at Pier 9. Featured projects include work created by digital fabricators, fine artists, architects, furniture-makers, chefs, and a host of other creatives who have passed through Pier 9’s residency program over the past year. The exhibition included over 40 artists and more than 70 works, all of which were installed across the Autodesk Pier 9 Workshop, including in the CNC labs, 3D printshop and test kitchen.

The Pier 9 space is currently taking applications – you can find out more here_

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Microbes Discovered In Massive Aquifers Two Miles Below Seafloor_

Scientists probing the mysterious world buried under two miles of ocean water and seafloor have discovered new species of microbes that live on sulfates.

The organisms, found by researchers at NASA and the universities of Southern California and Hawaii, have yet to be classified or named and appear to live in buried aquifers under the crust that makes up ocean bottoms.

Scientists now estimate up to a third of the planet’s total mass of living organisms exist in these isolated aquifers made of porous basaltic rock below the oceans. Such large stores of living microbes could play a major role in the global carbon cycle.

(Link)

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We’re About To Visit A Tiny Planet In The Asteroid Belt For The First Time_

While the world awaits the first visit of Pluto this July, another space mission will reach a strange world much closer to home. And months sooner.

A small robot named Dawn is nearing the end of its seven-year, 3.1-billion-mile journey deep into the Asteroid Belt. By shooting ions out of its rear—and stealing a bit of Martian orbital energy back in ’07—Dawn putters along at about 450 mph toward the largest unexplored object between the Sun and Pluto.

This March, we’ll arrive Ceres. It’s the biggest thing in the Asteroid Belt, with a diameter of 590 miles, a surface area four times larger than Texas, and a mass about one-fourteenth that of Pluto. Though it’s technically an asteroid and a dwarf planet, some scientists regard Ceres to be a real planet—the tiniest in our solar system.

However it’s classified, we know shockingly little about it. Powerful, sophisticated telescopes like Hubble can only glean hints of what Dawn will see when it slips into orbit around Ceres. A brown, cratered, clay-like surface is likely. But it’s possible Dawn will spot some more exciting features from above, such as an atmosphere or “cryovolcanoes” that spew frozen water.

“Ceres is going to be a really cool-looking object when we get there,” predicts Mark Sykes, CEO of the Planetary Science Institute and Dawn mission scientist. Because Ceres contains a lot of water ice near its surface, periodic defrosting may have relaxed the planetoid’s features, erasing its older craters. “Maybe we’re going to have a Salvador Dali planet, where everything’s kind of melted,” Sykes says.

A Planet In The Asteroid Belt?

In the late 1700s, astronomers wondered about the large gap between Mars and Jupiter. Bode’s law predicted a planet should be there, and in 1801, scientists finally found one… sort of. For half a century, Ceres was classified as a planet. Then, as telescopes became better, scientists found a number of smaller objects in a similar orbit. Collectively, those objects came to be known as the Asteroid Belt, and Ceres was reclassified as an asteroid.

Ceres’ identity was called into question again in 2006, when scientists debated the status of Pluto and the definition of a ‘planet’. Planetary scientists like Sykes advocated for the name to apply to any object that has enough gravity to be round. The International Astronomical Union, however, defined a planet as something with enough gravity to clear everything out of its orbit. Pluto failed that test. And so did Ceres.

“It would have been cool, because if Pluto were a planet, then Ceres would have to be, too,” says Sara Seager, a planetary scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

(Link)

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