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20 Prophecies Of Modern Technology In Classic Movies

20 Prophecies Of Modern Technology In Classic Movies

Movies have been at the forefront of popular culture ever since the Lumière brothers screened their first film in 1895. It wasn’t a particularly exciting film by modern standards, it was simply entitled ‘Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory.’ It didn’t have any lead characters, flashy editing or dazzling special effects. It was black and white and lasted 50 seconds. But people loved it. People prophesized that it would change the world, and it did.

Since then, cinema has played an important role in documenting the world as it unfolds, predicting the way the world might end up, but most importantly, inspiring the way it can be and should be. Below there are 20 prophecies of modern tech in classic movies. Did the movies predict them or inspire those who made them? You decide.

1. Face/Off – Face Transplants

Face off movie
    Face/Off (1997)

    In Face/Off, good cop (John Travolta) agrees to go undercover by getting a face transplant of a notorious criminal king-pin. When Face/Off hit cinema screens in 1997 critics enjoyed the action but labeled it ‘silly’, ‘preposterous’ and ‘far-fetched.’ 13 years later, in Spain, the first full face transplant was carried out and it was a success. While we aren’t using the procedure to send agents undercover yet, the technology and medical advancements might one day make this ‘silly’ film a real prophecy of the future.

    2. 2001: A Space Odyssey – iPads

    2001 a space odyssey iPad
      2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

      Film director Stanley Kubrick worked closely with science fiction legend Arthur C. Clarke to make one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time: 2001: A Space OdysseyIn the film one of the astronauts has what appears to be an Apple iPad. Quite extraordinary considering the film was released in 1968. Yeah, thats 42 years before the iPad was released. Was Steve Jobs a fan of this film?

      ipad while eating
        A familiar scene…

        3. Minority Report – Personalised Advertising

        Minority Report personalised advertising
          Minority Report (2002)

          Before Steven Spielberg embarked on adapting Philip K. Dick’s book Minority Report in 2002, he sat down with some of the  best thinkers on the planet to depict a realistic future in the film. In one scene Tom Cruises’s character walks into a store and a holographic saleswoman tries to sell him something based on his current attire. This is personalised advertising, and as the movie predicted, its everywhere. Facebook users, for example, often get shown advertisements based on their ‘likes’ and profile information. How’d those assorted tank tops work out for you?

          4. 2001: A Space Odyssey –  Skype

          2001 a space odyssey Skype
            2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

            In 2001: A Space Odyssey, the captain of the spacecraft talks to his daughter who’s situated back on earth. They talk through what looks like a webcam and a computer monitor… exactly like Skype. The strange thing is, the film was released 35 years before Skype was invented. Did the film predict the future or inspire it?

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            5. The Truman Show – Reality Television

            truman show reality television
              The Truman Show (1998)

              Jim Carrey plays Truman Burbank in the Truman show. A boy who grows up in a constructed world unbeknownst that he’s the star of the biggest reality show on earth. When Truman starts to figure out he’s being watched by everyone he tries to break free. The film came before the current wave of reality TV and prophesized our obsession with spectating people living an seemingly ordinary  lives. The only thing the film didn’t predict correctly was Truman’s desire to escape. Most people these days would probably want Truman’s life.

              6. Jurassic Park – De-Extinction

              jurassic park de-extinction
                Jurassic Park (1993)

                In 1990 Michael Critchton published the novel Jurassic Park, which in 1993 Steven Spielberg turned into one of the highest grossing films of all time. In the story, dinosaur DNA is extracted from a mosquito preserved in amber to bring dinosaurs back from extinction. For many years the real science lagged behind the science fiction. De-extinction was a pipe dream. Then along came dolly in 1996: the first cloned mammal (sheep). Since then technology and our understanding of the genome has progressed to make the de-extinction found in Jurassic Park possible today. We can’t bring back the T-Rex because they died out 65 million years ago and we don’t have much left of them, but any animal that has become extinct in the last few tens of thousands of years can be. The big question is… should we?

                7. Minority Report – Motion Sensor Gaming

                minority report motion sensor gaming
                  Minority Report (2002)

                  In Minority Report (2002) we see Tom Cruise’s character manipulating video data via his hand motions alone. Fast forward 8 years and Microsoft released their Kinect. A webcam that allows you to play video games without the use of a controller. This type of motion sensor gaming, like technology in general, will only improve as time goes by. One day, the remote control will be a thing of the past.

                  8. Back to the Future II – Oculus Rift

                  personalised computing back to the future
                    Back To The Future II (1989)

                    When Back to The Future II came out in 1989, the lead character, Marty McFly, wore a strange virtual reality headset over breakfast. Unfortunately for viewers, the film was indeed set in the future so we couldn’t go out and buy one. But fast forward twenty-five years and the most promising virtual reality gaming system of all time is in full development. It’s called the Oculus Rift. Perhaps in another 25 years we’ll have hover boards.

                    Oculus Rift
                      Oculus Rift (prototype)

                      9. 2001: A Space Odyssey –  Siri

                      2001 a space odyssey siri
                        2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

                        One of the earliest and most famous examples of artificial intelligence came in the form of HAL 9000, a spacecraft computer system that communicated with the astronauts in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Just like Apple’s Siri application, HAL 9000 has no face, just a calm calculated voice that sounds both friendly yet sinister at the same time. I hope Siri didn’t hear me say that.

                        10. Ironman – Exoskeleton Suit

                        iron man exoskeleton
                          Iron Man (2008)

                          Although the film Iron Man came out in the 2008 box office smash staring Robert Downey Jr, the character made his first comic book appearance way back in 1963. Tony Stark becomes Iron Man by using his billions of dollars and genius IQ to make an exoskeleton suit that can fly, shoot rockets and protect him from bad guys. But he’s not the only one. At DARPA, they’ve used their billions of dollars and genius inventors to do something similar.

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                          This is an image of a soldier lifting up incredibly heavy missile with ease thanks to his state of the art electrically powered exoskeleton. Sure it’s a bit clunky, but so was Tony Stark’s first attempt. I think it would look better in red.

                          military exo skeleton
                            Real life Iron Man

                            11. X-Men: Super Soldiers

                            x men superhuman
                              X-Men (2000)

                              The X-Men have some pretty crazy superpowers ranging from being able to control the weather to being able to manipulate metals. While these powers are still a pipe dream (for some of us), researchers at DARPA are developing ways of making ordinary humans a bit more super. For example, research is showing that by genetic manipulation we will one day have soldiers that can run at olympic speeds, function optimally without sleep and even regrow lost limbs! They’ll have to contact Stan Lee when it comes to naming them.

                              12. The Matrix: Gamified Learning

                              the matrix gamification
                                The Matrix (1999)

                                The characters in The Matrix are able to learn new complex skills such as kung fu and flying helicopters in a matter of minutes. They do this by entering virtual training simulation program that allows them to go through all of the trial and error of regular learning but without the real world consequences.

                                Jump through time to the present and you’ll find the gamification business is booming. Duolingo, voted Apple’s app of the year 2013, turns language learning into a point scoring game along with a host of other gamification programs such as Code Academy and Kahn Academy. With this gamified way of learning and Oculus Rift in the works, give it a few more years and we’ll all be entering The Matrix to learn kung fu… and spanish.

                                13. Planet of The Apes: Primate Communication

                                planet of the apes talking apes
                                  Planet of the Apes (1968)

                                  When Planet of The Apes came out in 1968 it made a satirical prophecy of the future based on our current political paradigms. That being said, no one actually thought that one day the earth would be ruled by apes. They aren’t that smart… are they?

                                  Well it turns out chimpanzees have an much better short term memory span compared to humans. Chimps can remember the sequential order of 19+ numbers flashed on a screen compared to the 4-7 us humans can. Not only that but there has been lots of research done on teaching apes sign language, most notably seen in the critically acclaimed documentary Project Nim. In the film, two researchers embark on teaching a chimpanzee sign language from birth. The results were startling. Communication wasn’t always smooth, but a lot smoother than you might think. Apes, however, don’t have voice boxes, so the talking apes won’t be happening any time soon. But never say never project caesar might be in the works.

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                                  nim talking monkey

                                    14. Terminator II – Google Glass

                                    terminator 2 google glass
                                      Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

                                      At the beginning of Terminator 2, The Terminator walks into a bar looking for clothes to wear. We get a glimpse at his computerised view of the world. He is able to scan people in the bar and find someone with same size clothes as him. Now, 23 years later and, Google are developing Google Glass, or as I like to think of it ‘Terminator vision.’ With a pair of Google’s glasses you’ll be see directions overlaid on actual roads and possibly bring up people’s Facebook profiles just by looking at their faces. It’s pretty incredible.

                                      google-glass-hud
                                        Google Glass

                                        15. Total Recall – Airport X-rays

                                        total recall airport scanner
                                          Total Recall (1990)

                                          Total Recall is set in the future, where Mars is habitable. In one scene, the star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, walks through an airport in disguise as a woman. In this tense moment we see a real-time x-ray device which the passengers pass through. For years airports have had mandatory metal detectors but never full body x-rays… until now. The prophecy of Total Recall has come true. Since 2012 full-body backscatter x-ray devices have become mandatory in US airports.

                                          x-ray airport scanners
                                            Backscatter x-ray in progress

                                            16. Blade Runner – Digital Billboards

                                            blade runner digital billboards
                                              Blade Runner (1982)

                                              Blade Runner, like Minority Report and Total Recall, was adapted from a novel by Philip K. Dick. The guy was a serious prophet of the future. Blade Runner is set in a future where robots (called replicants) walk the earth in disguise of human beings. In one scene of the city scape we see a digital billboard. The film was released in 1982, years before the first actual digital billboard was  created. Now they’re so commonplace in places like Time Square that we take them for granted.

                                              17. Gattaca – Home DNA Testing

                                              gattaca home DNA testing
                                                Gattaca (1997)

                                                While human beings are a lot more similar than we are different, there are individual variances among us. Some of us have mild allergies, unusual vitamin deficiencies and react slightly differently to different types of diets and exercise regimes. In the film, Gattaca, the social class system is built upon the quality and thoroughbred of an individual’s DNA. During the film Ethan Hawke’s character, who has a less than ideal DNA, swaps his with Jude Law’s to avoid being labelled an invalid. Thankfully, this is not the direction the world is headed in, but home DNA testing is. Home DNA paternity tests went on sale in 2011, a full 14 years after being seen in Gattaca.

                                                18. Minority Report – Predicting Crimes

                                                minority report precog software
                                                  Minority Report (2002)

                                                  The precogs in Minority Report are genetic mutants able to predict the future with the power of their minds. We don’t have those yet but since this post is about modern tech in classic movies, we have the technological equivalent; computer software that can predict the likelihood of a crime occurring before it even happens. The biggest predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour and that’s what this software uses to figure of the statistical likelihood of a potential crime. The video game Watchdogs features a similar premise. Before long people will start getting arrested even before they do anything… maybe.

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                                                  19. Electric Dreams – Virtual Relationships

                                                  Electric dreams virtual relationship
                                                    Electric Dreams (1984)

                                                    In Electric Dreams, which came out in 1984, the main character gets into a strange relationship with his computer. This was comedic at the time but now with hindsight, the film prophesizes a strange reality that to some extent has come true. People, for the most part aren’t falling in love with their computers, but are using technology based relationships as a substitute for face to face communication. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but can be when the person you’re talking to isn’t who you think they are, as the documentary and TV show Catfish illustrates.

                                                    20. Short Circuit – Military Robots

                                                    short circuit military robots
                                                      Short Circuit (1986)

                                                      Short Circuit came is a military robot that suddenly becomes intelligent and escapes. The military robot industry is currently a multi billion dollar a year enterprise. Whether it be drones or land vehicles that can think for themselves, so to speak. Short Circuit is an incredible example of modern tech in classic movies. We don’t have military robots that act human because there isn’t really a need for such a thing.

                                                      If military robots replace foot soldiers, wars one day might be fought purely with technology, like a billion dollar chess game played out in real life. Now that would be cool. On second thoughts, lets keep that prophecy for the movies.

                                                      Featured photo credit: Modern tech in classic movies, iPad from 2001 a space odyssey via 9to5mac.files.wordpress.com

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                                                      Published on September 25, 2020

                                                      10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

                                                      10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

                                                      When it comes to digital security, public Wi-Fi networks aren’t safe enough, making it much easier for hackers to access your personal data. Whether you are studying in a library or scrolling through Facebook in a coffeehouse, it is vital to have a VPN installed on your device.

                                                      VPNs work wonders when it comes to securing your internet connection. By creating an encrypted tunnel between a remote server run by the VPN service, they protect your personal data from prying eyes. There is a variety of VPNs available on the web, and we have collated a list of the best VPNs that stand out from the rest.

                                                      How to Choose a VPN

                                                      • Free trial period – Free trials allow you to try the product risk-free. The same idea technically applies to those with 30-day full refunds as well.
                                                      • Speed – You want your VPN to be just as fast as the internet speed at home. Good quality VPNs are ones where you see little difference between those speeds.
                                                      • Device connection – Of course, the more devices that can connect to VPNs, the better. It increases the customers’ coverage and the product’s value. You also want to consider compatibility since fewer VPNs may work for Mac or Windows only.
                                                      • Number of servers – The number of servers determines how much capacity a VPN can handle while you are connected. The more servers there are, the more users it can handle without running into potential disconnections or slow speeds.
                                                      • Kill switch feature – Having this feature means that your IP address isn’t exposed if the VPN disconnects for some reason. A lack of this feature is a big deal since the whole reason why you’re paying for a VPN is to hide your IP address, among other things. (Find out how to avoid getting tracked online here: Big Brother Is Watching You Online: How To Avoid Being Tracked)

                                                      Why You Should Trust Us

                                                      Our hand-picked VPNs are incredibly efficient and offer such distinctive features that grant you safe browsing. They outperform many VPNs in terms of both speed and security. Their primary aim is to provide you the utmost security, thus enabling you to surf the web safely and prevent any potential threat from causing harm.

                                                      Among the best VPNs’ many unique features include split tunneling, strict logging policies, high encryption level, and availability of international servers. We have gathered them in this article to enlighten our readers and offer the best pieces of advice before you get one. Therefore, take our word for it, and if you go for a VPN mentioned below, you’d be fully appeased.

                                                      1. NordVPN

                                                      The most popular VPN on the market these days is NordVPN, and it’s easy to see why. It has widespread coverage, offering a selection of over 5,000 servers spanning across 59 countries.[1] Due to the high number of servers, its speed is similar to your Wi-Fi at home.

                                                      Lifehack’s CEO, Leon, has been using NordVPN for many years and wants to recommend it for its remarkable server count in different locations with no-logs policy. The VPN perfectly works with Netflix and Fire TV stick, too.

                                                      NordVPN is also compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux. You can download the app onto Chrome, Firefox, Android, and Mac OS. Thanks to its massive coverage, it’s easy to connect multiple devices onto these servers.

                                                      In terms of pricing, while NordVPN doesn’t have a free trial period, they argue that their plans are considerably cheaper than those of their competitors. For example, a one-year plan for ExpressVPN costs $8.32 per month, but NordVPN only charges $6.99 monthly.

                                                      NordVPN has a new protocol called NordLynx that is based on WireGuard with speed benefits, though it’s still under development.[2] If you’re looking for general quality and affordability, this is one of the best VPNs around.

                                                      Buy this VPN.

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                                                      2. ExpressVPN

                                                      ExpressVPN is the second-best option out there for keeping your privacy while browsing the internet. Like many other VPNs here, they will encrypt your IP address, offer vast coverage, and can have multiple devices connected to their servers.

                                                      Compared to NordVPN, while the pricing point is higher, ExpressVPN’s biggest selling point is the number of countries that their connection covers. Depending on where you are in the world, this may be the only option you have. They have fewer servers — 160, to be precise — but they make up for the low server count by covering 94 countries.[3]

                                                      Cost-wise, your best bet is to go with the yearly plan where they charge $8.32 a month. They also have one- and six-month plans.

                                                      Buy this VPN.

                                                      3. Surf Shark

                                                      With regards to Surf Shark, you can connect multiple devices to its servers, and it’s compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is also available on Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and FireTV.

                                                      Furthermore, Surf Shark can whitelist apps and sites, letting them bypass the VPN. This, along with the lines of split-tunneling, is another feature that many VPNs offer. The difference is that Surf Shark allows you to whitelist specific apps or any website, while most VPNs will whitelist all sites or none at all.

                                                      The other consideration for this app is the price. While lower-tier plans are more expensive compared to others, Surf Shark’s 24-month plan is priced at $2.69 a month, so it’s cheaper than even NordVPN’s equivalent plan!

                                                      Buy this VPN.

                                                      4. CyberGhost

                                                      Another top-reviewed VPN is CyberGhost. They’ve been around for 15 years and have fine-tuned their offers and features to stay competitive. They provide the standard package of browsing the web and logging into accounts safely and give you access to regionally blocked content.

                                                      The network also maintains security from hackers, malware, and phishing. Aside from that, you can connect multiple devices, and it’s compatible with all kinds of platforms.

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                                                      What separates CyberGhost from the others is their extensive coverage. They have multiple servers, and the pricing point is still very low. It covers over 88 countries and has roughly 6200 servers for you to choose from, all while charging $2.75 for their 18-month plan.

                                                      Buy this VPN.

                                                      5. IPVanish

                                                      IPVanish’s prime purpose is to give users online freedom by providing fast speeds and private connections. It’s clear that they can meet that promise as they provide many of the features that have been listed previously from their competitors.

                                                      IPVanish is a part of SugarSync now. What is that, you may ask? It’s a cloud-based service that syncs files across devices and computers for sharing, backup, and many more. What this means is that other devices can access various files and videos so long as they are connected to your specific VPN. Furthermore, it can serve as a backup plan if you get hacked or lose your device for some reason.

                                                      Buy this VPN.

                                                      6. Private Internet Access

                                                      Private Internet Access (PIA) is a remarkably generous company in many ways. Aside from the obvious features, they offer great incentives and discounts for people to try out their products. They claim to be the most trustworthy and reliable VPN around, and we believe that.

                                                      One notable thing is that PIA offers a free two-month trial. Compared to other VPNs to this point, none have provided free trials (though all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee). On top of that, small businesses can avail of their VPN at a discounted rate. There is also the fact that their pricing plans go as low as $2.69 a month for two years, and they let you pay with gift cards.

                                                      In terms of specs, PIA has over 2695 servers that cover 47 countries right now.

                                                      These particular aspects make PIA unique and one of the best VPNs to consider.

                                                      Buy this VPN.

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                                                      7. Hotspot Shield

                                                      Hotspot Shield is all about offering protection while you’re browsing the internet or using streaming services like Netflix. The encryption is military-grade, and its speed is ultra-fast. In truth, it is even marketed as one of the fastest VPNs.

                                                      Hotspot Shield offers a plan that only costs  $7.99 a month; however, it’s one of the few in this list to provide its services for free. Like other Freemium apps, the free version comes with limited features. That said, it gives you a much better feel for the VPN.

                                                      Also, take note that the encryption feature is still there, though the limitations in the free plan include connecting to one location in the US and having limited streaming options and speed.

                                                      Buy this VPN.

                                                      8. TunnelBear

                                                      As unusual as a name choice for an online security protection service can be, TunnelBear is nothing short of incredible. It makes our list of the best VPNs for various reasons.

                                                      The biggest one is that the company goes through a yearly security audit. This is notable because many VPNs don’t bother about independent audits to ensure their systems are secure and safe from any issues. This is critical as VPNs have gotten some bad reputation over the years, as TunnelBear has noted in their post about their security audit.[4] The fact that they are doing this annually ensures that nothing is being compromised.

                                                      Furthermore, TunnelBear offers limited services for free, but even their paid plans are pretty cheap. For individuals, you’re merely paying $3.33 per month. The only catch is that you can connect five devices regardless of which paid plan you pick.

                                                      Buy this VPN.

                                                      9. Norton

                                                      Norton has been on the security scene for some time, and it’s actually one of the founders of the internet security industry. It started with virus and malware protection in 1991 and has since branched off to other sectors as the industry has shifted.

                                                      As you might expect from a company that’s been around for a long time, Norton provides excellent services, and a few of their other services have gone into the VPN package. In reality, Norton is the only one thus far to offer a password manager with their VPN services. They provide 50GB of cloud storage as well.

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                                                      Norton has one of the cheapest VPNs, considering you can get their deluxe plan at $49.99 per year. That comes up to roughly $4.17 a month. It might be slightly higher than other equivalent plans, but you get a lot of extra value that makes it worth the price.

                                                      Buy this VPN.

                                                      10. StrongVPN

                                                      The final VPN we want to cover is StrongVPN. Like many others, it’s great at blocking unnecessary web traffic and providing a fast and simple solution to navigating the internet without any hindrance.

                                                      StrongVPN has over 900 servers. It is available in more than 30 countries and compatible with all devices. Beyond that, the only notable selling point it has compared to others is that it also offers Sugarsync services and 250GB of storage, irrespective of your chosen plan.

                                                      As for the pricing, their year-long plan costs $5.83 a month, while their month-long one is $10.

                                                      Buy this VPN.

                                                      Bottom Line

                                                      Getting online protection is important these days, and companies recognize this.

                                                      With more hacks and breaches occurring every single day, the best VPNs can provide an excellent haven for many people who value their security and privacy.

                                                      We hope that by putting together this list, you’ll be able to find the best VPN that you can trust and enjoy using. As you can see, there are several great options with no real wrong one out there. Pick the VPN that’s best for you.

                                                      Featured photo credit: Petter Lagson via unsplash.com

                                                      Reference

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