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Rise of the Machines

   2020    Technology
From the first transistor to deep learning networks, the rise of computing power over the last 50 years has been so phenomenal it's changed everything from the way we communicate to how our appliances interact. Fuelled by giant leaps forward in computer technology, the race is on. As the progress of machines continues to accelerate, so will the pace of change.
Series: The Great Acceleration

The Bit Player

   2018    History
The film tells the story of an overlooked genius: Claude Shannon. In a blockbuster paper in 1948, Claude Shannon introduced the notion of a 'bit' and laid the foundation for the information age. His ideas ripple through nearly every aspect of modern life, influencing such diverse fields as communication, computing, cryptography, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, cosmology, linguistics, and genetics. But when interviewed in the 1980s, Shannon was more interested in showing off the gadgets he'd constructed -- juggling robots, a Rubik's Cube solving machine, a wearable computer to win at roulette, a unicycle without pedals, a flame-throwing trumpet -- than rehashing the past.
Mixing contemporary interviews, archival film, animation and dialogue drawn from interviews conducted with Shannon himself, The Bit Player tells the story of an overlooked genius who revolutionized the world, but never lost his childlike curiosity.

Silicon Cowboys

   2016    History
Launched in 1982 by three friends in a Houston diner, Compaq Computer set out to build a portable PC to take on IBM, the world's most powerful tech company. Many had tried cloning the industry leader's code, only to be trounced by IBM and its high-priced lawyers. 'Silicon Cowboys' explores the remarkable David vs. Goliath story, and eventual demise, of Compaq, an unlikely upstart who altered the future of computing and helped shape the world as we know it today. Directed by Oscar (R)-nominated director Jason Cohen, the film offers a fresh look at the explosive rise of the 1980's PC industry and is a refreshing alternative to the familiar narratives of Jobs, Gates, and Zuckerberg.

Absolute Zero Conquest of Cold

   2007    Technology
This scientific detective tale tells the story of a remarkable group of pioneers who wanted to reach the ultimate extreme: absolute zero, a place so cold that the physical world as we know it doesn't exist, electricity flows without resistance, fluids defy gravity and the speed of light can be reduced to 38 miles per hour. Absolute zero became the Holy Grail of temperature physicists and is considered the gateway to many new technologies, such as nano-construction, neurological networks and quantum computing. The possibilities, it seems, are limitless. The first episode Chronicles the major discoveries leading towards the mastery of cold, beginning with King James I's court magician, Cornelius Drebbel, who managed to air condition the largest interior space in the British Isles in 1620. Other stories will include the first "natural philosopher," Robert Boyle, a founder of the Royal Society in Great Britain; the Grand Duke Ferdinand II de Medici's involvement in the creation of the first thermometer; the establishment of the laws of thermodynamics by three young scientists, Sadi Carnot, James Joule and William Thomson; and Michael Faraday's critical achievement in liquefying several other gases which set the stage for the commercial application of cold to refrigeration and air conditioning.
Series: Absolute Zero

Quantum Computing

   2016    Technology
These scientists are part of a global race. It's been running for over a decade... to build a mythical machine, the holy grail of calculations - a quantum computer. Remarkably, first-generation quantum computers have started to appear. Indeed, earlier this year, Google bought one. The D-Wave 2.
Series: Catalyst
Planet Earth
Planet Earth

   2007    Nature
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

   2014    Science
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2014    Culture
Catalyst
Catalyst

   2017    Science
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture
Space Deepest Secrets
Space Deepest Secrets

   2020    Science
Leaving Neverland
Leaving Neverland

   2019    Culture