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Nathan Ingraham


Conflict photographers have the opportunity to create powerful and enduring images that can live on to define a time period — the downside is that they typically have to put themselves in harm's way to do so. Tim Hetherington, one of the more famous conflict photographers in recent memory, was killed while covering the front lines of Libyan city Misrata in April of 2011; now, his story will be told by his friend and filmmaker Sebastian Junger in Which Way is the Front Line From Here: The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington. Junger previous worked with Hetherington on Restrepo, a documentary about the Afghanistan war that premiered just before Hetherington's death.

The documentary, which was shown at this year's Sundance Film Festival,...

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Peter Biddle speaks at the ETech conference in 2007.

Scott Beale

Can digital rights management technology stop the unauthorized spread of copyrighted content? Ten years ago this month, four engineers argued that it can't, forever changing how the world thinks about piracy. Their paper, "The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution" (available as a .doc here) was presented at a security conference in Washington, DC, on November 18, 2002.

By itself, the paper's clever and provocative argument likely would have earned it a broad readership. But the really remarkable thing about the paper is who wrote it: four engineers at Microsoft whose work many expected to be at the foundation of Microsoft's future DRM schemes. The paper's lead author told Ars that the paper's pessimistic view of Hollywood's beloved copy protection schemes almost got him fired. But ten years later, its predictions have proved impressively accurate.

The paper predicted that as information technology gets more powerful, it will grow easier and easier for people to share information with each other. Over time, people will assemble themselves into what the authors called the "darknet." The term encompasses formal peer-to-peer networks such as Napster and BitTorrent, but it also includes other modes of sharing, such as swapping files over a local area network or exchanging USB thumb drives loaded with files.

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gspec writes "A little background about me: 36-year-old computer engineer working in the Bay Area. While I bring in a comfortable salary, I consider myself an underachiever, and my career is stagnant (I have only been promoted four times in my 12-year career). I have led a couple projects, but I am not in any sort of leadership/management position. I realize I need to do something to enhance my career, and unfortunately, going back to school is not an option. One thing I can do is to read more quality books. My question: which books, of any type or genre, have had a significant impact on your life?"

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Unlike actors and directors in Hollywood, game makers usually fly under the radar.

Even though videogames are becoming one of America’s biggest pastimes, and compete alongside movies and TV for our free time, game creators don’t exactly get hounded by the paparazzi.

A new project called Critical Path is trying to change that by raising the profiles of some of the videogame industry’s most influential designers.

After two years of filming, Critical Path is launching an online archive of video interviews with the industry’s superstars, including Richard Hilleman (pictured right), the producer of Madden and Tiger Woods Golf; Will Wright, a game designer for The Sims and Spore; and Todd Howard, a game director for The Elder Scrolls series.

Think of it as akin to “Inside the Actors Studio,” but instead of Dave Chappelle or Billy Crystal opining about their profession, it’s game leaders who are chatting about the art, philosophy, politics and psychology of videogames. Like the James Lipton-hosted show, the interviews don’t include any clips of the actual work, but instead keep the focus on the people and what they say.

There have been several efforts recently to help recognize how videogames have contributed to pop culture and to present the games as something larger, including an exhibit called “The Art of Video Games” at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum.

The Critical Path site was created by Los Angeles-based Artifact, which specializes in documentary films. Recent credits include “Behind the Wall: The Making of Skyrim” for Bethesda Softworks, and the HBO documentary feature “Koran By Heart.” The studio hopes to turn the dozens of clips it has archived into a documentary film, once it gets the funding.

Here’s the trailer for the project:

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