Three friends dream up the Compaq portable computer at a Texas diner in 1981, and soon find themselves battling mighty IBM for PC supremacy. Their improbable journey altered the future of computing and shaped the world we now know.
After he is diagnosed with ALS, former professional football player Steve Gleason begins making a video diary for his unborn son, as he, his wife, and their friends and family work to raise money for ALS patients as his disease progresses.
From ticket-fixing in our police departments to test-score scandals in our schools, from our elected leaders' extra-marital affairs to financial schemes undermining our economy, dishonesty ... See full summary »
With more board configurations than there are atoms in the observable universe, the ancient Chinese game of 'Go' has long been considered a grand challenge for artificial intelligence. On ... See full summary »
SlingShot focuses on noted Segway inventor Dean Kamen and his work to solve the world's water crisis. An eccentric genius with a provocative world view, Kamen is an inspiration for future ... See full summary »
Feature documentary about legendary oceanographer, marine biologist, environmentalist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle, and her campaign to create a global network of protected marine sanctuaries.
Bitcoin is the most disruptive invention since the Internet, and now an ideological battle is underway between fringe utopists and mainstream capitalism. The film shows the players who are defining how this technology will shape our lives.
"Print the Legend" may, on the surface, seem like a dry documentary about technology and innovators using buzzwords to talk about utopic futures. Instead, it is a truly fascinating film that takes a step back from the programming of 1s and 0s to focus instead on the results of that "programming" of neurochemicals, nature and nurture that give shape to our human behavior. The documentary starts around the time MakerBot (presented in the film as the first 3D-printer company to focus on consumer rather than industrial products, to become well-known) is starting to fill its niche and make a name for itself. Shortly after we are introduced to Formlabs, another 3D-printer company presented in the documentary not too long after its founding. Personalities from both companies as well as elsewhere in the technology and 3D-printing spheres talk about an upcoming "technological revolution", based on 3D-printers potentially becoming a household item, as a future reality that will come smoothly. About 30 minutes into the film, jealousy, interpersonal tensions, ambition, resentment, greed, fame, all start to take hold of some of these initially-idealistic entrepreneurs and make it clear that the coming of this revolution will be anything but smooth.
The documentary does not veer into melodramatic territory however, as the emotional moments are balanced with actual discussions about the technology and its potential impact. In fact, one of its most interesting thread-lines is based on Cody Wilson, an anarcho-activist with an ideal for a world in which 3D-printed deadly weapons are accessible to anyone, and the reactions of the industry and authorities to such a radical concept. The film likewise benefits from very fortunate timing as showing Formlabs's relative "infancy", MakerBot's "teen and early adult" years and the "middle-age" of older, established industrial-3D-printing companies like 3DSystems and Stratasys (now wanting to enter the consumer-level market too) allows us to compare how the companies and personalities that form them change with their personal aging as well as the fast aging of the market and technology. One particularly notable case is MakerBot's definition period resulting in a shift from its early ideal of open-source engineering (in which anyone can collaborate in hopes of making a better product rather than in hopes of monetary gain) to the closed-source version of it (in which work is traded for a salary and the ultimate goal is for the company to make profits, better products along with copyright and intellectual property-based incomes, being only means to that end). This contrasted to 3DSystems's supposed shift away from taking legal action for the use of their IPs in search of a freer environment for development of the industry and products (a shift that by the end of the documentary seems to have had more ideological than practical results).
Altogether, I found "Print the Legend" to be more surprising and interesting than expected, although dragged down a bit by its edition, mostly in the form of a somewhat overlong runtime. The film brings to mind other historical cases of emotional, human actions perhaps getting in the way of technological progress (and perhaps fueling them a bit too), like the now famous rivalries of Tesla/Edison, or Jobs/Gates, in the progress showing how the human condition is so incongruous. It is completely human to be emotional and illogical, to put personal ambitions before "greater good"s; it's also completely human to believe in the greater good, to have ideals and to want to make a better world; but perhaps there is nothing more completely human than drawing a blank when trying to come up with ways to reconcile these two sides, specially without losing even a bit of what makes us human in the way.
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