REVIEW: Trust Machine: The Story of Blockchain [2018]

The old stuff is just weird stuff you got used to. Documentarian Alex Winter is really solidifying his place within the tech world as a storyteller willing to look at modern systems stymying the old guard and exciting the new before helping to disseminate what they mean for the world at-large. He looked back at how Napster disrupted the music scene in Downloaded (something the movie and television industry faces today to the point where a sequel in the next five to ten years wouldn’t be far-fetched) and took us…

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INTERVIEW: Alex Winter, director of Deep Web

While you may know him as Bill S. Preston, ESQ, Alex Winter the actor has effortlessly become Alex Winter the director. Hot on the heels of his successful Napster documentary Downloaded comes Deep Web: a look behind the curtain at the 96% of the internet we don’t see. But while the film began as an overview of this expansive world freely accessible by Tor—for good (journalistic anonymity) and bad (illegal drug trade)—something happened during production that blew the doors wide open. Ross Ulbricht was arrested under the accusation that he…

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SXSW15 REVIEW: Deep Web [2015]

“We are the darkness” Alex Winter‘s new documentary Deep Web provides many unanswered questions the future will certainly shed light on soon. This is its point. While also giving a layman’s education on its subject matter—the Dark Net within, Tor as a means to access it, Silk Road and other illegal marketplaces utilizing it, etc.—the driving thesis is to expose how crucial the trial of SR founder Ross Ulbricht is to understanding our basic human rights within a digital world. What happened in that courtroom at the beginning of 2015…

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REVIEW: Artifact [2013]

“We put everything on black. And we rolled the dice.” Full disclosure on my feelings about Thirty Seconds to Mars: I’m a huge fan. When “Capricorn (A Brand New Name)” hit the radio waves, I was sold—not yet aware Jared Leto was the frontman or that the music wasn’t just another lame attempt by an actor to delve into another industry he/she knew nothing about. I torrented the disc, played it heavily on my iPod, and eventually purchased it as my way of saying they earned my support. I attended…

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REVIEW: Downloaded [2013]

“No one’s going to share an mp3” Can you believe Napster existed at full capacity for only one year? One year! As the men—nay, boys—behind the peer-to-peer music-sharing phenomenon tell it, the program was perfected by December 1999 and unplugged February 12, 2001 thanks to an injunction by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). While launching in May 1999 and eventually limping to bankruptcy June 3, 2002 after ill-fated attempts to eradicate its copyright infringement issues, the disruptive force that changed the face of the internet was a newborn…

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