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      The long-rumored Starfleet Academy TV series will finally get made / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 30 March, 2023 - 21:12

    The crew of the <em>Enterprise</em> in <em>Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan</em>, a film with many references to Starfleet Academy.

    Enlarge / The crew of the Enterprise in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan , a film with many references to Starfleet Academy. (credit: Paramount)

    There's officially another Star Trek series on the way, and this time it's one we've been hearing rumors about since 2018: Starfleet Academy .

    Announced today in a press release and reported by Deadline , the CBS Studios-produced series will follow a group of teenage Starfleet Academy students as they come of age while enduring rigorous training for future interstellar missions.

    The central characters will reportedly have to navigate friendships, rivalries, and romances as they face a new enemy that threatens the Federation.

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      GM plans to let you talk to your car with ChatGPT, Knight Rider-style / ArsTechnica · Monday, 13 March, 2023 - 19:31

    COLOGNE, GERMANY - OCTOBER 24: David Hasselhoff attends the

    Enlarge / The 1982 TV series Knight Rider featured a car called KITT that a character played by David Hasselhoff (pictured) could talk to. (credit: Getty Images)

    In the 1982 TV series Knight Rider , the main character can have a full conversation with his futuristic car. Once science fiction, this type of language interface may soon be one step closer to reality because General Motors is working on bringing a ChatGPT-style AI assistant to its automobiles, according to Semafor and Reuters .

    While GM won't be adding Knight Rider -style turbojet engines or crime-fighting weaponry to its vehicles, its cars may eventually talk back to you in an intelligent-sounding way, thanks to a collaboration with Microsoft.

    Microsoft has invested heavily in OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT. Now, they're looking for ways to apply chatbot technology to many different fields.

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      Little Fish is a haunting meditation on memory’s role in our sense of self

      Jennifer Ouellette · / ArsTechnica · Monday, 8 February, 2021 - 20:15 · 1 minute

    Olivia Cooke and Jack O'Connell star as a young couple struggling to stay together as a memory-wiping virus spreads unchecked in Little Fish .

    A young couple fights to hold its relationship together in the midst of pandemic, where a memory loss virus is robbing everyone of their memories in Little Fish , a new science fiction romantic drama from IFC Films. Directed by Chad Hartigan , this thoughtful, genuinely moving film explores themes of memory, self, and the power of shared experiences to forge strong bonds between us, all through the lens of an otherwise average, ordinary Everycouple.

    (Some spoilers below.)

    The film is loosely based on a short story by Aja Gabel , about a young couple dealing with the man losing his memories in a fictional pandemic, although screenwriter Mattson Tomlin ( Project Power ) substantially rewrote and fleshed out this core idea. This was well before the current pandemic, but even in the Before Times of 2018, Hartigan was struck by the concept of the world metaphorically crumbling around two people who clung to optimism for the future—and each other. "We never could have imagined or predicted that this would be the case," Hartigan told Ars. "It always felt to me like an emotional story with a science fiction backdrop."

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      “Warp speed,” “Prime Directive” predate Star Trek, per new reference tool

      Jennifer Ouellette · / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 27 January, 2021 - 19:54 · 1 minute

    Screenshot from a Star Trek film.

    Enlarge / The term "warp drive" actually predates its first use in the long-running Star Trek franchise by 14 years. (credit: Paramount Pictures )

    There's no denying the profound influence that the Star Trek franchise has had on our shared popular culture. But it turns out that some of the best-known terms associated with the series— transporter, warp speed , and the famous Prime Directive —actually predate Star Trek: The Original Series by a decade or more. According to Jesse Sheidlower, a lexicographer and editor of the newly launched online Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction (HDSF), the first mention of those terms appeared in 1956, 1952, and 1940, respectively.

    The origins of this new online resource date back to 2001, when Sheidlower was working for the venerable Oxford English Dictionary (OED). "OED has always been a crowdsourced entity," Sheidlower told Ars. "In fact, it was probably the first crowdsourced thing." Back in the late 19th century, OED editors typically placed notices in newspapers and magazines asking people to read various materials and contribute to their coverage of the English language.

    While at OED, Sheidlower noted that science fiction was an area that was not very well served by scholarship, partly because science fiction hasn't had much serious literary cache historically. That meant that the most significant (and rare) pulp magazines weren't available in the usual archives, like the Library of Congress or the New York Public Library. So he set up a Science Fiction Citations Project (SFCP) and called on the science fiction community (fans and writers alike) to submit examples of the specialized terminology they found, all curated by moderators.

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      Poignant The Midnight Sky wrestles with whether mankind is worth saving

      Jennifer Ouellette · / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 24 December, 2020 - 16:36 · 1 minute

    "I hate being cold more than anything in the world," actor/director George Clooney confesses in a featurette (embedded below) on the making of his new post-apocalyptic science fiction film, The Midnight Sky .  But in order to play a terminally ill astronomer in the Arctic after a cataclysmic event kills most of the people on Earth, Clooney had to endure weeks of shooting in frigid conditions in Iceland. The film is adapted from the critically acclaimed 2016 debut novel, Good Morning, Midnight , by Lily Brooks-Dalton, which has been compared to Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora and Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven .

    (Some mild spoilers below, but no major reveals.)

    In the novel, a brilliant astronomer named Augustine is posted to the Arctic, scanning the night sky for clues about the birth of the universe. Then a mysterious global apocalypse occurs, prompting all his fellow scientists to evacuate. But Augustine remains behind, dedicated to continuing his research, even as the airwaves go silent. Meanwhile, a team of astronauts aboard the spaceship Aether is set to return to Earth after a mission to Jupiter. On board is Sully, who sacrificed her marriage and left her daughter behind in order to become one of the first humans to travel so far in our Solar System. The astronauts are unaware of the catastrophe that has befallen Earth, and it falls to Augustine to warn them not to return.

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      Humanity is in danger of becoming obsolete technology in LX 2048

      Jennifer Ouellette · / ArsTechnica · Sunday, 20 December, 2020 - 15:00 · 1 minute

    James D'Arcy stars as a terminally ill man who gets the chance to "upgrade" his life in Guy Moshe's sci-fi film LX 2048 .

    A fatally ill man tries to secure the future of his family in a near-future world where the toxicity of the Sun forces people to stay inside during the daytime in LX 2048 , starring James D'Arcy ( Agent Carter, Homeland ). It's a flawed yet thought-provoking surreal science-fiction film, chock-full of big ideas on our relationship to technology and what it means to be human and anchored by D'Arcy's fantastic performance.

    (Some spoilers below.)

    D'Arcy plays Adam Bird, a married father of three on the brink of divorce from his wife, Reena (Anna Brewster). The year is 2048, and people are largely living indoors during the day because the sunlight is powerful enough to scald human skin instantly. Everyone spends most of their time in a virtual world known as The Realm. (The fact that Reena caught Adam virtually cavorting with his AI lover is just one of their many marital issues.) Everyone also takes regular doses of LithiumX to ward off depression. Adam, however, clings to his old habits, driving a convertible to the office in a hazmat suit and refusing to take the drug.

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      Greenland is as much a love story as an epic spectacle of impending disaster

      Jennifer Ouellette · / ArsTechnica · Friday, 18 December, 2020 - 17:55

    Gerard Butler stars as a structural engineer in Atlanta who must get his family to safety in the face of a looming extinction event in Greenland .

    The Earth is facing an extinction-level event from an interstellar comet as a man and his family race against time to find safe haven in Greenland , a new disaster thriller starring Gerard Butler (300, Angel Has Fallen ) and directed by Ric Roman Waugh ( Snitch, Angel Has Fallen ).

    (Some spoilers below, but no major reveals.)

    Per the official premise:

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      What makes The Expanse so great: Good science, balancing epic with personal

      Jennifer Ouellette · / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 16 December, 2020 - 20:43

    <em>The Expanse</em> returns to Amazon Prime for another epic season.

    Enlarge / The Expanse returns to Amazon Prime for another epic season. (credit: Amazon Prime)

    Amazon Prime's epic science fiction series The Expanse is back for its fifth season. In her review last week, Ars' Tech Policy Reporter Kate Cox called it "the best [season] since its first, a long-awaited high-stakes payoff to several seasons' worth of setup," adding, "if you drifted away from the show during earlier seasons, like something accidentally dropped in microgravity, this new season makes it worth finding a way to come back."

    (Some spoilers below, but no major reveals.)

    As we've noted previously , The Expanse is based on a series of novels by James S.A. Corey (the pen name for writing team Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck), exploring interplanetary tensions that are breaking out all over a Solar System long since colonized by humans—mostly between Earthers, Martians, and "Belters." Part mystery, part political thriller , part classic space opera, The Expanse has earned almost nothing but praise from critics and its devoted fans alike, not just for its gripping storytelling but also its excellent use of accurate physics .

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