#ThroughTheWire 6 / 21

From pricey apples to the myths of the Internet, The Connectivist brings you the best in science, tech and TV culture news.

High Definition Thinking

Back in May, The Connectivist reported on the use of fMRI brain scans to understand exactly what goes on inside our brains when we watch TV, but this week the world’s first high resolution reconstruction of the human brain was revealed. It’s part of the $1.6 billion European initiative, the “Human Brain Project.” Researchers took a 65-year-old woman’s brain and sliced it into 7,400 incredibly thin cross sections (just 20 microns thick). They then scanned these slices with high resolution machinery to put them back together again, digitally. io9 reports that the whole process took about 1,000 work hours. Read more.

Thanks to the growing use of the word that once belonged only chirping birds, a new definition has been added to The Oxford English Dictionary. CNN reports that the word ‘tweet’ is no longer defined as meerly onomatopoeic, but has ascended to become a verb and a noun to describe social media actions. Why has it taken so long, you might wonder? “A new word needs to be current for ten years before consideration for inclusion,” John Simpson wrote on the dictionary’s website. Read more.

Broadband Mythology: No Country for Slow Broadband


Image Credit: Stephen Vuillemin

Contrary to the frequent assertion, broadband systems in America are not slower than their European cousins. In fact, this New York Times piece eloquently explains that as the U.S. climbs out of a long economic recession, networks and broadband providers have increasingly improved despite the unfavorable conditions. Read more.

Do I hear $300K? $400K?
One of the first Apple computers ever produced is being auctioned off next week with a pre-sale value of close to $500,000. The Apple 1 from 1976 was personally designed and sold by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, and USA Today says it’s being called a ‘piece of history’. Read more.

Celebrating Futurama
After 14 years of building a sci-fi comedy within a cartooned cast, Futurama began its final season as a television series on Comedy Central this week. And while creator Matt Groenig and producer David X Cohen might have less to talk about where production is concerned, Vulture says that they’ll have plenty to reminisce about. Read more.

Inside Pixar Studios
Speaking of great cartoons, Pixar, the animation studio best known for its ability to produce a top-selling films year after year for over half a decade, is set to release another, Monster’s University. CNET looks at what it actually takes to finish an animated masterpiece, besides four years of production time. Read more.

Firefox Moves Forward
After recent cyber scandals, the popular web browser has confirmed that it is continuing to develop a tab that will allow users to refuse tracking during their time online (much like Google Chrome’s incognito function). It’s doing all this despite what The Washington Post calls “intense resistance from advertising groups, which have argued that tracking is essential to delivering well-targeted, lucrative ads.” Read more.

Behind the Rejected Scenes
It can be easy to get lost in the dialogue during a show’s pivotal moment, but for these writers, these scenes are also about learning how and when to cut back and let the actors do their job. The Hollywood Reporter lets us in on how to edit those scenes that might convey the emotion and intensity needed for a great season opener, or even a series finale. Read more.