Category: Technology Documentaries

The Internet’s Own Boy

Opening Hot Docs 2014 was The Internet’s Own Boy, a documentary about the life of internet pioneer Aaron Swartz. It takes you through the life of Aaron (as an incredibly smart kid, the creation of RSS, the creation and sale of Reddit, etc.) and, in that, Aaron’s development as a person dedicated to making information available to everyone — i.e. allow everyone to gain knowledge free online.

It was during this process to make information available to everyone, that he was caught downloading information from JSTOR (an online holding of academic journals and such) via MIT’s connection, however the end intention of that information wasn’t actually known. Some surmised that he was going to study the data and find a corruption link between study donors and the journal findings.
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Internet Archive

If you ever used the “Wayback Machine” you may find this interesting.
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Downloaded

Downloaded‘ is the Napster story. How it began, what happened, and how it ended. I found it really well done. Not too much to say, as many of us used the program back in the day – and know the story of it’s demise. One thing I found interesting, is that the co-founders actually met over IRC as Shawn Fanning was working on the project. It’s well put together. At one point (the legal battle) it drags a bit, but it’s overall very well done. I rate it 4/5 — as seen at Hot Docs.
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Sexy Baby

Sexy Baby is a well done film about the sexual nature of today’s society (partially due to the Internet) and the effects of that. The film follows three women of different ages and lifestyles. I would say especially for those thinking about having kids (or who have young kids) this may be one for you.
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We Are Legion: The Story Of The Hacktivists

I found “We Are Legion: The Story Of The Hacktivists” quite fascinating. If you’re hip to everything regarding 4chan and Anonymous and such then I’m guessing you’ll find this less so, as it’s basically an explanation of how this group developed over time. One especially interesting aspect is how this online group of people (some would say ‘outcasts’) who basically stuck to humour online, banded together when they were ‘attacked’ by (more) mainstream groups (Church of Scientology, etc). From there the group seems to split between those who are just in it for the jokes, those who are in it for “good cause” activism (including helping out w/ the Middle East government downfalls) and those who simply create chaos for no real reason. Some eventually become part of the Occupy movement. If you’re not familiar w/ everything to do w/ this, definitely give it a watch: 4/5 @ HotDocs.
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