Horizon highlights – 'How'd they do that?' edition

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Our regular roundup of sci-tech stories from across the Web includes: How'd they pull off the graphics in "Benjamin Button"? And how'd people tolerate the Web in 1996? Let’s kick it off:

Jurassic Web: The Internet of 1996 is almost unrecognizable compared with what we have today
"It's 1996, and you're bored. What do you do? If you're one of the lucky people with an AOL account, you probably do the same thing you'd do in 2009: Go online. Crank up your modem, wait 20 seconds as you log in, and there you are – 'Welcome.' You check your mail, then spend a few minutes chatting with your AOL buddies about which of you has the funniest screen name." [via Slate]

Online Ads: Even the evangelists are turning bearish
"It wasn’t too many months ago that saying online advertising would decline in 2009 was enough to get you laughed at in the blogosphere, mocked on Twitter, and have Eric Schmidt roll his eyes and explain, again, why Google ads were such a better value than traditional media." [via TechCrunch]

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Video: Ed Ulbrich: How Benjamin Button got his face
"Ed Ulbrich, the digital-effects guru from Digital Domain, explains the Oscar-winning technology that allowed his team to digitally create the older versions of Brad Pitt's face for 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.' " [via TED]

Crowd Source: Website maps global Web blocks
"Internet censorship occurs worldwide for a broad range of reasons, but the exact dimensions of the problem can be hard to document. A website launching today aims to tap the power of 'crowd sourcing' – fielding and aggregating reports from volunteers – to provide real-time data on the state of Net filtering." [via Technology Review]

Why it Matters: The Pirate Bay trial is the collision of 'Can I?' and 'Should I?' cultures
"People who don't speak Swedish are missing almost all the interest of the Pirate Bay trial, which is supplied by the frankly unsavoury nature of the defendants. The money man, Carl Lundström, on whose servers The Pirate Bay was housed, is straight out of the crime novels of Stieg Larsson. He inherited a fortune built on crispbread, and has a long history of involvement with extreme rightwing politics." [via The Guardian]

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