Category: Media

The Criterion Channel removes paywall on classic black cinema in support of Black Lives Matter


The Criterion Channel, one of the lesser-known streaming services, this week removed the paywall on several important movies from black filmmakers, allowing anyone to watch them for free. It also expressed its support of the Black Lives Matter and its commitment to financial support of civil rights organizations. Black Lives Matter. pic.twitter.com/aRwDVjuI0O — Criterion Collection (@Criterion) June 4, 2020 The Criterion Collection, the media company behind the site, posted a message on Twitter about using their platform to “highlight films that focus on Black Lives.” While you normally have to subscribe to watch films on its streaming platform, Criterion’s moved…

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HBO Max has launched — here’s what you need to get started


Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff. The time has come: HBO Max, the latest competitor in the streaming wars, has launched. You can sign up for the 7-day free trial now and get started watching some classic films or some excellent TV shows. Here’s how you can get started on the new platform. The wait is finally over. #HBOMax is officially here. If you need me, I’ll be streaming. https://t.co/uOL8RByhNp — HBO Max (@hbomax) May 27, 2020 HBO Max is $15/month for…

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How to tell HBO Max, Now, and Go apart


Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff. HBO‘s parent company WarnerMedia is launching its streaming platform, HBO Max, this week. With this launch, WarnerMedia can join the rest of the massive media companies vying for attention in the streaming wars. But how does HBO Max relate to HBO Now, or HBO Go, for that matter? What do these services have in common, besides the name? Whoever in Warner’s design department approved the name “HBO Max” needs to be dressed down. I get…

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Research: political hashtags make online news discussions more extreme


Whether you’re a conservative or a liberal, you have most likely come across a political hashtag in an article, a tweet or a personal story shared on Facebook. A hashtag is a functional tag widely used in search engines and social networking services that allow people to search for content that falls under the word or phrase, followed by the # sign. First popularized by Twitter in 2009, the use of hashtags has become widespread. Nearly anything political with the intent of attracting a wide audience is now branded with a catchy hashtag. Take for example, election campaigns (#MAGA), social…

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Disney debuts Zenimation, which mixes soothing sounds with familiar art


Disney today launched its latest series, called Zenimation, a collection of shorts that combine the company’s animation with some soothing sound effects. I don’t know about y’all, but something like this was exactly what I needed to help cure my quarantine fatigue. Indulge your senses. All episodes of @DisneyAnimation’s #Zenimation, an Original Series, now streaming on #DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/1NSkirtNvI — Disney+ (@disneyplus) May 22, 2020 Each Zenimation short loops together art from some of Disney’s animated films with sound effects such as wind, rain, animal noises, and other soothing sounds. The animation is pulled from classics like Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and Lion…

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China’s latest AI news anchor mimics human voices and gestures in 3D


Chinese state news agency Xinhua has added an AI 3D news anchor to its lineup of virtual presenters. Named Xin Xiaowei, the publicity stunt avatar was jointly developed by Xinhua and search engine Sogou. The 3D anchor is modeled on Zhao Wanwei, a real-life reporter for the news agency. Her digital counterpart is brought to life by “multi-modal recognition and synthesis, facial recognition and animation and transfer learning,” according to Sogou. The company claims that this allows it to imitate human voices, facial expressions, lip movements, and mannerisms using only text inputs. [Read: New Zealand’s first AI police officer reports for duty] Check it out in…

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The Snyder Cut of Justice League exists and it will release on HBO Max


It’s happened. Dedicated DC film fans have finally seen their patience rewarded as Warner will #ReleasetheSnyderCut on its nascent HBO Max streaming service next year. This is real. #releasethesnydercut@HBOMax pic.twitter.com/Cnvupwg48W — Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) May 20, 2020 Director Zach Snyder announced the release during an online watch party (a common social activity people have partaken of in quarantine). He told the Hollywood Reporter his version will be “an entirely new thing” compared with the theatrical release, and it could be released either in a massive director’s cut, or perhaps in several “chapters.” To catch you up, HBO Max is the streaming…

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Twitch is finally getting the Safety Advisory Council it desperately needs


Twitch today revealed that, in a bid to keep its community “safe and healthy,” it’s put together a safety advisory council to help fix its rules and its increasingly unruly viewers and streamers. What exactly they’ll do remains to be seen, but Twitch‘s myriad problems mean the platform has to try something. We’re taking a big step forward for community safety. Meet the new Twitch Safety Advisory Council. Made up of Twitch creators and online safety experts, the council will advise us on policy updates, new products, healthy streaming habits, and more: https://t.co/HwPo0aanCr pic.twitter.com/l7XIhibsht — Twitch (@Twitch) May 14, 2020 The…

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Hamilton comes to Disney+ this July, a year ahead of schedule


Disney revealed this week it’s bringing the filmed version of the Hamilton stage show to Disney+ over a year before it was originally intended to be released. It’s pretty likely the House of Mouse bumped up the release to draw viewers to Disney+ during the quarantine, when streaming is king. But no matter their motives, it’ll be great to both see Hamilton and have something new to watch on Disney+. Surprise! The original Broadway production of Hamilton, filmed LIVE onstage at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, is now coming exclusively to #DisneyPlus this July 3rd. Shout it to the rooftops! #Hamilfilm pic.twitter.com/4FK4lZhcO6 — Disney+ (@disneyplus)…

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The Artist in the Machine: The bigger picture of AI and creativity


Will machines ever be able to replace or replicate human creativity? That is a question that we repeatedly ask ourselves as we continue to innovate and invent new creative tools. The printing press, the gramophone, the camera, the camcorder, the typewriter, the synthesizer, word processors, photo editing software, and many other tools we have invented over the past centuries have brought fundamental changes to creativity and arts. But what has remained constant throughout history is the human element. Though affected by those inventions, human thought has remained central to creativity. Will that change with artificial intelligence? I think not. It was…

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