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What's on TV this week: 'Mass Effect,' 'Love, Death & Robots' and 'Castlevania'

Engadget

This week viewers can pick up some catalog titles in 4K, like Saw, as well as 20th Anniversary Edition versions of Shrek and the first Fast and the Furious movie. But the major launch this week is Bioware's remastered version of the Mass Effect trilogy, now available across console generations and on PC, with improved graphics, gameplay and almost all of the content ever released for the games. Otherwise, Netflix has the final season of Castlevania, as well as a new round of episodes in the Love Death & Robots anthology. HBO's feature film release of the week is Those Who Wish Me Dead, and if you're looking for something a little different then try Intergalactic, a sci-fi prison break series from the UK that's streaming on Peacock. Look below to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed). Let's Be Real, Fox, 9:30 PM Everything's Gonna Be Okay, Freeform, 10 PM All times listed are ET.


The Walt Disney Company renews vows with AWS for Disney+ global rollout - Cloud Computing News

#artificialintelligence

The Walt Disney Company has reaffirmed its commitment to Amazon Web Services (AWS) for the global rollout of its streaming service, Disney . Disney is'expanding its use of AWS… services to include more than 50 technologies, such as machine learning, database, storage, content delivery, serverless, and analytics', in the words of the press materials. One example is Amazon Kinesis, an AWS service which helps with the real-time collection, processing and analysing of real-time streaming data. Another is Amazon DynamoDB, AWS' key value database. Disney also utilises Amazon Timestream, AWS' serverless, time series database built for large scale ingestion and real-time querying of data.


Roku's new Voice Remote Pro lets you ditch batteries for good

Mashable

Once upon a time in a world where streaming was still a novelty, TV remotes were filled with what seemed like thousands of buttons. They were complicated to navigate and intimidating to use. On top of all that input overload, you also had to memorize an ever-increasing glut of channel numbers and then punch them into a number pad like you were calling someone on the phone. It was cumbersome but we accepted it. Over the past several years, however, streaming's dominance has shifted the remote's form and function from an overwhelmingly long channel changer to a simple and compact menu navigator. Roku, a pioneer which helped popularize dedicated streaming hardware more than a decade ago, is back to further cement this sea change with an upgraded remote that brings even more quality-of-life improvements.


Apple TV snaps up another Tom Hanks movie

Engadget

Apple is once again betting on a Tom Hanks movie to attract viewers and awards. Deadline has learned that Apple TV has bought the rights to Finch (formerly Bios), a sci-fi movie that stars Hanks as the namesake character who builds a robot to take care of his dog once he's gone. The three set out into a post-apocalyptic American West where Finch teaches his robot the "joy and wonder" of being alive. The tech giant won a "very competitive" bidding war between streaming services, according to Deadline. Finch was originally meant as a Universal release.


Best streaming device in 2021: Top media players compared

ZDNet

Streaming our favorite shows and movies has become not only popular but during the pandemic, they became a necessity to keep ourselves entertained. Whether it's reruns of The Office or watching the hottest new series on Netflix, streaming devices and sticks bring hours of entertainment into our living rooms and bedrooms with the push of a button or two. And because of that, the devices you use to stream are one of the most important -- but often overlooked -- gadgets we all have in our living rooms. Apple just updated the Apple TV 4K, with sales starting on April 30. It's the first major update to Apple's streaming device since 2017, and it was long overdue.


Gender and Genre in "Made for Love" and "Mare of Easttown"

The New Yorker

"Made for Love," which is now streaming on HBO Max, opens on a vast expanse of desert, empty save for a geometric building in the distance. A lid on the ground is unlatched, and out pops a woman in a sequinned dress, gasping for breath, her hair drenched with water and a little blood. The woman is Hazel Green, and she is portrayed by Cristin Milioti, a strongly expressive actor who has become known for deploying her feral intellect to outsmart male villains in science-fiction thrillers. If you have seen Milioti take down a video-game dictator in the "Black Mirror" episode "USS Callister," or hack a time-loop purgatory in the 2020 comedy "Palm Springs," then you might be able to guess the story of "Made for Love," even before Hazel raises her middle finger at the structure on the horizon. The place is clearly the source of some terror--one that is futuristic yet eerily familiar.


Top Big AI Trends and Challenges Impacting Media, Advertising & Entertainment Industry

#artificialintelligence

I recently interviewed some of the top data science leaders from Comcast/Freewheel, Condé Nast, ViacomCBS, Audoir, USA Today Network, and Samba TV on the biggest trends, challenges, and opportunities they see for ML & AI in media, advertising, & entertainment -- and what the future may hold. What are some of the biggest trends you'll see being adopted by the entertainment and media industries? Christopher Whitely, Senior Director of Applied Analytics at Comcast/FreeWheel, shares "There are a few areas that we'll see adopted by M&E industries in the coming months and years, including more contextual advertising, where advertising creative assets are matched to appropriate program content algorithmically. Federated learning is also a new trend, which refers to modeling using machine learning without sharing data sets. Privacy is important, so I expect we'll see continued use of aggregated customer segments and clean rooms for marketing and analytics. Also, lookalike models will help advertisers reach potential customers and optimize campaigns for the greatest effect."


10 funniest comedies on Hulu because we all need a laugh

Mashable

Hulu's movie library is here to help. From cult classics to recent gems, Hulu boasts a collection of hundreds of comedies. The prospect of wading through all of them can be daunting, especially since some movies may be leaving Hulu soon or require an add-on subscription to watch. No need to panic though: We've gone through Hulu's catalog already and narrowed it down to the cream of the crop. Here are the best comedies on Hulu that you can watch without an extra subscription.


Netflix's Latest Hit Continues an Argument Sci-Fi Fans Have Been Having for Decades

Slate

Embedded in the narrative DNA of the new Netflix movie Stowaway is one of the most iconic and controversial science-fiction short stories ever published, "The Cold Equations," by Tom Godwin. Like "The Cold Equations," Stowaway is the story of a spaceship journey that hits a snag when an additional passenger is discovered onboard. The ship can't complete its trip with the extra drain on its resources, so somebody has to go out the airlock. "The Cold Equations" first appeared in the August 1954 edition of Astounding magazine, whose editor, John W. Campbell Jr., played a major role in defining the genre of "hard science fiction"--that is, stories fundamentally concerned with the accurate depiction of science and technology. According to legend, Campbell sent the story back to Godwin several times because the author kept trying to find a way for the characters to wriggle out of the story's central dilemma and achieve a happy ending.


How 'Superstore' nailed the chaos and complexities of robots in the workplace

Mashable

It's hard not to feel like technology is taking over when you turn on the TV and see some of your favorite characters dealing with their own personal robot revolution. Television shows have tackled emerging technologies and workplace modernization over the years, but few have hit the nail on the head quite as precisely as Justin Spitzer's workplace comedy, Superstore. Superstore, which follows a quirky group of employees at the giant, fictional Cloud 9 department store, premiered on NBC in 2015 and concluded its six-season run in March 2021. The show, which starred America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, and Lauren Ash, famously spoke to pressing hot-button issues, including politics, immigration, the environment, #MeToo, and cultural appropriation. Throughout it all, writers established a deep sense of relatability between their characters and real-life retail employees by addressing the growing presence of tech in the workplace.