Media


Best media streaming device

PCWorld

Whether you've just gotten rid of cable or want to supplement your TV package with online video, now's an excellent time to buy a media streaming device. Compared to the typical smart TV, standalone streamers such as the Roku Streaming Stick and Amazon Fire TV tend to have bigger app selections, faster performance, and more features. And with so much competition between device makers, the hardware is becoming faster, more capable, and more affordable. We constantly test all the latest devices, including Roku players, Fire TV devices, Android TV devices, Apple TV, and Chromecast. We review each new generation of hardware and constantly revisit the software and app selection so we can help you determine which platform is right for you.


Motion-tracking projector puts a laser show on moving faces

Engadget

The combination of face-mapping and video projections makes for a trippy experience. The technology transforms the human face into a canvas for digital art. When a bright red lightning bolt appeared on Lady Gaga's face during her David Bowie tribute at the Grammys last year, the projection mapping technique went from niche studios to a mainstream audience. Now, the studio behind that performance has dropped a visual experiment called Inori to demonstrate the pace and precision of a new system. Nobumichi Asai, creative director of a Japanese visual studio called WOW, is a new media artist who is known for experimenting with face-mapping and video projections.


Technology in Africa: Startup Uses AI To Create Sport News TDMB

#artificialintelligence

Our social media guy David Dhannoo remains in Africa, following on from his article last week about the rise of FinTech on the continent. Dave's technology in Africa series now looks at how a startup in Southern Africa is using artificial intelligence to source news articles. Controvert Media from Zimbabwe has implemented the use of artificial intelligence to automatically write and post news articles. They caught my attention from when they trialled their AI idea at the recent African Cup of Nations which took place Gabon. The startup used an AI bot that puts together basic reports on final match reports, taking into account the match scores, player performance data, and so on.


Personal Shopper,' 'Raw' and more critics' picks, March 10-16

Los Angeles Times

The Founder Michael Keaton gives a performance of ratty, reptilian brilliance as Ray Kroc, the American salesman who turned a California burger stand into the global fast-food behemoth that is McDonald's, in John Lee Hancock's shrewd and satisfyingly fat-free biopic. I Am Not Your Negro As directed by the gifted Raoul Peck, this documentary on James Baldwin uses the entire spectrum of movie effects, not only spoken language but also sound, music, editing and all manner of visuals, to create a cinematic essay that is powerful and painfully relevant. La La Land Starring a well-paired Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, writer-director Damien Chazelle's tuneful tribute to classic movie musicals is often stronger in concept than execution, but it's lovely and transporting all the same. Land of Mine Explosive devices that can detonate at any moment are intrinsically dramatic, and this Danish World War II film makes good use of that plot mechanism, but it has a whole lot more going for it as well. Manchester by the Sea Powerful, emotional filmmaking that leaves a scar, Kenneth Lonergan's drama starring Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams is both heartbreaking and heartening, a film that just wallops you with its honesty, its authenticity and its access to despair.


Predicting the 2017 Oscar Winners With BigML - DZone Big Data

#artificialintelligence

Machine Learning is accelerating its transition from academia to industry. We see more and more media outlets reporting about it, but most of the time they exclusively focus on the final results and don't look into all the human-powered tasks that happen behind the scenes... the stuff that really makes the magic possible. So for most people, Machine Learning continues to be some sort of elusive magic. We were recently approached by One, the Vodafone-sponsored section of El Pais, to explain how Machine Learning works and, after giving it some thought, we decided to explain it using a simple example in a domain everyone is familiar with. As the 89th annual Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Award ceremony draws near and movie fans all over the world are getting ready for their office pools, we couldn't resist the temptation to take a stab at predicting the 2017 Oscars by applying some BigML-powered Machine Learning courtesy of our own Teresa Álvarez and Cándido Zuriaga.


Essential Arts & Culture: Parsing Measure S, 'Fun Home' inspires genuflection, SCI-Arc goes to Mexico

Los Angeles Times

The award-winning show inspired by a singular graphic memoir. Plus: SCI-Arc in Mexico City, Oscar-nominated films that emerged from important plays, and a longtime curator leaves the downtown gallery he helped establish. I'm Carolina A. Miranda, staff writer for the Los Angeles, and I'm in your inbox with a weekly digest of everything culture: On March 7, Los Angeles will head to the polls to vote on a development measure that could affect the profile of the city. Measure S (formerly known as the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative) seeks to put a two-year moratorium on development projects that require an amendment to the city's general plan, among other factors. Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne parses the measure and its backers, whose roots lie in anti-growth initiatives from the 1980s -- and whose vision of Los Angeles seems to lie squarely in the 1960s.


'My Life as a Zucchini,' 'Toni Erdmann' and more critics' picks, Feb. 24-March 2

Los Angeles Times

Arrival Amy Adams stars in this elegant, involving science-fiction drama that is simultaneously old and new, revisiting many alien-invasion conventions but with unexpected intelligence, visual style and heart. Elle Paul Verhoeven's brilliantly booby-trapped thriller starring Isabelle Huppert is a gripping whodunit, a tour de force of psychological suspense and a wickedly droll comedy of manners. The Founder Michael Keaton gives a performance of ratty, reptilian brilliance as Ray Kroc, the American salesman who turned a California burger stand into the global fast-food behemoth that is McDonald's, in John Lee Hancock's shrewd and satisfyingly fat-free biopic. I Am Not Your Negro As directed by the gifted Raoul Peck, this documentary on James Baldwin uses the entire spectrum of movie effects, not only spoken language but also sound, music, editing and all manner of visuals, to create a cinematic essay that is powerful and painfully relevant. La La Land Starring a well-paired Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, writer-director Damien Chazelle's tuneful tribute to classic movie musicals is often stronger in concept than execution, but it's lovely and transporting all the same.


How AI Can Make Your Marketing More Intelligent and Less Artificial

#artificialintelligence

What comes to mind when you think of a door-to-door salesman? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that terms like "phony" or "artificial" come to mind. The words phony and artificial probably aren't on your radar when a movie or product suggestion pops up on your phone or computer, right? In fact, it's quite the opposite. As consumers, we generally trust that these accounts, curated with information about us, are actually fairly well qualified to make recommendations and influence our media consumption and purchasing decisions.


Motion capture and visual effects bring back Tarkin for 'Rogue One'

Los Angeles Times

One of the best-kept secrets of 2016 was the fact that a major character in Gareth Edwards' "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" would be appearing on screen for the first time since the actor who portrayed him passed away over 20 years ago. Through visual effects wizardry and a live-action performance by actor Guy Henry, the commander of the first Death Star in 1977's "Star Wars," Grand Moff Tarkin, was brought back to the big screen as though the late Peter Cushing was still portraying him. For John Knoll, it was the most difficult aspect of his responsibilities as visual effects supervisor on the global blockbuster. An Oscar winner for his work on "Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man's Chest," Knoll believes the illusion wouldn't have succeeded without Henry's presence. The effects team's job was effectively that of someone who would be creating cosmetic or prosthetic makeup.


The Creative Processor

AITopics Original Links

With a souped-up reproducing piano and some ingenious learning machines, AI maestro Gerhard Widmer is discovering how performers unlock the art in Mozart. A gray-blue dusk is settling over the Gothic cathedrals, palatial opera houses, and labyrinthine streets of Vienna's First District. Here in the Austrian capital, music is an almost elemental force. You're just as likely to overhear the sound of a young diva practicing operatic vocal scales as the thump of a sleek techno-innovator like Patrick Pulsinger playing in some ancient cellar just out of sight. It's a place where very old and very new musical traditions collide and intermingle – the perfect setting for a computer scientist obsessed with examining the blips and fault lines, deviations and inventions, that transform music into something more than code and just slightly less than magic.