The Sundance Film Festival Advances Tech for Hybrid Model

The Sundance Film Festival is returning to Park City, Utah in January after holding its last annual event entirely online. The 2022 Festival will introduce a new hybrid format that will expand The Spaceship, a virtual venue of the New Frontier exhibition where attendees can socialize and visit virtual reality and mixed reality installations. Sundance is also introducing a new Biodigital Bridge, a human-scale screen that will connect “festivalgoers in Park City and those attending The Spaceship online from anywhere in the world — establishing the Festival as a metaverse that overlays the physical event with a virtual one.” Continue reading The Sundance Film Festival Advances Tech for Hybrid Model

Nvidia Introduces a Full-Stack Solution for Zero Trust Security

Nvidia is fast-tracking its cybersecurity efforts, emphasizing zero trust through new product integrations designed to protect enterprise customers from attack while supporting artificial intelligence, machine learning and server workloads that scale. Earlier this month Nvidia promoted its full-stack data center security solution: DOCA 1.2 accelerated software, running on BlueField-3 DPUs using the Morpheus AI framework — a configuration that can “secure a data center at every touchpoint,” including users, devices and the data itself, Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang explained at Nvidia’s GTC 2021 event earlier this month. Continue reading Nvidia Introduces a Full-Stack Solution for Zero Trust Security

Samsung Plans to Construct a $17 Billion Chip Plant in Texas

Samsung has announced plans to build a $17 billion chip plant in Taylor, Texas. The news comes on the heels of a government push to jump-start more U.S. semiconductor manufacturing and Senate approval of $52 billion in industry subsidies for new processor factories. The South Korea-based electronics giant already operates a chip fabrication plant in Austin, Texas, opened in 1997 and expanded in 2007. The Taylor facility will create new sourcing for chips, which have become precious amidst a global shortage, although the new factory is not expected to become operational until 2024. Continue reading Samsung Plans to Construct a $17 Billion Chip Plant in Texas

Intel Ramps Up Efforts to Reclaim Top Position in Chip Market

Supply chain woes have underscored a global shortage in high-end computer chips. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s claim of 53 percent of the world market is practically a political crisis, as China eyes Taiwan. Now, California-based Intel plans to reclaim its once preeminent title in chip manufacturing and design. Under new CEO Pat Gelsinger, the company has doubled its number of chips in development, abandoning the “fabless” future some envisioned for it, selling off factories and joining the likes of Nvidia, AMD and Qualcomm, which build on wafers supplied by foundries. Continue reading Intel Ramps Up Efforts to Reclaim Top Position in Chip Market

Ford, GM Seek Greater Supply Chain Control with Chip Deals

U.S. automakers are aiming to combat the global chip shortage by pursuing more decisive roles in their semiconductor supply chains. Ford CEO Jim Farley announced a relationship with GlobalFoundries that heralds Ford’s entre to chipmaking, describing the deal as “just the beginning, and a key part of our plan to vertically integrate key technologies and capabilities that will differentiate Ford far into the future.” GM president Mark Reuss emphasized North American manufacturing in unveiling seven companies with which his company will be working on the design and delivery of new processors. Continue reading Ford, GM Seek Greater Supply Chain Control with Chip Deals

Twitter Earns Praise for Transparency in Its Research Findings

Twitter has earned praise for transparency after it published “unflattering” research findings. The company analyzed “millions of Tweets” in an attempt to measure how its recommendation algorithms handle political content, and subsequently reported that it amplifies more content from right-wing politicians and media outlets than from left-wing sources. The findings, which were released in late October, were well-received at a time when social platforms are fast to tout positive findings, but quickly discredit critical data, as was the case with Facebook and whistleblower Frances Haugen. Continue reading Twitter Earns Praise for Transparency in Its Research Findings

Tidal Launches New Music Tiers, Model to Pay Artists Directly

Tidal unveiled an upgrade to its paid music plan and introduced two new plans — a cost-free tier (a first for the platform) and Tidal HiFi Plus. The standard $9.99-per-month subscription, now called Tidal HiFi, provides users with lossless and high-resolution audio and customized listening insights through features such as Tidal Connect and My Activity. With the new $19.99-per-month Tidal HiFi Plus, users get immersive formats including Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality Audio as well as exclusive access to Tidal’s Master Quality Authenticated recordings. Tidal also launched an innovative direct-to-artist payments program with plans to introduce fan-centered royalties next year. Continue reading Tidal Launches New Music Tiers, Model to Pay Artists Directly

AI Is Still a Work in Progress When It Comes to Auto-Dubbing

Auto-dubbing, which uses artificial intelligence to translate content into different languages, is a technology on which the global entertainment industry has increasingly come to rely in finding audiences among the planet’s 7.2 billion people, speaking more than 7,000 languages in roughly 200 countries. Companies like Flawless, Deepdub and Papercup use different approaches to offload to computers much of the labor required to fill that distribution pipeline. Another company, Spherex, emphasizes cultural awareness and the need for heightened sensitivity in pursuit of hits that travel across borders. Continue reading AI Is Still a Work in Progress When It Comes to Auto-Dubbing

Amazon Prime Video Is First to Launch a Clip-Sharing Feature

Amazon is adding an interactive clip-sharing feature to its Prime Video streaming service that allows users to share short video clips from Amazon Originals via social media and direct message. The feature is available for Amazon series “The Boys,” “The Wilds,” “Invincible” and “Fairfax,” with plans to expand to other original TV shows and movies in the future. Users can click on the “Share a clip” button while watching the content, and the app will generate a 30-second clip. Amazon is the first major streaming platform to introduce such a video-sharing feature. For the initial rollout, the feature is only available for iOS users in the U.S. Continue reading Amazon Prime Video Is First to Launch a Clip-Sharing Feature

Spotify Targets Audiobook Market with Purchase of Findaway

Music streaming powerhouse Spotify is expanding its narrative footprint with the acquisition of audiobook distributor Findaway. The purchase brings Spotify a large catalog of audiobooks as well new revenue streams not only through audiobook sales and subscriptions, but through units like Findaway Voices, which provides turnkey services for authors who want their writings recorded. Spotify’s evolution to all-things-audio follows the company’s Q3 announcement that its podcasting business had overtaken market leader Apple in terms of downloads. Spotify says it expects the global audiobook sector to grow from $3.3 billion today to $15 billion by 2027. Continue reading Spotify Targets Audiobook Market with Purchase of Findaway

Apple Eyes an Earlier Launch Date for Its Self-Driving Vehicles

Apple is accelerating its plans to enter the self-driving car market, with 2025 the new target date to launch a fully automated electric vehicle that the company is hoping to produce without steering wheel or pedals, although an emergency takeover mode is under discussion. Interior designs under consideration are said to look radically different than today’s cars, with u-shaped or side-facing seating configurations. Apple’s secretive car venture, known as Project Titan, is being led by technology vice president Kevin Lynch, who was instrumental in the success of the Apple Watch. Continue reading Apple Eyes an Earlier Launch Date for Its Self-Driving Vehicles

Startup QuEra Is Making Major Strides in Quantum Computing

Quantum startup QuEra Computing has emerged from stealth mode with a splashy announcement of $17 million in funding and completion of a 256-qubit device the company says “will be soon accessible to customers.” Launched in 2019 by scientists from Harvard and MIT, the Boston-based firm claims to have already generated $11 million in revenue from its scalable machines in a white-hot quantum space that includes tech giants including Amazon, IBM and Google jockeying for position. QuEra’s approach leverages what the company calls “nature’s perfect qubits,” based on 256-qubit atoms. Continue reading Startup QuEra Is Making Major Strides in Quantum Computing

Apple Self Service Repair Shop Is Good News for Consumers

In what’s billed as a major triumph in the “right to repair” movement, Apple says it will begin selling the parts and tools to allow people to make their own iPhone repairs. The movement gained momentum in July when the FTC announced it would step up enforcement against tech firms that made gadget repairs difficult for consumers and small businesses. Microsoft, which along with Apple, Google and Amazon had lobbied against the FTC effort, in October announced it was joining Dell, HP and Motorola in getting a jump on “right to repair” legislation. Continue reading Apple Self Service Repair Shop Is Good News for Consumers

TikTok Debuts Safety Center Following Survey on Teen Users

TikTok has added a Safety Center to its platform, simultaneously releasing a 38-page summary of the months-long global research project on the impact its challenges and hoaxes have on adolescent users. The study — which queried more than 10,000 teens, their parents, and teachers across Asia, Europe and the Americas — was written by independent agency Praesidio Safeguarding. The move is a response to negative attention TikTok has received from media and lawmakers involving allegations of “blackout challenges” and slap-a-teacher dares. Critics are saying the social video platform’s new safety features do not go far enough. Continue reading TikTok Debuts Safety Center Following Survey on Teen Users

Netflix Updates Measurement Charts to Include Viewing Hours

Netflix has changed its audience measurement system to reflect the total number of hours viewed. The streaming service had previously ranked viewership based on users who watched at least two minutes of a program. The company has also switched to a weekly schedule of releasing viewer data rather than quarterly. The Korean drama “Squid Game” remains Netflix’s No. 1 show of all time, having accrued a massive 1.65 billion hours of viewing in the 28 days following its September 17 premiere. That’s about 2.6 times the viewership of No. 2 “Bridgerton,” with 625 million hours. Continue reading Netflix Updates Measurement Charts to Include Viewing Hours