– – Fred Wilson / Investors
At CES, Netflix Shows Off … Lab-Grown Bodies?
Netflix has a booth here at CES, but it’s easy to miss. The setup is not showcasing Stranger Things or HDR, but … human immortality?
Stop by and you’ll find two lab-grown bodies inside glass pods, asleep and held in icy stasis. The signage out front? Psychasec, a Silicon Valley “company” that can download human minds into new bodies. As you might expect, the display has been attracting crowds and prompting dumbfounded looks. In reality, the booth is a marketing campaign for Netflix’s upcoming sci-fi series Altered Carbon.
BY Michael Kan
Volvo’s branded music video turns a break-up drive into flipbook animated escapism
Volvo has teamed up with content production agency Great Guns to release a branded music video, which follows Israeli actress Yuval Scharf as she drives through her surreal, animated imagination away from a bad relationship.
The spot serves as a music video for ‘Call My Name’ by The Goldman Brothers, with the Volvo V40 also taking a starring role.
BY Katie Deighton
Kodak soars on KodakCoin and Bitcoin mining plans
Shares in photo firm Eastman Kodak soared nearly 120% after it revealed plans to mint its own crypto-currency, the KodakCoin.
The US firm said it was teaming up with London-based Wenn Media Group to carry out the initial coin offering (ICO).
It is part of a blockchain-based initiative to help photographers control their image rights.
Kodak also detailed plans to install rows of Bitcoin mining rigs at its headquarters in Rochester, New York.
Details of this second scheme – which is being branded the Kodak KashMiner – were outlined at the CES tech show in Las Vegas.
Customers will pay up-front to rent mining capacity.
BY Chris Foxx & Leo Kelion
KLM Installs Seats That Translate Languages In Real-Time Conversation
Airports are some of the busiest places in the world, but because of packed schedules and language barriers, passengers tend not to make human connections while waiting for their connecting flights.
Dutch airline KLM looked to change that this winter with its Connecting Seats, which automatically translate what one person is saying into the other person’s language. Done in collaboration with ad agency DDB & Tribal Amsterdam, the seats were set up in an airports where people were invited to take a seat for a chat. Then, using Google Cloud speech, it translates what one person says in real time into the language of the other person’s choice.
By SARA RONCERO-MENENDEZ
The REAL Jake and Logan Paul **tears**
Video from Trashcast explains to anyone over 20 who this Logan Paul guy in the news is … It is also a valid contemporary Media Studies primer on Social Media celebrity and its evolution from MTV youth marketing strategy, presented in a very ‘net’ way:
BY prosthetic knowledge
The anti-vaccine movement shows why Facebook is broken
Mark Zuckerberg is stepping into the new year with an apology tour. The Facebook chief executive spent a good portion of 2017 warding off lawmakers and investigators trying to figure out how much of a role his company played in Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. So naturally, Zuckerberg felt the need to announce his New Year’s resolution last week: Fix Facebook.
The problem is, Zuckerberg can’t fix Facebook. By its very nature, the social-media network may be doomed to cause further damage to the American political system — no matter how much it tinkers with its algorithms or changes the way foreign governments place ads on its site. In the end, the problem lies with Facebook’s users.
BY Mike Brown
Is VR Gaming Over Before It Even Started?
As we all barreled toward 2018—a year that so far promises to be a lot like 2017, only dumber somehow—I took some time to revisit the future of entertainment: virtual reality. 2017 was the year VR was supposed to take off. Headsets were now affordable and in the hands of the people. All developers had to do was woo players with games and digital tchotchkes. Games did come—Sony, with its affordable Playstation VR headset and the Playstation brand name behind it, boasts over a hundred games as of last fall; many more games are available on other platforms like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. But the reality of 2017 saw all that growth of VR go sideways, not upwards. There were no giant leaps forward. And while the range of experiences and games available to play in VR grew exponentially, VR somehow didn’t become any more appealing than it was two years ago. For now, it feels like an entire industry running as fast as it can just to stay right where it is.
BY JOSHUA RIVERA
What Jumanji Teaches Us About the State of Blockbusters at the Box Office
Atop of everything else, 2017 was largely considered a very gloomy time at the box office. After a splendid and high-charging winter and spring that skyrocketed hopes for the movie industry, the summer saw expectations collapse again with flop after flop—King Arthur, The Mummy, Transformers, and Pirates of the Caribbean, to name but a few. It was enough to have many doomsayers predict once more the end of theatrical distribution.
BY David Crow
The Strange Brands in Your Instagram Feed
“It all started with an Instagram ad for a coat, the West Louis (TM) Business-Man Windproof Long Coat to be specific. It looked like a decent camel coat, not fancy but fine. And I’d been looking for one just that color, so when the ad touting the coat popped up and the price was in the double-digits, I figured: hey, a deal!”
BY ALEXIS C. MADRIGAL