Unless you have been living under a rock for the better part of the past one decade, you are guaranteed to have heard of Netflix. Starting out with DVD-by-mail services, they have since expanded into online streaming and are now a dominant player in the streaming industry. With literally thousands of hours of content, everything ranging from documentaries to your favorite series available online to watch at your own leisure. However, many of us would prefer to watch on something larger than your average laptop or desktop computer screen (read: a big arse TV). This is actually quite easily done. A bit of your time and a few components is all that you’ll require. So if this piques your interest, then read on.→Read More
Its that time of the year again, for one of the biggest film festivals in the entertainment calendar, the Cannes Film Festival, or the full original title, Le Festival International du Film de Cannes. The annual festival, now in its 68th year, takes place in the now iconic Cannes, France, where it will run from 13th – 24th May. Founded in 1946 by Jean Zay who at the time as French Minister of National Education, wanted to celebrate world cinema. Originally the festival was open to entries from only 16 countries, with one representative from each country to ensure equality. Before the Palme d’Or award was introduced in 1955 as the main prize, it was called the Grand Prix du Festival, awarded to the best film of the competition.
Since its inception, the festival’s rise to prominence has led to it now being one of the most important festivals of the year. Due to its non-public, invite-only exclusive nature only lends to the heavily media focussed event, as it attracts many film stars and directors as a means to further promote their films. Cannes has become instrumental in showcasing the best European films, and since 1959 when the Marché du Film was introduced, it has become the busiest film market in the world. Cannes allows a platform for buyers and sellers to exchange film and distribution rights, which many consider to be the first major event on the calendar for the buying and selling of international film rights, as it attracts distributors from all over the world.
The Palme d’Or, the ‘Golden Palm’ in English, is the highest prize awarded at Cannes. After taking over from the Grand Prix du Festival in 1955, the award is given to the best film of the festival. Past winners have included The Conversation by Francis Ford Coppola, Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese), Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola), Barton Fink (The Coen Brothers) and Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino).
Aside from the Palme d’Or, the most prestigious prize, there are many categories celebrating the different aspects of film. The Prix du Jury is awarded to the best film as chosen by the jury, which is comprised of international artists chosen prior to the festival by the board of directors. Awarding acting performances are the two accolades Prix d’interprétation féminine and Prix d’interprétation masculine, along with Prix de la mise en scéne for Best Director. Prix du scénario is awarded for the best screenplay at the festival.
This year’s selection includes several films that are already gathering hype and global buzz, including Todd Hayne’s Carol, based on the 1952 novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith. The story follows a young woman who works at a department store who falls in love with a classy older female customer called Carol, played by Cate Blanchett and joined by Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Benicio del Torro stars in Denis Villeneuve’s thriller Sicario, about a young FBI agent, played by Emily Blunt who joins an undercover task force in bringing down a Mexican cartel, led by Torro. Justin Kerzel’s Macbeth, starring Michael Fassbender as the title character, and is joined by Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth and Paddy Considine as Banquo. In the documentary corner, British-born Asif Kapadia’s documentary Amy, about the late singer Amy Winehouse will be one of the films selected for a midnight screening.
The first film festival after the Oscars, It looks to be another incredible year for cinema as the start of a new film year has begun. Cannes film festival will run from 13-24 May.
Consider this: The video gaming industry is now bigger than Hollywood. And with new games being released every other day, it is indeed the rare gem that comes along with compelling characters and a convincing plot, and manages to stay with us long after we have beat the game itself. Everybody has their own favourites, but these are a few which came out in the last couple of years that we feel you must try out. With all the hallmarks that make a great game, in no particular order:→Read More
Samsung apparently chose NOT to ignore the SquareTrade deforming, bending and then ultimately destroying the tech industry giant’s latest and greatest Galaxy “S” series smartphone model. In its own official response to the bend test that had been recently published, Samsung posted a blog post reply that slammed SquareTrade for placing the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone model under a massive amount of weight which the Samsung company claims rarely ever occurs in normal circumstances. The company also says that its internal figures have discovered that the force that’s typically generated whenever an individual presses on their back pocket is around 66lbf.
Samsung says in its own blog post that its internal test results indicated that both new Samsung Galaxy “S” series phones: the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge are not bendable smartphone devices—even under 79lbf, the equivalence of applying pressure to snap a group of 5 pencils all at one time. The pencils that are broken in half appear in the Samsung company’s own video of its bend test. Samsung also noted in a clip of its video bend test that it’s not an easy task to break 4 pencils all at one time, and breaking 5 pencils is an even more difficult task. The Samsung company subjected the Galaxy S6 to the specified force, but never went far enough to actually bend nor destroy its smartphone device, permanently.
Samsung is not happy about SquareTrade only having tested the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge with its screen facing upwards. The Samsung company had written that some smartphone devices have different durability in the front and the back sides, respectively. SquareTrade only tested the phone’s front side and this could mislead some consumers about the durability of certain smartphone devices. Therefore, in addition to posting a company bend test and a rebuttal, Samsung formally requested SquareTrade to run the test again, but this time to use both sides of the smartphone, and publicize the results.
The Google company introduces its most affordable Chromebook model thus far: the $149 Hisense Chromebook. The Haier Chromebook 11 is also starting at the $149 price as well. Google has also hinted about a dongle called the Chromebit which will also bring the Chrome Operating System to any television set and/or computer monitor that has an HDMI port, and for even less money.
The new Chromebook models are now available for pre-order and are set to ship out this month. These new models run quad-core ARM processors made by the Rockchip company, a Chinese semiconductor company. It also features 2GB of RAM and 16GB of ROM. Both Chromebook models have one HDMI port, a microSD card slot for expanded memory, and 2 USB 2.0 ports. They have a screen size of 11.6 inches and 1,366 x 768 pixel displays.
The specifications are not going to wow anybody like the $1,000 Chromebook Pixel model may, but they are certainly sufficient models for internet surfing and light-weight computer work. The low-priced Chromebook models are targeted for emerging markets like India and China and schools.
Before these new Chromebook models were released, the cheapest one available on the market was an Acer model that had a $200 selling price. (Windows also has a $200 laptop as well.) The Haier and Hisense companies may not be very well-known brand names in the United States, but they are very successful electronics companies in their home Chinese market. They are now attempting to get more visibility in the USA.
The biggest differences in the 2 new cheap Chromebook models are in the battery life and the hardware styling. The black Hisense Chromebook has a battery life of nearly 8.5 hours. The white Haier Chromebook 11 model has a battery life of 10 hours.
The free voice feature that was recently introduced by WhatsApp’s online messaging service is presently only available for Android device users. However, the company is now preparing to roll its service out to other mobile device platforms. The co-founder of WhatsApp, Brian Acton, recently announced that the voice calling feature of the app will very soon be coming to iOS platform users. Platform restrictions are currently causing delays of the feature’s implementation.
The WhatsApp support team sent an email reply to the user of a Windows smartphone that revealed the company had the WhatsApp voice calling feature for Windows OS mobile devices presently “in the works.’
The electronic communication did not give a specific timeframe or release date of the WhatsApp voice calling for Windows OS mobile devices. The email stated that the WhatsApp company could not comment on any future release timeline.
Acton said at a recent event that the voice calling feature is going to be released to iOS users in a few weeks. It is not completely certain whether the feature is going to be reaching Windows OS mobile devices or iOS mobile devices first.
The WhatsApp company worked on its voice calling application last year before it was launched on Android in the month of March. Android mobile device users were actually able to use the feature without activation last month, but they had to update the app to the latest version.
In the U.S., newer versions of WhatsApp may not be considered to be a big deal because so many Americans have unlimited calling on their cellular phone plans; therefore, the value of being able to make free calls is not really all that great. In other countries, however, it may be a bigger deal.
WhatsApp is a pretty big deal in a lot of countries where flat rate calling isn’t the norm on cellular phones and/or calling and texting are pretty expensive features. It also needs a considerably better data connection than just the text messaging feature alone, which could mean it might not be so great of an experience for some of the users in those particular markets.