Category Archives: Digital ET

The Era of Fake Video Begins

In a dank corner of the internet, it is possible to find actresses from Game of Thrones or Harry Potter engaged in all manner of sex acts. Or at least to the world the carnal figures look like those actresses, and the faces in the videos are indeed their own. Everything south of the neck, however, belongs to different women. An artificial intelligence has almost seamlessly stitched the familiar visages into pornographic scenes, one face swapped for another. The genre is one of the cruelest, most invasive forms of identity theft invented in the internet era. At the core of the cruelty is the acuity of the technology: A casual observer can’t easily detect the hoax.

This development, which has been the subject of much hand-wringing in the tech press, is the work of a programmer who goes by the nom de hack “deepfakes.” And it is merely a beta version of a much more ambitious project. One of deepfakes’s compatriots told Vice’s Motherboard site in January that he intends to democratize this work. He wants to refine the process, further automating it, which would allow anyone to transpose the disembodied head of a crush or an ex or a co-worker into an extant pornographic clip with just a few simple steps. No technical knowledge would be required. And because academic and commercial labs are developing even more-sophisticated tools for non-pornographic purposes—algorithms that map facial expressions and mimic voices with precision—the sordid fakes will soon acquire even greater verisimilitude.

More at TheAtlantic

Disney to pull new movies from Netflix, plans own streaming service

Walt Disney Co will stop providing new movies to Netflix Inc starting in 2019 and launch its own streaming service as the world’s biggest entertainment company tries to capture digital viewers who are ditching traditional television.

Disney’s defection, announced alongside its quarterly results on Tuesday, is a calculated gamble that the company can generate more profit in the long run from its own subscription rather than renting out its movies to services like Netflix.

More at Financial Post

‘Sneaky Pete’ S1: Perfect for Binge-Watching!

house of cards

 

A few years back, Netflix changed it all…with ‘House of Cards’.  All of the show’s episodes were available in a single bunch…it wasn’t just one-episode premiere, but the entire series-premiere. The numbers that followed, proved that Binge-watching isn’t just a fad, but it is here to stay.  And it was not just limited to old shows. Data and reports started appearing on Binge-Watching…and soon, it became obvious that for a show to get a hit status, binge-watching is one of the key indicators.

sneaky

‘Sneaky Pete’ has binge-watching written all over it…and it deserves the hit tag without any doubt.

Great cast, interesting premise, terrific screenplay and the twists ‘n’ turns…making it a must to be devoured as soon as possible. Most importantly, it isn’t a really high-production value show that has to be watched on a big, large HD TV. One can watch it on a tablet or a mobile, and still get ‘it’.

‘Sneaky Pete’ adds several themes to the mix like ‘crime and punishment’, ‘dysfunctional families yet together’, ‘Revenge is a dish best served cold’…and even picks up stuff from movies like ‘The Sting’, ‘Oceans Trilogy’  etc. These elements when played through a delightful set of characters, it is nothing short of magic. And this magic is carefully weaved with these characters representing all ages of audiences and even demographics. An aspiring con who is a coloured girl, Two grand parents at the helm of a bails bond business, A teen who thinks it is okay to hustle a bit, a card playing Indian millionaire…to name a few. As an audience, we are let into their world a bit abruptly at times, and a bit leisurely at times,  as the screenplay moves the story forward.

Bryan Cranston who is a co-creator  (and plays an important role), allows this show to take a completely different route and breaks away from the  large expanse ‘Breaking Bad’ (which is a hit and cult show in its own way). All the screenwriters and directors employed did a terrific job.  So did all the cast,  with a special mention to Pete aka Marius (Giovanni Ribisi ),  Carly (Libe Barer ), James Bagwell (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) , Marjorie (Alison Wright), Gina (Jasmine Carmichael) and Sam (Jay O. Sanders).

Sneaky Pete is a must watch and available on Amazon India Prime.

Tailpiece:
“I think the best-written films or television series have a measure of the opposite of what they are. We have some darkly comic moments sprinkled throughout Breaking Bad (2008), as we had some sweet sentiment or serious drama sprinkled throughout Malcolm in the Middle (2000). I think any good movie does that, any good play. You have to break it up. You can’t have one train going in one direction all the time. Audiences are more sophisticated than that.” – Bryan Cranston

Related links:

Indians are world champs at binge-watching says Netflix CEO Reed Hastings
Netflix’s Risky Strategy For ‘House Of Cards’
Giovanni Ribisi On Sneaky Pete, Working With Bryan Cranston, and Friends
Bryan Cranston Biography