Alexa gets a plethora of new features designed to make your life even easier. — AFP pic
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 12 — More of the Alexa features and skills that Amazon announced back in September concerning schedules and reminders are arriving on Echo devices.Though Alexa won’t be able to conduct phone conversations for you, the voice assistant is now able to place calls on your behalf thanks to one of a series of new features arriving on Echo devices this week.In fact, this Echo update is going to automate a lot of those mundane daily activities that you don’t even realise take energy. Instead of relying on yourself to remember to take the trash out when you get home, Alexa can remind you. All you have to do to enable these reminders is to tell Alexa to remind you of something at a certain time, like taking the chicken out of the fridge before you leave home. When you come back home, Alexa will vocally remind you of the task and also send a notification to your phone in case you’re not close enough to hear. Specific locations can be programmed into the Alexa app, giving you more possibilities for scheduling reminders.Additionally, Alexa will be able to understand how to schedule time between tasks before executing each. You could ask Alexa to turn the lights on 10 minutes after you wake up which is possible thanks to Alexa’s ability to detect motion. Also, if you schedule something like dinner, Alexa can send out alerts to everyone who is involved in the activity.Apart from the new reminder and routine functionalities, Alexa will be updated to help you find the nearest location of a particular place you’re looking for, like a Starbucks, and screen your emails to let you know if you have anything new in your inbox in general or from a certain sender. These features are rolling out now for the US market, but elsewhere over the next couple weeks.The other features in the release that have yet to come out are still on their way; it appears that new features will be coming out in waves as the Alexa whispering function that is also on this list came out in October. Ensure to keep your Echo devices up-to-date so you can get the most out of them. — AFP-Relaxnews [...]
On 7 July 2018, we had our inaugural MARKETING Games. To get a low down of all the action that took place at MARKETING Games, click here!
For the finale, MARKETING Games presents you the World Cup Live Screening party on 14 July 2018!
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The post Get your hands on passes to MARKETING Games World Cup Live Screening Party! appeared first on MarketingMagazine. [...]
The decision was taken after a public showing of England's win over Sweden in Middlesbrough's Centre Square was marred by disorder [...]
YANGON: The restoration of a 1934 black-and-white action movie, famed for high-octane stunts including a hot-air balloon escape and a jungle shootout against teakwood thieves, has energised efforts to salvage more of Myanmar's decaying cinematic heritage.
The survival of Myanmar's earliest film still in existence, "Mya Ga Naing" (The Emerald Jungle), and its rise to international acclaim is perhaps as unlikely a feat as its lead role's triumph over pythons and bandits with his bare hands.
The Southeast Asian country's once flourishing film scene hit a major setback with the arrival of a military junta in 1962 that enforced stringent censorship and gutted the economy during a 50-year reign.
As the creative climate withered, Myanmar's merciless heat, torrential rains and stifling humidity took its toll on delicate film reels in a country that had neither the resources or know-how to store them properly.
Some reels were recycled to save money and now only a dozen of the country's early black-and-white pictures remain.
"Mya Ga Naing", originally a silent movie that later had music and printed title cards added, is the oldest to have been found so far.
It languished in the state archives for decades before specialists in Italy spent one year painstakingly retouching the film frame-by-frame, screening the restored version in 2016.
Experts spent hundreds of hours at the laboratory of L'Immagine Ritrovata (The Rediscovered Image) in Bologna removing every small scratch and spot from the film and digitising using various resources including some film found in archives in Berlin — a testament to how far the original movie travelled.
"Each time the restoration progressed, it was like a new birth for the film," said Severine Wemaere, co-founder of MEMORY! Cinema, which oversaw the restoration and raised funds from donors for the US$100,000, (RM404,000) price tag.
"It was very moving because we could tell that we were in a country of cinema".
Sound or colour?
The classic has also played at festivals in Singapore, Thailand and Switzerland as well as enjoying regular screenings at home in Myanmar.
A live group of musicians accompanied a recent sold-out performance in Yangon, staying true to an original soundtrack added in 1954 that mixes local traditional music with western jazz.
The film gained further international acclaim this year after Unesco awarded the film a place on its Asia-Pacific list of "documentary heritage of influence" — a nod not just to the movie, but also to Myanmar's cinematic tradition.
The country's first-ever film was screened in 1920.
By the 50s, the industry was in its heyday with Myanmar filmmakers pumping out scores of features each year.
But the plot turned in the latter half of the 20th century as military rulers crushed creativity and closed the country off to foreign influences and technology.
While nearly all the earliest movies have been lost, the successful revival of "Mya Ga Naing" is spurring a movement to preserve what remains.
The next film to be restored in 2017 was Pyo Chit Lin (My Darling), a 1950 comedy shot on such a tight budget that director Tin Myint had to choose between sound or colour.
He opted for the latter — making it the country's earliest known surviving colour film.
Every second counts
Contemporary Myanmar filmmaker Maung Okkar is playing a lead role in the effort to salvage his country's classics.
Few could be better placed — the 31-year-old has moviemaking in his blood with both his father and grandfather renowned directors.
In 2012, Maung Okkar realised with horror that some of his family's original reels were damaged beyond repair while others were slowly decaying in his storeroom.
"Some films could not be restored and, for me, it was as if I had lost one of my parents," he remembered.
"I learned there were other old films which were not looked after properly and decided to do it myself."
After receiving training in restoration and archiving techniques in Italy, he launched "Save Myanmar Film" in 2017 with a group of fellow filmmakers.
Their slogan is "Every Second Count!" and they aim to find and preserve as many old reels and other cinematic paraphernalia — including cameras, projectors and film posters — as possible.
Some two thousand people viewed an exhibition and screenings held by the group this May in Yangon's prestigious former parliamentary building, and plans are underway to restore the third film.
The clock is ticking, with all of the surviving films still piled up in metal tins in Yangon's crumbling state archive building.
Round-the-clock air conditioning is an improvement from the past but the temperature, at 16°C, is still far above the optimal level of four degrees Celsius.
Actress Grace Swe Zin Htaik, 65, starred in many of Myanmar's biggest films in the 70s and 80s and faces the challenge of organising the upcoming 100th anniversary of the country's movie industry.
"People in this country have no idea how to value the old movies," she said wistfully while tracing her finger along the ramshackle shelves that are home to the remnants of the country's cinematic heritage.
"(Through) old movies we can see our history, we can see our culture, we can see our identity and values". — AFP [...]