Archive for March, 2019



Britain’s royals unveiled a new protocol on Monday for users of their social media channels, asking for kindness and warning of possible police action following a rise in abusive comments, often aimed at Prince Harry’s pregnant wife Meghan.

Abusive and even threatening remarks have become commonplace on the comment sections and Twitter feeds of the royal family, with Kate and Meghan, the wives of Queen Elizabeth’s grandsons Prince William and Harry, particular targets.

Unveiling their “Social Media Community Guidelines”, Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace – the offices for the queen, her son and heir Prince Charles, and William and Harry – outlined what behaviour they expected from users of their channels.

“We ask that anyone engaging with our social media channels shows courtesy, kindness and respect for all other members of our social media communities,” the guidelines said.

They stated that comments must not be defamatory, obscene, threatening, or abusive; be discriminatory in any way; be “off-topic, irrelevant or unintelligible” or contain advertising.

The protocol said royal officials would determine whether the guidelines had been breached and anyone who did so would be blocked or have their comments hidden or deleted.

“We also reserve the right to send any comments we deem appropriate to law enforcement authorities for investigation as we feel necessary or is required by law,” it said.

Some 3.87 million accounts follow the Royal Family’s Twitter feed and another 1.69 follow that of Kensington Palace as the House of Windsor seeks to reach out directly to royal fans and showcase its work, with the overwhelming number of messages supportive.

However, while the palaces gave no explanation as to why they had issued the guidance now, there has been rising abuse of Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, since the former US actress married Harry last May.

A source from Kensington Palace told Hello! magazine, which launched a campaign in January to end the online abuse, that officials were spending hours each week addressing sexist and racist comments aimed at the duchesses.

These included a number of violent threats while there have also been vicious online rows between rival supporters of the two royals, and even those who report on their activities.

“It is not just the royal princesses who are being trolled, every royal journalist, every royal correspondent is being trolled as well,” royal biographer Claudia Joseph told Reuters.

“People see their opinions as valid and I don’t think they totally understand journalists do research, that the royals have a job to do.”

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York and ex-wife of the queen’s second son Prince Andrew, called on social media firms to do more following the Hello! Campaign, saying it was not a matter of free speech.

“Much of social media has become a sewer,” she said on Twitter last month. “Tech firms need to do much more to take a stand against online abuse, rather than shrugging their shoulders.”

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)

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Firefox browser-maker Mozilla is considering whether to block cyber-security company DarkMatter from serving as one of its internet security gatekeepers after a Reuters report linked the United Arab Emirates-based firm to a cyber-espionage program.

Reuters reported in January that DarkMatter provided staff for a secret hacking operation, codenamed Project Raven, on behalf of an Emirati intelligence agency. The unit was largely comprised of former US intelligence officials who conducted offensive cyber operations for the UAE government.

Former Raven operatives told Reuters that many DarkMatter executives were unaware of the secretive program, which operated from a converted Abu Dhabi mansion away from DarkMatter’s headquarters.

Those operations included hacking into the internet accounts of human rights activists, journalists and officials from rival governments, Reuters found. DarkMatter has denied conducting the operations and says it focuses on protecting computer networks.

While Mozilla had been considering whether to grant DarkMatter the authority to certify websites as safe, two Mozilla executives said in an interview last week that Reuters’ report raised concerns about whether DarkMatter would abuse that authority.

Mozilla said the company has not yet come to a decision on whether to deny the authority to DarkMatter, but expects to decide within weeks.

“We don’t currently have technical evidence of misuse (by DarkMatter) but the reporting is strong evidence that misuse is likely to occur in the future if it hasn’t already,” said Selena Deckelmann, a senior director of engineering for Mozilla.

She said Mozilla was also considering stripping some or all of the more than 400 certifications that DarkMatter has granted to websites under a limited authority since 2017.

Marshall Erwin, director of trust and security for Mozilla, said the Reuters Jan. 30 report had raised concerns inside the company that DarkMatter might use Mozilla’s certification authority for “offensive cyber-security purposes rather than the intended purpose of creating a more secure, trusted web.”

DarkMatter did not respond to a Reuters request for comment. The UAE embassy in Washington also did not respond to a request for comment.

In a February 25 letter to Mozilla, posted online by the cyber-security company, DarkMatter CEO Karim Sabbagh denied the Reuters report linking his company to Project Raven. “We have never, nor will we ever, operate or manage non-defensive cyber activities against any nationality,” Sabbagh wrote.

Websites that want to be designated as secure have to be certified by an outside organization, which will confirm their identity and vouch for their security. The certifying organization also helps secure the connection between an approved website and its users, promising the traffic will not be intercepted.

Organizations that want to become certifiers must apply to individual browser makers like Mozilla and Apple. Mozilla is seen by security experts as a respected leader in the field and particularly transparent because it conducts much of the process in public, posting the documentation it receives and soliciting comments from internet users before making a final decision.

DarkMatter has been pushing Mozilla for full authority to grant certifications since 2017, the browser maker told Reuters. That would take it to a new level, making it one of fewer than 60 core gatekeepers for the hundreds of millions of Firefox users around the world.

Deckelmann said Mozilla is worried that DarkMatter could use the authority to issue certificates to hackers impersonating real websites, like banks.

As a certification authority, DarkMatter would be partially responsible for encryption between websites they approve and their users.

In the wrong hands, the certification role could allow the interception of encrypted web traffic, security experts say.

In the past Mozilla has relied exclusively on technical issues when deciding whether to trust a company with certification authority.

The Reuters investigation has led it to reconsider its policy for approving applicants. “You look at the facts of the matter, the sources that came out, it’s a compelling case,” said Deckelmann.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


When Google reviewed its own pay structure recently, it yielded an unexpected result: It was underpaying more men than women for doing similar work, the company revealed in a blog post published Monday.

The annual analysis comes as Google faces a class-action lawsuit that alleges it denied career opportunities to women and systematically paid them less than men preforming similar work. The tech industry as a whole also is grappling with enduring criticism about a lack of diversity and dysfunctional work environments.

Google declined to comment beyond the blog post.

Google said it analyses pay across most of its job groups to ensure it compensates employees fairly, based on their work. If the company finds statistically significant discrepancies within an employment category, it said it raises pay within the group to eliminate gaps.

The review considers such factors as the market rates for a position, an employee’s location and his or her performance rating. But managers also have the prerogative to boost pay using dedicated funds for such adjustments, the company said.

In its 2018 study, Google found that managers had dipped into the discretionary funds more often for women engineers, creating a pay gap for men in the same job category. This job class of lower-level software engineers is one of the larger groups at Google, the company said.

In addition, Google said it found disparities in its job offers. In both cases, Google’s analysis led to pay adjustments to eliminate the discrepancies. In total, Google made $9.7 million in pay adjustments to 10,677 employees. Google did not disclose how many male employees received raises as a result of the analysis.

Google’s workforce is 69 percent male, according to its 2018 diversity report. Its parent company, Alphabet, counted 98,771 employees at the end of 2018. Though Alphabet does not disclose how many people work at Google, the vast majority of Alphabet’s staff works for the search giant.

Google acknowledged that its annual study does not offer a complete picture of how women and underrepresented minorities are compensated within the company. “Our pay equity analysis ensures that compensation is fair for employees in the same job, at the same level, location and performance. But we know that’s only part of the story,” Google’s lead analyst for pay equity, people analytics, Lauren Barbato, said in the blog post.

Barbato said Google will conduct a comprehensive review of its compensation process, examining factors beyond comparing the pay of people at the same level. Google will also consider raises from promotions and how it assigns a new employee’s level of seniority within a position, a process known as leveling.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


They can already open doors, traverse steep flights of stairs, run at high speed and unload your dishwasher.

Now, for the first time ever, a four-legged robot has performed a physical feat that evades all but the most athletic among us: a backflip.

The acrobatics arrive courtesy of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where researchers have unveiled a springy, 20-pound robot that’s also capable of walking either right-side up or upside down.

The vaguely canine-like machine – dubbed “Mini Cheetah” – is also able to trot over uneven terrain about twice as fast as an average person’s walking speed, researchers say.

Reached by email, Benjamin Katz, a technical associate in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering who helped design the robot, wrote that the backflip isn’t “inherently useful,” but offers researchers a way to gauge the machine’s capabilities.

“It’s also a good stress-test of the hardware,” he said. “It involves very high torque, power, and acceleration capability, and has a high-speed impact at the end, all of which are very harsh on the robot’s mechanical components.”

Mini Cheetah is powered by 12 electric motors that allow the machine to bend and swing its legs. Each of the robot’s four legs is powered by three individual motors that engineers included to increase the machine’s range of motion and help it change direction and make “high-force impacts” without breaking its limbs, researchers say. As a video released by MIT demonstrates, the robot was programmed to quickly recover from an unexpected force, such as a kick to the side.

Having a generous range of motion and being able to adapt to different surfaces will probably be critical components for four-legged robots that are deployed by humans at some point, researchers say.

“Legged robots will have a variety of uses where human or animallike mobility is necessary (climbing over stairs, rocks, etc.) but it may be unsafe to send a person: search and rescue, inspection, surveillance and so on,” Katz wrote.

Mini Cheetah is not the first robot to execute a backflip. Atlas – the headless humanoid star of Boston Dynamics’ viral robot videos – has not only been performing backflips, but doing so after a series of complicated box jumps that the machine surmounts with ease.

In recent years, the same company has produced a series of four-legged robots – with names like Spot, Wildcat and BigDog – that can open doors, carry heavy loads and run nearly 20 mph.

Last year, Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert told an audience in Germany that his team is testing the company’s awkward, four-legged, doglike robot, SpotMini, for use in multiple industries, including security, delivery, construction and home assistance. The company says the 66-pound machine is 2 feet 9 inches tall and is the quietest of the company’s robots. It runs on electricity, has 17 joints and can go for 90 minutes on a single charge.

MIT researchers have their own plans for their newest four-legged creation.

“Eventually, I’m hoping we could have a robotic dog race through an obstacle course, where each team controls a mini cheetah with different algorithms, and we can see which strategy is more effective,” Sangbae Kim, associate professor of mechanical engineering told MIT News. “That’s how you accelerate research.”

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Flipkart is hosting a Women’s Day sale between March 7 and March 8. The two-day sale is teased to offer discounts on models such as Honor 9N, Nokia 6.1 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and Vivo V9 Pro. Handsets such as the Poco F1, Samsung Galaxy S8, and Motorola One Power among others have also received discounted prices. The Flipkart sale will also bring up to 80 percent discount on electronics products and accessories, including laptops, headphones, speakers, cameras, and power banks. Flipkart has also tied up with Bajaj Finserv to offer no-cost EMI options on eligible EMI Network Cards throughout the Women’s Day Sale.

As per the landing page of the Women’s Day Sale on Flipkart, the Honor 9N will be available at Rs. 9,999, down from the launch price of Rs. 11,999. The Nokia 6.1 Plus will also receive a price cut and will go on sale at Rs. 13,999, down from Rs. 15,499. Similarly, the Vivo V9 Pro will be available during the sale at Rs. 13,990. This is Rs. 2,000 discounted from the launch price of Rs. 15,990.

The Flipkart sale will also bring the Samsung Galaxy S8 at Rs. 30,990. Further, the Realme 2 4GB RAM variant will be available during the sale at Rs. 9,499, down from 10,990. The ZenFone Lite L1 will also receive a discounted price tag of Rs. 4,999. Similarly, the Motorola One Power ₹ 14,496 will be available at Rs. 13,999, down from Rs. 14,999. The Vivo V9 Pro will also be available with an additional exchange discount of Rs. 1,500.

The Infinix Note 5 will also go on sale at Rs. 7,999, down from Rs. 9,999. Flipkart has also teased that it will sell the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL with a starting price of Rs. 59,999. This is down from the launch price of the base 64GB storage variant of the Pixel 3 that comes at Rs. 71,000.

Flipkart has also teased discounts on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Poco F1. The forthcoming sale is also touted to bring some of the “most anticipated” iPhone deals.

Additionally, the Women’s Day Sale on Flipkart will bring laptops starting at Rs. 12,990. There will also be discounts of up to 70 percent on headphones and speakers as well as tablets starting at Rs. 2,999. Flipkart will also offer discounts on cameras, power banks, and smart speakers. Furthermore, there will be up to 75 percent discounts on TVs and home appliances.

The Flipkart sale will bring offers under OMG Deals every hour, Blockbuster Deals every eight hours, and Price Crush on every eight hours. Moreover, there will be no-cost EMI options, debit card EMI support, and no-cost EMIs on Bajaj Finserv EMI Network Cards.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


The demonstration mission of SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon capsule successfully docked Sunday on the International Space Station, passing a key test before it can begin taking US astronauts into space.

The docking of the capsule, which has only a dummy on board, was concluded at 1051 GMT, nearly 250 miles (400 kilometres) over the surface of the Earth, NASA, and SpaceX confirmed during a live broadcast of the mission.

A little over two hours later, the space station’s three crew members – American Anne McClain, Canadian David Saint-Jacques and Russian Oleg Kononenko – opened the hatch of the space capsule and, for the first time, penetrated its interior in space.

There they found the dummy, Ripley, strapped to a seat, and an untethered plush toy in the form of the blue planet, which SpaceX had jokingly placed there as a “super high-tech zero-g indicator.”

“Welcome to the new era in spaceflight,” McClain said from inside Dragon.

Saint-Jacques tweeted about the experience monitoring Crew Dragon’s “first-ever approach and docking” to the space station, hailing it as “the dawn of a new era in human spaceflight!”

NASA chief Jim Bridenstine tweeted his congratulations on “this historic achievement,” which brings the United States a big step closer to its goal of again flying astronauts into space on American rockets.

NASA has relied on Russia to ferry its astronauts to the space station since the end of the US space shuttle program in 2011 after a 30-year run.

The capsule, also called Dragon or Dragon 2, approached the space station very gradually, carefully synchronizing its speed and trajectory.

Contact appeared to be made very slowly, but in actuality both spacecraft were orbiting the Earth at more than 27,000 kilometres per hour.

From blast-off at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday to contact Sunday, the flight took 27 hours. Dragon will detach itself from the space station next Friday and splash down in the Atlantic Ocean, its descent slowed by four parachutes.

The mission is a dress rehearsal, without anyone on board, for Dragon’s first manned mission, which should take place this year. The test run sought to demonstrate that the vehicle is reliable and safe, so that NASA can resume manned flights from US soil this year.

‘NASA ‘rocking’ again’

Founded by billionaire Elon Musk, SpaceX has made the trip to the ISS a dozen times since 2012, but only to bring cargo to the station.

Transporting people is a more complex task, requiring seats, a pressurized cabin with breathable air, temperature regulation and emergency escape systems.

In 2014, the US space agency awarded contracts to SpaceX and Boeing to take over the task of ferrying astronauts to the space station. In SpaceX’s case, NASA has agreed to pay $2.6 billion for six round trips.

The switch from NASA owning spacecraft to paying private firms for a service was initiated under former president Barack Obama – but due to development delays, has come to fruition under US President Donald Trump.

“We’ve got NASA ‘rocking’ again. Great activity and success. Congrats to SPACEX and all!” Trump tweeted Saturday evening.

Return to the Moon

Since 2017, one of NASA’s official missions has been to return to the Moon. Congress has been generous with the space agency, providing overall funding of $21.5 billion in the 2019 budget.

Bridenstine has explained that NASA wants to reduce costs in low orbit to devote resources to getting back to the Moon and assembling a small space station in lunar orbit in the 2020s.

“As a country, we’re looking forward to being one customer of many customers, in a robust commercial marketplace in low Earth orbit, so that we can drive down costs and increase access in ways that historically have not been possible,” he said Saturday following Dragon’s launch.

But Musk has admitted that marketing travel in the Dragon capsule is not a priority – and he is more interested in distant exploration of the solar system.

At the post-launch press conference on Saturday, he reiterated his dream for a permanent Moon base – and sending people to Mars.

Musk has already locked in his first private customer to fly around the Moon: Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. But it won’t happen before 2023 at the earliest – with the rocket, far more powerful than that used for the Dragon mission, still in development.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Huawei has added a new lower mid-range smartphone to its portfolio by launching the Huawei Y6 (2019), an upgraded version of the Huawei Y6 (2018) that went official last year. The Huawei Y6 (2019) brings an updated design with a waterdrop notch display, the latest build of Android, and better imaging hardware among features. The new Huawei offering comes in a trio of colour options with one of them featuring a stitched leather design on the rear panel. Moreover, the display is a TÜV Rheinland certified panel for reducing blue light exposure. Notably, the smartphone is nearly identical to the Huawei Y6 Pro (2019), which was launched back in January.

Huawei Y6 (2019) price, availability

Huawei is yet to reveal the pricing of the Huawei Y6 (2019), and the company has also not divulged any information about its availability in its home or overseas market. The smartphone comes in Midnight Black and Sapphire Blue colour options, both of which feature a polished rear panel, alongside the Amber Brown variant that flaunts a faux leather rear panel. As of now, only the specifications and features of the new smartphone have been listed on the official Huawei website without any details about pricing and availability. The Huawei Y6 Pro (2019), launched back in January, features more RAM, but foregoes the fingerprint sensor the Huawei Y6 (2019) offers. The Huawei Y6 Pro (2019) was launched at PHP 6,990 (roughly Rs. 9,500) – which would give readers a rough idea of the anticipated Huawei Y9 (2019) price.

Huawei Y6 (2019) specifications, features

The Huawei Y6 (2019) packs a 6.09-inch HD+ (720×1560 pixels) display with a dewdrop notch and a screen to body ratio of 87 percent. As mentioned above, the display comes with TÜV Rheinland certification for cutting down blue light exposure and reducing the strain on eyes. The smartphone is powered by the quad-core MediaTek Helio A22 (MTK MT6761) SoC paired with 2GB of RAM. On the software side, it boots EMUI 9.0 based on Android 9 Pie.

In the imaging department, the Huawei Y6 (2019) comes equipped with a 13-megapixel rear camera with f/1.8 aperture. On the front is an 8-megapixel camera that facilitates Face Unlock and is assisted by the Selfie Toning Flash 2.0 for capturing brighter selfies. The smartphone packs 32GB of internal storage that can further be expanded via a microSD card up to 512GB. Connectivity is handled by 4G LTE, GPS, Glonass, BDS, Bluetooth, Micro USB, Wi-Fi Direct, and Wi-Fi Hot Spot. Onboard sensors include a proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, gravity sensor, fingerprint sensor, and a SAR sensor.

The Huawei Y6 (2019) packs a 3,020mAh battery that is backed by Huawei’s proprietary battery optimisation tool to manage power consumption. The smartphone also comes with the Huawei SuperSound technology and is claimed to produce an additional 6dB of sound with a more pronounced bass effect. Party mode, Histen 5.0, and built-in FM radio are also on the table. Huawei claims that the native Phone Manager tool will help boost the system speed and provide a smoother user experience.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Realme 3 is a new smartphone from the company that is taking on Xiaomi’s Redmi lineup with budget smartphones. The Realme 3 India launch is expected to begin at 12.30pm IST and we’ll be bringing all updates live right here. The Realme 3 is expected to be a powerful smartphone with a MediaTek Helio P70 SoC. It’s expected to ship with a waterdrop-style notch, and a fingerprint sensor at the back, as revealed by Realme in teasers so far. Realme 3’s price in India is not expected to be too high. Not much else is known about the smartphone at this point, but we can safely say that the Realme 3 will take on the Redmi Note 7 and the Redmi Note 7 Pro in India. Here’s how you can watch Realme 3 India launch live.

Realme 3 specifications

At the moment most of the specifications of the Realme 3 are not known, but thanks to some teasers from Realme we have some information ahead of the smartphone’s India launch. We know that the Realme 3 will ship with a 12nm MediaTek Helio P70 SoC. We’ve seen the same chipset on the Realme U1 ₹ 10,999 so we have some idea about its performance. We also know that the Realme 3 will feature a waterdrop notch on the display and a rear fingerprint scanner. Realme has also confirmed that the Realme 3 will ship with a 4,230mAh battery. We also know that the smartphone will feature a dual rear camera setup.

Realme 3 price in India

The Realme 3 price in India is not known at the moment. However, it’s expected that Realme 3 price in India will be under Rs. 15,000 since the smartphone is likely to compete with the Redmi Note 7 and Redmi Note 7 Pro.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Boat Lifestyle has built a name for itself as a manufacturer of affordable audio products and accessories for smartphones, including wireless speakers, headphones, earphones, cables, and chargers. The focus of its product range is on affordability, and it has helped make Boat a popular brand online where shoppers look for deals. The latest product from Boat is the Stone 650, which is priced at Rs. 1,899 on Amazon. The speaker is a part of the Boat Stone range, and will likely succeed the Boat Stone 600.

The Boat Stone 650 features an IPX5 water and dust resistance rating and an outer design termed as ‘diamond studded mesh’ by the company. The speaker features a dual-driver setup, with two 5W speaker drivers in laid out in a stereo setup. The speaker also has a passive bass radiator, a claimed battery life of 7 hours on a full charge of the 1,800mAh battery, and multiple connectivity options.

For connectivity, apart from Bluetooth, users can also connect to the Boat Stone 650 using the auxiliary cable or TF storage. The device is charged through its Micro-USB port. The Stone 650 uses Bluetooth 4.2, with support for A2DP, AVRCP, and HFP. There is also a microphone on the device, letting you use the Boat Stone 650 for hands-free voice calls. Buttons and controls on the side of the speaker let you control playback without needing to reach for the paired smartphone every time.

Boat has been active lately, with plenty of launches in India. It also recently launched the Boat Stone 700A which comes with built-in Alexa support, at Rs. 3,199. The Boat Stone 650 doesn’t have any headline features, but does offer a stereo sound at under Rs. 2,000.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Steven Spielberg is a known critic of Netflix’s release model and he’s now taking the fight to the Oscars. At the upcoming annual post-Oscars meeting of the Academy’s Board of Governors in April, the 72-year-old director and producer plans to push for rule changes that will bar Netflix movies — such as Roma, which won three awards at the 2019 Oscars — from being nominated at the Oscars. Naturally, this has divided Hollywood filmmakers, who are split on what the best approach is — if one does even exist.

“Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation,” a spokesperson for Amblin, Spielberg’s producing banner, told IndieWire in a statement last week. “He’ll be happy if the others will join [his campaign] when that comes up [at the Academy Board of Governors meeting]. He will see what happens.”

“Awards rules discussions are ongoing with the branches. And the Board will likely consider the topic at the April meeting,” the Academy said in a prepared statement.

Spielberg is an influential figure in Hollywood, and the Academy, thanks to his standing as the Academy Governor representing the directors’ branch. He has said in the past that Netflix movies should compete only at the Emmys, which cover TV releases. The Emmys do have a section for “TV movies”, where films from the likes of HBO are nominated.

But it would be tough for the Academy to rule out Netflix movies, since they aren’t failing any release standards as of now. Netflix has given films such as Roma a short three-week release window in independent US cinemas, which qualifies it for the Oscars, as they require just one week of exclusive theatrical distribution.

Some Academy insiders, speaking to IndieWire and TheWrap, claimed that proposed changes might include a four- or six-week period for theatres before streaming, but the Academy wouldn’t easily accept that given how it would affect other non-streaming indie movies.

The most prominent critic yet has been director Ava DuVernay. In a tweet on Friday, she said: “Dear @TheAcademy, This is a Board of Governors meeting. And regular branch members can’t be there. But I hope if this is true, that you’ll have filmmakers in the room or read statements from directors like me who feel differently.”

Sean Baker, director of The Florida Project, brought up a strange proposal late on Saturday: “Wouldn’t it be great if @netflix offered a “theatrical tier” to their pricing plans? For a nominal fee, Netflix members could see Netflix films in theatres for free. I know I’d spend an extra 2 dollars a month to see films like Roma or Buster Scruggs on the big screen.”

Baker admitted this was “just an idea with no details ironed out. But we need to find solutions like this in which everybody bends a bit in order to keep the film community (which includes theatre owners, film festivals and competitive distributors) alive and kicking.”

Joseph Kahn, a music video director who has worked with artists such as Lady Gaga, noted that it’s riskier for traditional studios, as opposed to Netflix, to take big bets on “unorthodox creative”. He cited the example of DuVernay’s film, A Wrinkle in Time, which “bombed” for Disney and possibly “cost some executive their job. If released on Netflix no big deal as long as the subscriber base increases next quarter.”

“Ultimately the Oscars are meant to promote the theatrical experience,” Kahn added. “Netflix releasing in one theatre and claiming they should be celebrated the same way as BlacKkKlansman or even yes, Green Book, is not remotely fair.”

But Spielberg’s stance overlooks the experience for audiences globally. In countries such as India, it’s common for Oscar-nominated movies to not ever show up. BlacKkKlansman, The Favourite, and Vice — all three nominated for Best Picture at the 2019 Oscars — haven’t released in Indians cinemas, while Oscar-winner Green Book had a limited run in big cities. Roma, on the other hand, has been available to every Netflix member globally since its release on the platform.

Prasanna Ranganathan, an associate producer on upcoming Indian film Dream Girl, said as much in his tweets, in that “Netflix is making films accessible for everyone around the world”. Moreover, he noted that “Netflix is producing more content than any other studio & giving opportunities to under-represented artists and filmmakers to make content with virtually no restrictions.”

“If the Academy’s commitment to diversity & inclusion as articulated in its A2020 strategy is as robust as it seems, excluding Netflix and its diverse artists, storytellers & filmmakers from awards consideration makes no sense,” Ranganathan concluded.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)