Your digest of the week’s top media, entertainment and technology news.
BBC to fight FAANG
BBC Director General Tony Hall has warned of the threat to society from the rising dominance of the US “west coast giants”. Protecting British values, according to Hall, will require taking aim at the likes of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google he explained during a speech to BBC staff in London, reported The Guardian. He said the technology giants will “skillfully mine every ounce of personal data to drive growth and profit” and that “technology and social media can add to [a] sense of social unease and division”.
TV recognises International Women’s Day
Netflix premiered Marvel’s Jessica Jones on 8 March, while US news anchor for MSNBC Stephanie Ruhle concluded her news segment by pointing out that all of her 10 guests over the last hour were women, wrote The Hollywood Reporter. MTV flipped the first letter of its logo on Thursday, so its icon read “WTV.” Hulu featured a curated “International Women’s Day” content collection on its homepage and Cartoon Network commissioned a cover of its Powerpuff Girls theme song by singer-songwriter Julia Michaels.
Channel 4 confirms ‘National HQ’ move
Channel 4 is to hold a competition among UK cities to be the location of its new ‘National HQ’. The broadcaster will keep its London HQ but it will move 300 jobs outside the capital, according to The Telegraph, which reported that cities including Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Sheffield and Edinburgh have already expressed interest in hosting the broadcaster.
Lionsgate and Amazon sign LatAm VoD deal
Lionsgate and Amazon have signed a long-term VoD deal for Latin American audiences that will provide a diverse line-up of Hollywood blockbusters to Amazon Prime Customers, reported Rapid TV News.
Germany rolls out 5G TV trial
A television broadcasting 5G test site is being prepared in the Bavarian Oberland region in Germany for the research project 5G Today. The project is funded by partners Telefónica Germany and Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR), the Bavarian affiliate of German public broadcaster ARD. BR is operating the 5G FeMBMS broadcast network as a test site at its transmitter locations for one of the leading 5G trials in Europe, reported by Broadband TV News.
Pentagon uses Google tech
According to the BBC, Google has confirmed that it is allowing the Pentagon to use some of its image recognition technologies to analyse drone footage. A Google spokesperson said the tie-up involved the provision of software tools to let the US Department of Defense make use of its TensorFlow machine learning code. Concerns have been raised about the quantity of data obtained and the purposes of the partnership.
Uber’s self-driving trucks launched
Uber has announced it has begun using self-driving trucks to haul freight across the highways in Arizona. A human driver remains behind the wheel and takes control as back-up when required but it is the first in implementing the autonomous technologies, reported CNN. Uber has not revealed details about the autonomous truck program but plans to keep the vehicles on highways for now.