This week has seen technology invade all corners of the entertainment world, with US sitcom Modern Family airing an episode filmed entirely on Apple devices, while an AI gamer from Google managed to beat almost half of the top scores it was tested against.
Here's our roundup of the best of the rest from around the web this week.
- Harrison Ford is confirmed to star in the upcoming Blade Runner sequel, reprising his 1982 role of Rick Deckard. Ridley Scott will direct the film, which is scheduled to start filming next summer.
- Two finalists for the Google Lunar XPrize may get the chance to race their respective space rovers on the moon by the end of next year. The winner gets a $20 million prize for getting their vehicle to the moon, and having it travel 500 metres before sending images back to Earth.
- A photograph of Buzz Aldrin taken in space, dubbed the world's first selfie, is to be sold at auction alongside other NASA pictures. It is expected to raise between 600 to 800 alone, reports DigitalSpy.
- A new trailer for YA sci-fi sequel Insurgent, starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet, has landed online. Watch the trailer below:
- Californian startup 23andMe has been granted permission by the US Food and Drug Administration to provide a mail order DNA test for the rare genetic condition, Bloom Syndrome. The disorder is inherited, and the test used to determine whether a healthy person is at risk of passing it on to their children.
- Former Eastenders star Ben Hardy has been cast in the forthcoming X-Men: Apocalypse film. The movie will feature a cast playing younger versions of well-known X-Men characters, including Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm. Hardy's role is not yet known.
- Google DeepMind has trained an AI gamer to beat a human player's high score in 23 of the 49 video games it was tested against, reports New Scientist. Rather than being told the rules of the various games it played, the software simply works it out by watching.
- The 14-minute fan-made Power Rangers tribute starring James Van Der Beek and Katee Sackhoff has been removed from YouTube because of copyright issues, though the film's producer has vowed to fight the decision.
- An entire episode of hit US sitcom Modern Family shot using iPhones, iPads and a Macbook Pro in place of traditional film recording equipment aired this week. Entitled Connection Lost' the action all took place on a character's desktop, with additional shots of the actors filmed on Apple smartphones and tablets.
- Apple has launched new racially diverse emojis, responding to criticism from iOS users about whitewashing. This even extends to Santa emojis, with six variants in skin tone now available.
- The Oscars took place on Sunday 22 February, with the Best Actor award going to Eddie Redmayne for the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything, while the accolade for best Adapted Screenplay went to Graham Moore The Imitation Game, which tells the story of Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing. The Best Animated Feature Film trophy went to Big Hero 6, and the Oscar for Achievement in Visual Effects went to Interstellar.
- The Oscars may be all about the best in film, but social media figures after the event revealed it was actually Lady Gaga who stole the show. During her The Sound of Music tribute, THR reports that Facebook interactions reached around 214,000 people per minute.
- Following the launch of Dish Network's Sling TV, chairman Charlie Ergen has surmised the next generation of viewers will choose mobile devices over televisions when it comes to their viewing habits.
- Three people with nerve damage in their hands have had them replaced with bionic limbs that can be controlled by the mind, reports New Scientist. The hands have to be electronically charged, and can be powered by the remaining muscles and nerves in the body.
- Vimeo will produce more exclusive content after completing a deal with gaming and media streaming site Machinima and its 30,000 creators. The deal will give it access to original content and further funding from Vimeo.
- Lionsgate has invested in Telltale Games, which is the latest in a series of moves by the company to get more involved with the games industry. The union will likely result in jointly-produced episodic games (e.g. The Walking Dead) and television shows.
- The Tomb Raider reboot now has a writer, with Evan Daugherty (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Divergent) set to script the Warner Bros film.
- Twitch is launching TwitchCon, a convention for fans of the game-streaming service. According to TechCrunch, the event will be a "celebration of all things Twitch," and will take place on 25-26 September in San Francisco.
- Google has increased its Google Play Music storage allowance by more than double, from 20,000 to 50,000 songs, with the upgrade automatically free for users.
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Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.
You can get in touch with Caroline via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.