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6 Specialty Streaming Services for Film-Loving Users

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Film-lovers understand the difference between a regular piece of popcorn entertainment, and content that truly pushes the boundaries of what a movie or TV show can actually be.

In the Wild West of streaming that’s currently overtaking our screens and wallets, knowing what platforms will provide the type of quality content you’re craving can become a difficult task. Thankfully, we’ve come to your aid, with this list of six specialty streaming services that are perfect for film-loving users: 

TV Personalisation

Criterion has been the brand name for film-loving, cinephile audiences for decades now. Especially before film distributors commonly put out classic films, foreign films, art films and modern-day indie hits, Criterion was known as the go-to source for films that were hard to find and important. With streaming, there are many more places to find this type of content, but Criterion Channel remains the best streaming service for anyone who wants a massive catalog of cinephile-focused content. The amount of behind the scenes features and special features for the films on the platform makes it that much more insanely content-packed, so be sure to try out this streaming service ASAP. 

Mubi is the most unique, exclusive app on this list, and will thrill film-lovers who want to stay up-to-date on modern art classics. The idea of the app is to provide users with an online theater of sorts, with thirty films playing at any given time, and a new film cycling into the catalog every single day. Although this is the main focus, the platform is now buying up streaming rights for some modern art film hits, making the price tag of the service that much more justified. If you want to bring back cinema culture in an online space, you deserve to buy yourself a subscription for Mubi. However, Mubi’s offerings differ drastically depending on your region, so if you want full access to their catalog, be sure to jailbreak your streaming device

Genre films are sometimes put-down in film-lover circles, but true film fans know how important and fantastically entertaining genre-heavy content is. Horror is one of the most niche genres out there, and unfortunately many streaming services have a pathetic selection of quality horror films. Thankfully, Shudder is here to answer the prayers of horror lovers, and has a catalog that will keep you entertained for the foreseeable future. The huge catalog of classics, foreign horror films, horror series and modern horror hits makes it a must-have for any film lover who loves a good scare now and then (or every single day). If you want to learn how to be an amazing writer, learning how genre films unlock masterpiece-level writing can be a great starting point. 

Not all streaming services film-lovers use need to be exclusive or targeted specifically toward a “high brow” taste, and there’s no better example of this than Tubi. Tubi is the best, most content-packed free streaming platform out there. While you’ll need to watch ads to use the platform, the sheer volume of free content on the platform makes the small catch much less of an annoyance. If you’re looking for more obscure, but high-quality content (especially series from other countries) Tubi has you covered. Just know that you’ll have to be willing to dig deeper and more intensely to find the hidden gems on the platform. 

Amazon Prime is one of the best “mainstream” platforms for film-lovers. The platform has been funding some of the biggest art film hits in the last five years, and there are endless high-quality, culture-defining series being made on Amazon Prime as well. The fact that many people will have access to the service simply because they also use Prime’s shipping services will make it popular for many reading this list. Amazon Prime is also a fantastic platform for renting old hits and hard-to-find films, so it’s a great service to download even if you’re not immediately subscribing for their original content or for their other subscriber-only choices. 

Do you miss the days of going to your local library to find a classic movie, or simply to find a movie you can rent for practically free? If so, Kanopy is here to revive your glory days. With a public library card, you can unlock the full-version of Kanopy’s service, which has a huge library of films and series from across the globe, and time itself. There are few services that can really compare to the intensely unique and content-packed nature of Kanopy, so make sure to try it out immediately. 

Dont Believe What You See on TV

Stop wasting your time with platforms that are not providing you with consistently amazing films and shows. With these six streaming platforms, you’ll have access to an intense amount of buzz-worthy, future classics that will change the way you view the world. Thankfully, there are choices for any budget, taste and streaming needs, so be sure to check out one of these amazing platforms ASAP.


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Next-gen chips, Amazon Q, and speedy S3

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AWS re:Invent, which has been taking place from November 27 and runs to December 1, has had its usual plethora of announcements: a total of 21 at time of print.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the huge potential impact of generative AI – ChatGPT officially turns one year old today – a lot of focus has been on the AI side for AWS’ announcements, including a major partnership inked with NVIDIA across infrastructure, software, and services.

Yet there has been plenty more announced at the Las Vegas jamboree besides. Here, CloudTech rounds up the best of the rest:

Next-generation chips

This was the other major AI-focused announcement at re:Invent: the launch of two new chips, AWS Graviton4 and AWS Trainium2, for training and running AI and machine learning (ML) models, among other customer workloads. Graviton4 shapes up against its predecessor with 30% better compute performance, 50% more cores and 75% more memory bandwidth, while Trainium2 delivers up to four times faster training than before and will be able to be deployed in EC2 UltraClusters of up to 100,000 chips.

The EC2 UltraClusters are designed to ‘deliver the highest performance, most energy efficient AI model training infrastructure in the cloud’, as AWS puts it. With it, customers will be able to train large language models in ‘a fraction of the time’, as well as double energy efficiency.

As ever, AWS offers customers who are already utilising these tools. Databricks, Epic and SAP are among the companies cited as using the new AWS-designed chips.

Zero-ETL integrations

AWS announced new Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon Relational Database Services (Amazon RDS) for MySQL integrations with Amazon Redshift, AWS’ cloud data warehouse. The zero-ETL integrations – eliminating the need to build ETL (extract, transform, load) data pipelines – make it easier to connect and analyse transactional data across various relational and non-relational databases in Amazon Redshift.

A simple example of how zero-ETL functions can be seen is in a hypothetical company which stores transactional data – time of transaction, items bought, where the transaction occurred – in a relational database, but use another analytics tool to analyse data in a non-relational database. To connect it all up, companies would previously have to construct ETL data pipelines which are a time and money sink.

The latest integrations “build on AWS’s zero-ETL foundation… so customers can quickly and easily connect all of their data, no matter where it lives,” the company said.

Amazon S3 Express One Zone

AWS announced the general availability of Amazon S3 Express One Zone, a new storage class purpose-built for customers’ most frequently-accessed data. Data access speed is up to 10 times faster and request costs up to 50% lower than standard S3. Companies can also opt to collocate their Amazon S3 Express One Zone data in the same availability zone as their compute resources.  

Companies and partners who are using Amazon S3 Express One Zone include ChaosSearch, Cloudera, and Pinterest.

Amazon Q

A new product, and an interesting pivot, again with generative AI at its core. Amazon Q was announced as a ‘new type of generative AI-powered assistant’ which can be tailored to a customer’s business. “Customers can get fast, relevant answers to pressing questions, generate content, and take actions – all informed by a customer’s information repositories, code, and enterprise systems,” AWS added. The service also can assist companies building on AWS, as well as companies using AWS applications for business intelligence, contact centres, and supply chain management.

Customers cited as early adopters include Accenture, BMW and Wunderkind.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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HCLTech and Cisco create collaborative hybrid workplaces

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Digital comms specialist Cisco and global tech firm HCLTech have teamed up to launch Meeting-Rooms-as-a-Service (MRaaS).

Available on a subscription model, this solution modernises legacy meeting rooms and enables users to join meetings from any meeting solution provider using Webex devices.

The MRaaS solution helps enterprises simplify the design, implementation and maintenance of integrated meeting rooms, enabling seamless collaboration for their globally distributed hybrid workforces.

Rakshit Ghura, senior VP and Global head of digital workplace services, HCLTech, said: “MRaaS combines our consulting and managed services expertise with Cisco’s proficiency in Webex devices to change the way employees conceptualise, organise and interact in a collaborative environment for a modern hybrid work model.

“The common vision of our partnership is to elevate the collaboration experience at work and drive productivity through modern meeting rooms.”

Alexandra Zagury, VP of partner managed and as-a-Service Sales at Cisco, said: “Our partnership with HCLTech helps our clients transform their offices through cost-effective managed services that support the ongoing evolution of workspaces.

“As we reimagine the modern office, we are making it easier to support collaboration and productivity among workers, whether they are in the office or elsewhere.”

Cisco’s Webex collaboration devices harness the power of artificial intelligence to offer intuitive, seamless collaboration experiences, enabling meeting rooms with smart features such as meeting zones, intelligent people framing, optimised attendee audio and background noise removal, among others.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: Cisco, collaboration, HCLTech, Hybrid, meetings

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Canonical releases low-touch private cloud MicroCloud

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Canonical has announced the general availability of MicroCloud, a low-touch, open source cloud solution. MicroCloud is part of Canonical’s growing cloud infrastructure portfolio.

It is purpose-built for scalable clusters and edge deployments for all types of enterprises. It is designed with simplicity, security and automation in mind, minimising the time and effort to both deploy and maintain it. Conveniently, enterprise support for MicroCloud is offered as part of Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro subscription, with several support tiers available, and priced per node.

MicroClouds are optimised for repeatable and reliable remote deployments. A single command initiates the orchestration and clustering of various components with minimal involvement by the user, resulting in a fully functional cloud within minutes. This simplified deployment process significantly reduces the barrier to entry, putting a production-grade cloud at everyone’s fingertips.

Juan Manuel Ventura, head of architectures & technologies at Spindox, said: “Cloud computing is not only about technology, it’s the beating heart of any modern industrial transformation, driving agility and innovation. Our mission is to provide our customers with the most effective ways to innovate and bring value; having a complexity-free cloud infrastructure is one important piece of that puzzle. With MicroCloud, the focus shifts away from struggling with cloud operations to solving real business challenges” says

In addition to seamless deployment, MicroCloud prioritises security and ease of maintenance. All MicroCloud components are built with strict confinement for increased security, with over-the-air transactional updates that preserve data and roll back on errors automatically. Upgrades to newer versions are handled automatically and without downtime, with the mechanisms to hold or schedule them as needed.

With this approach, MicroCloud caters to both on-premise clouds but also edge deployments at remote locations, allowing organisations to use the same infrastructure primitives and services wherever they are needed. It is suitable for business-in-branch office locations or industrial use inside a factory, as well as distributed locations where the focus is on replicability and unattended operations.

Cedric Gegout, VP of product at Canonical, said: “As data becomes more distributed, the infrastructure has to follow. Cloud computing is now distributed, spanning across data centres, far and near edge computing appliances. MicroCloud is our answer to that.

“By packaging known infrastructure primitives in a portable and unattended way, we are delivering a simpler, more prescriptive cloud experience that makes zero-ops a reality for many Industries.“

MicroCloud’s lightweight architecture makes it usable on both commodity and high-end hardware, with several ways to further reduce its footprint depending on your workload needs. In addition to the standard Ubuntu Server or Desktop, MicroClouds can be run on Ubuntu Core – a lightweight OS optimised for the edge. With Ubuntu Core, MicroClouds are a perfect solution for far-edge locations with limited computing capabilities. Users can choose to run their workloads using Kubernetes or via system containers. System containers based on LXD behave similarly to traditional VMs but consume fewer resources while providing bare-metal performance.

Coupled with Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro + Support subscription, MicroCloud users can benefit from an enterprise-grade open source cloud solution that is fully supported and with better economics. An Ubuntu Pro subscription offers security maintenance for the broadest collection of open-source software available from a single vendor today. It covers over 30k packages with a consistent security maintenance commitment, and additional features such as kernel livepatch, systems management at scale, certified compliance and hardening profiles enabling easy adoption for enterprises. With per-node pricing and no hidden fees, customers can rest assured that their environment is secure and supported without the expensive price tag typically associated with cloud solutions.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: automation, Canonical, MicroCloud, private cloud

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