3 Free New Blade Runner Prequels Prime Audiences for This Week's Release

With Blade Runner 2049 ready to premier on October 26, marketers are pulling out all the stops to bring in the bodies. Advance reviews are great, but why take chances? So the studio commissioned and has released three free shorts that fill in some of the story gaps in the 30 years that were supposed to have passed since the original.

Entertainment properties can take time to become blockbuster brands. Look at George R. R. Martin and Game of Thrones. Marvel spent decades building a fan base, which enables the popularity of its movie and television exploits.

Blade Runner, roughly based on a Phillip K. Dick novel, is different in that no one had been actively extending the fan base or creating additional properties. After 35 years, even with all the hype surrounding the sequel, it helps to bridge an enormous actual time gap, both between the releases and the years in which the films are supposed to take place.

The writer and director could try to fill everything in, but that presents some difficulties in storytelling and filming. So the studio and director Denis Villeneuve invited some other filmmakers to create a series of backstories for the new movie. They’re both prequel to Blade Runner 2049 and sequel to the original. Each tells one part of the time gap, from a revolution and destruction of global communications, the creation of a new version of the synthetic humans called Replicants, and a hunt for one of the Replicants. Below are the three: the first in anime and then two live action.

Over a few months, they’ve given fans something to chew on, get excited over, and promote virally. It’s a clever approach that builds on what studios have previously done to add live to existing properties, whether offering blooper reels, behind-the-scenes videos, or launching online games in support of marketing.

You can also think of this as a variation on what other companies have done with their brands, like merchandise sales. The more you can keep top of someone’s mind, the more easily they will remember you when you come around to sell something new.

Tech

AWS offers Alexa developers free cloud credits

Developers interested in extending the capabilities of Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant have some more free tools in their arsenal, thanks to a program the company announced Wednesday.

Developers with an active Alexa skill —  a service that expands the capabilities of the virtual assistant — can apply for $ 100 in Amazon Web Services credits every month to help pay for what they’ve built. After that, they can receive up to $ 100 per month in additional credits if they incur usage charges for their skills.

The credits are meant to build on AWS’s existing Free Tier, which offers developers a small bundle of free services every month, but charges them for any usage that goes over those low caps. According to a blog post by Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, the move is supposed to make it free for developers to operate most Alexa skills.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

CIO Cloud Computing

Google offers new ‘Always Free’ cloud tier to attract users

Google is letting its customers get a taste of its cloud for free, without a time-limited trial. The company quietly launched a new “Always Free” tier on Thursday that lets people use small amounts of its public cloud services without charge, beyond the company’s limited-time trial.

The tier includes—among other things—1 f1-micro compute instance, 5 GB per month of Regional Storage and 60 minutes per month of access to the Cloud Speech API. Using the free tier requires users to provide a credit card that Google can automatically bill for any use over the limits.

In addition, the cloud provider expanded its free trial so that users get $ 300 in credits that they can use for up to 12 months. Google will halt users’ workloads if they eat up all of the credits before the end of 12 months.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Google offers new ‘Always Free’ cloud tier to attract users

Google is letting its customers get a taste of its cloud for free, without a time-limited trial. The company quietly launched a new “Always Free” tier on Thursday that lets people use small amounts of its public cloud services without charge, beyond the company’s limited-time trial.

The tier includes — among other things — 1 f1-micro compute instance, 5 GB per month of Regional Storage and 60 minutes per month of access to the Cloud Speech API. Using the free tier requires users to provide a credit card that Google can automatically bill for any use over the limits.

In addition, the cloud provider expanded its free trial so that users get $ 300 in credits that they can use for up to 12 months. Google will halt users’ workloads if they eat up all of the credits before the end of 12 months.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Network World Cloud Computing

MongoDB adds free tier and migration utility to its cloud service

NoSQL database specialist MongoDB unveiled a new free tier for its MongoDB Atlas database-as-a-service (DaaS) offering on Tuesday. The company also released a utility to support live migration of data to MongoDB Atlas, whether that data is on-premise or in the cloud.

[ Related: 9 MongoDB success stories ]

“Since we first introduced MongoDB to the community in 2009, we have been laser-focused on one thing — building a technology that gets out of the way of developers and makes them more productive,” Eliot Horowitz, CTO and co-founder of MongoDB, said in a statement Tuesday. “Now, with these updates to MongoDB Atlas, we’re tearing down more of the barriers that stand between developers and their giant ideas.”

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Computerworld Cloud Computing