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Events
Nollywood actress, Mercy Johnson who in March 2017 was appointed as the senior special assistant on Entertainment, Arts and Culture to Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, attended the first Stakeholders Summit on Entertainment, Art and Culture in Collaboration with Kogi Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs on the 26th of April.
The event gathered special dignitaries including the governor of the Kogi State to deliberate on the possible ways to move the entertainment industry to the apex level in the state.
See more photos after the cut…
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News

Nick Cannon spotted on dinner date with another ex, Christina Milian

Last week Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey sparked rumors they were back together after they were spotted having dinner together three nights in a row. Maybe that is not happening as Nick was spotted with another one of his exes, Christina Millian. The two were spotted leaving Sugarfish in LA.

Nick and Christina dated for nearly two years after meeting on the set of Love Don’t Cost a Thing back in 2003 and broke up after Nick Cannon cheated.

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News

Human Ken Doll Rodrigo Alves is having eye implants next

Rodrigo Alves who is famous for his many cosmetic surgeries in a bid to transform himself into a human version of popular toy, Ken Doll was rushed to emergencies after his drink was spiked in New York. The 33yr old said:

‘I had been out for dinner at Catch with my friend Diane, who is a socialite, and we headed to the Boom Boom lounge on top of a hotel, before going to a place called Marquee.
‘People were being very friendly and asking for selfies and offering me drinks. We bumped into lots of different faces and I was turning down shots because I only drink champagne or prosecco when I am out. I had been working really hard all week and so I didn’t want to drink too much, but I felt like letting my hair down as a treat to myself.

‘When we went to the Marquee club, we met another group of people and by then, I was cautious but still had my wits about me.  It really wasn’t my scene there as everyone was in jeans and trainers, with baseball caps and I had a red velvet Dolce and Gabbana suit with glitter running through it.

But he claims that something suddenly felt wrong, saying: ‘ I started feeling a little strange and dizzy, so I started sipping on some iced water.

‘I remember someone bought some Dom Perignon, but I wasn’t really drinking, and all of a sudden I collapsed by the DJ booth and woke up in the emergency room.
‘Diane was holding my hand and doctors told me I had my drink spiked. They said if I had carried on drinking, my body could have gone into shock.

‘They also said that because I’ve had so much surgery and had general anaesthetic so many times, I am more fragile if something like this happens.’
‘I questioned why someone would do this to me. I’m sure they didn’t want any funny business, if you know what I mean.

‘But maybe they wanted to rob me, or beat me up, kidnap me, or throw me in the Hudson River.
‘I’m feeling much better now, but it’s so embarrassing and my suit is ruined. It’s so dirty from when I fell down. My bones ache. It’s very unpleasant.’

He revealed he’ll be flying out to India soon for yet another cosmetic procedure to have his eye colour permanently changed. He said:

‘I’m having eye implants so I don’t have to keep wearing expensive hand-painted lenses. I’m not scared at all. I can’t wait to have it done.’

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Tech

The Moto Z2 Play looks very familiar

You probably picked up the Moto Z Play for its long battery life, mid-range price and compatibility with Motrola’s flagship modular backs. If you were worried that those components wouldn’t work on the next version of the handset, don’t — leaked images of the Moto Z2 Play from TechnoBuffalo suggest that the device will be almost visually identical to the original. Well, there is one notable change: the Moto Z Play’s square button has been replaced with a round one.

Ultimately, this isn’t too much of a surprise — any drastic changes to the phone’s chassis would have made it incompatible with the battery, camera back and other accessories created for the Moto Z line. Keeping the same shape was important. Unfortunately, beyond form factor and the hard-point connector that confirms mod compatibility, the leak tells us precious little else about the phone. The leaked image’s clock does have a date listed for June 8th, however, which could be a tease, but take that with a grain of salt. If we hear anything, we’ll let you know.

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Articles Featured/Opinions

How Gorillaz brought a global listening party to your phone

Gorillaz are having a house party at 500 locations around the globe. The animated band — brainchild of musician Damon Albarn (Blur) and artist Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl) — is hosting the unusual audio soirée for its upcoming album launch for Humanz. Just streaming the new music to its recently launched app isn’t Gorillaz’s style, so instead it’s created a sort of musical scavenger hunt that’s part Pokemon Go, part concert.

The technical team that helped bring Hewlett and Albarn’s vision to life is known more for working with the likes of Nike and Google than cartoon rockers. While located around the globe, it was B-Reel’s London office and executive creative director Davor Krvavac’s team that took on the slightly insane but definitely impressive app and its worldwide dance-party ambitions. “It was a sort of a sense of awe really, because all of us here, we really respect what Jamie, Sheila and Damon Albarn have been doing over all these years in so many different manifestations,” Krvavac said.

Gorillaz are more than just a band. Each album mixes music, art and technology into interactive sites, games, movies, DVDs, live chats with cartoon characters, an upcoming show at an amusement park and concerts that fuse the live band with their animated avatars. The lead up to Humanz is no different and if anything has raised the bar. The band has released a 3D music video, Twitter-moment “books” for each member of the band and of course the mixed-reality Gorillaz app.

“It was a very different sort of creative process than we might follow as an agency with one of our branded clients,” Krvavac told Engadget. “It’s all about building trust, because the Gorillaz and the creative products of the Gorillaz, that’s the crown jewels.”

The two teams worked closely together on the app, which, like the upcoming album, places the Spirit House at the center of the story. The band handled the story and art, and B-Reel handled the tech. “Of course they’re super switched on and well aware of all the kind of developments that have happened in the six years since the last album. You know AR, VR all of that stuff,” Krvavac said.

The result is an app that launches right into mixed reality with a vision of the real world overlaid with objects from each band member appearing as you spin around. It’s a reminder that you’re leaving your world and entering the band’s domain. The dilapidated Spirit House has been overtaken by Murdoc Niccals, 2-D, Russel Hobbs, and Noodle, and users can explore the band members’ rooms either with or without a VR headset.

“It’s all about discovery. It’s all about immersing yourself into the story,” Krvavac said. “Really early on we were talking about when you buy the bonus pack that comes with your vinyl or CD and you go over sleeve notes and all the little things to discover. Well it’s kind of like that. It’s a mixed-reality kind of extension of their world that sort of spills over into our world, and I think the listening part is the ultimate sort of reward. Everything in the house essentially builds up to the actual location of the house and discovering it for yourself.”

The global listening party is live for the next three days. During that time, the app will guide fans with directions and distances toward the nearest geolocation of the Spirit House. It’s bit like Pokemon Go, but instead of finding a tiny monster, you’re rewarded with a stream of the entire album. With 500 locations all over the globe, most major metropolitan areas will be covered.

Of course, the developers and band added a challenge to finding the final digital jukebox. The directions lead you in the general location of the nearest Spirit House, but you’ll still have to do a bit of sleuthing to discover the exact spot. Fortunately, Gorillaz’s Facebook page has been dropping the longitudes and latitudes of various Spirit Houses to help you along.

It’s an ambitious endeavor for something that’ll shut down on Sunday night. But the tech is there, and in the future it could be used for something else. “What I can tell you for sure is that the stream will cease with the actual launch of the album, but there are some ideas and thoughts about what happens with the house after that. So, you know, watch this space, essentially,” Krvavac said.

With all that’s been invested into the prelaunch of the album, it’ll be interesting to see what Gorillaz finally comes up with summer when it launches for real. “They’ve always had to push the technology so hard and kind of invent new things in order to manifest themselves as a band,” Krvavac said.

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News

Facebook’s new 360 cameras bring multiple perspectives to live videos

Last year, Facebook announced the Surround 360, a 360-degree camera that can capture footage in 3D and then render it online via specially designed software. But it wasn’t for sale. Instead, the company used it as a reference design for others to create 3D 360 content, even going so far as to open source it on Github later that summer. As good as the camera was, though, it still didn’t deliver the full VR experience. That’s why Facebook is introducing two more 360-degree cameras at this year’s F8: the x24 and x6. The difference: These cameras can shoot in six degrees of freedom, which promises to make the 360 footage more immersive than before.

The x24 is so named because it has 24 cameras; the x6, meanwhile, has — you guessed it — six cameras. While the x24 looks like a giant beach ball with many eyes, the x6 is shaped more like a tennis ball, which makes for a less intimidating look. Both are designed for professional content creators, but the x6 is obviously meant to be a smaller, lighter and cheaper version.

Both the x24 and the x6 are part of the Surround 360 family. And, as with version one (which is now called the Surround 360 Open Edition), Facebook doesn’t plan on selling the cameras themselves. Instead, Facebook plans to license the x24 and x6 designs to a “select group of commercial partners.” Still, the versions you see in the images here were prototyped in Facebook’s on-site hardware lab (cunningly called Area 404) using off-the-shelf components. The x24 was made in partnership with FLIR, a company mostly known for its thermal imaging cameras, while the x6 prototype was made entirely in-house.

But before we get into all of that, let’s talk a little bit about what sets these cameras apart from normal 360 ones. With a traditional fixed camera, you see the world through its fixed lens. So if you’re viewing this content (also known as stereoscopic 360) in a VR headset and you decide to move around, the world stays still as you move, which is not what it would look like in the real world. This makes the experience pretty uncomfortable and takes you out of the scene. It becomes less immersive.

With content that’s shot with six degrees of freedom, however, this is no longer an issue. You can move your head to a position where the camera never was, and still view the world as if you were actually there. Move your head from side to side, forwards and backwards, and the camera is smart enough to reconstruct what the view looks like from different angles. All of this is due to some special software that Facebook has created, along with the carefully designed pattern of the cameras. According to Brian Cabral, Facebook’s Engineering Director, it’s an “optimal pattern” to get as much information as possible.

I had the opportunity to have a look at a couple of different videos shot with the x24 at Facebook’s headquarters (Using the Oculus Rift, of course). One was of a scene shot in the California Academy of Sciences, specifically at the underwater tunnel in the Steinhart Aquarium. I was surprised to see that the view of the camera would follow my own as I tilted my head from left to right and even when I crouched down on the floor. I could even step to the side and look “through” where the camera was, as if it wasn’t there at all. If the video was shot through a traditional 360 camera, it’s likely that I would see the camera tripod if I looked down. But with the x24, I just saw the floor, as if I was a disembodied ghost floating around.

Another wonderful thing about videos shot with six degrees of freedom is that each pixel has depth. Each pixel is literally in 3D. This a breakthrough for VR content creators, and opens up a world of possibilities in visual effects editing. This means that you can add 3D effects to live action footage, a feat that usually would have required a green screen.

I saw this demonstrated in the other video, which was of a scene shot on the roof of one of Facebook’s buildings. Facebook along with Otoy, a Los Angeles-based cloud rendering company, were able to actually add effects to the scene. Examples include floating butterflies, which wafted around when I swiped at them with a Touch controller. They also did a visual trick where I could step “outside” of the scene and encapsulate the entire video in a snow globe. All of this is possible because of the layers of depth that the footage provides.

That’s not to say there weren’t bugs. The video footage I saw had shimmering around the edges, which Cabral said is basically a flaw in the software that they’re working to fix. Plus, the camera is unable to see what’s behind people, so there’s a tiny bit of streaking along the edges.

Still, there’s lots of potential with this kind of content. “This is a new kind of media in video and immersive experiences,” said Eric Cheng, Facebook’s head of Immersive Media, who was previously the Director of Photography at Lytro. “Six degrees of freedom has traditionally been done in gaming and VR, but not in live action.” Cheng says that many content creators have told him that they’ve been waiting for a way to bridge live action into these “volumetric editing experiences.”

Indeed, that’s partly why Facebook is partnering with a lot of post-production companies like Adobe, Foundry and Otoy in order to develop an editing workflow with these cameras. “Think of these cameras as content acquisition tools for content creators,” said Cheng.

But what about other cameras, like Lytro’s Immerge for example? “There’s a large continuum of these things,” said Cabral. “Lytro sits at the very very high-end.” It’s also not nearly as portable as both the x24 and x6, which are both designed for a much more flexible and nimble approach to VR capture.

As for when cameras like these will make their way down to the consumer level, well, Facebook says that will come in future generations. “That’s the long arc of where we’re going with this,” said CTO Mike Schroepfer.

“Our goal is simple: We want more people producing awesome, immersive 360 and 3D content,” said Schroepfer. “We want to bring people up the immersion curve. We want to be developing the gold standard and say this is where we’re shooting for.”

av, cameras, f8, f82017, facebook, personal computing, personalcomputing, CTO, Mike Schroepfer, gadgetry, gear,3D content,Lytro’s Immerge, Los Angeles, social media, social media app,media, entertainment, Adobe, Foundry, Otoy, camera, Brian Cabral, Facebook’s Engineering Director, optimal pattern

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News

MC Ajele to Host First Show in Texas

Nigeria’s sought after comedian known for the “turnup” he introduces at weddings, MC Ajele, who has been in Texas will be staging his first career show in United States today (Easter Sunday)  at the very exquisite CUMI Auditorium, Houston Texas.

The comedy show tagged ‘Laugh or Else with Ajele & friends’ is being packaged by US-based Oghene Bouqui Entertainment.
 Ajele’s comedian friends and colleagues in the States who are expected to join him in making the show a memorable one includes, MCPC, Prof B, Wowo Boyz, Bukatar, Segun Pryme as well as Papa K.
 In his 3 months stay in the States, Ajele became a name synonymous to stagecraft and energy when it comes to comedy, content delivery and event hosting. The aforementioned were Oghene Bouqui’s reasons to have him, in no time, stage his own show for his fans.
 Musical performances will be done by: Tomi Favoured, Paul Akadi, Marquion C Johnson, Pascal Dunamis, Lanre Manuel and Yinka sax as well as cultural display by Bata Osun.
 The show according to Ajele promises to be a wonderful one that would surely up give his career a facelift in the comedy industry. MC Ajele is one of AY’s open mic.” competition product back in the days. And he has shared stage with prominent comedians and music artists in and outside Nigeria.
Watch the skit below….
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