Posts tagged with "amazon prime"

by The Coda Collection for use by 360 Magazine

THE BLACK CROWES × CODA COLLECTION

THE BLACK CROWES PARTNER WITH THE CODA COLLECTION TO RELEASE NEW FILM BROTHERS OF A FEATHER TOGETHER WITH A SELECTION OF RARE CONCERT & STUDIO PERFORMANCE FILMS SPANNING THE BAND’S FIRST CHAPTER

The Black Crowes have joined forces with The Coda Collection to premiere Brothers Of A Feather, a new film celebrating the welcomed 2020 reunion of the Robinson brothers as well as three superb concert and studio performance programs which present the band at the peak of their power. The partnership culminates today with the release of  Brothers of a Feather, which captures Black Crowes founders Chris and Rich Robinson reuniting as a duo at an intimate, sold-out concert from San Francisco on March 6, 2020, just prior to the pandemic shutdown. Never before seen in full, the intimate, stripped-down arrangements of Crowes standards such as “She Talks To Angels,” “Remedy” and “Wiser Time” give the music’s lyrics and structures a welcomed new perspective.  Brothers of a Feather’ is available to stream in full exclusively on The Coda Collection beginning July 9th.

Over the past few weeks, The Coda Collection has dug into its vast archive and presented unforgettable moments from the band’s illustrious career. Additional films in this series include Live at Landgraaf 1993’, which showcases the band’s ferocious live set in the Netherlands in the immediate aftermath of the release of their acclaimed second studio album The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion. Ferocious renditions of favorites such as “No Speak, No Slave,” “Thorn In My Pride,” and “Jealous Again” stand among the many highlights of this superb performance, which is available on The Coda Collection now.

Also available to stream now is 1996’s Amsterdam Sessions which was filmed at a recording studio in Holland. The program provides an intimate look at the band showcasing highlights of the band’s third and fourth LPs while providing an intimate portrait of the group’s creative interplay. Performances include inspired renditions of “Downtown Moneywaster,” “How Much For Your Wings,” and “Evil Eye.”

Live at Landgraaf 1990’ showcases the group’s European debut on behalf of the release of their first album Shake Your Money Maker. High energy performances of classics such as “Hard To Handle” thrilled the massive audience and proved to be one of the high performances of the famed Pinkpop festival.

Launched at the beginning of 2021, The Coda Collection is a subscription streaming offering featuring an exclusive, curated selection of the most iconic music documentaries, concert films, and episodic series spanning decades and genres via Amazon Prime Video Channels paired with a complementary website exploring new perspectives on music.

The Coda Collection is available to Amazon Prime members in the U.S. now for $4.99 per month, with a free 7-day trial, and will roll out globally throughout the rest of the year. Visit the official website to see the complete library of titles available to stream exclusively on The Coda Collection.

ABOUT THE BLACK CROWES

In 1990, when journalists were lamenting the death of rock, as cheesy pop and hair metal dominated the charts, Atlanta’s Black Crowes gave the genre a swift and much needed kick in the ass with Shake Your Money Maker. Fueled by singles “Jealous Again,” “Twice As Hard,” “She Talks To Angels,” and the break-through cover of Otis Redding’s “Hard To Handle,” the band immediately took the rock world by storm, topping Rolling Stone’s “Best New American Band Readers Poll” in late 1990. The Black Crowes went on to release eight studio and four live albums, selling in the tens of millions along the way; they sold out shows around the world; had legendary guitarist Jimmy Page join as a member; got kicked off a tour with ZZ Top for insulting the sponsor; got screwed by bad record deals; got married and divorced, fought amongst themselves and against the rest of the world. In other words, they’ve done everything a legendary rock group should do.

ABOUT THE CODA COLLECTION

The Coda Collection is a multi-media company founded by a team of legendary musicians, music industry veterans, and entrepreneurs that enables fans to see the most iconic moments and artists in music with a new perspective.

Illustration by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 MAGAZINE

THE PROBLEM WITH PRIME DAY

By: Andrew Shibuya

It’s Prime Day–an almost dystopian new holiday of sorts, rivaling Black Friday itself and joining the ranks of those days that celebrate the contemporary culture of excessive consumerism. And perhaps almost as equally as dystopian as the day itself is the subsequent full throttle media push from news publications and influencers alike, listing the best deals and items to keep an eye out for.

And it’s not just Amazon that’s having a sale today. Retail giants Target and Walmart began their sales yesterday and today, too, attempting to both rival and outdo Amazon’s own sales. With this comes a massive ripple effect, with almost every large retailer and store offering their own imitative sales. Though indicative of Amazon’s obvious influence over the market, this ripple effect is similarly indicative of some greater ills of the post-modern capitalist world.

The event itself has been objectively well-crafted and carefully engineered. Beginning in 2015 to celebrate Amazon’s twentieth anniversary, Prime Day was introduced as a member’s only sale. And though the event was never truly a celebration for all as the company makes it out to be, now, the sales are hardly even sales. The bargains that are so celebrated are often merely engineered illusions, with prices being hiked initially, only for the appearance of a greater discount, and many items are often lackluster and unwanted models.

So, what is it about Prime Day and the subsequent market spike that keeps customers coming back? There are almost innumerable reasons behind why days like Prime Day and Black Friday are so successful, and there can be little doubt that there is a host of behavioral psychologists called upon to make Prime Day so successful. In general, Amazon employs numerous tried and true marketing and sales tricks that appeal to customers at a psychological level. From the rush of trying to snatch up a “Lightning Deal” to the fear of missing out on “a once in a lifetime” deal, Amazon certainly pulls out all the stops to generate perceived value around Prime Day’s deals.

This Prime Day, the first as the world begins its exit into a post-pandemic society, is worth considering sitting out. Out of everyone in the world, Amazon is one of the only entities for which the pandemic came with remarkable benefits.  The net worth of Amazon and subsequently Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos skyrocketed over the pandemic. In 2020 alone, Amazon saw a reported 70% increase in earnings in the first nine months of the year. And from March to June, Bezos’ net worth grew $48 billion.

It would be one thing – not a good thing by any means – but it would be something else entirely if Amazon did not have numerous documented issues with their working conditions. And these issues are said to only have grown worse with the pandemic. So as more people turned to Amazon as the pandemic forced everyone to remain at home, and as Bezos’ net worth grew, so too did claims of timed bathroom breaks, unreachable productivity requirements, and general unsafe working conditions.

In addition to these concerns regarding Amazon employees is the fact that Amazon in general has a vast environmental footprint. In 2019 alone, the company was reported to have generated 465 million pounds of plastic packaging waste. In air pillows alone, Amazon’s packaging waste would circle the planet more than 500 times. The fact that events like Prime Day are so successful is remarkable to see as the greater world comes to terms with or, in fact, does not come to terms with global warming and the vast detrimental effects of consumerism culture.

But what is most astonishing about the success of Prime Day is that these great drawbacks to the event, and to Amazon in general, are no secret. People are generally not shy about their criticisms of Amazon and Bezos himself. Tens of thousands of people have recently signed a petition to stop Bezos’ return to Earth following his trip to space next month. Innumerable thought pieces are written weekly indicting Amazon’s practices. And still, it’s one of the biggest companies in the world. Is Amazon now inevitable?

Between multibillion dollar business acquisitions and new real estate expansions, Amazon continues to expand its reach physically and to a wider audience. For a company that began as a bookstore alternative, Amazon now owns wholly unrelated companies to its online offerings such as Ring, Twitch, and Whole Foods.

And while perhaps not unexpected, the sheer variety and scale of Amazon’s holdings raise concerns of a further and more dominant monopoly across the entire marketplace. This is especially concerning in a year when more than 200,000 small businesses across the United States closed due to the coronavirus and ensuing lockdowns.

These concerns, of course, lead to the primary issues with Prime Day. Even if the discounts were truly exceptional, are the glaring issues with Amazon – from irreversible environmental damages to its troubling work conditions – worth its vast selection and free two-day shipping? It is this dilemma that will be a primary issue of the coming years as the cost and convenience of these trademark Amazon offerings are overshadowed by the inevitable environmental impact and implications of Amazon’s burgeoning monopoly.

Moreover, with respect to Prime Day itself, how often do people buy things that they actually need? Oftentimes, as with many sales, people buy items that they would not otherwise, save for the fact that they are on sale. Putting aside Amazon’s own issues with packaging and other waste, this sort of rampant consumerism in itself has led to an increase in pollutant emissions, increased deforestation, as well as an acceleration of global warming.

And while these issues are rather glaring and easy to point out, the solution is not so easily within reach. Ultimately, it will come down to if the convenience of Amazon is outweighed by their ever becoming ethically or morally untenable, whether because of their environmental or social impact. Until then, it seems that Prime Day will continue to succeed, Amazon will simply continue to grow, and so too will the number of complaints and worries. And thus, Amazon has become the company that everybody loves to criticize but few can resist.

 

Cybersecurity illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Amazon × MGM Studios Merger

Amazon announced that it will be acquiring MGM Studios for $8.45 billion, in an effort to bolster the already growing Amazon studios and making it the second largest acquisition on Amazon’s part, following its $13.7 purchase of Whole Foods in 2017.

According to cybersecurity expert Mark Stamford, CEO of OccamSec, a deal of this scale will require a complete review of its cybersecurity infrastructure, as the process of fully merging these entities are rarely completed in the expected timescale.

Mark continues:

  • The standard “merger” due-diligence template goes into great detail looking at financial & legal status issues, but rarely seems to consider the potential liability associated with linking into an organization with a seriously compromised infrastructure. 
  • Trying to coherently map risks or produce an enterprise security plan for this type of environment is incredibly challenging, when multiple systems are coming together
  • With such notable deals, most attackers reside within the organization’s network for over 100 days before discovery, so there is a very real risk of starting work on merging infrastructure, whilst being observed by an interested resident attacker, who will be keenly looking out for an opportunity to vector into the core organization’s networks

Mark says, “Exercising strategic due-diligence during a merger or acquisition, is the most effective what for any organization, like Amazon, to protect itself from cyber threats.”

We had the opportunity to ask Mark Stamford some questions as far as the merger and his expert opinion(s):

Q: What changes can be expected with a merger like the Amazon/MGM Studio merger?

MS: The merging of two different cultures always prompts a lot of changes. In this case, MGM is going to become more like Amazon than the other way round.

Q: Do the benefits outweigh the risks with this type of merger?

MS: Yes, I assume so, from a cyber perspective, the main risk is joining two networks together that have different structures, and probably issues. So, for example I was called in to help with some M&A work once, the new network was plugged in…and brought a heap of malware with it which quickly spread into the acquirers’ network.  It later transpired that some of the IP, which was the very reason for the merger, had been stolen.

Q: What challenges is Amazon, an online retailer, facing when merging with MGM Studio?

MS: Both operate in different ways. The majority of movie making companies seem to follow the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mantra. So, technology tends to be a hodge podge, along with processes etc.… Amazon meanwhile is a tech company, and while primarily known as a retailer, has considerable presence in the cloud (with AWS) so has a lot of cutting-edge technology at its disposal.

Q: What are some ways to help the process move along with ease?

MS: Again, in a cyber perspective there needs to be due diligence done on the MGM environment. At the same time, since both organizations probably have a range of security tools, seeing who has the best tool for the job can save money in the long term.

Also, not to be discounted is the human element in cyber security – any merger results in layoffs. So, the potential for a “disgruntled insider” increases. The way to help with that is communication – not more monitoring.

Q: How can Amazon prevent cyber-attacks during the process of the merger?

MS: MGM makes a nice target right now, since at some point their technology will be integrated into Amazon, and if I was a bad guy, I would assume they are the softer target of the two. Amazon should work with MGM to ensure their security is at a “good” level, and work on the integration aspects – two distinct cyber security teams need to become one, quickly.

Q: In your opinion, does Amazon face cyber risks from vendors or third parties with the onset of the merger?

MS: I think amazon always faces this risk, as does everyone. Since the organization is increasing in size, the “attack surface increases” so yes, they do face risks.

Q: What are the biggest cybersecurity threats at the moment?

MS: Motivated attackers, be that nation states, criminal groups, hacktavists, or others. Ransomware is getting a lot of press right now. However, I think the biggest threat is the endless cost spiral companies are trapped in trying to deal with this.

Q: What are some ways to ensure that the infrastructure is not compromised?

MS: Defense in depth continues to be the key. Layers of security, which work together, and consider the context of the organization (how it makes money or delivers its service) in order to support that mission.  I assume Amazon will expand their cyber security program across MGM fairly quickly, which checks a number of boxes and provides a good starting point.

One issue may be that a movie studio faces different kinds of attackers than Amazon. Movie studios are primarily about their IP, everything else always seemed to be secondary to that. Stealing a movie is a different attack then ransomware, which we have seen borne out in practice (various insider attacks to steal content for example).

Q: What are your certifications in the cybersecurity field?

MS: I have been involved in cybersecurity since I was 11. Was senior penetration tester for a global consulting company, ran a security program at a global investment bank, and have been running a security company for 10 years.

Q: What does effective cybersecurity look like to you?

MS: Cost effective, business aware, and layered.

Popcorn illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Entertainment at Home: How to Spend Lockdown with Benefits?

The lockdown has ended up becoming a blessing in disguise. It is the perfect opportunity for you to be able to pick up a new skill. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg. If you are able to use the lockdown wisely, then you can surely benefit from it a lot. Use this to your advantage and spend a little more time with yourself. Who knows? By the end of this lockdown, you might evolve into an even better version of who you are now. Read on to find out all the various ways to spend your time productively during the lockdown.

Spending Time Productively in Lockdown

Learn to Cook

This is the time when you find yourself in close proximity to the kitchen the whole day. Ordering in might be a risky bet considering that it might provoke the spread of COVID. So, instead of ordering food from a delivery app, cook it yourself. Start with the simpler things at first like making tea, boiling eggs, etc. As you learn more every day, you can eventually take up cooking initiatives that you never imagined before.

Try New Things

This lockdown, try something that you normally wouldn’t. Spend your time picking up a new skill. There is an endless world out there. Take online gambling for instance. You can get 100 free spins no deposit in UK if you visit online casinos. In this pandemic, as people spend more time at homes, the popularity of online casinos has skyrocketed. More and more people are exploring the world of online gambling because it is thrilling and fun. So, go ahead and explore.

Read More Books

This is the ideal time to read a book. If you are not an avid reader, you might be depriving yourself of one of the most beautiful experiences in life. We all receive books as gifts on our birthdays. On most occasions, those books end up getting dragged to one corner of our shelf and keep collecting dust. Now is the time to get those books out and experience the beautiful stories they tell.

Bond with Family

We live in an age of preoccupations. Everyone is preoccupied with something or the other. Children are busy studying; parents are busy working. We are hardly able to make time for each other. However, the lockdown has changed it, even though temporarily. In the lockdown, a unique phenomenon has taken place. Every member of the family is under one roof. Children are getting to attend online classes and parents are getting to work from home. So, start spending more time with each other. Begin with the simpler things like eating at the dinner table together or watching a movie.

Exercise

You don’t necessarily have to go to a gym to work on your fitness. A free hand workout is the best form of fitness routine. The best thing about it is that it can simply be done at home. So, this lockdown, use the opportunity to work, on your fitness, from home. Go to the terrace, do some stretching. Do some crunches and push-ups. Use the extra time you get at home to improve your health because it will not only help you physically, but also mentally.

Meditate

A lot of people turn out to be rather skeptical when it comes to meditation. However, experts certify meditation to be a genuinely helpful habit. It can result in profound improvement of your mental health and stability. Even more so, in the stressful situation of the global pandemic, you need to calm yourself down. So, practice meditating. It can do wonders.

Watch TV

In the age of Netflix and Amazon Prime, we have gained access to a seemingly endless plethora of interesting shows on TV or computers. Some of the shows have thousands of episodes, each having a running time of at least an hour. Normally, you don’t get the scope to fully watch your favorite shows in the middle of work. Also, by the time you return home, you get too tired. Nevertheless, this is your chance. Switch on the television and watch something with your family.

Do Chores

Use the free time in your hand to perform household chores. Usually, we see the mothers and daughters of the house taking up this crucial responsibility, but why should the men be left out? Pick up the mop and duster. Go ahead and clean your place up. Get into all those remote corners of the room that you have never even looked at before. Reorganize the furniture. Give your humble abode a refreshing new look.

Make a Garden

Gardening can be an extraordinarily soothing way of passing the time. Plants take time to grow and flourish, but when they do, they teach you so much about how delicate life is. Gardening has proven to have hugely positive effects on mental health. An added benefit of doing this is not having to shop for fruits and vegetables outside. After all, you are locked down. You can’t visit the marketplace for buying your cooking ingredients. So, rather grow them at home.

Plan for Future

Since you have more time in your hand, you can concentrate on drafting a course of action for your future. Our lives revolve around various aspects. We have a family to take care of. We have careers to build. We have our own dreams to fulfil. This is the perfect chance of working them all out through meticulous planning.

Try Art

Have you ever explored the artistic side of your personality before? This is the ideal occasion for that. Pick up a paint brush and go ahead. It is also a highly beneficial mental exercise because it helps you work on your precision and focus. There are so many things to take inspiration from. Maybe, try your hand at some glass painting too while you’re at it.

Detox

Enough of indulging in vices, let this lockdown be a detox phase. Rid your body of all the toxins. No smoking and no drinking because, after all, you can’t even if you want to. All the stores are closed. So, might as well use this as a way of benefiting yourself. Use this lockdown to quit your bad habits.

Conclusion

So, we told you about many different ways of using your time productively in the lockdown. However, we saved the best for last. Here it is. As we said earlier, this lockdown offers you the chance to spend some time with yourself. That is very important. So, use this time to write a letter to your future self. When you spend time with yourself, there are thoughts and ideas that you stumble upon which you would normally never even comprehend. Before you end up forgetting them, write them down as a letter for reminding yourself in the future. Make yourself promises. Make your memories immortal. Get a pen and a piece of paper. Then, write your heart out. You will cherish it when the time comes.

Bronx, track, sports, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

The Best Sports Streaming Services

It wasn’t so long ago that watching sport required us to be in front of a TV, at home, a sports bar, or somewhere similar. We had to plan our day around the game, as it was only possible to watch it when the TV network broadcast it. That’s, of course, if they broadcast it at all, as networks may not always have the rights to do so. 
 
Nowadays, we have access to a plethora of streaming services, including many that cater for sports games. Here’s some of the best.
 
NFL
If you want the flexibility to watch NFL games without being tied to your TV, then there are several streaming options depending on where you are and when you want to watch. For those inside the US, Amazon Prime offers streaming for most Thursday night games, where you will be able to watch SuperBowl LIII winners the New England Patriots, while CBS All Access offers viewers all Sunday AFC games. This latter option is great for fans of AFC North favourites Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, who can watch these games for $6 per month.
 
Coverage is somewhat patchy across these and other streaming services, so the best way to get access to all games is to purchase an NFL Game Pass subscription. For those outside of North America, all games are available for live streaming, while those in the US and Canada will have to wait for their live TV broadcast to end. NFL Game Pass provides on demand access to past games to all customers, regardless of their location.
 
Formula 1
Formula 1 has traditionally had great TV coverage in some countries, but fans in some others have not been so lucky. To plug the gap, Formula 1 has launched its own streaming service called F1 TV Pro. In the countries where it is available, fans can stream all sessions live for $79.99 per season, as well as have access to replays, highlights and historic races. Fans that don’t want to pay can watch 5-minute highlight videos on YouTube. 
 
Amazon Prime
Aside from a select number of NFL games, Amazon Prime Video has begun purchasing the broadcast rights for several other sports. It will be the first streaming company to begin showing English Premier League games in December 2019. For tennis fans, Amazon has also been broadcasting numerous ATP tournaments live, while fans of golf are able to watch most PGA Tour events live. Prime also features many sports documentaries, covering just about every major sport you can think of.
 
While broadcasting rights for sport can be a complicated business, it seems that streaming services are beginning to step on the toes of traditional TV networks. Whether it is third party services like Amazon Prime, or the sport’s own service like F1 TV Pro or NFL Game Pass, it seems these are the future of watching sport. Apart from this you can stream your sports shows from anywhere on any device using software such as OBS Streaming. Know more about it from Cloud Citrix providers.

The New Blade

By: Catherine Martin

With the reboot of Marvel’s Blade expected to arrive to theaters in 2022, many fans of the original 1998 superhero movie speculate whether Wesley Snipes will reprise his role in the film. Snipes played the role of the eponymous half-vampire/half-human hybrid, Blade, who has the duties of a superhero and a vampire hunter. He played Blade throughout all three of the Blade franchise movies, yet, he is not expected to be cast in this iconic role again for the new reboot. Instead, Oscar-winning Mahershala Ali will be playing the role of this flawed hero. Keep in touch with what Ali is up to HERE.

Fans of the original Blade trilogy were uncertain about how to feel about the new casting, but Welsey Snipes has since told his fans to “chillaaxx.” Although he has told his fans to calm down, it has not stopped him from being adamant about how he is, and always will be, Blade. On January 7th he quote tweeted a message to him asking, “Wes, can you be Blade again?” and in response stated, “I AM BLADE…forever.” After spending so much time as Blade, there is no doubt that Wesley Snipes has a deep connection with this role and that it will always be a part of him.

The details of Blade are still being kept from the masses, and the only confirmed detail known, right now, is Ali’s attachment to the project. Back in 2019 Snipes made a comment about his opinion of Ali’s casting for the role of Blade:

“People are very, very sneaky. They try to make it about the actors,” Snipes told AP. “It’s not about me and him. I’m happy for him to be considered. I’m happy for them looking at him. Flattery… what do they say? Imitation is the best form of flattery. It’s something that he has acknowledged that he wanted to do and his family wanted him to do it, so I’m appreciative of him getting the love that I’ve created something that others want to carry on and make their own stamp on.”

Wesley Snipes response was not only calm and collected, but extremely supportive as well. More support can be noted in a more recent interview with Den of Geek (read more about it HERE), and we can see where the two stand in regards to each other and if they have kept in contact since the announcement of Ali’s new role as Blade. So, the suspicions people have about Snipes being upset with Ali can be erased once and for all.

“No, he hasn’t called me. We haven’t talked about characterizations or how he should play it or anything like that. I can’t imagine that call ever coming in. That would be really strange. But we did communicate about how much we appreciate each other’s work, and how I’m comfortable with saying, ‘Hey man, go rock it, baby. If you got it, do it.”

Though, Wesley Snipes will not be playing his iconic role as Blade, he will always carry the attachment and fond memories of his time with this character. In addition, his part has inspired many people, Mahershala Ali included (you can hear his thoughts on Wesley Snipes HERE), and will remain the marker and epitome of, Blade.

WESLEY SNIPES’ OTHER ENDEAVORS

There are many ways to keep up with the actor through his other endeavors. He recently played General Izzie in Coming 2 America, starring Eddie Murphy. The comedy/rom-com will be available to watch on Amazon Prime March 5, 2021. Watch the trailer HERE. Additionally, outside the realm of acting, Snipes has now coauthored a dark fantasy novel with Ray Norman, Talon of God. So, for all fans of Wesley Snipes, you can continue to keep up with the actor, film producer, martial artist and author through the multitude of content he continues to produce.

KEEP UP WITH WESLEY SNIPES

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Computer illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Echo Dominates Voice Assistant Market

20% of US Adults Own an Amazon Echo

The smart home technology industry has grown incredibly in the last decade with homes becoming more and more interconnected than ever before. The most popular smart home device by far is the smart speaker, with Amazon’s Echo dominating its competitors. According to data presented by Trading Platforms, 20% of Americans surveyed indicated owning Amazon’s Echo with Google Nest as its closest competitor at only 8%.

Smart Speakers with Voice Assistant Systems – Most Popular Smart Home Device

The smart home trend has been on the rise in recent years as more and more household gadgets become interconnected. The industry’s strength is reflected by revenue projections for 2021, with the smart home market projected to record just under $1 billion in revenue for the coming year. Smart speakers, specifically those with voice-integrated assistants like Amazon’s Echo, are the most popular form of smart home devices. It is estimated that in 2020 there were 128 million voice assistant users in the US with that number projected to grow to close to 136 million by 2022.

Of those who said they owned a smart home device in the US 28% indicated that they owned a smart speaker – the biggest share among the different types of smart home devices. This popularity is not limited to the US, similarly, in the UK 29% of smart home device owners owned a form of a voice-assistant smart speaker.

Amazon Echo Dominates Smart Speaker Market Competitors Google and Apple

Amazon’s Echo was first released in 2014 and quickly became the standard-bearer for the smart speaker market. The Echo makes use of Amazon’s voice assistant system, Alexa. In January 2019 the company announced that it had sold over 100 million Echo smart speakers, passing an important milestone. In a survey from Q3 of 2020, over 20% of 4000+ respondents in the US indicated that they owned Amazon’s Echo.

This number is even made more impressive by comparing it to its two main competitors, Google’s Nest (formerly Google Home) which uses the Google Assistant system and Apple’s HomePod which uses its Siri voice assistant system. In the same survey, only 8.1% indicated owning Google’s Nest while only 2% owned Apple’s HomePod. Amazon’s dominance over its two main competitors is even more apparent with a further breakdown of the smart speaker market share. 74% of 1000+ smart speaker owners in the US, owned the Amazon Echo, while in the UK a similar 77% of 600+ smart speaker owners indicated that they owned the Echo.

You can read more about the story with more statistics and information here

Asian-American LGBTQ+ Actor Slays Stereotypes in Monsters of Man

Mark Toia’s Monster’s of Man has been crushing the online streaming service game, sitting on AppleTV’s Top Movies, Top Rentals, Highlights, and currently ranking in the top 200 movies on IMDb having just debuted on December 8th, 2020.

Hawaiian/Korean-American actor Conrad K. Pratt from Kāne’ohe, Hawai’i (Hawai’i Five-O, The Wolverine, GLEE, The Real O’Neals) was approached by production initially to play Bao, one of the medical students the film centers around. After learning that he had an extensive background in dance, motion capture and stunts, Toia quickly offered him the roles of the four killer robots as well. Pratt’s physicality was highlighted several times throughout the film, mostly in his cat and mouse chase through the Cambodian jungle and several of the robot-on-robot fight sequences.

“My dance and theatre background really helped me in creating these characters. I was incredibly honored that Mark has trusted me with the movements of our antagonists, as any sort of robot movement can go cheesy unbelievably quick. Working on Monsters of Man, we actually shot in the Cambodian jungle so I was lucky to have the surroundings right there for me. On a normal Mo-Cap shoot, you’re on a blue screen stage and it’s up to you to create that masterpiece around you. A project like Avatar would be such a wild experience and challenge, one that I would love to take on one day.”

The stigma surrounding masculinity in both the Asian-American and LGBTQ+ communities seem to not deter Pratt from forging on in his career. Given that he’s competing in Caucasian and heterosexually dominant avenues of Hollywood, it actually seems to be doing the exact opposite.

“I think the words ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ are so unbelievably dated. Who gives a flying ‘you know what.’ It’s an opinion, there’s no right answer. I do, however, believe that both the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities are being better represented and more visible across the entertainment spectrum. To represent both of my communities on a project of this scale was an absolute privilege and I look forward to crushing these ‘masculine/feminine’ stereotypes by just being unapologetically me.”

Monsters of Man is now available world-wide on Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Vimeo On Demand, YouTube, Google Play, and XBOX with more streaming services being added in the future.

Bella Thorne Illustration By Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Bella Thorne – Girl

By Hannah DiPilato

Last week, Girl starring Bella Thorne was released to select theaters and VOD platforms. The psycho-thriller movie has gained mixed reviews so far with a 4.8 out of 10 on IMDb and a 63% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film was directed and written by Chad Faust and stars Faust, along with Thorne and Mickey Rourke. Thorne stars the main character known as Girl, who returns to her hometown for the first time since she was kicked out of her house by her father at age six. She comes prepared with a plan to get revenge on her abusive father. Upon arrival, she discovers that someone has reached him first and finds him dead.

Determined to find out what happened to her father and fueled by rage, Girl ignores the advice of her mother to get out of the small town. Instead, she makes it her responsibility to find out who was responsible for the murder of her dad. Armed with her father’s old hatchet throughout the movie, Girl sets out for revenge and answers and it seems nothing will stop her from getting them.

She comes into contact with a lot of interesting characters along her journey through the small, rural town. She meets a friendly bartender, played by Glen Gould, a kind prostitute, played by Lanette Ware, and Faust’s character, a mysterious charmer. Rourke plays the local sheriff, who seems suspicious from the start.

As the story progresses, we learn the sheriff and the charmer are working together to find a large sum of money that Girl’s father supposedly hid. With the suspension that Girl now possess the money, it’s clear why she becomes the target. The storyline goes into a whirlwind of family secrets and drama that Girl discovers throughout her investigative journey. The movie plays on themes of poverty, abuse and trauma.

The movie is reminiscent of the 2005 film House of Wax and also has similarities to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre horror series. Thorne does an impeccable job portraying the character of Girl and used a realistic southern accent to add to Girl’s persona. Thorne isn’t one to shy away from big roles and Girl is the actress’s fourth appearance in a feature film for 2020.

The film is available on Apple TV, YouTube, Google Play and Amazon Prime Video for $6.99. The thriller is an hour and thirty-two minutes of plot twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time.

Thorne is continuously making a name for herself in Hollywood. Her first Hollywood appearances took place on ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money and NBC’s My Own Worst Enemy. She then took on a lead role in 2010 as Cece in the Disney Channel show Shake It Up. Thorne is continuing her career and has been featured in many new TV shows and movies after her success as Cece. In 2018 she starred alongside Patrick Schwarzenegger in Midnight Sun, a moving teen romance movie. She has also taken on roles in The Babysitter, Blended and The Duff.

Lil Wayne illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

LIL WAYNE DROPS “NFL” MUSIC VIDEO

Multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning music icon Lil Wayne drops the fast-paced music video for his latest single “NFL.” The video features Gudda Gudda & HoodyBaby and was released via Young Money Records/Republic Records. Scenes from the “NFL” music video are also featured in Amazon Prime Video’s new live sports promo.
Lil Wayne has also curated his own playlist for Amazon Music titled “Handpicked with Lil Wayne: Songs for Game Day,” featuring 28 songs including a mix of his own music as well as music from Roddy Ricch, 2 Chainz, Lil Baby, and others. To listen to “Handpicked with Lil Wayne” on Amazon Music, ask you Alexa, “Alexa, play Handpicked with Lil Wayne.” You can also head over to Amazon Music. Be sure to follow Prime Video’s @SportsOnPrime Twitter and Instagram feed for additional exclusive Lil Wayne content.
The “NFL” music video follows the release of the highly anticipated Tha Carter V Deluxe Edition. The 33-song album includes new contributions from Raekwon, 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane and Post Malone. Wayne has been on a hot-streak in 2020 – releasing his fifth No. 1 album Funeral, as well as releasing fan-favorite projects on digital streaming platforms, including Free Weezy Album (FWA) and No Ceilings mixtape.
Wayne also showcased his undeniable talent as a host with the launch of the highly successful- Young Money Radio – on Apple Music, which featured an all-star lineup of guests including Dr. Dre, Drake, Eminem, Nicki Minaj, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Kevin Hart and many more.
Lil Wayne rewrote the entire game in his image. The five-time GRAMMY® Award-winning multiplatinum rap icon, Young Money Entertainment founder, acclaimed author, skater, philanthropist, and history-making superstar left an indelible tattoo on the culture.
By 2020, he cemented his legacy forever as “one of the best-selling artists of all time, tallying sales in excess of 100 million records worldwide with 15 million albums and 37 million digital tracks sold in the United States alone. Not to mention, he garnered 11 BET Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, two MTV VMAs, and eight NCAAP Image Awards. Among many milestones, he emerged as “the first male artist to surpass Elvis Presley with the most entries on the BillboardHot 100, logging a staggering 109 entries.
With a discography highlighted by two consecutive #1 debuts on the Billboard Top 200 with 2008’s triple-platinum three-time GRAMMY® Award-winning opus Tha Carter III and its double-platinum 2011 successor Tha Carter IV, he completed the series with Tha Carter V in 2018. Not only did it clinch #1 on the Billboard Top 200, but it also achieved “the second-largest streaming week for an album in history.Every song on the tracklisting charted on the Billboard Hot 100 as he became “the first artist to debut two songs in the top 5.
This bulldozed the way for his thirteenth full-length album, Funeral, a year later. Simultaneously, Wayne owns and operates Young Money Entertainment as C.E.O. The company ignited the careers of two of the most successful artists ever—Drake and Nicki Minaj. The committed philanthropist founded The One Family Foundation too.