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Netflix knew Hulu would release its Fyre Festival doc early but wasn’t concerned

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billy mcfarland ja rule fyre(L-R) Fyre Festival cofounders Billy McFarland and Ja Rule.MusicNotes Conf/Facebook

  • The director of Netflix’s Fyre Festival documentary, Chris Smith, told Business Insider that he was tipped off that Hulu was going to release its Fyre doc ahead of his movie’s release.
  • Smith said when he told Netflix what Hulu was planning “it just wasn’t an issue to them,” as the company stayed focused on its global release on Friday.
  • According to Google Trends, there’s more interest in Netflix’s “Fyre” (available Friday) than Hulu’s “Fyre Fraud” (now available).

 

Hulu shocked many by surprise-releasing its documentary on the infamous Fyre Festival four days before the long-planned release of Netflix’s Fyre doc. But it wasn’t a shock to director Chris Smith.

Smith, who directed Netflix’s “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” (available on Friday), told Business Insider on Tuesday that he and his team were tipped off about what Hulu was doing.

“We knew it was coming and I brought it up with Netflix and it just wasn’t an issue to them,” Smith said.

In the movie world, generally when two titles are coming out that cover the same topic, it’s a mad dash to get to audiences first, as that first project usually gets the most attention. But that pertains to theatrical releases. It’s a whole different ballgame in the streaming world.

Read more: The disgraced organizer of the Fyre Festival reportedly asked for $250,000 to be interviewed for Hulu’s new documentary about the fiasco

Unlike theatrical releases, which have grosses reported to the public every weekend, viewership numbers for either Fyre movie will likely never be made public (unless the figures are huge). And because of that, there seems to be no panic by Netflix to change its strategy.

And there’s also the streaming giant’s reach.

Though Hulu has around 25 million subscribers and is gaining a little ground on Netflix in the US, globally Netflix is still king with 137 million subscribers worldwide.

“With Netflix the reach is so far in so many countries that our focus just remained staying with the original plan — a global launch,” Smith said.

Christ Smith Christopher Polk GettyNetflix’s “Fyre” documentary director Chris Smith.Christopher Polk/GettyThe Fyre Festival was a 2017 event in the Bahamas coordinated by entrepreneur Billy McFarland, who is currently serving six years in prison for wire fraud. Attendees paid up to $25,000 for elaborate accommodations, but when they arrived, they found little food and none of the artists that were promised, including Blink-182 and Migos.

Despite Hulu’s “Fyre Fraud,” directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason, getting out of the gate first, there seems to be more interest in Netflix’s “Fyre” when looking at Google search interest on the topic from Google Trends.

This might be part of the reason why Netflix didn’t bat an eye when Hulu jumped its release.

“Netflix has done a lot of things right over the last few years and their reach in general is so much broader,” Smith said. “A lot of people I know are like, ‘I have Hulu and I don’t even know how to open it up, I forgot my password.’ Netflix has become ubiquitous with television, so for us [the Hulu release] wasn’t that much of a big deal because we just knew that so many more people are going to see it on Netflix.”

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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