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Here's how to watch William Shatner go to space for reals
by Paul Hill
Blue Origin William Shatner, the actor famous for his role as the Star Trek Captain James T. Kirk, will have a chance to go to space today for real as he joins Blue Origin’s New Shepard Mission NS-18. He’s not going to explore strange new worlds, and he won’t be on a five-year mission – he’ll be in space for mere minutes but it’s very nice that he gets an opportunity to go to space himself especially given his role in encouraging people’s interest in space.
Blue Origin will be streaming the event from 12:30 p.m. UTC (8:30 a.m. ET / 5:30 a.m. PT) on YouTube with coverage beginning 90 minutes before the launch is due. As is the case with these types of events, commentators will be on-hand to explain exactly what’s happening throughout the flight; it’s not just a simple case of launching the rocket but the launch sequence goes through several stages, all of which the commentators will explain as the mission progresses.
The flight today will take the crew just past the Kármán line which is situated 62 miles above the Earth. By some estimations, this is the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and space but in reality, the boundary is very fuzzy. The crew will stay in space for about 10 minutes before making the trip back to Earth. During that time, the crew will be able to unbuckle their belts and experience low gravity.
Shatner will be joined on the flight by Audrey Powers – Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations, Glen de Vries – a co-founder of the medical research platform Medidata Solutions and Chris Boshuizen – a NASA researcher who became a tech entrepreneur. The latter two crew members paid $250,000 for their tickets while Shatner was invited onto the flight by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
CBS All Access is becoming Paramount+ on March 4, coming to more markets
by João Carrasqueira
ViacomCBS today announced the launch date for its rebranded streaming service, Paramount+, which is basically just a new name for CBS All Access. The rebranding strategy was announced last year, and it aims to bring the company's content under a more recognizable brand, especially around the world, since the service is also expanding to more countries.
In addition to changing names in the U.S. and Canada on March 4, Paramount+ will launch in Latin America on the same day. The service will also come to the Nordics on March 25 and to Australia in mid-2021. Canada's offering will also be expanded in some way later in the year, though the company didn't provide any more details on that front.
In addition to the content already available on CBS All Access, ViacomCBS also announced last year that more original content was in the works for the relaunched service. This includes The Real Criminal Minds, a docuseries inspired by CBS' Criminal Minds TV show, and Kamp Koral, a new series by the creator of Spongebob Squarepants, aimed at children.
Competition in the streaming space is fierce, with new services popping up around every corner, so using a more recognizable brand makes sense. Paramount+ also follows the template of other streaming services such as Disney+, discovery+, and Apple TV+.
It's official, Captain Pike gets his own series.
By Ather Fawaz
Star Trek: Voyager receives a 4K remaster courtesy of an AI-based software
by Ather Fawaz
Image via Imgur Originally released in 1995, Star Trek: Voyager, has now received a third-party 4K remaster. A Redditer (u/theboomsterz) who goes by the name of Billy Richard on YouTube has used a video AI program from Topaz Labs to remaster five episodes of the show thus far. Here's a short clip of the resultant video taken from the Season 6, Episode 4, Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy.
The video was remastered to 4K from a DVD source using Gigapixel AI from Topaz Labs, and the episode above had three complete runs with the software. It is a time-consuming and expensive process, with Richard claiming that it took him around six hours to process the work from start to finish.
As stated before, five episodes have been remastered as of now, but only short clips have been uploaded for viewership on YouTube. But Richard intends on saving up for upgrading from his current trial version of Gigapixel and subsequently making more episodes in the future. While the link to download or view full episodes has not been given, nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how CBS and Paramount respond to this.
By George P
According to Variety, four new Trek series are actively in development at the network, presumably as programming for CBS All Access, the streaming-only service that premiered Star Trek Discovery in late 2017.
More at the link above.