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Fox is making an interactive film based on the Choose Your Own Adventure books

The Choose Your Own Adventure books are a staple for young readers. Unlike normal books, CYOA novels give the reader a series of choices at the bottom of each page, each of which directs you to a different page, allowing you to arrive at a new ending each time you read. At CinemaCon today, 20th Century Fox announced that it wants to do something similar with movies.

It’s adapting the series for film, and in doing so, will partner with interactive film company Kino Industries to develop an app that will allow theater-goers to chose how the story plays out while they watch.

TheWrap reports that Fox demonstrated the technology in a trailer, while Variety says that the studio will create an app based on Kino’s CtrlMovie technology. If made, audiences will use the app to make decisions for the characters, ensuring that no two films will be the same. Variety notes that the audience’s choices will be integrated into the film and that it’ll play out in an uninterrupted fashion.

The idea of an interactive movie isn’t a new thing. There was a series of experimental, interactive films in the mid-1990s, and more recently, Netflix debuted interactive episodes of Puss in Book and Buddy Thunderstruck that allowed viewers to make choices for the characters.

Last year’s Late Shift used Kino’s CtrlMovie to do the same thing in theaters.

Fox seems to be aiming for something a bit more ambitious for its Choose Your Own Adventure adaptations, however. Variety notes that Fox seems to be planning for a more seamless experience for moviegoers: a refinement of the interactive film format, so that they can watch a regular movie, rather than one that stops and waits for them to decide how it plays out.

Intel is offloading virus scanning to its GPUs to improve performance and battery life

Intel is planning to allow virus scanners to use its integrated graphics chipsets to scan for malicious attacks. The change could see performance and battery life improve on some systems. “With Accelerated Memory Scanning, the scanning is handled by Intel’s integrated graphics processor, enabling more scanning, while reducing the impact on performance and power consumption,” explains Rick Echevarria, Intel’s platform security division VP. “Early benchmarking on Intel test systems show CPU utilization dropped from 20 percent to as little as 2 percent.”

Intel’s Threat Detection Technology will be available on 6th, 7th, and 8th generation Intel processors, allowing a variety of machines to take advantage of moving some virus scanning activity to the GPU instead of the CPU. Virus scanners currently use the CPU to detect against memory-based attacks, but a machine takes a performance hit as a result.

Intel hopes by moving this way from the CPU that performance and power consumption will improve, as typical machines do not fully utilize onboard graphics cards most of the time.

Intel is partnering with Microsoft to support this initially, with the change coming to Windows Defender Advanced Protection Threat (ATP) this month. Intel is also working with other antivirus vendors so others can take advantage of this silicon-level change.

Intel revealed last month that it’s redesigning its processors to protect against a future Spectre-like attack, and it’s detailing some of those silicon changes today. Intel Security Essentials includes secure boot and hardware protections to protect applications from being attacked.

These changes, integrated directly into the silicon, are designed to “minimize the impact of security on performance,” according to Intel.

Existing Spectre security updates have, in some cases, impacted performance, but that shouldn’t be the case for future processors. “As we bring these new products to market, ensuring that they deliver the performance improvements people expect from us is critical,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich last month. “Our goal is to offer not only the best performance, but also the best secure performance.”

Alibaba is developing its own driverless cars

The Chinese tech giant comes to the self-driving game later than rivals Baidu and Tencent, but says it will build an entire ecosystem around autonomous cars. The news: Alibaba confirmed today that it’s testing its own self-driving vehicle technology. The effort is led by Gang Wang, a scientist at the company’s AI lab and one of MIT Technology Review‘s 35 Innovators Under 35 in 2017.

Backstory: This isn’t Alibaba’s first dalliance with the auto industry. Early this year, it invested in Xiaopeng Motors, a startup developing electric cars. It also formed a partnership with Chinese carmaker SAIC to build internet-connected vehicles and associated infrastructure.

More than cars: Alibaba says it has bigger ambitions than just robotic taxis. In June 2016, the company launched an AI-powered “city brain” system in Hangzhou, where it’s headquartered, to crunch data from mapping apps and increase traffic efficiency. Simon Hu, the president of Alibaba Cloud, says the firm’s ultimate goal is to produce the kind of autonomous driving that uses data like that so transportation is fully integrated into urban infrastructure.

Why it matters: China is scrambling to compete with America in developing driverless cars as quickly as possible.

This news is another sign that it really means business.

Image credit:

  • Denys Nevozhai | Unsplash

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