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‘Of course, all of this will go out of the window’: The refresher’s guide to Cannes

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‘Of course, all of this will go out of the window’: The refresher’s guide to Cannes

The Cannes Lions weeklong festival has always been a tough test of endurance — now it’s close to Herculean. The festival was once second nature to attendees, but many would benefit from tips, recommendations and advice following the three-year gap since the last event. Never fear — Digiday has you covered. We asked Cannes veterans — those who have been on the front lines and seen it all — to help make your return to the Croisette as stress-free as possible.

“Early morning is either a great or a terrible time for meetings depending on your perspective. Don’t be surprised by any last minute cancellations. If you have a glass of water for every glass of rosé, you can at least use this quieter time to catch up on messages — assuming you weren’t also up all night at a pool party. The juice and coffee bars are quiet(er) and the sun is not yet out in full force. If you can drag yourself away from revelries before dawn, you’ll more than likely thank yourself for it the next day.”

Travis Clinger, svp of addressability and Ecosystem at LiveRamp

“Call it a night before 1am each night and head out for a morning run to the west of Cannes along the water to kick start each day. This will enable you to still enjoy the rosé, but stay grounded and be the first to arrive for the morning meetings.”

Peter Wallace, general manager of EMEA at GumGum

“The chaos comes from the fact that a lot of the beauty that drives Cannes is the unscheduled random interactions that happen over the course of the week. Leave some time to meander through the area, you’ll no doubt bump into old acquaintances that you didn’t even know were there and make new friends along the way. These unscheduled meets can be the most productive and valuable during the week, embracing both the organized and the chaotic elements of what Cannes has to offer.”

Beth Wade, global CMO of VMLY&R  

“Cannes is a beautiful city to explore beyond the Palais and Croisette. For those looking for a little exercise and scenery, a walk through Old Town moves away from the non-stop parties to steep, winding streets, which can lead you to the Musee de la Castre. From this perfect height above the city, you can look out over the marina down below and walk the gallery to see a wonderful display of primitive artwork. And if running is your passion, there is plenty of promenades to call your own as you escape the scene of meetings, parties and presentations.”

Suzanne Taylor, head of global brand and event Marketing, Xandr

“As there are so many events going on, make sure to manage your own time and even set a morning routine. Hit the beach for a yoga class or visit one of the yachts for a massage and a smoothie – self care is just as important as all the great parties. It is also worth being aware of other people’s concerns around health, with this being some people’s first major event post-pandemic you’ll need to check on their comfort levels when it comes to wearing masks and meeting outdoors. Finally, the best advice I’ve ever received is to know when to stop the celebrating and head home from the yachts (and grab a late night pizza on the way home).”

Rob Hall, CEO of Playground XYZ

“Wear comfortable shoes! Whether it’s running around for meetings or cruising from one party to the next, you’re going to be on foot almost constantly. I had a brain-explosion one year and wore flip flops. Pick your footwear wisely. Oh, and don’t forget sunscreen. They don’t have a gaping hole in their ozone layer like we do here in Australia, but all that sun adds up and, before you know it, ‘you have a nice tan’ can turn into ‘you look like an overripe tomato’.”

Anna Forbes, chief operating officer for Azerion in the U.K.

“My advice to those attending Cannes for the first time would be to plan your outfits ahead of time and definitely pack shoes you can walk in; the Croisette is long and hot so make sure comfort is at the forefront. Also, you’ll have to take your shoes off if you’re going on one of the boats so practicality is key — think business casual for hot weather.

It’s best to confirm your morning meetings that morning – just send them a quick text to ensure they’re alive and kicking, rosé heads and alarms don’t always get along! I’d also suggest leaving space in between meetings – you don’t want to be running up and down the Croisette in the midday sun… it’s Cannes Lions not the Olympics. It’s also a sure fire way to arrive as a hot mess at your next meeting which certainly isn’t ideal.

Lastly, make sure to drink as much water as you can, it’s very important to reach the hydration station.”

James Leaver, CEO of multilocal

“Fortunately, even at the busiest time of the day, there are quiet corners to be found in the conference center and around La Croisette. Invest in an hour or so familiarizing yourself with the layout of the Palais des Festivals when you first arrive. Find yourself some shade and recharge. It takes longer than you think to get around. Remember: It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Veronique Rhys Evans, head of communications for creative at Dentsu International

Remember to enjoy it. We’re so lucky as an industry to get to go to a place like Cannes. There’s something amazing and restorative about being by the sea and the fact that you’re with the best and brightest from the industry across the world is an exciting opportunity. So, embrace it. These moments don’t come round often. This is easier said than done, of course. But in some ways, it’s simpler this year because the programming at the Palais isn’t as crammed as it has been. Cannes is intense at the best of times, and after two years of doing a lot less it could be overwhelming for many to be swept up in the schedule and in the midst of all those people. It was exhausting before the pandemic to be always on like that, let alone now. We all need to look after ourselves. So, try to be mindful about what you do and who you see, make some space for yourself and for the unexpected, the unplanned and to be inspired.

Guy Bradbury, creative partner at M&C Saatchi London

“If you’re going to Cannes for the first time, you need a game plan. Sure, you’ll want to network, be seen in all the right places and get an invite to the best parties. And after two years, we could all do with a reunion. But there is no place like Cannes to see all the best creative work in one place. Work that creates change. It’s the best training you can get as a creative or client partner. It helps you to get a feel for future trends and the confidence to buy innovative ideas, firing you up for the next 12 months. So, be disciplined and spend the day soaking up the work, one category at a time, then use the late afternoon to enjoy the atmosphere and network. Of course, all of this will go out of the window on day one when you end up staying up ‘til the morning. But at least go into Cannes promising that you’ll take something back to the agency beyond just sunburn.”

Virginie Dremeaux, vp of marketing and communications for FreeWheel’s international business

“Bobo Bistro is the perfect spot for a chance to have more relaxed conversations. If, instead, you need a place away from everything, look no further than La Guérite and its incredible coastline views.” 

Anthony Lamy, vp of VidMob’s client partners across EMEA

“Remember that you are only in Cannes for four days. I fit everything I need in hand luggage to avoid the unpredictable check-in queues on the way home; Nice airport will be incredibly busy over these few days. Booking a taxi before you leave home is also crucial, saving time and energy at the airport and avoiding long waiting-times once landed.”

Jay Stevens, CEO of Redmill Solutions.

“Firstly, don’t meet with people you can easily meet in the same city where you both work and live. The value of Cannes is that it brings people together the world over and it’s the only time you can have global stakeholders in one place. Secondly, try not to book meetings back-to-back and try to keep in mind travel time and distance between them. Remember, it’s been three years since we’ve been together, a simple walk down the Croisette mid-day will take a half hour minimum this year with impromptu meets along the way. Be prepared for that and embrace the serendipity that comes with it. Thirdly, try to be on time, everyone has packed agendas and remember, there’s a LOT of investment that companies make in being there. Missing a meeting because you slept in, got delayed, were hungover costs hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to the other party. Lastly, have an agenda for each meeting with clear actions to be followed up on.”

Charlie Johnson, vp of international at Digital Element

“Cannes can be an overwhelming scene, so my top tip is to take the opportunity to slip away if you can. Take the short train journey to Monaco for a breath of fresh air from the craziness of the event and a cool glass of champagne with your favorite person.”

Paul Coggins, CEO and founder of Adludio

“When it comes to parties and meetings, planning is key. If it’s as busy as it used to be, do not expect access to any boats, parties or beachside offices, if you haven’t already been invited. Time is of the essence when there, so keep meetings short and effective with plenty of post Cannes follow ups. Finally, you will probably bump into people you know, and impromptu meetings can be very effective, so keep a notes agenda open in your phone.”

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Microsoft Teams is finally fixing this ear-splitting annoyance

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Microsoft Teams is finally fixing this ear-splitting annoyance
Four people in a meeting room video conferencing with four remote participants.



(Image credit: Microsoft)

One of the most irritating (and slightly painful) parts of joining a Microsoft Teams call could soon be fixed by a new update.

The video conferencing service is a popular choice for many companies, meaning calls with large numbers of participants joining at the same time, and from the same location (such as a meeting room) are a common occurrence. 

However, often when multiple people join a meeting in the same room, a feedback loop is created, which causes echo, which in most cases quickly escalates to howling – with Microsoft likening the noise to when a musician holds the mic too close to a loudspeaker.

Teams’ howling

Fortunately, a new fix is coming for Microsoft Teams users. In its entry in the official Microsoft 365 roadmap (opens in new tab), the new “Ultrasound Howling Detection” describes how it aims to prevent this noise for users on Windows and Mac across the world.

Microsoft says that the update should mean if multiple users on laptops join from the same location, it will share with the user that another Teams Device is detected in their vicinity and is already joined with audio to the current meeting. 

If a user has already joined with their audio on, Microsoft Teams will automatically mute the mic and speakers of any new the person who then joins the call, hopefully putting an end to the howling and screeching feedback.

Thankfully, the update is already listed as being in development, with an expected general availability date of March 2023, so users shouldn’t have to wait too long to enjoy.

The news follows a number of recent updates largely aimed around improving the audio quality on Microsoft Teams calls using AI and machine learning.

The new updates are the result of using a machine learning model trained on 30,000 hours of speech samples, and include echo cancellation, better adjusting audio in poor acoustic environments, and allowing users to speak and hear at the same time without interruptions.

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Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK’s leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he’s not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.

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Shazam! Fury of the Gods trailer breakdown: 6 thing you might have missed

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Shazam! Fury of the Gods trailer breakdown: 6 thing you might have missed
Shazam points at someone off camera in Shazam! Fury of the Gods



Shazam! Fury of the Gods lands in theaters on March 17.
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The final trailer for Shazam! Fury of the Gods has debuted online – and it looks even more charming, funnier, frenetic, and darker than its predecessor.

Shazam’s sequel flick arrives in theaters worldwide on March 17, so it’s about time we were given another look at the forthcoming DC Extended Universe movie (read our DC movies in order guide to find out where it’ll fit in that timeline). Luckily, Warner Bros. has duly obliged. Check it out below:

Okay, there’s some messy CGI and a slightly corny vibe about Shazam 2. But hey, the first problem can be ironed out before the superhero film takes flight, while the latter is part of what makes this movie series spellbinding (see what we did there?).

But we digress – you’re here because you want to find out what you missed from Shazam! Fury of the Gods‘ new trailer. Below, we’ve pointed out six things you might have overlooked. So, what are you waiting for? Shout “Shazam!” and let’s dive in.

1. Who are the Daughters of Atlas?

Kalypso hands Hespera the wizard's staff in Shazam! Fury of the Gods

New movie, new villains. (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

For a film centered around Shazam, we don’t actually see the titular superhero appear in the official trailer for the first 20 seconds.

Instead, we get another glimpse at Fury of the Gods‘ villains, aka the Daughters of Atlas. The powerful trio comprises the power-hungry Hespera (Helen Millen), dragon-riding Kalypso (Lucy Liu), and Athena (Rachel Zegler), the latter of whom seems particularly torn about how the sisters are going about their business.

So, why are they gunning for Shazam and his superpowered foster siblings? Essentially, when Billy Batson was gifted his abilities by Djimon Hounsou’s wizard in the film film (available now on HBO Max), one of those powers was the Stamina of Atlas. The Daughters of Atlas aren’t too happy about their father’s ability being passed down to a child, so they want to take back what is theirs – and they’ll do it so by any means necessary.

2. Mythological monsters

A dragon prepares to breathe fire at one of Shazam's fellow heroes in Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Shazam isn’t the only person taking flight in Fury of the Gods. (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Shazam’s first DCEU outing featured some horror-imbued creatures in the form of the Seven Deadly Sins. How, then, do you go about topping (or, at the very least) matching what came before? Throw in a bunch of myth-based monsters, of course.

Kalypso’s imposing dragon is the most notable inclusion. It feature prominently throughout the trailer, and we even get an amusing Game of Thrones reference from Shazam – “Hey, Khaleesi!” – in the movie. Hey, Warner Bros. loves to mention its suite of IPs in as many of its films as possible.

But Kalypso’s wyvern isn’t the only fairy-tale-based beast we see. Minotaurs, griffons, and demonic unicorns are just three of the other monsters who’ll turn up in Fury of the Gods. Basically, don’t expect this to be an easy fight for Shazam and company to save the world.

3. You can’t get the staff these days

Hespera uses the wizard's staff as Kalypso looks on in Shazam! Fury of the Gods

“So I just point it and then what?” (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Saving earth from a new titanic threat will be even harder when Shazam’s adoptive family are stripped of their powers, too. And it seems that the staff, which was wielded by Hounsou’s wizard in the first movie, is the key to giving and taking those abilities away.

In 2019’s Shazam!, the titular hero gave powers to his foster siblings to help him combat the Seven Deadly Sins and Doctor Sivana. They’ve still got those power in Fury of the Gods, too, but they won’t have them for long, based by what the trailer suggests.

The footage shows Freddy Freeman and Mary Bromfield being drained of their abilities by the Daughters of Atlas at various points. The trio are using the wizard’s staff to rob the teens of their powers, so it’s clearly of major importance to the movie’s main players. 

Later, we see Shazam wielding it – not before he asks the wizard to take his powers back, mind you, when he becomes convinced he can’t defeat the Daughters of Atlas. Anyway, Shazam’s brandishing of the staff suggests he needs it to boost his own abilities if he’s going to defeat the movie’s antagonists and give his siblings their powers back. Expect the staff to play a vital role in Fury of the Gods‘ plot, then.

4. Prison break

Djimon Hounsou's wizard blows som magic dust out of a prison window in Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Time to break out, Mr. Wizard. (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

In order to get the wizard’s staff, it seems the Daughters of Atlas go after Hounsou’s magic wielder to obtain it.

We see Hounsou’s character imprisoned at various points, including a shot of Hespera chastising him for giving the power of the gods to Billy, Freddy, and company. “You ripped it from our father’s core,” she tells him, which implies Hounsou’s wizard might not be as mighty and heroic as we were led to believe.

Anyway, Hounsou’s wizard interacts with Shazam later in the trailer, so he clearly escapes captivity. Whether he does so alone, or he enlists Shazam’s help – does that magic-infused dust, which he sends through his prison cell window, have something to do with it? – is unclear. Regardless, we’ll see Hounsou’s character break out at some stage.

5. Is that you, Doctor Strange?

Shazam flies past some rotating buildings in Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Where have we seen this kind of aesthetic before? (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Remember when we said Zegler’s Athena doesn’t seem as keen to destroy earth as her sisters? That’s because, at the 1: 14 mark, we see her use her powers with a uncertain look on her face. You wouldn’t look like that if you were convinced you were doing the right thing, would you? 

Based on the fact she’s pushed away by Kalypso (using the staff no less), seconds later, it seems she’ll be swapping sides at some stage.

Interestingly, it seems the wizard’s staff can do more than give or take a person’s powers away. One perceived ability certainly has an air of the Doctor Strange/Marvel-based mystic arts about them. Just look at the Escher-style nature of how the scenery bends and folds in on itself when Athena is pushed back, and when Shazam evades numerous buildings at the 1: 44 mark. We’d be very surprised if DC and Warner Bros. didn’t take a leaf out of the MCU’s book with such an aesthetic.

6. Light the way

Shazam prepares to fight Kalypso and her dragon in Shazam! Fury of the Gods

A yellow bolt out of the blue. (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Shazam and his fellow superheroes get a costume upgrade in Fury of the Gods. The group’s threads are more streamlined and less plastic-looking this time around, which is pleasing to see.

Fans had been worried, though, that these suits wouldn’t feature one of the first movie’s most underrated (if somewhat tacky) aspects: the glowing lightning bolt on Shazam’s chest. Shazam’s costume in the 2019 movie was manufactured in a way that allowed the bolt to physically light up, avoiding the problem of having to add awkward lighting effects during the post-production phase.

Thankfully, Shazam! Fury of the Gods‘ official trailer confirms that Shazam’s lightning bolt will glow. However, given the sleeker look of the costumes this time around, it appears that the illumination effect has been added in post. Regardless of how it’s been implemented, we’re just glad it’s a feature that’s been retained.

For more DCEU-based coverage, find out where we placed 2019’s Shazam! in our DC movies ranked article. Additionally, read up on the best superhero films of all-time or check out how to watch the Batman movies in order.

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As TechRadar’s entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You’ll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot (opens in new tab).

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.

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You can lock Chrome incognito tabs on Android now. Bring it to the PC!

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You can lock Chrome incognito tabs on Android now. Bring it to the PC!

Chrome logo on a phone with a lock image over it

Image: Deepanker Verma / Pexels


Author: Alaina Yee
, Senior Editor

Alaina Yee is PCWorld’s resident bargain hunter—when she’s not covering PC building, computer components, mini-PCs, and more, she’s scouring for the best tech deals. Previously her work has appeared in PC Gamer, IGN, Maximum PC, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can find her on Twitter at @morphingball.

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