Weekly 3 minutes of reading

Weekly ※ Friday 15.09.23

Article author :

François Genette

News addict, geek culture fan, digital tech aficionado and hardcore gamer, François Genette is passionate about everything related to digital. A journalist for nearly 15 years in the major national and local media, he now uses his pen to share his discoveries from the worlds he loves.

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Friday is weekly: a digest of what the team has seen, read and listened to, and wants to share with you.

Netflix, your maybe future game console 

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As we know, Netflix has not been doing too well of late. And the American streaming company has made attempts on several fronts to stem the haemorrhaging of unsubscribers it is having to contend with. The group’s new idea? Taking a punt on cloud gaming. A market which Netflix understands has potential, and one which it is ready to pump resources into, if its gigantic stand at the recent Gamescom in Germany is anything to go by.

For those who haven’t the faintest idea what this involves (Boo!), cloud gaming enables the distribution of streamable games, as is already the case for films and series. In this way, the titles will be available on various devices, such as television sets, streaming boxes and connected systems. 

By way of a gamepad, the American firm has in mind that you will use your … smartphone. This will be transformed into a virtual game controller thanks to an application for iOS and iPadOS. Accordingly, future gamers will be spared having to purchase a controller in the stores.

For the moment, the feature is still in beta test mode, restricted to subscribers in Canada and the United Kingdom. But in time, everybody should have access to stacks of little games. One way of spending your time when you are absolutely clueless about what to watch. 

Music à la carte just around the corner?

You have certainly heard them by now, the musical deepfakes which have been proliferating on the internet for a few months now. These music tracks have their origins in an artificial intelligence technology which allows you to manipulate and use any voice readjusted to any musical composition.

Along these lines:

Or how about?

This unauthorised use of artists’ voices begs several crucial questions concerning copyright and artistic authenticity. And consequently, to avoid the whole of the music industry becoming seriously unnerved, the major companies are taking steps to nip the new trend in the bud.

Neither Google nor Universal intends to stand idly by, and are considering establishing a licence template to remunerate singers and copyright holders when their voices or tunes are used in compositions assisted by AI. The regulation of this use will allow music production companies to maintain control over the phenomenon. 

Whilst many are outraged by this initiative, others, such as the singer Grimes, are fully backing the development of AI assisted musical production. The same is true of Paul McCartney, who has announced that a new Beatles track is to be composed by means of employing AI, involving extracting samples of John Lennon’s voice from a cassette dating back to 1978.

Nokia is back, and it is repairable

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Nearly all of us do the same thing: when our mobile phones stop working, we rush to the shops to buy a new one, rather than trying to repair it. And it makes sense, given the exorbitant cost demanded for the repair or replacement of defective parts – But that’s not very green, I think we can all agree.

In this context, one brand has demonstrated a healthy proactivity. Take a bow, HMD Global, the company which manufactures Nokia telephones. To do so, it has recently launched the Nokia G22.

The most striking feature of this smartphone? Its Quick Fix repairability. It is very easy to replace the screen, the battery, the USB connector or the back cover. The parts are available at iFix, accompanied by video tutorials which can be accessed by anyone. A really excellent idea for occasional do-it-yourselfers (of which I am one). 

The Nokia G22 nevertheless has its limitations, in particular its less powerful processor and its connectivity, restricted to 4G. To take things a step further, HMD Global has unveiled the Nokia G42, a 5G equipped variant of a SoC Snapdragon 480+ with 6 Go of RAM, offering a better performance and 5G connectivity.

Be that as it may, the price remains a very reasonable 229 Euro and, what’s more, we won’t have to throw it away should it break.

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