Sink into 'Love, Death & Robots' and more things to do this weekend

Don’t know what to do this weekend? We’ve got you covered.

What to play, watch and read this weekend.

Our favorite picks for your weekend pleasure.

Image: A24; 11 bit studios; Getty Images

We could all use a bit of a break. This weekend we’re diving into Netflix’s beautifully animated sci-fi “Love, Death & Robots,” losing ourselves in surreal “Men” and loving Zelda-like Moonlighter.

Season 3 of beautifully animated ‘Love, Death & Robots’ is out now

The third season of Netflix’s sci-fi anthology series “Love, Death & Robots” debuted last week with a new collection of “Black Mirror”-esque thought experiments and beautifully animated narrative shorts. Like “The Animatrix” and more recent anthology series like Disney’s “Star Wars: Visions,” almost every episode brings a fresh cast of talent, from the animation studio and source material to the director and voice actors. This season even features longtime executive producer David Fincher taking the director helm for the first time, as well as some heavyweight voice-acting talent from the likes of Mackenzie Davis, Rosario Dawson and Dan Stevens.

Provocative ‘Men’ doesn’t disappoint

The newest film from “Ex Machina” and “Annihilation” director Alex Garland is as provocative as its title suggests. I saw “Men” knowing little to nothing about the experience other than that it draws influence from the surreal horror movement popularized by the work of Jordan Peele and Ari Aster and also reunited Garland with boundary-pushing arthouse production company A24. It did not disappoint. There’s nothing I could tell you now about what to expect from “Men,” especially its jaw-dropping final act. Just go see it. And then, like me, devour every piece of writing about it on the internet you can find.

Moonlighter is available for the first time on mobile

Netflix is getting more serious about gaming, and one of its more high-profile titles is Digital Sun’s Moonlighter, a unique, Zelda-inspired action RPG that has players playing shopkeeper during the day and looting intricate dungeons at night. The game was first released for Mac, PC and consoles in 2018, but as part of the exclusive partnership with Netflix, Moonlighter is now available for the first time on mobile and free for all subscribers of the streaming service. If you’ve toyed with Apple Arcade or enjoy more premium mobile gaming, Moonlighter is worth a shot. It’s available on iOS and Android.

Want a PS5? You might have to fight the bots.

Much has been written about the rise of retail bots and the role they’ve played in online commerce, from the PS5 shortage to the sneakerhead boom. But journalist Luke Winkie’s new report for The Verge takes a fresh angle by diving into the developer-side market for the alarmingly sleek software that facilitates widespread automated ecommerce, with a focus on the polished buying bot Dakoza. “This software lets [users] change their lives,” the bot’s creator said of enabling scalpers.

A version of this story also appeared in today’s Entertainment newsletter; subscribe here.

Every day, millions of us press the “order” button on our favorite coffee mobile application. When we arrive at the coffee shop, we expect that our chosen brew will be on the counter a few minutes later. It’s a personalized, seamless experience that we have all come to expect. What we don’t know is what’s happening behind the scenes. The mobile application is sourcing data from a database that stores information about each customer and what their favorite coffee drinks are. It is also leveraging event-streaming data in real time to ensure the ingredients for your personal coffee are in supply at your local store.

Applications like this power our daily lives, and if they can’t access massive amounts of data stored in a database as well as streaming data “in motion” instantaneously, you, and millions of customers, won’t have the in-the-moment experiences we all expect.

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Jennifer Goforth Gregory
Jennifer Goforth Gregory has worked in the B2B technology industry for over 20 years. As a freelance writer she writes for top technology brands, including IBM, HPE, Adobe, AT&T, Verizon, Epson, Oracle, Intel and Square. She specializes in a wide range of technology, such as AI, IoT, cloud, cybersecurity, and CX. Jennifer also wrote a bestselling book The Freelance Content Marketing Writer to help other writers launch a high earning freelance business.

How the internet got privatized and how the government could fix it

Author Ben Tarnoff discusses municipal broadband, Web3 and why closing the “digital divide” isn’t enough.

The Biden administration’s Internet for All initiative, which kicked off in May, will roll out grant programs to expand and improve broadband infrastructure, teach digital skills and improve internet access for “everyone in America by the end of the decade.”

Decisions about who is eligible for these grants will be made based on the Federal Communications Commission’s broken, outdated and incorrect broadband maps — maps the FCC plans to update only after funding has been allocated. Inaccurate broadband maps are just one of many barriers to getting everyone in the country successfully online. Internet service providers that use government funds to connect rural and low-income areas have historically provided those regions with slow speeds and poor service, forcing community residents to find reliable internet outside of their homes.

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Aditi Mukund
Aditi Mukund is Protocol’s Data Analyst. Prior to joining Protocol, she was an analyst at The Daily Beast and NPR where she wrangled data into actionable insights for editorial, audience, commerce, subscription, and product teams. She holds a B.S in Cognitive Science, Human Computer Interaction from The University of California, San Diego.

How I decided to exit my startup’s original business

Bluevine got its start in factoring invoices for small businesses. CEO Eyal Lifshitz explains why it dropped that business in favor of “end-to-end banking.”

"[I]t was a realization that we can't be successful at both at the same time: You've got to choose."

Photo: Bluevine

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Bluevine got its start in fintech by offering a modern version of invoice factoring, the centuries-old practice where businesses sell off their accounts receivable for up-front cash. It’s raised $240 million in venture capital and about $700 million in total financing since its founding in 2013 by serving small businesses. But along the way, it realized it was better to focus on the checking accounts and lines of credit it provided customers than its original product. It now manages some $500 million in checking-account deposits.

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Ryan Deffenbaugh
Ryan Deffenbaugh is a reporter at Protocol focused on fintech. Before joining Protocol, he reported on New York's technology industry for Crain's New York Business. He is based in New York and can be reached at rdeffenbaugh@protocol.com.

The Roe decision could change how advertisers use location data

Over the years, the digital ad industry has been resistant to restricting use of location data. But that may be changing.

Over the years, the digital ad industry has been resistant to restrictions on the use of location data. But that may be changing.

Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, the likelihood for location data to be used against people suddenly shifted from a mostly hypothetical scenario to a realistic threat. Although location data has a variety of purposes — from helping municipalities assess how people move around cities to giving reliable driving directions — it’s the voracious appetite of digital advertisers for location information that has fueled the creation and growth of a sector selling data showing who visited specific points on the map, when, what places they came from and where they went afterwards.

Over the years, the digital ad industry has been resistant to restrictions on the use of location data. But that may be changing. The overturning of Roe not only puts the wide availability of location data for advertising in the spotlight, it could serve as a turning point compelling the digital ad industry to take action to limit data associated with sensitive places before the government does.

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Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye is an award-winning multimedia reporter digging deep and telling print, digital and audio stories. She covers AI and data for Protocol. Her reporting on AI and tech ethics issues has been published in OneZero, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, CityLab, Ad Age and Digiday and heard on NPR. Kate is the creator of RedTailMedia.org and is the author of "Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media," a book about how the 2008 presidential campaigns used digital media and data.

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