What to watch, play and read this weekend

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

What to watch, play and read this weekend
Image: Image: WarnerMedia, Devolver Digital, Microsoft

This week we're playing a new indie game that's already getting some high praise; watching HBO's "Suicide Squad" spinoff; and learning about a new point-and-click adventure game set in an oil town — but it's more beautiful than it sounds.

Activision Blizzard: What it means for the devs

Making sense of Microsoft’s purchase of one of the world’s largest third-party publishers isn’t an easy task, given just how far-reaching the impact of the deal will be on the future of the industry. But GameDiscoverCo’s Simon Carless breaks down the larger forces at play in this excellent analysis for Polygon. Reading it will help you understand why it’s a big deal and how it speaks to the major industry shifts of the last few years.

Norco: A beautiful new indie game

New Yorker staff writer Julian Lucas wrote this week about the transfixing pixel art landscapes of indie game Norco. The title, made by the five-person team at Geography of Robots, is an ambitious upcoming work in a growing line of environmentally conscious video game narratives. It tells the story of a refinery town based on the real-world Louisiana location of the same name, which is home to a major Shell Oil Company site.

'Peacemaker': New episodes out now

HBO’s new “Suicide Squad” spinoff from director James Gunn features the delightfully dumb wannabe superhero played by John Cena, back for a second act after his role as a misguided villain in the 2021 DC reboot. The first four episodes are on HBO Max now and feature some of Gunn’s signature dark comedy and witty writing, with a series run through Feb. 17.

Inscryption: Out now on Steam

This roguelike deck-building game is almost impossible to describe without ruining some part of its central narrative thrust. But the indie game from developer Daniel Mullins Games is one of the most creative and unorthodox video game storytelling exercises in recent memory. It’s nominated for a host of awards at the upcoming Independent Game Festival, including game of the year. For $20 on Steam, it’s worth seeing why everyone has been talking about it endlessly for the past three months.

'Gangs of London': A second season is coming out soon

From the mind of “The Raid” creator Gareth Evans, “Gangs of London” is a modern-day crime drama about the chaotic and violent aftermath of the London underworld’s power vacuum following the murder of a central mob boss. It features some of the most jaw-dropping action scene choreography on television, though the squeamish should stay away as it’s about as disturbing as a horror film. The series, originally from Sky, has since landed at AMC+ with a second season in the works.

Nobody Saves the World: Out now on Xbox Game Pass

Indie developer Drinkbox Studios, known for the Guacamelee series, released its first new game since 2018 this week, and it’s already amassing rave reviews. The game is a procedurally generated dungeon crawler featuring Zelda-like elements, but with a Final Fantasy-inspired job system that lets your character, Nobody, transform into one of 15 forms. It’s out on Xbox Game Pass, meaning you have no reason not to give it a try.

This list of recommendations originally appeared in the Entertainment newsletter. Sign up here to get it in your inbox every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.


Judge Zia Faruqui is trying to teach you crypto, one ‘SNL’ reference at a time

His decisions on major cryptocurrency cases have quoted "The Big Lebowski," "SNL," and "Dr. Strangelove." That’s because he wants you — yes, you — to read them.

The ways Zia Faruqui (right) has weighed on cases that have come before him can give lawyers clues as to what legal frameworks will pass muster.

Photo: Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

“Cryptocurrency and related software analytics tools are ‘The wave of the future, Dude. One hundred percent electronic.’”

That’s not a quote from "The Big Lebowski" — at least, not directly. It’s a quote from a Washington, D.C., district court memorandum opinion on the role cryptocurrency analytics tools can play in government investigations. The author is Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui.

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Veronica Irwin

Veronica Irwin (@vronirwin) is a San Francisco-based reporter at Protocol covering fintech. Previously she was at the San Francisco Examiner, covering tech from a hyper-local angle. Before that, her byline was featured in SF Weekly, The Nation, Techworker, Ms. Magazine and The Frisc.

The financial technology transformation is driving competition, creating consumer choice, and shaping the future of finance. Hear from seven fintech leaders who are reshaping the future of finance, and join the inaugural Financial Technology Association Fintech Summit to learn more.

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The Financial Technology Association (FTA) represents industry leaders shaping the future of finance. We champion the power of technology-centered financial services and advocate for the modernization of financial regulation to support inclusion and responsible innovation.

AWS CEO: The cloud isn’t just about technology

As AWS preps for its annual re:Invent conference, Adam Selipsky talks product strategy, support for hybrid environments, and the value of the cloud in uncertain economic times.

Photo: Noah Berger/Getty Images for Amazon Web Services

AWS is gearing up for re:Invent, its annual cloud computing conference where announcements this year are expected to focus on its end-to-end data strategy and delivering new industry-specific services.

It will be the second re:Invent with CEO Adam Selipsky as leader of the industry’s largest cloud provider after his return last year to AWS from data visualization company Tableau Software.

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Donna Goodison

Donna Goodison (@dgoodison) is Protocol's senior reporter focusing on enterprise infrastructure technology, from the 'Big 3' cloud computing providers to data centers. She previously covered the public cloud at CRN after 15 years as a business reporter for the Boston Herald. Based in Massachusetts, she also has worked as a Boston Globe freelancer, business reporter at the Boston Business Journal and real estate reporter at Banker & Tradesman after toiling at weekly newspapers.

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We launched Protocol in February 2020 to cover the evolving power center of tech. It is with deep sadness that just under three years later, we are winding down the publication.

As of today, we will not publish any more stories. All of our newsletters, apart from our flagship, Source Code, will no longer be sent. Source Code will be published and sent for the next few weeks, but it will also close down in December.

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Bennett Richardson

Bennett Richardson ( @bennettrich) is the president of Protocol. Prior to joining Protocol in 2019, Bennett was executive director of global strategic partnerships at POLITICO, where he led strategic growth efforts including POLITICO's European expansion in Brussels and POLITICO's creative agency POLITICO Focus during his six years with the company. Prior to POLITICO, Bennett was co-founder and CMO of Hinge, the mobile dating company recently acquired by Match Group. Bennett began his career in digital and social brand marketing working with major brands across tech, energy, and health care at leading marketing and communications agencies including Edelman and GMMB. Bennett is originally from Portland, Maine, and received his bachelor's degree from Colgate University.


Why large enterprises struggle to find suitable platforms for MLops

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, and as larger enterprises go from deploying hundreds of models to thousands and even millions of models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

Photo: artpartner-images via Getty Images

On any given day, Lily AI runs hundreds of machine learning models using computer vision and natural language processing that are customized for its retail and ecommerce clients to make website product recommendations, forecast demand, and plan merchandising. But this spring when the company was in the market for a machine learning operations platform to manage its expanding model roster, it wasn’t easy to find a suitable off-the-shelf system that could handle such a large number of models in deployment while also meeting other criteria.

Some MLops platforms are not well-suited for maintaining even more than 10 machine learning models when it comes to keeping track of data, navigating their user interfaces, or reporting capabilities, Matthew Nokleby, machine learning manager for Lily AI’s product intelligence team, told Protocol earlier this year. “The duct tape starts to show,” he said.

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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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