Stay in this weekend with ‘Westworld’ and ‘Last Night in Soho’

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

Stay in this weekend with ‘Westworld’ and ‘Last Night in Soho’
Image: HBO; Devolver Digital; Matt Chase

This week we’re keeping busy with the new season of “Westworld” and a free mobile game that’s a must if you have a Netflix account.

The new season of ‘Westworld’ does what the show does best

If you don’t have a love-hate relationship with “Westworld,” then maybe we’re watching different shows. After a near-perfect first season that nailed a modern and savvy take on artificial intelligence, the show has morphed many times over, changing much of its setting, cast and themes in the process. What was once a slippery and philosophical exploration of the nature of human consciousness is now very much a big-budget action thriller about the fate of humankind under threat from robot overlords. I can’t say I like where “Westworld” has gone, but the first two episodes of season four, now available on HBO Max, do display what the show still does best: slick production design, believable futuristic aesthetics and an almost obsessive commitment to screwing with our heads.

‘Last Night in Soho’ will keep you guessing

Edgar Wright’s first narrative movie since the 2017 hit “Baby Driver” proved to be a major departure from his standard satirical and pop culture-loving approach to filmmaking. In place of comedy, Wright deploys the psychological thriller and horror genres to tell the tale of an aspiring modern fashion designer (Thomasin McKenzie) who moves to London to pursue her dream. At night, the character, Ellie, transports herself to the 1960s, where she embodies an aspiring singer played by Anya Taylor-Joy. The film has some clever twists, great cinematography and sharp writing that helps it effortlessly transition genres. “Last Night in Soho” debuted last year, but it’s on HBO Max as of this month.

Inside the culture shift at Netflix

Netflix’s problems run deeper than its recent growth slowdown. In a new feature published in partnership by New York Magazine and The Verge, reporter Zoë Schiffer details how the streaming giant’s corporate culture has changed dramatically since its early tech-first days, when it favored open feedback from employees across the company. Now that Netflix has grown into a Hollywood juggernaut, executives have reportedly become less transparent and partial to top-down control over what shows and movies it streams, despite growing concern from marginalized employees over the airing of transphobic content.

Give cute and clever Poinpy a try

The adorable Poinpy is a peculiar mobile puzzle game. It’s from indie designer Ojiro Fumoto, known best for his 2015 puzzle shooter Downwell, and publisher Devolver Digital, which has its hand in a vast majority of the biggest indie success stories of the last decade. But it’s also a Netflix game, meaning it’s free to play for subscribers on Android and iOS. The game is nice and straightforward, like many of the post-Angry Birds mobile hits of the early 2010s: Pull your finger down, and send the titular Poinpy flying upward. Yet the simplicity hides a surprising level of depth and some truly clever puzzle design, in addition to fantastic art and music. Definitely give Poinpy a try if you’ve got a Netflix account.

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


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.

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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.

Image: Protocol

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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