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The Weekly Authority: 📱 Peek at the Pixel 8

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Robert Triggs / iandroid.eu

⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the iandroid.eu newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 220th edition here, with Google Pixel 8 leaks, continuing Twitter drama, incoming Stadia refunds, and more…

👀 It’s great to be back from a relaxing break! This week, I was worried about a family member after they received what we thought was a scam email posing as Amazon, clicked on a link in it, and entered their credit card details. It turned out to be a false alarm, but it reminded me how important it is to protect yourself online. On that note, have you heard of Incogni, the sponsor of this week’s newsletter?

Incogni is a privacy-focused service that aims to protect you from scammers, identity theft, and other malicious actors by hunting down your data wherever it exists online and filing for removal.

As part of an early Black Friday offering, you can get 60% off a subscription to Incogni! To take advantage of this offer, choose a one-year subscription and apply code INCOGNI60 at checkout.

Popular news this week

Google Pixel 7 Camera Closeup on white tabel

Adamya Sharma / iandroid.eu

Social media:

  • About turn: After laying off almost 50% of the company, Twitter asks fired workers to please come back.
  • Elon Musk has discussed ideas such as putting the entirety of Twitter behind a paywall, or allowing everyone to use the site for a limited time each month, after which a subscription would be required. 
  • Earlier this week, we reported that Twitter will soon have two checkmarks. Hours after rollout, Elon Musk nixed the new feature, but some accounts are still showing the checkmark regardless.
  • Wow: Some Twitter users say their blocks on Musk’s account were lifted without their consent.
  • The end of remote work, subscriptions, and more: Read Musk’s first email to all Twitter employees.
  • Meta confirms 11,000 layoffs, amounting to 13% of its workforce.

Elsewhere: 

Movies/TV:

hbo westworld

Gaming: 

Google Stadia controller on table
  • Woop! Google has started rolling out refunds for Stadia, though no refunds on Stadia Pro subscription fees or Google’s Power Support Claw.
  • Microsoft admits Xbox vs PlayStation war is over.
  • Meanwhile, European Union opens “in-depth” investigation into Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard.
  • The Xbox Series X could be getting new graphics modes that can save you money: lower your in-game framerates and resolutions to save on your energy bill.
  • God of War Ragnarok released Wednesday, and Kotaku’s got 23 tips before you play. Plus, here’s how the game made accessibility a core part of its design.
  • A Gears of War live-action movie and animated series are in the works at Netflix.
  • Speaking of, Netflix confirms a Stranger Things VR game is coming in late 2023, where you can play as Season 4’s villain, Vecna.
  • Diablo 4 will allegedly launch in April 2023, with pre-orders reportedly opening next month.
  • Sounds like sci-fi: Oculus creator makes virtual reality headset that intentionally kills people.
  • Rogue Legacy 2, Venba, and more: Here’s everything you missed in Nintendo’s latest Indie World Showcase.

Reviews

Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro face

Oliver Cragg / iandroid.eu

Features 

On Device Voice Typing by Google Assistant

iandroid.eu / iandroid.eu

Weekly Wonder

ueno station tokyo

YouTube / Fujitsu Ltd.

We’re all used to accessibility features on our smartphones and computers, such as the Android Accessibility Suite — and there are plenty of accessibility apps for Android too. But a train station in Japan has implemented one of the most fun accessibility features ever.

  • Ueno Station in Tokyo can be, like most stations in the city, a packed, chaotic place. 
  • Commuting through the station can be daunting, particularly for differently-abled people such as members of the deaf and hearing-impaired community.
  • A team of AI-experienced developers at Fujitsu came up with a fun visual way to help hearing-impaired and deaf people navigate the station and feel safer: Ekimatopeia.
  • The word comes from the Japanese word for station, “Eki,” and syllables from the English language word, “onomatopeia,” meaning “a word that phonetically imitates, resembles, or suggests the sound that it describes.”

What is Ekimatopeia?

This video — in Japanese with English subtitles — explains exactly how Ekimatopeia works.

  • A large screen display is posted on the boarding platform, and manga-style onomatopoeic sounds are displayed.
  • These sounds actually represent what an AI picks up through a mic and are translated in real time.
  • Different fonts are used to convey specific emotions. 
  • For example, ambient sounds like a train approaching the platform and slowing to a stop, a train speeding through the station, or the sound of an alarm or horn would all be represented visually by words on the screen.
  • When a train approaches the platform, its clanking “gachan-gachan-gachan” sound would be displayed, along with visuals symbolizing a train.
  • The idea for the project came from students at a school for deaf people who talked about the difficulties they faced commuting to school by train, with some commenting that it could be scary, as they didn’t always notice the train approaching.
  • Ekimatopeia helps people to sense these sounds, with different fonts and colors making the station chaos a visual experience for deaf and hearing-impaired commuters.

Tech Calendar

  • November 15-17: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit
  • November 18: The Dark Pictures: The Devil in Me launches on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC
  • November 22: Evil West releases on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC
  • November 25-28: Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) sales
  • November 28-December 2: Amazon Reinvent
  • December 2: The Callisto Protocol launches on PS4, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC (not in Japan)
  • January 5-8, 2023: CES 2023 (Las Vegas)

Tech Tweet of the Week

putting the “no” in november by declining every meeting invite

Until next week,

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.