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Daily Authority: 🔋 Is Facebook killing phone batteries?

Plus more Galaxy S23 leaks ahead of tomorrow's Unpacked, Nothing Phone 2 confirmed, AI voice abuse, and more top tech news.
By
January 31, 2023
Facebook app on phone 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

😎 Good morning, and welcome to Tuesday’s Daily Authority. It’s the last day of the month and though January hasn’t been a bad one, today we’ve got not one but two top stories for you, including some Facebook controversy.

Facebook’s battery controversy

Facebook app on phone 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

If you’ve noticed Facebook being a battery hog, you might be onto something, as a former Facebook employee claims the company can secretly drain your phone battery.

  • Data scientist George Hayward told the New York Post that Facebook is participating in “negative testing.”
  • This is a form of software testing that applies unexpected behaviors and circumstances to an app or software to see how it copes.
  • The former employee was fired for refusing to participate in the practice, believing it could be harmful.
  • However, we may never know whether Hayward’s claim was true, as he only mentioned having seen a document entitled “How to run thoughtful negative tests” but failed to divulge any examples from the document.
  • Negative testing isn’t uncommon or controversial, either, though if Facebook was deliberately draining phone batteries, that’s a definite no-no that could put people in harm’s way, for example, if they’re unable to use their phone in a life-or-death situation.
  • Draining the battery in this way also means more frequent charging, contributing to battery degradation.
  • If you’re noticing faster than usual battery drain, you might want to grab one of the best battery saver apps.

Samsung expects dip in smartphone demand ahead of Galaxy S23 launch

Samsung Galaxy Experience sign logo IFA 2022
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The fourth quarter of 2022 was a rough one for Samsung, as the company posted numbers that matched its bleak predictions of profit decline from January 2022.

  • It’s fair to say business hasn’t been booming for the world’s largest smartphone maker, with uncertain economic times, reduced chip demand, and a reduction in customers buying new gadgets all to blame.
  • The company shared weak profit numbers, but the hardest hit was Samsung’s chip division, which saw profits plunge over 90% in Q4 2022.
  • Samsung’s predicting smartphone demand won’t pick up until the second half of 2023, despite tomorrow’s Galaxy S23 launch.
  • However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as the Galaxy S23 series and an enhanced product portfolio, including new PCs, wearables, and tablets should help sales expand this quarter.
  • And it could mean we’ll see the Galaxy Watch 6 land earlier than expected this year…

Roundup

Official Galaxy S23 images and details get leaked by AT&T ahead of Unpacked (Android Authority).

📱 Triple OPPO-rtunity: Another ultra-premium phone could be getting a one-inch camera sensor (Android Authority).

🎮 Don’t have a PlayStation 5 yet? PS5 supply has been increased, so it should be “much easier” to get one, Sony says (Gamespot).

🧟‍♂️ Finally: Tissues at the ready for The Last of Us Episode 3 — A supporting character gets a hopeful, and heartbreaking, standalone story (spoiler alert) (Rotten Tomatoes).

Tuesday thing

joe rogan 2
David Nguyen / Android Authority

The beta version of speech AI startup ElevenLabs’ Prime Voice AI platform launched just a few days ago, but it’s already being used for nefarious purposes (h/t Engadget).

  • The company Tweeted it’s seeing “an increasing number of voice cloning misuse cases.”
  • Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that “deepfake” audio clips are simply the new deepfake videos.
  • Motherboard revealed several 4chan posts with clips featuring voices generated by speech AI tools that sound like celebrities — including Emma Watson and Joe Rogan — saying or reading questionable things, though it’s not clear if all the clips used ElevenLabs’ technology.
  • There will always be people using the latest tech to spread homophobic, racist, transphobic, or violent messages, but that doesn’t mean tools like this can’t be used for good.
  • AI voice generators can be used for film and game voiceovers, audiobooks, and more,  and it looks like 2023 could be the year we see more of them emerge.
  • ElevenLabs is already coming up with ideas on how to prevent abuse of its technology, including requiring payment info or ID from users, additional layers for account verification, or even making users verify they own copyright for the voice they want to clone.
  • This is why we can’t have nice things.

Have a great week!

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.