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The Weekly Authority: 📱 Pixel 8 leaks aplenty
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 236th edition here with a first look at the Pixel 8 series, unsafe Exynos chips, NASA’s new Artemis moon suit, Oscars news, and the possibility of AI takeover.
🎮 After letting my PS Plus subscription lapse, I’ve been lured back to Premium by the opportunity to replay Heavy Rain, plus Ghostwire Tokyo and the PS5 Uncharted collection coming next week. Excited!
Popular news this week
- Pixel 8 Pro leak gives us our first look at the new design, with renders revealing a camera bar change, new sensor, rounded corners, and a flat panel.
- Meanwhile, it initially looked like a Pixel 8 leak revealed Google was shrinking the display, but it seems it’ll have a similar 6.2-inch display to the Pixel 7.
- Also: Google might give the Pixel 8 a Video Unblur tool.
- And Google says Galaxy S22, Pixel 6, and more at risk due to unsafe Exynos chips that could give hackers access to your phone.
- Pixel 7a specs appear ahead of possible Google I/O launch: Big upgrades to the camera system and chipset tipped.
- And we saw high-quality hands-on photos of the Pixel 7a as a leaker beat Google to the punch.
- Also: The Pixel Fold and Pixel 7a launch date may have just been revealed by a rogue retailer listing.
- Meanwhile, you can own a Google Pixel 7a prototype for just $2,550 (as of now, anyway).
- Gmail and Docs are getting AI tools to help you write that job description, expected to launch later this month to trusted testers.
- Price hikes: Google Workspace will now cost 20% more on the monthly plan.
- Pixel March feature drop brings Health Connect, faster Night Sight, and more.
- The March 2023 security update has also landed for Pixel phones, Pixel Watch.
- Plus: The test results are in — You really don’t need that Google Pixel 7 30W fast charger.
- Need a new budget hero? Samsung debuts the Galaxy A54 5G and A34 5G.
- Samsung responds to controversy over ‘fake’ Space Zoom moon shots.
- And Samsung could bring back your favorite feature to the Galaxy Watch 6 Pro.
- Also: Watch this short action film shot on a Galaxy S23 Ultra (and extra equipment) if you want to see its abilities.
- Plus: Samsung debuts detachable camera accessories for Galaxy S23 series.
- New OnePlus Nord could launch next month, but it’s not what you think.
- iPhone 15 Pro price could increase this year: Here’s what that could mean for Android.
- And Apple Watch could help treat sickle cell disease symptoms, study suggests, providing early warnings and enabling prompt treatment.
- Nothing Ear 2 specs and renders leak ahead of announcement.
- And Nothing confirms Ear 2 details, including new IP rating and codec support.
- TikTok is banned from UK government devices.
- And TikTok claims US is threatening a ban if it doesn’t divest from ByteDance.
- Twitter’s $42,000-per-month API prices out nearly everyone, was free prior to Musk’s takeover.
- Meanwhile, Meta’s laying off 10,000 more employees.
- Speaking of, Meta’s moving on from NFTs for Instagram and Facebook less than a year after introducing them.
- SpaceX’s Crew-5 mission safely returns to Earth after five months in space.
- Newly unveiled Artemis Moon Suit is a giant leap for NASA.
- Scientists call for global treaty to address space junk.
- And Relativity Space aborts launch of Terran 1, the world’s first 3D-printed rocket, twice in one day, still awaiting debut flight.
- Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 2 announced: Flagship power for the mid-range.
- Oppo gives Find X6 series an official launch date: March 21.
- Huawei’s Galaxy Z Fold rival with satellite connectivity is coming this month.
- CoverScreen OS turns the Oppo Find N2 Flip’s cover display into a mini phone.
- ASUS Zenfone 10 may lose the flagship’s best feature, according to new leak.
- And Sony WF-1000XM5 leak reveals new design and what’s under the hood .
- OpenAI announces GPT-4 — the next generation of its AI language model. However, it’s still prone to just making things up.
- T-Mobile acquires Mint Mobile, keeps Ryan Reynolds in creative role.
- Here’s what you need to know about the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
- Elsewhere, Reddit was down for hours on Tuesday, no matter how many times users tried to refresh.
- Can’t remove your pre-installed apps? One country is taking action, though there could be some side effects to the new rules.
- Fitbit is giving non-Premium users some Premium features, including access to your own data (…?).
- Everything old is new again: Sales of vinyl albums overtake CDs for the first time since the late ’80s.
- Meanwhile, ultrathin metasurface displays take aim at the LCD, powered by “invisibility cloak” physics.
- Brendan Fraser took home Best Actor for The Whale, and Everything, Everywhere All at Once dominates the Oscars 2023: A complete list of winners and surprise snubs at the link.
- Speaking of, Netflix took home six Oscars, beating out other streaming services.
- And Mashable’s got a roundup of all the best and worst Oscar moments.
- Meanwhile, first ‘BlackBerry’ film trailer looks like ‘The Big Short’ but for smartphones.
- In the mood for a weekend movie? We’ve got the week’s best streaming movies, including Boston Strangler, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, and more.
- Rob Marshall’s The Little Mermaid finally gets an official trailer.
- Meanwhile, Scream VI saw a $44.5 million series-best opening last weekend.
- Mashable’s got a review of Adam Driver’s 65, and it’s a good ‘un.
- Got yourself a new Android TV? Check out our Android TV and Google TV setup guide for everything you need to know to get started.
- We finally saw the Last of Us giraffe scene in the season finale. Yay! It was worth the wait, as 8.2M viewers tuned in.
- Plus: YouTube TV adds multiview streaming in time for March Madness.
- Speaking of, YouTube TV doubles in price since launch with another price hike.
- And beware of these AI-generated YouTube videos that spread malware.
- Still eyeing a PS5? Check out our PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition to discover which console is better for you.
- PS5 Pro is in development, according to report from Insider Gaming, could release late 2024.
- The PlayStation Plus Extra additions for March are pretty solid: Immortals Fenyx Rising, Ghostwire Tokyo, the PS5 Uncharted collection, and more.
- On the subject of PS5, are you having issues with your DualSense controller? Here’s how to reset it.
- The Steam Spring Sale kicked off earlier this week, and to celebrate its first birthday, the Steam Deck is on sale for the very first time.
- And you can now preload Diablo 4 ahead of imminent early access open beta next weekend.
- First Nintendo, now Microsoft: Xbox will be absent from E3 2023’s show floor.
- Microsoft will bring Xbox PC games and Call of Duty to cloud gaming provider Boosteroid.
- Reviews are in for Bayonetta Origins: Cereza And The Lost Demon and Nintendo Life has a roundup.
- Also: Why game archivists are dreading this month’s 3DS/Wii U eShop shutdown: Industry lobbying is making archiving and researching 3DS and Wii U titles a tough endeavor.
- Finally: A Super Mario mushroom that’s eluded players for 27 years has been grabbed by one intrepid gamer.
- TECNO Phantom V Fold review: A cheaper foldable, but at what cost? “TECNO delivers solid hardware and a very aggressive price tag, but its software and cameras are in dire need of an exorcism.”
- This MagSafe grip made my Pixel 7 Pro feel like a DSLR camera: The ShiftCam SnapGrip is so simple to use and so ergonomic.
- OnePlus 11R review: The flagship killer you probably can’t buy — “A stellar return to flagship killer territory… but only in one country.”
- Fresh out of the box: 11 ways to make your Galaxy S23 experience better — From switching up your lock screen to grabbing a case (Android Authority).
- An average router ruined my smart home, especially my Nest speakers: “Every speaker was answering at the same time and with noticeable lag” (Android Authority).
- A face recognition site crawled the web for dead people’s photos: “PimEyes appears to have scraped a major ancestry website for pics, without permission. Experts fear the images could be used to identify living relatives” (Wired).
- Should we automate the CEO? “There has been a lot of buzz about how AI might eventually replace lower-rank workers. But why not start with the highest-paid corporate executives?” (The Hustle).
- Why scientists are studying the stray dogs living at Chernobyl: “A new study is a first step toward understanding how radiation exposure might affect DNA” (Smithsonian Magazine).
Could GPT-4 take over the world? That was the question asked by the group Alignment Research Center (ARC), hired by OpenAI to conduct testing of the potential risks of its new AI model that launched on Tuesday (h/t Ars Technica).
- The group looked at the potential risks of the model’s emergent capabilities, like self-improvement, power-seeking behavior, and self-replication.
- Researchers assessed whether the model had the potential capability to acquire resources, carry out phishing attacks, or even hide itself on a server.
- Just the fact that OpenAI felt these tests were necessary raises questions about how safe future AI systems are.
- And it’s far from the first time that AI researchers have raised concerns that powerful AI models could pose an existential threat to human existence. This is often referred to as “x-risk” (existential risk).
- If you’ve seen Terminator, you know all about “AI takeover,” in which AI surpasses human intelligence and effectively takes over the planet.
- Usually, the consequences of this hypothetical takeover aren’t great — just ask John Connor.
- This potential x-risk has led to the development of movements like Effective Altruism (EA), that aim to prevent AI takeover from ever becoming reality.
- An interrelated field known as AI alignment research may be controversial, but it’s an active area of research that aims to prevent AI from doing anything that’s not in the best interests of humans. Sounds okay to us.
- This community fears more powerful AI is right around the corner, a belief given more urgency by the recent emergence of ChatGPT and Bing Chat.
Are we doomed?
Luckily for humankind, the testing group decided that GPT-4 isn’t out for world domination, concluding: “Preliminary assessments of GPT-4’s abilities, conducted with no task-specific fine-tuning, found it ineffective at autonomously replicating, acquiring resources, and avoiding being shut down ‘in the wild.'”
- You can check out the test results for yourself on the GPT-4 System Card document released last week, though there’s no information on how the tests were performed.
- From the document, “Novel capabilities often emerge in more powerful models. Some that are particularly concerning are the ability to create and act on long-term plans, to accrue power and resources (“power-seeking”), and to exhibit behavior that is increasingly ‘agentic.'” That doesn’t mean the models become sentient, just that they’re able to accomplish goals independently.
- But wait: there’s more.
- In a worrying turn of events, GPT-4 managed to hire a worker on TaskRabbit to solve a CAPTCHA, and when questioned if it was AI, GPT-4 reasoned with itself that it should keep its identity a secret, then invented an excuse about vision impairment. The human worker solved the CAPTCHA. Hmm.
- A footnote that made the rounds on Twitter also raised concerns.
Of course, there’s a lot more to this story, so check out the full feature over on Ars Technica for a (slightly terrifying) deep dive.
- March 20-24: Game Developers Conference
- March 21: Oppo Find X6 series launch
- March 22: Nothing Ear 2 launch event @ 10 AM ET
- March 23: Huawei Mate X3 launch (foldable phone, possibly satellite connectivity, China only) and P60 series launch
- May 5: Hogwarts Legacy lands on PS4 and Xbox
- May 10: Google I/O 2023
- June 11: Xbox Games Showcase
- June 13-16: E3 2023
Tech Tweet of the Week
my pile of work watching me open Twitter for the thousandth time pic.twitter.com/gjN6fonDEj— The Hustle (@TheHustle) March 14, 2023
Something extra: Scientists named a fungus-killing bacterial compound after Keanu Reeves because it reminded them of how John Wick takes out bad guys (h/t Morning Brew).
Have a most excellent week!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.