« Love, Death & Robots » une anthologie qui décoiffe

Do you like short films, sci-fi/horror/comedy and beautiful visuals? Then you might want to check out on the new Love, Death & Robots.

This brand new TV series aired out on March 15, 2019 on Netflix executive produced by David Fincher (Alien 3, House of Cards, Fight Club, Mind Hunter) and Tim Miller (Deadpool, Mass Effect 2). There are 18 episodes of 6 to 17 minutes covering NSFW adult topics (racism, war, free will…), each independant from the others and produced by different animators and filmmakers from around the globe. They are inspired from the movie Heavy Metal (1981) except two from original ideas.

In the trailer you get a glimpse of all 18 episodes. I personnally love good animation and the trailer immediately made me want to watch it and I absolutely don’t regret it: each episode has a radically different art style and it is gorgeous! « The witness » with its mix of bright colors, 2D and 3D and « Good hunting » with its amazing action and detailed streampunk cyborgs are probably my favorite regarding the aesthetics. There are plenty of details, rich textures and ingenious design ideas. And not to forget, the music and sound ambiance are a delight to the ear.

screenshot of the episode
« The Witness », image from IMDb

Even though a couple stories probably lack originality the vast majority of them are refreshing, interesting, funny and/or moving. Their only link is that they all evolve kind of around « love », « death » or « robots » (as the title suggests) and this leads to interesting topics. There’s this guy who doesn’t want to leave his home (a dump), a girl who’d mother has been killed because of rumors, mankind’s absurdities and failings, the meaning of life and so much more. At the end of an episode you’ll probably feel like you would want to spend a little more time in its world. The characters too are great, they are described spot-on in a press release as « Sentient Dairy Products, Rogue Werewolf Soldiers, Robots Gone Wild, Sexy Cyborgs, Alien Spiders And Blood-thirsty Demons From Hell ».

screenshot of the episode
« Good hunting », image from IMDb

The series looked very « real » to me. One example of this is that some characters sometimes are shown fully naked, with no mysterious light beam or plant hiding their genitals. I don’t know about you but when I see this kind of trick in movies this reminds me that I am watching something, I’m not « in » anymore. Bodies are just bodies and it is nice to see that it is not a shame to see a tit or a butt. But to be fair, it is true that female characters are way more often exposed, sometimes in an unnecessary way.

screenshot from the episode
« When the Yogurt Took Over », image from Imdb

Love, Death & Robots really hooked me up, both thanks to the art and the stories, I would give it a 4.5 out or 5. I hope that there will be a second season or more series of shorts like this one! Before you leave, if you already binged th 3+ hours series and liked it, you will maybe also like « Last Man », « Final Space », « Devilman Crybaby » and « Black Mirror », all available on Netflix. Check out also Les Gobelins school’s YouTube channel for even more shorts! 😉

How to easily make your online privacy more… private?

You maybe wonder: « But… why should I care? »

Privacy is a right (just like freedom, justice, etc.) you haven’t always had, people fought for this in the past and will undoubtly continue to do so. It is something you should value and care for. You should care because information can be dangerous: if you entrust someone with your data, you cannot know that it will never be leaked, intentionnaly or by being hacked. You never know what is goind to happend, this harmless information today could become the material for a blackmail in the future, against you, your company or someone you know. And you do care about privacy, it is not necessarily that you have something to hide: just like when you shut the door when you go to the bathroom, everyone knows what you’re doing, still you would feel uncomfortable if someone happened to open the door.

These are just a couple easy hacks, you can of course dig and do more.

1. Don’t log with your Google of Facebook account on every website, prefer to use an email instead. And if you already did, you should be able to revoke their access by searching in the settings.

2. Be wary about the data you give: when you have the option to not give some of it you should keep it to yourself. Does this random website really need to know your birthday or your phone number?

3. Think about what you share online. Check who can see what you do and generally speaking just post online what you wouldn’t mind being on the front page of the newspaper.

4. Try not to centralize your online activity. For example, do you know that Google represents 90% of all online searches and that Chrome is 60% of the internet browsers installed wordwide? (1) And I bet a lot of you use a Gmail account. If you want to be more careful, you can try switching for example to Firefox, DuckDuckGo and ProtonMail. I invite you to look what would suit you best.

5. Security is important if you want your data to remain private. Try to use long passwords, unique to each account (look for how to create a passphrase), and if you have the option I recommend you to use two-factor authentification. This is particularly important for your most sensitive accounts: for example if your email is hacked, it will be impossible for you to prevent your data to be accessed to by someone else.

Happy surfing!

(1) : http://gs.statcounter.com

Olivier Troussard, a League of Legends captain

Today we meet Olivier Troussard, a student in TIS5 at Polytech Grenoble. He is the captain of the two school’s League of Legends (LoL) first team (out of two).

Who are you?

My first year at Polytech was at Lille in PeiP C after one year of PACES. I participated in a tournament between a couple Polytech schools but I was playing just for fun at the time, so we lost quickly. Then I arrived at Grenoble the next year, in TIS, and I continued playing without taking part in any tournament. It’s only since last year that we put together the first LoL team and participated to our first tournament together. That year I played to Counter Strike, and a member of the team played to LoL (and ranked second!) at a LAN with the INP and the Imag. This year, we continued playing with other Polytech students and participated to a some tournaments. As I am currently following a sandwich course, I travel very often between Paris, where I have my desktop computer, and Grenoble, where I go to the Meltdown bar to play and train. It is not easy but it is worth it, I enjoy playing a lot, even if I do not plan to make it a professional career.

How did the LoL team start?

Last year, a student tournament already took place, to which we participated with the majority of the members of our current team. For this year’s edition, the organisers (the Student Gaming Network association, based in Lyon) improved the overall organisation and offered more interesting prizes (unlike last year, they are supported by Riot France, the makers of the game). So I asked if they wanted to do it again, and they were ok: we have 11 players, enough to create 2 teams of 5 players with 1 substitute player in the first team. We play LoL because we like it (of course), we have enough players with a high enough level and it is the videogame with the biggest tournaments in France.

Is there a difference of level between the teams? Do they practice the same way?

Yes, they are pretty different one from another. The first team is rather high level, the second one is more for fun, they don’t seek to be the absolute best. I am the captain of the first one. Our team do practice a lot at home, even more when a competition is coming soon: 2 to 3 practices a week, during which we do 3 games of approximately 1 hour each, so 6 to 9 hours a week.

What level are your players and do you help each other? (see Figure 1)

In the first team, we have one Master, one Diamond 3-4 (me), two Diamond 5 and two Platinum 2-5. In the second team they are Gold and Silver. Our Master and I play since 2012, our Diamonds since 2013-2014 and the others started later, hence their lower level. Last year, since we only had one team, Guillaume, Théo and I (Diamond players) gave some advice to two other Silver players so that the level would be sort of uniform. This year we don’t have many interactions between the two teams, even though the second one watches most of our games.

Icons for League of Legends' 6 tiers

« Leagues are groups of players of similar skill level, and there are many leagues in each tier. [Players have to] win ranked games to be promoted to a league of the next tiers. All leagues (except those in the Master or Challenger tier) are broken down into five divisions: 1 is the highest and 5 the lowest. [It] shows the progress toward a league in the next tier. »

Source: Riot Games

How do you prepare for a tournament and do you have predefined roles?

We watch our opponents games, as a team but also each player individually in games where they don’t play with their team: every champion they usually play, their stats… All of the information is summarized in a big Excel sheet. We also think of which champions we will choose in consequence. There is a lot of upsteam work. We change our substitute player regularly so that everyone can play and not only the ones with the highest level. When a player is the substitute, he has an analist or coach role.

Do you have any sponsors and what can you win?

No, and this is not something we are looking for, we are not a pro or semi-pro team where results are expected. There are approximately 600 french teams and even if we are theorically the 12th team on a national level (based on our players individual levels) sponsors are only interested in the teams in the top 3 I would say. We can win for example Riot points (the game’s currency to buy champions, skins, etc.), a book with some artworks of the game or even a Monster fridge, filled with the brand’s cans.

How was your past tournaments and do you have any others planned?

At the beginning of the year we lost in quarter-final. We have played our second tournament with 128 teams so 8 games for each team: we have won against, INP, Phelma and University Paris Créteil amongst others. We ranked 24th in France! It will probably be our last tournament this year, since most of our players are in fourth year and that many of them will go abroad for their internship, which will make the organisation way more complicated, but we’ll see. We are informed of the upcoming events through the official Student Gaming Network Discord server (https://discordapp.com/invite/sgnw). Next time we will have a tournament or a game streamed live it will be shared on the BDJ’s Facebook page and on the school’s Discord.

Matthieu Olivier, president of the theater club

Matthieu, a student in GGC at Polytech Grenoble, is the president of the school’s theater club. He explains us who he is, the origin of the club, and their plans.

Who is Matthieu?

Matthieu did seven years of theater before his two prepa years, during which he stopped because he lacked of time. He missed it a lot, and of course joined the theater club right after arriving at Polytech Grenoble last year when he heard that it existed.
As Matthieu was the most active member last year and that he loves theater, managing a group and organizing events, he gladly took the previous president’s role this year as she couldn’t do it again. He truly cares about each member of the club: he helps them strenghen their qualities and fill their gaps but also designs for each one of them a role that fits them best.

The origin of the club.

The club was created last year for the first time in Polytech Grenoble by Helia. She studied two years at Polytech Tours for her PeiP before coming to Grenoble and was a member of Tour’s theater club. She wanted to keep on practicing and performing when she arrived here but there was no existing club, so she decided to change that.
And that’s how the club was born! Matthieu felt pretty lucky to join the school the same year.

The club’s daily life.

The club’s goal is to put on not one but two plays this year (just like last year): one before Christmas and the second one before Easter so that everyone, even the 5A, will be able to come and see or participate. Before starting to write anything, they got to know each other and did some exercices for several weeks. Theater requires multiple skills: speech, acting, improvisation, confort with the audience… Which they all improved together through exercices. Matthieu was the one directing these exercices: he repeated the same ones he did with his previous groups (with Polytech and before), but also searched online for new exercices and invented or tweaked a couple other ones.

The Christmas play.

They started working on the Christmas play since the last holidays. At first, they searched together for a theme that would be interesting but also fun to work with: this year they chose Christmas. Once the theme was settled, they started doing some improvisation exercices on it. These exercices brung them a lot of ideas that they then used to put on the play. Here is a glimpse of the plot: a villain will try to bring chaos to Christmas, but the Christmas elves will try to stop him.

Future plans.

The team from L’Hexagone, a theater in Grenoble, contacted Matthieu to give the group a couple lessons once in a while, and maybe even collaborate during one of their plays!

Photo du club de théâtre