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  1. Ordley is an Australian newcomer who is crafting his own unique blend of indie-dance/melodic-house music, reminiscent of the sounds of Fred Again, Duskus, The 1975, & Tourist. Over the last few months Ordley has been working on a collection of new music set to release over the next few months. His latest single of this collection, “we’re the last to leave,” is a euphoric, intoxicating experience. Backed by beautiful melodies and soft piano stabs, this song is all about finding the resilience to keep everything moving forward, no matter what life puts in your way. Here’s what Orderly had to say about it: “This is a song about conveying the tension from how we wish life would be and how it actually is, and the strains this can place on our romantic relationships as we find the resilience to keep going. I wrote and produced this song in one morning after hearing a news segment about young people’s employment still not recovering after the pandemic, and the anxiety this was bringing to them. This was all too close to home for me as an artist, and that emotion went straight into this record. Musically, it’s a fun, chill record. Fast and dancey. I think the percussion has a UK rave feel, keeping the momentum super high and the vocals are showcasing my fun and playful nature.” – Ordley Listen below! Ordley · we’re the last to leave This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Orderly Releases Intoxicating Lo-fi House Single, “We’re The Last To Leave” View the full article
  2. With the growing popularity of destination festivals, this year will mark the debut of Jungle Dreaming Festival (March 17-19, 2023), an intimate new music festival launching near Jacó, Costa Rica. Jungle Dreaming invites all music lovers to gather in the Central American jungle this Spring for a one-of-a-kind showcase of art, talent & nature. Here attendees will be treated to an affordable showcase of artistic diversity and inclusive community that harkens back to the origin of these live music gatherings. They’ve just unveiled their phase two lineup, featuring legendary trio The Glitch Mob, including individual sets by eDIT and Ooah. Additionally, this phase welcomes grassroots favorite Mystic Grizzly, counterculture hero Stylust, CloZee’s Odyzey label alumni Orenda and Comisar, and global bass producer, David Starfire. Tickets can be purchased here. This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Costa Rica’s Jungle Dreaming Festival Unveils Phase 2 Lineup Ft. The Glitch Mob, Stylust & more View the full article
  3. Chicago’s very own house duo, AYOO, is made up of a taco lovin’ brother duo who whole-heartedly embraces their home city for its roots in house music. Since the emergence of their project, AYOO has worked with the likes of BLK OUT, Rico Act, and Xpnsv Taste and performed multiple memorable sets at Spring Awakening, Northcoast Music Fest, and other prime venues. Additionally, AYOO has shared the stage with Malaa, AC Slater, Habstrakt, Wax Motif, Tchami, Dr. Fresch, Brohug, and Valentino Khan, to name a few. Now, the boys are back, with an electrifying flip of Matroda’s “Gimme Some Keys”. Crunchy synths, a rumbling bass lines, and perfect vocal sampling all showcase just how talented these guys are. It’s remix that is sure to light up the clubs and festivals alike this year! Listen below! AYOO · Matroda – Gimme Some Keys [AYOO Remix] This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: AYOO Provide Electrifying Flip of Matroda’s “Gimme Some Keys” View the full article
  4. Just days after Samsung launched its Galaxy S23 series of flagship smartphones, China's Vivo is here to spoil its party. On Friday, the company launched the Vivo X90 and Vivo X90 Pro, a pair of powerful phones with a long and interesting list of features. The X90 Pro is the more powerful of the two, with a 6.78-inch curved display (yes, Vivo still does curved displays even though Samsung has moved on to flatter pastures) with a 120Hz refresh rate, a MediaTek Dimensity 9200/Vivo V2 chip combo, up to 12GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. SEE ALSO: Best Samsung Galaxy S23 phone cases: 10 fun options to consider The phone has a massive, 4,870 battery with 120W wired charging and 50W charging. Most of the time, you'll likely charge it in Vivo's "balanced" charging mode, which is quite fast and will get the phone from one to 100 percent charge in 29 minutes. But if you need even more speed, you can switch to fast charging, which will bring the X90 Pro from one to 50 percent charge in just eight minutes and 10 seconds. The X90 Pro has an interesting camera setup, located in a massive, circular camera bump on the back of the phone. The main shooter is a 50-megapixel ZEISS camera, coupled with a 50-megapixel portrait camera and a 12-megapixel wide camera. Note that instead of going for tons of optical zoom like Samsung, Vivo's focus is on portraits, which might make sense if you prefer taking photos of people to photographing distant objects. The main camera should also be pretty good, as it uses Sony's 1-inch, IMX989 sensor, the mobile phone industry's largest sensor to date (it's the same sensor used in Xiaomi's 13 Pro flagship which launched in Dec. 2022). On the front, you'll find a 32-megapixel front camera hidden in a centrally positioned punch-hole cutout. Other specs of note are IP68 dust and water resistance, dual stereo speakers, and a 24-layer liquid cooling system which Vivo says it's the largest it ever used in any of its "X Pro" phones. The phone also has a black, vegan leather back which should make it stand out from the sea of glass back devices. The Vivo X90 will only be available in Asia. Credit: Vivo The X90 is exactly the same size, and shares most of the specs with the X90 Pro, including display, processor, and the fast-charging battery (no wireless charging here, though). The main difference is in slightly less powerful camera, with a 12-megapixel portrait camera replacing the 50-megapixel unit, and the design; the Vivo X90 has a glass back and comes in Breeze Blue and Asteroid Black colors. Featured Video For You Everything you missed from Samsung's 2023 event in 8 Minutes Both phones will run on Vivo's Funtouch OS 13, which is based on Android 13. Vivo X90 Pro will be available in Asia and Europe, while the X90 will only be available in Asian markets. View the full article
  5. DJ Horizon is one of the most popular R&B/Hip-Hop DJs in the challenging entertainment industry. You may be wondering why he is making headlines. Is he really a genius on the decks, or did he get lucky? In reality, both are true. His rising star was fueled by a growing list of festival performances and headlining sets at mainstream clubs in the US. DJ Horizon started his career at the tender age of 14, telling how passionate he is about what he does. However, getting into the entertainment industry at such a young age did have drawbacks. DJ Horizon says that the biggest challenge was bullying from the older generation of DJs. Another huge challenge was being trolled on social media for standing out and taking his brand, DJ Horizon, seriously. He recalls getting hate comments for taking press-shot photos and doing live videos in his bedroom. Nevertheless, that did not slow or stop DJ Horizon because he knew that he was destined for something great and that his skill and talent would one day be recognized and rewarded. This determination started paying off pretty soon. DJ Horizon became the first Hip-Hop DJ to get signed to Lucky Ent in Australia. DJ Horizon went on to be signed to Mushroom Group and became the face of Australia’s iconic RNB Fridays Live. Everything he wanted and dreamed of was now turning into reality. He reminisces about one of the biggest moments in his career, performing in front of 70,000 people in his home city of Melbourne, Australia (Marvel Stadium). DJ Horizon went from being a bedroom DJ to sipping whiskey with big names in RnB like Trey Songz and Usher. Soon after, he got signed to Skam Artist in America. He also supported other acts like Drake, Usher, Lil Uzi Vert, Playboy Carti, A$AP Rocky, Jason Derulo, and many more. With such accomplishments under his belt, it is easy to assume that he received recognition. DJ Horizon was recently named the most viral DJ on TikTok with over 40 million views. “Your future is based on every decision you make. Don’t hesitate to do it,” he says. In the last couple of years, DJ Horizon has travelled quite a lot. He has been playing in clubs and events worldwide and he says it is a great feeling to play music for people and see them dance. DJ Horizon wants to improve his skill and make more money. But that is not the only thing that he is looking at. He wants to positively impact his community, beginning from his hometown, and inspire younger DJs to chase their dreams. As far as where DJ Horizon sees his brand and himself in a few years, he reveals that he will be moving to Dubai in 2023 to further his career. This is a smart move, seeing as the city is known for being expensive, luxurious, and above all, an entertainment hub. However, that does not mean DJ Horizon won’t be back. He says that Australia will always be home for him. This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Rise To Fame: DJ Horizons Incredible Journey View the full article
  6. As the entire internet fell in love with The Last of Us' Bill and Frank this week, a side conversation broke out: how wild is it for a show to devote its third episode ever to a standalone story? In its third week of airing, HBO's hit adaptation of the video game franchise panned away from the main narrative to spend the majority of its 80-minute runtime fleshing out and sweetening the backstory of a side character from the game — and it paid off massively. And when TV shows swing for the fences in this way, it often does. Whether it's in the first or the final season, luring audiences away from the grind of endless serialisation and cliffhangers to tell a self-contained story can make for some of the most satisfying viewing. A side note on labels: As Vulture's Kathryn Van Arendonk has pointed out, some folks have referred to these as "bottle episodes". Sometimes a standalone episode may also be a bottle episode, but not all of them are just because they are largely self-contained stories — in a bottle episode, it's the characters who are contained, not the narrative. Van Arendonk suggested "departure episodes" for those instalments that break with the usual storytelling of a series, whether it's focusing solely on one character, group, or subplot, an episode-length flashback, or even a musical episode. SEE ALSO: 'The Last of Us' changed Bill and Frank's story, here's why Here, we've focused on episodes that really can be enjoyed without the context of the episodes that became before it. There are anthology shows where pretty much every episode is like this — they don't count here. There are episodic and serialised shows designed for new viewers to be able to drop in and pick up the thread of the story at any point; and there are great episodes of TV where someone goes on a self-contained journey that still simply doesn't land without the broader context of their arc and character development (e.g. Breaking Bad's classic bottle episode "Fly", directed masterfully by Rian Johnson). These are not those. These are episodes that, even if you've never seen the show they're from, you can go and watch right now and enjoy the stories they tell, like a really short-ass movie. If you love what you see, by all means, go back and check out the rest — or don't. There's a lot of TV out there. The Last of Us, Season 1, episode 3, "Long Long Time" Credit: Liane Hentscher/HBO While not technically a true standalone episode, as it starts and ends with Joel and Ellie's continuing journey, "Long Long Time" delivers one of the greatest single-episode arcs of recent years. "Long Long Time" chronicles the relationship between survivors Bill and Frank, who manage to fall in love and build a fulfilling life at the end of the world. Anchored by phenomenal performances by Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett, this episode is the apocalyptic television equivalent of the Up "Married Life" montage — sweet and devastating in equal measures. The episode may have just aired, but it's already one for the ages. — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter Where to watch: The Last of Us airs Sundays on HBO and streams on HBO Max. Mythic Quest, Season 1, episode 5, "A Dark Quiet Death" Credit: Apple TV+ Exactly halfway through Mythic Quest's chaotically funny, nine-episode debut season, the show slowed down for the devastating one-off flashback to the early days of the video game industry. It follows twenty years in the groundbreaking career of a married creative team, known to us only as Beans (Cristin Milioti) and Doc (Jake Johnson), and the eponymous game that makes and eventually breaks them. The simple genius of Dark Quiet Death, the game, makes "A Dark Quiet Death", the episode, strips the main story's theme of constant, messy tension between creativity and commerce down to what is essentially a two-hander — but the episode's only connection to the wider world of MQ is a Dark Quiet Death shirt that a character wears in the present day. If you loved Gabrielle Zevin's 2022 book Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, give this a watch ASAP. — Caitlin Welsh, Australia Editor Where to watch: Mythic Quest is now streaming on Apple TV+. Girls, Season 2, episode 5, and Season 6, episode 3, "One Man's Trash"/"American Bitch" While plenty of people might nominate "The Panic In Central Park" as their favourite one-Girl-only Girls episode, its reliance on callbacks to Marnie's series-long journey means it doesn't quite work as a standalone as well as these two. Popping up in the second and last seasons respectively, both pair Hannah (creator Lena Dunham) with a well-known, older male actor for a talky two-hander. In the first, twentysomething Hannah spends a weekend hanging out and getting naked with a newly separated, Ken-doll handsome doctor (Patrick Wilson) in his fancy brownstone – a sort of anti-romantic Before Sunrise where she gets to try on a life she's not sure if she wants. And in "American Bitch", she's invited into another man's house, this time for a confrontation: middle-aged writer Chuck (Matthew Rhys) wants a little chat about a piece Hannah wrote about his sexual harassment allegations, but the two find themselves connecting as writers from different generations. Airing mere months before the Me Too movement was in full swing, it's among the smartest, most nuanced scripts of the show's entire run and could almost work as a stage play — until the perfectly surreal final shot. – C.W. Where to watch: Girls is now streaming on HBO Max. BoJack Horseman, Season 3, episode 4, "Fish Out Of Water" Credit: Screenshot/Netflix It’s one of the BoJack Horseman episodes that fans bring up a lot, the self-contained odyssey under the sea, written by Elijah Aron and Jordan Young. In order to make BoJack's (Will Arnett's) big comeback movie Secretariat a legitimate awards contender, "Oscar Whisperer" publicist Ana Spanakopita (Angela Bassett) needs to send him to a major film festival. As Cannes and Sundance have barred BoJack for his characteristically unwelcome comments, he’s off to the Pacific Ocean Film Festival (POFF), the biggest underwater film festival in the world. BoJack has one job: get to the premiere on time. But there’s a spanner in the works, as fired Secretariat director Kelsey Jannings is also attending, so his goal instead becomes first avoiding her in true BoJack style, then tracking her down and making things right. What follows is a chaotic journey through the bottom of the ocean toward appreciating connection and asking for forgiveness, whether it's received or not. SEE ALSO: All the details in that 'Bojack Horseman' whiteboard scene you may have missed With gloopy, dreamy music from Jesse Novak and a muddled audio soundscape, the episode is completely set underwater where communicating by speech is unavailable to BoJack, who wears a bubble helmet to breathe. This means the majority of the episode has almost no dialogue, with all communication done by gestures, body language, written words, and sound effects. Titled "Fish Out of Water," the episode sends BoJack into complete culture shock, as he’s plunged into a world where he doesn’t speak the language or hasn't bothered to read up on local customs. But when he's thrown way off course by a lost, babbling seahorse baby, BoJack sees way more of the bottom of the ocean than he bargained for. There’s one particularly gorgeous sequence in which the wee seahorse gets him out of a deep, dark sea cave through bouncing light and sound. Stunnin'. – Shannon Connellan, U.K. Editor Where to watch: BoJack Horseman is now streaming on Netflix. Avatar: The Last Airbender, Season 2, episode 7, "Zuko Alone" Not every character is capable of carrying an episode of television all by themselves, but Avatar's Zuko is no ordinary character. Throughout "Zuko Alone," we learn about his relationship with his mother and see him reckon with what the Fire Nation has done to the Earth Kingdom. It's a perfect opportunity to explore his inner conflict between doing the right thing and doing what his father expects of him. The ensuing episode is mature, introspective, and a major turning point for Avatar. If you couldn't see Zuko's redemption arc coming before "Zuko Alone," this solidified his upcoming (yet still emotionally complicated) hero's journey. — B.E. Where to watch: Avatar: The Last Airbender is now streaming on Netflix. Barry, Season 2, episode 5, "ronny/lilly" Credit: Aaron Epstein/HBO All hell breaks loose in Barry when hitman-turned-actor Barry's target Ronny turns out to be a martial artist master. Then, even more hell breaks loose when Ronny's young daughter Lilly turns up and beats him down with an otherworldly intensity. As Barry wrestles with his moral code — is he going to have to kill a child? — Lilly growls, bites faces, and jumps onto car roofs, making for an episode as surreal as it is darkly funny. "ronny/lily" is a violent ride through suburbia that never lets up, pushing reminders of Barry's dark past on him with explosive results. All hail "feral mongoose" Lilly for putting this excellence in motion. — B.E. Where to watch: Barry is now streaming on HBO Max. Doctor Who, Season 3, episode 10, "Blink" It's terrifying to realize what you could lose in the blink of an eye. In one of this beloved Britsh series' most chilling episodes, clever Sally Sparrow (Carey Mulligan, pre-An Education) is tasked via cryptic messages from the stuck-in-time Doctor (David Tennant) to combat a mysterious new threat to mankind. "Don't blink," he warns earnestly via a DVD dispatch, "Blink and you're dead!" In a unique spin on the haunted house narrative, "Blink" not only took audiences on a devilishly scary adventure but also introduced one of the franchise's most iconic villains: the weeping angels. No wonder this one won Stephen Moffat a BAFTA Craft award for writing. — Kristy Puchko, Film Editor Where to watch: Doctor Who is now streaming on HBO Max. View the full article
  7. This content originally appeared on Mashable for a US audience and has been adapted for the UK audience. We're about to hit you with some hard facts. Are you sitting down? Just kidding — you don't have to answer that. Studies show that the average adult sits for nearly 10 hours every day, so there's a good chance that you are right now. But what is particularly worrisome is that sitting for more than just four hours per day can lead to a higher risk of back aches and depression at best, and heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer in the worst-case scenarios. Those risks just get riskier with more time spent sitting, but the American Heart Association notes that even light-intensity activity (like walking) can offset some of the worst side effects of being sedentary. Right, so sit less, move more — simple, right? Well, if you work a job where you need to have your eyes glued to a screen for the vast majority of your workday, it can be surprisingly difficult to add in that "move more" part. You can sit less by switching to a standing desk, of course, and that can be a significant health improvement on its own. However, adding some actual physical activity into the mix is even better, so move over, standing desk — the treadmill desk has entered the chat. What is an under-desk treadmill?As the name implies, under-desk treadmills are simply treadmills that are made to fit easily under a standing desk in your home office (even if that’s just a corner of your living room). They're typically narrower than a traditional treadmill, and they either have a handrail that can fold down flush around the treadmill's deck, or they don't have a handrail at all. Do under-desk treadmills work?Just like any other piece of at-home gym equipment, under-desk treadmills only work if you use them. Also sometimes referred to as “walking treadmills” or "walking pads," most of them are not designed to go very fast, so you shouldn't expect to get the same kind of workout as you would on ordinary treadmills. This also makes sense because typing and reading on a screen while trying to run is an uncomfortable — if not impossible — task. Rather, under-desk treadmills are designed so you can walk at a relatively leisurely pace during the course of your workday to help you burn some extra calories and smash your daily step count goals. Does it replace going to the gym for a heart-pumping sweat session? No. But is it an infinitely healthier choice than just sitting down all day? Absolutely. Whether you utilise it while answering emails, writing reports, or listening to low-participation meetings with your camera and mic turned off, a treadmill workstation can help you improve circulation, avoid body pain from sitting too long, and reduce your risk of an early death. Bonus (as if that’s not enough): It could even help boost productivity and creativity, and lower stress levels. Just make sure that you keep good posture while walking on your under-desk treadmill, and gradually work your way up to longer desk-walking sessions; no need to attempt a marathon on your first day — or even in your first few months, for that matter. How do you choose a treadmill for under your desk?When shopping for a walking pad or under-desk treadmill, consider the following: Speed range — All walking pads will be suitable for taking leisurely strolls of 2 MPH or slower. However, some under-desk treadmills can reach higher speeds more comparable to a running treadmill — sometimes over 7 MPH — so you can speed-walk, run, and generally maximise your workout both at your desk and away from it. Dimensions — If you already have a standing desk setup in your home office, you'll want to keep a close eye on the overall dimensions of the under-desk treadmill or walking pad you'd like to purchase. If it's too wide to fit under your existing desk, you won't be able to use it properly. Similarly, consider both the deck width and length to ensure that the walking area will accommodate your stride. Some taller folks may have a longer stride that could overreach a treadmill deck that's too short in length, but a longer deck may not fit in small spaces. Ease of storage — The size of the walking pad also comes into play when you think about where you'll store it when not in use. Some walking treadmills are built with a fold-up handrail for use away from your desk as well, so just make sure that component can fold flat. Generally speaking, a walking pad should be able to slide easily under a bed or sofa, making it the perfect solution for small spaces. Weight capacity — You'll also want to consider the maximum weight recommendation for users; many walking pads tend to have a weight capacity of about 220 pounds, but you can definitely find options that are more accommodating. Maneuverability — Speaking of weight, consider the item's weight and whether or not it has built-in transport wheels that make the walking pad easy to move around your home office, living room, bedroom — wherever. The easier it is to set up and put away, the more likely you are to keep up with the habit. Keep these points in mind when shopping around for an under-desk treadmill. Do any under-desk treadmills incline?Most under-desk treadmills do not have an incline feature as it would make it a bit more tricky to use while working at a desktop. That said, they're not impossible to find. Can you use an under-desk treadmill on carpet?Using your under-desk treadmill on a low-pile carpet should be okay, but a more plush carpet could cause the treadmill to overheat. Fortunately, you can get a treadmill mat to place on top of your carpet to keep air flowing and act as a safety shield from dust and carpet fibers. That said, you may also want to place a mat under your treadmill if you have hardwood floors to avoid damaging them (and to dampen sound a little bit if you live above neighbours). Are under-desk treadmills better than under-desk bikes?When comparing under-desk treadmills and under-desk bikes, it honestly comes down to your fitness goals and the nature of your work. While we've already noted that typing and reading can be a little tricky while walking at your treadmill workstation because of the full-body movement, an under-desk bike typically keeps your upper body stationary, so you might find it easier to get work done. That said, there are several different styles of under-desk bikes — some of which may make it more difficult to work comfortably, especially if you have longer legs. Some under-desk bikes also allow you to achieve a much more strenuous cardio workout than walking treadmills, though you may need to reserve those sweat sessions for low-participation meetings when your mic and camera are off, just as you would for more intense workouts on an under-desk treadmill. But, just like the difference between walking pads and ordinary treadmills, there's still a big difference between under-desk bikes and a true cardio workout on a Peloton or other fitness bike. Neither of these under-desk versions of gym equipment should replace true workouts, but they're both great options for adding activity to your daily routine. What is the best under-desk treadmill?There are a lot of options out there to suit everyone. To give you the best chance of finding something that works for you, we have highlighted a selection of standout models from a range of top brands. These are the best under-desk treadmills in 2023. View the full article
  8. Few things in The Legend of Vox Machina are as pure as the friendship between holy cleric Pike (voiced by Ashley Johnson) and axe-wielding barbarian Grog (voiced by Travis Willingham). On paper, the two may seem entirely different: Pike's tiny, Grog is massive; Pike heals, Grog rages. Yet despite these differences, Pike and Grog share an unbreakable, almost sibling-like bond. They stick by each other no matter what, and in The Legend of Vox Machina's second season, we learn a little bit more about how they got so close. In episode nine, "A Test of Pride," Grog tells Pike about his life before he met her. He traveled, murdered, and pillaged with the Herd of Storms, led by his uncle Kevdak (voiced by Ralph Ineson) — a past that he is certainly not proud of. SEE ALSO: 'The Legend of Vox Machina' Season 2 review: Bigger, darker, and more dragon-y On one raid, Grog attempted to save a defenseless gnome from harm, which led to Kevdak banishing him from the herd and pummeling him within an inch of his life. However, that gnome was Pike's grandfather Wilhand Trickfoot (voiced by Henry Winkler). It was a picture of Pike and Wilhand in Wilhand's locket that initially caused Grog to go against his herd. Now, in return for saving his life, Wilhand has Pike heal Grog. The two have been fast friends ever since. In The Legend of Vox Machina, this is a big story moment made all the more poignant by the events of prior episodes, which see Pike help Grog overcome the corrupting influence of sword Craven Edge (voiced by Matthew Mercer). However, Pike and Grog's first meeting was never actually played out in the original Critical Role Dungeons and Dragons campaign upon which The Legend of Vox Machina is based. Instead, it was a quick piece of backstory shared between Johnson, Willingham, and Mercer, Critical Role's Dungeon Master. "The very first game that I sat down to play when we were just sitting around the table — I came in at the second game, I think that everybody had played — Matt gave me a sheet of paper that said, you know, 'You had met Grog in the past. You helped him and saved him,'" Johnson told Mashable over a Zoom call. "It was just this little blurb, and Grog and Pike's friendship and relationship grew from that." "It was almost 10 years ago," added Willingham. "I remember sitting in my car, writing in my notepad a theoretical backstory for Grog and texting Ashley, and then she would text something back and we would just send it back and forth." Now the story created in that blurb and those texts is realized in a television show — a feeling that Johnson describes as "the best." "Being able to visit [Pike and Grog's meeting] in the series was a really big full circle moment for me because this is where it all started," said Johnson. "This was our becoming best buddies." "You get to see how intimate their bond is and how much they rely on each other and how much of a family they are," Willingham said. "Oh, it's so good," Johnson added. "Best pals!" New episodes of The Legend of Vox Machina are streaming every Friday on Prime Video. View the full article
  9. No surprise here: Elon Musk has once again made Twitter worse. The CEO's latest blow to the platform's functionality removes free access to its API, posing an imminent threat for users with disabilities, accessibility advocates, and helpful bots. On Feb. 1, Twitter announced it would be moving all API access to paid tiers based on usage, another revenue grab as the site continues to lose its advertiser-based income streams. APIs, or web application programming interfaces, let programmers and developers utilize existing information from a secondary source to create programs, data visualizations, and more. Free API services are essential for a lot of the online work done by both activists and academics, many of whom use free online data sources for research, interactive sites, and organizing projects. SEE ALSO: Twitter will kill off free API access Even more importantly, many users rely on Twitter API for third-party services essential to making the site accessible — and to ensure the online community stays engaged in conversation about digital accessibility. Take, for instance, the A11y movement (the "11" stands for the eleven letters between "a" and "y" in the word "accessibility") on Twitter, which draws awareness to the need for expanded web accessibility. Automated Twitter accounts like @A11yAwareness — one of many "good" kinds of bots — provide user reminders about web accessibility mandates and tips, like how to write appropriate alt text to provide non-visual access to an image's content and function. Other bots like @AltAwareness scour free Twitter API data to connect journalists and news sites to web accessibility tips. Both were created by front-end developer and web accessibility advocate Patrick Garvin, and they're just two of a plethora of similar automated resources meant to inform other users about best practices for people with disabilities. Garvin was inspired by the @GAADBot, created by user Matt Eason to spread alt text awareness to Twitter users. Eason's created several other automated awareness accounts, too, like the UK Gov Alt Bot, which calls out inaccessible tweets from UK government accounts. Garvin told Mashable that this week's news came as a shock, even knowing Musk's negative opinion towards bots. "I didn't know how his position on bots would translate into a policy or action. This is not an outright ban, but it definitely shuts a lot of these bots down." Garvin's @AltAwareness account is one of them. "That bot follows 4,000 news and journalism accounts, and it retweets anyone that tweets an image without alt text," he explained. "That hits the Twitter API so often — with such intensity — that it would likely burn through the monthly allotment [for basic tiers] in less than a day." On the other hand, @A11yAwareness, and other bots like it that utilize scripts, may still survive, if the account owners are willing to take on a ton of added work. Garvin explained he'll now have to sift through findings and manually schedule all of the account's tweets to keep it running. "I feel like I owe it to the followers to keep it going as long as I can," he said. Other essential third-party services serve as additional accessibility tools for users with various disabilities, as well as those just seeking an improved user experience, like unroll and reader bots, automatic reminder bots, and alt text bots. Without free access to Twitter's API, these services may no longer be feasible for the individuals behind the accounts to manage. And a few outside tools like these have already hit the chopping block, facing the changing tides of Musk's Twitter. In January, Musk announced the company would block popular third-party clients used by millions of site users, including Tweetbot and Twitterrific. At the time, some users reported accessibility clients were failing as well. You're hitting people that aren't necessarily going to have the resources, the money, to spend on this type of thing. Following this week's announcement, advocates on Twitter expressed resounding disappointment with the CEO's latest decision. It came as a massive blow to years of work to improve the site's usability for people with disabilities — and there had been successes. In April, for example, the site announced new and improved alt text features enabling users to write and post their own accessible image captions. The site had also been exploring continued improvements for neurodivergent users, like adjustments to the site's "chirping" sounds for users with sensory sensitivities. "It's pretty cool how people have been able to harness the power of the web, and Twitter specifically, to try to get the message out there," Garvin said. "A big part of accessibility work is trying to get it on people's radar — and then trying to win hearts and minds." But the last few months haven't been as kind. In November, Musk gutted much of the site's accessibility team, known on the site as @Twitter A11y. The official Twitter A11y page hasn't posted an accessibility update since October. Since then, accessibility slashes have continued to snowball, including the removal of live captions from Twitter Spaces. All of these developments have the potential to isolate users with disabilities and throttle avenues for disability activism. Users seeking accessible social media options don't have the simple option of going to another site, like those fleeing Twitter for sites like Mastodon, since many still lack robust tools for users with disabilities. Garvin also noted that this move will have a disproportionate impact on the bot creators themselves. "A good number of bots focused on accessibility are run by people who have a disability themselves, or are caregivers, or are otherwise connected to it," he explained. "And historically, there are correlations between disability and economic status in this country. So you're hitting people that aren't necessarily going to have the resources, the money, to spend on this type of thing." Without the backing of wealthy supporters or other means of paying for API use, Twitter's decision makes the jobs of advocates much, much harder. "This takes away one of the resources I can use," Garvin said. "I'll just have to go back to the drawing board." View the full article
  10. The buzz around Sundance 2023 was that Eileen was like Carol with a dash of Hitchcock. That's good buzz if you can get it. Undeniably, there are superficial similarities between Todd Haynes's heralded drama and William Oldroyd's latest. Both are romantic period pieces centered on lesbian lovers, one of whom is a mousy brunette, the other a dynamic blonde with a dark side. Both films relish in nostalgia for the everyday glamor of the past and are named for one of their sapphic heroines. Perhaps most importantly, Elieen seems destined to strut in Carol's footsteps to critical and award-season accolades, bolstered by esteemed leading ladies. But where Eileen breaks free from Carol's shadow is in a final act that is exhilaratingly deranged — and may be the key to its strongest Oscar chances. What's Eileen about? Based on Ottessa Moshfegh's debut novel of the same name, Eileen centers on the eponymous protagonist, a twenty-something secretary barely living in 1960s Boston. Eileen Dunlop (Thomasin McKenzie) spends her days working at a grey prison and nights watching after her greying father, a retired cop (Shea Whigham) teetering on the brink of drunken calamity. The only excitement in her life is the vivid daydreams — often involving sex and violence — that puncture her monotony. That is until she meets Dr. Rebecca Saint John (Anne Hathaway). The prison's new psychologist blows in so abruptly and dynamically, she might be one of Eileen's fantasies come to life. Tall, blonde, sophisticated yet sensual, Rebecca is a dizzying vision in a red dress suit and matching lip. Whether Eileen dreams of being her or being with her is unclear. (It's probably a bit of both.) But this girl with a "propensity for sweets" is soon eating out of the palm of Rebecca's hand, offering an ear, information, or puppy dog longing with the least prompting. The desire between them brews between a dance number and stolen glances. But there's more between them than this. While Eileen is desperate for a way out of her tedium, Rebecca is desperate for answers about Lee Polk (White Noise's Sam Nivola), a boy convicted of grisly patricide. Anne Hathaway and Thomasin McKenzie dazzle in Eileen. For McKenzie, the role of awestruck ingenue is familiar, most recently rolled out in Edgar Wright's wobbly but glossy psychological thriller Last Night in Soho. McKenzie melts into a Boston accent and the shrunken posture of a girl bullied into being invisible. But in Eileen's dreams — which boast the same saturated golds, reds, and browns as the rest of the film — she is seen, desired, and dangerous. Flashes of Eileen's potential tease where her journey might lead, and Rebecca is her guide. In contrast to the languid sensuality of Cate Blanchett's Carol, Hathaway's blonde bombshell is sharply sexy. There's a crispness to her buttery diction and a dancer's precision to her physicality. Rebecca is not one to slink into a fur coat. She's more likely to tug one on with a brisk efficiency. But her edged intellect and metropolitan hardness make the poetry of her wooing all the more intoxicating. "You remind me of a girl in a Dutch painting," she says through blood-red lips, and naturally Eilieen — and the audience — will follow Rebecca anywhere. Where that leads gives Hathaway a rich range to play. If you loved the chaotic moxie Anne Hathaway brought to Colossal or her campy femme fatale turn in the undersung Serenity, then you will absolutely scream as a rushed confession spills like red wine, dark and damning. And just like that, Eileen takes a hard turn that slaps Carol comparers across their agape mouths. SEE ALSO: There's no joy quite like watching a 'bad' movie with friends Marin Ireland is Eileen's secret weapon. Is it too soon to declare 2024 Marin Ireland's year? The American actress who's drawn notice in Umbrella Academy and the critically championed horror gem The Dark and the Wicked, hit Sundance in two very different, very daring performances. The first was a modern Dr. Frankenstein in Birth/Rebirth. The second is in Eileen. Without spilling the delicious secrets of Eileen, it's safe to say that as enthralling as Hathaway and McKenzie are in the film's first two acts, supporting player Ireland steals the third. There, she's given the kind of monologue that makes audiences' stomachs turn and actresses' mouths salivate. Ireland sinks her teeth into this scene, biting to the bone of it, exposing ugly emotions of guilt, loneliness, grief, and ruthless rationalization. Through this, Rebecca, Eileen, and us — their audience and conspirators — are challenged to feel righteous outrage or radical empathy, or maybe even both. Either way, as I watched, wide-eyed and heartsick, I had a vivid vision of my own: Ireland, beaming and beguiling in a glamorous gown, poised for Oscar night glory. Of course, there's no guarantee. The Academy can be unpredictable and stodgy. So, perhaps Eileen — even with its prestigious cast and profoundly exhilarating performances — might be overlooked next year for its outrageous climax. But Oscar gold is by no means the only measure of success. So, cheers to Oldroyd, who has shrewdly employed alluring costumes, mesmerizing actresses, and a thirst-fueled setup to lure audiences into what they might mistake as familiar territory. Cheers to him for pulling the rug out from under us with one hissed line of dialogue. Bravo for all the electrifying mayhem and juicy drama that follows. Bless him for a finale that — yes — has a bit of Hitchcock to it, yet feels divinely wild and freshly thrilling. Here's to the captivating and uncompromising Eileen! Eileen was reviewed out of its World Premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. View the full article
  11. It may be his second time on First We Feast's Hot Ones, but Bryan Cranston is still far calmer than he has any right to be. In the clip above he munches through increasingly spicy wings while casually answering questions about Your Honour, mezcal, and the draw of flawed characters. We've seen calm guests before on the show (hello Neil Patrick Harris and Cate Blanchett), but this may be the first time we've seen a guest react better to Da Bomb than host Sean Evans. Impressive! View the full article
  12. Google appears to be getting ready to take on ChatGPT. The company announced a search and artificial intelligence event titled "Google presents: Live from Paris," scheduled for 8:30am on February 8. "We're reimagining how people search for, explore and interact with information, making it more natural and intuitive than ever before to find what you need. Join us to learn how we're opening up greater access to information for people everywhere, through Search, Maps and beyond," says the event's description on YouTube. While we don't know whether Google actually plans to launch a new product or service during the event, there are indications that it might be the answer to OpenAI's fast-growing artificial intelligence chatbot, ChatGPT. A recent New York Times report claimed that Google's parent Alphabet has signalled an internal "code red" after ChatGPT's launch, as it considers it to be an existential threat to its search business. A few days ago, CNBC reported that Google is already testing several new AI tools, including a chatbot called "Apprentice Bard." SEE ALSO: Google has developed a music-making AI bot As The Verge pointed out, Google CEO Sundar Pichai made some interesting comments during yesterday's earnings call. He said that the company has big plans in AI over the next few months, and that it's been preparing for it since early last year. Pichai stopped short of spilling the beans about what, exactly, the company plans to launch, but he did say that they'll let people "interact directly" with its "newest, most powerful language models as a companion to search." The first of these will be Google's AI chatbot LaMDA, which has so far been mostly confined to Google's own engineers and beta testers. The timing of Google's "Live from Paris" event is also interesting. As 9to5Google pointed out, the event is styled similarly to Google's annual Search On events, but those are held in the fall. Google's I/O conference will likely take place in May, so it's not like Google hasn't got enough opportunities to launch new products this year. The February event comes out of the blue, and it might just be ChatGPT's immense popularity that's prompting Google to act fast. Featured Video For You Meet SoFi, MIT's soft robotic fish Again, none of this is proof that Google will launch a public-facing product on Feb. 8, but it'll certainly be interesting to see what the company has to say about AI and search in a world where millions of people go for answers to OpenAI's chatbot instead of Googling them. View the full article
  13. After building their sites almost from scratch and then populating them with the right kind of users, private torrent site owners understand the long haul. Private tracker users also tend to be more invested, partly due to a community spirit mostly absent from public sites. For these reasons and more, merging two private sites into one is a fairly rare occurrence. Private torrent trackers HDCity and HD-Spain did have things in common, not least a shared interest in Spanish-focused HD content, movies and TV shows in particular. Operating from a .li domain, HDCity had its own encoding team, and becoming a member was no easy task. Opinions varied, but some believed that HD-Spain had more to offer. Soon that would become undisputed. Time to Merge Following a decision to merge the sites, the initial plan was for both to lose their identities and then reemerge as an ambitious single project, with fresh branding and a brand new name – Pixelados. When it became clear that the Pixelados project needed more time, users from HDCity were migrated to HD-Spain as an interim measure. In time, HDCity ceased to exist and in line with tradition, the site departed with the usual quote from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Those behind the merged torrent sites previously joked that the site would become “Schrödinger‘s tracker” – HD-Spain.com carrying the merged user data with Pixelados.tv the new domain – despite not actually being the Pixelados as planned. As recently as December 2022, both HD-Spain and Pixelados domains remained in use. A few days ago, all domains suddenly fell out of service. When they returned, any hope of Pixelados still being alive – or even both dead and alive – was removed. Another ACE Shutdown Like hundreds of sites over the past five years, Pixelados/HD-Spain had succumbed to the legal threats of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment. “As you can see (or not yet, depending on how you refresh the hd-spain.com and pixelados.tv domains in your browser) the domains now point to a website owned by the ‘Alliance For Creativity And Entertainment’,” an announcement by the sites’ operator reads. “Currently, copyright laws in Spain allow websites to be sued for distributing files by any method that infringes copyright, whether or not there is a profit motive. If there is and it can be proven, the complaints would go through criminal proceedings with possible jail sentences and fines.” Pixelados/HD-Spain had always maintained a no-profit policy, but as its operator notes, even when there is no profit involved, claims under civil law remain viable and can lead to damages awards reaching hundreds of thousands of euros. Technically, that’s not even the limit, but another option was also on the table. “In exchange for NOT UNDERTAKING ANY LEGAL ACTION against those responsible for the websites or those related to it, the ‘Alliance For Creativity And Entertainment’ has retained ownership of the existing domains and of course requires the activity of the websites to cease,” the announcement adds. “And that is how it will be done, it is well known to all that we have NEVER had any profit whatsoever, but this is a hobby, and as such at the moment that it may present a problem for any person in charge of the website or a relative, we close everything for real.” With the domains transferred, all that remained was to finish the job. The announcement adds that everything has been destroyed; the website, hardware, and all data related to all users – nothing exists. “Thank you all very much for the time shared, both in good times and in bad.” Another Site Added to The List For ACE, this shutdown is just another day at the office. After sending investigators to approach the site’s operator in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, an agreement was reached for everything to be shut down. “Thanks to ACE’s rapidly expanding global network and decisive action against illegal piracy operators, the legal marketplace for creative content has never been so well protected,” says Jan van Voorn, Executive Vice President and Global Content Protection Chief of the Motion Picture Association and Head of ACE. “As we enter 2023, our coalition is better equipped than ever to target and shut down the pirates who threaten the legal creative economy.” ACE reports that 26,000 torrents attracted 300,000 visits to the domains each month, with almost all traffic coming from Spain. At the time of writing, the domains hd-spain.com and pixelados.tv are in the hands of the Motion Picture Association along with two other related domains – hd-spain.org and hdspain.org. From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more. View the full article
  14. After 25 years of denial, numerous fan debates, and a few scientific reenactments, Titanic director James Cameron has finally admitted that Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) might have been able to survive the maritime disaster — though not necessarily by climbing up alongside Rose (Kate Winslet) on the infamous door. Cameron revisited the debate in the upcoming National Geographic documentary Titanic: 25 Years Later with James Cameron. Working with a team of scientists and two stunt performers, Cameron conducted experiments recreating what star-crossed lovers Jack and Rose went through on the night the Titanic sank, as well as well as solutions they could have tried. SEE ALSO: Titanic documentary 'The Six' spotlights the Chinese survivors the world forgot While we got our first look at these experiments in a sneak peek from National Geographic two weeks ago, new footage shared on Good Morning America shows Cameron's conclusion. It seems that if the couple had both used the door to keep just their upper bodies out of the water, and if Rose had given him her life jacket to help keep him warm, Jack would have had a much better chance at survival. "Jack might have lived, but there's a lot of variables," said Cameron. "I think his thought process was, 'I'm not gonna do one thing that jeopardises her.' And that's 100 percent in character." Titanic: 25 Years Later with James Cameron will arrive Feb. 5 on National Geographic. View the full article
  15. If Quordle is a little too challenging today, you've come to the right place for hints. There aren't just hints here, but the whole Quordle solution. Scroll to the bottom of this page, and there it is. But are you sure you need all four answers? Maybe you just need a strategy guide. Either way, scroll down, and you'll get what you need. What is Quordle?Quordle is a five-letter word guessing game similar to Wordle, except each guess applies letters to four words at the same time. You get nine guesses instead of six to correctly guess all four words. It looks like playing four Wordle games at the same time, and that is essentially what it is. But it's not nearly as intimidating as it sounds. Is Quordle harder than Wordle?Yes, though not diabolically so. Where did Quordle come from?Amid the Wordle boom of late 2021 and early 2022, when everyone was learning to love free, in-browser, once-a-day word guessing games, creator Freddie Meyer says he took inspiration from one of the first big Wordle variations, Dordle — the one where you essentially play two Wordles at once. He took things up a notch, and released Quordle on January 30. Meyer's creation was covered in The Guardian six days later, and now, according to Meyer, it attracts millions of daily users. Today, Meyer earns modest revenue from Patreon, where dedicated Quordle fans can donate to keep their favorite puzzle game running. How is Quordle pronounced?“Kwordle.” It should rhyme with “Wordle,” and definitely should not be pronounced exactly like "curdle.” Is Quordle strategy different from Wordle?Yes and no. Your starting strategy should be the same as with Wordle. In fact, if you have a favorite Wordle opening word, there’s no reason to change that here. We suggest something rich in vowels, featuring common letters like C, R, and N. But you do you. After your first guess, however, you’ll notice things getting out of control if you play Quordle exactly like Wordle. What should I do in Quordle that I don’t do in Wordle?Solving a Wordle puzzle can famously come down to a series of single letter-change variations. If you’ve narrowed it down to “-IGHT,” you could guess “MIGHT” “NIGHT” “LIGHT” and “SIGHT” and one of those will probably be the solution — though this is also a famous way to end up losing in Wordle, particularly if you play on “hard mode.” In Quordle, however, this sort of single-letter winnowing is a deadly trap, and it hints at the important strategic difference between Wordle and Quordle: In Quordle, you can't afford to waste guesses unless you're eliminating as many letters as possible at all times. Guessing a completely random word that you already know isn't the solution, just to eliminate three or four possible letters you haven’t tried yet, is thought of as a desperate, latch-ditch move in Wordle. In Quordle, however, it's a normal part of the player's strategic toolset. Is there a way to get the answer faster?In my experience Quordle can be a slow game, sometimes dragging out longer than it would take to play Wordle four times. But a sort of blunt-force guessing approach can speed things up. The following strategy also works with Wordle if you only want the solution, and don’t care about having the fewest possible guesses: Try starting with a series of words that puts all the vowels (including Y) on the board, along with some other common letters. We've had good luck with the three words: “NOTES,” “ACRID,” and “LUMPY.” YouTuber DougMansLand suggests four words: “CANOE,” “SKIRT,” “PLUMB,” and “FUDGY.” Most of the alphabet is now eliminated, and you’ll only have the ability to make one or two wrong guesses if you use this strategy. But in most cases you’ll have all the information you need to guess the remaining words without any wrong guesses. If strategy isn't helping, and you're still stumped, here are some hints: Are there any double or triple letters in today’s Quordle words?One word has a double letter. Are any rare letters being used in today’s Quordle like Q or Z?No. What do today’s Quordle words start with?O, H, S, and S. What are the answers for today’s Quordle?Are you sure you want to know? There’s still time to turn back. OK, you asked for it. The answers are: OFFER HORDE STEIN SHEAR View the full article
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