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Everything posted by NelsonG

  1. I really enjoyed Netflix's Resident Evil series, and Jade Wesker (Ella Balinska) is an undeniably awesome character. But we really need to talk about one thing. Namely, the fact that she's a complete liability. Don't get me wrong, she's ridiculously resourceful. Intelligent. Great in combat. If a herd of zombies were advancing on me I would definitely want Jade there to cower behind. But if I was just attempting to survive, say in a contained community with no immediate zombie threats, then I would want her approximately nowhere near me. Yep, you already know what we need to talk about: The university ship. Deep breath, let's recap. In episode 6 of Resident Evil, Jade finally — after being chased by a giant slug, kidnapped, kidnapped again, being attacked by hideous underground creatures, imprisoned, and kidnapped a third time — finally reunites with her family aboard a ship filled with friendly, roaming academics and researchers. Credit: Netflix The perfect time to unwind and catch up with the family, right? Wrong! After a token bit of chit-chat with her husband Arjun (Ahad Raza Mir) and daughter Bea (Ella Zieglmeier), Wesker immediately gets back to the real work of cutting up zombie heads, dissecting a stomach-churning growth on the neck of a queen zombie to try and figure out how it was controlling the herd. Is it important work? Absolutely. But does it really justify what she does next. No, no, no. SEE ALSO: Netflix's 'Resident Evil' never divorces its story from the games. Is that on purpose? "We talked about this," says her husband earlier in the episode, after Wesker's told him that she acquired said zombie head by charging back into a prison packed with the undead. "No more unnecessary risks." Taking the "no more unnecessary risks" advice firmly onboard, Wesker then proceeds to sneak out at night on her own, fish an actual zombie out of the sea, lug it back onto the ship in a big sack, and string it up in the lab for testing purposes using what can only be described as dangerously flimsy restraints. Credit: Netflix Credit: Netflix Needless to say, things only get worse from there. First Jade's daughter comes to bring her a cup of coffee and spots the strung up monster. Rather than ushering her out of the room, though, Wesker tells her she's "got this all under control" and makes her wait over by the door before casually cracking on with the experiment. Of course she's a skilled researcher and a responsible adult, so she probably does have it all under control though, right? No! Of course she doesn't! Within minutes the zombie has broken free of its useless restraints and is chasing Wesker's daughter through the corridors of the ship like something out of a nightmare, forcing her to flee into a room filled with researchers before it brutally savages Wesker's close friend and pregnant research partner to death. Credit: Netflix It's a truly horrendous sequence that sort of gets forgotten about in the chaos of Umbrella arriving moments later, but it does lead me to believe that, although Jade is the hero of the story, her evil twin sister actually has a pretty good point when she lays into Jade for being selfish. "You keep telling yourself you're trying to save lives," says Billie (Adeline Rudolph), in one of the show's closing scenes. "But your hands, Jade? They're covered in blood. Because you're selfish. Because you only care about the mission, about fixing what you started. So people die, and you keep going. You don't stop, because that's what matter: You." Looking at the evidence, it's hard not to think that she might have a point. Resident Evil is streaming now on Netflix. View the full article
  2. The power of BookTok was unforeseeable — but now undeniable. #BookTok has become something of an institution within the TikTok ecosystem, with a hashtag boasting over 66 billion hits. Here, people share their latest reads, the genres driving them to bookstores, and even annotating and analysing techniques to transform any literary experience. TikTok itself has capitalised on BookTok's meteoric rise with the recent launch of its official Book Club. Its popularity has even led to a direct rise in book sales, influencing the publishing world off the screen. Like the rest of TikTok's communities, BookTok is tight-knit, trend-driven, and ever-changing. In recent weeks, BookTok has become tangibly obsessed with the romance genre, and while not everyone is a fan of its recommendations, it is safe to say that a distinct cluster of love stories are being favoured by TikTok's readers. SEE ALSO: TikTok's 'what are you listening to' videos enter their villain era Tropes like enemies-to-lovers (a la Bridgerton Season 2), childhood friends-to-lovers, forbidden love, family angst: these are the themes that are dominating the contemporary romances BookTok is littered with. Many BookTokkers focusing on romance are also rating books based on spice levels (🌶), a ranking scale that is pretty self-explanatory. Here are some of the books piquing BookTok's interest now. The Dating Plan by Sara Desai Credit: Screenshot: TikTok / @munnyreads, @thebooksiveloved, @sb.reads. The Dating Plan is a lot like the 2009 rom-com The Proposal, as @munnyreads notes. Like the film, Desai's book features the premise of fake fiancés for a greater cause. Daisy Patel, a software engineer with little interest in love, has to soothe her family's fears by presenting them with a partner. She turns to her childhood crush, venture capitalist Liam Murphy, who needs her for his own personal reasons. The fake relationship has its share of complications, as one can surmise. Across TikTok, #thedatingplan has over a million views; TikTokkers like @sb.reads and @thebooksiveloved provide positive reviews, noting that the book's romantic journey and character chemistry makes it worth the read. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood Credit: Screenshot: TikTok / @ali_reads. This book is, even by BookTok standards, hugely discussed: its dedicated hashtag has over 323 million views, with hundreds of TikToks dissecting and praising it. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood is centered around Olive Smith, a Ph.D. candidate, who needs to prove her nonexistent affinity to love. She gets the help of Adam Carlsen, a young professor who agrees to be her fake boyfriend. If we're to believe TikTok, this is essentially a love/lust story at a science conference and some people are fully obsessed based on the premise alone. Some have deemed it incredibly steamy (like @alis_reads), others said they read it in three hours flat. Some bemoaned the recommendation, but this pales in comparison and size to the many fans of the novel. The formula is similar enough to The Dating Plan, so BookTok clearly has a type. The whole "fake dating" plot is even being highlighted by national bookstore Barnes & Noble, with similar titles found on TikTok, like The Fine Print by Laura Asher and The Deal by Elle Kennedy. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid Credit: Screenshot: YouTube / @cowboylikealexx. This book, first published in 2017, was amongst the titles to be revitalised and platformed by BookTok. Its cover, teeming with Hollywood glamour and notions of old-world romance, is a giveaway: the book tells the story of a fictional Old Hollywood star Evelyn Hugo as she gives a final interview to a little-known journalist, Monique Grant. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a TikTok sensation in more ways than one. There are the reviews: take TikTokker @cowboylikealexx, who called it "one of the best books i've read in a while." Then there are multiple BookTokkers who've even dressed like Evelyn, reenacting her scenes and lines. The novel is set to be adapted into a Netflix show, a fact BookTok will no doubt adore. The novel sat on the New York Times Bestseller list for 72 weeks, still bagging a spot this week. Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman Credit: Screenshot: TikTok / @madymaio, @sallyrooneyfangirl, @lolasbooks. Elissa Sussman's book Funny You Should Ask was released just this April, maintaining TikTok's fleeting attention months later. In the book, writer Chani Horowitz is hired to profile actor Gabe Parker, her long-time crush. The interview spirals into a much-publicised weekend. Fast-forward 1- years, and Chani is divorced, living in LA and working on her career — but that profile, and Parker, never quite leave her. On TikTok, the reviews for the book are overwhelmingly positive: @sallyrooneyfangirl called it "a fan girl's dream book," a notion @lolasbooks agreed with, while @madymaio said it was the best book she's read this year. View the full article
  3. The London-based electro-jazz trio recorded Hyper-Dimensional Extension Beam at Peter Gabriel’s Real World StudiosView the full article
  4. Good things come to those who wait. And by good things, we mean Beyoncé's new album Renaissance (part 1). Some people, however, could not wait. Around 36 hours before the scheduled release date at midnight on July 29, the full album was reportedly leaked. The leak caused outrage among her fans who refused to listen to the leaked album, and urged others in the Beyhive (Beyoncé's fanbase) to wait until the official album was released. Beyoncé didn't let that act of loyalty go unnoticed. In a social media post on her Instagram and Twitter, she thanked her fans for waiting until the official album release date. "So, the album leaked, and you all actually waited until the proper release time so you all can enjoy it together," she wrote in a black and white handwritten note. "I'ver never seen anything like it. I can't thank y'all enough for your love and protection." "I appreciate you for calling out anyone that was trying to sneak into the club early. It means the world to me. Thank you for your unwavering support. Thank you for being patient," she added. SEE ALSO: Beyoncé's first single from 'Renaissance', 'Break My Soul', is an #antiwork house anthem Beyoncé signed off by saying, "We are going to take our time and enjoy the music." "I will continue to give you my all and do my best to bring you joy. I love you deep," she concluded. That feeling is more than mutual, Bey. View the full article
  5. The first single from the Toronto rapper and producer’s new album Demons Protected by AngelsView the full article
  6. Queen Bey’s long-awaited follow-up to Lemonade features contributions from Jay-Z, Drake, Skrillex, Grace Jones, 070 Shake, and moreView the full article
  7. “Creating a safe and inclusive space at my shows is always my first priority, and my team and I are just as shocked and confused by the events as you all are”View the full article
  8. The woman who claimed she was groomed and abused by Dylan when she was 12 has withdrawn her lawsuit permanentlyView the full article
  9. “Milkshake” is interpolated on “Energy.” When she heard a song was sampled, Kelis likened it to “theft.” She is not listed as one of the producers, composers, or lyricists on the sampled song and has previously discussed the terms of her early contract.View the full article
  10. Three years ago, several of the world’s largest music companies including Warner Bros and Sony Music sued Internet Provider Bright House Networks. The recording labels accused the provider of not doing enough to stop pirating subscribers. Specifically, they alleged that the ISP failed to terminate repeat infringers. Since the complaint was filed both parties have gone back and forth in court with various arguments and accusations. The legal battle reached the point of going to trial next week but, before that, the court needed to rule on some outstanding issues. Excluding Evidence From Trial Specifically, the ISP and music companies both wanted to limit what evidence and arguments the other side can present to the jury. These ‘motions in limine‘ were submitted earlier this month and the court ruled on them in a recent order. In her decision, US District Court Judge Mary Scriven had some good and bad news for both sides. As mentioned in our previous coverage, the music companies don’t want Bright House to argue that Internet access is a human right and that terminating repeat infringers is a disproportionate and unnecessary response to piracy allegations. The ISP plans to argue that account terminations are only appropriate when a court has confirmed the infringing activity, instead of taking action based on third-party accusations. However, the record labels fear that this line of thought will confuse the jury. Judge Scriven disagreed and denied the motion, which means that the ISP can argue that terminating people’s Internet access over piracy allegations is disproportionate. However, the company can’t freely argue that such disconnections are a human rights violation. This wasn’t the only motion to be denied. The music companies also asked for an order that prohibited the ISP from arguing that it’s not liable for infringements carried out by people other than the registered subscriber. This request was denied as well. In addition, Bright House is also allowed to use the term “spying” when referring to network management tools. No Copyright Alert System Ban Another highly contested issue was whether Bright House can mention the anti-piracy practices of other ISPs. This includes the now-defunct Copyright Alert System (CAS) where record labels and ISPs agreed to a system where subscribers were sent escalating warnings without the requirement for any Internet terminations. Bright House wants to argue that, if this “industry standard” anti-piracy practice didn’t require account terminations, it would be unfair to punish other companies for failing to do so. The music companies disagreed, however, and asked the court to exclude this line of reasoning. “[Bright House] did not participate in CAS. It would unfairly prejudice Plaintiffs to allow BHN to claim that what some Plaintiffs and other ISPs agreed to in the context of a negotiated compromise supersedes BHN’s obligations under U.S. copyright law,” the wrote. Again, Judge Scriven disagreed and denied the record labels’ motion. As a result, the ISP can use the Copyright Alert System argument in court. No Mentions of Price Fixing and Artist Exploitation There was also some positive news for the music companies. The motion to prohibit mentions of price fixing in the music industry was granted. The same is true for allegations that some smaller artists are being exploited by music companies through terrible contracts. The Judge denied the ‘exploitation’ motion with a caveat. If the record labels argue during trial that they are pursuing this case to protect artists, Bright House may reference potential mistreatments. Bright House also submitted several motions to exclude arguments, several of which were denied. For example, the music companies are allowed to bring up the fact that many subscribers had their accounts terminated after failing to pay their bills. In addition, the music companies are also allowed to argue that throttling and port blocking can be used to hinder illegal file-sharing traffic, even if that raises net neutrality issues. Limited Piracy Admissions Finally, Bright House’s motion to prevent the labels from using piracy “admissions” from the ISPs subscribers were granted. Judge Scriven clarified that these can’t be used at trial unless they relate to the infringements that are part of this case. Given the topics at hand and the millions in damages at stake, the upcoming trial will be a crucial one. If everything goes to plan, the outcome will be known in little over two weeks. — Copies of US District Court Judge Scriven’s orders on the motions in limine are available here (1,2) From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more. View the full article
  11. Lights, Camera, Accordion! collects over 300 photos taken by Yankovic’s longtime drummer and photographerView the full article
  12. Last year, before Swedish House Mafia had released their album Paradise Again, they had already announced their first run of US shows since 2012. The album came out this past April, and it was good. The hype was there for a tour. But now shows are getting cancelled, in some cases, just weeks before the date. It’s no secret that the US is facing some hard economic times right now, and ticket sales are down across the map with fewer shows hitting sell out. Especially for festivals when travel is often involved, many promoters are struggling. It should be somewhat easier for local shows, especially with previously stadium-filling acts like Swedish House Mafia, but many shows are now being taken off the schedule. NME reports, “[…] the trio have announced the cancellation of shows at the Amway Center in Orlando on July 31, Madison Square Garden on August 2, TD Garden in Boston on August 9, Washington, D.C.’s Verizon Arena on August 11, and Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on August 17.” Since that article was published on Monday, MetLife in New Jersey, Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, and Footprint Center in Phoenix have also been cancelled. No mention of the cancellations has been made on the group’s social media, but there are plenty of fans on Twitter who have something to say about it. To buy a floor ticket for their Los Angeles Banc of California show, one of the bigger shows in the run, you would have to put down $170 — a price for a single artist show that not many EDM fans are used to or receptive to. Floor tickets for their new Madison Square Garden show, which is now the same date as the previous MetLife show, start at $340. It remains to be seen how many more dates end up cancelled before the tour’s conclusion. The tour begins tomorrow at FTX Arena in Miami, which still has plenty of seats available. via NME | Photo via Rukes.com This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Swedish House Mafia Continue To Cancel More Shows on ‘Paradise Again’ Tour View the full article
  13. The Restoring Artistic Protection Act was introduced by Representatives Hank Johnson and Jamaal BowmanView the full article
  14. The visual was co-directed by Gorillaz co-creator Jamie HewlettView the full article
  15. The latest installment in Mitchell’s archival series arrives after her surprise appearance at the Newport Folk FestivalView the full article
  16. “Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world. It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving.”View the full article
  17. The trailer for Andrew Dominik's Blonde — an adaptation of the novel by Joyce Carol Oates — is a dark look at the greatest hits of Marilyn Monroe's career. We see Monroe (Ana de Armas) performing "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" and making waves on red carpets. We also hear her telling her side of the story, insisting that Marilyn Monroe doesn't exist. When the cameras are off, she's simply Norma Jean. Blonde is streaming on Netflix Sept. 23. View the full article
  18. Robert Smith’s long-awaited expansion and remaster of the 1992 albumView the full article
  19. The cover will appear on a new compilation, alongside other recordings from Iggy Pop, Peter Gabriel, Norah Jones, and moreView the full article
  20. The Southern Ring Nebula looks as though a bomb dropped into an ocean, tsunami waves surging away, into the darkness. Cosmic light, presented in the colors of a lapis stone, seems to fill a gaping crater in space. For fatalists the world over, gazing into this planetary nebula some 2,500 light-years away may not have inspired celebratory feelings — rather, a foreboding of what's to come. It's easy to internalize the story of the Southern Ring Nebula as the sun's own destiny — written in, well, the stars. View the full article
  21. Watch the video for “There Were Bells” from ForeverAndEverNoMoreView the full article
  22. Spotify is building on its collaborative, friends-oriented features by generating a personalized playlist for you and your pals. Friends Mix is an extension of Blend, the Spotify feature that merges the musical tastes of two users in one shared playlist. Users are also given a Taste Match score with this feature, displaying the percentage of music taste you and your friend share. With Friends Mix, Spotify will take any Blends created with friends and create a personalized playlist for you. With Blends containing up to ten people (as of this March), the curated playlist they're now offering will be more varied. To access a Friends Mix, you'll need have created three two-person Blends. SEE ALSO: Spotify's new karaoke mode lets you sing along Spotify has launched the feature for International Friendship Day, aiming to highlight the influence friendship can have on music. Their data shows that 11 million user-generated playlists on Spotify contain the word "friend". Playlists like Dinner with Friends, Noche de Amigas, Bienvenido a La Friendzone, Folk & Friends and Weekends + Friends continue to soar in popularity. How do I get my Spotify Friends Mix? Well, you start by making a Blend. Here's how. Type "Blend" into Spotify's search tab. Click on the Blend icon and invite a friend. After said friend accept the invite, Spotify will generate your shared Blend playlist. This will consist of songs and recommendations for all those involved. Once you have at least three two-person Blends, you'll be able to check out the Friends Mix, made for you. Head to the "Made for Us" hub and find the playlist featuring all the tunes that your circle enjoys. View the full article
  23. Hanging out by a pool, lake, or beach just isn't the same without your favourite playlist. Which just isn't possible if you own a clunky, heavy speaker that plugs into the wall. If that sounds like a sadly familiar scenario, you’re in desperate need of a waterproof Bluetooth speaker. Besides protecting your beats when it starts pouring down on your barbecue, a waterproof Bluetooth speaker gives you the freedom to head to the beach without worrying about it getting soaked. Some portable outdoor speakers even float in the water, which is not only convenient for quick recovery, but also turns it into a cool party piece to show off to your guests. But there are hundreds of different Bluetooth speakers out there. It's hard to pick one based on your budget and needs. The good news is that we've done the hard work for you and researched the very best waterproof Bluetooth speakers. Before we jump into suggestions, let's talk about the features you’ll want to consider before buying. How do Bluetooth speakers work?When you want to take your tunes outside, you don't want to worry about wires or any other external power source to keep your speaker pumping. Fortunately, you don't have to when you're working with the absolute godsend that is Bluetooth technology. All you've got to do is wirelessly pair your smartphone with your speaker, then pull up your music-streaming app on your phone and hit play. Depending on the battery life of your speaker, you're set for easy, uninterrupted listening for hours and hours. Just keep in mind that they will need periodic charging, so pencil in some time to bring them indoors for some extra recharge juice. Another advantage to Bluetooth speakers is that you can often hook up two or more of them together to provide impressive stereo sound and wider coverage over an indoor or outdoor space, which is perfect for keeping the fun vibes consistent for larger parties. Is water-resistant and waterproof the same thing?Not all waterproofing is the same. Pay close attention to the device’s IP rating, a measurement of how waterproof — or merely water-resistant — it is. And if an IP rating isn’t clearly stated, move on to something more trustworthy. These ratings can be a little confusing if you’re not sure what each one means, so we’ll explain that in a moment. But the main thing that is crucially important to know is that water resistance is not the same as waterproof — not even close. What is a waterproof rating?Let's take the plunge with IP ratings. A water-resistant speaker will typically be rated IPX5 or lower, meaning it can certainly survive a splash or a sprinkle here and there, or even a steady stream of water. But if you're looking for a speaker to stand up to the elements (and accidents), you need one with a much higher waterproof rating. Most often, you’ll see ratings of IPX6 or IPX7, which means that a device will survive a good soaking or even complete submersion, respectively. However, if you're looking for a Bluetooth speaker that's truly outdoorsy and weatherproof, you'll want to opt for one with an IP67 rating. That means the device is not only waterproof and able to withstand being submerged in a metre of water for up to 30 minutes, it's also dustproof, dirtproof, and sandproof. You can confidently take your weatherproof speaker everywhere — from sandy beaches to dusty campsites — without worrying about wet or windy conditions. What is a good battery life for a waterproof Bluetooth speaker?If you’re just headed out for the day, six to 12 hours would probably be just fine. But if you’re going away for a weekend, or you don’t want to have to worry about charging often even when you’re at home, you’ll want to opt for a speaker that can give you upwards of 20-24 hours of uninterrupted audio bliss. What is the wireless range of a waterproof Bluetooth speaker?Wireless range is another big thing to consider when deciding on a Bluetooth speaker. If you're streaming tracks from your smartphone and intend to sit near your speaker the entire time, it doesn't really matter how long the range is. But if you're having a party, you probably want a little more flexibility to mix, mingle, and move yourself (and your phone) around. About 30 feet is the standard wireless range, but many higher-end Bluetooth speakers will afford you up to 100 feet of leeway. Do Bluetooth speakers sound good?Obviously, you want your waterproof speakers to sound good — that's literally why you're spending your hard-earned cash on them. Typically, the higher the price of the device, the more crisp the audio and more bumping the bass. However, we do like a few budget options that offer some surprisingly impressive sound quality, so don't automatically think that you can't get something great if money is tight. What is the best waterproof Bluetooth speaker?To help you make a decision, we’re sharing our top picks for the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers around. We've lined up something for every occasion — and every budget — including devices from top brands like Ultimate Ears, JBL, and Bose. All you need to do is consider all of the options outlined here, and compare them to your personal set of preferences. Then you should be able to highlight the speaker that works for you. These are the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers of 2022. View the full article
  24. Shopping for a new speaker is no longer about just music. Finding a speaker with excellent sound is straightforward. The tried-and-tested audio brands all produce high-end speakers. But these days, most listeners require something a little smarter. This is the age of the smart home, after all. But smart speakers are saturating the market. You can spend all day scouring product descriptions and review sections to find the best fit for your smart home. Fear not. We won't let you go to all that hassle. Instead, we compiled a list of what we feel are the best smart speakers you can get right now. But first, here's some important information to help you make a decision. What is a smart speaker?Smart speakers usually come with built-in voice assistants and can be found in almost any home at this point. If you have a bunch of smart devices in your home — smart lights, a smart thermostat, smart home security, a smart robot vacuum, or even a smart toaster (yes, that's a real thing) — a smart speaker can act as a hub that keeps them connected and controls your smart home overall. In short, a smart speaker is what makes your home truly smart. Are smart speakers worth the money?Although smart speakers aren't always the best way to listen to your audio and aren't usually prioritised for music, they're absolutely worth having if you have the budget. (And you might not even notice the audio downgrade unless you have a finely-tuned audiophile ear.) Plus, smart speakers don't always have to break the bank — there are plenty of budget options out there, including the fantastic Echo Dot, which we'll get into more below Why do you need a smart speaker?The real reason to get a smart speaker is convenience. Hands-free voice assistants are the name of the game when it comes to smart speakers. Being able to plan your day, catch up on news, play music, and control most of your smart tech just by talking to your a speaker is truly excellent. It's a great way to maximise your day by doing less. What's the best voice assistant?There are really only three worthwhile voice assistants out there: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Siri. Out of those three, most would put Siri at the bottom. That's not to say that Siri is a bad voice assistant, but Apple is just way too exclusive about their propriety operating systems, and Siri is only available to Apple devices. Then we get to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It comes down to personal choice. Both Amazon and Google have their specialist skills. You can't really lose with either choice here — just think about what features you want most, and go for the one that fits that vision best. What skills does Alexa have?If you're an online shopper and have an arsenal of smart devices throughout your home, Alexa will probably be your best bet. Amazon's smart speakers recognise more devices than Google's Assistant, so you're more likely to have a better time with an Echo if you really want to go for a true smart home. Alexa's direct connection to the Amazon store also makes online shopping easy, allowing you to add things to your cart and check out solely through voice commands. If you get a lot of your goods from Amazon, Amazon's smart speakers are kind of a no-brainer. What can Google Assistant do?Google Assistant tends to be better at things like general knowledge, location services, and other real-world information that you might need at a moment's notice. Google Assistant is also great for those with Android phones, enabling easy exchanges of information between your smartphone and smart speaker when using Google-supported apps. Google speakers also tend to be better at networking, so if you're looking to buy more than one smart speaker to connect them, Google is probably where you'll want to start. What are the best smart speakers? Selecting any sort of speaker is not easy, especially as there are so many devices out there offering similar sets of features. We know it's a tough decision, so we've tried to make your life easier by lining up a selection of the best smart speakers. We've highlighted the very best smart speakers from top brands like Sonos and Apple, with something for everyone and every budget. You just need to carefully consider all of these options, and then pick the speaker that best matches up with your set of personal preferences. These are the best smart speakers in 2022. View the full article
  25. Remember Twitter statuses? The company has experimented with some variant of the feature several times, last time in 2019 when it announced a test, which never resulted in a wide release. The status feature will be familiar to Facebook users, who have the ability to set a "status" to give additional context to their posts. And just like Facebook's version, the latest iteration of the Twitter status only lets you set a status from a predetermined, finite list of statuses. Some of the statuses on offer are "spoiler alert," "AMA," "hot take," "vacation mode," "unpopular opinion," "soon," "working hard, hardly working," and "shower thoughts." Given that Twitter users often do use emoji and certain phrases to mark the type of post they've written (the most common example of this is probably the "thread" emoji), the feature will probably see some use. Note that, in its previous iteration, users were able to set anything as status, and now they're limited to 20 or so options. SEE ALSO: The 8 best and funniest tweets of the week The statuses are clickable, and if you click one, you'll get a list of other public tweets which used the same status or phrase. “For a limited time, we are testing a feature that allows you to add a status topic from a predetermined list to your Tweets to provide more context for your followers. So whether you are about to drop a hot Tweet thread, share your shower thoughts, or have a bad case of the Mondays, your Tweets can better convey what you are up to," a Twitter spokesperson told TechCrunch. The company also said that the feature is being tested for a limited time with a select group of users in the U.S. and Australia. Amidst the botched Elon Musk takeover drama, Twitter has been launching new features left and right. Some of the most interesting ones are longform Notes, co-tweets, and Twitter Circle, which allows you to tweet only to a pre-selected group of followers. Not all of the features Twitter tests will become widely available, so we'll see how the status updates fare. View the full article
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