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NelsonG

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  1. Joy Division/New Order, Sheryl Crow, Rage Against the Machine, George Michael, Soundgarden, and others are also in this year’s nominee poolView the full article
  2. Seinfeld first aired in 1989, running for nine seasons. Its popularity has prevailed, so many years later, with demand continuing until present day. But an unlikely occurrence has come from this: an AI-generated episode of the hit show is being live-streamed on Twitch, in a never-ending loop. Entitled Nothing, Forever, the infinite episode/show features mechanical characters and pixelated animation. Jerry, Kramer, Elaine and George, the main characters, remain the fixation of the show, but they exist in contemporary New York. The foursome oscillate between their apartments and Jerry's stand-up setting, with an occasional laugh track erupting in the background. SEE ALSO: 6 scary things ChatGPT has been used for already According to the show's Twitch page, Nothing, Forever channels the popular description of Seinfeld by describing itself as "a show about nothing." But unlike the comedy show, which ended on May 14, 1988, this program "happens forever". It's "kinda like popular sitcoms of the past, except that it never stops". The channel promises that the stream will run "365 days of the year, and [deliver] new content every minute". At the time of writing, 1,396 viewers had tuned into the livestream, which has been playing non-stop since Dec. 14 last year. According to Vice, the creators intend for the show to be something of a parody to Seinfeld. Mismatch Media, the media lab behind it all, focuses on using generative technologies, like OpenAI and DALL-E, to create experimental forms of entertainment like television shows. For the dialogue in Nothing, Forever, the creators utilised OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model. Outside of the moderation filters within the AI, there is little human moderation. Featured Video For You Meet DALL-E 2, the AI program generating photorealistic images from text descriptions The show hardly runs smoothly — the characters speak robotically about their lives, some scenes are left unfinished and without context, and the accompanying laugh track emerges at arbitrary times. Yet, people seem to be hooked. Can we safely say this is the future of television? Perhaps not just yet. But considering the Twitter reactions so far, there appears to be some scope. View the full article
  3. It’s almost Samsung Galaxy Unpacked season. Get ready. Next week, Samsung will take to the stage in an event to (presumably) show off its latest and greatest premium smartphones. While Samsung is holding the event in-person for the first time in a few years, that’s not helpful to any of us. However, it is being live-streamed, which is very helpful. SEE ALSO: Samsung finally adds the Galaxy S22 to its self-repair program You can watch the early 2023 edition of Samsung Galaxy Unpacked on Samsung’s website or YouTube channel. It starts at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Feb. 1. As for what we’ll most likely see at the event, go in expecting to hear a lot about the Samsung Galaxy S23 line of smartphones. Recent leaks suggest that, like last year, we’ll get three phones: Samsung Galaxy S23, S23 Plus, and S23 Ultra. The leaked specs for these phones didn’t give us a great deal to chew on, but the S23 Ultra’s camera situation is something to watch. The leaks reveal it has a 200MP main sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide lens, and two optical zoom lenses. In other words, this phone should be really good at zooming in on faraway objects. We’ll see if it can compete with the excellence of the Pixel 7 Pro. Either way, we don’t have to wait a long time to find out. View the full article
  4. Late last year, popular anime site AmimixPlay closed its doors, citing technical and motivational issues. The decision was a massive disappointment to its loyal user base, which was good for an estimated 100 million monthly visits. Following the site’s demise, several copycats popped up. A group of fans also created a new project to honor the original in a more respectful matter, while giving former users a new home; AnimixReplay. This scenario has worked for other pirate sites and services in the past but it’s certainly not without risk. Visiting a pirate streaming site as a casual user is an entirely different ball game to running one, and the legal implications are not immediately obvious to everyone. ACE Investigates AnimixReplay The AnimixReplay team learned this lesson over the past few days. While they were building up their project, including a new app, the MPA-staffed Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) was gathering intelligence on the key people involved. A few days ago, ACE boss Jan van Voorn requested two DMCA subpoenas from a California federal court. The first one targeted CDN provider Cloudflare, while the other was directed at the Tonic registry, which oversees all .to domain names. The subpoenas listed a variety of suspected piracy portals, including kool.to, zoro.to, theflixer.tv and gogohd.pro. And indeed, the animixreplay.to domain made an appearance as well. The goal of these DMCA subpoenas is to request the personal details of the domain operators from online intermediaries. This information is sometimes unusable as pirate sites can provide fake details, but with AnimixReplay, ACE hit the jackpot. Legal Threat On Monday, AmimixReplay suddenly shut down “until further notice”, mentioning that they had received word from a lawyer. This lawyer, who mentioned prominent ACE backers including Disney, Netflix, and Warner Bros, urged them to cease their copyright infringing activity. “You may be wondering whats happening? Well that’s because we got a Subpoena from Disney, Netflix, Paramount, Sony, Warner Bros, and more all at once! So yeah thats a thing,” the announcement on Discord read. At this point, the implications weren’t entirely clear to the AnimixReplay team. Lack of understanding was also apparent in a Reddit post, which suggested jail time was on the horizon. The Real ACE TorrentFreak reached out to Fryz from the AnimixReplay team yesterday, who confirmed that ACE had warned them and sent a copy of the Cloudflare subpoena. This seriously spooked the operators, but they still weren’t convinced. After doing some research, the team initially thought that it could all be a prank, so they reached out to Cloudflare to get confirmation. To learn more we reached out to ACE’s Jan van Voorn, who informed us that the warning salvo was very real. ACE was indeed behind the subpoenas and although Cloudflare hadn’t produced any information yet, the anti-piracy group had tracked down two US-based operators through other means. “[W]hile waiting for subpoena responses, we continued our investigation, and we relatively quickly identified the 2 US-based operators (Kentucky and Ohio) of animixreplay.to and its related website fryz.site through OSINT analysis,” Van Voorn said. “Our findings were confirmed via the voluntary cooperation of other intermediaries used by these websites,” he added. The above suggests that the subpoenas certainly weren’t key in tracking down people connected to AnimixReplay. The alliance has more OSINT tricks and can rely on help from third-party intermediaries. While ACE doesn’t mention which ones, it’s possible that the ‘friendly‘ Radix registry assisted with providing more information on the .site domain. Shutting Down For the AnimixReplay team, it doesn’t really matter ‘how’ they were tracked down. The potential legal consequences have presented a bigger worry. At this point, no lawsuit has been filed and based on ACE’s comments, that’s not on the horizon as long as the site remains offline. “Should the websites be brought online again after this initial warning, either in their original or a rebranded form, we will be happy to have our attorneys reach out to them directly,” Van Voorn tells us. Fryz and the rest of the AnimixReplay team received the message, loud and clear. Shortly after the confirmation, they announced that the project won’t come back online. “This is a legal shutdown on the website, I’m confirming all docs are legit,” Fryz wrote, effectively calling the end of the project. From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more. View the full article
  5. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured the moment a supermassive black hole devoured a star — quite the cosmic show. The unlucky star, which was nearly 300 million light years away from Earth, got close enough to the black hole to fall victim to its hungry, gravitational pull. The rarely observed process is called a tidal disruption event (TDE), and scientists can see it thanks to the mass radiation released as a star is devoured. This happens in the form of UV light, which forms a giant flaring circle around the black hole. Astronomers have captured around 100 TDEs using telescopes including the Hubble. Thanks to its strong UV sensitivity, this is the first time a tidal disruption has been observed in UV light and not X-ray, so scientists are hoping it will help them learn more about the terrifying spectacle. Want more science and tech news delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for Mashable's Top Stories newsletter today. View the full article
  6. Bollywood and the romance genre are arguably synonymous, and there's one storyteller who cemented the fact with his extensive, beloved body of work. The Romantics, an upcoming documentary series from Netflix, is celebrating this legacy. Yash Chopra and his eponymous studio, Yash Raj Films are behind some of the most recognized romantic movies in the last fifty years. These movies have captivated audiences within India and internationally, whether with Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (a movie so iconic that it's still playing in a Mumbai theatre 27 years later), other '90s classics like Dil To Pagal Hai and Lamhe, or modern hits like Veer Zaara and Jab Tak Hai Jaan. In The Romantics, 35 leading Bollywood actors have come together to unpack this legacy, their own roles in Chopra's films, and the history of the film industry more holistically. The four-part series is directed by Smriti Mundhra, the creator of Netflix's Indian Matchmaking, and amongst the producers is Chopra's youngest son, Uday Chopra. The trailer, which will thrill any Bollywood fan, features snippets of audio and visuals from the roster of iconic films alongside sit-down interviews with three generations of Bollywood. This includes Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Katrina Kaif, Amitabh Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, Ranveer Singh — the star-studded list goes on. Chopra's son, Aditya — who inherited his father's legacy and sits at the helm of the studios today — is also hinted to feature. The Romantics releases on Feb. 14 on Netflix. View the full article
  7. Congratulations everyone, we made it through the first and most depressing month of 2023. While "Blue Monday" isn't actually a thing — there's no one day in January more depressing than any other — the whole month can feel miserable, a dark slog between the Xmas cards and the Valentines. And in January 2023, the news didn't seem like it was helping. War and mass shootings dominated the headlines. As did storms and floods and cold snaps, all made worse and more frequent by the growing specter of climate change. Meanwhile the entire U.S. economy was under threat from Republicans in Congress, who appeared to want to throw the government into default. SEE ALSO: Climate disasters defined 2022. These were some of the biggest. But do the headlines give us the full long-term picture? They do not. For that, you have to look at overall trends: the news climate, not the news weather. And more of the trends are more optimistic than you might expect. So here, at the end of the first round of '23, let us warm your worst month with reasons to stay sunny in your soul — along with a cautionary "what we're waiting to see" in each case. Because it's important to remember how bad things can get, and could still get, in order to properly see the best of this moment. 1. There are more electric cars on the road than in 2022. A lot more. Electric cars charging in a snowstorm in China, January 2023. Credit: CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images It may not look like it just yet — well, maybe it does if you're living in a country like Norway, which just passed a milestone (80 percent of all Norwegian cars sold last year were electric). But we're in the midst of a revolution on our roads. Electric vehicles are going mainstream, and the trend is spiking. There were 7.8 million EVs sold around the world in 2022 — a year-on-year growth of 68 percent, blasting through projections, even as auto sales overall fell one percent. We're now in a world where one in 10 new cars sold is electric. In China, where EV sales have doubled in a year, that number is one in every three. This is really, really good news about the country with the largest carbon emissions. The U.S. was lagging, but EV subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) just kicked in on Jan 1. For the first time ever, Americans in the market for a used car can get that sweet $4,000 federal tax credit for EVs. There are a record 43 EV models going on sale in the U.S. by the end of 2023. For 90 percent of Americans, a new study says, it's already cheaper to operate an EV than a gas car. The sidelining of combustion engines is happening sooner than we knew. What to watch: EV sales would be growing a lot faster if the U.S. had a public charging infrastructure to match. The IRA offers tax credits for 30 percent of charging station construction costs (in rural and poor communities). But that isn't the same as giving local authorities the desire or understanding necessary to build the damn things. 2. Coal is dying out faster…Having a fleet full of EVs won't help the climate if the electricity in them came from dirty energy. Thankfully, coal makes up less of a share of our electric grids than ever before. The U.S. just started its first year in history with renewable energy generating more power than coal. Around the world, coal plants are getting hard to fund and harder to insure. What to watch: China's coal extraction, which hit record highs at the end of 2022. A new "unified electricity market" means Chinese coal will be forced to compete with Chinese solar on price, a losing proposition for the blackstuff — but that won't kick in until 2025. 3. ...while solar power is exploding. Solar panels in Austin, Texas in July 2022. Credit: Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg via Getty Images More than ever, in 2023, humans are sun-worshippers. Solar panel manufacturers churned out almost 295 Gigawatts' worth of solar panels in 2022, a 45 percent increase in capacity in just one year. The 2023 forecast — 319 Gigawatts — may be an underestimate. The projection for 2025 says that year will see 940 Gigawatts' worth of panels built, or roughly as much solar power as exists in the entire world right now. Featured Video For You Why aesthetics are the secret weapon we need to popularise solar energy And is it the cheapest energy source out there? You bet. It's now 33 percent cheaper than natural gas in the U.S., and will only get cheaper as the IRA's solar installation incentives kick in this year. It's cheaper in China too, where nearly half of the world's solar panels were installed last year. What to watch: How fast the U.S. can ramp up its solar production industry to compete with China. Incentives are one thing; global supply chain problems another. 4. Energy is more renewable than ever — especially in Texas. Wind turbines in Papalote, Texas in 2021. Credit: Brandon Bell/Getty Images It's not just solar. Wind, hydro, and all other renewable sources are on the march, even in the depths of winter. In the U.S., battery production is going strong and is also about to be supercharged by the IRA. That makes storing power easier, which lets local grids supply us with more clean electricity. According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, renewables' share across the country will rise to 23 percent in 2023, while natural gas is falling to 37 percent. But those numbers mask a huge surprise: Renewable energy in Texas is growing so fast, it's set to beat natural gas this year. Texas, once the poster child for carbon-based fuel, is outpacing California when it comes to renewable installations, mostly in wind power. The largest red state isn't going green for political reasons, but for financial ones; even GOP Governor Greg Abbott has changed his tune on renewables a year after blaming them for winter storm outages. It's simply cheaper and easier now to make money exploiting the state's abundant sunshine and fast-moving air than to keep going at the dirty, expensive and dangerous activity that is drilling. What to watch: Renewable project construction is currently trending down thanks to regulatory and supply bottlenecks — temporarily, we hope. 5. The ozone layer is healing, and should soon heal faster.Remember that time humanity almost killed Earth's main layer of protection against UV radiation? A UN report released this month says we can pat ourselves on the back: our efforts to heal the ozone layer by banning dangerous CFC gasses in a 1987 treaty, actually worked. The hole we punched in that layer is on course to completely heal over by midcentury, and progress should be even faster now the U.S. Senate has (finally, and in a bipartisan vote!) ratified an amendment to the international treaty tightening curbs on HFCs. That's another nasty atmospheric gas, used in AC units, which also contributes to climate change. What to watch: All that progress could be rolled back if the world needs to geoengineer its way out of climate catastrophe. Seeding the upper atmosphere with sulfate particles, a proposal that would reflect sunlight and cool the world, could also rip another hole in our collective UV protection. 6. The bees just had a big win. Go bees. Credit: Ozkan Bilgin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Score one for our hardest-working pollinators. In January, the European Union's highest court banned all exemptions to an EU regulation outlawing three popular pesticides, all of which are lethal to honeybees and were implicated in colony collapse disorder. That's on top of new regulations that just kicked in, banning all but trace amounts of bee-killing pesticide residue on food or feed imported to Europe – which should have a chilling effect on the pesticides' use in the developing world. What to watch: The U.S. is painfully slow to do anything about the pesticides, although a few states have banned them and California is poised to do the same. 7. Inflation is coming down. That vertigo-inducing rise in prices we call inflation? The thing we were worried about for pretty much all of 2022? It hasn't vanished, but it is easing faster than we feared. Prices of consumer goods rose by five percent in December, an improvement on November's seven percent inflation. In fact, inflation has been falling for six months in a row, so barring any sudden new shocks to the economy, it's falling as you read this. The Fed expects inflation could drop as low as two percent per month by the end of 2023 … What to watch: …although the rate could bounce back soon after that, presenting a whole new set of challenges for the economy. 8. Ukraine is still winning.It's the David vs. Goliath story of our age. A nation that had been invaded by its neighbor, one of the world's most feared military superpowers, beat it back with an indomitable spirit and a steadily increasing amount of technical support. Ukraine's slow-motion success against Russia has been going on for so long, we're likely to miss it, especially in winter when progress is naturally slower. But make no mistake, Ukraine is still winning in 2023 — to the point where Russia is running so low on ammunition, it's digging up 40-year-old shells. The U.S., Poland and even once-reluctant Germany have decided to supply Ukraine with tanks. The U.S. is set to send long-range missiles that could help Ukraine retake Crimea, an outcome that would have been unthinkable a year ago. SEE ALSO: The people using torrents to talk to Russians about the war in Ukraine What to watch: The increasing number of nuclear threats coming out of the Kremlin. It's saber-rattling – such extreme mad-bomber tactics would rebound on Russian territory, destroy Russia's relationships with remaining friends like China, and not even help on the battlefield — but it's still chilling. After all, 70-year-old Vladimir Putin is sending ever more inexperienced men to a pointless meat grinder; he clearly doesn't give a damn if he destroys giant chunks of Russia in pursuit of victory. 9. The world is weaning itself off Russian fuel.Time was when European countries were terrified of poking the Russian bear because of their dependence on cheap Russian natural gas and oil. But Russia's energy exports have fallen by a stunning nine percent in the last month, ever since the EU banned crude oil imports. The U.S. is now poised to become Europe's largest gas supplier. That's what you get for invading sovereign nations. What to watch: Some oil experts suggest Europe will hook itself back up to cheaper Russian gas, shunning the pricey American liquid stuff, as soon as the war in Ukraine ends. 10. We're in the first year of the fusion age. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories Director Dr. Kim Budil explains her lab's fusion breakthrough. Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images The breakthrough nuclear fusion experiment announced by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory a month ago has been compared to the Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk. That event didn't change the world immediately, but it did lead ineluctably to our present-day reality of commercial flights everywhere. If we start to see nuclear fusion reactors appear in a few decades' time, providing virtually limitless clean fuel for the entire human race, we can say it started here. What to watch: Research dollars will make the difference. Does the divided U.S. government have what it takes to agree to more fusion R&D to speed the process along? Will politicians and the public understand the difference between basically safe nuclear fusion with minimal environmental impact, and nuclear fission with its far larger spent fuel problem? 11. The GOP insurgency is weaker than it might have been. Yes, the Republican-led House of Representatives is already forcing a showdown with the Biden administration over raising the debt ceiling, threatening to tank the global economy if the U.S. goes into default. But compared to previous GOP efforts to extract concessions from a threatened debt default, this one is a damp squib. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, elected to that role only after 15 votes, finds himself incredibly weak. Serial fabulist George Santos is a daily reminder of the majority's lack of ethical standards. McCarthy's caucus is divided. They can't even agree on what they want from the White House in return for a debt ceiling raise, and the administration isn't in a bargaining mood anyway. If Kevin McCarthy blinks and loses the fight, we can all enjoy another round of schadenfreude as the House majority tears itself apart again, and maybe even tries to elect a new speaker. What to watch: Maybe the GOP is just unhinged enough to tank the global economy this time? 12. Trump is in trouble…Prosecutors are closing in on the former president from all angles, and legal experts expect Trump will be fighting off multiple criminal indictments by the end of 2023. So many chickens are coming home to roost, it's already hard to keep track. Witness the judge who this month imposed a $1 million sanction on Trump and his legal team for a frivolous lawsuit against Hillary Clinton back in 2016. The wheels of justice grind slowly, but still they grind — and even Trump's reinstated Facebook account can't hold them back forever. What to watch: Will the Supreme Court, including the three conservative justices Trump himself appointed, make a Bush v Gore-style ruling — basically and conveniently holding that indictments cannot be brought against a former head of the executive branch? 13. …as is Bolsonaro. Moving faster than their American counterparts, Brazilian authorities have already launched an investigation into their coup-fomenting former president. Jair Bolsonaro's defeat in the presidential election last year may have helped to save the Amazon rainforest, but it also led to thousands of protestors smashing up government buildings on January 8 – protestors who believed Bolsonaro's long-standing claims that elections could be rigged. What to watch: Just how much was Bolsonaro directing the protests from his self-imposed exile in Florida, and will the U.S. allow him to be extradited to face charges in Brazil? 14. Twitter remains undefeated. Elon Musk leaves the Phillip Burton Federal Building on January 24, 2023 in San Francisco, California. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Speaking of right-wing leaders beset by legal troubles, Elon Musk is in the midst of an embarrassing trial over his 2018 tweet claiming that he had secured funding to take Tesla private — a possible manipulation of the stock price. Lawsuits against him are piling up, including one over his Twitter firings and a couple over Musk's deadbeat approach to paying rent. Meanwhile, despite a troubling outage at the end of December, Twitter the service is still standing strong. All of Musk's efforts to bend the site to his will — banning parody accounts, banning journalists, banning links to other social networks — were reversed. His version of Twitter Blue, with paid checkmarks, stalled. Advertisers are fleeing. Tesla stock has had a bit of a rebound in January, but it's still worth just over half what it was when Musk took over Twitter. In 2023, either Musk steps back, sells Twitter to his fellow investors at a loss, or faces the legal and financial consequences of owning a service he never understood. Whichever one it is, the criticism factory of Twitter will be there to mock its fragile narcissist owner at every turn. What to watch: Whether the next owner of Twitter, or Musk's handpicked CEO, will be someone even worse for the service. 15. COVID is rolling back in the U.S.There was a troubling spike in COVID-19 cases at the beginning of the year. With yet more new variants making the rounds, health officials around the country were braced for a rough month. Since Jan. 5, however, every trend line is in the right direction: deaths, hospitalizations, cases, and positive tests. It's not the state of equilibrium required for authorities to declare COVID officially endemic, rather than a pandemic, but it is a very encouraging sign — and European countries are seeing the same trend. What to watch: There was a global spike in COVID cases later in January, much of it apparently related to China lifting its "zero COVID" policy in December. That seems to be receding too, but the world may not be out of the woods yet. 16. Vaccines are quietly saving lives. Despite what you might have heard from the vaccine-denier crowd that Musk allowed back on Twitter, the COVID-19 vaccines are still doing what vaccines always do: save lives. A recent study from the Yale School of Public Health concluded that the U.S. would have suffered 3 million more deaths without them in 2021 and 2022. By that measure, January 2023 would have contained somewhere around 125,000 more deaths in a vaccine-less world. Moreover, there's a growing body of evidence that vaccines may significantly reduce the risk of long COVID — especially if you get another shot after you get sick. What to watch: Only about 14 percent of eligible U.S. adults have had both booster shots, which help tackle the more recent variants of the virus. With COVID apparently fading in the public mind, chances of increasing the uptake on boosters seem grim. 17. The outlook for abortion rights is improving (but the battle is just beginning). A protest for abortion rights marked the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision on January 22, 2023, in New York City. Credit: Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress The year 2022 saw a great leap forward in access to safe and legal abortions — if you lived in Colombia, France, Spain, Finland, or any of the other countries where lawmakers passed pro-choice legislation. In the U.S., of course, it was a year that will live in infamy: A hard-right Supreme Court erased the rights of millions of women by striking down Roe v. Wade. But voters arguably punished the anti-abortion GOP at the midterm elections, and everywhere abortion rights were on the ballot — even in deep-red Kansas — they won. SEE ALSO: How to help abortion funds and reproductive justice networks In January 2023, there were more incremental wins for the pro-choice side. The FDA expanded access to medication abortion, the most commonly-used procedure. President Biden directed the government to do everything it could to support that access. New York lawmakers voted to codify abortion rights in the state constitution, pending likely voter approval; Virginia is getting started on the same process; New Mexico is looking to get its rights enshrined faster. What to watch: Undeterred by the midterms, red states are set to introduce a wave of anti-abortion bills in their coming legislative sessions. Some will attempt to curtail that medication access via local pharmacies. This battle is shaping up to be a long one, and it's just beginning. 18. Tech layoffs aren't telling the whole story.On the surface, the numbers coming out of the tech world are brutal. Salesforce recently announced layoffs covering 10 percent of the company. Meta is in the midst of a 13 percent cut. Elon Musk's Twitter is down to a skeleton staff. Google and Amazon are slashing many thousands of jobs too. But don't break out the violins for tech workers yet. There is nothing approaching a recession in the industry. The unemployment rate in Silicon Valley is a mere 2.3 percent, lower than the 3.5 percent national average. California overall, and the Bay Area in particular, are still adding jobs. So is the tech sector, according to the latest analysis. Large layoffs at giant firms are best seen as a correction to the overly optimistic hiring spree those companies went on during the pandemic, when we needed their services more than ever. There are no signs of a recession in this industry that is increasingly important to the economy as a whole. What to watch: If the tech giants get a bad rep among engineers for poor planning during this pink-slip parade, they may find it harder to attract talent in the future. When there are an array of intriguing startups, who would want the hassle of working for someone as mercurial as Musk — or any of the other tech titans using workers as pawns in their ongoing battle with organized labor? 19. California got the water it needed. You didn't have to live in the Golden State to see the havoc that climate change wrought in January: increased and repeated rounds of storms, leading to flooding and mudslides. Here's the upside, though: Record levels of rainfall have replenished the reservoirs and built up the all-important snowpack in the Sierras. Gavin Newson's state will need a lot more water to get out of its years-long statewide megadrought — which, yes, is still ongoing — but the largely unexpected storms have helped make its 2023 outlook more rosy. What to watch: Billions of gallons of water were still lost from the storms as they headed back to the sea without being captured. California is embarking on a series of new water-capturing projects, but it's still anyone's guess whether that will help end the megadrought in the longterm. 20. More artifacts are being returned to their rightful countries. German and Nigerian ministers at a ceremony returning the looted art. Credit: Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images It began last year with the Benin Bronzes, sculptures that had been seized in Nigeria by British soldiers in 1897 and since dispersed into public and private collections around the world. Germany signed a deal to return 1,100 Benin Bronzes and "right a wrong" from colonial history. That started a groundswell. Museums and universities with Benin Bronzes in the UK, plus the Smithsonian, followed suit; a Houston museum returned a looted sarcophagus to Egypt – and though the British Museum is dithering about its Benin collection, it is at least negotiating with the Greek government about returning the Elgin Marbles. It's early days for what is likely to be a multi-decade process of deciding where looted treasures should go, but the museum world's ethical arrows are starting to point in the right direction. What to watch: The coronation of King Charles III in May, and specifically whether his Queen Consort Camilla will be wearing a crown with the Koh-i-noor diamond. If so — or even if she shuns it — that attention could raise the temperature on a heated debate about whether the Koh-i-noor should be returned to India (or Pakistan or Afghanistan, which also claim it.) 21. The air is getting cleaner.In the U.S., in Europe, and yes, even in China, the trend is clear: you can see further and breathe easier with each year that passes. Fine particulate matter pollution has fallen by 41 percent in the U.S. since 1990, saving 370,000 lives a year – which means around 30,000 people this month are not dropping dead from gunk in their lungs). European clean air laws are now saving 700,000 lives a year (58,000 a month) in the same time frame. Meanwhile, China is soaking up its smog so fast (in part by planting a Belgium-sized amount of forest every year) that it has achieved the same percentage reduction as the U.S. – but just in the last 10 years, not 30. What to watch: Megacities around the world are seeing worsening smog this winter, including Bangkok, Delhi and Mumbai. How bad will it have to get for their governments to take aggressive action? 22. More of the Earth's non-human inhabitants are safe. In Oregon, the Fender's blue butterfly was downlisted from endangered to threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act in January 2023. Credit: Jeff Dillon/USFWS America's Endangered Species Act turns 50 in 2023; the Center for Biological Diversity says it has saved 291 species so far, and that 80 percent of species on the endangered list are on the road to recovery. Just take a look at the announcements from the first month of the year: a sparrow in San Clemente, a rare butterfly in Oregon, and mussels in Virginia are among species to have officially bounced back from the brink, thanks to biologists (and in some cases, an assist from the Pentagon). On top of that, a foal was just born to a critically endangered species of horse thanks in part to cloned DNA. Our species preservation know-how is just getting started. What to watch: Montana, where an out-of-control hunting culture has killed vast numbers of recently delisted wolves – and may be coming for grizzly bears next. 23. AI continues to amuse and outrage — but not threaten creativity.Finally, let's look at the future fear du jour, artificial intelligence. January 2023 was prime time for OpenAI's ChatGPT, which has seen a stunning adoption curve — and just passed the 1 million user mark. OpenAI's previous and equally controversial product, DALL-E, synthesizes the work of online artists to create all the visuals a user can request. Both have inspired awe, fear, and outrage over their apparent capabilities to create texts and art like a human. SEE ALSO: The ChatGPT chatbot from OpenAI is amazing, creative, and totally wrong But do those capabilities stand up to scrutiny? Sure, ChatGPT theoretically enables student plagiarism — but it also works as a tool for teachers and professors to help them detect ChatGPT-written homework. Yes, it seems to help professionals write pro forma documents — January saw a flurry of stories about real-estate agents in particular loving it for property listings. Try to make it write something creative or thoughtful and truthful, and ChatGPT flounders. Use it for a while and you'll start to get bored by its grade-school story writing skills. You'll spot more and more of ChatGPT's alternative facts creep in; one Princeton professor calls the app a "bullshit generator," and he's not far from the mark. What to watch: Two lawsuits targeting AI art apps that are allegedly using copyrighted material in a way that isn't covered by fair use. A landmark court decision on the topic, whichever way it goes, could make the rest of 2023 very interesting indeed. View the full article
  8. Forget the alien invasion of sneaky infiltration or bombastic bombings of national landmarks. Landscape With Invisible Hand unfurls a science fiction story that plays out more like an unnerving yet amusing extraterrestrial gentrification. Imagine a not-so-distant future in which alien overlords have descended. But rather than conquering or catering to politicians, they bought out humanity by teaming up with corporations, promising new tech and new heights of status. Specifically: picturesque utopias that hover over Earth's surface and treat everything beneath like a dump site. The dumped-upon world below is where Landscape With Invisible Hand paints a coming-of-age story that is uniquely entrancing and thrillingly unpredictable. What's Landscape With Invisible Hand about? Adapted by M.T. Anderson's novel of the same name, Landscape With Invisible Hand centers on Adam Campbell (Asante Blackk), a Black American teenager scraping by on an Earth now run by an alien race known as Vuvv. While those living in a literally elevated version of gated communities relish innovations and wealth, those below — like the Campbell family — are scraping by as millions of jobs are made obsolete by Vuvv technology. Adam and his lawyer mom (Tiffany Haddish) scavenge for any work they can find, while his little sister tries growing her own food, sick of the nutrient-rich but unappetizing cubes that have become standard for lower-class households. But their lives change forever when Adam falls in love. Within hours of being beguiled by new kid in school Chloe Marsh (Kylie Rogers), Adam has suggested she and her unhoused family move into his basement. Tensions rise between two households crowded underneath the same roof. But there's a reprieve when Chloe and Adam decide to turn their budding romance into a live stream for the aliens' entertainment. These "courtship broadcasts" give the Vuvv — who produce asexually and have no concept of romantic relationships — a vicarious thrill. For the Marsh and Campbell families, this means big bucks, financial security, and real food. But how can young love withstand not only the prying eyes of alien gawkers but also the pressure to support their families through a futuristically intrusive brand of reality TV? Landscape With Invisible Hand elegantly tells a complicated sci-fi story. Writer/director Corey Finley, who won praise for the teen thriller Thoroughbreds, mindfully sprinkles details around this character-centered drama. For instance, rather than an aggressive news montage about the alien invasion, the progress of it is depicted over the opening credits through artwork by Adam. A crayon drawing here, a pencil sketch there; each details Earth before and then after the Vuvv appeared. Throughout the film, delicate chapter breaks are created by close-ups of his work. Each drawing not only pulls focus to a moment that was profound for our protagonist, but also elegantly explores his emerging understanding of this world and his role in it. While Adam may struggle to communicate how he feels in words, his drawings speak volumes. SEE ALSO: Why you should see 'Thoroughbreds' this weekend As for the Vuvv, an educational video at school plays to explain to us and the students who they are and generally what their deal is. However, it's swiftly revealed to be cheerful propaganda that ruthlessly ignores the widespread poverty and despair their global buyout has caused. Pockets of this impact pop up in casual conversations about 3D-printed meat, a field of debris that includes discarded lacrosse sticks, and the shrug that a publicly performed suicide elicits. The second act will showcase sci-fi spectacles like spaceships, glossy tech, and even the mysterious Vuvv, who are accurately described as looking like "gooey coffee tables." To Finley's credit, the humble budget of his film doesn't detract from the tangibility of these out-of-this-world elements. However, this is firmly soft sci-fi. So the aliens and their tech — while intriguing — are not the point. This is all about Adam. Asante Blackk stands strong as a leading man. With this bustling backdrop of alien invasion, human tragedy, exploitation, first loves, artistic inspiration, and families in conflict, Landscape With Invisible Hand is unapologetically about a young Black man finding himself in a world littered with adversity. Whether at home or at school, with his girlfriend, his family, or a Vuvv who is playing tourist, Adam is repeatedly challenged to determine his own values and worth. Will he be like the neurosurgeon who left their vocation behind to become a Vuvv chauffeur? Will he risk being ostracized by rebelling against the Vuvv's demands for feel-good entertainment? What does it mean to thrive versus survive in a world where the haves treat the have-nots as novelty? Blackk, who's previously appeared in such heralded shows as This Is Us and When They See Us, shoulders the weight of these worries with a solid stance and bright eyes. Even when Adam is at a loss for words, Blackk's gaze cries out about the pressure, the pain, and even the joy that collides in Adam's journey. Rogers matches him as Chloe, a bubbly ingenue when the Vuvv are watching who slides into a strained stance of angst when they're not — when she can be real, and really worried. Haddish brings some smirking humor as a no-nonsense mom, while Josh Hamilton — as Chloe's desperate dad — gamely plays the fool as demanded (by the movie and the Vuvv). Altogether, the ensemble cast crafts a world that feels eerily familiar, even with the slimy extraterrestrials popping up to cause headaches and societal shudderings. The intriguing sci-fi details that Finley drops like breadcrumbs lead us into the curious adventure in Landscape With Invisible Hand. The performances ground the heartache that thrums at its core, while theremin music trembles in its score, giving a sense of vulnerability and alien audio. But perhaps what's most exhilarating about Finley's latest is that — unless you've read the book — there's no way to predict what might come next or where Adam might go. The future may seem bleak, but its specifics feel wildly — enthrallingly — uncertain. So, we look to the drawings dropped along the way to get a sense of what is to come. Wisely, Finley doesn't leave us with easy answers. He does, however, leave us with a soft sci-fi gem that is fantastic, fun, and thrillingly fucked up. Landscape With Invisible Hand was reviewed out of its world premiere at Sundance 2023. View the full article
  9. American citizens will soon be able to lend a greater hand in refugee resettlement, as the federal government launches a new private sponsorship program called Welcome Corps. Announced in January by the U.S. Department of State, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the program will allow groups of American citizens to jointly sponsor refugees approved to enter the country through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). SEE ALSO: The online tool connecting college students with sexual assault support Welcome Corps, described on the program's website as "a new service opportunity for Americans to welcome refugees seeking freedom and safety," is the largest venture in federal resettlement work since the USRAP's inception in 1980. Historically, initial resettlement assistance to newly arriving refugees has been facilitated primarily through nonprofit agencies partnering with the government. In 2021, President Joe Biden announced a new executive order, Rebuilding and Enhancing Programs to Resettle Refugees, to restructure this system, unveiling the beginning of Welcome Corps and building off of previous programs supporting Afghan and Ukrainian refugee resettlement. Through Welcome Corps, groups of private U.S. citizens can share resources — including knowledge on how to build a life in their local communities — and engage directly in the resettlement of displaced refugees for the first 90 days of their stay. The launch will feature two phases: The first will see groups of sponsors matched with individual refugees already approved for resettlement in the first six months of 2023. The second phase will allow private sponsors to nominate specific applicants for support through Welcome Corps. It also will be advised by a group of nonprofit experts in the field of refugee resettlement and services. Importantly, the program isn't intended to be an individual philanthropic effort, and individuals and organizations are already connecting online to express support and coordinate potential partnerships. Weekly information sessions for the Welcome Corps program began shortly after the program was announced, and spots have already filled up for the first two sessions in February. Here's everything else you need to know to join the Welcome Corps. How do I apply?Those interested in participating in Welcome Corps must first join a group of private sponsors that will commit together to support a refugee. These are known as Private Sponsor Groups (or PSGs), and they must be made up of at least five members who live in or near the same community. Applicants must complete a background check, attend Welcome Corps training sessions, and sign a commitment form to participate. The PSG application also requires a well-documented Welcome Plan to prepare support for prospective refugees, which includes a plan for airport pickup and initial reception, housing, basic start-up necessities, documentation, and other social services. The application also requires a plan for language immersion, employment, and cultural connection, along with an expected budget. Once all documentation is ready and training sessions have been completed, PSGs can submit an application online. Accepted PSGs will be required to complete reports after the first 30 days and at the end of the 90-day sponsorship. They must also fill out surveys at six and 12 months after the individual has arrived in the United States. Who is eligible to sponsor a refugee?Sponsors have to be American citizens or permanent residents of the United States. You must also be 18 years or older to join. How much will it cost?Welcome Corps sponsorship requires a minimum of $2,275 in cash or in-kind donations committed per refugee. PSGs are encouraged to fundraise prior to submitting an application. Can I pick the person I sponsor for refugee resettlement?The Welcome Corps program will offer two different ways to sponsor an individual entering the country: The first mode of sponsorship will be through a matching process in which the State Department assigns a group of sponsors to a specific individual. The second will be through the specific nomination, or "identification," of a known individual, which allows sponsors to support the resettlement of an eligible person they might already know, such as a friend, relative, or coworker. For the initial launch of the program, Welcome Corps will offer random matching only. The first group of matched refugees is expected to arrive in April 2023, and will primarily come from countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The program is anticipated to expand to allow PSGs to refer refugee applicants for consideration beginning in mid-2023. How can groups and organizations support Welcome Corps?Community organizations and institutions can participate as "Private Sponsor Organizations" (or PSOs), and may be eligible for funding from private philanthropists through the program's consortium of nonprofit partners. According to the State Department, several known organizations have already joined the initiative, including humanitarian organizations Alight, HIAS, and International Rescue Committee, as well as refugee resettlement initiatives Every Campus A Refuge, Home for Refugees USA, and IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services), among others. Is there a federal limit on how many refugees can be sponsored?The government hopes to mobilize at least 10,000 sponsors to support 50,000 refugees during Welcome Corps' initial launch. Any additional sponsors beyond the first 10,000 may still be matched with someone in need. Broadly, the U.S. government sets internal admissions targets for refugee entries at 125,000 people. However, those numbers have not been met in previous years, and private sponsorship has the potential to expand the number of refugees able to resettle in the United States. How does my support help?As described by the program, sponsors (and their donations) welcome refugees by "securing and furnishing initial housing, greeting the refugee newcomers at the airport, enrolling children in school, and helping adults to find employment," as well as addressing any other needs identified by sponsors and collaborators. When does the application period begin?Welcome Corps is already accepting applications for PSGs and PSOs, available online. Applicants can expect to hear back within one to two weeks. What else do I need to know?Before applying, prospective sponsors are encouraged to join a Welcome Corps information session, which will be held via Zoom every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET through March 16. Additional information about the program can be found on the Welcome Corps website. View the full article
  10. TL;DR: Through Feb. 3, you can grab a refurbished MacBook Pro (Intel Core i5, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD) for just $254.99 rather than $349. Hailing from 2012, that's 26% in savings from its current MSRP. Valentine's Day has a reputation for being the cheesiest faux holiday of the year, but it doesn't mean that you yourself have to embody the cheesiness, especially when it comes to presents. Sure, a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates are no-fail options, but why gift something that can be found near the cash register of any store? This year, perhaps you may want to ditch the flowers and go the unconventional route for your partner. If your lover happens to have an affinity for tech, they may appreciate receiving a refurbished MacBook Pro, which happens to be on sale for 26% off now through February 6 — order by February 3 to guarantee delivery by Valentine's Day. First things first, it should be noted that while this MacBook Pro is refurbished, it's been vetted and fixed to look and work like new. You get plus points to Mother Earth, too, since a purchase doesn't contribute to electronic waste. Now, this MacBook Pro may be from 2012, but it's still the powerful, high-performance device MacBooks are known for. It packs an Intel Core i5 processor with 2.5GHz turbo boost and 4GB of RAM, meaning it can provide a smooth, fast, and quiet performance without lag. You should be able to browse as many sites as you want and jump from one app to another without worrying about your computer slowing down. With a 2560 x 1600 Retina display, you can watch shows and movies and play games in crystal-clear quality. It also has a 7-hour battery life for longer working hours and 500GB of storage for storing all your essential files. The best part is it's ultra-slim and lightweight, so you can haul it from one place to another with ease. Formerly retailing for $349 refurbished, you can score this refurbished 13.3" Apple MacBook Pro on sale for only $254.99 — 26% off the original. Be sure to order by February 3 to make sure it comes in time for V-Day. Prices subject to change. Opens in a new tab Credit: Apple Refurbished MacBook Pro (Intel Core i5, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD) (opens in a new tab) $254.99 at the Mashable Shop Get Deal (opens in a new tab) View the full article
  11. TL;DR: Through Feb. 6, you can get the Chounette L'Etonnante 4 Preserved Roses Box for just $34.99 instead of $105.76 — that's 66% in savings ahead of Valentine's Day. It's no secret that people spend an outrageous amount of money on flowers and gifts every Valentine's Day. If you want to know just how much, in 2022, people coughed up $23.9 billion on things that symbolize their love. And despite the rising costs of products in 2023, people are planning to part more with their money, with consumers expected to rack up a collective expenditure of $25.9 billion. What's more, the majority of Valentine's Day revelers are willing to pay an average of $192.80 for gifts. The saddest part of Valentine's Day shenanigans is that most flowers are thrown out the next day, which is a shame considering how much money and effort were spent on them. And so, if you don't want to gift something ephemeral, consider long-lasting arrangements instead. A digital voucher for the Chounette L' Etonnante 4 Preserved Roses Box happens to be on sale from now through February 6. The L'Etonnante Box contains four beautiful eternal roses, roses that are designed not to wilt the next day — or any day for that matter. Aside from being beautiful presents, they can function as conversation starter display pieces that you can place by a windowsill or the middle of the coffee table. With this voucher, your recipient gets all four flowers, but you get to pick the color they come in. You can choose from lavender, pink, white, champagne, red, yellow, and black. They'll be arranged inside a specially curated 4-inch elegant square box in either black or white before being delivered to your lover's doorstep. The Chounette L' Etonnante 4 Preserved Roses Box usually retails for $105, but you can get it on sale for only $34.99 until February 6. When redeeming the voucher, be sure to select a delivery date one to two days before your event or special occasion to make sure they arrive on time. Prices subject to change. Opens in a new tab Credit: Chounette Chounette L'Etonnante 4 Preserved Roses Box (opens in a new tab) $34.99 at the Mashable Shop Get Deal (opens in a new tab) View the full article
  12. ChatGPT is, in essence, a simple online artificial intelligence chatbot created by OpenAI in December 2022. You can ask it a question, and it will answer that question. For instance, if you ask ChatGPT what it is, this is what it will tell you: "ChatGPT is an AI language model developed by OpenAI, which is capable of generating human-like text based on the input it is given. The model is trained on a large corpus of text data and can generate responses to questions, summarize long texts, write stories and much more. It is often used in conversational AI applications to simulate a human-like conversation with users." SEE ALSO: 6 scary things ChatGPT has been used for already You can use ChatGPT to message people on dating apps; to write essays; to create malware (yikes); and more. ChatGPT is ethically complicated, could spread misinformation despite its attempts to stay safe, and is giving people advice for their mental health (not its job). Nick Cave doesn't like it, and Twitter can't stop talking about it. So what is ChatGPT? Here's everything you need to know about the hottest AI on the scene. Is ChatGPT the first chatbot ever?Chatbots have been around for decades, and you might know them best from interacting with any customer service agent over text; often, that's a chatbot. The term chatbot is actually a brutal reimagining of the much more fun "ChatterBot," coined by Michael Mauldin in 1994. But chatbots have come a long way from Maultin's creation of Verbot to OpenAI's ChatGPT. Do all chatbots use artificial intelligence?All chatbots do not use AI like ChatGPT does. Some chatbots simply use keywords to create a response that may or may not be helpful. For instance, if you tell a non-AI chatbot that you didn't receive a package that was marked as delivered, it might encourage you to check the front door (annoying). Other chatbots, like the ChatGPT, use some pretty sophisticated AI. I have had a 30-minute conversation with it about my cat. Is ChatGPT alive?Joe Rogen (who admitted to never having tried ChatGPT) likened ChatGPT to that of Ex Machina, a 2014 SciFi thriller in which an AI robot named Ava who turns evil. ChatGPT is not Ava. But it is intelligent. ChatGPT hasn't been put through a thorough evaluation with the Turing test, a test of a machine's ability to behave like a human. But some researchers believe it has passed the test, nonetheless. If you asked ChatGPT if it is alive, it says: "No, I am not alive. I am an artificial intelligence language model developed by OpenAI, I do not have consciousness or feelings. I am just a computer program designed to respond to text inputs and generate outputs based on patterns in the data I was trained on." How do I use ChatGPT?Ah, yes, the most simple answer of all. All you have to do is open chat.openai.com in your browser. You'll be asked to make an account and then, boom, you're plugged in. The tool is completely free to use, but there are rumors that we might get a more powerful paid version in the future. If you want to get better at using the tool, there are classes for that, too. View the full article
  13. FREE COURSES: You can find a wide range of online Photoshop courses for free on Udemy. You don't need a voucher code to enroll for free. There are absolutely loads of online courses out there, meaning there really is no excuse not to learn something new. Even better, some of the best examples of these courses are available for free. Where's the catch? The best free online courses on Udemy don't come with things like a certificate of completion or the ability to send direct messages to the intructor, but you still get unlimited access to all of the video content. That means you can learn at your own pace without spending a single penny. We're constantly on the lookout for the best free online courses, and this time around we've handpicked a selection of standout Photoshop courses. This could be an opportunity to kickstart a lucrative new career. Or maybe you just want to learn a new skill for the sake of it. Either way, these free courses offer everything you need. These are the best free online Photoshop coding courses this week: Photoshop Fundamentals Photoshop Tips and Tricks Photoshop For Complete Beginners Creative Photoshop Portrait Retouching and Lightroom Adobe Photoshop CS6 For Beginners You don't need a voucher code to access these coding courses. You can simply enroll for free. Find the best free online Photoshop courses available on Udemy. Opens in a new tab Credit: Udemy Photoshop Online Courses (opens in a new tab) Free at Udemy Get Deal (opens in a new tab) View the full article
  14. Nothing feels as good as a deep, genuine laugh. It's an expression of joy! It's a workout. It's a sign that you're having a good time. Netflix has a dazzling selection of comedy movie that put that good-time feeling on demand. Whether you're craving action-spiked shenanigans, quirky coming-of-age adventures, awkward humor, stranger-than-fiction silliness, madcap musical numbers, or crime with a dash of comedy, there's a perfect pick for you. And we've made singling it out all the easier by highlighting the most hilarious below. Note: We've ranked Netflix's best stand-up specials and romantic comedies separately. Here, in no particular order, are the 20 funniest movies now streaming on Netflix. 20. Bullet TrainIf you like your comedy with in-your-face action, you should race to check out this 2022 romp from Deadpool 2 director David Leitch. It's a high-octane film that asks the classic question: "What happens if you pile a bunch of assassins onto one bullet train through Japan?" The answer is delightfully daffy carnage. Brad Pitt leads a star-studded cast as a merc who's lost his bloodlust. What's supposed to be a simple snatch-and-go job turns dangerously complicated as he crosses paths with a cavalcade of curious characters, all of whom are rocking code names like Tangerine, Lemon, Wolf, The Prince, The Hornet, and White Death. Rapid-fire wit is wielded by the likes of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Michael Shannon, Bad Bunny, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Joey King, Zazie Beetz, and Sandra Bullock. Also wielded? Every form of weapon you can imagine, from guns and knives to poison, wild animals, and even a well-traveled water bottle. Sound cool? Catch it while you can. —Kristy Puchko, Film Editor How to watch: Bullet Train is now streaming on Netflix. 19. The 'BurbsSeeking something that taps into the unique brand of outrageousness that takes root in the suburbs? Then, you'll want to revisit this 1989 gem from Gremlins director Joe Dante. Tom Hanks stars as a stressed-out family man who is desperately trying to relax, but his neighbors won't let that happen on their watch. First comes speculation about the new family on the block. Then comes conspiracy theories, an MIA grouch, and... Is that a femur in your backyard!? This kooky horror-comedy comes alive with a crackerjack cast that includes Bruce Dern, Corey Feldman, Carrie Fisher, and B-movie icon Dick Miller. Together, they deliver a romp that is as twisted as it is entertaining. —K.P. How to watch: The 'Burbs is now streaming on Netflix. 18. 21 Jump StreetIt seemed highly unlikely that anyone could update a ludicrous TV show where grown-ass adult cops go fight crime in high schools into anything resembling a good movie. Yet, somehow Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs helmers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's live-action debut was equal parts hilarious, smart, bro-ishly sweet (as all Channing Tatum flicks should be), and packed full of action. With a goofily propulsive script by co-star Jonah Hill — back when he was still getting typecast as that Superbad dork — and Michael Bacall, and strong supporting performances by Dave Franco, Rob Riggle, Brie Larson, Holly Robinson Peete, and yes, Ice Cube, 21 Jump Street had its very own mid-aughts moment worth revisiting. And keep your eyes peeled for a now-controversial cameo. —Jenni Miller, Freelance Contributor How to watch: 21 Jump Street is now streaming on Netflix. 17. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Credit: Universal pictures First off, Scott Pilgrim's friends are right to give him shit for dating a high schooler, even if they haven't even held hands. He is 23 and she is 17, and much too cool for him anyway. With that out of the way, Edgar Wright's whip-smart adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's beloved graphic novels is riotous fun, and makes a freezing winter in Toronto's indie rock slacker scene come colourfully alive. It's packed right to the margins with stars — from a pre-Marvel Chris Evans and Brie Larson, to an early-career Aubrey Plaza at her glorious meanest and a note-perfect Kieran Culkin performance that now reads as a proto-Roman Roy — soundtracked by original songs from Beck and other indie favourites, and punctuated by a series of over-the-top fights that put your favorite arcade games to shame. It's endlessly rewatchable, quotable, and loveable. —Caitlin Welsh, Australian Editor How to watch: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is now streaming on Netflix 16. Between Two Ferns: The Movie Credit: Adam Rose/NETFLIX Zach Galifianakis's awkward celebrity interview web series Between Two Ferns might not seem like fodder for a full-length movie, but Between Two Ferns: The Movie goes double meta by presenting his success on Funny or Die as an insult to the actor's intention to host a "serious" interview show. Galifianakis the character sets off to correct the assumption that his original show is a joke by interviewing even more celebrities, like John Cho, Keanu Reeves, Gal Gadot, Tiffany Haddish, and more. —Alexis Nedd, Senior Entertainment Reporter How to watch: Between Two Ferns: The Movie is now streaming on Netflix 15. Do Revenge Credit: Netflix Looking for a revenge flick that pays tribute to teen classics like Mean Girls, Heathers, Cruel Intentions, and more? Then check out Do Revenge, a dark comedy sure to join the canon of iconic high school movies. Students Drea (Camila Mendes) and Eleanor (Maya Hawke) couldn't be more different... apart from the fact that both have major bones to pick with people who ruined their reputations. They decide to team up and execute one another's revenge plans, which leads down a winding road of morally dubious choices, snappy one-liners, and excellent outfits. Mendes and Hawke have great chemistry, but it's Sophie Turner who damn near steals the show in a bit part that simply must be seen to be believed.* —Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter How to watch: Do Revenge is now streaming on Netflix. SEE ALSO: Sophie Turner steals Netflix's 'Do Revenge' in 5 outrageous minutes 14. A Knight's Tale Credit: Moviestore/Shutterstock Hot off the success of the contemporary Shakespearean adaptation 10 Things I Hate About You, Heath Ledger returned to the spotlight in another anachronistic mash-up of love and romance. And it had plenty of action to boot! Born a humble thatcher's son, Will (Ledger) seems destined to live a life of poverty and no consequence. Well, that is until he masquerades as a knight with a little help from his friends (Alan Tudyk, Mark Addy, and Paul Bettany). Together, they build a legend of a champion, pitching Will into jousting competitions for money and love. Because of course amid scenes of horse-striding battle, there's also time for romance with a devastatingly chic princess (Shannyn Sossamon). Written and directed by Brian Helgeland, A Knight's Tale blends a medieval fable with modern sensibilities, a rockin' soundtrack, and the vibes of a teen comedy with a rousing sports epic. It's an intoxicating blend that's sure to make your heart race and your belly rock with laughter. –K.P. Where to watch: A Knight's Tale is streaming on Netflix. 13. Hunt for the Wilderpeople Credit: Piki Films/Kobal/Shutterstock This 2016 adventure about bad egg Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) and his curmudgeonly foster father Hec (Sam Neill) is the kind of eccentric delight that writer/director Taika Waititi specializes in (this time co-writing with Barry Crump, who wrote the original book). After losing his foster mother, Ricky flees into the forests of New Zealand; Hec pursues him, only to realize he doesn't feel the need to return to civilization either. Together, they become the wilderpeople, living off the land and evading capture from authorities, including Thor: Ragnarok's Rachel House. Wilderpeople is equal parts stirring, hilarious, and absurd — a silly yet sentimental story of found family and adventure that can be loved by all. —Proma Khosla, Senior Entertainment Reporter How to watch: Hunt for the Wilderpeople is now streaming on Netflix 12. Always Be My MaybeWhat if the one who got away got a second chance? Back in the day, Sasha and Marcus were tight as a slap bracelet. But one fumbled night in a sweaty backseat seemed to shatter their future together. 15 years later, she's a world-renowned chef and he's — well — he's working for his dad's HVAC business and playing with his band on the side. Still, fate arranges for them to reconnect, which could mean Marcus (Randall Park) has a shot to show Sasha (Ali Wong) how he feels. Comedy ensues as the stakes get high when Keanu Reeves crashes the party, being all weird and hot and having the audacity to be Keanu Reeves! This Nahnatchka Khan-helmed laffer also boasts appearances by James Saito, Charlyne Yi, Karan Soni, Daniel Dae Kim, and Michelle Buteau.* —K.P. How to watch: Always Be My Maybe is now streaming on Netflix. 11. Sorry To Bother YouThere really is nothing like Sorry To Bother You, which is a damn rare thing to say about a film these days. Writer/director Boots Riley's 2018 comedy remains one of the most unique visions, both in style and in social commentary, that we've seen in years. A blistering satire about a Black telemarketer (LaKeith Stanfield) who soars to success at work by using his "white voice," Sorry To Bother You is as funny as it is outrageously surreal. It's also horrifying in the way Riley so acutely captures the reality of living under capitalism and white supremacy. If you enjoyed the surrealist social commentary of Atlanta Season 3 and can get on board with a movie that’s unafraid to go fully off the rails, please treat yourself to Sorry To Bother You ASAP.* —Oliver Whitney, Freelance Contributor How to watch: Sorry to Bother You is now streaming on Netflix. SEE ALSO: 'Sorry to Bother You' creator explains the meaning behind its batsh*t ending 10. Dolemite Is My Name Credit: François Duhamel/NETFLIX Chronicling the true story of late comedian Rudy Ray Moore — also known as Dolemite — this Eddie Murphy vehicle is worth every minute of viewing. An outrageous showbiz comedy, Dolemite Is My Name is at once a poignant look at the life of an underdog and an unbelievably good time. With supporting performances by Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Wesley Snipes, Craig Robinson, and more, this biopic offers more beat-for-beat joy than many fictional laughers. Sensational, aspirational, and electric, you'll love it. —Alison Foreman, Entertainment Reporter How to watch: Dolemite Is My Name is now streaming on Netflix. 9. Hail, Caesar! Credit: Alison Cohen Rosa/Universal/Working Title/Kobal/Shutterstock This star-stuffed, Golden Age Hollywood-set farce has a bit of a rep as a second-tier Coen brothers joint. But "Not as good as The Big Lebowski" is both a high bar and still a better time than most of the movies you'll ever see. Following a colorful collection of kooky characters, it's a lush and loopy good time. Channing Tatum does his best Gene Kelly in a truly spectacular musical number that puts the naughty in nautical. Tilda Swinton plays rival gossip columnists who are twins to boot. There's Alden Ehrenreich and Ralph Fiennes's instant classic "Would that it were so simple" bit. Then, of course, the Coens bring the best out of George Clooney, with a fresh opportunity to do that self-serving buffoon schtick. Altogether, it's a hoot. —C.W. How to watch: Hail, Caesar! is now streaming on Netflix 8. The Polka King Credit: Netflix Sometimes true crime can lead to some pitch-perfect dark comedy. This is the case for this outrageous offering, which stars Jack Black as infamous scammer/local celebrity Jan Lewan. Black brings all the rock star panache you need to understand how Lewan could be so beguiling to the Pennsylvanian retirees who surrendered their savings to the self-proclaimed Polka King. Screenwriters Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky gave this story of fraud and showmanship shape. But they wisely trusted in the local flare of the terrific 2009 documentary The Man Who Would Be Polka King to provide some of the wildest lines of dialogue. Plucking directly from interviews with the friends, family, and victims of Jan Lewan, this comedy feels stranger than fiction but is jaw-droppingly real. Salty supporting turns from Jenny Slate, Jacki Weaver, and Jason Schwartzman bring added fun.* —K.P. How to watch: The Polka King is now streaming on Netflix. SEE ALSO: Love me like a Polka King 7. The Mitchells vs. The Machines Credit: NETFLIX Sony Pictures Animation has given audiences such daring and dynamic animated movies as Surf's Up, Hotel Transylvania, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This zany 2021 release centers on a family who's battling back the robo-apocalypse with togetherness, internet savviness, and a wall-eyed pug named Monchi (voiced by social media icon Doug The Pug). The Mitchells' adventure into chaos begins when daughter Katie (Abbi Jacobson) is poised to go off to college. Desperate for one last family-unifying road trip, her dad (Danny McBride) piles the whole family into his beater of a vehicle, unknowingly charting a fateful route into heroics. Director Mike Rianda infuses Katie's excitable perspective throughout the film by working in internet memes, social media-style reactions, and blitz of bonkers visuals. It’s a bold move that might alienate some viewers but has largely won the acclaim of critics and kiddos.* —K.P. How to watch: The Mitchells vs. The Machines is streaming on Netflix. 6. The Nice Guys If you're a sucker for black comedy, witty dialogue, '70s style, and/or odd-couple comedic duos, it doesn't get much nicer than The Nice Guys. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling play a pair of washed-up private investigators who reluctantly join forces to search for a missing woman (Margaret Qualley) in 1977 Los Angeles — with occasional assistance from the former's clever teenage daughter, played by Angourie Rice. Though the mystery takes the gang to the farthest reaches of the city, burrowing deep into rabbit holes and brushing up against all manner of eccentrics, it's the unexpected chemistry between Crowe and Gosling that really keeps this engine running, and it'll leave you wishing for more where that came from.* — Angie Han, Deputy Entertainment Editor How to watch: The Nice Guys is now streaming on Netflix. 5. Paddington Credit: Moviestore/Shutterstock Inspired by Michael Bond's beloved children's books, Paddington is a critically heralded romp that blends a crackerjack live-action cast (Hugh Bonneville! Sally Hawkins! Julie Walters! Peter Capaldi!) with an adorable CGI bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) who wears a blue coat and cherishes marmalade. Traveling from the jungles of Peru to London, the titular bear is reluctantly taken in by the Brown family. But as cultures collide, Paddington's freedom —indeed, his very life! — are threatened by an overzealous taxidermist (a gamely over-the-top Nicole Kidman) who is ruthlessly determined to make him her next specimen! Full of whimsy, wit, and warmth, Paddington is a jolly delight that demands rewatching.* —K.P. Where to watch: Paddington is streaming on Netflix. 4. Vampires vs. the Bronx Credit: Netflix Want a movie that's got excitement, comedy, a scorching message about the evils of gentrification, and is a kid-friendly romp? Then take a bite out of Vampires vs. the Bronx. Oz Perkins's PG-13 horror-comedy centers on Afro-Latino teens who recognize that a flurry of missing person posters and an influx of rich white folks with tote bags means bad news for the neighborhood. Together, they team up Monster Squad-style to take down the bloodsuckers and save their community. With a sharp wit, a warm heart, a rich sense of atmosphere, and an equal appreciation for the Blade movies and '80s Amblin, Vampires vs. the Bronx is an easy watch full of rewards.* —K.P. How to watch: Vampires vs. the Bronx is now streaming on Netflix. 3. The Breaker UpperersThis hidden gem comes from New Zealand, the fertile comedy ground that gave us Taika Waititi, Flight of the Conchords, and What We Do in the Shadows. Waititi collaborators Jackie van Beek, James Rolleston, and Jemaine Clement team up for a deeply quirky buddy comedy about two long-time besties with a bonkers — but brilliant — business model. Need someone to dump your partner so you can avoid a messy confrontation? Call on Jen and Mel (co-writers/co-directors/co-leads van Beek and Madeleine Sami). For a reasonable fee, these fearless Breaker Upperers will impersonate police officers, play pregnant, or even fake your death to help you ghost an ex. Whatever the shenanigans, van Beek and Sami sparkle. Booming with wild humor and big heart, this comedy is guaranteed to leave you cackling.* —K.P. Where to watch: The Breaker Upperers is streaming on Netflix. 2. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga Credit: John Wilson/NETFLIX With its reputation for wacky musical numbers, the Eurovision Song Contest is ripe for parody. Luckily for Eurovision lovers, the contest gets the send-up it deserves in this gloriously goofy flick starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams. They play the Icelandic musical duo Fire Saga, who find themselves in the Eurovision spotlight. There, they discover that the famed competition is a world of cutthroat competitors, glitzy costumes, and many, many bops. Eurovision Song Contest is full of larger-than-life characters and ridiculous humor, but it's also teeming with Eurovision references that will have fans laughing and cheering. For every "Jaja Ding Dong," there's a joyful Song-A-Long — and both are great! Pair all that with pitch-perfect comedic performances from Ferrell and McAdams, and you have a comedy that will have both have you in stitches and win your heart. (Best of all, if you weren't a Eurovision fanatic before seeing this movie, you'll definitely be one by the time it ends.)* —B.E. How to watch: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is now streaming on Netflix. 1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail Credit: FilmPublicityArchive/United Arch Made up of Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, John Cleese, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam, the comedy troupe Monty Python are the uncontested kings of comedy, so it's only fitting that we raise a glass to their most popular film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Sure, Life of Brian has iconoclastic fun with Bible stories — and a toe-tapping sound number to boot! But many of the crew's most memorable characters tumble forth in this parody of Arthurian lore. From the Knights Who Say "Ni!" to the dreaded Rabbit of Caerbannog to a taunting Frenchman to the Black Knight who'll never say die, Holy Grail is overflowing with madcap comedy. It's endlessly quotable, stupidly funny, and captures everything that made this comedy team spectacular. Not to mention, it forever changed how we see coconuts, swallows, hamsters, and elderberries. —K.P. & A.F. How to watch: Monty Python and the Holy Grail is now streaming on Netflix. Asterisks (*) indicate the entry comes from a previous Mashable list. UPDATE: Jan. 31, 2023, 11:51 a.m. EST This story was originally published in March 2020, updated in August 2021, and refreshed in February 2023 to reflect the current selection on Netflix. View the full article
  15. It is Wednesday, my dudes, and like any day, there's a fresh Wordle for you. If you're ever feeling stuck, we're here to help, every day. The bottom of this article features February 11's Wordle solution. If that's not why you're here, scroll down and see what's on offer here, from clues, to strategies. You'll find what you need. Where did Wordle come from?Originally created by engineer Josh Wardle as a gift for his partner, Wordle rapidly spread to become an international phenomenon, with thousands of people around the globe playing every day. Alternate Wordle versions created by fans have even sprung up, including battle royale Squabble, music identification game Heardle, and variations like Dordle and Quordle that make you guess multiple words at once. Wordle eventually became so popular that it was purchased by the New York Times, and TikTok creators even livestream themselves playing. Not the day you're after? Here's the Wordle answer for January 31. What's the best Wordle starting word?The goal of Wordle is to have fun, and there's no right way to have fun. Just choose whatever starting word feels right to you, and don't let anyone shame you for it. However, if you want to take a more strategic approach, we have a few ideas to help you pick a word that will spark joy. One tip is to select a word that includes at least two different vowels, plus some common consonants like S, T, R, or N. What happened to the Wordle archive?The entire archive of past Wordles used to be available for anyone to play in glorious days gone by. Unfortunately it has since been taken down, with the website's creator stating it was done at the request of the New York Times. Is Wordle getting harder?It may feel as though Wordle is getting harder, but we can assure you it isn't. Conversely, if you're finding it too easy, you can turn on Wordle's Hard Mode. Why are there two different Wordle answers some days?Occasionally the Wordle gods will accept two different answers on a single day, defying the accepted norm of one correct solution per day. This anomaly is due to changes the New York Times made to Wordle after it acquired the puzzle game. The Times has since added its own updated word list, so this should happen even less frequently than before. To avoid any confusion, it's a good idea to refresh your browser before getting stuck into a new puzzle. SEE ALSO: Wordle-obsessed? These are the best word games to play IRL. Here's a subtle hint for today's Wordle answer:You mother might have done this a few times. Does today's Wordle answer have a double letter?Not today! Today's Wordle is a 5-letter word that starts with...Today's Wordle starts with the letter S. Featured Video For You Wordle 101: The best starting words to use and why What's the answer to Wordle today?If you want to guess today's Wordle yourself, now's the time to do so! Is your answer locked in? The solution to Wordle #592 is... SCOLD. Don't be sad if you didn't get it this time — we still have many more Wordle puzzles ahead of us. Come back tomorrow for more helpful clues and hints! View the full article
  16. 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?Three words have twice-occurring letters. Are any rare letters being used in today’s Quordle like Q or Z?X. What do today’s Quordle words start with?T, A, N, and E. 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: THICK AVIAN NINTH EXCEL View the full article
  17. Pornhub is without a doubt one of the most visited adult entertainment outlets on the Internet. The ‘entertainment’ platform is owned by MindGeek, the company formerly known as Manwin. In just a few years it has transformed the adult industry’s pay-to-access model into an all-you-can-eat, free-to-stream business. Part of this magic formula is down to Pornhub and other MindGeek-owned tube sites allowing users to share content. This material includes legitimate videos from official Pornhub models, as well as thousands of videos that are copyrighted by MindGeek, such as the Brazzers and Reality Kings brands. This content is freely available and monetized through advertisements. However, there is one particular threat to this lucrative business model: pirate sites. When Pornhub got started fifteen years ago the site featured many pirated videos itself. Today, this image has changed, partly due to the mandatory verification of uploaders. Instead, Pornhub’s parent company MindGeek is now actively waging legal battles against competitors. These DMCA takedown campaigns and lawsuits have already resulted in some success. Just a few months ago, MindGeek won its case against DaftSex. In addition to millions of dollars in damages, the court also ruled that the company could take over related domain names, which had millions of visitors. DaftSex wasn’t completely defeated and soon reappeared with a new domain name. Meanwhile, MindGeek’s attention is drawn to its lawsuit against tube site Goodporn, which had some bizarre developments recently. MindGeek Sues Goodporn Initially filed in 2021 at a federal court in California, the copyright infringement lawsuit accuses the site and its operator of large-scale copyright infringement. “The GoodPorn Website is a pirate website, displaying copyrighted adult entertainment content without authorization or license,” the complaint alleged. MindGeek initially tried to contain the problem by sending DMCA takedown notices. This didn’t help, as the site purportedly ignored them, allowing it to profit from the alleged infringing activity of its users. “Defendants do not even attempt to comply with their obligations under the DMCA. Instead, Defendants systematically refuse to comply with proper and compliant DMCA takedown notices,” MindGeek wrote. The complaint is similar to those seen earlier targeting alleged pirate sites. The response is altogether different, however. Goodporn’s owner, Amrit Kumar from India, is fighting back hard. ‘Pro Se’ Defense & Attack Kumar has answered the complaint with “pro se” filings, which means that he is representing himself without a lawyer. This is unusual but not noticeable from the text. The arguments read as if they were written by an attorney or even a team of lawyers. After failing to have the case dismissed over a lack of jurisdiction, the defendant submitted an answer to the complaint which denies all copyright infringement allegations in addition to a counterclaim. The counterclaims and defense go hand in hand. They are predicated on the claim that MindGeek (MG Premium) signed a bilateral agreement with Goodporn in 2019, to transfer the rights of its content. A copy of the agreement is offered as evidence and signed by Kumar. MindGeek’s Ferass Antoon is listed as the second signatory. Antoon was the CEO of the adult company but left his position a few months ago, according to media reports. Fraudulent Agreement? Kumar brought this agreement up at an earlier stage of the lawsuit since it suggests that the site had the right to use the contested videos. In response, MindGeek subsidiary MG Premium dismissed the document as fraudulent. “Defendant Kumar has made a claim of ownership of Plaintiff’s work and infringement by Plaintiff. First, he claims ownership over all of Plaintiff’s works via a contract that is, on information and belief, fraudulent. “The alleged signatory for Plaintiff, Feras Antoon, has never held any position with Plaintiff,” MG Premium added. The latter sentence may refer to the fact that MindGeek is not the same company as MG Premium. The latter is a subsidiary, under which thousands of MindGeek-linked copyrights are registered. Whether the document is real or not remains a point of contention and it’s not our place to opine on that. The matter will eventually have to be resolved in court but the counterclaim suggests more fireworks may lie ahead. Millions + Pornhub.com Goodporn accuses MG Premium of unfair business practices and breach of contract. The first claim partly relates to DMCA notices MG Premium sent to Google, asking it to remove Goodporn URLs. The notices were illegitimate, Kumar argues. The breach of contract claim alleges that MG Premium is the copyright-infringing party here, as the company signed over its rights to Goodporn. “Counter Plaintiff entered into a bilateral agreement with Counter defendant, MG Premium Ltd, under which all the counter defendant’s contents, including videos, galleries, and stories, were transferred to Counter Plaintiff. Counter Defendant is currently violating counter Plaintiffs copyrights by continuing to use these works without permission.” Kumar adds that the agreement is legitimate and suggests that there is a financial paper trail to back this up. “The bilateral agreement is real and legitimate. The contract’s validity can be confirmed by checking Mr. Feras Antoon’s financial statements or those of his partners, such as Bernd Bergmair, who owns a majority of Mind Geek, and David Tassillo, the COO of the company.” The court will ultimately have to make sense of this bizarre situation. Kumar’s demands show that there is a lot at stake, including Pornhub’s future. As part of the counterclaim, Goodporn requests $10 million in damages for breach of contract, as stipulated in the agreement. In addition, Goodporn wants to be on record as the legitimate rightsholder, while MG Premium should stop all infringing activities. The Pornhub.com domain name is also at risk, as Goodporn asks the court to sign it over if it wins the case. The counterclaim further requests an order that requires Google to reinstate all Goodporn URLs that were removed based on MG Premium’s DMCA notices, while credit card businesses should be ordered to stop working with allegedly infringing sites such as Brazzers.com and Mofos.com. Needless to say, the allegations from both sides must be proven before damages or other relief come into play. Thus far, the adult entertainment imperium doesn’t seem to be particularly concerned. “These counterclaims are untrue, frivolous, and absurd. We look forward to our attorneys dealing with this matter through the court system,” MindGeek informs TorrentFreak. — A copy of Goodporn/Amrit Kumar’s answers, defenses, and the counterclaims are available here (pdf). The document also contains the relevant exhibits including the agreement From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more. View the full article
  18. Mike Judge’s beloved series about suburban Texans ended its original 13-season run in 2009View the full article
  19. Since its debut edition in 2008, HARD Summer has become a staple of the Southern California festival scene. After many years at LA State Historic Park, it moved to Whittier Narrows in 2014, then the Pomona Fairplex in 2015, then the Fontana Speedway, one year at Glen Helen, and has had its past couple years at NOS Events Center. Now in 2023, for its 15th anniversary, the festival officially returns to Los Angeles county for the first time in 10 years, showcasing the evolution of the festival in an entirely new setting. As a part of the iconic LA Coliseum’s centennial anniversary celebration, the 2023 edition will provide attendees with a brand new take on the multi-genre HARD Summer experience at a brand new, never-before-used venue combination with various stages spread out across the campuses of the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Exposition Park, and BMO Stadium (pka Banc of California). READ MORE: Ranking HARD Events Lineups From Least Best to Best Ahead Of HARD Summer 2022 “We are thrilled to host HARD Summer’s return to Los Angeles as part of our centennial anniversary celebration,” said Joe Furin, General Manager of the LA Coliseum. “As home to the most iconic events in the world, this festival is an exciting addition to our 100-year history.” The festival returns August 5-6 with 2-day passes on sale this Friday at 10am PT with only a $2.13 deposit, representing the 213 area code in parts of Southern California. Photo via Matt Winkelmeyer for Insomniac Events This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: After 10 years, HARD Summer announces grand return to Los Angeles county for 15th anniversary event View the full article
  20. Elements Music & Arts Festival, the Northeast’s premier boutique festival experience, has announced the phase one lineup for its 2023 edition … and it’s a doozy. Skrillex continues his NA festival tour with an appearance at Elements this year, along with a DJ set from Porter Robinson following the Nurture live finale at Coachella this April, plus sets from John Summit, Ganja White Night, Subtronics, Chris Lake, and two more yet-to-be-revealed headliners. Long Pond proved to be the perfect new home for the revered Elements community in 2022, welcoming revelers to its magical fields and immersive forest landscapes. Quickly becoming a celebrated prodigal home for the long-running event, the location is one of the Northeast’s most unique venues, a clear capitulation of the imaginative feeling Elements has become known for amidst its dedicated community. Lovers of live electronic music will feel right at home with performances on deck from Elderbrook and East Coast funk-jam icons Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. Those seeking out heavier electronic strains of dance are in for a treat with appearances by LSDREAM, TOKiMONSTA, and Mersiv, Peekaboo, Level Up, Zingara, and Of The Trees. The four primary stages of the festival are aptly named to each represent one of the key elements that define not only the event’s experience, but the very fabric of the natural world it celebrates. Fire is the home for thrill-seekers who thrive off moments of spontaneous fun, while Earth presents a psychedelic paradise of neon trees, galactic mushrooms, and airborne jellyfish. Air offers a temple of melodies tucked deep in the forest, while the sunshine playground known as Water is where acrobats, pirates, and clowns are ever abounding and swimsuits are heavily encouraged. Tier One GA and VIP passes are currently on sale through the official Elements Festival website, with a price increase coming soon for Tier Two tickets. Both ticket types are moving quickly and are on track to sell out. Fans can also purchase passes with an initial deposit and pay the rest after, which is $47 for GA passes and $62 for VIP. Thursday early arrival passes can also be purchased, which allows attendees to beat the rush and celebrate the beginning of the festival with an exclusive pre-party with secret headliners. Elements also offers a variety of options related to accommodations, which range from car camping to on-site glamping, nearby hotels, and preset RVs and tents for those seeking an elevated experience. Photo via aLIVE Coverage for Elements This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Elements Festival announces Skrillex, Porter Robinson, John Summit, Subtronics, & more View the full article
  21. We still remember when Virtual Self b2b G Jones was first announced for last year’s return of Second Sky. It was the epitome of, “Holy shit, really? This is really happening?!” It was the first Virtual Self set in a couple years, and a rare b2b for G Jones outside of Eprom. The festival went down last October, including sets from RL Grime, Skrillex, and the man Porter Robinson himself. Back then, Skrillex hadn’t yet started his deluge of new music, so that was pretty cool — but he’d already been a surprise guest at the festival before. Virtual Self b2b G Jones was wholly unique and particularly attuned to the palate of the audience, bringing Virtual Self back from, essentially, hiatus and pairing the project with another of the most talented sound designers in the game. Now, the full hour-long set is available to stream at leisure, on SoundCloud and Apple Music. Check out the full stream below and don’t be afraid to play it again, and again, and again, and again… we won’t judge. This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Virtual Self & G Jones’ B2B set from Second Sky is now available to stream View the full article
  22. His Welcome to Tha Carter Tour starts in early April, winding through the United States and making a stop in TorontoView the full article
  23. The outdoor concerts will feature openers including Jamie xx, Clairo, Bartees Strange, James Blake, Dijon, and moreView the full article
  24. Welcoming in the new year on the hardest note, Kartypartyy has joined forces with Past12 for their menacing single “RAGE” featuring the electrifying vocals of Becko. Inviting their fan base to rage no matter what time of the day it is, the highly-anticipated collaboration earned a signing to the iconic label, Barong Family. The minute you press play, guitar chords and alarming instrumentals flow immaculately with energetic vocals to pump listeners up for the madness to come. All hell breaks lose, as metal crunching sound enhancements and bass-induced signatures quickly take over for all those bass-heads looking to ride the rail during festival season. It’s a sweltering single that is sure to light up DJ sets all year long. Listen below! This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Kartypartyy & Past12 Join Forces For Sweltering Collaboration, “RAGE” View the full article
  25. We’ve been excited to see all that Bleu Clair will deliver this year. Only days before his November 2022 EDC Orlando performance, Bleu Clair dropped his final release of the year with New Age of House EP, which typifies a year packed with millions of streams, many tour dates, and festival bookings. The well-received EP has already gone on to achieve over a million streams and continues growing daily. Now, he’s back with his first single of the year and it is everything we needed to get our week right. Titled, “Step Into It,” Bleu explores the infectious classic and disco house sounds, whirling them into a 2023 banger. From swirling string instruments, saxophone runs, thick basslines, and energy levels with hefty peaks and valleys, it’s safe to say Bleu’s going full steam ahead for 2023. “Get ready to be transported back in time with my new single ‘Step Into It’. This nostalgic tech house track is bursting with retro-infused beats and sultry vocals that will have you feeling nostalgically charged and ready to dance. Don’t miss out on this trip down memory lane and join me on the dance floor.” – Bleu Clair Listen below! This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Bleu Clair Drops Electrifying Disco House Single, “Step Into It” View the full article
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