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BLACK LIVES MATTER!

NelsonG

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  1. Vancouver-based producer The GOAT has been tirelessly releasing increasingly heavier and weirder industrial techno since he began making EDM in 2016. One would have to if one wanted to be seen as the greatest of all time, wouldn’t one? Well, just like anything in the music world, Chris Marcinikiewicz’s chosen moniker isn’t exactly as it seems. With all his work, including The Details Are Vague, his debut album on Groundwerk Recordings, released earlier this month, The GOAT just wants to make us dance. Coming from a thrash and punk drumming background, Marcinikiewicz’s earlier musical years were spent touring Europe, especially Germany, and influenced by the techno sounds there but also experimental punk bands like Fugazi, Bad Brains and Minor Threat. This explains the heavy and often analog drum treatments The GOAT’s electronic productions get, and likely why his techno comes off sounding more industrial than big room, a rarity nowadays in North America. The GOAT has nonetheless managed to garner a lot of support both locally and abroad, hitting the top 100 on Beatport’s techno charts with his first EP, Flout, and the top ten on the ambient chart as well. After this early success, he hooked up with Groundwerk Recordings and its founder Joel West to produce even more groundbreaking work and put out a record number of tracks and EPs since then and now. With a style so unique and niche, it’s a good thing The GOAT has this sort of work ethic, because he’s pretty much created this ambient/industrial/techno sound/genre on his own. With the details of how he came to find this sound, the tech of this sort of techno and what kind of cocky motherfucker actually names himself The GOAT being vague, we went to Marcinikiewicz in search of the answers and found more than the details. We discovered an artist who works from his heart and whose dedication can be felt in every track (and the reasons behind the name), so read on and listen as all is clarified and revealed. You seem to have picked one hell of a specialty in terms of a niche style, especially in the North American scene. How did you get started making beats and when/why did you decide to go industrial techno? I was very fortunate as a young kid to have the opportunity to see electronics and sequencers and things at an early age. I can credit that to two older family friends, one of which had a 90s midi home studio and was so patient in showing me how to get started on making loops and ultimately tracks. The other family friend showed me and his younger brother industrial music in the early and mid 90s. It was all that Wax Trax stuff. It instantly sounded like something I wanted to learn how to do. I kinda came full circle to it because I played in punk bands and experimented with synthesizers for many years. I just found the place where it can all meld together. To that end, how do you feel your work has been received in North America? Obviously you’re charted on Beatport, but do you find it’s tougher to break the scene here versus Europe where Rammstein and other heavy techno acts are so popular? The reception of the album has been good. I’m happy that The Details Are Vague is being supported and received as well as it is. To answer your second question, it’s a bit of a double edged sword. I feel like in North America, or maybe where I play, techno is a misused term. It’s a bit of a catch-all at the moment, and kind of the “cool word,” but most people are playing deep house or whatever. Things are marketed as “techno” but it’s not that. So yeah, I don’t know, I’m maybe considered niche here, but in Europe, there are so many people doing it that it may be more difficult to stand out. Ultimately, I’m just writing music I want to hear. And if it moves you, if it resonates, lets dance together. Aside from the above-mentioned obvious, what acts were your main influences to create this kind of techno? What do you love about the sound that keeps you going? For me, Its in the approach. Going back to punk, a band like Fugazi or At The Drive In, their fearlessness is what inspires me. Obviously industrial acts, and goth acts support the sonics and the imagery, but those two I mentioned actually stick out because I feel like they have a signature sound, but they always challenged it in their approach. There was always a “what’s next?” aspect when word got out that new music was coming from Fugazi. I like a lot of different styles of music so I’m leaving a lot out; that’s just one example of a good approach. Time to get techy: there are a lot of experimental and dissonant elements built into the sound design on The Details are Vague, like the ambient pipe sounds under the main music on “Removed from Service” or the ambient, beatless structure on “You Missed the Forest for the Trees.” How much of this album was pure experimentation for you and what draws you to the science of sound? I had goals with what I wanted to accomplish with the sound. I wanted it to feel human, but techno is inherently mechanical. This being my debut LP, I wanted to tip my hat to the sounds that inspired me when I first started with electronics in the mid-90s, so experimentation with a purpose was key. I had many sound designing sessions, some more guided than others, but I wanted to let the machines speak. I wanted to be a conduit for them. I feel like when hardware is involved, there’s a relationship and a conversation that happens. Especially with modular synthesis. You put information in, It speaks, you interpret and make changes. All of that was captured. The final synth in “Reduced” was just that: a live take that was un-edited, and I like that there’s some drift there, and mistakes. It feels alive to me. With an album, I’ve learned, there’s a time to leave all your tendencies behind. It’s not written the same way an EP is. I felt like I could do anything. Building on that, what sort of programming or mods did you use to get these more experimental elements? How did they fit with the main compositions, or did you come up with the singular sounds first and then build the tracks? Every track is built different. One thing for sure, and you can talk to Joel West about this because we’ve worked on many tracks together, is I feel like the enjoyment is in finding a different way to make the music. So for example, maybe this certain track can only be done using one synthesizer for every aspect. Or maybe some sort of self-imposed limitation will be put into the session in order to steer you a certain way and push you out of the norm. It keeps things fresh for me. I combined that with telling the sonic story I wanted to tell in order to program these parts. Some tracks were started very simply with a groove, others were definitely with an experimental aspect first, and then forged into what I wanted it to live as. Your time as a drummer touring in Germany and Eastern Europe has clearly influenced how you put your drum lines together. How important are those drums for you? Did you really want to make them shine on this album? Because I played drums growing up and I enjoy a lot of different types of music, I wanted to explore that (different types of drum lines). I wanted to see if I could find a place for them on the album. Now, they’re mangled to shit, but that’s where they fit in the record. I also had some actual song ideas that I wanted to pursue on this too. Because of the pandemic, I felt like I had the time to go down that road with Nathan and Amanda (Melohalo, on “Alone”). They’re a great fucking band first and foremost, so it was cool to see how we could reach that feeling. You know, all of us reaching toward a common goal. I can’t wait to hear what they do next. On “Reduced,” it was like second nature, and it really was cool to work with Jamison (Prystay) again. We’d played together in bands growing up, so going full circle there felt very natural. Who wouldn’t want to play drums on Rhett’s (Williams) guitar playing? He plays with a ton of attitude. I wanted analog drums to have their spot on the album that would create the more obvious human aspect. In what other ways do you think your thrash background influenced the album? I think the main way thrash and punk have influenced this album Is my tolerance for noise. I’ve left headroom for future exploration of noisier and heavier aspects, but I’m also not gonna shy away from points on the album like “The Mud Of Humanity” or “Vulcanize.” Without my background, I wouldn’t have been able to allow the music to go to those places. You’ve had a number of releases with the famous Vancouver imprint Groundwerk Recordings so obviously there’s a good relationship there, but why did you decide to release the album with them? Groundwerk is home. It’s so important to me as a label, but to those that don’t know, Groundwerk is even more than that. It started out as a listening party where bedroom producers (and producers of all levels) could submit music, hear it on a club system, and talk shop with other likeminded individuals. It was amazing for learning from other people and networking. It’s just a great and inclusive place to be. The reason I say this is because when I was at my most disillusioned about music is when Groundwerk started. I went to their first event years back by myself, not knowing anyone, and it changed everything. Like, there are scenes, but rarely does a label build community. From Groundwerk’s community, so many people have flourished in their respective disciplines. For them to pick me up with I was artistically most vulnerable, It meant a lot to me. Groundwerk the label, Groundwerk the event promoter, Groundwerk the (public & Twitch-during-pandemic) listening party, make up the roots of a lot of what is happening, and has happened in the Vancouver scene in the last, I’d say, five years. People have learned, grown, and even moved on, but it’s an institution. Okay we gotta ask about the name: is it a bit of cheeky irony, making fun of pop culture, or did you choose it because you want to be the Yeezy of techno? It’s 100% tongue-in-cheek. I loved the idea of The Prodigy’s name being a throw back to the DJ’s and MC’s in early hip-hop; these larger than life names. I also am a huge fan of combat sports, so there’s that. Anyone that knows me knows it’s a caricature and a joke. But also, growing up, my mom used to call me “Kozuka” (Koza) in Polish, which means goat. I was always active and always finding ways to stumble into things and hurt myself as a toddler (laughs) so honestly, its a nod to that as well. There ya go, the cat is officially out of the bag! We’re sure at the moment you’re happy celebrating the album finally being out, but do have any insight on what’s coming up next for you? Shows/tours/releases? I’m currently working with promoters lining things up. So if you want me in your city, head over to thegoatmusicofficial.com and find my socials there. Reach out and lets dance. The Details Are Vague is out now on Groundwerk Recordings and can be purchased on Beatport or streamed on Spotify. This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Your EDM Q&A: Does Canadian Techno Artist The GOAT Live Up to His Name With His New Album? [Video] View the full article
  2. What's that? You didn't hear? Prime Day has basically already started. Well, not officially — that'll happen on July 12 — but the early deals are already trickling in. SEE ALSO: Amazon's early Prime Day deals have arrived. Here's what you need to know. We'll keep you informed about all the best deals before and during all the Prime Day festivities, but here we'll be focusing on just the best headphone deals you can get right now at Amazon. Whether it's a pair of AirPods or some noise-canceling earmuffs, there's probably something on sale for you. Below, the best early Prime Day headphone deals. Best early Prime Day headphone deals:Apple AirPods Pro — $174.99 $249 (save $74.01) Apple AirPods Max — $479.99 $549 (save $69.01) Beats Studio3 — $211.49 $349.95 (save $138.46) Beats EP wired headphones — $84.95 $129.95 (save $45) Powerbeats Pro — $199.95 $249.95 (save $50) SteelSeries Arctis Pro headset — $144.99 $179.99 (save $35) Sony MDREX15AP earbuds — $9.99 $19.99 (save $10) Sony WHXB700 — $99 $129.99 (save $30.99) Sony WH-XB910N — $179.99 $249.99 (save $70) Skullcandy Smokin' Buds 2 — $47.50 $59.99 (save $12.49) Skullcandy Crusher Evo headphones — $159.99 $199.99 (save $40) Skullcandy Hesh headphones — $99.99 $134.99 (save $35) JBL Live 460NC — $99.95 $129.95 (save $30) JBL Live 660NC — $149.95 $199.95 (save $50) JBL Tune 710BT — $64.95 $79.95 (save $15) JBL Jr460NC — $64.95 $79.95 (save $15) Audio-Technica ATH-M20X — $49 $69 (save $20) Shure SRH440 — $79 $125 (save $46) Bose SoundLink II — $170.99 $229 (save $58.01) Sennheiser 599 SE — $179.99 $199.95 (save $19.96) Philips PH802 — $49.99 $109.99 (save $60) View the full article
  3. “Fuck the Supreme Court” was a prevailing sentiment over the weekendView the full article
  4. How deep does the iceberg of your music taste go? That's the question everyone on my Instagram and Twitter appears to be trying to answer with a new way Spotify listeners can analyze their music. Icebergify is a tool that shows all of your favorite artists on Spotify in a chart that looks a lot like — you guessed it — an iceberg. It's the latest viral Spotify tool following closely behind the Spotify Pie chart that picked up a lot of attention earlier this month. What is the Spotify Icebergify?Icebergify collects data from your top 50 artists in your short-term, medium-term, and long-term listening trends, according to Icebergify. So the artists on your chart might be musicians you haven't listened to in a few months, or maybe are bands you've only just started listening to now. It looks at those top artists and organizes them by their popularity or obscurity, and then pops them into an iceberg category. For instance, if you listen to a lot of Ed Sheeran, he'll go into the top iceberg level because he's one of the most popular artists out there. But if you listen to a lot of Antichrist Siege Machine, they'll be closer to the bottom. If you don't listen to any artists in a certain level of popularity, the level will just show up blank — so you might want to work on diversifying your music taste before you share. How to get your Spotify IcebergifyLike most Spotify music analyzing tools, all you have to do is go to a website, give them some permissions to check out your Spotify account, and you've got an iceberg-shaped chart to share with your friends and enemies. Go to Icebergify.com for this tool, but be warned — it took a few of us at Mashable a couple of tries before it worked. Just keep refreshing the site and it'll eventually work. You might have to clear your cookies and site data and try a few more times. To save the image, screenshot it, hold down it on your phone, or right-click it on your laptop or PC. By using this tool you will give the folks behind Icebergify your data, so if your streaming data is something you'd rather keep private for whatever reason, you may want to sit this out. Who created Icebergify? According to the Icebergify site, it was created by Akshay Raj in 2022. His name is linked out to a private Instagram. View the full article
  5. Wimbledon is serving up more than just the world-renowned annual Championships this year. BreakPoint is a new app by Wimbledon you won’t easily be able to put down—and it comes complete with the chance to win real-world prizes. Win big on and off the courtDuring The Championships, Wimbledon, which run from the 27th of June through the 10th of July 2022, you’ll have a chance to compete in BreakPoint to win loot including sports goodie bags with swag from the Wimbledon Online Shop. But the grand prize is the crown jewel: The first- and second-place winners will get a pair of tickets to either the Gentleman’s or Ladies’-final at the 2023 Championships at Wimbledon. To start climbing the leaderboard, simply register and login at MyWimbledon. Save your score to keep coming back again and again. Credit: Wimbledon Gameplay: How it worksAny ’80s or ‘90s kid will recognize the brick-breaker gaming format—but this version comes with a tennis-focused twist. Each “court” (or game level) contains a different array of bricks to smash through with your skilled serves and flawless forehands. Simply tap to serve, and then use your finger or cursor to move your racket along the base of the screen and volley the ball back and forth. The goal is to break all the bricks on your opponent’s side of the court. As gameplay advances, things get a little more challenging, with new types of bricks, “surprise” items on the court, and more challenging conditions like wind, sun glare, or rain. Show off your skills with combo shots, where you break two bricks with one shot (+100 points), or earn double points when you finish a round without losing a life. The app experience is captivating and intuitive, with cute animations and fun tennis facts sprinkled throughout. Missed your stroke? Still perfecting your topspin? Don’t worry, you’ve got three built-in lives before it’s game, set, and match—and opportunities to earn more lives as you play. It's all for the love of the game. Download today to begin making your way up the leaderboard. BreakPoint is available for iOS and Android, as well as online. View the full article
  6. To the global audience Ulož.to may not be a household name but in the Czech Republic, it is huge. The file-sharing and hosting service has millions of users and is listed among the 40 most-visited websites in the country. In addition, its mobile apps are frequently used as well. Like many other file storage platforms, Ulož can be used to share a wide variety of files but, according to copyright holders, many people abuse the platform to share pirated music, movies, and TV shows. Filter Battle in Court Similar to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, Uloz removes infringing content when it receives takedown notices but Czech anti-piracy group Dilia believes that the procedure doesn’t go far enough. Representing several rightsholders, Dilia took Uloz to court, successfully requesting far-reaching anti-piracy filters. In 2019, a Prague court ruled that the file-sharing site must block searches for several film-related terms. Uloz was not pleased with this decision. The company complained that these types of filters pose a threat to the free Internet since they lead to overbroad censorship. To prevent this, Uloz fought the issue all the way up to the Supreme Court. Rightsholders, meanwhile, were not satisfied either. They requested more far-reaching measures from the file-sharing platform, instead of tailored filters for a subset of keywords. Supreme Court Affirms Piracy Filters After hearing the arguments from both sides, last week the Supreme Court decided to keep the lower court’s ruling intact. This means that Uloz must continue to filter searches for a list of “forbidden words” and block downloads of related movies. The highlighted movies are all local titles and include “Pelíšků” (Cosy Dens), “Kobry a užovky” (The Snake Brothers), “Ostře sledované vlaky” (Closely Watched Trains), “Vesničko má středisková” (My Sweet Little Village), “S čerty nejsou žerty” (Give the Devil His Due) and “Obušku, z pytle ven” (Stick, Start Beating!). There is some silver lining for Uloz as well. The Supreme Court rejected the rightsholders’ argument that the service is liable for the infringements of its users. More far-reaching anti-piracy measures were also rejected. “The mere fact that a provider of a file storage service is generally aware that works are unlawfully made available through its service […] is not sufficient to conclude that the service provider acts to participate in individual copyright offenses,” the Court found. That said, if rightsholders point out specific instances of infringement, Uloz has to take action. In this case it must use technical measures to prevent people from finding and downloading the six films. “After all, such technological measures currently exist and […] are capable of detecting repeatedly unauthorized storage and access to files containing works or objects of copyright-related rights,” the judges write. “Censored” When we search for one of the six film titles on Uloz today, we see the following error message. “The search for this term was censored by a decision of the court.” Uloz respects the Supreme Court’s decision, which confirms that it’s a legitimate business. However, the file-sharing platform believes that the filter requirements go too far and will lead to censorship. “We agree with a significant part of the court’s ruling. The judgment once again confirmed that it works in full compliance with Czech and European law. Many of Dilia’s charges were correctly dismissed during the trial,” Uloz says. “However, one part of the verdict is, in our opinion and judged by our experts, still in conflict with freedom of speech and introduces disproportionate censorship.” Legal Challenge The Supreme Court ruling is not the end of the legal battle. The file-sharing platform says that it will challenge the censorship part at the Constitutional Court. According to Uloz, the current verdict restricts people’s freedom of expression, which violates the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. Last year, Uloz also successfully appealed a preliminary court order that required it to block files that contain the word Šarlatán” (Charlatan). At the time, the court concluded that filtering searches for a generic word goes too far. From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more. View the full article
  7. Portable air conditioners are a total game changer — and yes, you totally need one. Here's something Megan Thee Stallion won't tell you: Sometimes a Hot Girl Summer™ can get a little *too* hot. And unless you have access to a pool or plan on finding a Boat Friend, staying indoors is a must in extreme circumstances where the heat index exceeds 100 degrees; dehydration, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion can strike after just 10 to 15 minutes of outdoor activity. But what if it's just as sweltering inside your house as it is on your patio? Even with proper ventilation, a sun-baked living room can quickly turn into an oven on an average August day. In that case, experts recommend relying on something other than a fan or an open fridge door for your primary indoor cooling setup — namely, an air conditioner. SEE ALSO: Best eco-friendly air conditioning units There's a good chance your home's already equipped with an A/C unit: The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported last year that A/C equipment is used in 87 percent of households throughout the United States — a statistic that shoots up to 94 percent when you venture down into the hot-humid South. And whereas central A/C systems were once a luxury reserved for the 1 percent, they're now very common in new single-family homes; about 60 percent of U.S. households were using them as of 2015. While many older houses and apartments have been "retrofitted" with central air, a good chunk of us — about one in four households — still depend on individual A/C units to cool a room or two. Those devices generally fall into one of three categories: A wall or window air conditioner is an A/C unit that gets mounted inside — get this — a wall or window. Without going into too much jargon-y detail, the unit lowers a room's temperature by sucking the hot air inside of its system with a blower motor, then passing the air over a condenser or cooling coil containing a chemical refrigerant. The air is then blown out of the unit drier and a few degrees colder, leaving the room all nice and air conditioned and slightly dehumidified. The leftover heat extracted by its compressor is expelled via a vent on the side (on a wall-mounting unit) or back (on a window-mounting unit) of the device. A portable air conditioner is a free-standing, rolling floor A/C unit that vents hot air out of an exhaust host connected to a window. An evaporative cooler, also known as a "swamp cooler," is a device that cools air by adding humidity to it (as opposed to a traditional A/C unit, which acts as a dehumidifier). Once the warm air is drawn into the unit, it's pushed through water-soaked pads that turn it into a (chillier) gas via the process of evaporation. Window- and wall-mounted machines are probably what came to mind when you read the phrase "individual A/C units" because they're everywhere — just walk outside in any city during the summer and you'll see them clinging to the sides of buildings (while dripping condensation on many a passerby). However, many modern living situations are better suited for a portable air conditioner or an evaporative cooler. If you're not sure what kind you need, here's a quick primer: You should install a window/wall air conditioner if: You need to save space inside a room; you only need to cool one room at a time; your home needs dehumidifying; or you want an Energy Star-certified unit. (More on that momentarily.) You should install a portable unit if: You don't want to diminish the amount of natural light entering a room; you want/need to move your A/C unit frequently; you live in a humid area; you only need to cool one room at a time; you don't want to deal with a complicated installation process; your home needs dehumidifying; or if window-mounted units are prohibited by your lease or HOA. You should install an evaporative cooler if: You live somewhere with a dry climate; you want a unit that runs naturally (i.e., without chemical refrigerants); you're on a budget; or you think exhaust hoses are unsightly. If a portable A/C or evaporative cooler sounds like the best air conditioning option for you, keep reading for a brief buying guide. How to shop for a portable air conditioner or evaporative cooler:Let's start with the more straightforward of the pair: evaporative coolers. Inside every unit, there will be a blower motor or fan and a handful of pads that absorb water from a built-in tank or reservoir, which you'll have to fill every once in a while. (Pro tip: Use ice water for an extra-cold chill.) Each model will have a cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating, which indicates how much air it moves every 60 seconds; the higher the CFM rating, the more powerful the unit. Whichever size or model you choose, the device should be run in a room where a window or two is cracked to prevent the space from getting too damp. Moral of the story: The higher a unit's BTU, the more space it can chill and the faster it can chill said space. Whereas there's just one kind of evaporative cooler, portable air conditioners are available in two different exhaust hose configurations: single hose and dual hose. Single-hose units have only one exhaust hose (duh), which expels both the heat produced by the compressor and the indoor air its system pulls in to cool said compressor. They're typically cheaper and lighter compared to dual-hose units, but there's a catch: Their design creates negative air pressure inside of a room, causing warm air from the outside or nearby rooms to seep under doors and through window gaps. As a result, they're not very efficient and have to work harder than their dual-hose counterparts to cool a room. Dual-hose units have — you guessed it — two exhaust hoses: one that vents hot air, and one that pulls in cool air from outdoors to prevent the compressor from overheating. Any air that's sucked in from a room gets put back in said room, making negative air pressure a non-issue and more effectively chilling an enclosed space. Whether you opt for a single- or dual-hose unit, it'll likely come with a window kit for installation. Many machines will have a built-in pan, bucket, or tray to collect condensation, which you'll need to empty occasionally, although some newer units feature self-evaporating systems that recycle the moisture they produce. (Very rarely will you come across a unit with a drain pump.) Both single- and dual-hose units should be used only when your windows are closed. Lastly (but perhaps most importantly), be sure to keep in mind the acronym "BTU" while you're hunting down the right portable air conditioner. (That stands for "British thermal unit," which is the amount of heat necessary to heat a pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.) In the simplest sense, an air conditioner's BTU indicates how much energy it's capable of processing in an hour, i.e. its cooling power. Moral of the story: The higher a unit's BTU, the more space it can chill and the faster it can chill said space. Are portable air conditioners eco-friendly?At the time of publication, no portable air conditioners have been certified as Energy Star by the Environmental Protection Agency — so unfortunately, no. But you can take certain measures while running your portable A/C to make sure you don't single-handedly trigger a climate catastrophe (on top of the one that's already in full swing), like buying a unit with a programmer timer that shuts it off when you're not home. For eco-friendly window and wall units, check out this roundup we put together. What is the best portable air conditioner?We generally recommend portable air conditioners for the best cooling power, but there's a time and place for an evaporative cooler, too. Below, you'll find our top picks based on online reviews written by the people who know the units best: actual customers who have installed them in their homes. Remember to hit the grey arrow on the upper right of each card to expand our full write-up of the products. View the full article
  8. Our weekly playlist highlights songs that our writers, editors, and contributors are listening to on repeatView the full article
  9. Porter Robinson closed out the Ranch Arena stage at Electric Forest this past Saturday, which was undoubtedly a fantastic set. But the highlight for many fans was seeing him in a more intimate setting at the Ocular Organ in the festival grounds the next afternoon, playing a full acoustic set. The featured photo for this article, captured by @MarioH92, sums up the experience pretty perfectly. But if you want to see some of the actual set, @reporterrobnson has you covered with some unreleased music and a clip of “Look At The Sky” below. Photo via @MarioH92 This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Porter Robinson Surprise Set At Ocular Organ Among Highlights From Electric Forest View the full article
  10. It's Monday, but the news isn't all bad: There's a new Wordle for you to solve. While it's always the most fun to nail it down yourself, sometime you just get stuck — and that's where we come in. The answer to the June 27 Wordle can be found at the end of this article, with the spoiler clearly signposted, or you can make your way down in a more leisurely fashion for a few tips, gentle hints, and strategies to help you every day. Who made Wordle? Where did Wordle come from? Wordle's sudden explosion at the end of 2021 led to a round of press focused on its creator. Former Reddit engineer Josh Wardle actually came up with the game in 2021 as a private exercise for him and his word game-loving partner. It eventually became a staple of their family WhatsApp messaging, and that's when Wardle started to suspect he might have something special enough to merit a wider release. Thousands of people around the globe now play this game each day, and fans have even created alternatives to Wordle inspired by the original format. This includes music identification game Heardle, Hollywood nerd faves Actorle and Framed, and variations like Dordle and Quordle that make you guess multiple words at once. Not the day you're after? You'll find the Wordle answer for June 26 here. What's the best Wordle starting word?We have some ideas to help you pick the perfect first move (or as close to perfect as you can get without just magically guessing the exact right word). Such tips include choosing a word with at least two different vowels in it, plus a few common consonants such as S, T, R, or N. SEE ALSO: Wordled all your battery away? Power up 4 devices fast with this wireless charging station on sale What happened to the Wordle archive?While you could once play the entire archive of past puzzles, the archive was taken down at the request of the New York Times, according to the site. Is Wordle getting harder?If you've been finding Wordle too easy, there is a Hard Mode you can enable to give yourself more of a challenge. But unless you activate this mode, we can assure you that Wordle isn't getting harder. Why are there two different Wordle answers some days?The whole point of Wordle is that everyone's solving the same puzzle, with the same answer, no matter where you are in the world. However, occasionally the puzzle game will accept two different correct solutions on the same day, in apparent defiance of Wordle law. This aberration is due to changes the New York Times began making after it acquired Wordle earlier this year. To make sure you're always getting the same puzzle as everyone else, refresh your browser before you play — don't worry, the site will keep your streak. A subtle hint for the June 26 Wordle answer:It's an adjective relating to time and trends — one that's been overused to the point of meaninglessness. Today's Wordle is a 5-letter word that starts with......the letter R — the same as yesterday's word, as sometimes happens. What's the answer to Wordle on June 27?Ready? We'll finally tell you the answer. It's... RETRO. Reporting by Caitlin Welsh, Amanda Yeo and Adam Rosenberg contributed to this article. View the full article
  11. The New York festival also features climate talks and performances from the Flaming Lips, the Weather Station, Khruangbin, and moreView the full article
  12. This ergonomic split keyboard is designed to be comfortable to use, lights up in any color you like, and can even be programmed for maximum customization. View the full article
  13. Amazon will literally pay you to shop this Prime Day. No, really. New for 2022, the retail giant is giving customers several ways to earn free credits, which they can spend during its massive annual sale (which is happening on July 12 and 13 this year). All offers but two are open to anyone with an Amazon account, so even non-Prime members can score. Amazon is planning on adding at least one more of these credit-earning promotions in the coming weeks, but here's everything you can do as of June 27. 1. Try Amazon Photos for $20After downloading the free Amazon Photos app and signing into your Amazon account, simply upload at least one picture and turn on the Auto-Save feature to automatically back it up. Amazon will follow up with you via email within four days to confirm that a free $20 credit has been applied to your account, and you'll be able to put it toward any Prime Day order over $40 of products sold by Amazon.com or Amazon.com Services LLC. (Look for "sold by Amazon.com" or "sold by Amazon.com Services LLC" under the "Add to Cart" button in the right-hand column of product pages.) SEE ALSO: The best early Prime Day deals 2. Spend at least $75 on Proctor & Gamble products for $20Need to stock up on paper towels, laundry detergent, dish soap, diapers, or shampoo? You'll secure a $20 Prime Day credit by spending $75 or more on Proctor & Gamble household and personal care essentials. Amazon will send you the reward confirmation email near the start of Prime Day, which you'll be able to redeem the day(s) of. 3. Buy at least $50 in gift cards (or reload an existing balance) for $12.50Prime members who haven't purchased or reloaded a gift card before will receive a $12.50 credit in their account when they do so on Prime Day. (The only catch is that you have to spend at least $50.) Be sure to click the yellow "Apply code to your account" button or enter the promo code GCPRIME22 at checkout to make sure the offer goes through; you should get an email telling you that the money's been applied to your account within two days. 4. Complete your Prime 'Stampcard' for $10As part of Amazon's new virtual punchcard program, Prime members can earn a free $10 credit just for making use of their benefits at least once through July 13 — that includes streaming any movie or show on Prime Video, listening to any song on Prime Music, borrowing a Prime Reading or Kindle Unlimited book (or adding one to a library), and making a Prime shipping-eligible purchase of at least $5. The credit will automatically appear in your account within 24 hours of you completing those four tasks, and you'll be able to spend it on any purchase within the next year. 5. See Lightyear in theaters (and/or buy some merch) for up to $10Kind of random, but Amazon will give you a free $5 voucher for buying an Atom movie ticket to Pixar's Lightyear, a Toy Story prequel starring Chris Evans that recounts the origin story the beloved space ranger. (Mashable's deputy entertainment editor Kristy Puchko called the intergalactic adventure "a rollicking good time," for what it's worth.) An email with instructions on how to redeem the credit will arrive soon after. For an extra $5 you can use on Prime Day, grab some Lightyear merch off Amazon once you get back from the theater. 6. See Elvis in theaters for $5Baz Luhrmann's flashy Elvis is... something, so if you're going to put yourself through the arduous task of watching it, you might as well make some money off the experience. Buy at least one ticket to see it in theaters through Atom using the promo code ELVIS at checkout, and you'll get a $5 credit to put toward a Prime Day purchase sent to you via email. 7. Visit Amazon's Affirm hub for $2Amazon says it'll give you two whole dollars just for visiting its landing page for Affirm (a "buy now, pay later" financing option) and taking a good, long scroll down the whole thing. This one isn't available for everyone, FYI, but it's so easy that it's worth a shot. View the full article
  14. We did it. We're finally fighting back. We're really showing it to the Supreme Court. We're…flying the American flag, but upside down. Some folks are protesting the nation's recent Supreme Court decisions by flying their American flags upside down. This comes after the Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court ruling on Friday that overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion, and Thursday's ruling that limits state and local government in restricting guns outside the home. SEE ALSO: What does Roe v. Wade being overturned mean for you? According to the U.S. Flag Code, flying the American flag shouldn't be flown upside down — with the stars at the bottom — "except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property." U.S. Flag Code is officially a law, but there aren't any federal punishments or enforcement for people who don't follow the code, according to Cornell Law School. So, it's not a particularly useful law. It sets the rules for when the American flag can be flown at half-staff (mourning) and how the flag shouldn't be used (for clothes, bedding, or drapery). So protesters are flying their flags upside down in response to what they see as a nation in distress. It's one of the many forms of peaceful protest that aren't particularly radical, but can be useful in making people feel like they're doing something when they feel helpless, or showing your neighbors where you align politically and that you're a safe space for certain folks. SEE ALSO: Feeling lost? Follow these reproductive justice accounts. Forms of peaceful protests can help people find community when they feel frustrated and alone, can help to share resources, and can result in real change — like the 1963 March on Washington, which successfully pressured the government to pass a civil rights bill. Or take 2020's Black Lives Matter protests, which led to fewer legislative progress than the March on Washington but still important societal moves, like the removal of confederate symbols and marking Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Putting up signs in your yard and attending peaceful marches can be an important way to show your support for movements, but activists and organizers encourage supporters to not feel that they've done enough work by simply flying a flag upside down. One of the problems with participating in demonstrations that don't put real pressure on those who hold actual power is that it can feel like you've done something to push the movement forward when, in reality, you have not. If you've decided to fly a flag upside down, you can also show your support in ways that actually enact change — which, to be clear, putting a sign in your yard or changing the direction of your American flag will likely not do. You can volunteer, educate yourself and those close to you, donate money, and think locally about how you can help people who are the most vulnerable. View the full article
  15. Sawayama’s latest Hold the Girl single is a tribute to her motherView the full article
  16. SAVE $52: You can score a refurbished 8th-generation Kindle at Woot for just $27.99 as of June 27. It originally retailed for $79.99, so this technically saves you 65%. Amazon's early Prime Day discounts on Kindles are already quite good, but if you act fast, you can score one for even cheaper elsewhere. As of June 27, the Amazon-owned deals site Woot has a refurbished 8th-generation Kindle listed for just $27.99 — that's 65% off its original retail price of $79.99. (The same model was sold out on Amazon itself at the time of publication, FYI.) Note that it comes in "Good" and "Acceptable" condition, which are labels Woot uses to flag products in working condition that feature some minor scuffs and scratches. No hard feelings, though, considering it's basically the same price as new hardcover books these days. SEE ALSO: Amazon's early Prime Day deals have arrived. Here's what you need to know. Released back in 2016, this 6-inch Kindle features a high-contrast, glare-free touchscreen display, Bluetooth support, 4GB of internal storage, and a battery that'll last you up to four weeks per charge. It's certainly not as nice as some of the newer Kindles, which come with adjustable warm lights and waterproof designs, but it's tough to complain when this thing is this cheap. If you're just in the market for a no-frills e-reader, it'll suit you just fine. Woot's deal is live until Friday, July 1 or while supplies last, so don't dawdle too much. Opens in a new tab Credit: Amazon Refurbished Kindle (2016, 8th generation) (opens in a new tab) $27.99 at Woot (save $52) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) View the full article
  17. Save 25%: Figuring out pet care while you travel this summer? As of June 27, an automatic pet feeder by PetLibro is on sale for $59.99 at Amazon. Attention, jet-setting pet parents: An automatic feeder will be a game-changer, and one of our favorites is on sale for less than $60. That's a 25% price drop from its usual $79.99. While it's often advised to include some wet food in your pet's diet to maintain hydration, we'll admit that dry food is ol' reliable when your fur baby is home alone. The PetLibro feeder can feed your pet on the same schedule that you'd feed them at home (up to four meals per day). You can also choose from nine portion sizes. Portioning may require a little math on your end, but at least you'll know the feeder's not dumping half the bag for your pet to feast on. During feeding, the PetLibro will also play a 10-second clip of your voice for a little slice of comfort. Cute. Opens in a new tab Credit: PetLibro PetLibro Automatic Pet Feeder (opens in a new tab) $59.99 at Amazon (save $20) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) View the full article
  18. “I’m just one of a lot of women who need to keep on expressing that we do not fucking accept this.”View the full article
  19. She led a “Fuck the Supreme Court” chant during her own set Friday nightView the full article
  20. West paid tribute to the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient with a 5-minute speechView the full article
  21. Ten years is a long period of time in anyone’s life so when former Megaupload executives Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk spotted a light at the end of the tunnel, they understandably took it. After more than a decade of fighting US extradition, the men recently reached an agreement to be charged and sentenced in New Zealand instead. Not having to spend years fighting a criminal case in the United States potentially followed by a decade or two in prison is a victory in itself but having spent between a quarter and a fifth of their lives in legal limbo, Ortmann and van der Kolk had clearly had enough. With the authorities in the US and New Zealand holding most of the cards, the men would’ve faced a series of high-stakes gambles by continuing to fight. With the odds of winning diminishing with every new roll and financial costs almost certainly set to explode no matter what the outcome, the decision to limit damages early is also one that allows the men to move on. Last week the former Megaupload pair pleaded guilty, were convicted by a judge in New Zealand’s High Court, and now await sentencing. The crimes they admitted to in New Zealand are supposed to be similar to those they faced in the United States. In reality they are massively simplified and carry nothing like the maximum sentences available for the offenses listed in the US superseding criminal indictment dated January 16, 2012. Megaupload Was Intended for Piracy According to Ortmann and van der Kolk’s charging document, Megaupload was conceived, designed, and operated as a piracy-facilitating site right from the beginning. Together with Kim Dotcom, the trio reportedly noticed how much money Rapidshare was making from large-scale copyright infringement and set out to mimic it. The objectives of the ‘organized criminal group’ behind Megaupload were to encourage the uploading of highly popular files knowing they were “overwhelmingly” infringing, to host and distribute those files, and to disguise the volume of infringing content on the site. Another objective, according to the document, was to frustrate the efforts of copyright holders who wanted their content removed. Megaupload generated advertising revenue due to the popularity of the copyright-infringing content. The pirated content also attracted users who were incentivized to purchase premium subscriptions. Ortmann and van der Kolk admitted that the primary source of Megaupload’s traffic, its primary income, and the reason for its popularity, were all down to the infringing content available on the site. And they knew that mass copyright infringement was hurting rights holders Participation in an Organized Criminal Group Ortmann and van der Kolk were convicted on four charges in total. Charges 1 and 2 relate to offenses contrary to sections 98A and 7A of the Crimes Act 1961. Section 98A of the Crimes Act 1961 states that a person commits an offense and is liable to imprisonment for participating in an organized criminal group. Under this law and in this case, an organized criminal group is in broad terms three or more people with an objective to obtain material benefits from the “commission of offenses” that are locally punishable by a four-year prison term. If benefits were obtained outside New Zealand and would’ve attracted a four-year sentence locally, the same standard applies. Section 7A of the Crimes Act 1961 relates to offenses that occurred wholly outside New Zealand but can be prosecuted locally. The legislation has a primary focus on terrorist acts but offenses contrary to Section 98A are also covered. The first charge relates to offenses under 98A and 7A and carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment. The second charge is identical but carries a ten year maximum sentence. This suggests that some of the crimes took place when five years was the maximum sentence for participating in a criminal group. The remainder came after New Zealand upped the maximum to ten years to discourage organized and gang crime. Conspiring to Cause Loss by Deception The third charge relates to offenses contrary to sections 240(1)(d) and 310 of the Crimes Act 1961. Section 240(1)(d) states that someone found guilty of obtaining by deception (or causing loss by deception) by any deception and without claim of right, “causes loss to any other person.” Section 310 states that someone found guilty of conspiring with any person to commit an offense is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years. In the charging document, various acts of deception are attributed to Ortmann, van der Kolk and/or Kim Dotcom. They include telling NBC Universal that it was impossible to host infringing videos on sister site Megavideo and informing the USTR that Megaupload had a repeat infringer policy, had terminated 120,000 repeat infringers, and deleted infringing content worldwide, not just the United States. Assurances were also given to PayPal that infringing content had been taken down and uploaders had been blocked but “only a few” of the uploaders were tackled, the document says. Conspiring to Dishonestly Obtain Documents The final charge relates to offenses contrary to sections 228 and 310 of the Crimes Act 1961. Section 310 relates to conspiracy (as above) while section 228(1)(a) is much more unusual. “Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who, with intent to obtain any property, service, pecuniary advantage, or valuable consideration, dishonestly and without claim of right, takes or obtains any document,” it reads. At the time of writing, New Zealand courts are most likely to hand down concurrent sentences. This means that separate sentences are handed down for each offense committed but those sentences are served simultaneously. Given that the maximum sentence available for any of the above offenses is 10 years, Ortmann and van der Kolk are unlikely to face a sentence longer than that. They also admitted guilt as soon as they were charged in New Zealand so there could be a sentencing reduction of 25%. Neither are violent offenders so could be eligible for release after serving just a third of their sentence. While the sentencing judge will seek to hold the men accountable, after more than a decade of proving they can be responsible citizens of value to New Zealand (and in effect are rehabilitated already), a short sentence isn’t out of the question. Kim Dotcom believes they may get just two years of home detention but while charges might be negotiable, sentence deals are expressly forbidden. Finally, it’s worth noting the nature of these charges. Ever since the raid of Megaupload in 2012, Kim Dotcom has warned that if he goes to prison for hosting someone else’s infringing content on Megaupload, that could be disastrous for all service providers in New Zealand since there would be no ‘safe harbor’ for services under copyright law. Whether by design or not, the charges above may have copyright infringment as the underlying acts but they seem to pose no threat to the status quo. Indeed, they don’t rely on the technical aspects of the Megaupload service at all but instead rest on the trio’s previously private discussions relating to copyright infringement and what wasn’t done to prevent it. The full charging document can be found here (pdf) From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more. View the full article
  22. “The stage name dltzk has never sat right with me. Oftentimes in interviews or during conversations, I struggle to get the name out of my mouth.”View the full article
  23. The pop singer surprised viewers for a special live rendition of her remixView the full article
  24. It’s her first single as lead artist since 2021’s “Bet It”View the full article
  25. She kicked off the show with a shimmering flute soloView the full article
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