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  1. Endorsements from big-name streamers have put VPNs (or virtual private networks) on many gamers' radars. Billed as closed, secure connections that protect you from common cyberthreats and unblock restricted titles, they sound as OP as a Blasphemous Blade or a Blue Shell. But there are some important caveats to be aware of before you download one for your PC or console (via router or hotspot). Here's what you need to know about picking the right VPN for gaming. What is a VPN, exactly?A VPN is a service that routes your traffic through an encrypted tunnel to one of its private servers before it's sent out over the internet. This scrambles any data you send or receive and hides your Internet Protocol (IP) address, or the unique number associated with your geolocation that's assigned to your device when it's connected to the internet. In a nutshell, a VPN makes it extremely difficult for anyone (from hackers to your internet service provider, or ISP) to see who you are, where you're logged in from, and what you're doing on the internet. This anonymity has its advantages: It allows you to bypass firewalls, evade geo-restrictions on streaming services and movies, torrent safely, and work remotely without putting company data at risk. Do VPNs really help with gaming?For gaming specifically, using a VPN has two notable benefits: You can protect yourself from distributed denial-of-service attacks. DDoS attacks happen when a bad actor looks up your unconcealed IP address and overloads your gaming server or network with a ton of requests, making you lag badly or booting you offline completely. This is an increasingly popular kind of cyberthreat that affects gaming companies and players alike, and it's super easy for griefers and salty rivals to pull off if you're not using a VPN. You can bypass network or geo-restrictions on games. With a VPN running, your traffic will appear to originate from the remote server you're connected to. Hiding or "spoofing" your true location in this way makes it possible to play games from places where they're otherwise blocked or unavailable (like at work or school). Despite what many providers claim, running a VPN while you game is not a foolproof way of lowering your ping. Connecting to a remote VPN server across the continent or world can actually increase latency, since your encrypted data is traveling a longer physical distance. This is an especially big problem for gaming, since split-second delays can be the difference between you and a death screen. To minimize a VPN's impact on your connection speed, pick a provider that lets you choose the specific servers you connect to, and opt for ones that are relatively close to your location IRL. You can also look into an advanced feature called split tunneling, which will let you "split" your gaming and non-gaming traffic between the VPN and the open web to conserve bandwidth. (Some premium providers offer it.) Last, but certainly not least, make sure you look over your game publisher or platform's terms of service before running a VPN — some use cases will get you in trouble. Skirting regional pricing with a different IP address is technically a bannable offense under Steam's Subscriber Agreement, for example. The potential security or remote access benefits ultimately aren't worth losing a character or account you've had for years. The TL;DR of all of this is that VPNs aren't absolutely necessary for gamers — in fact, there's a good chance their overall impact on your gaming experience will be negative. But they can serve practical purposes for some. Read on to learn more about the handful of VPNs we recommend for gaming. Note that all pricing was accurate at the time of publication. View the full article
  2. These days, phones come with a zillion features that you may never use, but how about a feature that actually makes cellular calls – a core function of the phone – better? Apple's new iOS 16.4, currently available in beta, has the potential to do just that with a feature called Voice Isolation. Apple says that Voice Isolation prioritizes your voice during the call, blocking out the ambient noise. SEE ALSO: Apple's iPhone 15 Pro Max might break the record for thinnest bezels So far, Voice Isolation has only been available for FaceTime calls and calls made through other apps such as WhatsApp. But now, you can enable it when you're on a regular, cellular call. Fortunately, the setting is persistent. Credit: Stan Schroeder/Mashable The process to do so is slightly convoluted. During a call, you'll need to activate Control Center by swiping down from the top right of your screen, tap on Mic Mode, and choose Voice Isolation. Fortunately, it's persistent, so it will stay on the next time you make a call. Featured Video For You How Do I Use the New Wallpaper Picker in IOS 16? The Mic Mode setting also offers a third option called Wide Spectrum, which increases the volume of the sounds around you, but that one's unavailable for cellular calls. The Voice Isolation and Wide Spectrum options are available for iPhone SE (2nd gen or later), or iPhone XR or later. The feature is only available to beta testers right now, but iOS 16.4 should become widely available soon. The update also brings support for new, Unicode 15.0 emoji, among other features and bug fixes. View the full article
  3. The bad news? Succession is coming to an end. The good news? It's going out on a high note. Jesse Armstrong's Emmy-winning drama takes no prisoners in its fourth and final season. It's as unsparing and sharp as its predecessors, yet somehow manages to up the show's audacity to new heights. You thought finale twists like Kendall's (Jeremy Strong) betrayal of Logan (Brian Cox) or Logan's decision to sell Waystar Royco were game-changers? Get ready, because several moments in the first four episodes sent to critics eclipse those showstoppers. The words "brace yourselves" don't feel like enough. SEE ALSO: The 10 most diabolical scenes in 'Succession' Season 3 Logan battles his children in Succession Season 4. L to the OG in battle mode. Credit: Macall Polay / HBO Following an explosive Season 3 finale that saw Logan distancing Kendall, Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Kieran Culkin) from Waystar — a definitive "fuck off" from the "fuck off" king — Season 4 of Succession picks up with the Roys in an all-out war. Logan is in the final stages of selling Waystar to tech mogul Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård), a deal that pushes out Kendall, Shiv, and Roman, who have plans to start up their own rival venture. Meanwhile, eldest Roy son Connor (Alan Ruck) continues his presidential bid with little success, and Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) and Greg (Nicholas Braun) hold down the fort at ATN. Succession has played with similar plotlines before, but here they reach their heightened, vicious conclusions. With the Roy siblings finally united against their father, the show's backstabbings and betrayals have never felt more raw. Business negotiations become riveting battlefields where the Roys tackle their personal problems with talk of financing and market caps. Passive aggressive swipes — including some scorchers that will surely wind up in the Succession insult pantheon — are further proof of the cutting ways this family finds to tear itself apart. Succession's final season gets off to a thrilling start. “You can't make a Tomlette without breaking some Greggs.” Credit: Macall Polay / HBO Succession has always been good, but it's the sense of finality that makes this season such a phenomenal watch. In a callback to the show's very first episode, Season 4 opens with Logan's birthday party. But with three of his four children avoiding him and the sale of his company mere days away, Logan finds himself in a vastly different place. It's an effective, almost poignant way to kick off the start of the season: There's no escaping that this is the beginning of the end. With that end in sight, Succession pulls out the stops and goes bigger than it has before, making multiple daring choices in these four episodes alone that genuinely had me wondering, "Where can we go from here?" Yet despite the season's boldest narrative chess moves, Succession never loses sight of the threads of hurt that run between each of its characters. In fact, Season 4 places Logan and his children at their most vulnerable points yet, both business-wise and emotionally. The push and pull between retaliation and any possibility of reconciliation drives these opening episodes and allows the always-incredible Succession ensemble to deliver some show-best performances. It's tempting to feel sad about losing Succession. (I know that I'll have a tough time letting this show go.) But with such a bombastic start to Season 4, it's impossible to deny that we're going to get a top-tier closer to a top-tier drama. Succession may be ending, but it's ending on its own terms — and what terms they are. Succession Season 4 premieres Mar. 26 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max, with new episodes airing weekly. View the full article
  4. It is Wednesday, my dudes, so why don't we Wordle? You'll never Wordle alone with our daily hints and tips to help you figure out the solution. If you prefer to just be told the solution, you can scroll to the end of this article for March 22's Wordle solution revealed. But if you'd rather work through it yourself, keep reading for some clues, tips, and strategies to assist you. 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 March 21. What's the best Wordle starting word?The best Wordle starting word is the one that brings joy to your heart. But if what brings you joy is strategy, we have a few ideas to help you pick a word that might help you find the solution faster. 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 Wordle puzzles used to be available for anyone to enjoy whenever they felt like it. 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 might feel like Wordle is getting harder, but it actually isn't any more difficult than when it first began. You can turn on Wordle's Hard Mode if you're after more of a challenge, though. Why are there two different Wordle answers some days?Though usually Wordle will only accept one correct solution per day, occasionally it will rebel against the norm and deem two different answers acceptable. This 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. Here's a subtle hint for today's Wordle answer:Mmmmm, cosy. 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 D. SEE ALSO: Wordle-obsessed? These are the best word games to play IRL. What's the answer to Wordle today?We're finally about to reveal the answer to today's Wordle, so get your guesses in now! Are you ready? The solution to Wordle #641 is... DUVET. Don't feel discouraged if you didn't get it this time. The beauty of Wordle is that there's always a new one to try the next day, and we'll be here again with more helpful clues and hints. View the full article
  5. Denver-based producer Manic Focus is an artist of many talents. As a magician, he uses sleight of hand to pull objects out of thin air. As an electronic artist, he executes similarly impossible sonic acts with his vibrant, genre-defying music. Manic Focus’ unique style – defined by a hybrid of electronic, funk, soul, and hip-hop – has helped the producer cultivate a fervent fanbase captivated by his immersive studio trickery and vibrant creative spirit – a combination that has led him to performances at festivals such as Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Hulaween, North Coast Music Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, Camp Bisco, Wakaan Festival, Summer Camp Music Festival, and multiple opening slots at Red Rocks in support of Zhu, Emancipator, Pretty Lights, and more. But his strengths lie not only in the musical and magical: what also makes Manic Focus stand apart is his mental triumphs. Diagnosed with Bipolar 1 in 2007, Manic Focus has experienced several manic and depressive episodes – experiences that directly inspired his artist name. Instead of preventing him from working, his Bipolar diagnosis became a driving factor in his creative processes, an obstacle he’s had to navigate towards a product of endless musical ingenuity. Never Not Blue takes the listener through the different emotional states of a manic episode where the interludes outline the stages of mania. It may be his best work yet, keeping your ears and mind engaged the whole way through with mesmerizing melodies, seamless vocal sampling, and drum grooves that seem to vibrate through your whole body. Despite all of his talent, it’s great to see artists willing to go the extra mile in being truly vulnerable through their craft and in doing so, it seemingly resonates even deeper to the listener. “This album is very special to me. It will take you on a journey through many of the emotions I experience in a manic episode – from the confidence, through the chaos, to the euphoric states, but ultimately ending on a positive note.” – Manic Focus Check it out below! This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Manic Focus Delivers Emotional & Mesmerizing 7th LP, Never Not Blue View the full article
  6. The Denver music scene is a tight-knit community, and the hotly-tipped trip-hop duo Since JulEYE reflect that camaraderie. Shattering genre confines with their uniquely-blended sonic stylings, Since JulEYE was born out of shared musical tastes and Denver’s warm, inclusive artistic identity. After initially starting as a solo project by DJ/producer Lev Averbakh, Since JulEYE recently added long-time collaborator and veteran keyboardist Todd Stoops (RAQ, Kung-Fu) as a permanent member. This new creative partnership has resulted in a vibrant mix of Averbakh’s bouncy hip-hop production with Stoops’ jam band sensibilities – a dynamic combination that has led to performances at Summer Camp Music Festival, Gem & Jam, Color Field, and Wavespell, where they’ve displayed their electric live sets. Now, Since JulEYE releases their debut album, The Dawn Of Since, a full-length project that showcases its artists’ singularly aligned musical intuition. It’s a genre-hopping masterpiece, featuring Eric “Benny” Bloom (Lettuce), Colby Buckler (Emancipator, Manic Focus), Michal Menert, ProbCause, and more. You can’t go wrong with any of the tracks, but our favorite is “Off White Flowers”, a lo-fi jam turned thrilling drum & bass ride that is absolutely unforgettable. “This album embodies our sonic evolution and we are extremely excited to share it.” – Lev Averbakh (of Since JulEYE) Check it out below! This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Live-electronic trip-hop duo Since JulEYE Reveals debut LP ‘The Dawn of Since’ View the full article
  7. Whether or not you live in LA, you may have heard word of a burgeoning label and brand that goes by the name of Blind Tiger, notorious for serving LA with the finest taste of underground events paired with an unparalleled experience. Headed by the tech house dynamo BINGEWATCH, Blind Tiger has garnered a lot of attention around their exclusive events and secret afterparties, inviting the hottest up and coming acts paired with veterans in the scene. They may be considered a “smaller” imprint, but don’t let that fool you – they’ve sold a jaw dropping amount of tickets to various events at Sound and 1720 Warehouse alone. Previous guests that have crashed these Blind Tiger parties with surprise sets include Tchami, Solardo, and Sidepiece, to name a few. The word is spreading and so are these parties, now entering into Florida, Illinois, Arizona, New York and Mexico this year. With all of the excitement around Blind Tiger, it’s only fitting that they’re teaming up with none other than Insomniac for perhaps their biggest show of this year this Friday, March 24. Dubbed ‘Nightshift’, this event promises a strong list surprise guests from all over the country to take over the decks all night long. This is a can’t miss event and if you find yourself in LA this weekend, make sure to check out party! Entry is free with RSVP. RSVP for ‘Nightshift’ on March 24 This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: LA Underground Imprint Blind Tiger Announces ‘Nightshift’ Event With Insomniac ft. Loads of Surprise Guests 3/24 View the full article
  8. While Bellorum kicked off his music career back in 2016 with “Oxymore,” he has been DJing for more than a decade and has now positioned himself as one of the hottest names to watch within electronic dance music. His releases on labels such as Dancing Dead, Hybrid Trap, Welcome Records and Barong Family have amassed millions of collective streams, while he has received support from some of the scene’s biggest acts, among them DJ Snake, Tiësto, Dillon Francis, R3HAB, The Chainsmokers, SLANDER, Skrillex and many more. Marking his first single of the year, Bellorum has now returned with “VICE,” a playful and stunning display of his genre-bending production style. Filled with funky samples and off-kilter vocals, “VICE” quickly evolves from a break signature into an explosive color bass drop, as lightning-fast arpeggios and distorted sound design take over. It is a truly mesmerizing release from Bellorum, who certainly has a lot more heat up his sleeve for the rest of the year. This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Bellorum Lands On Dancing Dead With Heavy-Hitting Color Bass Gem, “VICE” View the full article
  9. 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?Two words have twice-occurring letters. One of these is a double letter. Are any rare letters being used in today’s Quordle like Q or Z?No. What do today’s Quordle words start with?F, A, S, and H. 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: FAULT ADAGE SOOTH HABIT View the full article
  10. Rudolph is seeking a full accounting and 50 percent of profits from the trademarkView the full article
  11. Over the weekend, a screenshot surfaced from the personal website of Emma Chamberlain. It claims the multi-hyphenate (fashion plate, coffee maven, YouTube creator, podcaster... the list goes on) was asking for $10,000 for "a personal thank you note... in Instagram DM." The screenshot shared around Twitter and Reddit was widely derided for its absurdity, with most citing the price and the option to pay for the listing in $902 installments via ShopPay. This afternoon, Cozack, Inc., the company behind Chamberlain's merch, posted this statement to shopemmachamberlain.com, which they requested Mashable print in its entirety: "There have been false and inaccurate claims that Emma Chamberlain was offering DM’s in exchange for $10k. As background in 2018, Cozack (Emma’s merch company) was testing a prospective reward program related to Emma’s Merch without her knowledge. In testing they created an outrageous, never activated reward level that was not intended to be active or purchased. These reward ideas were never run by Emma since they were not meant to be available for sale or reward, but simply intended for internal testing purposes. What we suspect is that data was activated and crawled by Google’s SEO indexing system and discovered by an individual who then began spreading false information to press outlets. This was never made public, and certainly was never planned to be sold or purchased. The test program was never discoverable on the main page or product listing site, which is another reason that Emma had no knowledge of this. With the internet’s tendency to create false narratives around sensationalized stories we wanted to provide you with the truth firsthand and from the source. The site is currently down for internal review." While the website was still live over the weekend, a Reddit user pointed out that the $10,000 listing was not accessible via the website's homepage and could only be reached at its direct link "shopemmachamberlain.com/products/personal-thank-you-note-from-emma-in-instagram-dm." Another user noted that the listing could be added to their shopping cart and would rack up $1,025 in taxes at checkout. It looks like the listing had been around since at least December 4, 2022 when a Twitter user wrote, "why does emma chamberlain’s merch website have a “personalized thank you note” via instagram dm listed for $10k." Mashable reached out to the original poster of the screenshot to discuss how they accessed it, but has not yet received a reply. This is a developing story. View the full article
  12. Human beings have a tendency to want things they can’t have. A modest interest in a particular item or activity can inexplicably soar when it’s recognized as rare or unavailable. When strictly forbidden, even regular fruit can prove irresistible. Spotify offers 100 million tracks to hear right now, including the vast majority of the greatest pieces of music ever written. Yet for some, the lure of an unreleased track can outweigh every single one of them; unattainable, forbidden and rare is a potent mix and may explain why pirates are paying silly money for leaked, pirated music. Dozens of Avicii Leaks When producer Tim Bergling passed away in 2018, the prospect of never hearing a new Avicii track was suddenly very real. Two albums and various tracks were eventually released, but then – PAB happened. In 2022 the Public Avicii Buy Server (PAB) channel on Discord became a hot location for unreleased Avicii tracks. Faced with having to pay for them, fans worked to ‘groupbuy’ a long list of Avicii tracks including ‘Let’s Roll’ and ‘Lethal Drug V2’ which featured Chris Martin & SZA. Sources Unknown But Some Files Were Apparently Stolen How the music was obtained isn’t clear; some believed the PAB seller bought the tracks and then sold them to fellow Avicii fans at cost price. Others spoke of hacked accounts and big profits. Late 2022, after another ‘PAB’ release (‘Island’) appeared online, a Reddit user jumped in to comment “Hey guys! My name is Jonas Wallin and my alias is The High,” the music producer posted on Reddit. “I wrote Island and it’s coming out soon in fact. The leaked vocals are mine, my vocal stems. It’s the same with Loving Feeling. I would recommend you to not pay someone for these files since they were stolen from me. Thanks.” RIAA Investigates Unreleased Sounds According to various sources, the track made its way to PAB via a private leak site called Unreleased Sounds. It’s unclear whether the RIAA’s member labels have any interests in the dozens of Avicii tracks leaked so far, but they do want to know who runs the 15/16 month-old site. Citing three previously leaked tracks – ‘Hot Saturn’ by Lil Nas X, ‘Rockstar Status’ by Juice WRLD, and PnB Rock’s ‘I Know They Mad’ — on March 13 the RIAA filed an application for a DMCA subpoena at a district court in Columbia, Washington. “The purpose for which this subpoena is sought is to obtain the identities of the individuals assigned to these websites who have reproduced and have offered for distribution our members’ copyrighted sound recordings without their authorization,” the application reads. In a letter to Cloudflare, the service targeted in the subpoena, the RIAA requests several pieces of information. “As is stated in the attached subpoena, you are required to disclose to the RIAA information sufficient to identify the infringers. This would include the individuals’ names, physical addresses, IP addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, payment information, account updates and account history, as available.” The DMCA subpoena, which also references two additional platforms (NoTube.net and Aonode.com), has now been issued so it’s likely Cloudflare will hand over the information in the coming days, if it hasn’t already. Unreleased Sounds It’s not difficult to find reports of unreleased tracks being leaked by Unreleased Sounds. Operating from at least two domains – unreleasedsounds.gg and unreleased.gg – the platform became a members-only service last October, meaning that today’s prospective members need an invite code to sign up. “Our website is now a closed/invite only marketplace,” the site’s operator wrote. The screenshot above reveals Kanye West and Avicii as featured artists on Unreleased Sounds. While that doesn’t provide hard evidence that the platform was the source of previous Avicii leaks, comments from the site’s operator suggest that if fans have the money, more Avicii music is indeed available. The DMCA subpoena also covers Aonode.com and NoTube.net, a stream-ripping platform with tens of millions of monthly visits. DMCA Subpoenas and Links to Infringing Content The RIAA previously sent DMCA takedown notices to Cloudflare asking for the allegedly infringing content to be removed. How Cloudflare responded to those notices is unclear but in one case, it may have been difficult to know exactly what to take down. Unlike the URLs for the other sites, the three Unreleased Sounds links appear to be artist categories rather than links to specific content. Given the overall nature of the platform, that’s not particularly unreasonable, but it does raise the question of why the direct links were left out. One possibility is that the links were external and carried the domain of a far less interesting hosting site. Another is that artist page URLs are much easier to guess from outside once the general format is known. But whatever the reason, RIAA subpoenas are relatively rare and being featured in one rarely ends well. The RIAA’s DMCA subpoena application can be found here (1,2,3,4, pdf) From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more. View the full article
  13. It's not a fungus apocalypse. But it's a serious, growing problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced this week that the fungus Candida auris (C. auris) "spread at an alarming rate in U.S. healthcare facilities" during 2020-2021. This fungus is particularly problematic because it's a strain that has emerged in recent years, can be resistant to some, or all, antifungal drugs, and has caused outbreaks in hospitals, Dr. Luis Ostrosky, an M.D., fungal infection expert, and professor of infectious diseases at UTHealth Houston, recently told Mashable. The CDC is taking the spread, which can cause severe and fatal blood infections, seriously. "The rapid rise and geographic spread of cases is concerning and emphasizes the need for continued surveillance, expanded lab capacity, quicker diagnostic tests, and adherence to proven infection prevention and control," CDC epidemiologist Dr. Meghan Lyman, lead author of the new research, said in a statement. SEE ALSO: Why the scary fungus in 'The Last of Us' won't cause an apocalyptic outbreak The research, entitled, "Worsening Spread of Candida auris in the United States, 2019 to 2021," is published in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine. How worried should you be about Candida auris?The fungus Candida auris, which is a yeast, infects people who are quite ill and have compromised immune systems. "To experience a fungal infection, there has to be something wrong with your immune system," Dr. Ostrosky, who is also chief of epidemiology at the academic hospital Memorial Hermann, explained. This includes people who have had organ transplants or other major, life-saving surgeries, as well as those undergoing cancer treatments, he said. "In general, C. auris is not a threat to healthy people." People in hospitals who are unwell are particularly susceptible to Candia auris. "People who are very sick, have invasive medical devices, or have long or frequent stays in healthcare facilities are at increased risk for acquiring C. auris," the CDC said. Fortunately, like with most fungal spores, healthy people are not the group being infected or at risk. "In general, C. auris is not a threat to healthy people," the agency noted. That's because our advanced, healthy immune systems constantly combat fungal spores, and keep such foreign fungi microbes at bay. (For example, we inhale fungal spores every time we go outside.) "Humans are really, really good at staving off fungal infections," Vincent Bruno, a scientist at the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine who researches fungal diseases, told Mashable this year. Want more science and tech news delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for Mashable's Top Stories newsletter today. But for those infected with Candia auris, the CDC is raising the alarm because it's often resistant to multiple antifungal drugs that doctors use to treat Candida infections. Candida auris is a newly emerged strain of the fungus Candida, which already causes some 25,000 infections annually. Some 30 to 60 percent of people infected with C. auris have died, the CDC said. "However, many of these people had other serious illnesses that also increased their risk of death," the agency noted. How much is Candida auris spreading?Since 2016, the CDC has been increasingly concerned about Candida auris. That's when the health agency received reports that the fungus was resistant to medicines in other parts of the world. "It seemed hard to believe," the CDC wrote. "CDC fungal experts had never received a report describing a Candida infection resistant to all antifungal medications, let alone Candida that spreads easily between patients." Reported cases, though overall low in numbers, have been rising significantly since 2015. Cases increased 318 percent in 2018, compared to the previous few years, resulting in a total of 323 clinical cases. Crucially, Candida auris cases have only increased each year since 2016. "Nationwide, clinical cases rose from 476 in 2019 to 1,471 in 2021," the CDC just concluded. Case counts again increased in 2022, the agency noted. Counts of reported Candida auris cases in the U.S. in 2022. Credit: CDC A number of factors may contribute to these rising numbers, the agency notes. This includes poor infection control, more screening to detect the infection (a good thing), and increased fungal spread during a time of great strain on the healthcare system during peaks of the COVID pandemic hospitalizations. To limit the spread, the CDC is sounding the alarm to aid healthcare facilities in identifying the infectious fungus, and how to contain the microbe in places like hospitals and nursing homes. View the full article
  14. It's finally spring! Which means now is the time to invest in a quality humidifier. Here are three great deals as of March 21. BEST BUDGET PICK: The Levoit 3L humidifier provides 25 hours of moisture — $29.98 $43.99 (save $14.01) BEST SMART OPTION: The Levoit Dual200S is Alexa-compatible and features an upgraded NoiseDefender design for light sleepers — $39.98 $54.99 (save $15.01) BEST FOR LARGER ROOMS: The Levoit 6L humidifier can cover up to 505 feet — $70 $79.99 (save $9.99) Running a humidifier can alleviate seasonal allergies and keep your nasal passages moist and comfortable (which is particularly important for those who like to blast the air conditioner all day and night). How does a humidifier work?Humidifiers add moisture to the air to prevent dryness, leading to irritated skin, scratchy throats, and uncomfortable sinus issues. Some people may use a humidifier to relieve cold and flu symptoms, eczema, sinusitis, and seasonal allergies. That said, overusing a humidifier or using an improperly cleaned humidifier can cause bacteria and mold growth, so it's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper use and maintenance. What type of humidifier is best?Of course, the type of humidifier that's best for you and your home will depend on your specific needs and preferences, your budget, and the size of the room you're trying to humidify. Some popular options include central humidifiers, impeller humidifiers, evaporators, steam vaporizers, and ultrasonic humidifiers. To help you decide, here are our top three picks for the best Levoit humidifiers on sale at the time of this writing: Best budget pick Opens in a new tab Credit: Levoit Our pick: Levoit 3L humidifier (opens in a new tab) $29.98 at Amazon (save $14.01) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Why we like itIf you're on a budget (honestly, who isn't?), this three-liter Levoit humidifier is on sale for just $29.98, down from its original price of $43.99. That's a savings of 32% (or $14.01). In addition to being budget-friendly, this humidifier features an easy top-fill design, 25 hours of moisture, and a diffuser to transform your home into a spa within minutes. This gadget also includes an auto shut-off function and an extra powerful mist output — it can raise the humidity of a room by 10% in just 20 minutes. Best smart option Opens in a new tab Credit: Levoit Our pick: Levoit Dual200S 3L humidifier (opens in a new tab) $39.98 at Amazon (save $15.01) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Why we like it Need something with more oomph? The Levoit Dual200S is also on sale for $39.98, down from $54.99. This humidifier features smart technology (so you can control it via app or Alexa), an upgraded NoiseDefender (for light sleepers or little ones in a nursery), and an auto shut-off function that automatically detects low water levels — just set it and forget it. Best for larger rooms Opens in a new tab Credit: Levoit Our pick: Levoit 6L humidifier (opens in a new tab) $70 at Amazon (save $9.99) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Why we like it The six-liter model from Levoit can humidify a room up to four times faster than a traditional humidifier. It can cover up to 505 square feet, so you can place it in larger areas such as the living room or office without worry. This humidifier doubles as a smart gadget, as it's compatible with Alexa and can be controlled via the VeSync app, which lets you monitor and adjust settings remotely. It also includes a special plant-care program that offers customized plant management tips and advice to help you better care for your indoor plants. View the full article
  15. Lollapalooza just revealed the lineup for its annual flagship event in Chicago this coming August, with a banner list of headliners that should have something for everyone. Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish, Red Hot Chili Peppers, ODESZA, Lana Del Rey, Karol G, The 1975, and TOMORROW X TOGETHER all hold the coveted headliner status at the festival, which goes August 3-6 at Grant Park. As usual, the undercard is nothing to sneeze at either. Among the various EDM acts, you can catch Fred again.., Diplo, Louis The Child, Subtronics, Alan Walker, SVDDEN DEATH, Dom Dolla, Meduza, Afrojack, Gorgon City, Nora En Pure, AC Slater, Diesel, Timmy Trumpet, Wax Motif, ACRAZE, ARMNHMR, Knock2, Solardo, J. Worra, Disco Lines, Bonnie x Clyde, Ray Volpe, Blanke, Hairitage, RemK, Ninajirachi, and more. There’s still even more to see with Maggie Rogers, Carly Rae Jepsen, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Pusha T, Rina Sawayama, Portugal. The Man, The Revivalists, Sabrina Carpeneter, Sylvan Esso, Knocked Loose, and more. Presale begins 3/23 at 10am CT. Sign up to gain access to 4-Day Tickets here. ⁣ This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: ODESZA, Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish, RHCP & more to headline Lollapalooza 2023 View the full article
  16. With new vocals and lyrics from the icon, who crafted it as a kind of response to Shygirl’s Nymph originalView the full article
  17. Google is finally releasing Bard, its competitor to OpenAI's ChatGPT, to a limited test group. The brand whose name was once synonymous with "online information" is still playing catch-up. The smash success of ChatGPT prompted an internal "code red" at Google, and sent the tech giant scrambling to release something similar. But Bard's announcement last month proved catastrophic when a moving graphic intended to showcase Google's AI capabilities blurted out an AI-hallucination, also known as a lie. Shares of Google's parent company dropped by $100 billion immediately afterward. SEE ALSO: 'Do's and don'ts' for testing Bard: Google asks its employees for help How to get Google Bard accessRather than a big, flashy wide release, Google is opting to let select insiders receive demos, and providing a waitlist link for everyone else. The Bard homepage has a "Join waitlist" button, which, if clicked will let you know if the account you're using is eligible, and if so, ask you whether you want to opt-into Bard news updates. Once you're on the waitlist, there's nothing to do but wait for an email with the subject line "It’s your turn to try Bard." In the meantime, the Bard logo at the official Bard homepage reads "Bard Experiment," and the FAQ page for Bard lets you know that "Bard is experimental," and that "some of the responses may be inaccurate." An additional warning under the box where Bard users type prompts says, "Bard may display inaccurate or offensive information that doesn’t represent Google’s views." Such warnings are now ubiquitous on official info pages for AI chatbots. But it's worth noting that last month, Microsoft Bing's AI chatbot misbehaved in much scarier ways than what we saw in the Bard announcement, and Bing is receiving more traffic than ever before. What is it like using Google's Bard AI chatbot?When actually chatting with Bard, users of ChatGPT and Bing will find the experience familiar, but different. In our very early tests, Bard's writing skill wasn't exactly, well, Bard-like. It could, at times be a little repetitive with its word choices when writing essays, for instance. It was nonetheless highly creative and good at generating ideas, but with its creativity came an unusual willingness to blurt out potentially messy details in speculative prompts. Case in point, this example about the murder of Tupac Shakur (a go-to AI prompt in Mashable's tests of these models): Credit: Google / Screengrab (Orlando Anderson was, for a time, a possible suspect in the shooting. He died in 1998.) Most notably, each prompt response automatically includes three drafts of each response that the user can toggle between. This feature calls to mind the four images created by each prompt entered into OpenAI's Dalle-2. Outputting AI-generated content in this way has the advantage of making each output feel less definitive, so rather than being Bard's final answer, a hallucination-riddled response is accompanied by two other equally valid attempts to get it right. Like Bing's AI chatbot, Bard provides citations for its responses "from time to time," according to the New York Times. And according to The Verge, it's noticeably struggles — just like all other chatbots — to answer sensitive questions. It provided some information about the Russian rationale for the annexation of Crimea, for instance, but also pointed to the widespread condemnation of the Russian occupation. The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, offered a hint as to how these chatbots might start to be monetized. They spoke with Google vice president Sissie Hsiao, who runs Google Assistant, and apparently explained to the Journal that, "Google wouldn’t place ads in early versions of Bard." But given that Google also, according to the Journal, "generated $162 billion in revenue last year from ads placed next to search results and other websites such as Gmail," the implication is that it's only a matter of time before your chatbot friend interrupts your conversation about whether Godzilla's atomic breath could blow up the Death Star to suggest ways to save you 15 percent on car insurance. View the full article
  18. Anne Hathaway and Michaela Coel will star in David Lowery’s film about a fictional musician and her relationship with a famous fashion designerView the full article
  19. Dates throughout 2023 will take the band across the breadth of the countryView the full article
  20. SAVE $150: As of March 21, the Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones are on sale for $449 and $849, respectively, or $150 off each model. Those are their lowest prices yet. Opens in a new tab Credit: Google Google Pixel 7 (opens in a new tab) $449 at Amazon (save $150) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Opens in a new tab Credit: Google Google Pixel 7 Pro (opens in a new tab) $849 at Amazon (save $150) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Looking to upgrade your phone, but not sure you want another iPhone or Android device? Google's Pixel smartphone line is a great alternative, and they come packed with some impressive specs. Now's a great time to give the Pixel a go, especially since Amazon has both the Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro on sale for their lowest prices yet. Right now, you can grab both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro for $150 off. That makes the Pixel 7 just $449, down from $599 (a savings of 25%), and the Pixel 7 Pro $849, down from $999 (a savings of 15%). Both models are excellent options for anyone looking to move beyond the Apple and Samsung bubble, with features and perks that make them great all-rounders, especially for self-proclaimed techies. SEE ALSO: Google Pixel Fold and 7a might be arriving in June The Google Pixel 7 comes with a 50-megapixel camera, a Full HD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate, and scratch-resistant glass for rugged performance. It also boasts an upgraded Tensor G2 Chip that packs a 20% more powerful punch than the previous 6a model, with a better battery life. You can get up to three days of juice when using the Extreme Battery Saver on just a single charge. Meanwhile, the Google Pixel 7 Pro offers several of the same benefits and more. It packs a 50-megapixel camera, six wide telephoto lenses, and incredible zoom to ensure you've got everything you need to take the best photos possible. Plus, its higher refresh rate of 120Hz, coupled with its 6.7-inch Smooth Display, make for an eye-popping experience whether you're editing photos, gaming, or watching your favorite shows. Whichever model you choose, you can't go wrong with these discounts. Snap one up soon if you're ready to make the switch. View the full article
  21. We sat down with the cast and crew from Donald Glover's latest TV series Swarm to discuss how some of its darker subject matter makes it stand out from the rest. View the full article
  22. After years of campaigning, the Vjosa River in Albania has become Europe's first wild river national park. Often deemed 'Europe's last wild river', Vjosa and its ecosystem faced environmental damage in the past, as the Albanian government planned to build dams and hydropower stations in the region. Conservation groups such as EcoAlbania, RiverWatch, and EuroNatur, and companies including Patagonia Works have long campaigned to protect the Vjosa from such destruction, through the Save the Blue Heart of Europe campaign and supported by studies by the likes of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The government's decision to preserve 12,727 hectares in the region, announced by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Minister of Tourism and Environment Mirela Kumbaro, and Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert in March, means that Vjosa's unique ecosystem will not be damaged by development and artificial barriers such as dams and fords. Vjosa's designation as a wild park sets a precedent for Europe, whose rivers are spoiled by an estimate of more than a million man-made barriers. It also serves as a hopeful reminder that activism can change the course of history. View the full article
  23. Microsoft Bing and Edge can now generate images using AI. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced Bing Image Creator, powered by "an advanced version" of OpenAI's DALL-E model. You can now create an image by typing out a description in the Bing search engine or Bing Chat. Image Creator is initially available in the "Creative mode" of Bing Chat. SEE ALSO: Microsoft brings its AI-powered Bing chatbot to a sidebar in its Edge web browser When you're chatting with Bing, you can ask it to generate an image and it will magically conjure up an original image "simply by using your own words to describe the picture you want to see," said Microsoft's head of consumer marketing Yusuf Mehdi. Image Creator will also be available in Edge by clicking the icon in the sidebar. Microsoft and OpenAI have become a powerful partnership in the generative AI space. OpenAI's GPT-4 model powers the new Bing, which has rattled Google's position as the go-to for search and natural language processing. Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that Bing now has over 100 million daily users. A day after Google announced an API for its PaLM language model and AI-integration for Google Docs, Microsoft countered with the release of generative AI in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and the rest of its of work and productivity apps. OpenAI's DALL-E, which was released in 2021, has become famous for its controversial ability to generate images so realistic they can be used for deepfakes, and make graphic design and photography jobs obsolete. Bing now has DALL-E integration for generating images with AI. Credit: Microsoft In the announcement, Mehdi describes Image Creator as a tool for generate a visual for a newsletter or inspiration for decorating your living room. "Historically, search was limited to images that already existed on the web. Now, there are almost no limits to what you can search for and create," he said. Decoration inspiration courtesy of Bing and DALL-E. Credit: Microsoft Image Creator is rolling out to Bing and Edge. preview users on desktop and mobile today. If you don't currently have access to the Bing preview mode, you can test it out on Bing's microsite, bing.com/create. View the full article
  24. SAVE $9.01: A four-pack of Apple AirTags typically retails for $99, but Amazon has it on sale for $89.99 as of March 21. That's a rare discount of just under 10%. Opens in a new tab Credit: Apple Apple AirTag (4-pack) (opens in a new tab) $89.99 on Amazon (save $9.01) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Anyone who's making travel plans for this spring or summer should be less worried about FOMO (the fear of missing out) than they are about FOML (fear of missing luggage). Stashing some small Bluetooth trackers like Apple AirTags inside your checked bags and carry-ons is an easy way to keep track of your belongings amid the chaos of airline travel — and hold carriers accountable in case things get "misplaced." Before you hit the road/skies, you can grab a four-pack of AirTags on sale through Amazon for just $89.99 as of March 21. (That's about $9 off their suggested retail price of $99.) This isn't their lowest price ever — they hit $74.98 on Amazon ahead of Black Friday 2022 — but AirTag discounts are so rare and often short-lived that these are worth adding to your cart. SEE ALSO: AirTag odyssey: One woman's lost luggage journey goes viral A 2021 release, AirTags are a no-brainer for anyone who's already entangled in the Apple ecosystem because they work with the Find My app (which comes pre-installed on iPhones and iPads); there's no need to download any separate software. Once you pair one with your iOS device and attach it to an item you want to track, you'll be able to view its current or last-known location on an in-app map. If you ever get separated from it, you can enable a compass-like Precision Finding feature or ask Siri to locate the item it's attached to, which will prompt the AirTag to play a sound if it's within Bluetooth range. If you and your AirTag-tagged item get separated out of range, other Apple devices connected to the extensive Find My network will pick up its Bluetooth signal and send you intel about its location. (Apple says this is done securely and anonymously, but the potential privacy concerns are worth noting. Don't be a creep.) You can also place it in Lost Mode for notifications once someone else finds it. View the full article
  25. A great pair of headphones can help you get through the day by making work calls a breeze and queuing up your favorite music. If you've been looking for a new pair of earbuds or wireless headphones, both Google and Sennheiser have quality pairs on sale for under $200 as of March 21. Here's a list of our favorite headphones and earbuds on sale at Amazon now: BEST GOOGLE PIXEL BUDS DEAL: The Google Pixel A-Series earbuds provide up to five hours of listening time and are compatible with any Bluetooth 4.0-plus device. $79 $99 (save $20) BEST WIRELESS HEADPHONES: The Sennheiser RS 120W on-ear headphones offer up to 20 hours of battery life and a 60-meter range. $79.95 $129.95 (save $50) BEST OVERALL DEAL: The Sennheiser Momentum 3 earbuds feature active noise cancellation and give you up to 28 hours of listening time. $169.95 $249.95 (save $80) Best Google Pixel Buds deal Opens in a new tab Credit: Google Our pick: Google Pixel A-Series earbuds (opens in a new tab) $79 at Amazon (save $20) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Why we like itThe Google Pixel A-Series earbuds quickly sync up with Android, iOS, and other devices powered by Bluetooth 4.0-plus. Typically sold for $99, these Google Pixel A-Series earbuds are now $20 off. With a battery that lasts up to five hours, you can get through several work calls and a workout before you need to recharge. You can also use voice controls to have the weather read to you, play music, or get directions. They're equipped with Adaptive Sound, which adjusts to quiet and noisier conditions to give you optimum sound at all times. Plus, they're waterproof, so rainy days or intense sweat sessions can't slow you down. Best wireless headphones Opens in a new tab Credit: Sennheiser Our pick: Sennheiser RS 120W on-ear headphones (opens in a new tab) $79.95 at Amazon (save $50) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Why we like itThe Sennheiser RS 120W on-ear headphones are made for TV-binging or long gaming sessions. They're made to be light and comfortable for hours on end, whether you're zoning out to music or listening to an audiobook. The transmitter is easy to hook up to your TV via a 3.5 mm jack or RCA, and it also works as a charging station where you can place your headphones once you're done using them. These headphones include two rechargeable AAA batteries that provide up to 20 hours of listening time. Best overall deal Opens in a new tab Credit: Sennheiser Our pick: Sennheiser Momentum 3 earbuds (opens in a new tab) $169.85 at Amazon (save $80) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Why do we like itThe Sennheiser Momentum 3 earbuds are now $169.95, or $80 off their regular price of $249.95. Active noise cancellation helps you focus on music or calls, while Transparency Mode lets some outside noise filter in for safety purposes, or for having brief conversations on the go without having to take your buds completely out. Ergonomically designed, these earbuds include adapters and fins in various sizes so you can find your perfect fit. The buds have a battery life of seven hours at a time, and the charging case holds 28 hours of extra juice. More deals like thisSennheiser CX true wireless earbuds $59.95 $129.95 (save $70) Sennheiser CX Plus true wireless earbuds $89.95 $179.95 (save $90) Google Pixel Buds Pro $149.99 $199.99 (save $50) View the full article
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