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Posts posted by DudeAsInCool

  1. Vessel-Wrapped-In-Cellophane-1712071592.

    Post-punk has been one of indie rock’s trendier subgenres of the past half-decade or so, with British bands like Idles and Dry Cleaning leading a wave of talky, rhythm-forward art music. But post-punk can be fun, too, as groups like Wet Leg and Yard Act have ably demonstrated. And as heard from bands like Omni, there’s even room for melody in the mix, without abandoning the body-moving herks and jerks that define the style.

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  2. Users say Google’s VPN app “breaks” the Windows DNS settings

    Enlarge (credit: Aurich / Thinkstock)

    Google offers a VPN via its "Google One" monthly subscription plan, and while it debuted on phones, a desktop app has been available for Windows and Mac OS for over a year now. Since a lot of people pay for Google One for the cloud storage increase for their Google accounts, you might be tempted to try the VPN on a desktop, but Windows users testing out the app haven't seemed too happy lately. An open bug report on Google's GitHub for the project says the Windows app "breaks" the Windows DNS, and this has been ongoing since at least November.

    A VPN would naturally route all your traffic through a secure tunnel, but you've still got to do DNS lookups somewhere. A lot of VPN services also come with a DNS service, and Google is no different. The problem is that Google's VPN app changes the Windows DNS settings of all network adapters to always use Google's DNS, whether the VPN is on or off. Even if you change them, Google's program will change them back.

    Most VPN apps don't work this way, and even Google's Mac VPN program doesn't work this way. The users in the thread (and the ones emailing us) expect the app, at minimum, to use the original Windows settings when the VPN is off. Since running a VPN is often about privacy and security, users want to be able to change the DNS away from Google even when the VPN is running.

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  3. The Daily Show host Jon Stewart's interview with FTC Chair Lina Khan. The conversation about Apple begins around 16:30 in the video.

    Before the cancellation of The Problem with Jon Stewart on Apple TV+, Apple forbade the inclusion of Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan as a guest and steered the show away from confronting issues related to artificial intelligence, according to Jon Stewart.

    This isn't the first we've heard of this rift between Apple and Stewart. When the Apple TV+ show was canceled last October, reports circulated that he told his staff that creative differences over guests and topics were a factor in the decision.

    The New York Times reported that both China and AI were sticking points between Apple and Stewart. Stewart confirmed the broad strokes of that narrative in a CBS Morning Show interview after it was announced that he would return to The Daily Show.

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  4. JC Olivera/Getty Images

    Billie Eilish, R.E.M., Jason Isbell, and 200 more artists have signed an open letter warning developers against using artificial intelligence in music creation. The letter, put together by the Artist Rights Alliance, issues a call on “AI developers, technology companies, platforms, and digital music services to cease the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to infringe upon and devalue the rights of human artists.

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  5. The Discord logo on a funky cyber-background.

    Enlarge (credit: Discord)

    Discord had long been strongly opposed to ads, but starting this week, it's giving video game makers the ability to advertise to its users. The introduction of so-called Sponsored Quests marks a notable change from the startup's previous business model, but, at least for now, it seems much less intrusive than the ads shoved into other social media platforms, especially since Discord users can choose not to engage with them.

    Discord first announced Sponsored Quests on March 7, with Peter Sellis, Discord's SVP of product, writing in a blog post that users would start seeing them in the "coming weeks." Sponsored Quests offer PC gamers in-game rewards for getting friends to watch a stream of them playing through Discord. Discord senior product communications manager Swaleha Carlson confirmed to Ars Technica that Sponsored Quests launch this week.

    The goal is for video games to get exposure to more gamers, serving as a form of marketing. On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that it viewed a slide from a slideshow Discord shows to game developers regarding the ads that reads: "We’ll get you in front of players. And those players will get you into their friend groups."

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  6. AWS data centers built right next to suburban cul-de-sac housing

    Enlarge / An Amazon Web Services (AWS) data center under construction in Stone Ridge, Virginia, in March 2024. Amazon will spend more than $150 billion on data centers in the next 15 years. (credit: Getty Images)

    Redis, a tremendously popular tool for storing data in-memory rather than in a database, recently switched its licensing from an open source BSD license to both a Source Available License and a Server Side Public License (SSPL).

    The software project and company supporting it were fairly clear in why they did this. Redis CEO Rowan Trollope wrote on March 20 that while Redis and volunteers sponsored the bulk of the project's code development, "the majority of Redis’ commercial sales are channeled through the largest cloud service providers, who commoditize Redis’ investments and its open source community." Clarifying a bit, "cloud service providers hosting Redis offerings will no longer be permitted to use the source code of Redis free of charge."

    Clarifying even further: Amazon Web Services (and lesser cloud giants), you cannot continue reselling Redis as a service as part of your $90 billion business without some kind of licensed contribution back.

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  7. Each headstone in this miniature, decorative cemetery is for a defunct Google product.

    Enlarge / A spooky Halloween display from Google's Seattle campus. (credit: Dana Fried)

    RIP Google Podcasts. Google's self-branded podcasting service shuts down tomorrow, April 2, and existing users have until July to export any subscriptions that are still on the service. Google originally announced the shutdown in September and has been plastering shutdown notices all over the Google Podcasts site and app for a few days now.

    Google Podcasts was Google's third podcasting service, after Google Listen (2009–2012) and Google Play Music Podcasts (2016–2020). The shutdown will clear the deck for Google's media consolidation under the YouTube brand with podcasting app No. 4: YouTube Podcasts.

    Google Podcasts has always had an awkward life.  Despite an eight-year existence, it has only been a viable podcasting app for maybe half that time. The project grew out of the Google Search team's desire to index podcast content. That started in 2016 when searching for a podcast would show a player embedded right in the Google Search results. This only worked on google.com and on the Android search app.

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  8. Two cheapo Intel mini PCs, a Raspberry Pi 5, and an Xbox controller for scale.

    Enlarge / Two cheapo Intel mini PCs, a Raspberry Pi 5, and an Xbox controller for scale. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

    I recently tried to use a Raspberry Pi 5 as a regular desktop PC. The experiment wasn't a failure—I was able to use a Pi to get most of my work done for a few days. But the device's performance, and especially the relative immaturity of the Linux Arm software ecosystem, meant that there were lots of incompatibilities and rough edges.

    One of the problems with trying to use a Pi 5 as a regular desktop computer is that, by the time you've paid for the 8GB version of the board, a decent active cooler and case, and (ideally) some kind of M.2 storage attachment and SSD, you've spent close to a couple of hundred dollars on the system. That's not a ton of money to spend on a desktop PC, but it is enough that the Pi no longer feels miraculously cheap, and there are actually other, more flexible competitors worth considering.

    Consider the selection of sub-$200 mini desktop PCs that litter the online storefronts of Amazon and AliExpress. Though you do need to roll the dice on low-to-no-name brands like Beelink, GMKTec, Firebat, BMax, Trigkey, or Bosgame, it's actually possible to buy a reasonably capable desktop system with 8GB to 16GB of RAM, 256GB or 512GB of storage, a Windows 11 license, and a workaday x86-based Intel CPU for as little as $107, though Amazon pricing usually runs closer to $170.

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