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Everything posted by DudeAsInCool

  1. Sumac have announced a new album, The Healer, which will be out in June. It’s their first full-length since 2020’s May You Be Held, though they put out a long single for Sub Pop not long after that LP. The trio — which is made up of Aaron Turner, Brian Cook, and Nick Yacyshyn — recorded their new album with Scott Evans. Check out lead single “Yellow Dawn” below. View the full article
  2. 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. Discord shared this image in March as an example of the new type of ads. (credit: Discord) 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." Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  3. 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. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  4. 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. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  5. 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. Read 43 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  6. Fits in nicely with old cassettes and floppy disks. [credit: 8BitDo ] The Commodore 64 introduced a generation of future computer geeks to personal computing. The 8-bit system first launched in 1982 and was discontinued in 1994. During that time, it made its mark as one of the first and most influential personal computers, and many still remember the computer fondly. A Commodore 64. (credit: Bill Bertram/Wikimedia Commons) Gaming peripherals maker 8BitDo wants to bring that nostalgia to people's fingertips and this week announced the Retro Mechanical Keyboard - C64 Edition. 8BitDo is careful not to use the name "Commodore" outright. But with marketing images featuring retro Commodore gear in the background, press materials saying that the keyboard was "inspired by the classics," and certain design cues, the keyboard is clearly a tribute to the '80s keyboard-computer. 8BitDo starts with the sort of beige that you only see on new peripherals these days if the gadgets are trying to appear old. A rainbow stripe runs horizontally and north of the function row, like on Commodore's computer. There's a power button with a bulb popping out of the keyboard case, ready to illuminate when it receives the signal. Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  7. Enlarge / The M2 iPad Pro. The updated version will come with refined designs and new accessories. (credit: Apple) If you've been waiting for new iPads to come out, prepare to wait just a little longer: Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that redesigned iPad Pros with Apple's M3 chip, plus refreshed iPad Air models with the M2 and a larger-screened option, should now arrive sometime in "early May." Gurman had previously reported that new iPads could arrive in March or April, not long after the updated M3 MacBook Airs. Gurman suggests that "complex new manufacturing techniques" for the new iPad screens have "contributed to the delay," and that Apple is also "working to finish software for the devices." The details of what the new iPads will look like hasn't changed. The new iPad Pro models will shift to using OLED display panels for the first time and will have their designs tweaked for the first time since the 2018 iPad Pros introduced the current rounded, slim-bezeled look. Those new iPad Pros will also come with redesigned Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil accessories, though it's unclear whether those accessories will be totally rethought or if they'll just tweak existing designs to work with the new tablets. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  8. Enlarge / The Google Gemini logo. (credit: Google) In early March, Google made the odd announcement that only one of its two latest smartphones, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, would be able to run its latest AI model, called "Google Gemini." Despite having very similar specs, the smaller Pixel 8 wouldn't get the new AI model, with the company citing mysterious "hardware limitations" as the reason. It was a strange statement considering the fact that Google designed and marketed the Pixel 8 to be AI-centric and then designed a smartphone-centric AI model called "Gemini Nano" yet still couldn't make the two work together. A few weeks later, Google is backtracking somewhat. The company announced on the Pixel Phone Help forum that the smaller Pixel 8 actually will get Gemini Nano in the next big quarterly Android release, which should happen in June. There's a catch, though—while the Pixel 8 Pro will get Gemini Nano as a user-facing feature, on the Pixel 8, it's only being released "as a developer option." That means you'll be able to turn it on only via the hidden Developer Options menu in the settings, and most people will miss out on it. Google's Seang Chau, VP of devices and services software, explained the decision on the company's in-house "Made by Google" podcast. "The Pixel 8 Pro, having 12GB of RAM, was a perfect place for us to put [Gemini Nano] on the device and see what we could do," Chau said. "When we looked at the Pixel 8 as an example, the Pixel 8 has 4GB less memory, and it wasn't as easy of a call to just say, 'all right, we're going to enable it on Pixel 8 as well.'" According to Chau, Google's trepidation is because the company doesn't want to "degrade the experience" on the smaller Pixel 8, which only has 8GB of RAM. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  9. Enlarge / These kinds of sharing names are fun to shout across the house (I have first-hand knowledge of this). (credit: Kevin Purdy) I like AirDrop just fine for sending files between devices, but I'm the only one of two humans in my household that regularly uses Apple devices. I cannot, to paraphrase the Apple CEO's litigation-influencing quip, simply buy my spouse an iPhone. And a MacBook. And sell our household Chromebook. And give up entirely on Windows-based PC gaming. Instead, I've come to use two apps to send files between operating systems on the same Wi-Fi, whether they're systems from Cupertino, Redmond, Mountain View, or elsewhere. One is LocalSend, a cross-platform app with an open source client and protocol that I install wherever I can. The other lower-friction tool that's especially handy for guests and rarely used devices is SnapDrop, a website or web app you open on both devices and then send files through, entirely on your local network. It, too, has its code out there for anybody to view. Neither of these apps is new, which is good. They've been around long enough to garner good reviews and trust from their users. Beyond sharing files between two humans, I've also leaned on them when setting up headless systems or other quirky devices. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  10. Last year, Sparkle Division — made up of composers William Basinski, Preston Wendel, and Gary Thomas Wright — put out their sophomore album FOXY. Today, the trio shared a surprise new EP called Jupiter Lounge. View the full article
  11. In January, Zach Bryan previewed a new song called “Sandpaper” on TikTok, which is something the country star likes to do; earlier this month, he teased a new song called “The Way Back” in a YouTube video. That’s still not out, but he debuted “Sandpaper” live last night in Newark. View the full article
  12. Sometimes Jimmy Fallon joins the Roots, who are The Tonight Show‘s house band, for a song performed on classroom instruments with famous guests. In 2019, Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey teamed up with them for an idiosyncratic performance of “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” Last night, Fallon and the Roots linked up with original Ghostbusters Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson as well as singer Ray Parker Jr. for his classic “Ghostbusters.” View the full article
  13. During the final day of music curated by German Music Export and Initiative Musik, the moderator made a joke that the day’s event was about expanding the notions of German music beyond known institutions like Kraftwerk or Berghain. By the end of the afternoon, that seemed like an understatement. The day party at Shangri-La was not only the longest of the events (with artists Meagre Martin, Willow Parlo, LIE NING, Orbit, and ÄTNA) but also the most musically diverse — with indie rock, country-folk, R&B and pop, dreamy electronica, and pure operatic dance-pop chaos. View the full article
  14. Twenty-three bands, 14 hours — we did it! Stereogum took over Cheer Up Charlie’s in Austin all day and night on Friday, starting at noon and going all the way until 2AM. Along with our buds at AdHoc, Partisan Records, and Topshelf Records, we brought some of the best of what’s next to two stages for a non-stop day of music and fun. It was a beautiful day in Texas, despite some wind and the threat of rain, which thankfully held off. View the full article
  15. Country star previously teased the track with a 45-second snippet on social media in JanuaryView the full article
  16. The festival enters the weekend with a loud, busy night of sounds from all aroundView the full article
  17. The Red Clay Strays, Hinds, Dylan Gossett, and Jackie Venson helped power the most guitar-heavy night of the four-day eventView the full article
  18. Illness brought the singer's rock-star lifestyle to a halt. Her second album reflects a new point of view —but isn't afraid to get messyView the full article
  19. After announcing their Blue Album anniversary tour this week, Weezer played through their debut Friday night at LA’s 500-capacity Lodge Room. The intimate club show was opened by Dogstar, the recently reunited band featuring Keanu Reeves on bass, who played their first show with Weezer back in 1992. It also featured a special guest during Weezer’s set. View the full article
  20. Rob Sheffield pays tribute to Japanese engineer Shigeichi Negishi, whose invention of the "Sparko Box" in 1967 kicked off the karaoke revolution and changed the soundtrack of our lives foreverView the full article
  21. "It definitely makes you appreciate being alive, that's for sure," Dre told James Corden in an interview that aired FridayView the full article
  22. Stereogum is at Austin’s Cheer Up Charlies right now presenting performances by Narrow Head, the Armed, Horse Jumper Of Love, and many more great bands — plus we just added sets by Scowl and Glare! The free, all-ages party started at 12:04 PM, right after we spun “Archie, Marry Me,” and will end after 2AM. See you there! View the full article
  23. The Jane Doe accuser will still keep the suit active against the country star's former management company View the full article
  24. Local abortion rights groups will still have presence at Guts World Tour stops, but asked by singer's management to not disperse free Plan B and condomsView the full article
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