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Google and YouTube are investing to fight misinformation

2023-03-19 06:10:14

Google and YouTube are investing to fight misinformation

Misinformation is continuously in the spotlight, as its rise has prompted social media giants to take significant action against all forms of fake news.

Google and YouTube are investing to fight misinformation(图1)

Today, Google and YouTube are the latest to make a move against misinformation, announcing a $13.2 million grant to the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN)(Opens in a new tab), a part of nonprofit media institute Poynter(Opens in a new tab). The grant will fund the formation of the Global Fact Check Fund, to support a network of 135 fact-checking organizations, operating from 65 countries in over 80 languages. The money will go towards scaling existing operations and launch new initiatives to elevate information and reduce misinformation.

SEE ALSO: TikTok's infinite scroll spotlights a growing media literacy crisis

The fund will open in 2023. This is Google and YouTube's single largest grant toward fact-checking to date. Since 2018, the Google News initiative has invested close to $75 million in projects and partnerships with the intention of strengthening media literacy and fighting fake news.

"Google and YouTube remain dedicated to keep doing our part to help you find what you’re looking for and give you the context you need to make informed decisions about what you see online," reads the company statement(Opens in a new tab).

Google has incorporated several fact-checking features, including the Fact Check section in Google News when viewed on desktop, and fact-check panels on YouTube that provide context at the top of search results for specific inquiries. YouTube also launched media literacy initiative Hit Pause(Opens in a new tab), assisting users in identifying misinformation.

In January 2022, the IFCN deemed YouTube "one of the major conduits of online disinformation and misinformation worldwide". The fact-checking network cited COVID misinformation, other health misinformation, and political misinformation as thriving on the platform. In an open letter(Opens in a new tab), the nonprofit proposed a partnership with YouTube, vowing to "find ways forward on a collaboration". YouTube has clearly taken the organisation up on this offer.

"This partnership with Google and YouTube infuses financial support to global fact-checkers and is a step in the right direction," says Baybars Örsek, executive director of the IFCN, in a statement(Opens in a new tab). "And while there’s much work to be done, this partnership has sparked meaningful collaboration and an important step."

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  • A guide to getting off to your own sexual fantasies and imagination

    A guide to getting off to your own sexual fantasies and imagination

    They say the mind is the biggest, most powerful sex organ in the body. But, uh, don't try visualizing that mental image too vividly or literally, unless you're into that sorta thing?


    Instead, imagine your favorite fictional crush pressing you up against a wall, or think back to the hottest sex you ever had in your life. Now stop imagining, because this magical place where all your desires are possible and acceptable exists. And literally anyone can tap into it.

    While sexual fantasies are by definition not "real," their effects on your sex life (especially when explored during masturbation) are — shall we say — palpably physical.

    "Engaging your imagination rather than relying on visual porn for example helps to build, enhance and strengthen your erotic mind," said Dr. Britney Blair, co-founder and Chief Science Officer of the sexual wellness Lover(Opens in a new tab) app. "You can bring that imagination to life when you want to prime the pump on your desire or push yourself over the edge to climax while solo or with a partner."

    "It's incredibly liberating, recognizing our own power to design the scenes and situations that turn us on."

    To be clear, there's nothing wrong with porn or other forms of erotica. But there's something especially powerful in orgasming to smut that couldn't be more personally tailored to what you like.

    "In our minds we're not confined to our studio apartments or our current sexual partners. There are no rules or judgments. Not even the laws of physics apply," said Gina Gutierrez, co-founder of the popular audio erotica app Dipsea(Opens in a new tab). "It’s incredibly liberating, recognizing our own power to design the scenes and situations that turn us on and to scrap the ones that don’t work for us."

    Don't take our word for it, though. There's science to show exactly how real the effects of a healthy erotic imagination are.

    In a landmark 2016 study(Opens in a new tab), Dr. Nan Wise — neuroscientist, sex therapist, and author of Understanding the Neuroscience of Pleasure for a Smarter, Happier, and More Purpose-Filled Life(Opens in a new tab) — mapped the brain's response when subjects merely imagined pleasurable stimulation on their genitals. Just by thinking about it, the pleasure centers in their brains "lit up like a Christmas tree," Wise said.

    "The mind is really the recipient of all the body's sensations. So there's this empirical evidence of a huge connection between the mind and pleasure," she said.

    While everyone can benefit from using their imagination as a sexual aid, it's an especially potent practice for women and others who society has conditioned to feel ashamed about their sexuality.

    "We have to do more work to lay down the connections, the neural pathways, between the genitals and the brain's sensory reward regions," said Wise. "Using your imagination to masturbate not only gives us the information about what stimulation we need, but also actually strengthens the connections between our genitals and the brain."

    SEE ALSO: Why some people masturbate about people they hate

    Beyond that, getting off to our own sexual fantasies tackles another negative effect that patriarchy can have on women's sexuality.

    "We're socialized to think of ourselves as the objects of other people's desires, like we need to borrow someone else's idea of pleasure" said Wise. That's why learning how to be the subject of our own desires, to embody the pleasure we conjure up in our own mind, can be so empowering.

    Everyone with a brain, genitals, and desire is already equipped to masturbate to their own sexual fantasies. And while the practice does come more naturally to some, it only takes little guidance and patience to unlock the endless possibilities tucked inside your erotic mind.

    Set the right environment

    Set that phone to night mode, but make it sexy. Credit: bob al-greene / mashable

    A major key in setting your mind up for erotic success is to ensure your environment allows your brain to feel fully relaxed, safe, and free from distraction.

    Pick a time and place where you'll have full privacy without needing to worry about any interruption, whether from roommates or notifications. For most people, that place will naturally be the bedroom. But put some effort into also making it a true fortress of sensual solitude, like by locking the door, setting your phone to airplane mode, putting on an eye mask, or maybe even using some essential oils and putting on your favorite sexy playlist.

    Blair even recommends purposefully scheduling these more exploratory kind of session and making them habitual. So maybe it can be something you add to your nightly ritual before bed: Brush your teeth, do the skincare routine, put on some pajamas, then let your mind wander as you touch yourself.

    Create a safe space in your mind

    Of course, priming yourself with the right mindset is vital to unlocking your brain's full fantasy potential.

    One of the biggest hurdles to exploring our erotic imaginations is actually the engrained social shame many of us have picked up (even subconsciously) through sexism, homophobia, social stigmas, religion, etc.

    "It’s important to know if that is coming up for you, you’re not alone. But there is no such thing as a wrong or right fantasy." said Blair.

    SEE ALSO: Am I the only one who's horny for podcasts?

    Treat your imagination as a judgement-free zone. To be fair, clearing or redirecting your mind away from feelings of shame is easier said than done. But certain exercises can help (which we'll get into more in the mind-body connection section below).

    Blair suggests that, while exploring sexual fantasies in your mind, try to distinguish between when you're having a reaction versus a judgment to a certain scenario. Judgments often come from values imposed on you by something or someone else, while visceral reactions can be an indication that your mind wants to explore it further — especially if it's something your never thought you'd be into.

    It's easy to get scared off by an intense response to a fantasy, and write that off as being too weird or outside the norm for your taste. But if you give yourself a second to assess where that response is coming from, you might actually find that the intensity comes from a part of you that you've never tried tapping into before.

    "Everything is okay in the world of fantasy. No fantasy is a crime."

    Or maybe not, and that's fine too. The point is, if you feel safe doing it, just try leaning into parts of your erotic mind that feel challenging and see where it goes.

    "Everything is okay in the world of fantasy. No fantasy is a crime," said Blair. "Whatever turns you on in your mind is totally healthy. Your fantasy doesn’t say anything about you except that you are lucky to have a rich imagination that you can use to have an exciting and enduring erotic life."

    That's another major benefit of sexual fantasies versus traditional porn, too. You don't have to worry about any ethical concerns, because your imagination can't hurt you or anyone else. You're in total control.

    "You imagination is a completely safe space," said Dipsea's Gutierrez. "We can play out fantasies that are risky or illicit that we would never actually want to happen in real life. In our minds we’re free to experiment without consequences."

    Familiarize yourself with (but don't feel limited by) common sexual fantasies

    While the whole point is to tap into the unique potential of your own mind, a good jumping off point is to explore whether the most common sexual fantasies(Opens in a new tab) spark your interest. Researchers have labeled them into different categories, though there's a world of possibilities within those labels as well.

    Dr. Blair described these categories as multi-partner sex like group sex or threesomes; power, control, or rough sex; novelty, adventure, and variety; taboo and forbidden sex; partner sharing and non-monogamous relationships; passion and romance; and erotic flexibility like homoeroticism or gender-bending.

    Jess O'Reilly is a sex educator, author of The New Sex Bible(Opens in a new tab), and Astroglide's resident sexologist. She explained that through each of these fantasy categories you can help identify the specific core erotic feelings that get you into a heightened state of arousal.

    "Oftentimes, they relate to fantasy, escapism or subverting otherwise 'negative' emotions. You might find that sex is really hot when you feel powerful, submissive, challenged, mindful, or playful," she said. "You may also find yourself aroused by feelings that you don’t naturally associate with pleasure, like jealousy, inadequacy, fear, and even humiliation can be exciting."

    What our brains often gravitate to most is pure novelty. What gets you off in a fantasy can actually be the total opposite of your real-life sexual orientation or even completely removed from you, as an abstract scenario happening to someone else entirely.

    Let your spank bank be a place where your freak flag flies. Credit: vicky leta / mashable

    So don't be weirded out if you learn that you're as horny for that fish-god monster from The Shape of Water as the Academy Awards were in 2018. Or maybe you're one of the many women who enjoys a rape fantasy — which, as Dr. Wise points out, in a fantasy context is the opposite of a real-life rape since, "you're choosing to have the fantasy and who's overpowering you. You're in complete control."

    One other general rule of thumb Wise found is that while men tend toward more visually-oriented fantasies centered around preferred body parts, women tend to focus on overall scenarios. However, it's impossible to distill the endless possibilities of human sexuality into neat categories. Which is why you also shouldn't get discouraged or ashamed if none of these common fantasies do it for you.

    "Our capacity for imagination is limitless," said Wise. Don't feel pressure to confine yours to a specific label.

    Related Video: I built my own vibrator at CES

    Start building your erotic imagination through fiction, porn, memories... anything!

    The truth is that, while other obstacles might make it hard initially to give yourself permission to explore sexual fantasies, using your imagination is a very natural and innate part of being human. Who doesn't fantasizing about getting up from their desk in the middle of a hard work day and quitting, or spend time daydreaming about how they'd furnish their dream apartment?

    "We make Pinterest boards and save Instagram photos, collect and catalog all these things that we like. I recommend starting to do that for your sex life," said Gutierrez. "Become more mindful observing what attracts you to someone. The moments where you feel sexiest. What you want to say out loud during sex but hesitate to. Then the next time you want to use your fantasy for pleasure, you know exactly where to draw from."

    Everything in your life can become part of your horny mood board.

    Everything in your life can become part of your horny mood board.

    We all have that one fictional character or public figure — whether from books, tv, movies, video games, or even politics and the internet — that just does it for us. Begin there, expanding into a specific sexy scene that got you going or whatever comes to mind when you think of that person. Heck, maybe you're like me and realize that a silky, authoritative voice is actually your kink, leading a bunch of non-erotic popular podcasts to become your go-to spank bank material.

    Audio erotica can be a great place to start if you don't want to take the training wheels off yet to explore sexual fantasies of your own making. Unlike visual porn, audio erotica still exercises the muscles of your erotic imagination, asking you to fill in the details and paint the full picture. While we always recommend Dipsea, there's also plenty of free ways to try audio erotica like r/gonewildaudio(Opens in a new tab) and Girl on the Net(Opens in a new tab).

    Once you're ready to bring yourself more to the forefront of the fantasy, begin with a memory of the hottest, most visceral sex you've ever had. Really ground yourself back in that moment by recalling your senses: What position were you in? What did the person's lust feel like? Were you sweating? How exactly did they touch you?

    Touch yourself while pulling from all the erotic mental material you've curated, and don't be afraid to really get your whole body involved in mimicking the sensations you're creating through your mind. Maybe that means masturbating while you're on all fours, or matching the tempo of the fantasy, or even dry-humping a pillow. Don't put any pressure on yourself to orgasm throughout any of this, though, and instead just zero in on embodying the experience of your imagination.

    "It's about giving yourself full permission to explore all our internal pleasure places, and how we experience them in both our minds and bodies at the same time," said Wise.

    It's like writing fanfiction, but in real-time Credit: vicky leta / mashable

    Try these exercises to strengthen your mind-body connection

    Through her research and other studies in the field, Wise has ultimately found that, "This distinction we make between the mind and body is really a very arbitrary one."

    One of the best ways to embrace this in a way that engages your erotic fantasy life in is through something called mindful sex.

    This increasingly popular branch of sex therapy describes a bunch of different practices and exercises that add a layer of sexuality to mindfulness, to help you stay present in your body while experiencing pleasure, train your mind to focus on whatever arouses you, and engage in a non-judgmental curious sexual mindset. Try out basic exercises like pleasure mapping (which Dipsea has a guide for), mindful masturbation (which you can read about here), and sensate focus (which you can read about here).

    Wise also suggests a very simple exercise for getting your imagination more connected with your genitals on a neurological level: Just start by tapping or pleasurably touching your genitals, then stop, then think back on the sensations you felt while touching them. Try to recall and summon them back in your body: What did it feel like in your body when the stimulation was building, then dissipating?

    At first, it might not feel like much at all and the pleasure may be pretty mild compared to what you're used to while using more immediate erotic visual aids like porn.

    “But you’ll slowly start to develop a better connection to that pleasure sensation channel in your brain,” she said.

    Use your imagination during partnered sex

    While sexual fantasies are a great way to enhance self-love, learning how to engage with them during partnered sex can also do wonders to get people over the edge and into orgasm.

    At this point though, you might be wondering: Is it even OK to fantasize about other situations — or maybe even other people — while having sex with a partner?

    “It doesn't matter where you get your appetite, as long as you'd come home to eat.”

    “Yes, it’s an unequivocal yes! Because thinking about stuff is not the same as doing it,” said Wise. As the famous saying goes, “It doesn't matter where you get your appetite, as long as you'd come home to eat.”

    It’s totally normal for your mind to desire novelty, especially if you're not in a new relationship anymore. In fact, Wise found that one of the best ways to ensure a couples’ longevity is precisely this kind of openness and understanding that people need to fuel their erotic imagination with new stuff.

    “If we can get over these kind of hang ups, get past this fear of our partners having a fantasy about somebody else while they’re with us, and instead use it as an opportunity talk about: What would you like? What haven't we tried? What are you afraid to tell me? Because that's hot. That's really hot,” said Wise.

    Or maybe instead of thinking about someone else, you'd simply rather use your imagination during partnered sex to transport you both to a setting or scenario that heightens your arousal even more.

    In the end, what you do with your erotic imagination is up to you. You can share it if you'd like — or keep it all to yourself. That’s what’s so great about sexual fantasies you cut from your own cloth: They’re all yours, and no one else's.

  • Social media is the new bodycam

    Social media is the new bodycam

    Childish Gambino warned us in 2018. This is America, right?


    It's been a brutal week for anyone who doesn't live with their eyes closed. The proof is right there on Twitter and other social platforms. It used to be that we relied on police bodycams to hold officers accountable for their actions. But in this difficult moment, citizen journalism is carrying that bucket instead.

    Something snapped in the United States as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against George Floyd's neck until he died on May 25. Floyd was black and Chauvin is white. It was a sadly familiar scene of what looks to rational observers like a clear case of police brutality.

    But this time, we hit a breaking point. The gruesome reality of Chauvin's actions as captured on camera is certainly part of it. He held his position on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes, until after the restrained man died. The camera captures it all in vivid, horrifying detail. Add to that the ongoing pandemic, and historic levels of unemployment. People's nerves are frayed and the callous inhumanity of Floyd's death was a last straw.

    So cities exploded over the weekend with widespread protests and grim scenes of violence. Even as much of the country outside of major cities continues to hunker down behind stay-at-home orders, social media has brought all of us to the front lines through citizen journalism and shared news reports.

    These ongoing protests are about stopping racial violence and police brutality, and they're hundreds of years in the making. I think the images and videos, and the actions of the people portrayed therein, tell the whole story. Thank you to all of the protesters and members of the press who are out there doing your part to make sure the realities of this moment won't soon be forgotten.

    It hasn't all been as completely terrible as the above visuals suggest. Protesters are out in force and many of them are skipping the violence in favor of working to send a message, lift up the people in their community, and generally just keep the peace. Many others are just doing the best they can to peacefully work through the days, weeks, months, decades of pent-up anger they've been carrying.

    They've even been joined in a few cases by police officers and departments that have managed to maintain a level of trust with their local communities.

    SEE ALSO: How to demand justice for George Floyd and support Minneapolis protesters

    I don't know what else to say. Take care of yourselves, folks. And please, keep on documenting this moment in any way that you can.

  • Police scanner app catapults to the top of the App Store

    Police scanner app catapults to the top of the App Store

    Protesters just made a police scanner the most popular paid iOS app in the country.


    On Monday, 5-0 Radio Police Scanner(Opens in a new tab), which costs $5, was the number one paid app in the App Store. A pared-down version with ads was the number two paid app, surpassing TikTok and second only to the suddenly popular Zynn app. Vice first reported(Opens in a new tab) on the app's rise.

    Protesters clashed with police in Minneapolis, Louisville, Los Angeles, Philadelphia(Opens in a new tab), and other U.S. cities over the weekend. They are demanding an end to police brutality after George Floyd was killed by a police officer.

    A look at the top paid apps. Credit: screenshot / mashable
    Also popular as a free app. Credit: Screenshot / mashable

    Scanner apps let protesters listen to live police radio feeds. App analytics firm Apptopia found the top five police scanner apps, such as 5-0 Police Scanner(Opens in a new tab) and Police Scanner(Opens in a new tab), were downloaded 213,000 times over the weekend. That's a 125 percent increase from the weekend before — a record for police scanner apps. 5-0 Police Scanner was downloaded 40,000 times between Friday and Sunday in the United States.

    Other related apps saw download surges as well, like the encrypted messaging app Signal. It was downloaded 37,000 times this weekend, a record for the app. Same for community alert app Citizen, which was downloaded 49,000 times during the same period, according to Apptopia(Opens in a new tab).

  • Elizabeth Warren and her very good dog Bailey joined the Washington D.C. protests

    Elizabeth Warren and her very good dog Bailey joined the Washington D.C. protests

    Less than half an hour before the official curfew started in Washington D.C., thousands of protesters were still walking peacefully in the streets of the capital. Among them were Sen. Elizabeth Warren, her husband Bruce Mann, and their dog Bailey.


    Dressed in sensible beige shorts, sneakers, and a basic blue face mask, the last female candidate to suspend her campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination was quickly spotted by her fellow protesters as she joined the throng in Lafayette Square. Many were clearly thrilled to see her, cheering as she told reporters President Donald Trump had been "wrong" to deploy the National Guard in the city.

    "He is imposing violence on our people," she told one reporter(Opens in a new tab). "People are here to protest peacefully.

    Warren also called for Attorney General Bill Barr to resign after reports that he had ordered the violent removal of protesters near the White House, and tweeted her support for her colleague Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's bill to criminalise the use of chokeholds by police. Gillibrand was also in the presidential race until last August.

    Widespread protests have emerged in cities across the U.S. in a furious response to the death of George Floyd — who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes — as well as other recent police killings, including Louisville woman Breonna Taylor and Florida man Tony McDade. These names are only the latest to be added to a shamefully long list of black Americans killed by police.f

    Trump's response to the protests, in particular the order to disperse peaceful demonstrators near the White House using tear gas and rubber bullets for a Trump photo op, has drawn criticism from members of both parties(Opens in a new tab).

    Other politicians who have appeared at protests include Reps. Ayanna Pressley(Opens in a new tab), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(Opens in a new tab), and Joyce Beatty, who was pepper sprayed by police at the Columbus, Ohio event(Opens in a new tab), as well as Sen. Kamala Harris (Opens in a new tab)

  • Every police department should have to hear our rage via Zoom call

    Every police department should have to hear our rage via Zoom call

    Yesterday, the Los Angeles Police Commission held a Zoom call with citizens — of Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, as well as some former residents — and watched with blank faces as citizens berated them mercilessly for eight hours.


    The call came not only after several nights of protests in Los Angeles, but also after LAPD chief Michael Moore blamed the death of George Floyd(Opens in a new tab) on the city's protestors and looters. (Moore walked back on the comments(Opens in a new tab) after backlash.)

    But that's just the tip of the iceberg: LAPD has a long history of violence against black people — next year will be 30 years since LA officers beat Rodney King(Opens in a new tab).

    After many people were initially left out of the call(Opens in a new tab) because it capped at 500 people — and after the boomers on the commission figured out how to work Zoom — the commission said their statements.

    Then, the real show started. The public unleashed their fury on the LAPD for hours on end. They demanded Moore's resignation or firing, as well as to defund the LAPD and support the people's budget(Opens in a new tab). Some spewed incredible insults(Opens in a new tab), while others broke down in tears. Several impassioned callers, like this one, went viral:

    After watching this call, I'm convinced that every police department needs to have a Zoom call like this one.

    While the LAPD is notorious for its racism, so are many other departments across the country — including the Minneapolis police(Opens in a new tab), who are responsible for the killing of George Floyd. He died after three police officers pinned him down, one kneeling on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.

    Police departments across the nation should be subjected to people's rage. In many cities, they're beating up peaceful protestors who they are sworn to protect, all while we — the taxpayers — pay their salaries. Police commissions are supposed to be working for us, the civilians, and we should be able to scream and cry and drag our cops just like the residents of LA did yesterday. (And then I think we should defund the police(Opens in a new tab), but that's a different story.)

    Public meetings with police departments aren't new. As some activists mentioned on the call, they've been raising the same concerns about the police for years. But now thanks to technology not afforded previous generations, these meetings can be online (and the current pandemic pretty much mandates that, anyway). Virtual meetings can not only be more accessible to people who can't make them in-person, but allows these meetings to go viral and be seen by thousands, both in the department's jurisdiction and beyond.

    The total impact of the LAPD call has yet to be seen. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti didn't make any promises about changing the budget(Opens in a new tab), and as of publication the LAPD chief has not resigned.

    But that doesn't mean this call didn't have an impact. Hundreds of people were able to express anger that has possibly been pent up for years. People around the country — like me, in New York — stayed tuned for hours and are now inspired to tell our police departments our similar demands (and probably insults). Like protesting, donating money, and calling our reps, being able to rip into our respective police departments can be just another action to elicit change, and it's a cathartic one at that.

    Police commissions and departments have a duty to their citizens to let their voices be heard. We are all owed a more modern-day public forum. Americans everywhere should be able to call out their police chief's racist eyebrows.

    Mashable has reached out to LAPD for comment and will update if received.

  • Even Piers Morgan thinks Rudy Giuliani sounds completely barking mad

    Even Piers Morgan thinks Rudy Giuliani sounds completely barking mad

    Listen, let's not give Piers Morgan — a British TV presenter who's dabbled in racist tropes(Opens in a new tab) and transphobia(Opens in a new tab) — a gold star. But even he has realized Rudy Giuliani seems a little off.


    Giuliani, the former NYC mayor and current personal lawyer for President Donald Trump, appeared on Thursday on ITV's Good Morning Britain, which Morgan co-hosts. The appearance, which took place in the middle of the night in the U.S., turned into a shouting match between two old white guys about who was more discredited.

    The fight began when Morgan criticized Trump's tweet about "when the looting starts the shooting starts" in regards to the protests surrounding the police killing of George Floyd. But the argument soon devolved into a barrage of personal attacks.

    "You sound completely barking mad, do you know that?" Morgan said.

    Giuliani fired back, "No, I don't. You sound like a big liar."

    But Morgan kept going after the former mayor, firing off wonderfully British insults.

    "You've lost the plot. And it's sad to see," the host said.

    Taking a page from his boss's playbook, Giuliani stumbled through a few insults about Morgan's failed CNN show and its poor ratings. At some point, Giuliani either tells Morgan he "sucked up" or "fucked up" — it's tough to tell because Giuliani's words are a bit slurred — but either way Morgan apologizes for the language before twisting the knife further into his guest.

    "When I used to interview you, you were an intelligent, reasonable man and you've gone completely mad," he said. "And you sound deranged. You're abusive. And it's really sad to see what's happened to you."

    A viral clip from the interview goes on in a similar fashion for a few more minutes. It does represent a shift from Morgan — a former winner on Celebrity Apprentice who had a largely friendly (if bonkers)(Opens in a new tab) interview with Trump this time last year.

    But definitely watch the entire clip from Thursday, if only to see co-host Susanna Reid deliver an absolutely perfect, "OK," to end the wild segment.

  • Fox News host says John Lennon — who was killed in New York — wouldnt be safe in the city right now

    Fox News host says John Lennon — who was killed in New York — wouldnt be safe in the city right now

    Days after an NYPD car floored it into a group of protesters(Opens in a new tab) — just one of many instances of police violence in the city(Opens in a new tab) — New York City mayor Bill de Blasio responded with...John Lennon lyrics.


    "I don't mean to make light of this but I'm reminded of the song 'Imagine' by John Lennon," said de Blasio, according to journalist Jack Mirkinson. He went on to say that defunding the police, a rallying cry of the George Floyd protests, was "not the way forward."

    De Blasio was subsequently roasted by social media(Opens in a new tab) and traditional(Opens in a new tab) media(Opens in a new tab) outlets(Opens in a new tab), and then Fox News got ahold of the quote. On Fox & Friends Thursday morning, Brian Kilmeade thought he was delivering a brilliant zinger about the mayor:

    "John Lennon wouldn't be safe in this city right now," said Kilmeade. "He'd be hiding in his apartment."

    For those who are unaware (like Kilmeade, apparently), John Lennon was murdered in New York(Opens in a new tab) in 1980. His killer, Mark David Chapman, shot him four times outside his luxury Manhattan apartment. He's still in prison and his eleventh parole hearing is scheduled for this August(Opens in a new tab).

    Maybe Kilmeade should do some fact-checking. Imagine that?

  • Singer performs Bunker Boy, a catchy tune about Trumps time in the bunker

    Singer performs Bunker Boy, a catchy tune about Trumps time in the bunker

    There's a new song inspired by Donald Trump's recent and somewhat confusing trip to the White House bunker, and honestly? It's catchy as hell.


    On Monday, days after it was reported that Secret Service rushed the president to the White House bunker(Opens in a new tab) amidst D.C. protests, singer Courtney Jaye (@TropicalJaye(Opens in a new tab)) penned and performed the tune, titled, "Bunker Boy."

    Jaye shared a video of herself performing the song to social media, and on top of her gorgeous guitar playing and sweet-sounding vocals, the lyrics are truly something.

    "Bunker Boy, don't lie. You got scared and hid in the basement in the middle of the night," Jaye sings. "You're not so tough, no. It's a sorry sight. So take your bible, shove it up your ass, and turn on the fucking lights."

    Jaye ends the song with the lyrics, "Bunker Boy, Bunker Boy, November's coming and we hope you're terrified, Bunker boy," before taking a big exhale and letting out an exhausted eye roll. A real mood.

    SEE ALSO: Stephen Colbert slams Trump's hypocritical Bible photo op

    For those who haven't been closely following Trump's bunker saga, let's recap.

    On Friday night, hundreds of people gathered outside the White House gates to protest racism, police brutality, and the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on May 25, after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.

    Reports stated that when protests escalated Friday night, Secret Service ushered Trump — along with Melania and their son Barron — to the underground presidential bunker, where they allegedly remained for nearly an hour(Opens in a new tab).

    After Trump received some backlash for retreating to the bunker amidst a national state of unrest, he said that he didn't go to the bunker to get away from the protests, rather he was merely inspecting the bunker.

    "I was there for a tiny, short little period of time," Trump told Brian Kilmeade on Fox News Radio. He then stated his bunker visit was "more for an inspection," and that he'd been been to the bunker previously. He said he's gone "two and a half times," whatever that means.

    Trump's bunker comments sounded a bit absurd to many people, including Jaye, which is why she decided to use the gift of song to hilariously call the president out on his suspicious story.

    Jaye tweeted her video and made sure to tag Trump's Twitter handle — and the song has been quite a hit since. At the time of writing this piece, Jaye's tweet had more than 60,000 likes, and celebrities like Sophia Bush have even praised the blunt and catchy tune.

    Jaye is no stranger to writing songs about President Trump. On June 1, she also shared another potential hit, called "fuck this fucking president," which has been viewed 174,000 times.

    In it, Jaye shares her true feelings about the president, and urges people to get out and vote for the November election.

    I only wish Jaye had been cranking out these political hits back in 2018, when former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was hiding in (or among) bushes. I bet "Bushes Boy" would have been a real banger.

  • Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, resigns to make room for a black board member

    Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, resigns to make room for a black board member

    The co-founder of Reddit just put the rest of the tech world on notice.


    Alexis Ohanian announced Friday(Opens in a new tab) that he was resigning his Reddit board seat, and "urged" the rest of the board to fill his spot with a new black board member. He will also be donating all future gains on his Reddit stock to "serve the black community," and is immediately giving $1 million to Colin Kaepernick's racial justice charity.

    Yes, take that in. Ohanian just set the bar for using power and privilege for racial equity by transferring not only resources, but also power to people of color.

    The tech world has been looking for ways to support racial equality amid Black Lives Matter protests across the world. The leaders in efforts to promote diversity in tech say that one of the best ways tech leaders in particular can help is by investing in black businesses and venture funds, hiring black employees, and putting black people in positions of power within the tech world.

    "Tech companies should be hiring [people of color] at all levels, from the board room to the boiler room," Rodney Sampson, a leader in tech diversity and founder of the accelerator OHUB(Opens in a new tab), said. "If you’re a venture-backed tech company, you should be looking to put someone black on your board of advisors."

    Ohanian called his move "long overdue." He explained that he had made his decision so that he could answer his black daughter (Ohanian's wife is Serena Williams) when she asked: "What did you do?"

    Williams expressed support for her husband in a tweet that may have made this reporter choke up.

    In the background of Ohanian's actions are the stark realities of Reddit, which Ohanian said he founded "to help people find community and a sense of belonging." Anyone who has spent even a passing moment on Reddit knows that it can be a quagmire of divisive vitriol. Amid the protests, some Reddit communities protested what they see as Reddit's failure to take stronger action against hate speech on the platform by making their communities private. Ellen Pao, a former VC, and one-time interim CEO of Reddit who now runs a tech diversity organization, called out Reddit's hypocrisy on Twitter:

    There is, of course, no guarantee that Reddit leadership will take Ohanian up on his request to fill his seat with a black board member. But this is an opportunity to set an example for the rest of the tech and business world. Currently, around 11 percent of Fortune 100 board members are African American, according to a recent study(Opens in a new tab) by the Alliance for Board Diversity.

    Mashable has reached out to Reddit to learn whether it intends to follow through with Ohanian's call to action, and Reddit said it would be responding "later today."

  • Trump lies about elderly protester injured by police, hits another new Twitter low

    Trump lies about elderly protester injured by police, hits another new Twitter low

    Every time you think Donald Trump has hit a new moral low, he manages to outdo himself.


    On Tuesday morning, Twitter users saw yet another exceptionally distressing and unpresidential display from Trump. The president tweeted outlandish lies about Martin Gugino, the injured protester who was shoved to the ground by Buffalo police officers last week. Even for someone prone to spreading false conspiracy theories, this was a shocking thing to say.

    After video of the Buffalo police officers pushing the 75-year-old man to the ground went viral, public outrage led to the suspension of two officers directly involved and the resignation of the 57 other officers(Opens in a new tab) from Buffalo New York's emergency response team. Those officers who resigned from the team remain on the force.

    As Gugino — whose head could be seen smacking the pavement in the video and then was bleeding from his ears — remains in serious but stable condition, Trump suggested to nearly 82 million Twitter followers that the 75-year-old man was "an ANTIFA provocateur" who was trying to tamper with police equipment and exaggerated the severity of his fall.

    "Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?" Trump tweeted.

    SEE ALSO: Protesters turned Donald Trump's #BabyGate fence into something beautiful

    The tweet not only publicly targets a citizen, but also attempts to destroy his reputation as a peaceful activist(Opens in a new tab). And though Trump continually flings insults and spreads misinformation on Twitter, many people were genuinely taken aback by the harmful nature of this conspiracy theory.

    Trump seems to have gotten this conspiracy theory in his head from One America News, the conservative, far-right news network that previously claimed Dr. Fauci had ties to the Deep State, George Soros, Bill Gates, and the Clintons(Opens in a new tab).

    Trump has proven time and again that he's not above lying to rile up his base and change the conversation. So it's imperative now more than ever that you research whatever he says before you even consider believing it.

Random articles


  • Twitter asks: Is Starbucks food actually good?


    Twitter asks: Is Starbucks food actually good?

    Wikipedia, cold weather, and Starbucks food: All things addressed this week on Twitter.

    How about that? Weird but good, I'd say.

    Per usual, we went ahead and collected the best and funniest tweets of the week. Why? Because we can, and because we do it every week. And this week was especially good for tweets! So we've got that going for us.

    So, anyway, here they are, the 10 best and funniest tweets of the week.

    1. Bill was a whole dang mood or...whatever it is the kids are saying these days. I don't know.

    2. Bro, when you got outside and it's cold...that's when you know it's cold but like actually cold.

    3. This is literally all I do on Wikipedia.

    4. My soul would thrive in an empty Dogfish Head beer bottle.

    5. This is the most wonderful dad joke I've ever seen.

    6. This is a very good point.

    7. A Prius should not look cool. And yet!

    8. The spiritual idea of a Cheesecake Factory.

    9. This would've been a fantastic bit.

    10. And finally, the thing about Starbucks food is that it's real food, but it's like not real food and it's not like...good, but it's also not like...bad.

  • Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, resigns to make room for a black board member

    Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, resigns to make room for a black board member

    The co-founder of Reddit just put the rest of the tech world on notice.


    Alexis Ohanian announced Friday(Opens in a new tab) that he was resigning his Reddit board seat, and "urged" the rest of the board to fill his spot with a new black board member. He will also be donating all future gains on his Reddit stock to "serve the black community," and is immediately giving $1 million to Colin Kaepernick's racial justice charity.

    Yes, take that in. Ohanian just set the bar for using power and privilege for racial equity by transferring not only resources, but also power to people of color.

    The tech world has been looking for ways to support racial equality amid Black Lives Matter protests across the world. The leaders in efforts to promote diversity in tech say that one of the best ways tech leaders in particular can help is by investing in black businesses and venture funds, hiring black employees, and putting black people in positions of power within the tech world.

    "Tech companies should be hiring [people of color] at all levels, from the board room to the boiler room," Rodney Sampson, a leader in tech diversity and founder of the accelerator OHUB(Opens in a new tab), said. "If you’re a venture-backed tech company, you should be looking to put someone black on your board of advisors."

    Ohanian called his move "long overdue." He explained that he had made his decision so that he could answer his black daughter (Ohanian's wife is Serena Williams) when she asked: "What did you do?"

    Williams expressed support for her husband in a tweet that may have made this reporter choke up.

    In the background of Ohanian's actions are the stark realities of Reddit, which Ohanian said he founded "to help people find community and a sense of belonging." Anyone who has spent even a passing moment on Reddit knows that it can be a quagmire of divisive vitriol. Amid the protests, some Reddit communities protested what they see as Reddit's failure to take stronger action against hate speech on the platform by making their communities private. Ellen Pao, a former VC, and one-time interim CEO of Reddit who now runs a tech diversity organization, called out Reddit's hypocrisy on Twitter:

    There is, of course, no guarantee that Reddit leadership will take Ohanian up on his request to fill his seat with a black board member. But this is an opportunity to set an example for the rest of the tech and business world. Currently, around 11 percent of Fortune 100 board members are African American, according to a recent study(Opens in a new tab) by the Alliance for Board Diversity.

    Mashable has reached out to Reddit to learn whether it intends to follow through with Ohanian's call to action, and Reddit said it would be responding "later today."

  • Quordle today: Here are the answers and hints for October 1

    Quordle today: Here are the answers and hints for October 1

    Some Quordles are brain-busters, some are less challenging than remember what you had for lunch yesterday. Some, like today's are in-between.


    If it's a little too challenging, 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(Opens in a new tab). Meyer's creation was covered in The Guardian(Opens in a new tab) six days later, and now, according to Meyer, it attracts millions of daily users. Today, Meyer earns modest revenue(Opens in a new tab) 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(Opens in a new tab) 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:

    A semi-useful hint about today’s puzzle

    Synonyms for all four words are in the following very strange sentence (in no particular order).

    The unfortunate coincidence is that the supervillain was only willing to dismiss his right to remain silent, because he believed he could turn to steam and escape from jail, but there was no foundation for that belief because he wasn’t on his own planet.

    Are there any double or triple letters in today’s Quordle words?

    One letter occurs twice in one word.

    Are any rare letters being used in today’s Quordle like Q or Z?

    Only if you consider W rare.

    What do today’s Quordle words start with?

    B, W, V, and I.

    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:

    1. BASIS 

    2. WAIVE 

    3. VAPOR 

    4. IRONY

  • 16 best tweets of the week, including horse jeans, Dune, and Porpo Dorpo

    16 best tweets of the week, including horse jeans, Dune, and Porpo Dorpo

    Do you like good tweets? Of course you do! How could you not? They're funny, they're brief, they're part of a balanced media diet.*


    (*Mashable can neither confirm nor deny that tweets are a part of a balanced media diet. We cannot recommend anyone, in good conscience, spend any significant amount of time engaging with Twitter. We were merely hypothesizing. We thank you for your understanding.)

    Anyway, we have good news if you like good tweets: We collected the best posts from this week. Please, enjoy the 16 best tweets of the week and have a nice laugh as we head into the weekend.

    1. Good Dune joke

    2. Yes, I should be there in five but I will, in fact, be there in 35

    3. Why is this tweet so freaking LOUD

    4. A good callback to an early pandemic meme that ties-in the new Gossip Girl

    5. They really do, though. They really do.

    6. No lies here

    7. OK, this is cheating. It's just a tweet with an old video in it but I promise the video is worth your time.

    8. I am an idiot but Porpo Dorpo killed me

    9. A great I Think You Should Leave meme about the Bezos launch

    10. And impossibly dumb and good pun that effectively trolls the idea that we would cheer billionaires spending countless dollars to send themselves to the edge of space for vanity

    11. Horse jeans

    12. Yes? I think it is?

    13. Got me, too

    14. This is just good wisdom

    15. Obligatory dril tweet

    16. And finally, this

  • 8 gifts for aspiring Instagram and TikTok influencers

    8 gifts for aspiring Instagram and TikTok influencers

    We all have that friend or relative who aspires to be a social media influencer. They're always keeping up with the latest trends, they're always filming or taking pictures, and they have the ruthless ambition of a reality show contestant.


    They've got the raw talent, they just need the right tools. And that's where you come in. Help them achieve the polished influencer look and impress them with your influencer savvy all at the same time.

    1. Elgato Stream Deck MK.2(Opens in a new tab)

    For those who are serious about taking on the influencer game, look no further than the stream deck. Think of it as an extension of a keyboard, but with completely customizable buttons to control apps, tools, and platforms. Basically, everything you need for a livestream or studio-level production is at the push of a button.

    You can even connect it to smart lighting systems. Credit: Elgato/Amazon

    2. Green screen backdrop(Opens in a new tab)

    With your own green screen backdrop, anything is possible. Use it to transport yourself to a picturesque locale or to present data and information in a visually interesting way. TikTok already has its own green screen effect, but using a physical backdrop gives you a sharper outline.

    It's like having your own in-house production studio. Credit: Neewer/Amazon

    3. Tiny microphone(Opens in a new tab)

    Last spring, tiny microphones took over TikTok and they’ve dominated FYPs (“For You" pages) ever since. Part gimmick, part genuinely useful (they are functioning microphones after all) creators started using them as a way to catch people’s attention. Gifting someone a tiny microphone will not only help them get followers, but demonstrate your TikTok knowledge.

    Don't drop this mic, because you might not be able to find it. Credit: Uniwit/Amazon

    4. LED light strips(Opens in a new tab)

    Give the gift of colorful mood lighting that you can change on command. Stick these lights anywhere and use your phone or voice control to change the hue, brightness, or sync it with music. Perfect for creating the right video vibe.

    So they can set the mood for their unboxing video. Credit: Philips Hue/Getty

    5. Smart tracking phone holder(Opens in a new tab)

    This gadget is basically your own personal cameraperson. Not only does it hold your phone, it tracks your horizontal movements and rotates to wherever you go. This is the gift to give for that special someone who is always asking someone else to film them. 

    Basically designed with TikTok dance videos in mind. Credit: MOYOON/Amazon

    6. Ring light with tripod(Opens in a new tab)

    Good lighting is the key to achieving that professional influencer look on Instagram or TikTok. This ring light has multiple light settings for warmth and brightness so you can discover what’s most flattering. It’s also a tripod that can hold a phone or a camera and comes with a wireless remote. Basically an all-in-one studio for the giftee. 

    Never underestimate the power of good lighting. Credit: UBeesize/Amazon

    7. Kaleidoscope window decals(Opens in a new tab) 

    It’s like a filter, but in real life. Give these window decals to someone who is always trying to capture light and shadow in artsy ways. The decals are removable and reusable, so they can create high concept projections wherever they go. 

    Iridescent rainbow light = Instagram likes. Credit: CottonColors/Amazon

    8. What Do You Meme? TikTok Edition(Opens in a new tab)

    SEE ALSO: The best webcams for boosting your video quality

    Test the meme knowledge of an aspiring influencer with this card game. Every round a new judge chooses the funniest caption that accompanies the selected TikTok meme. Plus, each photo card has a QR code that links to the original TikTok video. 

    This game is all about playing to the judge. Credit: What Do You Meme?/Getty

  • How to update your Instagram app

    How to update your Instagram app

    If you're not seeing all the Instagram features you think you should have, you might wanna try updating your app before hitting the panic button.


    Once you have the latest version, you won't be missing out on anything.

    SEE ALSO: How to tag someone on Instagram

    You can update your Instagram in just a few steps:

    1. Open your app store

    2. Tap the search icon in the bottom right corner and search "Instagram"

    App store search icon Credit: Andy Moser / App Store

    3. Find Instagram in the results and look to the right. If your app is up-to-date, it'll say "open." If you need to update, it'll say "update."

    4. Tap "update"

    The icon will either say "Update" or "Open" Credit: Andy Moser / App Store

    5. Once it's done updating, just open your app

    You'll be running the latest version of Instagram.

    If you want to see its latest features or see what's changed, you can go to Instagram's page in the App Store(Opens in a new tab) and tap "Version History." There, you'll see a detailed list of the app's update history as well as what was changed in each version.

    Check an app's version history Credit: Andy Moser / App Store

    More Instagram tutorials

    • How to delete all of your Instagram posts

    • How to disable your Instagram

    • How to change the background color on your Instagram Story

    • How to change your Instagram algorithm to a chronological feed

  • 65 websites to waste your time on

    65 websites to waste your time on

    The internet has changed the world in myriad ways — it has reshaped politics, retail, media, to name a few things — but it has entirely redefined the way people waste time.


    If the internet was ever good for anything, in fact, my goodness it it fantastic for wasting time or killing boredom.

    But not all time wasting is created equal. For instance, your's truly spends countless hours scrolling through Twitter. That might be bad for me, in the long run. But wouldn't it be nice to switch up your habits instead of mindless scrolling?

    The internet is vast and filled with dozens of websites to help you kill time. We did the work of finding some great place you might not know about. So next time you want a new way to pass the time online, we've got you covered.

    Here are 15 of the best sites to waste time.

    1. r/eyebleach (Opens in a new tab)

    This subreddit collects pure things that'll lift your spirits when you've simply had enough internet for the day. It's eye bleach, as in, it washes out your eyes from the bad stuff. 

    2. Map Crunch(Opens in a new tab)

    If you're someone who loves seeing the world, Map Crunch will bop your around random Google Street View locations across the globes. Just tap the green "Go" button to be transported to a new location.

    You never know what kind of view you'll get with Map Crunch. Credit: SCREENSHOT: MAP CRUNCH

    3. Window Swap(Opens in a new tab)

    This site is kind of mundane, but fascinating nonetheless. Window Swap is exactly what it sounds like. You get transported to a random view out someone else's window. (It is not live, so you're not being that creepy.) It's kind of cool to see the view and imagine living whatever life (and window) you're dealt. Also, the ambient sounds that accompany the view are oddly soothing. 

    A random view of Vancouver. Credit: SCREENSHOT: WINDOW SWAP

    4. Scream Into The Void(Opens in a new tab)

    Honestly, this one is for those days you just need an impossibly dumb outlet. Scream Into The Void lets you type frustrations, and then you hear a scream, and the words you type get sent into "the void."


    5. Oregon Trail(Opens in a new tab)

    This site provides a healthy dose of nostalgia for '80s and '90s kids who got to play Oregon Trail on days a substitute teacher took over the classroom. It looks and plays exactly how you remember the 1990 version of the classic game, and will definitely kill some time. 

    My brave travelers will make it all the way across the country, I'm sure. Credit: SCREENSHOT: ARCHIVE.ORG

    6. Google Earth(Opens in a new tab)

    If you can't tell, I love maps and scrolling through the vast web of imagery Google has created. But Google Earth is especially cool because the massive tech company created ways to explore famous places in-depth. You can get lost virtually traveling to places like ancient Roman(Opens in a new tab), iconic sports stadiums(Opens in a new tab), or use the "I'm feeling lucky" button to randomly jump across the globe.

    A beautiful view in North Carolina, courtesy of Google Earth. Credit: Screenshot: google earth

    7. Autodraw(Opens in a new tab)

    Autodraw allows you to freehand a doodle and then the site guesses what you were attempting to draw. It's pretty fun for both the artistically gifted and those who can't drawn anything (like myself). 

    Look at this lovely coffee mug I drew. Credit: Screenshot: autodraw

    8. Quick, Draw!(Opens in a new tab)

    This site is a lot like Auto Draw, but gamified. You try to draw a random object and then see if your image was good enough for Google's neural network was able to guess what it is. 

    9. Histography(Opens in a new tab)

    I am a huge history fan. This massive, interactive timeline of history is dangerous and fun, because it will pull up Wiki pages for all sorts of historical events. Good luck not going down countless rabbit-holes. 

    There are so many places to get lost on this site. Credit: Screenshot: histography

    10. The Useless Web(Opens in a new tab)

    This is exactly how it seems. You go to this website, click a big button then get redirected to a generally useless website. It might kill a few minutes of time, however, with the sheer oddness on display from some of the sites. Sometimes you'll get a simple game to pay, other times you'll see a man get slapped with an eel. 

    11. GeoGuessr(Opens in a new tab)

    It’s a lot like Map Crunch, except you play a game. You attempt to guess your location based on a random Street View and get a certain number of points based on how close you were to the correct answer. Unfortunately, you do need to create an account to play, but a free one lets you play a certain number of games per day. 

    12. Flight Radar(Opens in a new tab)

    Quite simply, Flight Radar lets you see every aircraft that's currently in the air. And while the map is a bit of an illusion — planes fly in a three-dimensional sky, not a 2D landscape — it is quite interesting to see how many aircraft pack the sky. Kill some time by seeing where folks are jetting off to in real time. 

    That's...a lot of planes. Credit: SCREENSHOT: FLIGHT RADAR

    13. Radio Garden(Opens in a new tab)

    Radio Garden lets you listen in to different radio states around the world. Take a tour around the globe and hear what kind of music different folks enjoy.

    14. r/AmItheAsshole(Opens in a new tab)

    The premise of this subreddit is simple. People share stories and ask commenters if they're the asshole in the situation. Yes, some of the tales are almost assuredly fake, but they're still enjoyable to read. 

    15. McMansion Hell(Opens in a new tab)

    Picture Zillow but for all the strangest houses. Writer Kate Wagner(Opens in a new tab) critiques strange, often poorly designed homes. You can lose hours on the site reading Wagner's commentary on houses built by folks with more money than sense (or taste). 

    Bored still? We've got this list of 50 more websites to browse around.

    Useless Websites

    1. Find the Invisible Cow(Opens in a new tab)

    An Internet version of the hiding game Hot and Cold.

    2. Cat Bounce(Opens in a new tab)

    It's simple. You (harmlessly) bounce virtual cats.

    3. Hacker Typer(Opens in a new tab)

    Hollywood-style hacker code. Pound on your keys and freak out your boss.

    4. Pointer Pointer(Opens in a new tab)

    What's the point of this? Yeah, I don't know -- just embrace the weird.

    5. Staggering Beauty(Opens in a new tab)

    Make the worm dance with your mouse. (Warning: Flashing images.)

    6. Bees Bees Bees(Opens in a new tab)

    This site reveals Oprah's secret plans.

    7. Shady URL(Opens in a new tab)

    Changes URLs to look like viruses.

    8. Don't Even Reply(Opens in a new tab)

    A collection of emails from awful people.

    9. Shut Up and Take My Money(Opens in a new tab)

    A shopping website of stuff you don't need, but you really want.

    10. Just this giant Wikipedia list of dogs(Opens in a new tab)

    Space dogs? Check. War dogs? Check. Famous dogs? Check annnnd check.

    11. Drive Me Insane(Opens in a new tab)

    Turn on the lights (or a disco ball) in someone's home from your computer. The site has been running since 1997.

    Educational Websites

    12. Astronomy Picture of the Day(Opens in a new tab)

    Stunning photographs of space.

    13. Duo Lingo(Opens in a new tab)

    Learn a new language for free.

    14. Hubski(Opens in a new tab)

    A forum of good ideas and conversations.

    15. Lizard Point(Opens in a new tab)

    Browser-based educational activities.

    16. Music Theory(Opens in a new tab)

    Learn the language of music.

    17. Sleepytime(Opens in a new tab)

    A calculator that tells you exactly when to wake up for a good night's sleep.

    18. Code Academy(Opens in a new tab)

    Step 1. Learn to Code. Step 2: ??? Step 3: Profit.

    19. What Should I Read Next?(Opens in a new tab)

    Suggests books and authors based upon your interests.

    20. OnRead(Opens in a new tab)

    Free e-books.

    Creative Websites

    21. Weave Silk(Opens in a new tab)

    Draw stunning symmetrical images with the click of a mouse.

    22. I Need a Prompt(Opens in a new tab)

    An idea generator.

    23. This is Sand(Opens in a new tab)

    Draw things with sand.

    Gaming Websites

    24. Pokemon Showdown(Opens in a new tab)

    A Pokémon battle simulator to waste hours on.

    25. SNES Party(Opens in a new tab)

    This site allows you to upload ROMs (legally obtained, _of course_, unless you're a bad person) and play with friends within your browser. Pick a game, share a link to your room, and you're set.

    26. Sporcle(Opens in a new tab)

    Brain games.

    27. Poptropica(Opens in a new tab)

    An interactive online RPG.

    28. TagPro(Opens in a new tab)

    Multi-player online capture the flag.

    29. Cookie Clicker(Opens in a new tab)

    Click for cookies and level up.

    30. Foddy(Opens in a new tab)

    A running game using your keyboard skills.

    31. HabitRPG(Opens in a new tab)

    A habit building app that treats your life like a game.

    32. Flash by Night(Opens in a new tab)

    A collection of addictive games.

    Music Websites

    33. Party Cloud(Opens in a new tab)

    Automatically syncs music, now you're a DJ.

    34. You are Listening to(Opens in a new tab)

    Syncs police scanners from different cities with ambient music.

    35. Incredibox(Opens in a new tab)

    Create your own music with just a few clicks.

    Mood Websites

    36. A Soft Murmur(Opens in a new tab)

    Set the mood with weather sounds.

    37. Rainy Mood(Opens in a new tab)

    Sometimes, the sound of rain is soothing.

    38. Good vs. Evil(Opens in a new tab)

    When doing good in the world feels too hard, just vote for good. It won't change the world, but you the distraction can be nice, even for a moment.

    39. Free Rice(Opens in a new tab)

    Each questions answered correctly translates to 10 grains of rice donated to a hunger charity.

    Utility Websites

    40. Do I Have a Dead Pixel?(Opens in a new tab)

    Find out.

    41. Da Font(Opens in a new tab)

    So. Many. Fonts.

    42. wallhalla(Opens in a new tab)

    You probably need a new desktop background.

    43. Retail Me Not(Opens in a new tab)

    Deals and steals.

    44. Mint(Opens in a new tab)

    Tracks how you spend your money.

    45. Taste Kid(Opens in a new tab)

    Explores your tastes and preferences.

    46. Addictive Tips(Opens in a new tab)

    Tips to improve your digital experience.

    47. Lifehacker(Opens in a new tab)

    Sometimes, it's the little things in life that need improvement.

    48. Instructables(Opens in a new tab)

    DIY everything.

    49. Snopes(Opens in a new tab)

    Dig deeper and find out the truth.

    50. Interface Lift(Opens in a new tab)

    Stunning photography and backgrounds for all of your devices.

    This post was updated in August 2018, and again in July 2021.

  • ON1 PortrAIt AI 2023 for Mac (super AI intelligent portrait processing software) v17.1.1.13620 activ

    ON1 Portrait AI is a photo editing software application designed for portrait retouching and enhancement. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms to automatically detect and enhance facial features such as eyes, skin, lips and hair. The software allows users to easily adjust and fine-tune all aspects of their portraits, including skin smoothing, blemish removal, tooth whitening, color correction and so on, with just a few clicks. ON1 Portrait AI can be used as a stand-alone application or as a plug-in for other photo editing software (such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom). It is suitable for Windows and Mac operating systems. Generally speaking, ON1 Portrait AI is a powerful tool for photographers and anyone who wants to use advanced AI technology to enhance portrait photos quickly and easily.

    ON1 Portrait AI 2023 for Mac (Super AI Intelligent Portrait Processing Software) id=Mjk0ODE5

    Workflow plug-in ON1 Portrait AI is suitable for almost any workflow. Using ON1 Portrait AI as a plug-in can achieve amazing decoration effect in a few seconds:


    • Adobe Photoshop

    • Adobe Lightroom Classic

    • Adobe Photoshop Elements

    • Affinity Photo

    • Capture One (coming soon)

    • Apple Photos

    • Corel Paintshop Pro

    ON1 Photo RAW with fully integrated portrait AI can be perfectly decorated with just one click. It uses machine learning to find every face in a photo and automatically make them look great. It analyzes every face, and adds some modifications to the skin, eyes and mouth, providing you with professional effects immediately.

    Decorative tools and the controls you need

    • The cosmetic options are simply amazing, including smoothing skin, reducing shine, removing blemishes, facial carving and whitening eyes and teeth.

    • Automatically find each face in the photo, analyze it, and add appropriate embellishments according to your preferences.

    No longer need lengthy editing sessions.

    • Let AI work for you by batch processing the entire photo folder. For each photo, portrait AI will find each face and automatically add the right amount of modification. It is very suitable for proofreading photos before delivery.

    Adjust everyone individually.

    • Each face in the photo has independent control and adjustment. For example, you can use different settings for the bride and groom in wedding photos.

    Your editing is nondestructive.

    • All your adjustments and edits are non-destructive. You can edit them again later, and the original photos will not be changed.

    How to edit

    • Everything is automatic, but you can also control it completely manually. You can manually adjust the position of your eyes and mouth, draw to refine the skin mask, and use a brush to remove stubborn flaws.

    Improve facial shape and lighting

    • By adding fill light to illuminate the face or reshape the face to narrow the chin line or balance the eye size, the common mistakes in lens selection and lighting can be corrected.

    Using the power of frequency separation

    • Skin modification uses frequency separation to maintain natural skin texture, while reducing the color and tone changes of the whole skin. It creates flawless but natural-looking skin.

    Easily remove flaws

    • Small flaws can be automatically reduced, while larger flaws can be removed by using the built-in content-aware eraser and clone stamp.

    Presets that suit your style

    • Easily create your own preset to define your decoration style.

  • In honor of 420, score some weed-themed dog toys from BarkBox

    In honor of 420, score some weed-themed dog toys from BarkBox

    In honor of 420, this month's BarkBox theme is weed.


    As of Friday, April 1 (no, not an April Fools' joke), some Bark subscribers can receive a limited-edition collection(Opens in a new tab) of cannabis-themed dog toys and treats. Bark is the company behind BarkBox, Super Chewer, Bark Bright, and Bark Eats subscription boxes that deliver toys, treats, and services to over one million dogs every month.

    BarkBox, the classic subscription, and Super Chewer(Opens in a new tab), which sells super durable toys for the, you guessed it, strong chewers will both be selling weed-themed versions of their products for the month of April. A Bark spokesperson says the collection is filled with "original toys, including the plush B-O-N-G-O and Apple of My High and Snack-Packed Bong and Munchie the Bear for tough chewers," as well as treats in different flavors called "Dank Noms."

    The treats do not contain any CBD or THC, so chill out, OK?

    The full lineup of BarkBox and Super Chewer products. Credit: BARK

    To score the product, you can sign up(Opens in a new tab) for a one-month ($35 or $45), six-month ($26 or $35), or 12-month ($23 or $30) subscription to BarkBox or Super Chewer. Seeing as the least expensive option is $23/month, you're definitely paying a premium for the goods, but when has that ever stopped dog owners before?

    Plus, if you sign up before April 8, you first delivery could include a free 420-themed bucket hat for your dog, so your dog can really sell the stoner-look for their Instagram.

  • Dysons V15 Detect laser vacuum takes vacuuming to a whole new level of satisfying

    Dysons V15 Detect laser vacuum takes vacuuming to a whole new level of satisfying

    If the idea of turning your next house cleaning session into a rave sounds like a good time, then boy do we have a vacuum for you.


    The Dyson V15 Detect(Opens in a new tab) is one of Dyson's latest cordless vacuum models, and arguably, its most satisfying ever. That's because an unofficial alternate name for the V15 Detect is the "Dyson laser vacuum." Yep, it comes with a freaking laser.

    The laser illuminates dust and other particles you can't see with your naked eye — and it actually really works. Every time I've attacked my floors with the V15, the green laser has revealed a disgusting amount of debris, making me reflect on the amount I apparently live in my own filth. The vacuum itself is powerful and efficient — going back over a spot I just vacuumed with the laser shows that the detritus is no longer there.

    That's not the V15's only fun feature, though. While only one head gets the futuristic laser, the V15 comes with seven attachments in total (including another full-sized head), two of which contain an "anti-tangle comb" meant to keep hair strands from getting caught in the head. It also has an LCD screen on the top of the vacuum that displays the amount of dust particles of different sizes. Apparently, even vacuums are smart now.

    Seven attachments in total — including two full size heads, one baby head, and four other brushes and nook 'n cranny getters — make this stand-up vacuum more than meets the eye. Credit: RACHEL KRAUS / MASHABLE

    The Dyson V15 Detect does what Dyson vacuums do, which is clean effectively with a sleek, powerful, easy-to-maneuver product. The anti-tangle heads have stood up to the tumbleweeds of hair I let accumulate in my house — for purposes of the test, I swear! The laser makes me disgusted, and then satisfyingly confident that my floors are dust-free. Cleaning hardwood and carpet, emptying the chamber, charging, and switching between attachments are all intuitive and truly satisfying.

    Where Dyson could improve

    But some of the flashiest aspects fall just a bit short. For one, you can really only see the laser if it's nighttime, and best of all, if you have all of your lights off. Not the most practical! Though still definitely fun.

    Then there's the LCD screen. It's cool in theory, but the novelty of quantifying my clean wore off pretty quickly, especially since there isn't a way to track cleans over time. Eventually, the numbers lost all meaning.

    Except for the biggest number of all, which is the price. The base model of the V15 costs $699.99, while the V15 Detect+, which comes with HEPA filtration, is $749.99. But honestly, for the gratification that an evening of laser vacuuming delivers, it might be worth it.

    Okay, let's talk about the freaking laser beam

    Did Dr. Evil design this vacuum? If so, bravo. Because if there's one feature that can get you excited about vacuuming, it's a laser.

    The V15 comes with two full-sized heads. The first is the "Laser Slim Fluffy" head, which is specifically designed for hardwood floors. Obviously, this is the one that comes with the laser.

    The laser's role is simply to show you, under a super-bright spotlight, the filth you live with that you can't see. It doesn't actually play a role in the cleaning, except perhaps to make sure you get every last particle while going over your floors. It's green simply because Dyson said it illuminates the stuff on your floor best.

    The laser's role is simply to show you, under a super-bright spotlight, the filth you live with that you can't see.

    And it works. I took a photo of my living room floor, which is gray vinyl. I could not see any dust or hair. Sure, these are forgiving floors, but I can usually tell when it's time to vacuum.

    Then I shined the laser on it. The Horror. The absolute gross, icky, shameful horror. There was hair, dust, unidentified objects. I have a dog who sheds. But I had no idea she was doing so much damage.

    Looks clean enough, right? Credit: RACHEL KRAUS / MASHABLE

    This story has a happy ending folks. Going over the spot with the vacuum just once got rid of most of the visible debris. And the laser has the serious upside of increasing your feeling of tangible accomplishment after vacuuming. Usually, when I vacuum, it's a mindless task where I wonder if I've actually done anything. But getting to see the before and after under the illuminated microscope probably makes me do a better job, and enjoy the experience more.

    Clean floor, who dis? Credit: RACHEL KRAUS / MASHABLE

    Just one teeny, tiny downside to the laser vacuum: The light doesn't really work during the day. The green laser just doesn't stand up to sunlight. At night, with the lights on, it definitely does the job. But the optimal way to laser vacuum? Lights out, baby. Do it in the dark.

    Anti-tangle testing

    My personal vacuum is a Dyson V7, and one of the most frustrating things about it is the strands of hair that get caught in the vacuum head bristles. When it all becomes too much and stops being an effective vacuum because of the blockage, I have to get in there with scissors.

    So I was very excited about the V15's "High Torque Cleaner Head," which comes with an anti-tangle comb. This is the head you can use on carpet or rugs, and it has a large opening to suck up bigger pieces of debris. The comb has "56 polycarbonate teeth" that Dyson says "prevents tangling around the bristles, so hair is sucked into the bin."

    The anti-tangle comb's underbelly. Credit: RACHEL KRAUS / MASHABLE

    Essentially, the teeth and suction force the hair to one side so the strands go straight up to the bin, without going round and round the head and becoming a rat's nest. Another attachment, the hair screw tool, also has this anti-tangle feature and is specifically designed for vacuuming areas where hair accumulates, like upholstery.

    Anti-tangle combs help prevent hair from getting stuck in vacuum heads. Credit: RACHEL KRAUS / MASHABLE

    Please forgive the way I had to put this to the test. I let hair accumulate in my house for a couple weeks, in the bathroom and hallways and bedroom. There were fur-balls from my dog, rogue strands in the bathroom corners, general ick everywhere.

    This dirty floor was no match for the V15. Credit: RACHEL KRAUS / MASHABLE

    Then, I set the V15 on the mess. While some hair stuck to the outside of the vacuum head, I could not see any tangled or trapped strands in the head itself. While it's hard to say how well the anti-tangle tech will work in the long term, it has remained hair-free after a few weeks of use on the carpets and rugs in my home. Hallelujah!

    Its smart features are fun, but are they necessary?

    While the laser and the anti-tangle comb are the main attractions for the V15, it also comes with some smart features that Dyson says makes it efficient, and lets users see that efficiency in action.

    A piezoelectric sensor is able to very rapidly detect changes in pressure, and communicate those changes with electronic signals. One of those sensors comes on board with the V15. So as it's vacuuming, it counts and understands the size of the particles it is sucking up.

    There are two applications for this tech. The first is practical. Dyson says the V15 automatically adjusts its power output depending on friction it's encountering. So when it hits a big hairball, for example, it can juice the engine to suck that baby up. But if it's just doing routine, semi-clean floors, it can operate with less power.

    I wasn't able to notice a difference. But the vacuum actually *sounds* different from my V7. It's extremely reactive, sort of like a nice car that goes from zero to 60 faster than a sedan. And I have noticed that I don't need to go back over spots the same way I do with my V7. I also have not had any issues with battery life after cleaning my whole home (it promises 60 minutes of battery life). And you can adjust the power settings yourself by clicking the button at the top and choosing Eco, Medium, or Boost.

    The vacuum takes that piezo sensor data and actually displays it on an LCD screen, showing how many particles of different sizes you've vacuumed up. This was neat, at first, for the same reason as the laser. Quantifying those particles made me feel accomplished, and increased the satisfaction of the clean. But honestly, after the first few vacuums, I stopped paying attention to it. I think this would be cool if there was a companion app and a way to track your dust over time. But that's not a reality yet.

    The LCD display is cool, but not something I ended up paying close attention to. Credit: RACHEL KRAUS / MASHABLE

    One other great mechanical feature of the vacuum is the chamber. To empty my V7, I open the chamber and have to tap it to get all the debris out. I even go in there with a chopstick sometimes. It's gross. But the V15 comes with the "point and shoot" system that was first introduced in the V10. It basically treats the chamber like a reverse push pop: you pop open the lid, and then a piece in the chamber pushes down on the debris all the way to the bottom of the bin, so it goes right in the trash. This isn't a smart feature, per se, but it's definitely a boon.

    To Dyson, or not to Dyson?

    Every Dyson product has one big con: The price. At $700, it's many hundreds of dollars more expensive than other cordless stick vacuums. Outlets like Consumer Reports also recommend that a cordless stick vacuum be a supplement to a stand-up vacuum, which makes that price tag even harder to swallow.

    I don't think I need a second vacuum. My home is not huge, and I do not have a ton of carpet and rugs. But I can clean the whole house on one charge with the V15. The multiple heads mean I can attack any challenge, whether that's a spill on a carpet or a dark bathroom corner.

    Only vacuuming in the dark from now on. Credit: rachel kraus / mashable

    The biggest pro is how much more fun the laser makes vacuuming. What's the point of having a nice vacuum if you don't use it regularly? Maybe the novelty of night time laser cleans will wear off over more months and years of use. But right now, vacuuming with the laser — at night, maybe while also listening to house music — is an activity my partner and I jump to do.

    Bottom line: The V15 is an excellent vacuum cleaner with some fun toys that turn house cleaning into a party. Whether it's worth the hefty price tag is up to you.