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Police scanner app catapults to the top of the App Store

2023-04-02 10:26:52

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.

Police scanner app catapults to the top of the App Store(图1)

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).

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  • Top 10 most popular GIFs of 2019, according to Giphy

    Top 10 most popular GIFs of 2019, according to Giphy

    GIFs are an internet language of their own. Even if we don't all pronounce it the same way, we instantly know a person's intention by the GIF they use.


    Thankfully, Giphy(Opens in a new tab), the largest GIF search engine, is here to tell us how people felt in 2019 by the GIFs they used. You're sure to see a couple familiars, but perhaps a few surprises, too.

    There's nothing quite like a perfectly timed GIF response, so feel more than free to take these gems into 2020 and beyond. Here are the 10 most used GIFs of 2019, according to Giphy.

    10. "Happy Excited Dance" by Khalid — 169.7 million views

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)
    SEE ALSO: Giphy's eyeball-melting 'micro-games' are kind of genius

    From the "Young Dumb and Broke" music video, Khalid's care-free vibing to his own music was for all those moments we had no choice but to dance through the precariousness and uncertainty of 2019.

    9. “No Way SMH” by Desus & Mero 179 million views

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    The Kid Mero shaking his head is "nope nope nope nope" personified. Best used for any sort of bug-in-the-house situation, in our opinion.

    8. “I Love You Hearts” by Mia Page181.6 million views

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    We love a wholesome GIF of two hearts hugging and creating a little mini heart! The year 2019 needed all the love it could get.

    7. Keanu Reeves “Thank You” by Netflix 195.4 million views

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    It's only fitting that Keanu Reeves found his way onto this list. Keanu didn't get much screen time in Always Be My Maybe, but he gave us an iconic look, has he always does.

    6. “Happy Cheering” by Bluesbear 197.3 million views

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    Listen, it's freaking cute, alright? It's just really really freaking cute. That alone justifies usage.

    5. “Great Job” by Bounce TV 259.6 million views

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    Plenty of people are looking for a quality "thumbs up" GIF. Carl Anthony Payne (Bounce TV’s Last Call) took the top spot in that category.

    4. “Happy Good Morning” by Samm Henshaw261.6 million views

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    Need some positive vibes? This GIF's got 'em in spades.

    3. “Say Hello” by Nick Jonas 289.1 million views

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    Sometimes saying "hi" is harder than it seems. No worries. GIFs are here to help. 289.1 million people had Nick Jonas do it for them.

    2. “Angry” by Shameless 382.1 million views

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    Thank you, Shameless! There's that anger I remember not-so-fondly from this chaotic year in our history. Number two spot fully earned.

    1. “And I Oop Whatcha Say” by Jasmine Masters 419.1 million views

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    THE Jasmine Masters from Rupaul's Drag Race season seven has the year's most used GIF. There is no "what?" anymore. "Omg" is cancelled. There is only "and I oop." This is the way the internet has reacted to the many disorienting twists and turns of 2019, a year where the surprises come practically hourly and are often unpleasant. We're at the point where we're all collectively pausing our thoughts and sentences just to process whatever supremely shocking thing we've just seen. Here's to "and I oop-ing" on and on into the future, perhaps until the surprises stop becoming so surprising.

  • 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."

  • The interactive rain website that brings me temporary peace online


    The interactive rain website that brings me temporary peace online

    This post is part of Hard Refresh, a soothing weekly column where we try to cleanse your brain of whatever terrible thing you just witnessed on Twitter.

    When I'm seeking feelings of peace and tranquility, the internet is not the first place I look. But if I absolutely have to stay online, I open a tab for in a new tab), a website created five (yes, five) years ago by artist Rafaël Rozendaal(opens in a new tab).

    It's an unassuming website. In fact, the only thing on it is an animation of a rain shower. Move your cursor down toward the bottom of the window and the shower will turn into more of a storm. (You'll even see flashes of lightning.) Move your cursor up and the rain will stop entirely, replaced by chirping birds and blue sky. If you'd like to create a brief gust of wind, move your cursor to the right or left.

    SEE ALSO: Trust us: Play this national parks audio on loop and close your eyes

    That's all you can do, and it's more than enough. Despite its incredibly simple design and limited functionality, it manages to be one of the most relaxing places I've ever come across online.

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)

    I believe this is for two reasons. The famously soothing effects of rain sounds(opens in a new tab), of course, is one of them. But as a person with middling anxiety, the interactive element is what seals the deal. Yes, it's an incredibly simple function, but the act of toggling the (virtual) weather -- turning the rain on and off; making the sun come out, then disappear -- makes me feel pleasantly in control. When my life feels like it's perpetually tumbling away from me (since it's 2018, this happens often!), there is solace to be found in controlling the precise pace and noise level of the mechanism I've chosen to make me feel better.

    For a pleasant mini-reset, here's how I recommend using the site. To start, close all your other tabs. Put in some headphones. Create a situation where that rain animation is the only thing in your line of sight. Set a timer for two to three minutes -- it'll go by more slowly than you think.

    Then just play around for a while. Decide how hard you want it to rain and make it so: a full-on thunderstorm, a sprinkle, a light drizzle. Think about whether you'd bring an umbrella if this was happening IRL, then stop because it's not real rain and you can make it stop whenever you want. Create tiny gusts of wind onscreen. Crank the volume up.

    If all goes well, you'll feel a little more centered when the timer goes off, if just for a few moments. Here, it's not so much about the longevity of the relief -- what matters is that you've sought it out at all.

    Let the (fake) rain fall down(opens in a new tab), everyone.

  • Its way too easy to accidentally reply to Instagram Stories

    Its way too easy to accidentally reply to Instagram Stories


    I used to love Instagram Stories.

    After long days at work, mindlessly tapping through Stories on the train home became my go-to way to unwind. They're entertaining, carefully crafted, and the perfect way to stay up-to-date with acquaintances, friends, and celebrities. But just as I was about to crown Instagram Stories my favorite social media feature, I accidentally voted in a poll.

    My idol, Mindy Kaling, asked followers to let her know if her new bag was cute or not, and because my thumb was recklessly skipping through Stories, I wound up telling her it was ugly. (Mindy if you're reading this, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean it.)

    I'm sad to say this was not an isolated incident. I've accidentally voted rudely in several other polls since, and have had a number of close calls with Instagram's emoji Quick Reactions feature, too. It's reached a point where the anxiety of accidentally replying to Stories is preventing me from fully enjoying them.

    SEE ALSO: Crush Twitter proves that sometimes subtweets can be good

    I'm not the only one who's had these unpleasant experiences with the app.

    When I asked my colleagues if they'd ever fallen into the Instagram poll trap, many admitted they had. A few brave souls even offered up some memorable examples that haunt them to this day.

    A fellow reporter recalled her most shameful accidental vote, when she disrespectfully said a puppy wasn't a good boy — a nearly unforgivable act. Another colleague chimed in to say that he recently told our Executive Editor to throw out a sweater by unintentionally voting in her poll. Truly tragic.

    Aside from insulting Mindy's fashion sense, one of my most mortifying Instagram poll experiences happened when I accidentally voted to say a high school acquaintance's baked goods looked like "trash" instead of "delicious." I quickly reached out to her in an attempt to right my unintentional wrong, but she never replied.

    Though well-intentioned, Instagram's Quick Reactions emoji feature isn't much better. In certain cases having emoji at your fingertips is definitely more convenient than searching for one, but the feature is enabled by a gentle upward swipe on a phone screen, which can be dangerous.

    If people aren't fully paying attention to Instagram Stories, tapping through them too quickly, or using the app when they're about to fall asleep, the slightest move can inadvertently summon emoji reactions.


    Instagram's Quick Reaction feature Credit: screenshot/instagram

    Shortly after the Quick Reactions feature was introduced in 2018, an article(Opens in a new tab) from New York Magazine's Intelligencer highlighted users' frustrations, but Instagram has yet to improve the design.

    Though I've always been able to stop myself before accidentally sending emoji reactions, I have been on the receiving end of someone else's mishap, and can confirm that's not too fun either.

    After watching the final scene in Season 2 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, I posted an Instagram story to express what an absolute ride it was. The following morning, a former colleague replied to my story with an encouraging 💯. Turns out she'd accidentally sent the emoji, and immediately apologized, resulting in the following hilariously awkward exchange.

    An accidental emoji reaction to an Instagram Story Credit: screenshot/instagram

    As far as social media platforms go, Instagram is still beloved by many, but users have been so impacted by the design flaws in Stories that they've actually taken the time to air their grievances on Twitter.

    So how do we stop embarrassing ourselves?

    Ultimately, it's up to Instagram to take the necessary steps to improve their app in a way that will enhance the user experience, but until then, here are some suggestions to avoid accidental Story replies and awkward exchanges with followers.

    • Let stories play on their own: It'll take some extra patience, but rather than tapping through stories, let them naturally progress. You'll waste a bit more time on the app, but it'll ensure you don't accidentally tap a poll or swipe up on your screen to send an emoji.

    • Create super safe win/win polls: If you're thinking of posting a poll but aren't really in the mood for any negative feedback consider making both options positive or slightly similar. If one option is "Yes!" and another is "100% DO IT RIGHT NOW," for example, there's zero chance someone will offend you with an accidental vote. This option essentially eliminates the need for a poll in the first place, but it's still a fun, thoughtful move.

    • (图3)

      Think before you place your poll: If you like using polls you shouldn't give them up just because Instagram didn't fully think the feature through. Taking the location of the poll into consideration, however, can help prevent mistakes. Try to keep polls out of the areas on a phone screen that thumbs are most likely to tap. When in doubt, check out this helpful map I made to guide you.

    Map on where to place Instagram polls Credit: nicole gallucci / instagram
    • If you mess up, don't make it a big deal: After accidentally sending an emoji reaction, it can be tempting to message the person and tell them you didn't mean to. But if it's not a blatantly weird or offensive reaction, consider just letting them have the compliment. When my former colleague sent me 💯, for example, I thought it was so nice! It wasn't until she called out her error that things got weird.

    At the very least, Instagram users can take comfort in knowing these mistakes are widespread. It's awkward as hell, but we'll survive. If anyone who works at Instagram is reading this cry for help, though, making an update that allows us to undo votes and emoji replies would be 😢. Whoops, I meant, 💯.

  • Billionaires son Bobby Misner knows YouTube doesnt like him

    Billionaires son Bobby Misner knows YouTube doesnt like him


    Bobby Misner knows people don't like him, and he is more than OK with it — he's still raking in views.

    The 23-year-old YouTuber went viral in late 2018 when his video "LIFE of a BILLIONAIRE'S SON" became the subject of popular reaction vloggers(Opens in a new tab). It's something between a travel vlog and a movie trailer, flaunting a rich kid's glamorous, privileged life across yachts on tropical beaches and helipads in major cities. Hate him as much as you want, but the video has more than 4.6 million views and Bobby now has 188,000 subscribers.

    SEE ALSO: YouTuber perfectly parodies pretentious Genius videos

    Here's the TL;DR so you don't have to watch all eight minutes and 31 seconds of millennial flexing: Bobby was born into a financially comfortably family in Australia, but it all changed when he was 15, because his father sold his company for $300 million. From there, he bounced between schools, partied with celebrities, and lived the life of the nouveau riche.

    "I've always hated that how just because someone is born into a family of wealth, people automatically label them as a spoiled brat," Bobby said in the video, bizarrely lit so that he appeared like a disembodied head. "Yes, my dad has a private jet. And I love flying it. Yes, my dad has a mansion and cars, and I love making videos with them."

    It's difficult to take anyone seriously when they list "fast cars and beautiful girls" as their major interests. Bobby comes off as incredibly out of touch throughout the video — he even pulls the classic, "I'm not rich, my parents are!" while bragging about attending a party with Kate Moss.

    "But I never pretended that those things were something I owned," Bobby's floating head continued in the video. "And I recognize that my dad is the one who worked hard for them."

    Can someone really be so oblivious, though? During a FaceTime call with Mashable, Bobby clarified that it was mostly an act to catch views.

    "Basically I see 'Bobby' as a character," the real Bobby said, calling from London. He bounces between cities, and is currently looking to set up a base in Los Angeles. "My name on paper is Robert. Realistically, no one's portraying themselves, everyone pretends they're on holiday the whole time, doing these nice things. If I'm gonna do that, I might as well create a character who ... lives in this dream world."

    'I feel like a lot of people think that from that video, I'm living this ridiculously lavish lifestyle but I'm actually quite a simple boy.'

    He has a point. In a twisted way, it's refreshing to see a YouTuber who doesn't rely on being relatable to build an army of subscribers. If anything, he's the embodiment of everything unattainable but highly desired in this capitalist hell. As much a dick as he appears in his videos, Bobby is surprisingly self aware — he notes that he isn't "disadvantaged in any way," and clarifies that he is in fact "a really down to earth guy."

    At times, Bobby does seem like he gets how most people actually live. In a recent Instagram story, he complained about paying $43 for cucumber Juul pods. During the FaceTime call, he notably opted for traditional (wired!) earbuds over the current meme marker of wealth, Airpods.

    "I don't necessarily wake up and drink champagne or something," Bobby laughed. "I feel like a lot of people think that from that video, I'm living this ridiculously lavish lifestyle but I'm actually quite a simple boy."

    But then again, it's hard to believe that when he captions his Instagram photos with "Money is the drug and I'm a junkie." He even uploaded a video(Opens in a new tab) that's a cross between a flex and a manifesto called "RICH KID'S rule book to WEALTH," instructing his followers to avoid getting scammed by "keeping your friend circle tight and small."


    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    "When there's someone like me, who has everything and everything appears to be perfect, it's prime," he responded when questioned about being the subject of scathing reaction videos. "It's easy to hate on me because you can."


    It really is too easy to hate on him, because he seems so stuck in his own world. Search "billionaire's son" on YouTube, and you're sure to find titles with his name adjacent to spoiled(Opens in a new tab), arrogant(Opens in a new tab), and cringe(Opens in a new tab).

    "It sounds so weird to brag about something your dad did," YouTuber Danny Gonzalez joked in a reaction video(Opens in a new tab). "My dad started bringing really pretty girls around. My dad has a really good work ethic. And I was also there."

    It's clear that Bobby idolizes his father, School of Audio Engineering (SAE) founder Tom Misner. The institute has private, for-profit college campuses worldwide and was sold in 2010. He talks about the elder Misner reverently in his vlogs, and his IMDb(Opens in a new tab) bio says he's "learnt the most important aspects of life from his father, and that is to follow your dreams and work hard at attaining them." 

    His father still bankrolls Bobby's lifestyle, to an extent. Bobby receives "an allowance" from his old man, but "it's nowhere what people think." He noted that he now makes more money than what his father gives him.

    "My dad knows how to do it, right," Bobby said during the call, explaining his channel's goal. "I'm not gotta sit here and tell people, 'I know how to make you millions.' I don't know. I'll just tell you certain philosophies and stuff that I go by, but what I can tell people that when you're here, living this life, there are things that I know."

    He doesn't believe that other YouTubers put in the same amount of effort into making a video that he does. In a subtle dig to the Vlog Squad's style of quick cuts and daily video diaries, Bobby said other vloggers will "just use iMovie and put together some stuff from a day and be like, 'This is it," while his videos involve higher production quality.

    "Longevity is much more important to me than clout," Bobby said. "Each video I put out, I want to watch it myself."

    Even if it means being YouTube's most arrogant influencer — maybe even usurping the Paul brothers from their asshole throne — Bobby is committed to his channel. While other YouTubers strive to be personable, Bobby does the opposite, basking in surreal luxury. He derides the more "authentic" social media stars who FaceTune their photos, perfect themselves with makeup, and then "tell you to be secure in yourself."

    "I'm quite narcissistic," Bobby concludes at the end of our call. He says this with like it's a fact of life instead of a brag. "I like myself. I like the life I live and I'll tell you straight up in my videos. As long as you're honest about that, your viewers — even if they don't like you — will feel like you're telling the truth and they'll follow your story."

  • A resourceful student turned to Tinder for help studying for her midterm

    A resourceful student turned to Tinder for help studying for her midterm


    A student struggling with math turned to Tinder for last minute help.

    College sophomore Maddi McMaster has taken calculus twice, and she was at her breaking point right before her midterm.

    "My strongest subject is definitely English," she said over Twitter DM. "I've always been terrible at math, so God knows why I chose an engineering degree when I first came to college."

    She had "procrastinated with studying," and the high school junior who usually helped her out with homework wasn't on campus that late.

    SEE ALSO: Next time someone annoys you on Tinder, rock this Halloween 'ghosted' costume

    "After staring at the problems for 45 minutes, I realized there was just absolutely no way I was gonna figure them out," she explained. The online tutorials weren't helping much, and none of her friends had taken calculus before, either.

    So she hastily jotted down a sign that said, "I NEED HELP WITH CALCULUS" and made it her Tinder profile picture.


    Then she added a bio:

    "I have a calculus midterm tomorrow and I have no idea how to do any of it. I literally just need help with calculus, I'm in Walter right now. ONLY SWIPE RIGHT IF YOU ARE GOOD AT MATH."

    "I didn't actually meet up with anyone," she said. "But I had people message me offering help."

    When her tweet went viral and ended up on the Minnesota Barstool account, random people DM'd on Instagram with help.

    "I'd say I knew a solid 50 percent of the material, but it's pretty much an enigma until I actually get a score back," she stressed. "So hopefully I somehow did better than that."

    On the plus side, Maddi probably won't have to take calculus ever again — she's transferring into school's liberal arts department after this semester.

    "I'm taking psychology courses which of course involve science," she explained. "But to me it's a more digestible version."


    She admitted that she might resort to looking for tutors on Tinder again.

    "Not that I'm planning on [it] but if there's another dire situation like this I'll definitely have to consider it," she joked.