ai
The Media Tried To Game The Machines and You’ll Never Guess What Happened Next (Facebook Won)

Just five years ago, not only was it possible for a reputable outlet to flatly characterise Upworthy—a website that didn’t make much but a system for testing what drew clicks on Facebook—as the “fastest-growing media company of all time,” but it happened more than once. By 2013, a year after its founding, Upworthy had favourable print profiles and $12 million (£9.4 million) in funding from people like Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian. Its founder was making the rounds advising other sites hungry for traffic to “stay away from politics” and “focus on Facebook, not Twitter.” Michelle Obama guest-edited the site. Read More >>

laptops
This Ugly Gaming Laptop Has Exactly Three Great Things Going for It

The MSI PS42’s look is so bad, it might derail you. This laptop looks like it was made five years ago and probably by Acer or Toshiba. When I pulled it out of the box, I immediately made quite a few unpleasant noises about its appearance. Then I used it for a week, and while I still find the MSI PS42 to be one of the ugliest laptops produced in a while, I can’t deny the charm of its performance or price. Read More >>

tv
Here’s When We Think Game of Thrones’ New Age of Heroes Spinoff Should Take Place

Game of Thrones may be ending in 2019, but the song of ice and fire will continue. HBO has greenlit a prequel series about Westeros’ Golden Age of Heroes, helmed by Jane Goldman (the Kingsman series, Kick-Ass) and A Song of Ice and Fire creator George R.R. Martin. This age spans thousands of years, and there’s no way a show is going to be able to cover all of it. So, here’s what we think this new show could be about — and furthermore, should be about. Read More >>

lego
Lego’s Voltron Is Wonderful Proof That Fans Are Sometimes Worth Listening To

Listening to what customers want is crucial for any company to survive, but in 2008 Lego took that idea farther than most by enlisting its dedicated fanbase to actually help it design new sets. The approach has led to some of the company’s most memorable creations to date, including a towering new Voltron set that might be the ultimate mashup of childhood nostalgia. Read More >>

amd
AMD’s 16-Core Beast Creams Intel, but You Might Be Better Off Without It

I won’t lie, when AMD’s new 16-core monster CPU, the Ryzen Threadripper 2950X, arrived, I ran around the office showing off it and its accompanying air cooler to anyone who would make eye contact with me. The thing is enormous—easily twice as large as a standard desktop CPU from Intel. The air cooler, saddled with the goofy name Wraith Ripper and festooned with LED lighting, is larger than most power supplies, and if dropped, it could do damage to floors, feet, and small woodland creatures. Even people who know nothing about computers were suitably impressed by these enormous pieces of PC. Then they’d ask how much the Threadripper 2950X cost. Read More >>

facebook
The Vigilantes on Facebook Who Stream Ambushes of Alleged Paedophiles

The texts would come at all hours of the night, numbering in the thousands. “Have you been with an older guy?” “You’re really hot, so it’s worth the risk of getting in trouble.” “Has your daddy fucked you today?” Read More >>

science
New Evidence Contradicts Theory That Easter Island Society Collapsed

The indigenous people of Easter Island, the Rapa Nui, experienced a societal collapse after the 17th century because they stripped the island clean of its natural resources. Or at least, that’s the leading theory. An analysis of the tools used by the Rapa Nui to build their iconic stone statues suggests a very different conclusion, pointing to the presence of a highly organised and cohesive society. Read More >>

shopping
It’s Fun to Go to Shops

You remember the feeling. Maybe it’s been a while, but you know what it’s like to walk into a climate-controlled space (that often smells good, too), find a nice item on a shelf, hold it in your hands, hand a clerk a few quid, and walk out the door with that new thing in a bag. We don’t do that enough any more, and that’s a shame, because you know what? It’s fun to go to shops. Read More >>

internet
Yes, You Should Still Change Your DNS Settings for Better Internet

The DNS (Domain Name System) server settings on your laptop, phone, or router are your gateway to the web—converting easy-to-remember domain names into actual internet IP addresses, just like your contacts app converts names into actual phone numbers. You can change which DNS server your devices use, though, and perhaps get yourself a faster, more secure internet connection along the way. Read More >>

smartphones
Finally, a Perfect Phone for Small Hands

Whether it’s because you’ve got small hands, prefer a more pocketable device, or simply don’t care about having a giant display, when it comes to truly small phones, there just aren’t a lot of options. Your choices are essentially the iPhone SE, the standard Pixel 2, and this: the Xperia XZ2 Compact. However, with Apple not having bothered to update the SE in more than two years, and the Pixel 2 having been cursed with a half-assed design that makes it seem like the neglected member of Google’s 2017 offerings, even those handsets have issues. I know small phones aren’t super popular, but it’s almost comical at how little effort companies put into making modestly-sized devices with competent specs. Read More >>

movies
5 Fantasy Films From the ’80s Perfectly Suited for TV Adaptations 

The Time Bandits show is finally in the works, yet another example of a cult film being adapted into a TV series — and also, yet another example of how the sheer amount of streaming services (in this case, Apple) has created a seemingly endless need for content to fill them up with to entice subscribers. To that end, and because there’s no such thing as too much fantasy on TV, we have some suggestions of other adaptation-worthy fantasy films from the Time Bandits era. Read More >>

environment
Meet The Communities Fighting to Bring Back Their Stars

Those who live in urban areas inhabit a radically different night-time reality than those living far from city lights. Gaze up at the night sky from a metropolis like New York City and you’re greeted with a dusty glow punctured by a few bright pin-prick stars. Do the same from a spot only 100 miles away and the Milky Way is visible as a thick ribbon stretching across a night sky swimming in stars. Read More >>

samsung
How Two Big Things Stopped the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 From Winning Me Over

After checking it out briefly when it first announced, I was prepared to hate the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. Sporting outdated specs similar to last year’s Galaxy Note 8 (except with 2GB less of RAM and worse cameras), no fingerprint reader, and a price tag of £600 (and that’s not including its keyboard dock), the Tab S4's underlying components just didn’t make sense. And for all that, what was Samsung offering in return? A slightly larger screen with slightly smaller bezels and Samsung’s Dex software instead of Chrome OS? Read More >>

audio
Bose Has a Pricey Winner With Its Sleep-Friendly Earbuds

Sleeping on the weekends is rough. My flat is across the street from a bar that grows only louder and more crowded in the height of summer, so a good Saturday night snooze is usually out of the question. Raucous drinkers, the thump of the bass from the building, and the sound of my air conditioner create a cacophony nearly impossible to ignore. I’m not a fan. But Bose thinks its “Sleepbuds,” white noise masking earbuds designed to be worn during sleep (coming to the UK this autumn), can help alleviate the issue without resorting to the tried and true noise-cancelling technology used in some of its headphones. I get the appeal, but can a £229 white noise generator jammed in my ear canal really solve my sleeping problems? Read More >>

facebook
Facebook Wanted Us to Kill This Investigative Tool

Last year, we launched an investigation into how Facebook’s People You May Know tool makes its creepily accurate recommendations. By November, we had it mostly figured out: Facebook has nearly limitless access to all the phone numbers, email addresses, home addresses, and social media handles most people on Earth have ever used. That, plus its deep mining of people’s messaging behaviour on Android, means it can make surprisingly insightful observations about who you know in real life – even if it’s wrong about your desire to be “friends” with them on Facebook. Read More >>