ESA gets the job of building Europe’s secure satcomms network

The Register - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 22:31
IRIS2 oversight deal signed as constellation’s schedule slips, and Ariane 6 hits another snag

The European Space Agency has signed up to build and launch the European Union’s Infrastructure for Resilience, Interconnectivity and Security by Satellite constellation.…

Categories: Tech News

Mastodon makes a major move amid Musk’s multiple messes

The Register - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 21:32
Federated social network adds n00b-friendly features to the ‘Fediverse’

Mastodon, the open-source Twitter-like federated social network server, has issued a major release that adds features aimed at making life easier for new users.…

Categories: Tech News

The iPhone 15 has a Goldilocks issue: Too big or too small. Maybe a case will make it just right

The Register - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 19:35
Fanboi numbers are well down – but Apple's queueing system, rather than apathy, is likely the cause

First Fondle  The iPhone 15 is predictably lovely – but the larger models may be too much to handle, and the smaller machines feel a little undersized.…

Categories: Tech News

Amazon's 'protects' against junk AI e-books by limiting author-bots to three a day

The Register - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 17:52
Somehow still 'committed to providing the best possible reading and publishing experience'

Amazon has given “authors” who crank out books license to "write" and publish up to three tomes every day via its platform, even if they use AI, and asserts that limit protects its customers.…

Categories: Tech News

Now IBM sued for age discrim by its own HR veterans

The Register - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 16:15
Staff with short 'runways' told to take off amid shift to corporate chatbots, it's claimed

IBM, which last year insisted "there was (and is) no systemic age discrimination" at the company, has again been sued for age discrimination.…

Categories: Tech News

This Week’s Coolest Drops, From Savage x Fenty Blokecore to Quince Cashmere

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 15:51

Peace and blessings to all, on this magic day: the 21st night day of September. We have Earth, Wind, and Fire to thank for one of the most feel-good songs of our generation, and we will be embodying that vibe until October 1 hits and spooky season takes over. But before Billie Joe wakes us up when September ends, we’re dishing out all the deets on this week’s coolest product launches and collabs (of which there are many).

Not gonna lie, last week had some pretty banging drops that we thought might be hard to top. There was a rad collaboration between Casio and Café Kitsuné, fall-themed chocolate bars (think sweet potato marshmallow) from gourmet chocolatier Compartés, and new insanely affordable sex toys from Zalo (they’re under $100!) This week, the drops do not disappoint—Urban Outfitters launched eight new collections to honor Hispanic Heritage Month, and absolutely all of them slap. There’s also a fun new martini-inspired seltzer from one of our favorite bubbly brands Aura Bora, affordable cashmere from Quince, and a capsule collection from Puma and Ciele Athletics with proceeds benefiting The Trevor Project. Let’s dive in before the windchill hits and it’s too cold to get out of the water.

Ciele Athletics and Puma collab to support The Trevor Project

In support of The Trevor Project and its initiatives surrounding the mental health of LGBTQ+ youth, Ciele and Puma have created a capsule collection in honor of September being National Suicide Prevention Month. In addition to creating a solid collection of running gear, the brands are pledging a $25,000 donation to The Trevor Project, with the campaign starring Cal Calamia, “a talented transgender runner with a strong record of advocacy for the Trevor Project,” according to the brands.

Urban Outfitters celebrates Hispanic heritage

Leave it to Urban to create not one, but eight stellar collections in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (which takes place from September 15 to October 15). The capsules were “designed by Hispanic creatives across the fashion, art, music, and culinary spaces,”  and are all thanks to “a talented and dedicated team of Urban Outfitters Latinx/e employees and members of URBN’s Employee Resource Group, ‘Voces’ (Voices).” You can check out all the different apparel and art and learn more about each spotlit creator

Finally, an N/A martini!

Whether you’re off the sauce or just have a really big salt tooth, Aura Bora just released the savory seltzer of our dreams, meant to emulate the briny flavor of a perfect, ice-cold dirty martini. It’s a non-alcoholic olive oil martini (2023 is wild!), made with Graza’s Extra-Virgin Picual olive oil (another one of our faves).

It’s a party, it’s a party, it’s a party, ay!

It’s no secret that we’re big drinkers of Our Place’s (figurative) Kool-Aid—the maker of the Always Pan, Perfect Pot, and Wonder Oven truly understands the intersection of design and function. We’ve tested its cookware, frothed over its “minis,” and now are excited to get absolutely schnockered off cocktails sipped from these gorgeous party coupes.

Timex and Todd Snyder team up

We’re big watch-heads here at Rec Room, but what we really love is when a timepiece is as affordable as it is steezy. Todd Snyder’s murdered-out Timex watch is sophisticated, costs less than $200, and is entirely solar-powered. According to Snyder himself, the designer “wanted a rugged watch that was more modern and sleek than a vintage field watch. [Something] that would look good on days when you had your hiking boots and puffer jacket on and were headed out for adventure…even if that adventure might just be trying a roadside diner.” Food tourism—now that’s our kind of adventure.

Skincare for… your rug?

No, seriously. The team behind all the stunning rugs at Armadillo has joined forces with Leif on a rug cleaner that is essentially “skincare for the home,” so you can ditch those abrasive cleaning products. Barefoot rug cleaner is made in Australia from a natural formulation that is biodegradable, vegan, and cruelty-free that “gently removes spills and stains without stripping away the natural fibers of even the most treasured rugs and carpets.”

Mid-Mod stitch-by-numbers

Need a way to kill the boredom and some new decor for your walls? DMC’s new line of stitch-by-number needlepoints is a crafty way to add some mid-century modern flair to your abode without having to scour thrift stores or eBay for hours. For less than $20, you get a new hobby and some art for your bare walls.

Quince drops new affordable cashmere just in time

Praise be to the cashmere gods for bestowing Quince upon us, and allowing us all to be swathed in H-to-T cashmere without having to take out a personal loan. The brand just launched a bunch of new cashmere pieces for both men and women, so make sure you stock up before the first big chill.

A new bloke-core collection from Savage x Fenty

Leave it to Rihanna to create a line of soccer-inspired loungewear that actually slaps. The Savage X League collection features a ton of pieces that are YOUniversal fit (Savage x Fenty’s unisex styles) and oversized for that London footballer/Oasis fan steeze, plus more form-fitting looks like leggings and cropped hoodies to mix and match.

Finally, the caviar collab we all deserve

That’s right, the Epicurean gods have blessed us with the food collaboration of our dreams— The Caviar Co. x Pringles. If you’ve yet to try this highbrow/lowbrow pairing, we can say from personal experience that it slaps. According to The Caviar Co., “Pringles Sour Cream & Onion expertly pairs with The Caviar Co.’s smoky and savory Smoked Trout Roe and decadent crème fraîche for a bright, tangy, and balanced tasting experience.” This is the highbrow/lowbrow snack combo of the year.

Prepare yourself, because in T-minus nine days, you won’t be able to avoid the pumpkins.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.

Categories: Tech News

Like It or Not, Wrap Shades Are Back

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 15:34

They say time is a flat circle, that we’re on a continuous trend cycle that loops back on itself every 20 years. Don’t you remember our overt obsession with the 80s circa the 2000s? We were headed into the new millennium, adorned with scrunchies, leggings, and Ghostbusters nostalgia. When it comes to the return of Y2K (now that 20 years have [somehow] passed), we had a feeling the low-rise jeans, velour tracksuits, and logo-mania would return, but there’s one essential look of the late 90s and early aughts whose comeback has taken us a bit by surprise—wraparound shades. 

That’s right, folks—the wraparound sunglasses from our childhood are back, and they’re better than ever. This probably seems inevitable, considering we’ve gone through quite the sunglasses evolution—from the sporty hi-vis styles that dominated the late 80s and early 90s (shout out to Andre Agassi), to the tiny, futuristic versions made popular by movies like The Matrix. It was only a matter of time before we left the minimalism of the late 90s behind and headed back into the mid-2000s’ affinity for… well, giant, reflective, colorful shades that are a little bit Y2K cyberpunk, and a little bit NASCAR.

Maybe the original catalyst for all this was at the turn of the century, at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Sprinter Ato Boldon debuted arguably the wildest Oakley sunglasses anyone had ever seen—the Over The Top model (which Oakley re-released in conjunction with the “Concept Studio” collection released for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In style circles, this renaissance is likely in no small part to a resurgence in new millennium nostalgia). While these shades did serve as a forerunner (at least in the public consciousness) for a slew of sporty, modern, futuristic wraparound sunglasses that would inevitably hit the market, the trend slowly fizzled out as we ventured further into the 2000s and 2010s.

Now, thanks to an absurd amount of early 2000s nostalgia and the Kardashians (gotta give credit where credit is due), this massive, sport-meets-style sunglasses trend (which The New York Times refers to as “gas station sunglasses”) is once again ripping. This is good news for you because while you could spring for a designer pair of Bottega sunnies, you can also snag a pair on Amazon that aligns with the trend and sells for around 20 bucks (and no one will be the wiser). Heck, go wild and get a whole arsenal: a reflective pair for working out outside, tiny metal frames for dressing up, and giant “hater blocker” shades for those Sunday morning hangovers. (Pro tip: Big wraparound sunglasses are excellent for crying in public.) Read on for the best wrap sunglasses.

The OG Oakleys 

If you're looking to go big or go home, Oakley is your best bet. The de facto originator of the wraparound, sporty sunglasses trend (at least if your favorite Instagram zoodboards have anything to say about it), Oakley isn’t afraid to push the limits in terms of giant lenses. Whether you’re looking for a massive super-reflective pair for skiing and other outdoor activities or the timeless and understated Eye Jacket Redux for everyday wear, Oakley has pretty much every size, shape, and color imaginable—here are a few of our faves. 

The ones Kylie and Timmy have

If you really want to up your couples costume this year, go as Timmy and Kylie canoodling at the US Open, rocking the actual shades that our next Willy Wonka and billionaire lip-kit creator own. While Kylie’s super-slick Bottega pair will set you back a cool $700, Timothée’s Celine sunnies are a still-pricey-but-more-attainable $440 in comparison. 

The sporty ones

Because you’re tired of fighting over available pickleball tennis courts, and you want to show people that you mean business.

In addition to a comfy, adjustable rubber nose pad, Alo’s Speed sunglasses feature high-gloss wraparound nylon lenses, UVA and UVB protection, an anti-fog treatment (so your sweat won’t stop you from making that match point), and a scratch-resistant exterior.

The Nike Show X3s feel simultaneously vintage and futuristic and were designed with elite athletes in mind. The super-lightweight frames offer superior clarity, and anti-fogging ventilation so nothing stands in your way of shattering your PB.

These X LOOP polarized shades give us massive dirtbike energy. Does anyone else remember that Disney Channel D-Com original Motocrossed? With over 30 reflective colors to choose from, these are the perfect shades for wearing on the back of your head. 

So you want to be a video vixen? Cop a pair of these Crazy Feng rimless sunglasses from Amazon if you want to exude hot, hip-hop baddie energy. 

The cheap ones

So you want to dabble in the vibe, but you’re not ready to commit wholeheartedly to this trend? That’s cool, because there are a ton of really inexpensive wraparound sunglasses on sites like ASOS and Amazon you can cop and try on for the vibe before you sink any real money into buying something super pricey.

The Balenciaga baddies

Balenciaga has been at the forefront of fashion (like it or not!) since creative director Demna Gvasalia took the reins, gaining traction from the number of celebs spotted in the brand’s wraparound sunglasses, and there seem to be no signs of slowing down—with new iterations getting even wavier and more far-fetched.  

Chic, yet affordable, Chimi sunglasses

Not willing to spend half your paycheck on some sunnies, but still want a quality pair that won’t snap after a week? Chimi makes high-quality shades, all of which are under $200.

Le Specs goes Y2K

Another one of our favorite affordable sunglasses brands is Le Specs. The Australian brand has been making shades since the late 70s, and even though all of their styles are less than $100, we’ve yet to have a pair break on us. 

They don’t call them hater blockers for no reason.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.

Categories: Tech News

The Best Deals This Week, From Theraguns to Le Creuset Cookware

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 15:31

Wake up! Our Loftie alarm clock has rung and it’s time to shop—aka scroll on our smartphones from bed and check out all our bookmarks of cool shit we saw on TikTok. America may run on Dunkin’, but we’re fueled by deals. An iced pumpkin swirl latte sounds like a great way to get some pep in your step, but sugary caffeinated beverages can’t match our excitement over the slew of discounted Theraguns we found.

Last week, Wayfair launched a huge furniture sale, Hoka discounted its drool-worthy running garb, and Urban Outfitters unleashed fabulous denim deals. This week, we got The North Face on deck for fall outdoorsy fits, Le Creuset fall deals on stoneware, and a superlow price on the editor-fave MysteryVibe Crescendo 2. Welcome to our own personal shopping world.

The best deals on Amazon this week

The OG classic Fire TV Stick is now 43% off for an epic streaming experience.

Commit to a delicious, nutritious smoothie every morning with the Ninja Professional Blender for 28% off.

Clean the floor like a champ with this TikTok-famous electric spin scrubber for 20% off.

The best tech deals this week

B&H, known for its top-tier cameras, laptops, and other tech, has an unbeatable “Deal Zone” to browse, including sales on Apple, Canon and Samsung.

Dyson is a high-tech pioneer in the home appliance world, and is offering great savings on its vacuums (which we love) and more.

Therabody has a handful of discounted refurbished massage guns, perfect for relieving your muscles (at a discount) after all that strenuous clicking and “adding to cart.”

The best home goods deals this week

Albany Park is in the midst of its “Cozy Fall Sale” with sofas up to 30% off, including the editor-fave Kova Pit.

Brooklinen is offering free hand towels when you spend at least $125.

Le Creuset just dropped a “Fall Bake Sale” with 30% off savings on its timeless stoneware.

Ooni’s Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven is now $100 off for a supreme pizza session.

Wayfair is holding a lighting sale with steals up to 50% off—plus big markdowns in tons of other categories from sofas to kitchen goods.

The best deals on sex toys and wellness this week

Babeland is offering 30% off select sex toys to celebrate its 30th birthday.

Lovehoney, one of our fave mega-retailers of all things sex, has quite an assortment of sexy bargains, such as up to 50% off vibrators and lingerie.

MysteryVibe is in the midst of its “Big Fall Sale” with sex toys up to 20% off, including the editor-fave Crescendo 2 flexible vibrator.

PinkCherry is offering sex toys up to 80% off for its “Fall Frenzy Blowout” sale. Make sure to use the code FALL at checkout to snag this wild strap-on harness (and other sexy goodies on clearance).

The best fashion deals this week

J.Crew is cool again (in case you hadn’t heard), and is offering up to 50% off fall essentials.

Lululemon has men’s undies we love and a GOATed crossbody bag, so it only makes sense to shop its “We Made Too Much Sale.”

On Running’s popular Cloudstratus running shoes are now 20% off, which is rare!

The North Face has styles for up to 50% off to prep for fall hikes.

Catch ya next week.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.

Categories: Tech News

Incomplete disclosures by Apple and Google create “huge blindspot” for 0-day hunters

ARS Technica - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 15:19
Incomplete disclosures by Apple and Google create “huge blindspot” for 0-day hunters

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Incomplete information included in recent disclosures by Apple and Microsoft reporting critical zero-day vulnerabilities under active exploitation in their products has created a “huge blindspot” that’s causing a large number of offerings from other developers to go unpatched, researchers said Thursday.

Two weeks ago, Apple reported that threat actors were actively exploiting a critical vulnerability in iOS so they could install espionage spyware known as Pegasus. The attacks used a zero-click method, meaning they required no interaction on the part of targets. Simply receiving a call or text on an iPhone was enough to become infected by the Pegasus, which is among the world’s most advanced pieces of known malware.

“Huge blindspot”

Apple said the vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2023-41064, stemmed from a buffer overflow bug in ImageIO, a proprietary framework that allows applications to read and write most image file formats, which include one known as WebP. Apple credited the discovery of the zero-day to Citizen Lab, a research group at the University of Toronto’s Munk School that follows attacks by nation-states targeting dissidents and other at-risk groups.

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Categories: Tech News

US govt IT help desk techie 'leaked top secrets' to foreign nation

The Register - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 15:10
National defense files can earn you $55K … and espionage charges

A US government worker has been arrested and charged with spying for Ethiopia, according to court documents unsealed Thursday.…

Categories: Tech News

Want More Spotify Listeners for Your Music? Its New Marquee Tool Can Help

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 15:10

Remember in The Matrix, when Agent Smith shows up while Neo is listening to his favorite rock band, and, instead of attacking him, recommends an even better rock band for Neo to enjoy? Some might see the world of The Matrix as a dystopian hell, but true music heads see that future as a land of opportunity, where computers and AI only exist to show us cool new music. Wait, what? You don’t remember that scene? Hm, maybe it was deleted.

In any case, the point is that, now, AI probably understands our musical tastes better than we do… and that’s not a bad thing. In the olden days, one had to listen to the radio or go to Borders (RIP) to discover new music, mulling around for hours at listening kiosks or hoping the dude at the store would grace us with something cool and unknown. If you fancy yourself a music enjoyer™, you have probably already heard of (and maybe use!) music streaming service Spotify, and, if so, you may be aware that one of the benefits of using Spotify to listen to music is that its own version of AI Agent Smith (who is a DJ there—probably) simply wants to show you good, new music. As a listener, that’s a rad benefit—as an artist, however, that can be an extremely powerful tool to harness.

Spotify for Artists, the maker-oriented wing of Spotify that aims to help creators produce and promote their tunes, has a new service called Marquee, a program for music marketers (or anyone, TBH) to promote music to both free and premium Spotify users. Like, we all get it, you (or your client) make music and you want people to listen to it. Seems natural—in fact, many musicians across history have approached music this way. With Marquee, you can create campaigns that send full-screen, sponsored recs of your music to people who either have previously enjoyed your tunes or who the algorithm seems reasonably sure will do so in the future. Here at VICE, we simply love to see it when companies use science to fix climate change isolate and re-engage active listeners and locate new fans based on streaming behavior.

The point of Spotify—and of Marquee—is twofold: Artists can get their music to the widest audiences possible, and listeners stay on the cutting edge of knowing about songs before they hear them on TikTok, ensuring maximum clout. This, friends, is why we create and consume art. And, like Agent Smith, the Spotify algorithm is always growing, learning, and becoming more powerful, meaning that the more feedback it gets from listeners, the better it can promote campaigns within Marquee

As a Marquee user, you’ll get campaign results on how people are engaging with your music, which will help you find new fans and keep them hooked on your music (assuming it’s good, which it surely is, our brothers and sisters in future Grammy glory). 

Listen, whether it’s The Matrix, Grand Theft Auto VI, or some program we don’t even know about yet—or, you know, simply capitalism, LOL—we’re all in the system. You may as well take advantage of it. Good music deserves to be heard, and using Spotify for Artists’ Marquee, you can ensure that you’re doing the most to share your art. 

Once you conquer Spotify, all that will be left to do is starting a clothing or makeup line that you’ll low-key hawk via your reality show that you’re starring in for money to fuel a private jet to take you to shows you book because people found your music online. Full circle.

Learn more about Spotify for Artists' Marquee program here.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.

Categories: Tech News

Lonely? Cold? The Best Heated Blankets Can Fix 99% of That

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 14:37

Stormy winters, cuddle puddles, break-ups, The Da Vinci Code viewing parties—my Sunbeam Electric Blanket has seen it all. We have been through so much together, in fact, that I wrote an entire VICE article about the short- and long-term benefits of owning an electric blanket.

You know that feeling of muscle-deep relaxation that comes from soaking in an Epsom salt bath like Kenny G? That’s what I feel with my electric blanket, but simply by plugging in a cord. For me, an electric blanket has the same sensory effect of a weighted blanket, because the second I get swaddled in my Sunbeam’s plush folds I feel my lockjaw loosen and my anxiety melt. It is the butter to my biscuit, and I only wish that I had discovered it sooner in my adult life.

“But… what if I burn the house down?” is a common fear that I hear a lot from would-be EBMAD (electric blanket mommies and daddies), and which I’m also happy to assuage today. Granted, how you choose to engage with your home’s electrical system is your own journey, but I can tell you that 1) most electric blankets these days have automatic safety measures that will turn the blanket off after an hour or so, and 2) electric blankets aren’t going to get hot enough to grill your couch anyways. Today’s heated blankets are aesthetic, warm gifts from the heavens that want nothing more than to give you a little more of the comfort you deserve.

Pour a cup of Sleepytime Tea, and let’s find you the perfect electric blanket, from VICE editor-loved Sunbeam blankets to graphic checkered throws worthy of M.C. Escher.

This VICE editor-loved electric blanket is 25% off

Inside you, there are two wolves electric blankets: one lined with faux sherpa material, and another lined in a plush faux mink. This Sunbeam blanket on Amazon has over 11,000 reviews, many of which praise it to the heavens, and has combined the two materials into a single, versatile heated throw that has legit changed my life and the way I relax. I just plop down on the couch, select one of the blanket’s four heat-level settings, and let the automatic 4-hour timer do its magic while Love Is Blind rolls. Cop it in one in any number of the earthy colorways that are offered while it’s 25% off.

This electric blanket has over 32,000 Amazon reviews

It’s hard to outdo the swag of this king-sized Sunbeam blanket, which comes with not one but two [toots airhorn] built-in remotes for adjusting the heat levels of its warm, but durable “Ultra Fleece” folds. As one Amazon stan writes, “[It] saves a ton on heating bills! Even if it were to cost the same, it keeps me much warmer than having the wall furnace in the living room on full blast while I sleep in the bedroom.”

This ‘Game of Thrones’-worthy electric blanket

If Beowulf had a #GRWM TikTok morning routine vid, he definitely would have been swaddled up in this plush, faux fur electric blanket while sharpening his sword for the honor of Geatland. Pottery Barn has effectively combined the West Elm faux fur blanket and the Sunbeam Electric Blanket, my two big loves, with this oversized, faux chinchilla throw.

Every Braveheart needs a blanket

We may not actually crack our eyes in a mist-covered castle of the Scottish Highlands, but this electric blanket from Pottery Barn makes us feel pretty damn close. The plaid throw comes in a few wintry colorways, and automatically shuts off after two hours for safety.

This portable electric is used in snowmobile rescues

If you’re planning any fall camping trips, this portable electric blanket from Gobi Heat is a must. It has earned a 4.6-star average rating on the site from reviewers, who praise everything from the softness of the fabric to its 10-hour battery life. As one reviewer writes, “These blankets were purchased for our ambulance […] They will be used for [rescue] in the summer and snowmobile accidents in the winter months.” Just imagine the wonders it will work on your toes from the comfort of the campfire.

M.C. Escher, we found your electric blanket

Checkered patterns have been having a major decor moment for the past few years, and we couldn’t be more stoked to see that they have made their way to the humble, heated blanket. Not only does this David Lynch-worthy optical illusion have a 4.8-star average rating on Amazon, but it will actually look cool on your spare chair in the living room.

An electric heating pad under $15

Don’t have the budget for an entire blanket? This heating pad is like a micro-electric blanket, because it’s designed with the same plush tufting as an oversized throw, but its compact nature can help you heat up your feet, lap, pillow, or whatever else needs some love for just over $10. It’s a no-brainer—and a great gift—for WFH folks who get cold toes during the winter.

Here’s to staying toasty.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.

Categories: Tech News

Daily Horoscope: September 22, 2023

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 14:00

The moon in Sagittarius squares off with Neptune in Pisces at 9:37 AM, which could find us sitting with confusing emotions, and our desire to make sense of and organize things is strong as the moon squares off with the sun in Virgo at 3:32 PM. The moon enters Capricorn at 4:20 PM, inspiring a much more grounding atmosphere, and new boundaries are set as the moon aligns with Saturn in Pisces at 7:44 PM.

All times ET.

Read your monthly horoscope for September!

Stay in the cosmic loop with the VICE horoscopes newsletter. Get horoscopes straight to your inbox when you sign up here!

Aries glyph Aries: March 20, 2023 - April 20, 2023

Your focus turns to your career and your life in the public eye as the moon enters Capricorn. Your imagination and creativity can lead to great career success as the moon aligns with Saturn in mystical water sign Pisces.

Taurus glyphs Taurus: April 20, 2023 - May 21, 2023

The moon enters fellow earth sign Capricorn today, which could find you exploring new opportunities. You might be making travel plans or focusing on school at this time.

Gemini glyph Gemini: May 21, 2023 - June 21, 2023

Your attention can turn to financial matters as the moon enters Capricorn. You and your partners, in love, business, or otherwise, could be addressing issues regarding money and other resources.

Cancer glyph Cancer: June 21, 2023 - July 22, 2023

The moon enters your opposite sign Capricorn today, lighting up the relationship sector of your chart! This can be a productive time to learn something about someone special in your life, or to meet new people.

Leo glyph Leo: July 22, 2023 - August 23, 2023

You may be reorganizing your workspace or schedule as the moon enters Capricorn. Setting firm boundaries around your availability is an important theme for you at this time!

Virgo glyph Virgo: August 23, 2023 - September 23, 2023

The moon enters fellow earth sign Capricorn today, illuminating the romance and creativity sector of your chart. Solid discussions about these themes take place as the moon aligns with Saturn in Pisces. Agreements could be made!

Libra glyph Libra: September 23, 2023 - October 23, 2023

Your focus turns to your home and family life as the moon enters Capricorn. You could be reconnecting with the past in some significant way. Creating more privacy and space in your personal life is also a theme for you at this time.

Scorpio glyph Scorpio: October 23, 2023 - November 22, 2023

Communication is a big theme for you today as the moon enters Capricorn. Important agreements or discussions about the future can take place—especially pertaining to things that are very dear to you—as the moon aligns with Saturn in Pisces.

Sagittarius glyph Sagittarius: November 22, 2023 - December 21, 2023

Your focus can turn to finances today as the moon enters Capricorn. Building lasting security in your life feels like a big, important theme for you as the moon aligns with Saturn in Pisces. You might be looking to the past for information on how to improve things in your future.

Capricorn glyph Capricorn: December 21, 2023 - January 20, 2024

The moon enters your zodiac sign today, Capricorn! This is a powerful time to connect with yourself emotionally and to focus on self care. The moon aligns with your ruling planet Saturn in Pisces, which bodes well for making agreements or discussing future plans.

Aquarius glyphs Aquarius: January 20, 2023 - February 18, 2023

The moon enters Capricorn today, encouraging you to slow down and rest. A brilliant idea can come to you as you meditate or daydream. Keen insights on how to build security and abundance in your life could come to mind as the moon mingles with your ruling planet Saturn in Pisces.

Pisces glyph Pisces:  February 18, 2023 - March 20, 2023

Your focus turns to your social life today as the moon enters Capricorn. You could be taking on a leadership role within a community as the moon aligns with Saturn in your zodiac sign, Pisces.

Categories: Tech News

US to again offer free COVID tests ahead of respiratory virus season

ARS Technica - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 13:54
US to again offer free COVID tests ahead of respiratory virus season

Enlarge (credit: Getty | picture alliance)

Americans will again have an opportunity to receive free at-home COVID-19 rapid tests from the US government, with orders beginning next Monday, September 25, the Biden administration announced Wednesday.

Households will be eligible to receive four free rapid tests that will "detect the currently circulating COVID-19 variant," the Department of Health and Human Services said in an announcement. The tests, available next week via and expected to start shipping on October 2, are meant to help Americans detect COVID-19 and keep from spreading it for the rest of the year—especially during holiday gatherings.

"At this point, our focus is getting through the holidays and making sure folks can take a test if they’re going to see Grandma for Thanksgiving,” Dawn O’Connell, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the HHS, told the Associated Press.

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Beneath Microsoft's Surface event, AI spreads everywhere

The Register - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 13:40
Windows gets its own Copilot to help operate the operating system – Edge, Bing, Outlook, 365 not spared, either

Microsoft on Thursday further co-opted its GitHub subsidiary's Copilot brand and heralded the arrival of its own Microsoft Copilot as "your everyday AI companion."…

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Independent review finds Mars Sample Return mission important, but broken

ARS Technica - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 13:33
The fate of a mission to return samples from Mars hangs in the balance.

Enlarge / The fate of a mission to return samples from Mars hangs in the balance. (credit: NASA)

An independent review of NASA's ambitious mission to return about half a kilogram of rocks and soil from the surface of Mars has found that the program is unworkable in its current form.

NASA had been planning to launch the critical elements of its Mars Sample Return mission, or MSR, as soon as 2028, with a total budget for the program of $4.4 billion. The independent review board's report, which was released publicly on Thursday, concludes that both this timeline and budget are wildly unrealistic.

The very earliest the mission could launch from Earth is 2030, and this opportunity would only be possible with a total budget of $8 billion to $11 billion.

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I Tried a $250 Sous Vide Cooker and the Perfect Steak Is Worth Every Penny

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 13:27

Meat. Fish. Eggs. It sounds like a caveman’s diet, but I’m totally here for it. I don’t own an egg cooker for nothing. That being said, cooking meat isn’t my favorite thing to do in the kitchen. I hate touching it raw, and under my watch, it often ends up too dry, burnt, or I have to cut into it five times to make sure it’s properly done. (I won’t be voluntarily giving myself salmonella, thanks.)

I feel like I miss out on a lot of cooking adventures since I haven’t mastered the art of the perfect juicy, medium-rare steak. I ultimately aspire to grill dad status, but as a 27-year-old woman, I am still just starting that journey and looking to surpass amateur status when it comes to cooking a filet mignon.

Fortunately for me (and folks like me) I found a *chef’s kiss* kitchen appliance that changed my relationship with handling meat (admittedly a strange statement): the Breville Joule Turbo Sous Vide.

For context for the unfamiliar (aka people who aren’t fine dining aficionados or cooking nerds), “sous vide” is a cooking technique that involves sealing food in a bag and cooking it in a hot water bath, resulting in tender, evenly cooked, flavor-infused food. French chefs Bruno Goussault and George Pralus supposedly invented the technique in the 1970s and are referred to as the “fathers of sous vide.” Fast forward to 2023, and now the kitchen appliance retailer Breville—known for its dope espresso machines and pizza ovens—has a gadget specifically designed to perfectly perform the technique and take out the guesswork. Pretty cool. I gave it a spin, and was super impressed—here are my thoughts.

How does it work

The Breville Joule Turbo Sous Vide heats water with a “set it and forget it” user experience for perfectly cooked meat, fish, eggs, or whatever your heart desires. It’s shaped like a slim cylinder, so it’s very compact and can be easily stored in a drawer. You place the Joule Turbo Sous Vide upright into a water bath and it precisely heats the water to the needed temperature for your dish of choice. (Proteins first need to be vacuum-sealed in a plastic bag in order to evenly cook.) It has pressure cooker vibes, since—like a pressure cooker—you can just place your bag in the water, input the settings, and step away for a bit by setting it on autopilot. A pouch of steak can soak and slow-cook to perfection in the bath for up to three hours—think of it as a spa day for your ribeye. After sitting in the sous vide bath, the interior of the meat should be spot-on, doneness-wise, to your specifications—but you’ll need to “finish” the meat by searing it in a pan (at least, that’s what I did—more on that later) to give it that savory, umami crust exterior.

First impressions

I’ve never used a sous vide cooker before, so I was intrigued by the process. I’m pretty decent at cooking in general, but when it comes to checking if meat and fish are done, I’ve always had to cut into the middle to check the color and texture (I’m all about aesthetics, and it ruins the visual aspect of the dish, especially if I’m serving a meal to someone), so cooking in a vacuum-sealed bag sounded both appealing and intimidating. It’s also easy to overcook protein (I’m definitely guilty of dry chicken, sadly). Having a device to do all the work for me sounded like a true blessing in the kitchen. The Breville+ app makes this device a game-changer. For a visual guide, you can see how your protein will look when the water is set to a certain degree in order to reach your desired doneness (rare, medium, or well done). No more predicting!

My experience Sealing this bad boy before bath time.

The Breville Joule Turbo Sous Vide proved that cooking steak to perfection is a true art. The process takes patience and taught me how to respect my expensive hunk of meat. First, I prepped my steak by vacuum-sealing it in plastic, but for what it’s worth, if you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can definitely go the more affordable route and use a Ziploc bag. Next, it was bath time—I was truly treating this steak as if it was my baby. I filled a container specifically designed for the sous vide with water set to 129 degrees Fahrenheit (the Breville+ app gives specific temperatures for every level of doneness). The sous vide has a magnetic base that holds it steady when upright, so you could also do all of this in a steel pot.

As it was soaking in the water bath, I truly felt like my steak was a meat baby.

Compared to a traditional sous vide cooker, this model uses a turbo feature to shorten cook times by nearly half. For example, my steak reached the right level of doneness after cooking in the bath for about 30 minutes, compared to the hour it would take with other sous vide devices. Thanks to the aforementioned Breville+ app, there’s no more guessing (or cutting slabs of meat open) when your protein is properly cooked. Once my meat baby was done, I was ready to sear it in the pan, but if you’re not ready to chow down quite yet, the Primetime app feature allows the food to rest and hold temperature for your chosen time while still keeping it fresh.

I fired up my pan with a pat of butter and seared the steak to perfection for about four minutes on each side. I’m still getting the hang of this, but I’d like to think Goussault and Pralus would be proud of the results, which were absolutely delicious.

In the words of Borat, it was a great success.

The steak was juicy, tender, and a perfect pink color. It seriously could pass for something straight out of a Zagat-rated steak house. The kitchen reeked of garlic butter from the searing process, but I was definitely delighted. I blew out my pumpkin spice candle and indulged in the luxury smell of fine dining.

TL;DR: Cooking meat to just the right level of doneness and retaining juiciness can be a tedious process, but the Breville Joule Turbo Sous Vide makes the process bearable. I feel like I’ve finally got the potential to become as much of a steak master as the boomer dads at their grills. BRB, while I let my steak rest.

You can buy the Joule Turbo Sous Vide at Breville.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.

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Don’t throw out those used coffee grounds—use them for 3D printing instead

ARS Technica - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 13:20
A pendant, espresso cups and flower planters 3D printed from used coffee grounds.

Enlarge / A pendant, espresso cups, and flower planters 3D-printed from used coffee grounds. (credit: Michael Rivera)

Most coffee lovers typically dump the used grounds from their morning cuppa straight into the trash; those more environmentally inclined might use them for composting. But if you're looking for a truly novel application for coffee grounds, consider using them as a sustainable material for 3D printing, as suggested by a recent paper published in DIS '23: Proceedings of the 2023 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference.

“You can make a lot of things with coffee grounds,” said co-author Michael Rivera of the University of Colorado, Boulder, and the ATLAS Institute, who specializes in digital fabrication and human-computer interactions. “And when you don’t want it anymore, you can throw it back into a coffee grinder and use the grounds to print again. Our vision is that you could just pick up a few things at a supermarket and online and get going.”

As 3D printers have moved into more widespread use, it has sparked concerns about environmental sustainability, from the high energy consumption to the thermoplastics used as a printing material—most commonly polylactic acid (PLA). PLA waste usually ends up in a landfill where it can take as long as 1,000 years to decompose, per Rivera. While there have been efforts to recycle PLA in the same way plastic (PET) soda bottles are typically recycled, it's an energy-intensive process that can't be done by the average user at home. Adding biomass fillers (bamboo or hemp fiber, oyster shells, and yes, spent coffee grounds) makes recycling even more labor and energy intensive.

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This Magical Vibrating Eye Massager Cured My Decade-Long Eye Strain

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 13:15

Almost every second of the day, a screen inhabits my life—hell, I’m looking at one while typing this. I’m sure we all can agree that tech is amazing, but when does it end? So many of us are glued to laptops or enormous monitors for eight hours a day, every day, which results in some serious eye strain—something I know all too well. (It’s actually the blue light that screens radiate that causes your eyes to work harder to focus, giving you that all-too-familiar feeling of having icepicks driven into your pupils.)

While the best blue light glasses in the game might work for some, for me and many others, they’re just not enough. My issues started in high school—I used to have migraines that lasted for two grueling weeks at a time. Thankfully, those days are over, but although my migraines have gone away, I still have pesky, chronic eye strain from poring over luxury timepiece dupes, the best deodorant for women, and an endless barrage of memes and TikToks.

Now, I don’t place blame on computers entirely. I’m a total freak for video games and go to concerts where pyrotechnics and strobe lights are flashing in my face all night. Guilty as charged, but I refuse to give up my vices. So, fast forward to this year, when I stumbled over a wonder gadget that has essentially cured my tired eyes: the Renpho Eye Massager.

What is it?

The Renpho Eye Massager is exactly what it sounds like—a machine that massages your tired, stressed eyes. It was designed to target five “acupoints” in the eye region with both pressure and heat, ultimately alleviating tension headaches, eye strain, eye puffiness, and dry eyes. (All issues of mine—I’m a mess.) Temperatures range from 104 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit, and while that sounds like a scorcher, it's only eight to 11 degrees above body temperature.

It has a clamshell design with an adjustable head strap, which gets an extra brownie point for me since I have an annoyingly small head. It’s also ultra-portable and the two sides fold together, making it easy to take with you on a commute. It features five massage modes that help reduce inflammation and increase blood circulation, and—my favorite feature—it has Bluetooth connectivity so you can play your own bumpin’ jams or tranquil sounds.

Initial thoughts

First things first: They look like ski goggles, and when I first saw them, I had no idea what was in store for my tired, bloodshot eyes. I didn’t think anything was really capable of getting rid of my eye strain and tension headaches; I admit it, I was skeptical, but I like to keep an open mind with everything, especially when my precious eyeballs are involved.

The eye massager has a 4.4-out-of-five star rating and over 11,000 reviews on Amazon—that’s how I knew there was something special about this product. “Usually two to three cycles and bam, the worst of them are gone,” one reviewer wrote. “So, if you do suffer from migraines or constant headaches, this is a godsend.” So, I gave it a shot for about a month, and it’s safe to say I was pleasantly surprised.

I’ve been enlightened

As soon as I strapped in and turned it on, the upper half of my face and head simply felt like it was resting in a padded steam room, in the best way possible. As it caressed my forehead and eyes, it felt like a heated vibrator. Ugh, I love pleasure. As you alternate pressure modes, a slightly percussive (almost bounce-like) vibration hits all the nooks and crannies of your eye sockets.

I guess you could say my eyes orgasmed. It was truly a face-tenderizing, zen experience—so much so that it emulated the relief I get from my Theragun, my favorite post-run ritual. Once the session wrapped up, my eye region felt like it just left the spa. The heated pads left a slight film of sweat on my skin, but no complaints: I felt like a brand-new woman.

The first few times I used this, I used the built-in tranquil ambient tones that transported me into a Japanese cherry blossom garden. I’m pretty sure it sent me into a trance. But, I wanted to kick things up a notch during my meditative sessions. I was excited to use the Bluetooth connectivity and connect my self-proclaimed sick Spotify playlists. My idea of relaxation is vibing to some Swedish metal (Opeth is chef’s kiss). If you’re not feeling the tunes, you can also get in some mellow learning by listening to an E-book or podcast. The rechargeable massager also comes with a mini remote to change the massage pressure and song with a simple click.

Is there anyone who shouldn’t use this device?

Renpho says you should not use it if you have cataracts, have undergone eye surgery, or have retina conditions. In other words, don't pop this on right after getting Lasik. We respect a responsible king or queen who abides by the warning label.

TL;DR: Should you snag the Renpho Eye Massager?

Here are three reasons why should throw this sucker into your shopping cart:

  • It feels magnificent. Your eyes and all the surrounding areas will feel they’re being gently caressed by a massage gun or your favorite vibrator. 
  • It will make your tired, bloodshot eyes look like they no longer have pinkeye. 
  • It will save you money in the long run, especially if you’re constantly seeking outside relief and masseuse sessions for your headaches or eye strain.

Adios eye strain and headaches, I won’t miss ya.

The Renpho Eye Massager is available for purchase on Amazon.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.

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Yelp names and shames businesses paying for 5-star reviews

ARS Technica - Thu, 09/21/2023 - 13:05
Yelp names and shames businesses paying for 5-star reviews

Enlarge (credit: Bloomberg / Contributor | Bloomberg)

Yelp has started publicly naming and shaming businesses that pay for reviews. The review site's new index documents businesses offering everything from a crisp $100 bill for leaving the best review to a $400 Home Depot gift card for a five-star review. It also lists every business whose reviews have ever been suspected of suspicious activity, like spamming the site with multiple reviews from a single IP address.

Engadget dubbed Yelp's new index a "wall of shame," suggesting that the information may be used by federal agencies who have spent the past few years cracking down on paid fake reviews. This year, the Federal Trade Commission proposed a ban on "the use of deceptive reviews and testimonials," with penalties up to $50,000 for businesses "caught buying, selling or manipulating online reviews," Engadget reported.

Yelp wants to see the Federal Trade Commission enact the ban, Yelp's head of user operations, Noorie Malik, told Engadget. The FTC noted that Yelp reported 950 suspicious posts, users, or groups facilitating fake reviews in 2021 alone.

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