Researchers tell owners to “assume compromise” of unpatched Zyxel firewalls

ARS Technica - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 15:33
Researchers tell owners to “assume compromise” of unpatched Zyxel firewalls

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Firewalls made by Zyxel are being wrangled into a destructive botnet, which is taking control of them by exploiting a recently patched vulnerability with a severity rating of 9.8 out of a possible 10.

“At this stage if you have a vulnerable device exposed, assume compromise,” officials from Shadowserver, an organization that monitors Internet threats in real time, warned four days ago. The officials said the exploits are coming from a botnet that’s similar to Mirai, which harnesses the collective bandwidth of thousands of compromised Internet devices to knock sites offline with distributed denial-of-service attacks.

According to data from Shadowserver collected over the past 10 days, 25 of the top 62 Internet-connected devices waging “downstream attacks”—meaning attempting to hack other Internet-connected devices—were made by Zyxel as measured by IP addresses.

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Backed Hard: The Best Stuff We (Actually) Bought in May

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 15:32

It feels like all of a sudden we woke up one day and May was basically over (just us?). At least the end of the month means we can reminisce about all of our juiciest May shopping memories. Whether it was scoring Masturbation May deals (many of which are still going!), plundering Memorial Day weekend sales or just spelunking through the bowels of Amazon for the gear we need for a weird, epic summer, we have a lot to show you with our May edition of Backed Hard, the monthly roundup in which VICE’s editors and writers unleash all of the impeccable shopping finds they recently got their grubby little paws on (and now love).

Last month, mid-century modern bedside lamps, Teva sandals, and charcuterie boards spiked our dopamine levels and helped to prep us for Aperol spritz season. This month, we’re making protein shakes into soft serve with the TikTok-viral Ninja Creami, using Slavic toothpaste (because our gum deserve fancy European apothecary swag), and protecting our precious four-wheel whip with a bumper guard. Let’s get rollin’ and churnin’—here’s what we back hard right now, mates.

I finally joined the cult of Vitamix

For years, my smoothies, dips, and batters came straight out of a <$50 Hamilton Beach blender, and frankly, that was… fine! Although, in retrospect, it was sometimes so loud it scared my cat and did sometimes smell like burning metal. But frankly, it worked. Anyhow, I had long heard that Vitamix blenders were the Cadillacs of countertop appliances, and while I trusted that to be the truth, I didn’t feel ready to pull the trigger and commit to such a high-end swirly machine. Well, I finally got a Vitamix—the Propel 750 to be exact—and shocker, shocker, I’m obsessed with it. This thing crushes ice into slushie texture in, like, two seconds, and has all of my smoothies as creamy as Hailey Bieber’s Erewhon jawn. Going to be making piña coladas in this bad boy all summer long, no doubt. —Hilary Pollack

Stressed out? Try acupressure

This mat has completely changed my wind-down routine at night. For the uninitiated, acupressure mats are an at-home iteration of traditional Chinese acupuncture, using little plastic “stimulators” (spikes, my brother in Christ) that are designed to target areas of stress on your body. Studies are still rolling out about how they can affect health, but so far they’re showing a decrease in back pain and stress in participants, and that I can absolutely attest to; over the past few months, I’ve worked my way up to laying on the mat for about 30 minutes (I started out doing just 5) before night-night time, and when I peel myself off of it I feel as if a 10-pound weight has been lifted from my back. —Mary Frances “Francky” Knapp

Blow out your neck (not your ears)

I love concerts and clubs as much as the next gal, but I don’t love that massive ringing in your ears the next day. I must admit, I was skeptical about earplugs that would reduce (but not eliminate) noise, and Loops’ earplugs have proven me wrong. A little anecdote for you: I had my Loops Experience Plus earplugs in as I entered a bass-booming, music-bouncing club and, to my surprise, I could hear it all pretty clearly. I would not advise you to get these earplugs if you are the type of person who likes chatting all night long at a loud club because I couldn’t hear conversations for shit—but I could hear the music that evening (and whispers in conversation the next day). These babies will for sure be my plus one at any concert or club night in the future. (They’re a major staff favorite at VICE.) —Becca Sax

My favorite kitchen gadget to date

I’ve always been one of those people who can never say no to ice cream, so of course I had to get my hands on an ice cream maker. I wasn’t just going for any average ice cream maker though, I had my sights set on the TikTok-viral Ninja Creami. I now have the newly launched Breeze model, and it’s such a gem that it’s already sold out (except at Kohl’s, LOL). Fear not, the original Ninja Creami can still be found nearly everywhere (including Amazon) and is just as amazing. Expect to whip up ice cream, sorbet, gelato, milkshakes, smoothie bowls, and even “healthy” protein ice cream in just a few minutes. —Nicolette Accardi

Make flossing suck less

I do my best to brush at least twice daily, rinse with mouthwash, and (my addiction to black coffee and red wine notwithstanding) generally keep my teeth as pearly white as possible. That said, I’ve always hated flossing; even though I try to stay on top of it, it’s very easy to “forget” unless I’m looking right at a roll of floss on my bathroom counter right as I’m getting ready for bed. Recently, a friend showed me these flossers from Plackers. Instead of winding feet of floss around my fingers like I’m about to garrote my teeth and gums, these tools make getting in the grooves easier than ever—especially with the integrated toothpick that folds out from the base of the handle. With summer vacation season on the horizon, I have started to throw a few of these in my toiletries bag and leave the massive roll of twine in the bathroom drawer. —Gregory Babcock

The magic elixirs helping my hot girl tummy troubles

Once you turn 30, it’s like someone pulled the emergency stop on the treadmill while you’re still going eight miles per hour. You feel the same on the inside, but then slowly you start getting weird aches and pains, nausea, bloating, and fatigue. I’m serious—one day the weird little problems just start and never stop. For the past few months, I’ve been experiencing discomfort regularly after eating or drinking anything (we’re talking heartburn, crazy bloating, sometimes nausea), and finally I decided I should quell the 80-year-old Jewish man in my stomach screaming for Tums and be proactive. After reading about Elix’s herbal benefits, I tried both Ginger Aide and Zoey’s Digestif elixirs praying for some relief, but not expecting a miracle. I’ve been pleasantly surprised how much a regular dose of Ginger Aide in my water and even emergency doses of Zoey’s Digestif taken in the heat of post-meal agony have calmed my most extreme symptoms and I feel less bloated and nauseous overall. —Becca Blasdel

Protecting all the junk in my trunk

After a friend dinged up my beloved ride, they offered to fix all of my vintage Subaru’s bumps and bruises. Thankfully, after a few weeks at the mechanic, my car looks brand new again. Feeling protective, I barely wanted to let my dog into the back seat, let alone park it on the vicious streets of Brooklyn again. Knowing that having a car in New York means I’m always at least a little bit at risk of another dinger, I finally got around to getting myself a rubber bumper guard. I went with this universal one from Amazon because I didn’t want to measure wrong and ruin my entire day trying to fit it on my car. I am happy to say it took me less than two minutes to put on (and now I can sleep at night). —Becca Blasdel

My fancy Slavic toothpaste

I didn’t expect a passion for fancy toothpastes to be in my cards for 2023, but here we are. I’m obsessed with this bougie toothpaste from an Eastern European brand called Linhart, because it’s not filled with weird gunk and coloring; instead, Linhart is made with three enamel-protecting ingredients (theobromine, fluoride, and xylitol) that are blended together with soothing aloe vera, and a hint of anise and mint. It’s one of the few toothpastes that doesn’t hurt my sensitive chompers, and it always feels luxurious to use with its bright orange tube and uniquely shaped hexagonal cap. Not that anyone asked, but the brand's history is also pretty amazing: Linhart was founded in Prague in 1929 by Ernest Linhart, a recent medical school graduate who would go on to serve in the Czechoslovakian resistance. Just something to think about the next time you brush before bed. —Mary Frances “Francky” Knapp

Dogs hike too

Hiking is always more fun when you do it with your best friend, and by best friend, I mean my dog, Nugget. What isn’t so fun when I have to lug both of our hiking equipment in my backpack. I love that Ruffwear’s lightweight trail vest allows her to take some responsibility for her belongings, allowing her to carry her own equipment (without  being too bulky). The built-in zippered pockets allow her to carry her own water and water bowl as well as her other necessities like poop bags and treats. Let your dog have some independence. —Becca Sax

The perfect tiny white tank

Like my esteemed colleague, VICE senior staff writer Mary Frances Knapp, I am forever in pursuit of the best white tank top. It’s hard out there, man—there are a lot of variables! Shoulder cut, armpit hole size, length; all of these things matter. Well, right now, I’ve found the tiny, tight white tank top of my dreams, and it comes courtesy of none other than SKIMS, the loungewear brand of Ms. Kim Kardashian (that is, surprisingly or not, chock full of amazing basics). It’s cropped, snug, and as delightful for wearing while lazing about the house as for letting show under a Baz-Luhrmann’s-Romeo colorful button down. Pro tips: Get the matching Cotton Rib Thong, and free the nip. —Hilary Pollack

Comfy, cozy, Jambys

If you want versatility, Jambys are for you. Essentially, they’re house shorts (aka boxers) with pockets, and let me tell ya, Jambys are so freaking comfy. They feel like a super-soft microfiber boxer—but look like athleisure shorts—so I can toss them on whether I'm watching a Criminal Minds marathon or running to get a BEC (that’s baconeggncheese, y’all) around the corner. They have nice, deep pockets with a divider in the middle for coins and keys, and I love how they fall in the middle of the thigh, well above the knee. 10/10 loungewear.  —Becca Sax

A different kind of summer reading

As someone who reads other folks’ writing as a full-time job, I’m not someone who has a ton of literature on my “summer reading list.” When I stumbled upon Penguin Classics’ Marvel Collection however, I think I found the perfect perspective on “light reading” that I was looking for. Far from just a compilation of comic books, Penguin Classics’ Marvel Collection recontextualizes some of Marvel Comics’ biggest superheroes (think Captain America, Spider-Man, and Black Panther) as icons of the larger American literary and cultural canon. In other words: Comic books aren’t just cheap-and-cheerful picture books for kids, but foundational to American pop culture writ large. Packed with insightful commentary and historical context, these books aren’t just an introduction to some of the world’s most recognizable characters, but a refreshing way to take in the source material behind some of Marvel’s past and present summer blockbusters. —Gregory Babcock

The internet-famous liquid vitamins

A few months ago, my friend Beth mentioned that she had started taking liquid multivitamins in the morning and that she was subsequently “feeling amazing!” after months of sluggishness and a lack of pep in her step. Turns out she was talking about MaryRuth’s Liquid Morning Multivitamin, a TikTok-famous syrupy concoction loaded with all kinds of good-for-you vitamins, minerals, and extras. This stuff has become a source of curiosity and wonder on the internet for purportedly having all kinds of wild benefits, with some people even claiming it turned their hair from grey back to its original color (personally skeptical on that one, but intriguing nonetheless).  I started taking MaryRuth’s shortly thereafter, and while I am definitely still getting my roots covered, I do feel like they give me a little extra dose of healthy energy, bounce, and knowledge that I’ve gotten a grip of B vitamins from a couple of spoonfuls of raspberry-flavored goo. —Hilary Pollack

Don’t end up with doo-doo on your hands

Poop bags are one of those things that you don’t really think about… until you run out of them and quickly buy a pack at the dollar store that totally suck. TL;DR: You end up with literal shit on your hands. Hasn’t happened to you? Congratulations. After receiving a large order of Earth Rated wipes, poop bags, and a bag dispenser, it finally dawned on me that I had been making my life 100 times more difficult for no reason. In this case, springing for the slightly pricier, natural option—which is now made with 65% certified post-consumer recycled plastic, is the way to go. —Becca Blasdel

Don’t forget: Father’s Day is in just over two weeks (so cop a present for your dad to thank him for his faithful years as head Grill Master).

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

Once and for All: Is Supergoop Sunscreen Worth It?

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 15:15

Welcome back to Once and For All, where we figure out whether the stuff people rave about, cherish, and form their entire identities around is actually worth the investment. We've looked at cast iron panslinen sheets, and more, and today, we're investigating the cult of Supergoop sunscreen.

Now that it’s officially summer, all I want to do is slather myself in tanning oil, wrap myself in aluminum foil, grab the Sun-In, a Capri-Sun, and bake. But these days, I know better, and hopefully you do, too—sun damage is no joke. You may only remember the number those orange highlights did on your psyche, but as we now know through countless studies about the effects of UV rays on our skin, the damage caused by sunburns is much more serious and long-lasting. It’s crucial to wear sunscreen on a daily basis (yes, even in the winter) because even on overcast days, 80% of the sun’s UV rays still reach Earth—and thus your skin. 

Now, we know a lot of people out there probably don’t wear sunscreen because, well, they don’t like sunscreen. Understandable—lots of SPF can be sticky, chalky, greasy, and sometimes smells like a bottle of Malibu rum, but it doesn’t have to be like that. If wearing sunscreen every day sounds like your own personal hell, it probably means you haven’t found the right product yet. Allow us to introduce you to the best sunscreen in the game: Supergoop.

You may have already heard of Supergoop, since it has dozens of products, each with its own draw, but the undeniable gold medalist is the Unseen Sunscreen. It has a cult-like following on TikTok—the #supergoop hashtag has a whopping 401.6 million views—likely for a variety of reasons; it’s totally transparent, fragrance-free, free of most common allergens, and leaves no white cast (on all skin tones). It has the consistency of a makeup primer (a velvety silicone feel) that does in fact wear quite well under makeup, and, as a bonus, it has a feel-good ingredient list that includes frankincense, (to soothe sensitive skin), and meadowfoam seed (which purports to increase hydration and even skin texture). It’s also an all-around, good-for-everyday sunscreen, and it bodes well for the brand that dermatologists are also big fans—especially because it is water-resistant for 40 minutes, resulting in reliable protection despite its invisibility cloak-like appearance on skin. 

Before trying Supergoop, like everyone else, my SPF game was inconsistent, and I conveniently “forgot” to apply sunscreen in my daily skincare routine. Other products burned my eyes (making me look stoned) or left an extreme white-cast (making me look like the Victorian child haunting your attic). But when I first tried the Unseen Sunscreen, I found that it feels exactly like a mattifying jelly primer—a texture totally unlike other sunscreens I’ve tried before. Unlike the chalky mineral formulas that made me look like a ghost, it’s totally translucent and absorbs quickly, leaving behind a velvet sheen that minimizes pores and resembles the finish of every hot girl’s favorite foundation: Armani Luminous Silk. I found that I could comfortably wear it all day when I was out running errands or as the best base for summer schvitz-proof makeup. 

Although I’ve been wearing sunscreen regularly on my face, décolletage, and hands for about 15 years, the moment I found Supergoop, pretty much everything changed—including, most importantly, my mindset. We all know both the health-related and vainity-driven reasons that you should wear sunscreen every day: SPF prevents wrinkles, dark spots, and acne marks, while minimizing the ones you already have. But before, wearing sunscreen every day was a chore, an extra step in an already arduous skincare routine that was often “forgotten” if I was short on time. Now, it’s a seamless, pleasant experience to apply and wear it. 

Plus, as someone with incredibly sensitive skin (and an annoying amount of allergies), I’ve been forced to treat my epidermis like the temperamental little baby she is, and never had the luxury of indulging in overly fragranced or gimmicky products. Supergoop has been a blessing for me (and apparently many others with obnoxiously sensitive skin) because it’s so dang gentle.

As with everything on the internet, there is the occasional critic of Unseen Sunscreen—mostly due to a textural or ingredient-based reason—but that’s OK, because my absolute favorite thing about Supergoop is the brand’s wide variety of products that make finding your personal holy grail sunscreen as easy as taking an online quiz. The brand helpfully offers travel sizes and plenty of samples if you are still not ready to commit to a giant bottle (which the brand does have, and I will be buying). It even has a line of 100% mineral-based sunscreens that are ideal for people with supremely sensitive or acne-prone skin.

So, while I get the Unseen Sunscreen hype now, I actually have a new favorite in the Supergoop rotation—it doubles as my new favorite moisturizer, primer, and all-around hack to better skin: Glowscreen.  While Unseen Sunscreen is, well, unseen, Glowscreen has a thinner formula which is very shimmery and highlighting, and it contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, and niacinamide, which help boost my skin’s moisture and its texture. This has been my absolute favorite sunscreen product lately (especially for mornings I need to be in public, but don’t require a full beat). I simply wake up, wash my face, slather on Glowscreen, brush my brows, apply Chapstick, and stumble to the bodega for oat milk. It’s my “no-makeup makeup” all-star that gives me the perfect iridescent sheen without an overdone glittery look.  It comes in two shades, Sunrise and Golden Hour, both of which create that lit-from-within glow that you only get from a really great night’s sleep or a tropical vacation. It’s billed as a makeup primer—which it performs exceptionally as—but my favorite way to wear it is bare with nothing atop it at all, since it adds a little oomph without needing to apply additional makeup.

If you have oily skin and a matte finish is the goal, I have also tried—and also loved—the Mineral Mattescreen, and found that it is incredibly quiche for those who prefer to be sheen-free. That being said, my two gold star favorites are Unseen Sunscreen and Glowscreen. I use them almost interchangeably, depending on mood. 

I must disclose that I have become a full-blown Supergoop addict, and during a recent sale I went to the window, to the wall, till my cart was filled with all; and nothing disappointed me. The PLAY line is great for going to the beach or exercising outdoors, and it’s gentle enough to be used head-to-toe. I am also a big fan of the brand’s (Re)setting mist (which is perfect for effortless re-applications), Supergoop’s SPF-infused makeup products, and the brand’s Glow Oil (for getting a tan, responsibly).

The TL;DR: Supergoop rocks because the absolute best sunscreen is the kind that you want to wear every day. Frankly, that’s what Supergoop does best. Unseen Sunscreen’s silky-smooth, leave-no-cast, non-irritating formula is for everyone who wants a natural finish, with full sun-protection, and Glowscreen provides that just-got-back-from-vacation aura. Try a few and you’ll likely discover you’re weirdly obsessed with SPF and are never looking back.

Slather up, catch those rays, and shine on, you beautiful bronze baddies. 

Check out Supergoop’s full suite of sunscreens and skincare products 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

AI-expanded album cover artworks go viral thanks to Photoshop’s Generative Fill

ARS Technica - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 15:05
An AI-expanded version of a famous album cover involving four lads and a certain road created using Adobe Generative Fill.

Enlarge / An AI-expanded version of a famous album cover involving four lads and a certain road created using Adobe Generative Fill. (credit: Capitol Records / Adobe / Dobrokotov)

Over the weekend, AI-powered makeovers of famous music album covers went viral on Twitter thanks to Adobe Photoshop's Generative Fill, an image synthesis tool that debuted in a beta version of the image editor last week. Using Generative Fill, people have been expanding the size of famous works of art, revealing larger imaginary artworks beyond the borders of the original images.

This image-expanding feat, often called "outpainting" in AI circles (and introduced with OpenAI's DALL-E 2 last year), is possible due to an image synthesis model called Adobe Firefly, which has been trained on millions of works of art from Adobe's stock photo catalog. When given an existing image to work with, Firefly uses what it knows about other artworks to synthesize plausible continuations of the original artwork. And when guided with text prompts that describe a specific scenario, the synthesized results can go in wild places.

For example, an expansion of Michael Jackson's famous Thriller album rendered the rest of Jackson's body lying on a piano. That seems reasonable, based on the context. But depending on user guidance, Generative Fill can also create more fantastic interpretations: An expansion of Katy Perry's Teenage Dream cover art (likely guided by a text suggestion from the user) revealed Perry lying on a gigantic fluffy pink cat.

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Reddit’s API pricing results in shocking $20 million-a-year bill for Apollo

ARS Technica - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 14:55
The Reddit app icon on a smartphone screen.

Enlarge / The Reddit iOS app icon. (credit: Getty Images | Yuriko Nakao )

Reddit is an enormously popular website, but the official design has always needed some reworking. This is even more true of the mobile experience, which didn't have a mobile app until 2016, and even then, not everyone's a fan of it. The site's popularity rose partly thanks to third-party developers filling in the gaps with pre-existing and better mobile apps. Last month, following in the footsteps of Twitter, Reddit suddenly announced it wanted to charge apps for API access, but how much? Would it pull a Twitter and price everything out of the market?

The most popular Reddit app is the iOS app Apollo, which has been running for eight years now and has millions of downloads. Apollo's developer, Christian Selig, has been in meetings with Reddit regarding the cost of the API, and it sounds like the company is using a recent Twitter tactic. Selig says "50 million requests costs $12,000, a figure far more than I ever could have imagined." Twitter, for the record, is charging $42,000 for 50 million tweets. Selig cites the photo site Imgur as a more reasonable pricing scheme, "I pay Imgur (a site similar to Reddit in user base and media) $166 for the same 50 million API calls." Selig estimates it would cost $20 million a year to keep Apollo running.

Apollo and most other third-party apps use Reddit's data but don't show Reddit's ads, so the proliferation of third-party apps costs Reddit money. It's reasonable to expect some money to change hands here, but how much? Selig links to a CNBC report from 2019 that estimated Reddit earns 30 cents a year per user and says Reddit's API pricing would work out to about $2.50 per user per month or $30 a year, which aligns with Imgur's pricing.

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Bye, Boring Beige: The Best Couches for 2023 Are Super Colorful

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 14:21

How did our homes get here? How did we go from the autumnal palettes and sunken conversation pits of the 1970s to the bold bright colors of the 80s (à la Memphis design)… to then veering off into a whole lot of monochromatic, aesthetic blah as we headed into the modern day? Home design somehow fell down a beige hole to a world filled with millennial grays, white walls, and neutral accents. (Was it the new-millennium maximalism of our parents’ early-2000s Tuscan-revival kitchens that pushed us so far into the opposite aesthetic direction?)

If you’re guilty of having an aggressively minimal living space, why not trade in your ratty greige sectional for one of these colorful couches that will pump your space full of visual interest and energy?

If you missed last week’s Twitter storm over an $8,000 Roche Bobois sofa allegedly  found on the sidewalk in New York City, there was a ton of discourse about whether it's technically “safe” to adopt a discarded upholstered piece of furniture off the streets. While some commenters worried about bed bugs and stains, others were pissed they didn’t find it first—but the real takeaway here is that the people are hungry for a unique, bubbly, bright statement sofa, and they’re even willing to endure the possibility of vermin to get it. Instead of opening your home up to a questionable street find (or, at the very least, a thorough roasting on social media), make an investment in a unique sofa that will be the centerpiece of your living room for years to come. With that, let’s shine a light on a few of our favorite colorful couches.

Interior Define Hayley Loveseat

The best thing about all of Interior Define’s furniture is that you can customize almost everything to your liking, down to the arm width and seat depth of a sofa or sectional. On top of having a huge selection of styles, you can order your custom couch in nearly 100 colors and fabrics, ranging from coral pink to topaz or berry purple. The Hayley Loveseat offers a perfect opportunity to add a pop of color—and a super comfortable binge-watching location—to smaller spaces.

Albany Park Kova Sofa

It’s safe to say we're pretty obsessed with Albany Park—the brand's sumptuous sofas are made for sinking into and forgetting all your real-world problems as you watch the new season of I Think You Should Leave. Not only is the Kova collection known for being super-comfortable, but it also made it onto our list of the best modular sofas and conversation pits because it can be configured in so many different ways—from a tiny loveseat to the “Kova Pit,” a massive cuddle puddle oasis.

Urban Outfitters Chamberlin Velvet Sofa

It’s no secret that if you walk into a hot person’s apartment, you very well may find a chic velvet sofa or sectional. (Let’s not forget the past year’s discourse about the iconic green velvet bisexual couch. If you really want to get the message across, make sure you opt for a dark green velvet, to really seal the deal.) Urban Outfitters’ retro-inspired Chamberlain Sofa comes in excellent color options—including 70s throwbacks like burnt orange and maroon—that can be harder to find.

Viv + Rae McCullen Armless Bean Bag Sofa

While we’re praying for a mysterious rich aunt or toe-obsessed sugar daddy to come out of the woodwork and buy us an authentic Togo sofa, we have to admit that we don’t have a ton of disposable income to spend on designer furniture. While we wait for our financially endowed savior (fingers crossed), we’re saving our clams for pedicures and snagging this bright yellow Togo lookalike instead.

AllModern Kearney Upholstered Loveseat

Looking for the perfect accent piece for your foyer, the foot of the bed, or an office? Sometimes it can be challenging to find smaller furniture that doesn’t look diminutive or like it was made for children.  This 61-inch loveseat from AllModern comes in a striking dusty blue and a muted orange rust that will zhuzh up any room. Plus, it has an impressive 4.7 out of five-star rating from hundreds of enthusiastic reviews saying that it’s “super comfortable” and “perfect for a small space.”

Hans Wegner Daybed Sofa

To be absolutely certain you don’t have the same sofa as everyone else in your friend group, it’s always smart to scout out secondhand options. Case in point: This mid-century modern daybed in robin’s egg blue and impeccable condition from one of our favorite furniture resale sites, Kaiyo.

Blu Dot Bloke Armless Sofa

While there aren’t a ton of really bright chartreuse and acid-yellow-green options currently on the market, these colors can be excellent, surprisingly neutral additions to your living space. If you don’t want to use it as an entry bench or extra living room seating, this little loveseat from Blu Dot would also be perfect as a banquette in a smaller dining area.

Whose favorite color is gray, anyway?

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

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is coming to PC—and it will be a technical showstopper

ARS Technica - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 14:17

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will be the next PlayStation Studios game to make its way to PC, Sony announced in a blog post on Tuesday. The game, which debuted in 2021, will launch on the new platform on July 26.

Although Sony has been in the habit of releasing its big PlayStation exclusives on PC long after their console debuts for a bit now, there are a couple of things that make this announcement particularly interesting.

First, this is the first Ratchet & Clank game to be released on PC—that's after 16 home and handheld console releases since the first game was released on PlayStation 2 more than 20 years ago.

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Daily Horoscope: June 1, 2023

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 14:00

The moon in Scorpio opposes Jupiter in Taurus at 2:04 AM, encouraging us to examine things from a new perspective. Watch out for exaggerations! People might feel impatient as the moon squares off with Mars in Leo at 8:11 AM… beware of big egos. The moon aligns with Saturn in Pisces at 3:31 PM, inspiring responsibility and focus.

All times ET.

Read your monthly horoscope for May!

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

Keep your spending in check as the moon in Scorpio opposes Jupiter in Taurus. A passionate energy may be in the air as the moon squares off with Mars in Leo, but go slow and try to avoid impulsivity. Make time for rest as the moon mingles with Saturn in Pisces.

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

The moon in Scorpio opposes Jupiter in your sign, Taurus, inspiring a powerful atmosphere for connection. An over-the-top energy flows, and some drama may arise as the moon squares off with Mars in Leo. Things can feel more grounded as the moon connects with Saturn in Pisces.

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

Try not to overextend yourself as the moon in Scorpio opposes Jupiter in Taurus. Find a balance between rest and taking care of your responsibilities. An urgent discussion may take place as the moon squares off with Mars in Leo, and solid plans for the future can come together as the moon connects with Saturn in Pisces.

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

The moon in fellow water sign Scorpio opposes Jupiter in Taurus, which might stir up big drama in your social life! Watch your spending as the moon squares off with Mars in Leo. The moon connects with Saturn in Pisces, inspiring a productive atmosphere for discussing future plans.

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

The moon in Scorpio squares off with Mars in your zodiac sign, Leo, which can find you taking action in a situation at home or in your personal life. The moon connects with Saturn in Pisces, which bodes well for discussing commitments.

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

Exciting discussions can take place as the moon in Scorpio opposes Jupiter in Taurus, but do watch out for exaggerations. A supportive atmosphere flows in your relationships as the moon connects with Saturn in Pisces.

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

Big decisions about money can be made as the moon in Scorpio opposes Jupiter in Taurus. The moon squares off with Mars in Leo, which might also spark some drama in your social life. The moon connects with Saturn in Pisces, which bodes well for taking care of your responsibilities! 

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

The moon in your sign, Scorpio, opposes Jupiter in Taurus, which can find you and a partner reaching an important turning point in your relationship. A decision about your career or the future could be made as the moon squares off with Mars in Leo. The moon connects with Saturn in Pisces, inspiring a grounding, supportive atmosphere.

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

The moon in Scorpio opposes Jupiter in Taurus and squares off with Mars in Leo, which may find you torn between embarking on a new adventure or slowing down and getting some rest. The moon connects with Saturn in Pisces, which bodes well for tending to issues at home or in your personal life.

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

Over-the-top drama in your social life or love life might steal your attention today as the moon in Scorpio opposes Jupiter in Taurus, but the moon also connects with your ruling planet Saturn in Pisces, which bodes well for communication and planning for the future.

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

The moon in Scorpio squares off with Mars in Leo, which can find you and your partners making important decisions about the future. Try not to make impulsive moves and watch out for short tempers. The moon connects with Saturn in Pisces, inspiring a grounding atmosphere that might benefit discussions about money.

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

The moon in fellow water sign Scorpio opposes Jupiter in Taurus, which might bring big news your way! Just watch out for exaggerations. The moon squares off with Mars in Leo, inspiring productivity, but be mindful of short tempers. The moon connects with Saturn in your sign, Pisces, inspiring a supportive atmosphere, especially as you take care of your responsibilities.

Categories: Tech News

Report: The Pixel Watch 2 dumps Samsung Exynos SoCs for Qualcomm

ARS Technica - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 13:57
The first-generation Pixel Watch. It's a perfect, round little pebble.

Enlarge / The first-generation Pixel Watch. It's a perfect, round little pebble. (credit: Ron Amadeo)

The first Pixel Watch represented a promising but first-generation-feeling return to the smartwatch market for Google—will a second-generation version do any better? 9to5Google reports it will at least come with a new system on a chip: the Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 Gen 1. This change would have the Pixel Watch line changing from Samsung to Qualcomm SoCs.

The original Pixel Watch shipped with an Exynos 9110—not a bad chip by any means—except that when the Pixel Watch hit the market, the Exynos 9110 was four years old. As a 10 nm, dual Cortex A53 chip, it was ancient by technology standards. By the time the Pixel Watch came out, Samsung already had a next-generation chip on the market, the Exynos W920, and had shipped watches with the new chip.

While the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear W5 still has the same A53 CPUs, it has four of them, and the chip should be a lot more power efficient thanks to its 4 nm manufacturing process. The Pixel Watch 2 is expected to come out by the end of the year, and by then, the Snapdragon W5 SoC will be no spring chicken either. The chip was announced in July 2022, and the first products hit the market a month later in August 2022—that's what a good technology rollout looks like, by the way. The Pixel Watch 2's assumed October 2023 release date would be 15 months after the chip was announced. That's better than four years, but time still seems to be Google's biggest enemy when it ships a smartwatch.

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Categories: Tech News

Automatic emergency braking should become mandatory, feds say

ARS Technica - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 13:46
A Volvo driver gets an emergency braking alert

Enlarge / Emergency braking systems have been on the road for some years, but now the federal government wants them to be mandatory equipment on all new light trucks and passenger cars. (credit: Volvo)

On Wednesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would see automatic emergency braking become a standard feature on all new light passenger vehicles. If adopted, NHTSA says it would save 360 lives and prevent 24,000 crashes each year.

"Today, we take an important step forward to save lives and make our roadways safer for all Americans," Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “Just as lifesaving innovations from previous generations like seat belts and airbags have helped improve safety, requiring automatic emergency braking on cars and trucks would keep all of us safer on our roads."

NHTSA added automatic emergency braking to its list of recommended safety features in 2015. At the time, it started noting the presence or absence of this advanced driver assistance system when determining a car's rating under the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), which is aimed at giving consumers safety information about new vehicles.

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Categories: Tech News

Texas judge demands lawyers declare AI-generated docs

The Register - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 13:42
After that New York case in which attorney cited ChatGPT-hallucinated proceedings as real

After a New York attorney admitted last week to citing non-existent court cases that had been hallucinated by OpenAI's ChatGPT software, a Texas judge has directed attorneys in his court to certify either that they have not used artificial intelligence to prepare their legal documents – or that if they do, that the output has been verified by a human.…

Categories: Tech News

The solid legal theory behind Nintendo’s new emulator takedown effort

ARS Technica - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 13:35
This Dolphin is not currently under legal threat from Nintendo.

Enlarge / This Dolphin is not currently under legal threat from Nintendo. (credit: Flickr / Andreas Ahrens)

When it comes to emulation, Nintendo has a long history of going after the websites that distribute copyrighted game ROMs and some of the modders that make piracy-enabling hardware. But Nintendo's legal takedown efforts have generally stayed away from emulation software itself.

This weekend saw an exception to that rule, though, as Nintendo's lawyers formally asked Valve to cut off the planned Steam release of Wii and Gamecube emulator Dolphin. In a letter addressed to the Valve Legal Department (a copy of which was provided to Ars by the Dolphin Team), an attorney representing Nintendo of America requests that Valve take down Dolphin's "coming soon" Steam store page (which originally went up in March) and "ensure the emulator does not release on the Steam store moving forward." The letter exerts the company's "rights under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)’s Anti-Circumvention and Anti-Trafficking provisions," even though it doesn't take the form of a formal DMCA takedown request.

In fighting a decision like this, an emulator maker would usually be able to point to some robust legal precedents that protect emulation software as a general concept. But legal experts that spoke to Ars said that Nintendo's argument here might actually get around those precedents and present some legitimate legal problems for the Dolphin Team.

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Categories: Tech News

FTC Orders Ring to Pay $5.8 Million in Refunds For Surveilling Customers, Failing to Stop Hackers

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 13:29

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published a proposed order against Ring that would see the surveillance camera maker pay $5.8 million in consumer refunds, as well as prohibit the company from profiting from unlawfully accessed consumer videos, according to an announcement from the FTC published Wednesday. The FTC’s complaint says hackers broke into a massive 55,000 Ring accounts belonging to U.S. customers, in some cases maintaining access to linked devices for more than a month.

The FTC’s move comes after Motherboard published several investigations into a wave of hacks that targeted Ring accounts and their respective cameras across the country in December 2019. Motherboard found hackers discussing creating tools to break into Ring accounts on crime forums; uncovered a podcast where hackers live streamed the harassment of unsuspecting victims; and finally documented in detail the myriad security issues with Ring accounts by purchasing and testing a Ring camera ourselves.

“Because Ring did not take these measures, the attacks continued to succeed,” the FTC’s complaint against Ring reads. “For example, on December 12, 2019, prominent media outlets began publishing reports about hacked Ring devices, where hackers used access to cameras to harass and threaten children and families.”

During the 55,000 account compromises, hackers went further in many cases. For at least 910 U.S. accounts related to around 1,250 Ring devices, hackers also accessed a stored video, live stream, or viewed the customer’s profile, according to the complaint.

In Motherboard’s December 2019 investigation laying out the security issues with Ring, we pointed to Ring allowing people to login from unknown IP addresses even when connecting from multiple countries around the world simultaneously; the company not giving users a way to see how many users are currently logged into their account; Ring not checking user’s password hashes against already known compromised credentials; a lack of SMS verification in response to an unknown login; allowing unfettered access over the Tor anonymity network; and Ring seemingly not deploying any form of rate limiting, which stops hackers from entering possible passwords again and again in quick succession. Specifically, all of these make “credential stuffing” and “brute force” attacks easier for a hacker.

In its own complaint the FTC pointed to much the same issues Motherboard found at the time.

“Ring’s disregard for privacy and security exposed consumers to spying and harassment,” Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in the announcement. “The FTC’s order makes clear that putting profit over privacy doesn’t pay.”

Separate from the account security issue, Ring employees also accessed consumer content without consent. Under the proposed order, Ring will be required to delete data products derived from those unlawfully reviewed videos, and implement a privacy and security program as well as “other stringent security controls, such as multi-factor authentication for both employee and customer accounts,” the announcement adds.

A federal court needs to approve the order before it can go into effect. Ring did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Categories: Tech News

This is the first X-ray taken of a single atom

ARS Technica - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 13:07
An image of a ring shaped supramolecule where only one Fe atom is present in the entire ring.

Enlarge / An image of a ring-shaped supramolecule where only one Fe atom is present in the entire ring. (credit: Saw-Wai Hla)

Atomic-scale imaging emerged in the mid-1950s and has been advancing rapidly ever since—so much so, that back in 2008, physicists successfully used an electron microscope to image a single hydrogen atom. Five years later, scientists were able to peer inside a hydrogen atom using a "quantum microscope," resulting in the first direct observation of electron orbitals. And now we have the first X-ray taken of a single atom, courtesy of scientists from Ohio University, Argonne National Laboratory, and the University of Illinois-Chicago, according to a new paper published in the journal Nature.

“Atoms can be routinely imaged with scanning probe microscopes, but without X-rays one cannot tell what they are made of," said co-author Saw-Wai Hla, a physicist at Ohio University and Argonne National Laboratory. "We can now detect exactly the type of a particular atom, one atom at a time, and can simultaneously measure its chemical state. Once we are able to do that, we can trace the materials down to [the] ultimate limit of just one atom. This will have a great impact on environmental and medical sciences.”

When the average non-scientist thinks of an atom, chances are they envision some popularized version of the classic, much-maligned Bohr model of the atom. That's the one where electrons move about the atomic nucleus in circular orbits, like planets orbiting the Sun in our Solar System. The orbits have set discrete energies, and those energies are related to an orbit’s size: The lowest energy, or “ground state,” is associated with the smallest orbit. Whenever an electron changes speed or direction (according to the Bohr model), it emits radiation in the specific frequencies associated with particular orbitals.

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Categories: Tech News

Throw out all those black boxes and say hello to the software-defined car

ARS Technica - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 12:51
An Audi Q6 e-tron prototype in the snow

Enlarge / The prototype of the Q6 e-tron is the first on the new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) technology architecture. (credit: Audi)

One of the auto industry trends I'm most excited about these days is the move to clean-sheet designs for car platforms and architectures. For decades, features have accumulated like cruft in new vehicles: a box here to control the antilock brakes, a module there to run the cruise control radar, and so on. Now engineers and designers are rationalizing the way they go about building new models, taking advantage of much more powerful hardware to consolidate all those discrete functions into a small number of domain controllers.

The behavior of new cars is increasingly defined by software, too. This is merely the progression of a trend that began at the end of the 1970s with the introduction of the first electronic engine control units; today, code controls a car's engine and transmission (or its electric motors and battery pack), the steering, brakes, suspension, interior and exterior lighting, and more, depending on how new (and how expensive) it is. And those systems are being leveraged for convenience or safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane keeping, remote parking, and so on.

Of course, this only works if that software is any good. "There is absolutely no question that software has been treated like a stepchild—I always say the fifth wheel in the car. So like a necessity, but not something that has been managed with care," said Maria Anhalt, CEO of the automotive supplier Elektrobit, which develops digital systems and software for OEMs.

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Categories: Tech News

North Korean spy satellite launch ends in sea smash

The Register - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 12:48
Rather than herald exciting success of best-ever lift-off, state media confirms fiasco. Consider us surprised

North Korea's attempt to put a spy satellite into orbit has failed and, in a rare case of admitting not everything was sunshine and roses in the "Democratic" People's Republic, state news sources actually confirmed the launch was a disaster. …

Categories: Tech News

Federal judge: No AI in my courtroom unless a human verifies its accuracy

ARS Technica - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 12:30
Illustration of a judge's gavel on a digital background resembling a computer circuit board.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | the-lightwriter)

A federal judge in Texas has a new rule for lawyers in his courtroom: No submissions written by artificial intelligence unless the AI's output is checked by a human. US District Judge Brantley Starr also ordered lawyers to file certificates attesting that their filings are either written or reviewed by humans.

"All attorneys appearing before the Court must file on the docket a certificate attesting either that no portion of the filing was drafted by generative artificial intelligence (such as ChatGPT, Harvey.AI, or Google Bard) or that any language drafted by generative artificial intelligence was checked for accuracy, using print reporters or traditional legal databases, by a human being," according to a new "judge-specific requirement" in Starr's courtroom.

A certification must be submitted for each case and would cover all filings in the case. A sample certification says the requirements apply to any language in a filing, "including quotations, citations, paraphrased assertions, and legal analysis."

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Categories: Tech News

Surf World in Turmoil Over Judging Controversy at Kelly Slater's Artificial Wave Pool

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 12:01

The professional surfing world is in turmoil over the judging at a competition at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch, a technologically impressive but nonetheless controversial artificial wave pool in California. The controversy has resurfaced general beefs with the World Surf League, artificial waves, judging criteria, and the concept of artificial waves in general.

The events of the last few days have been called an “insurrection” against the World Surf League, which administers the professional surfing tour. Two of the sport’s most famous stars are openly fighting with the WSL, the WSL’s president has issued a defiant open letter in two languages, and fans have been sending death threats to judges. The situation is so bad that one of the biggest surf media outlets has openly wondered whether the competition was “rigged,” and the judging controversy is essentially the only thing anyone interested in professional surfing is currently talking about.

At the center of all of this is the Surf Ranch, an artificial wave pool located in a mostly dry valley 100 miles from the ocean. The chaos over the weekend has resurfaced a years-long argument about the role that scientifically generated waves should play in a sport whose beauty comes from embracing the unpredictability of nature.

GettyImages-1494448116.jpgItalo Ferreira at the Surf Ranch Pro. Image: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images The Kelly Slater Surf Ranch

The Surf Ranch is the most famous surfing wave pool in the world. It was opened in 2015 after nearly a decade of research by a company founded by Slater, who is essentially the Tony Hawk of surfing. The pool is everything the ocean is not: It is predictable and programmable, creating a huge, barreling wave that can be the same every single time. For this reason, it was supposed to revolutionize how surfers train (allowing for a controlled, repeatable experience that never happens in the ocean) and was also supposed to create competitions that are more similar to snowboarding or skateboarding, where every competitor is surfing the same exact wave.

That first bit has more or less come true: Wave pool waves have indeed made it easier for people to practice and have also made surfing more accessible for people who don't live near the ocean. 

Kelly Slater's wave pool was a big deal when it opened, and has remained a major topic of conversation over the last few years. Crucially, the World Surf League—which is basically the NASCAR or PGA or NBA of surfing—bought the Kelly Slater Wave Company, including the Surf Ranch, in 2016. The plan at the time was to open wave pools using the Surf Ranch technology all over the country and, eventually, the world: “The WSL and the KSWC envision the build-out of a global network of WSL-branded high-performance training centers utilizing this wave technology,” the WSL said when it bought the technology.

This has not come to pass. A wave pool in Texas that was supposed to be retrofitted with the technology has remained closed for years. Plans for new pools in Austin and in Florida have been scrapped for a variety of economic, environmental, and logistical reasons. A second pool in California was roundly rejected by local leaders and summarily mocked as being a gigantic waste of water and energy in a state that is perennially drought-stricken.

Though most surfers seem to agree that the technology that powers the Surf Ranch creates the best wave, it’s also extremely expensive to run and uses a lot of energy. Many people cite a $10,000 cost to rent the wave pool for an hour (though the Surf Ranch no longer advertises this), and regular people can’t just roll up to use it for a few waves.

In the meantime, a variety of competitors have opened wave pools all over the world that use less energy, are more environmentally friendly, and make waves that are perfectly fine for the average surfer. Thus, the Surf Ranch and the technology that powers it has remained more or less a novelty, while smaller, more efficient wave pools have actually become popular among nonprofessional surfers.

One of the great joys/frustrations of learning to surf (or of surfing, in general), is the unpredictability of the ocean and its conditions. The size and surfability of a wave at any given break at any given time is governed by an impossible number of variables including the size and direction of a swell, the wind direction and strength, the shape and surface of the sand (or rock, or reef) at the bottom of the ocean, the tide, and any number of other factors. Each of these factors, of course, is different at every bit of shore all over the world. A wave is impermanent. No natural wave can ever be surfed twice, and becoming a good surfer is a function of learning to surf different breaks in different conditions, knowing where to sit, when to drop in, and knowing how to carve on a specific wave that is ever changing. This is an inherently frustrating process, because the vast majority of surf breaks have terrible or unsurfable waves much of time. This means a surfer could drive an hour to the beach, expect to get some practice, and learn that there are simply no waves, or a sudden shift in wind conditions has ruined the conditions. 

A wave pool essentially fixes all of these problems, allowing people to surf predictable, "perfect" waves over and over again. This removes the frustration associated with showing up to the beach to find terrible conditions. It also removes some of the variables that make surfing challenging, artistic, and unpredictable. Because every wave is more or less the same, the way high-level surfers surf it is basically the same. The common refrain among surfers is that surfing a wave pool is "amazing to do, boring to watch." 

But perhaps because the WSL owns the Surf Ranch, it has insisted on having professional competitions there. At first these were a novelty, but, over the years, public opinion among some high-level surfers and parts of the general public has turned against these competitions. While the consistency of the wave does level the playing field, it also removes the core essence of surfing: being able to perform on whatever wave nature happens to give you. The removal of this variable has created competitions that are incredibly same-y: Many of the top-level surfers do essentially the same maneuvers on the same Surf Ranch waves, over and over, creating a relatively boring competition that can be hard to judge.

The 2023 Surf Ranch Pro

This background more or less brings us to the current controversy. In recent years, the WSL has taken a few marquee events off of the competition calendar, but has kept the Surf Ranch Pro. One of the events that isn’t happening this year is one at Cloudbreak, a wave in Fiji that is one of the most iconic in the world, and one which happened to have an incredible swell rolling through in recent weeks. 

Essentially, the WSL ended up skipping a competition at a world-class natural wave in favor of having one at an inland wave pool that it owns and is incentivized to promote. 

With that undercurrent, the WSL held the Surf Ranch Pro last weekend, and American Griffin Colapinto edged out Brazilian Italo Ferreira. The long and short of it is that the vast majority of people believe Ferreira easily outsurfed Colapinto in the final, but that the judges decided to award Colapinto a better score for reasons no one can really figure out. 

Controversy over judging and scores are common in surfing, but the reason all of this is magnified at the Surf Ranch Pro is because every wave is the exact same. As I mentioned, this removes many of the variables that judges can normally consider. In the actual ocean, a judge can consider not just the level of difficulty and cleanliness of execution in the maneuvers performed, but also the size of the wave, the point in a wave that a surfer took off from, the steepness of the wave, how a surfer handled different unpredictable sections of the wave, etc. Fear, level of difficulty, jockeying for position on a given wave, ocean knowledge, wave selection, and any number of other variables play into how well a given wave is surfed in the actual ocean, which means that there is usually a clear-cut winner in a given competition heat. 

In the wave pool, both Colapinto and Ferreira essentially did the same maneuvers on the same scientifically created wave, the same way basically every other competitor did during every other heat. This means there are fewer things to judge them; when two people surf the same wave in basically the same way and neither of them fall, there's no obvious way to determine who should get a higher score, unless one of them screws up. Nonetheless, most people—except the judges—believe Ferreira was a little smoother in the final and deserved to win.

Ferreira and fellow Brazilians Gabriel Medina and Filipe Toledo, all three of whom have won WSL world titles and are among surfing’s biggest stars, called out the judges in the aftermath: “the surfing community, especially in Brazil, is mesmerized with the poor clarity and inconsistency of judging for many years now, but lately it has been even more shocking,” Medina wrote in a lengthy Instagram post. “It is quite clear that judging is now rewarding very simple surfing, seamless transitions and have taken critical turns in critical sections off the criteria. This is very frustrating and is stagnating the sport.”

“What we seek will always be the evolution of the sport, with justice and transparency,” Toledo wrote. “We want nothing but fair. Nothing beyond what is our right. We need our voice to be heard and respected, because, after all, we are the protagonists of it all! … it only gets worse for us Brazilians!”

Ferreira, meanwhile, posted a cryptic message in which he said “My intention is not to attack, harm, delve into the merits and judgment, but silence consumes me … On my part, surfing, I give you my all. My devotion. My day-to-day that only I, my team, and my family know. And so, we will continue. In times of sadness, indignation, reverse and look ahead, transform, inspire people. Joy must prevail.”

Brazilian fans, meanwhile, have generally been losing their shit; surfer Ethan Ewing, who beat Medina in a heat at the competition, posted a screenshot of a DM he got from someone claiming to be a Brazilian: “One day, you will compete here in Brazil and us [sic] will remember you. Get ready,” the DM said. “I’m saying again, here in Brazil, we will kill you. Saquarema will be your funeral.”

Essentially, some of the league’s biggest stars are openly beefing with the WSL and its judges.

Tuesday, WSL CEO Erik Logan posted an open letter in both English and Portuguese in which he admonished both fans and surfers like Medina: “In recent days, a number of surfers, WSL judges, and employees have been subject to harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence, including death threats.”

“We completely reject the suggestion that the judging of our competitions is in any way unfair or biased. These claims are not supported by any evidence,” he wrote. “It is unacceptable for any athlete to question the integrity of our judges who, like our surfers, are elite professionals. No one person or group of people are above the integrity of the sport.”

The surfing subreddit and comment sections on surfing-focused news sites have been entirely consumed by this controversy, which is sort of about the judging at this specific event but is also about a lot of other things that have been bubbling under the surface for years, including the commercialization and sterilization of a sport that is inherently supposed to be about humans communing with nature. Critics have called the Surf Ranch Pro “dull,” have called the event over the weekend an “insurrection,” and have said Logan is “at the forefront of the most shameful era of professional surfing.”

The controversy is ongoing, and the tide is seemingly turning against the idea that wave pools will usher in a new era of competition. It turns out that leveling the playing field with a scientifically created wave ruins much of the magic of surfing. A perfect wave every time isn't perfect. It's just boring.   

Categories: Tech News

Get your cheap memory while growing stockpiles push prices low

The Register - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 11:51
Hot DRAM, market likely to 'bounce back with a vengeance' in '24, says Gartner

Semiconductor stockpiles appear to be growing due to the slowdown in demand, which is bad news for chipmakers but could be good news for anyone in the market for a memory or SSD upgrade.…

Categories: Tech News

What VICE Readers Bought This Month: Bug Zappers and Penis Pumps

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 05/31/2023 - 11:50

We know it’s already mid-week, but are you wishing it were still Memorial Day weekend? (Yeah, us too). Even if we’re technically a few weeks away from Mother Nature’s definition of summer (where are my Summer Solstice-heads at?!), it’s hard not to come off the three-day weekend feeling like we’d rather be outside in the sunshine (or at least lazing around  basking in the comfort of our A/C unit) and enjoying all the sweet stuff we scored during a month of retail therapy—including Masturbation May deals and another year’s massive slate of Memorial Day sales. Welcome back, layabouts: It’s time for our monthly roundup of what VICE readers bought this month!

Last month, readers were cleaning up and getting comfy, snagging the VICE-approved Scrub Daddy Damp Duster and spooning their photorealistic fried chicken pillow in a pair of Lululemon Commission Pants (the brand’s men’s stuff rocks, OK?). This month, y’all pumped it up in more ways than one, adding everything from bang-for-your-buck Sony earbuds to, well… literal penis pumps to your carts. Read on for more of the top products VICE readers bought in May 2023.

Get wired

You already know that wired headphones are back and better than ever, but no one said you had to spend a fortune on them (or try to dig out the pair that came with your phone six iPhones ago). VICE staff writer Nicolette Accardi swears by her pair of wired Sony earbuds—the Sony MDREX15LP Earbuds, to be specific—as an AirPod alternative that deliver high-quality sound at a staggering $10 price tag. Don’t let their pocket-friendly price fool you though: Given that—according to Accardi—they’re still pumping out tunes with surprisingly solid quality even after a decade of use, it’s fair to say that these headphones are well-worth the (very small) investment.

Pump, pump, pump it up!

There’s nothing wrong with needing help getting a little harder, better, faster and stronger. After our roundup of well-reviewed penis pumps hit the airwaves, this electric vacuum pump—known as the “Power Up”—shot into several shopping carts. This pump’s popularity only makes sense, given its 4.8-star average rating, including reviews that claim, “It works really well, and the suction this pump produces increases girth and length to an unbelievable size.” 

We only do homemade ice cream now

Maybe it’s a classic Pavlovian response, but the hotter it gets, the more we’re craving ice cream. But who has time to chase down the Mister Softee truck or the money to spend a small fortune on those $9 artisanal pints at the bodega? If your sweet tooth is starting to act up in the summer heat, make like VICE readers and give the Ninja Creami a shot on your kitchen countertop. Already viral on TikTok, the Creami’s proprietary “Creamify Technology” and its ability to transform milks, juices, protein shakes, (or any other liquid) into ice cream, gelato, sorbet, milkshakes, and smoothie bowls—all at the touch of a button—made it an instant hit with our readers . Whether you’re using it as a tool to help you bulk up your beach bod with protein soft-serve or you plan to spend the summer making ice cream on-demand, you can’t sleep on the Ninja Creami.

You can’t go wrong with roses

While May is best known for holidays like Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, the entire month has recently become a month-long celebration of masturbation, with several sexual wellness and adult toy retailers offering deals across a variety of toys and gear for helping you (or a partner) get off in honor of “Masturbation May.” Masturbation May deals included major markdowns on some of the best vibrators in the business—including PinkCherry’s beloved Rose Vibrator. Similar to a rose vibrator VICE writer Mary Frances Knapp reviewed earlier this year, Pinkcherry’s Rose Vibrator uses gentle air-pressure technology and has all the maneuverability and pocket-sized portability you’d look for in a suction toy (oh, and did we mention it’s still on sale for less than $25?)

A bug bouncer

Summer unequivocally rocks (and make no mistake—we’re glad it’s here), but the sad reality is that the warmer weather means we’re also dealing with the worst the world of insects has to offer. Sure, you’re planning on spending more time hosting friends outside over the next couple months, but no one wants to add mosquitos as their plus one. While you could slather yourself in bug spray and hope that the chemicals don’t choke you out in the process, VICE readers decided to “shop smarter” and scooped up a rechargeable bug zapper to keep the mosquitos at bay. This zapper is one helluva bug bouncer, thanks to its indoor-outdoor design and use of (according to the brand, highly alluring) UV wavelength light. As one five-star reviewer wrote, “This is the solution for all those times you find yourself being pestered by something so small that becomes the source of so much frustration.”

Hanging out

We all want to live like we’re the actual owners of an Aman Resort-level property, especially when it comes to enjoying the summer al fresco while sitting a mere arms-length away from your personal bar cart. But what can you do if you—like us—lack any real outdoor space of your own? One solution is to get crafty with the seating, and nothing says “summer” quite like hopping into a hammock. VICE readers snapped up this space-saving hammock chair, which comes with all the materials anyone would need to hang this on your patio, apartment balcony, or A/C endowed bedroom. With the hammock still marked down at 44% off, this is one piece readers will be happy they picked up before summer really gets into full swing.

Cooler than the other side of the pillow

Speaking of sprucing up your space, West Elm’s blockbuster Memorial Day sale surfaced plenty of deals and steals at one of our readers’ favorite retailers. A standout included a European flax linen duvet cover and sham set, which—thanks to linen’s natural cooling qualities—is perfect for those who sleep like a Hot Pocket in a microwave tend to run hot overnight.

An American classic on a budget

SSENSE’s latest sale was another highlight over the Memorial Day weekend, with the high fashion retailer offering up big savings on some of the most exclusive brands in the game. Despite the store’s reputation for cutting-edge fashion, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t stock the classics on its digital shelves. Case in point, Levi’s iconic straight-leg 501 jeans. With multiple sizes of the Americana staple still sitting on SSENSE’s shelves for 52% off, it’s an incredible time to pick up a pair of pants you’ll probably still be wearing this time next year.

Start your day like an American psycho

Trying to live life like American Psycho’sPatrick Bateman is probably not great for your mental health (or the safety of those around you), but even we can admit that he knows how to keep himself in peak physical condition. Writer Nicolette Accardi tried out Bateman’s infamous morning routine, which includes everything from a cooling gel mask to an anti-aging eye cream. Readers gravitated to the peel-off face mask (which, honestly, makes sense, given that it’s the most viscerally memorable part of Bateman’s routine in the movie). We can’t say you’ll look anything like Christian Bale after using it, but according to Accardi, “This gel mask is cooling, hydrating, moisturizing, and gentle enough for everyday use to rid your pores of impurities; the only thing that makes it un-Bateman-worthy is how affordable it is.”

Put a ring on it

Ah, another hit from Masturbation May. One of the most popular products we highlighted was this Lovehoney cock ring that’s well… a lot more than just a cock ring. Fully rechargeable, this double cock ring targets both the penis and the balls, while designed with a textured clitoral stimulator on top. Talk about bang for your buck.

Speaking a new culinary language

As writer Adam Rothbarth pointed out in his review of Japan: The Vegetarian Cookbook, the nation’s cuisine is a lot more nuanced and expansive than just sushi, ramen, and yakitori. Sure, that probably sounds obvious to even the most casual foodie, but as author Nancy Singleton Hachisu points out in her book, even well-traveled food fans often overlook Japan’s extensive history with vegetarian cuisine. Part of Phaidon’s cookbook series and a spiritual sequel to Japan: The Cookbook, Japan: The Vegetarian Cookbook opens up a new perspective on not just Japanese cooking techniques and regional ingredients, but on the nation’s own unique cultural relationship with vegetables.

We’ll meet you by the bar cart.

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