The Best Mattresses to Help Alleviate Back Pain (and Existential Dread)
We’ve all woken up with a kink in our back (not the fun kind) and chalked it up to sleeping funny, tossing and turning, or the classic “passing out in downward dog on the couch in between your eighth and ninth DIPA.” Whatever the reason your back is screaming, it doesn’t have to be this way. Seriously—all you need is a solid, supportive mattress to help you stop the cycle of four-Advil mornings. (And, you know, go easy on the couch-boozing.)
Now, getting a new mattress can be a daunting process—we know that. They’re often expensive and a pain in the ass to bring home from the store, and (provided you don’t sleep on a futon) you probably already have one. You also probably have some sort of love-hate relationship with your current mattress and don’t really want to buy a new one, or maybe you have some sort of sentimental attachment to the lumpy slab of springs you’ve been sleeping on since your parents kicked you out for stealing money to buy Digimon cards. The last thing you want to do is listen to some COASTAL ELITE tell you that you need to ditch the bed you found behind the bowling alley because it’s “flea-ridden” and “smells like it was once alive.” Listen, we get it—after all, we’re Americans! We fought a war over the right to stick our fingers in our ears, close our eyes, and never change our outlook on life (or buy a new mattress) despite insurmountable evidence suggesting that we should. [Eats Budweiser can.] But please, fellow patriot, lower the shotgun so that I may share the Good News: Mattresses are higher-quality, more affordable, and easier to purchase than ever. You’ve probably been inundated with ads (and possibly an expertly written article or two) for mattresses lately, and there’s a reason for that. People are finally waking up and realizing they don’t have to live in constant, sleep-induced pain—they just need to invest a little cash in a durable, comfortable mattress.
Sleeping on a mattress that lacks proper support “reinforces poor sleeping posture, strains muscles and does not help keep the spine in alignment, all of which contribute to low back pain,” writes J. Talbot Sellers, a physiatrist at the NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin who specializes in treating spine pain. “A mattress that provides both comfort and back support helps reduce low back pain, allowing the structures in the spine to really rest and rejuvenate during the night.” In other words—if your mattress isn't doing its job, the muscles in your back will be working overtime while you sleep, meaning that you'll wake up to discomfort. But there's a back-friendly mattress for every budget—and getting one can be a total game-changer.
So hop into our virtual sidecar and let us guide you on your quest to purchase the thing you’ll spend an entire third of your life on.Saatva’s Classic Mattress
If you haven’t heard of Saatva, you haven’t been paying attention to the mattress game. (Honestly, we don’t blame you.) The brand’s classic mattress offers a plush Euro pillow top, which “cradles you in cushioned comfort” to relieve stress on your pressure points, while the lumbar zone support layers help ensure healthy spinal alignment—no matter how much you toss and turn. Saatva also works with organizations and mentoring programs to introduce young students to “career paths across our business, from finance and operations to digital marketing and product design.”Nectar’s Memory Foam Mattress
What a good name “Nectar” is for a mattress company—before we even looked at the product, we were already picturing a tired worker bee having a snooze on a sunflower. Thankfully, no bees are included with the Nectar mattress, just a sturdy, seven-inch layer of standard foam as well as a three-inch layer of gel-infused memory foam with phase-change material (sounds straight out of The Matrix) that auto-adjusts to your temperature as you sleep. (PS: You can sleep on one of these bad boys for an entire year and return it for a full refund if you're not completely satisfied.)DreamCloud’s Luxury Hybrid Mattress
Despite sounding like a Silicon Valley startup, DreamCloud’s mattresses are great for people with back pain. Innerspring, individually wrapped coils that adapt to your body provide custom support, while the gel memory foam relieves stress on your pressure points, helping you wake up refreshed and pain-free. There’s also a 100-day free trial if you end up wanting to go back to your alley mattress full of shame and crumpled dollar bills.Casper’s Wave Hybrid Mattress
Though, just as friendly. The Wave Hybrid mattress from Casper is the brand’s best offering for sleepers with back pain, and features continuous ergonomic zones with gel pods that help give you “perfect spinal alignment,” as well as resilient springs that prevent sinking. Oh, and, “9/10 Casper sleepers say they have less back pain after sleeping on our mattresses,” according to the folks at Casper.Avocado’s Green Organic Natural Mattress
Looking to cosplay as toast? For that, you’ll need an Avocado—the mattress variety. The Avocado Green Organic Mattress is easy on both the planet and your back, and features up to 1,414 individually tuned, tempered steel coils that float independently to reduce motion transfer, keep your back aligned, relieve back pain, and distribute your weight more evenly. Plus, you get to wake up knowing you’re in Mother Earth’s good graces. (There’s also a vegan option for $100 less.)Tempur-Pedic’s ProAdapt Memory Foam Mattress
Does anybody else remember those commercials? (Wasn’t there one where they, like, sit on an egg?) Anyway, Tempur-Pedic is the tried-and-true OG of the memory foam mattress game—so much so that the brand’s name is often synonymous with the product, like Kleenex, BAND-AID, and Taylor Ham. This TEMPUR-ProAdapt Firm Memory Foam Firm Mattress features a firm yet comfortable sleep surface which cushions and conforms to your body, providing excellent support for people with back pain, as well as reduced pressure on joints and proper body and spinal alignment. Tight.
Sweet dreams, people.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.
Daily Horoscope: August 27, 2022
Nervous excitement may be in the air as Venus in Leo squares off with Uranus in Taurus at 12:34 AM! You might be craving novelty at this time. The sun in Virgo squares off with Mars in Gemini at 1:27 AM, which could find you eager to take action and make a change.
The moon in Virgo squares off with Mars at 4:11 AM: Watch out for impulsive behavior or bickering. The new moon in Virgo takes place at 4:17 AM, inspiring a fresh start. The Virgo new moon encourages us to get reorganized, get back to basics, and reconnect with what’s truly meaningful to ourselves and our communities.
All times ET.
Stay in the cosmic loop with the VICE horoscopes newsletter. Get horoscopes straight to your inbox when you sign up here!Aries: March 20, 2022 - April 19, 2022
Venus in fellow fire sign Leo encourages you to follow your heart’s desires, but some unexpected challenges may arise as Venus squares off with Uranus in Taurus. Can you be flexible as you pursue your dreams? The sun in Virgo squares off with your ruling planet Mars, currently in Gemini, which could mean you’re organizing your plans, taking care of paperwork, or sorting out details. The new moon in Virgo finds you embracing a new habit or routine.Taurus: April 19, 2022 - May 20, 2022
Your ruling planet Venus, currently in Leo, squares off with Uranus, which is in your sign, Taurus, finding you craving novelty and change! The sun in Virgo squares off with Mars in Gemini, perhaps finding you making a big move toward your dreams. The new moon in Virgo can inspire a fresh start in your love life or find you embarking on a new creative project.Gemini: May 20, 2022 - June 21, 2022
Chance meetings and surprising opportunities may pop up as Venus in Leo squares off with Uranus in Taurus: Be clear on what you really want before making commitments. The sun in Virgo squares off with Mars, which is currently in your signs, Gemini, finding you making important decisions concerning your personal life. The new moon in Virgo can find you focused on home and family; a new start regarding these themes may take place.Cancer: June 21, 2022 - July 22, 2022
Surprises may pop up in your social life as Venus in Leo squares off with Uranus in Taurus. Financially, this could be a day to watch your spending. The sun in Virgo squares off with Mars in Gemini, pushing a conversation that’s been brewing along. The new moon in Virgo can bring new insight or information!Leo: July 22, 2022 - August 22, 2022
Venus in your sign, Leo, squares off with Uranus in Taurus, perhaps bringing some unexpected attention your way. Fortunately, Leo usually knows which pose to strike when the spotlight hits! The sun in Virgo squares off with Mars in Gemini, inspiring you to make a decision or take action. The new moon in Virgo could find you taking a new approach to your finances.Virgo: August 22, 2022 - September 22, 2022
Venus in Leo squares off with Uranus in Taurus, which could bring some unexpected surprises and opportunities your way. Today is all about flexibility. The sun is in your sign, Virgo, and it squares off with Mars in Gemini, finding you making an important decision about your career or life in public. There’s a new moon in your sign today, too, which can find you embracing a fresh start!Libra: September 22, 2022 - October 23, 2022
Your ruling planet Venus, now in Leo, squares off with Uranus in Taurus: Your taste and preferences may be evolving, and perhaps in a way that’s unexpected! The sun in Virgo squares off with Mars in Gemini, finding you making an important realization. The new moon in Virgo can encourage you to take time off to rest and relax!Scorpio: October 23, 2022 - November 22, 2022
Big shifts may be taking place in your partnerships at this time as new discoveries about desire and values are made while Venus in Leo squares off with Uranus in Taurus. The sun in Virgo squares off with Mars in Gemini, finding you letting go of an old dream to make room for a new one. The new moon in Virgo can find you connecting with a new social circle or making a new wish!Sagittarius: November 22, 2022 - December 21, 2022
Venus in Leo squares off with Uranus in Taurus, which can find you eager to shake up your routine and do something new. You could be making an important decision about your future plans and your relationships as the sun in Virgo squares off with Mars in Gemini. Egos may clash; today is all about flexibility. The new moon in Virgo can find you exploring new opportunities in your career, or gaining a new level of recognition!Capricorn: December 21, 2021 - January 19, 2022
Your taste and desires may be undergoing a big shift as Venus in Leo squares off with Uranus in Taurus. The sun in Virgo squares off with Mars in Gemini, and you might be making a big change to your routine. The new moon in Virgo can find you embarking on a new adventure: New travels may be planned, or new courses of study explored.Aquarius: January 19, 2022 - February 18, 2022
Venus in Leo squares off with Uranus in Taurus, which can find you making big changes at home, and a decision or action regarding your relationships or creative pursuits is made as the sun in Virgo squares off with Mars in Gemini. The new moon in Virgo could mean settling a debt or releasing the past in some significant way.Pisces: February 18, 2022 - March 20, 2022
A surprising conversation may take place as Venus in Leo squares off with Uranus in Taurus. The sun in Virgo squares off with Mars in Gemini, which can find you making an important decision about your relationships and personal life. The new moon in Virgo could mean connecting with someone new, or deepening your relationship with an established partner! New perspectives can be shared.
The number of companies caught up in the Twilio hack keeps growing
The fallout from this month's breach of security provider Twilio keeps coming. Three new companies—authentication service Authy, password manager LastPass, and food delivery service DoorDash—said in recent days that the Twilio compromise led to them being hacked.
The three companies join authentication service Okta and secure messenger provider Signal in the dubious club of Twilio customers known to be breached in follow-on attacks that leveraged the data obtained by the intruders. In all, security firm Group-IB said on Thursday, at least 136 companies were similarly hacked, so it's likely many more victims will be announced in the coming days and weeks.Uncommonly resourceful
The compromises of Authy and LastPass are the most concerning of the new revelations. Authy says it stores two-factor authentication tokens for 75 million users. Given the passwords the threat actor has already obtained in previous breaches, these tokens may have been the only things preventing the takeover of more accounts. Authy, which Twilio owns, said that the threat actor used its access to log in to only 93 individual accounts and enroll new devices that could receive one-time passwords. Depending on who those accounts belong to, that could be very bad. Authy said it has since removed unauthorized devices from those accounts.
Some day we’ll be recycling wind turbine blades into yummy gummy bears
Wind power is a rapidly growing industry, with a 53 percent increase in new installations in 2020 alone, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. The massive fiberglass blades can be as long as half of a football field and keep getting larger— the bigger the blade, the more electricity is produced. That poses a problem when the blades outlive the mechanical parts of the turbines. They're usually sent to landfills, which undercuts the whole concept of sustainable energy production.
Fortunately, John Dorgan, a chemical engineer at Michigan State University, has come up with a new polymer resin that can not only be recycled into a new generation of turbine blades but also materials for a wide range of commercial applications. These include the manufacture of car taillights, diapers, kitchen sinks—even edible gummy bears. He described his research at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Chicago this week.
Dorgan terms his approach "molecular flexibility," inspired in part by an article he once read by Isaac Asimov, describing a future where people would be able to resynthesize raw protons, neutrons, and electrons into anything they wanted. "It's almost like the replicator from Star Trek, where they can just sort of make atoms into anything that they want—ice cream floats, or new clothing, or what have you," said Dorgan during a press conference at the ACS meeting. "Of course, we're a long way from the replicator idea, but we did draw some inspiration from those sorts of things."
PyPI warns of first-ever phishing campaign against its users
The Python Package Index, better known among developers as PyPI, has issued a warning about a phishing attack targeting developers who use the service.…
Mark Zuckerberg Now Obsessed With MMA, ‘Rolling and Wrestling With Friends’
Noted t-ball and surfing star Mark Zuckerberg revealed to MMA/ivermectin/etc. guy Joe Rogan that he has recently gotten into mixed martial arts because he can no longer spend enough time on his Hawaii ranch surfing.
In a wide ranging conversation in which Zuckerberg suggested that we will soon bring VR headsets to coffee shops, play poker with “hologram cards” and turn various physical objects into holograms, Zuckerberg revealed that he newly believes that mixed martial arts is “the best sport,” and that he is now a big fan of “rolling and wrestling with friends” when he is not busy surfing 15-foot waves on his hydrofoil in Hawaii.
“I really like watching UFC for example, but I also like doing the sport. It’s because I have a connection to it,” Zuckerberg said. “Since COVID, I got super into surfing and foiling, and then really into MMA. I know a lot of people who do it. There’s actually this really interesting connection between people who surf and do jiu-jitsu.”
Zuckerberg said that he has been training under famed jiu-jitsu player Dave Camarillo, who among his many other accomplishments has trained UFC legends like Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez, who are considered the deadliest unarmed combatants in human history, as well as celebrities like Tim Ferriss.
"A bunch of the guys who I do that with, they kind of, have gyms on Kauai and I, basically collected a bunch of recommendations, ran them by a bunch of people who I know, and I trained with this guy Dave Camarillo—Guerilla Jiu Jitsu—the crazy thing is, it really is the best sport."
Are you someone who trains with Mark Zuckerberg and is willing to violate the traditional sanctity of the gym to provide stories about or video of his intense sessions? Please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org or Signal: 202-505-1702
Zuckerberg, whose company has been blamed for enabling genocide in Myanmar because it did not bother to hire moderators who speak Burmese, for example, added that one of his life’s biggest regrets is competing on the fencing team in high school rather than wrestling.
“The question isn’t how did I get into it, it’s how did I not know about it til right now?,” Zuckerberg told Rogan. “From, like, the very first session that I did, like, five minutes in—where has this been my whole life? My mom made me do three varsity sports and my life took a wrong turn when I chose to do fencing competitively instead of wrestling in high school or something. There’s something so primal about it, I don’t know. Since then I’ve just introduced a bunch of my friends to it—we train together, and we like, wrestle together, and there’s a certain intensity to it that I like.”
“I also find just, wrestling around with friends, it’s awesome,” he added.
Wrestling is an incredibly dangerous sport, with traumatic brain injury being one of the major risks. One study found that it causes more concussions than any other NCAA sport. Zuckerberg has previously mentioned taking “head blows” while surfing monster waves.
Zuckerberg said that MMA has replaced surfing and hydrofoiling for him when he is unable to be on his Hawaii ranch, which he obtained in part by suing native Hawaiians who had a claim to the land. While he mentioned training wrestling and jiu-jitsu, two of the three main constituent elements of MMA, in the interview, he didn’t mention whether he’s taken up any striking discipline.
“My parents pushed me really hard, they said, you’re going to do really well in school, and you’re going to be on three varsity sports teams. I’ve found especially since the company has scaled and become more stressful [doing extremely cool sports] has become more important. My sort of day is—you wake up in the morning, look at my phone, get a million messages of stuff that comes in, it’s usually not good. Right, people like, reserve the good stuff to tell me in person, so it’s like, what’s going on in the world I need to pay attention to that day. It’s like, almost every day you wake up and it’s like you’re punched in the stomach. And it’s like, ‘OK, well fuck, now I need to go reset myself and be productive, and not be stressed about it.’ So basically, I go, I read, I take in the information, and then I go do something physical for an hour or two and reset myself. Over time I’ve found that it’s not just—I used to run a lot, but the problem with running is you can think a lot while you’re running, so I’ve, especially over the past few years I’ve gotten into things that require full focus. So, at the beginning of COVID, I mentioned I spend a lot of time in Kauai, our family has a ranch down there, and like, I spent a lot of time foiling and surfing. If you’re foiling or surfing and you’re on a wave, you have to pay attention the whole time or else you’re going to fall and maybe get held under, and that’s not a great experience. I don’t know if you surf.
It requires full engagement the whole time, and then, this is sort of how I got into MMA too, now I don’t spend as much time in Kauai because things are ramping back up and I’m in the office a lot more, so, it’s like, alright, there’s not as much foiling in Palo Alto? What’s a thing that is both super engaging physically but also intellectually where you can’t afford to focus on something else? And I think to some degree, MMA is the perfect thing. You stop paying attention for one second and you’re gonna end up on the bottom. So I’ve just found that is just really important for me, in terms of what I do and being able to just kind of maintain my energy level, maintain my focus. After an hour or two of working out or rolling or wrestling with friends or training with different folks, it’s like, you’re ready to solve all the problems for the day, I’ve fully processed all the different news for the day that’s come in and we’re just ready to go.”
Zuckerberg added that MMA now helps guide his entire worldview, which is perhaps notable to the nearly one half of humanity who uses one of his platforms and for whom he is the ultimate arbiter of: "There’s a lot of good parallels for philosophy of life and, like foiling and surfing, jiu-jitsu, MMA, I think it sort of teaches you about the flow and momentum of things."
Asked by Motherboard why Zuckerberg decided to do a podcast with a guy who has had to apologize for repeatedly saying the n-word, has had on transphobic authors, has repeatedly spread disinformation about COVID, etc, a Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the record. Joe Rogan’s guest Friday was COVID-troll Alex Berenson, who has been banned from Twitter.
Micron wants tax breaks for '$160b' Texas chip fab plant
US memory vendor Micron is seeking tax incentives to build a new semiconductor fab outside Austin, Texas, according to documents filed with the state.…
Encrypted Phone Firm Ciphr Plans to Shutdown
Ciphr, a long running encrypted phone firm whose clients include serious organized criminals, plans to shut down, according to a copy of a message written by Ciphr management and obtained by Motherboard.
The news signals the end of one of the longest running and established companies in the encrypted phone industry. This industry has for years catered to serious organized criminals around the world, with Ciphr’s devices being used by serious drug traffickers. The news comes after Motherboard reported that Ciphr resellers were locked out of signing up new customers and that the company was making radical changes to how its encrypted messaging software was distributed.
Do you work for Ciphr? Are you a user of its phones? We'd love to hear from you. Using a non-work phone or computer, you can contact Joseph Cox securely on Signal on +44 20 8133 5190, Wickr on josephcox, or email email@example.com.
Ciphr will cease operations at the end of the month, according to the message. The reason was that not enough resellers took up Ciphr on its plan to shift the responsibility for Mobile Device Management (MDM) away from the company itself to individual resellers. In the earlier message from Ciphr reported by Motherboard, the company said that resellers had to run their own MDM solution if they wished to continue to sign up new customers or renew the subscriptions of current ones.
The lack of interest means that Ciphr’s business is not sustainable, the message adds. Refunds will be issued for subscriptions that have time remaining after the cut-off date, it reads.
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Ciphr’s planned shutdown caps off what has been a dramatic and turbulent few years for the industry. In 2018 the FBI shuttered another firm called Phantom Secure that was a pioneer in the space. European authorities then launched technical operations against Sky Secure and Encrochat and obtained the content of users’ messages. Then last June, the FBI revealed it had secretly been managing a Ciphr rival called Anom and intercepting the messages of its thousands of users in the process.
In the wake of these shutdowns, smaller and less well-known encrypted phone companies have tried to capitalize on the vacuum left by their competitors’ demise. It is likely that Ciphr’s criminal users will search for an alternative.
Ciphr did not respond to a request for comment. The company has previously responded to Motherboard’s requests for comment, such as when the firm pulled out of the Australian market altogether. The company has not responded to multiple requests sent over the past few weeks about this and related issues.
A former Ciphr developer previously told Motherboard that even though they worked at the company for years, they never say the face of the firm’s CEO.
“I have no idea what he looks like,” the developer said.
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Poopy lettuce at Wendy’s still prime suspect in outbreak that just doubled
A multistate outbreak of E. coli O157 infections linked to romaine lettuce on Wendy's burgers has more than doubled since last week, according to an update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The case count now stands at 84 and spans four states: Indiana (6), Michigan (53), Ohio (23), and Pennsylvania (2). That's up from last week's case tally of 37 from the same four states. Currently, at least 38 of the people sickened have been hospitalized. Eight of those people, all in Michigan, have developed a serious and potentially life-threatening type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), the CDC reports. No deaths have been reported. So far, the people sickened range in age from 5 to 94 years, with a median age of 24.
Because of reporting lags, the CDC warns that "the true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses."
James Webb Space Telescope finds first evidence of CO<sub>2</sub> in exoplanet atmosphere
NASA is reporting another James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) first as the orbital observatory has found clear evidence for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of an exoplanet.…
Cops Said She Hung Herself With Her Underwear in Jail. Her Family Says She Was Murdered.
A 30-year-old woman from a small town in the state of Oaxaca was arrested last week by local police officers and found dead five hours later in her jail cell.
Abigail Hay Urrutia was arrested in the town of Salina Cruz by a group of local police officers after having a discussion with her boyfriend that, allegedly, turned physical.
A video shared on social media showed Hay struggling with the police as she is being forced into a police car.
“I’m the mother of your child,” Hay is heard saying on video to her boyfriend. This was the last time she was seen alive.
She was found dead inside her jail later that day, hanging from one of the bars with her underwear tied around her neck, according to an official report.
Authorities first ruled Hay’s death as a suicide and alleged she hung herself using her underwear. But her family is accusing the police of beating her to death.
“She went into jail alive and came out dead,” Hay’s father, José Luis Hay, told VICE World News. “How is that even possible?”
Hay said that her daughter left two children and that the family will be asking authorities to investigate her death.
“The fact is that she is dead, we don’t know why or how that happened,” Abigail’s father said. “My daughter had no motives to kill herself.”
Oaxaca state authorities have already done three different autopsies on Hay’s body and concluded she died from asphyxia, although they haven’t still made clear if it was actually a suicide or a murder, according to the latest results published this week.
The three policemen involved in her arrest and the judge who ordered to put her in jail were arrested on Thursday for their connection to Hays’ death, according to Oaxaca’s General Attorney Office.
“They had no proper care when she was put in jail and they are now facing responsibility for their acts,” Mexico’s Deputy Security Secretary, Ricardo Mejía Berdeja, said at a press conference.
Hay was buried on Thursday in Salina Cruz.
Oaxaca is one of Mexico’s most violent states towards women. During the last state government administration authorities have registered more than 650 femicides, 87 of them during the first half of 2022, according to official figures.
Hay’s death is the latest of those of a string of young women in Mexico this year, and part of a macabre trend across Mexico.
Debanhi Escobar’s case earlier this year in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo León also attracted national attention and condemnation after her body was discovered in a hotel water tank. The government initially reported that her death was an accident, but it later emerged that she was murdered before being dumped in the tank.
Walmart lists a 30TB portable SSD for $39. It is, naturally, a scam
It feels like high-capacity SSDs are getting cheaper all the time, but in the words of a security researcher known as Ray Redacted on Twitter, there are still some deals that are too good to be true. In the spirit of discovery, he bought a "30TB" external SSD from AliExpress for $31.40, which also happens to be listed on Walmart's website for $39 (I am linking it for educational and entertainment value, please do not buy it).
For those of you who are following this thread but not understanding the scam:
Scammer gets two 512MB Flash drives. Or 1 gigabyte, or whatever. They then add hacked firmware that makes it misreport its size.
Windows reports EXACTLY 15.0 terabytes. Not 14.89, Not 14.78
But when you go to WRITE a big file, hacked firmware simply writes all new data on top of old data, while keeping directory (with false info) intact.
H2Testw actually WRITES & then RE-READS its data. But the scammer slowed the bus down from 5 gigabits per second to .48 gigabits
On the inside, this "SSD" looks like two small-capacity microSD cards hot glued to a USB 2.0-capable board. This board's firmware has been modified so that each of these cards reports its capacity as "15.0TB" to the operating system, for a total of 30TB, even though the actual capacity of the cards is much lower. This is another giveaway; Windows reports drive capacities in gibibytes (1,024 megabytes) or tebibytes (1,024 gigabytes), while drive manufacturers use gigabytes (1,000 megabytes) and terabytes (1,000 gigabytes). This is why a 1TB drive normally only has a reported capacity of 930-ish GB, rather than a nice round number.
Morty Is In ‘Multiversus’ And No One Knows How To Play Him
Multiversus, the platform fighter which pulls from the massive Warner Bros. IP vault, is now afflicted with Morty, one of the titular characters from your least favorite freshman philosophy major’s favorite TV show, Rick and Morty. And his kit makes no goddamn sense.
Multiversus breaks its characters into five distinct classes: high damage, low health Assassins; weighty, high knockback Bruisers; ranged, trap heavy Mages; bulky, slow Tanks; and helpful, space shaping Supports. Morty is technically listed as a bruiser, but plays more like a mage. His moveset is full of projectiles like lasers, grenades, and snakes. He has an ally-cleansing support ability. His grounded normals end in a bruiser-esque hammer spin. He can rip a hole in space-time to teleport, or he can rewind time to a set point, zipping around the map and dealing damage at his point of return. He has a lot going on.
In traditional fighting games, characters are broken into a variety of different archetypes. For example, Ryu from Street Fighter is considered a “shoto” character. Shoto characters are solid, all-rounders who have all the basic tools in a given game, but no real specialties. They are also, generally, the mascots for their given franchises. Ryu, Sol Badguy from Guilty Gear (kind of, Ky is a true shoto and Sol is a shoto-rushdown hybrid), and Shaggy, are all shotos. Other archetypes range from the appropriately titled, grab-heavy grapplers, to space dominating zoners. Morty does not easily fall into any of these categories.
One would look at his moveset and assume that he may be a setplay character. Setplay characters rely on using special moves to create specific situations in which they thrive. For Morty, look no further than his grenades. Once he’s covered the screen in grenades, firing his pistol at them does massive damage, which means one would assume that his gameplan revolves around grenade setups. So far, this hasn’t been the case. His grenades are extremely slow and, in a game without hard knockdowns, there aren’t many easy opportunities for Morty to start setting up. Instead, he’s forced to scramble his grenade setups into place while his opponent is recovering off screen, muting much of his setplay potential in 1v1s. In 2v2s however, he can rely on his ally distracting the enemy, while he makes the rest of the stage a living hell into which those enemies can be thrown. That is, unless those enemies just bat away his grenades at which point they become functionally useless.
Perhaps Morty is a zoner, a character who relies on strong projectiles to dominate space. Well, his primary projectile only does a significant amount of damage when off cooldown, and his grenades are, as previously established, inconsistent. He can dominate space competently, sure, but once that space is pressured his control disintegrates.
His melee attacks are…fine to good. They feel, like his in-game class suggests, like a bruiser’s melee attacks. They do good damage, they have big hitboxes, they’re a little bit slow. What he lacks, however, is kill potential. His grounded attacks are all fine for dealing damage, but terrible for knocking an enemy offstage. The same goes for his neutral and forward aerials. Instead, all of his kill potential is given to his up and down airs, which have a powerful knock-up and spike respectively. This spike heavy kill style puts Morty in an awkward position, because he really struggles off-stage.
This leaves him in a strange place. He’s kind of an all-rounder, but not a shoto-style all-rounder who has access to all of the game’s basic tools. Instead, Morty feels like if you took the oddest aspects of every fighting game archetype and combined them into a single, exceptionally strange character. This gives him an extremely high skill floor by Multiversus’ standards. While some characters like Batman are easy to pick up and play, Morty requires a lot of genre experience and micromanagement to really shine.
The oddness of his moveset has led some to suspect that he is designed to be played alongside Rick, who has yet to be released. A leak of Rick’s abilities revealed a portal through which allies can fire projectiles, allowing Morty to more competently and quickly control vast swaths of the arena with his grenades. Multiversus’ 2v2 format allows for character synergies to take center stage, and potentially elevate otherwise useless characters through the strengths of their allies.
Whether or not you like it, Multiversus has a really unique approach to character design and balance, one which has resulted in a lot of interesting, messy characters in the months following the game’s open beta. Even by platform fighter standards, it is a game full of terrible little freaks. It is a strategy that I cannot help but respect.
Trump Took ‘National Defense Information’ to His Beach Club, Affidavit Says
Former President Donald Trump took highly sensitive “national defense information” to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, according to a redacted affidavit that was released on Friday.
The heavily redacted document lays out the justification for the controversial FBI search of Trump’s property earlier this month.
The filing says officials had reason to believe that Trump did not hand over all of the government records he took with him from the White House in early 2021, and stored them in places that were not formally approved for holding classified documents.
“Based on this investigation, I believe that the STORAGE ROOM, [former president’s] residential suite, Pine Hall, the ‘45 Office,’ and other spaces within [Mar-a-Lago] are not currently authorized locations for the storage of classified information or [National Defense Information],” the sworn affidavit by an unidentified FBI special agent states.
More to come.
COVID coalition over, Moderna sues Pfizer and BioNTech over vaccines
Now that the vaccine race is over and shots are broadly available, Moderna has filed suit against Pfizer and BioNTech, claiming they infringed on Moderna's mRNA patents from 2010-2016.
Moderna, a Massachusetts-based firm, filed suit against New York-based Pfizer and BioNTech in Düsseldorf, Germany, related to the firms' joint Comirnaty vaccine and its similarities to Moderna's Spikevax. Moderna claims in the suit that it doesn't want to halt vaccine production. The suit also doesn't seek damages for sales before March 8, 2022, sales in lower or middle-income AMC 92 nations, or sales where "the US Government would be responsible for any damages."
In a statement announcing the suit, Moderna stated that it expected Pfizer and BioNTech to "respect its intellectual property rights" and "consider a commercially reasonable license" to sell vaccines outside those accepted conditions, but the firms failed to do so.
DoorDash customer info caught up in Oktapus arms
DoorDash has confirmed that "a small percentage" of its customers' data and employees' information, including names, email and delivery addresses, phone numbers, and order and partial credit card details, were revealed as part of a broad phishing campaign dubbed Oktapus.…
Meta’s next VR headset will launch in October
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has publicly pinned a launch window for the company's next major VR headset. In an interview on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Zuckerberg said the device is coming at Meta's Connect conference in October.
Zuckerberg described some key features of the new headset—most notably the ability to track your facial expressions and represent them on your virtual avatar. He again explained that his focus is on using VR as the ultimate expression of technology connecting people—for example, by facilitating eye contact within VR.
"When you're on a video call, you don't actually feel like you're there with the person. To me, what virtual reality unlocks is that it really convinces your brain that you're there," he said.
Striking Seattle Workers Win Against Surveillance Cameras in Vehicles
Delivery drivers for Seattle-based sandwich company Homegrown have won a major victory against artificial intelligence assisted surveillance cameras placed in their vehicles. After a strike earlier this month, workers say they were given the right to place privacy screens over the cameras, according to an announcement from union UNITE HERE Local 8.
The news signals the rise of artificial intelligence assisted cameras placed in delivery vehicles and the visceral push back against them. Motherboard previously reported on how similar cameras installed to monitor Amazon delivery drivers were punishing the workers for mistakes they didn’t make.
“My coworkers and I took the collective decision to strike in protest of invasive surveillance cameras that the company had installed in our delivery vans and we won! We are thrilled and I’m really proud that not only did we take the first strike against surveillance, but we showed that striking is how we win,” Manya Janowitz, a Homegrown delivery driver, said in a statement published with the announcement.
Has your company installed similar cameras? We'd love to hear from you. Using a non-work phone or computer, you can contact Joseph Cox securely on Signal on +44 20 8133 5190, Wickr on josephcox, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Homegrown says its product as “sustainably sourced, ingredient by ingredient, farm by farm” on its website. It mission is to “Reduce environmental impact. Craft the best food. Provide exceptional service. Cultivate our people,” the website adds.
Earlier this month, Homegrown drivers entered their vehicles to find 4-inch cameras made by a company called Foresight Analytics that tracked their eye movements, listened in with microphones, and used facial recognition technology, the Seattle Times reported at the time.Image: Foresight Analytics.
“A connected AI dash-cam system for fleets and their insurers,” the company’s website reads. Foresight Analytics did not respond to a request for comment.
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The announcement said that the workers have been organizing since June 3.
Anita Seth, president of UNITE HERE Local 8, said in a statement published with the announcement that “No worker should be subjected to this kind of invasive, constant surveillance. This historic victory shows that workers, acting collectively, can protect their rights to privacy and respect.”
UPS has also installed driver-facing surveillance cameras, The Guardian reported.
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Fana Hues Is Claiming Her Spot in the Future of R&B
Fana Hues bares her soul in her music; her consoling vocal runs and poetic lyrics tell the stories of a twenty-something Black woman’s pursuit of inner peace and collective healing. She infuses a sense of allure and enchantment into every track on which she appears, as displayed in her contribution on Tyler The Creator’s 2021 track "SWEET,” as well as her two detailed and dynamic solo projects. Hues writes and sings gut-wrenching blues songs just as naturally as she does bouncy, self-assured pop songs, climbing scales with precision and channeling immensely personal stories in her music.
Hues is currently working on her debut album: “I’ve been collecting the things I want to talk about and the overall picture that I want to paint with this album for six years now,” she said. Today, Noisey premiered “Fana Hues: On The Rise,” a short film that showcases Hues’ daily practice and priorities at home and on stage. Directed by Hector L. Torres III, it’s an honest and personal look into Hues’ element, from sipping a cup of lemon ginger tea in front of a big bright window, to shopping with her sister Sazi, to performing.
Originally from Pasadena, CA, Hues is one of nine siblings raised in what she described as a warm, supportive and musical environment. Growing up, she was bright-eyed and active. “I always had an event going on,” she said, laughing energetically. “I was in violin, guitar, Girl Scouts, and student government, and I played flag football. I was a wide receiver and cornerback in a co-ed league.” She looked back at her early teen years and remembered declaring, “I’m gonna sing for the rest of my life.” With admiration for her younger self, she said, “I’m trying to get back to that Fana. I had unbelievable confidence at that age, no one could tell me anything. I was so sure of myself.”
In two years since the release of her first single, “Notice Me,” Hues has released two full-length projects and a string of memorable tracks that have established her status as a rising voice in R&B. Her 2020 collection Hues was stitched together gracefully with orchestral detail and laced with dreamy, dramatic vocals. The project was stacked with bittersweet poetry about pain, humility, heartbreak and regeneration. (“Wild is the wind that carries me home /While I lick my wounds,”) she sang about self-soothing on “Icarus.” Hues has written diligently in her most vulnerable moments, a habit which has materialized in records that are instinctive and thunderous. “My storm is hella vicious,” she warned on Hues.
“My storm is hella vicious.”
Her most recent project, flora & fana, released in March, is a spacious and sensitive collection of eleven songs that explore Hues’ inner universe. The collection concludes, she said, with two of her favorite songs, “Fall in Line” and “Wait.” “With ‘Fall in Line,’ I’m talking about the way I've had to move through the world as a Black woman. For so long people expected me to apologize for my Blackness and my femininity. I needed to fall back in line with what I’m supposed to do on this Earth, and not fall in line with what society wants me to do,” she said, describing the song as a mantra of protection and self-made stability. (“Nothing ever made me or saved me/ My guns off safety/ I’m good where I’m at''). Both Hues and flora & fana displayed the evolution of a songwriter on a natural ascent, singing from a carefully charged place.
Hues’ focus is gratitude for her strong and loving family and for the contentment her life as an artist brings her. These gifts, as well as a commitment to being accountable with herself, are what she says keep her ecosystem flourishing. “What has helped me the most is just being honest with myself,” she said. “When I'm having conversations inwardly, I can’t lie to myself. The best way to keep the ecosystem flourishing is just being honest.” As Hues prepares to release her debut album, she is consistently reflecting, writing, and watering her garden diligently. “No matter what's happening outside, my ecosystem is flourishing.”
HBO's Ruthless Deletions, New Dragon Show Great for Piracy
What do Infinity Train and House of the Dragon have in common? They’re both popular on torrent sites right now.
On eBay, Infinity Train DVD box sets are being listed for hundreds of dollars now that they are no longer available for sale at places like Amazon and Walmart. The highest listed price is $599, and one auction with still two days remaining has already reached $193. On the iTunes charts, the show has topped the sales charts, just under bonafide hits like Better Call Saul and Rick and Morty. People want to watch Infinity Train—a show about a series of protagonists exploring a seemingly endless train full of bizarre environments, with challenges in each car that help the characters resolve their psychological trauma. They just can’t do it on HBO Max, the streaming service where the show was available until last week.
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People also, clearly, want to watch the new HBO Max show House of the Dragon. According to a press release from HBO, the premiere had 10 million viewers. Roughly 15 hours before last weekend’s premiere, the show had already appeared on torrent sites. (This hearkened back to the glory days of Thrones, when detailed spoilers and episode rips were frequently uploaded before the show aired—something that didn’t seem to hurt the show’s popularity at all.) Both Infinity Train and House of the Dragon have a robust presence on torrent sites right now. On the Pirate Bay, the first episode of House of the Dragon has over 200 seeders, and on RARBG it has over 2000. While Infinity Train is much less popular, with just under a hundred seeders, all four seasons are currently being seeded on RARBG, and the fourth and final season has 64 on the Pirate Bay seeders as of this writing.
When Motherboard asked about HBO’s stance on piracy, including piracy of shows no longer available on their platforms, it said, “HBO aggressively protects our programming, but we find it counterproductive to publicly discuss specific tactics.”
Game of Thrones as a show made piracy history, and at one time, over a quarter of a million people were sharing the fifth season finale. It’s not a big surprise that House of the Dragon would attract a huge amount of attention—or be the victim of a leak. But over on the LostMedia subreddit, where people discuss and share media that has otherwise been lost to the sands of time, users are beginning to state the importance of archiving everything in the wake of the HBO Max cancellations and deletions.
“I don't know what people don't seem to understand. Lost media becomes lost because people don't bother archiving it. If it's available now, don't assume it magically will be later as well,” one user wrote. “Archive and backup. You should be doing it anyway, as you don't always know what will be lost, but do it ESPECIALLY if you know something is getting deleted.”
It isn’t an explicit endorsement of piracy, but given the show’s presence on torrent sites right now, and the high price of second-hand DVDs, there’s clearly a demand for Infinity Train in whatever way it can be made available.
For what it’s worth, the creator of Infinity Train, Owen Dennis, approached the topic of piracy in a blog post that didn’t leave his opinions on the subject much of a mystery.
“So the question you have to ask yourself becomes: if a giant corporation has stopped me from having the ability to access my own culture, is it ok for me to watch a copy that doesn’t funnel any money toward them, doesn’t create scarcity of the art, and doesn’t make a mark on some algorithm’s metrics?” Dennis wrote. “Only you can answer that for yourself.”