The VICE Staff Picks the Best Gifts of 2022

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 10:45

Every holiday season, you'll see about a bajillion gift guides out there, ranging from the basic (get Dad a tie! get Mom a robe!) to the advanced (Brutalist calendars! phone cases that look like a butcher knife!). And while we're massively grateful for all of these guides—and truly wish to service our readers with all of the ones we've put together—sometimes, nothing really compares to a personal touch [squirts massage oil into hands].

What do we mean by that? Well, we're talking about gift ideas that are so unabashedly incredible, we literally want them for ourselves. We're talking about the shit we're bookmarking, screenshotting, DMing to the squad, and leaving open in a tab for weeks under the impression that somehow it will go way down in price (and occasionally, it does!). 

We gathered up our writers and editors and compiled a comprehensive gift guide to the stuff so maddeningly sick that we, ourselves, are obsessed with it—whether from afar or from personal experience. Read on for the best gift ideas for your boo, your mama, your piano teacher, your skate park crush, your club hookup, or just straight up yourself. 

A sculptural shrimp candle

When will someone finally take me seriously enough to give me this work of art? Yes, it’s a glorious, handcrafted shrimp made of wax, almost too perfect to burn, and it’s at the tippity-top of my wishlist this year. As someone with a serious shrimp fetish, nothing would make me squeal with delight more than unwrapping this shrimp cocktail for one. —Becca Blasdel

A status fog machine

Never thought I’d describe a fog machine as “status,” but then Rick Owens—of course it was Rick Owens—came along and made a gold fog machine, complete with its own stainless steel carrying case. In a past life, I was a DJ and I was always, always begging for the fog machine to be cranked higher. In my dreams, this is the fog machine I’d load with Bog Fog and use to create a sweaty, strobe-y swamp on the dance floor. Yes, it is $5,250. I will not be taking any more questions at this time. —Hilary Pollack

This mini Atari

Sometimes, God gives his tastiest treats to his hungriest nerds. Not only can you find full-scale Ataris on Amazon, but you can also find a mini Atari that cuts no corners with the details; there’s even a functioning joystick with this pre-programmed 2600 console, and 10 pre-loaded games such as Pac-Man. As one reviewer writes, “I am constantly feeling like I want to buy shrink ray from Rick Morantis and shrink myself down to the size of [it]]. I guess it’s a side effect of owning one of these.” It’s also only 24 bucks, and a great gift for someone you just started dating who you want to low-key impress. —Mary Frances “Francky” Knapp  

A candle that smells way more expensive than it is

Personally, I’ve always been a fan of Malin+Goetz’s stuff, which spans all sorts of good-smelling stuff. The cream of the crop, though? In this humble writer’s opinion, it’s the perfectly priced candles. While there’s plenty of great scents that the brand has on deck, when the temperature drops I love the Leather candle. According to Malin+Goetz, the profile has a spectrum of scents that starts with notes like eucalyptus and clove, progresses to orchid and finishes with a base of cedarwood, cashmere musk, and—of course—leather. If you’re asking me though, it just smells warm and expensive (so, basically, perfect for holiday gifting). —Gregory Babcock

The ideal gift for a Taurus (or anyone who lives to sleep)

I’m an absolute freak for bedding the way that some people are really into crypto or classic cars or whatever. The way I feel about trying an exciting new sheet set is the way Marvel nerds feel about Comic-Con. (Yes, something is probably wrong with me.) Anyway, when I recently got my hands on Brooklinen’s cashmere sheets, it was a match made in heaven, and I’ve slept on them every night since. I was initially concerned that I might wake up drenched in sweat, as though I’d slept in a giant, oppressive winter sweater, but on the contrary, they’re not only crazy-soft but naturally temperature-regulating. (They’re a cashmere-cotton blend, by the way.) Luxurious? Yes—these sheets are a gift for someone who really rocks your world. —Hilary Pollack

Big bossy headphones

I give up. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I cannot keep track of a pair of AirPods. They’re too tiny, too easily chewed by puppy teeth, the exact perfect size for slipping through a subway grate. After trying to cope with a cheap knockoff pair, I’ve basically stopped listening to music on the go, and instead just stare into the abyss. But not in 2023, because I am demanding a pair of statement AirPods Max in green, because they’re chic as hell and remind me of celery. —Becca Blasdel

Trompe l'oeil soaps that are just too good

Why do we love non-edible things that look like food so much? Is it the masochism of forbidden desire? Nah, it’s probably just because they’re so cute, man. If your childhood was also rooted in memories of eating these shortbread cookies out of that classic blue tin (and then repurposing the tin for sewing kits and leftovers), you’re in good company. The only problem is that the whole set is so charming you might not want to actually use the soaps to wash the smell of chopped garlic off of your hands.  —Angel Kilmister

A subscription for espresso freaks

I’m not shy about the fact that I’m truly a coffee snob, but I’m also historically a creature of extreme habit that buys the same exact espresso beans every week. Trade’s subscription might be the gift to help get me out of my caffeine comfort zone. Not only have I never seen a coffee subscription specifically designed for espresso lovers, but the service sends you the freshest beans possible from thirdwave coffee roasters that are picked and tailored to your individual taste. Sign. Me. Up. —Kate Spencer

Caress the windows to their soul 

Sure, you can easily give someone a gift card to Massage Envy, but where’s the novelty in that? It doesn’t exist. Therefore, bless someone with the gift of a Renpho eye massager to rid themselves of bloodshot, tired eyes. I’ve been using it for months and love it—it’s saved my skull many days. Its sleek, black matte edition is 58% off right now, and helps reduce eye bags, puffiness, dark circles, dry eyes, and eyes strain. —Nicolette Accardi 

Probably the best bagel slicer ever made

I went to a brunch recently and was asked to cut the bagels, and then I was handed this bagel slicer. “This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen,” I thought. “I will just use a regular knife.” But I obliged, and quickly realized that it’s a perfect device. It cuts bagels cleanly and evenly, and makes it nearly impossible to slice yourself (though I’m sure some will find a way). We all know the sheer adrenaline rush of the daredevil method of cutting bagels, where you palm the bagel and slowly ease a sharp-ass knife towards your own hand like an idiot. You really don’t have to do that anymore. —Adam Rothbarth

The heavy metal version of a Carrie necklace

Behold, the ‘it’ gift of the season for hesher girlies: a mini nameplate necklace on a choker chain… in black metal font! [metal horns] Giving and receiving jewelry can sometimes feel cringe, but not so with this customizable choker that will match both a Birkin bag and corpse paint. Choose from silver or gold vermeil for $185, or go big with the $1,500 diamond-encrusted white-gold version. —Hilary Pollack

It’s not a Peloton (but it doesn’t have to be)

I am not a fitness freak by any means, but I am committed to my evening workouts. While I’ve tried everything from weight-lifting (I am weak) to road-running (I have bad knees), using a stationary bike has been the best way for me to lock in some serious cardio on a regular basis. I have been a fan of this particular bike model—a no-frills stationary bike with a minimal, digital calculator-like LCD monitor for tracking speed and distance—since gyms shut down during 2020. If you’re OK with a straight-to-the-point piece of equipment and looking for an affordable alternative to a brand name bike (cough, Peloton, cough) then this bike is the perfect workout machine for helping someone take on pre- and post-holiday resolutions. —Gregory Babcock

The Bonne Maman jam advent calendar

Who doesn’t love collecting those little jam jars from pancake houses? Bonne Maman’s jam advent calendar is the perfect gift for the food-obsessed person in your life, because it’s filled with both classic and hard-to-find preserves from the iconic French jam makers such as apricot, mirabelle, white nectarine, and fig and cardamom. —Mary Frances “Francky” Knapp 

A turntable for soon-to-be record nerds

If there’s a music lover in your life who still doesn’t have a turntable, this gift is a must. In case it needs explaining: Having a record player sets a whole different mood when you’re listening to music at home. When you put on a record, the slow lowering of the needle and the constant, hypnotizing spin of the disc palpably adds to the atmosphere of your living room/conversation pit/yurt. The music is no longer some distant sound playing from your phone, it’s now this process you can see and feel as you take time to get up and flip the record over when the A-side runs out. Audio-Technica is the perfect brand for upgrading your recipient’s setup from “beginner” to “audiophile,” approved by the vinyl lords at Amoeba Records. To make this gift more personal, you could also include some of the person’s favorite albums to start their new collection. —Erica Sullivan

SKIMS’ crazy-cozy sleep set

Would you believe me if I told you I’ve never owned a matching pajama set? Like literally not even when I was a teeny tiny infant and my mom still chose my outfits. It may be cheugy, but I’m about to purchase myself (and many others on my list) this classic sleep set from SKIMS. Plus, the classic plaid is neutral enough for any holiday your giftee may (or may not) be celebrating.  —Kate Spencer

CBD gummies that actually rule

Dad Grass, maker of my favorite pre-rolled CBD joints in the game, has hit another home run with the release of its new line of gummies. There are three versions: Classic (straight CBD); Goodtime Formula (CBD + CBG); and Nighttime Formula (CBD + CBN). Honestly, they all slap, and they actually taste pretty decent, too—not astringent like some other brands. Each gummy packs 20 milligrams of CBD/G/N and less than .3% THC, meaning you’ll definitely feel waves of good vibes, but without the fear of misdosing and going too hard (like when my friend made pot brownies before we saw Godspeed You! Black Emperor, but we don’t need to get into that). Anyway, if you’re off THC for whatever reason and don’t want to smoke, but still enjoy flirting with ascension, Dad Grass gummies are the way. —Adam Rothbarth

A black-and-white view on the classic disposable camera

I’ve bought dozens of disposable cameras in my life, but this was the first disposable camera I ever bought out of a bar’s vending machine. While I’m a major fan of the iconic Kodak Funsaver, this model uses black-and-white film instead of color—putting a more dramatic spin on the classic single-use camera. When others are scrambling for their phones or fussing with filters, this camera should add a new dimension to making (and preserving) memories. —Gregory Babcock

Make your pet look like they’re going to a wedding in Joshua Tree

For some people, the best way to their heart is through their stomach; for others, it’s through their pets. For the friend who lives to show you entire slideshows of their Bengal cat or micro-aussiedoodle at every opportunity, a pet-sized bolo tie is truly the gift that will make their century. —Angel Kilmister 

Huge, fluffy UGG slippers

Ever since I gifted myself these babies for Chanukah 2021, they have not left my feet (inside my house of course). These are by far my favorite house slippers I’ve ever owned. I love the coziness of the fluff to keep my dogs warm and the fun colors to add some sunshine on a gloomy day. The best part of the Fluff Yeah Slide Slippers is the stretchy strap at the back that allows for sport mode if I’m feeling extreme in the crib. —Becca Sax

The Trinity of luxury hand care

We already belong to the cult of fancy hand soaps, of which Aesop is the GOAT thanks to its crisp, herbaceous aromas. This hand care trio from the brand unites three of its biggest icons: the Resurrection Aromatique hand wash, hand lotion, and hand sanitizer—in other words, a portable spa day for your hands. —Mary Frances “Francky” Knapp 

A silk pillowcase 

I’ve been sleeping on this Blissy silk pillowcase for months now, and it’s easily one of the most quietly luxurious parts of my day. (The other one is when I use a tiny golden spoon to put Maldon salt on my eggs.) The buttery, cooling silk pillowcase is 25% off right now, and comes in an ombré shade of amber that I like to call “Jimmy Buffett sunset.” —Mary Frances “Francky” Knapp 

A cooler that looks and is cool

Even your least nostalgic gift recipient will enjoy this retro, special edition cooler from Igloo, which comes in five ‘90s-inspired colors. I own two of them, and they’re perfect for picnics, but also amazing for house parties. Like, who doesn’t want to feel like they’re entering an episode of Saved by the Bell when they reach for another bottle of wine or Miller High Life? —Adam Rothbarth

The it-bag from heaven

Call this one a pipe dream (maybe I’ll be able to secure a sugar daddy by December 24), but once I laid my eyes upon the Bottega Veneta Mini Jodie in Denim, I went weak in the knees. I, unfortunately, am an it-bag ho, who has been on a spending freeze since the pandy—but if there’s one bag that’s gonna make me act up it’s this woven bag, very reminiscent of the 00s, made of soft woven lambskin suede, that’s printed to look like it’s actual denim. Froth. —Becca Blasdel

For the friend who always flexes how much they love spicy food

When Fly By Jing—maker of truly delightful Sichuan chile crisp, dumplings, and other modern Chinese-cuisine delights—and tinned seafood company Fishwife teamed up and made a spicy, tingly, ultra-umami salmon together, it was the collab of the year as far as I’m concerned. This snackable smoked salmon is brined in garlic salt and brown sugar, then packed into that so, so good Sichuan chile crisp oil, and it’s divine. Never thought I’d be a tinned fish girl, but here we are. It’s on the pricier side for the snack category, so it makes a great gift, IMO. —Angel Kilmister

A personalized necklace for your dog

I am whole-heartedly, unequivocally obsessed with my puppy Nugget—as I’m sure many of you first-time pet owners are—and I want to buy anything and everything for my baby no matter the price tag… so when I saw the personalized necklaces they were not a want, but a NEED. A dainty string of freshwater pearls, Austrian crystals and Czech beads adorning my most precious lady’s neck for under $100?! Abso-fucking-lutely. Also, did I mention that humans can get a matching one too (not saying this is the best gift ever, but it just might be). —Becca Sax

Do it for the mems

I’d like to publicly thank my videographer boyfriend for letting me give away his camera secret to the entire internet. He’s been carrying around these little ‘toy’ cameras—actually designed for children — that not only store your photos digitally, but also print them directly on receipt paper. It’s honestly so fun and would be perfect to bring to any holiday gathering. I’m also planning on grabbing a few extra for stocking stuffers or white-elephant situations that may be in my future. —Kate Spencer

The little home bar gift to stuff in a stocking

Have you, too, found that you and your friends have gotten really, really into dirty martinis in the last couple of years? Well, even if they’re more of the Old Fashioneds type or have gone neck-deep into tiki drinks, the drinking crowd at large will appreciate these swaggy gold cocktail picks, the perfect finishing touch for making a home-crafted drink feel like it should cost $21 at a fancy hotel lobby bar. —Hilary Pollack

Star Wars Legos for nostalgic joy

Enough with the practical gifts! As an adult you get used to receiving gifts of clothing, cookware, and candles, but rarely do we get to recapture the feeling and nostalgia that comes from opening a totally impractical toy designed strictly for entertainment value. This Lego Millennium Falcon set will not only be exciting for those who love adult Legos and Star Wars, but you’re also giving that feeling of opening something meant solely for fun—a rarity in our stressful capitalist hell! —Erica Sullivan

The foolproof classic Carhartt beanie

Still stumped? Here’s the one gift to rule them all. One can never have too many beanies, right? An iconic Carhartt beanie is perfect for anyone and everyone, given the various color options and stretchy material. Whether you’re gifting to someone who is in dire need of a beanie or someone who already has a collection started, this under-$20 gift is sure to get the approval from anyone, and I can prove it. Cousin you only speak to twice a year? Carhartt beanie. Significant other who is picky about their clothes? Carhartt beanie. Secret Santa gift exchange where you draw the ONE person who has no interests or hobbies? Carhartt beanie. It’s foolproof. —Erica Sullivan

We look forward to getting these under our figurative tinsel tree (or putting them under yours, wink wink). Happy holidays, friend of VICE.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.

Categories: Tech News

Netflix gives account holders the ability to kick freeloaders

ARS Technica - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 10:40
The new "Manage Access and Devices" panel in Netflix's user settings on desktop web.

Enlarge / The new "Manage Access and Devices" panel in Netflix's user settings on desktop web. (credit: Netflix)

Netflix has introduced a new account management page called "Manage Access and Devices" that gives users the ability to remove access privileges from specific devices. The feature is available on both the web and in the streaming service's Android and iOS apps.

Previously, users could see a list of devices that had recently accessed their accounts, and they could revoke access to all devices simultaneously, but they could not revoke access on a case-by-case basis.

Each item in the list of devices will include an IP address-based location, a device type, and the user sub-account that most recently accessed Netflix from that device.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Categories: Tech News

Tesla reports two more fatal Autopilot accidents to the NHTSA

The Register - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 10:30
Not a great look for the electric car company as drivers urged to remain alert

Tesla's automated driver assistance system (ADAS) is coming under fire again, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reporting two new fatal Tesla accidents in its monthly ADAS crash report.…

Categories: Tech News

‘Kanye Was Rite’: Jewish Cemetery Vandalized With Swastikas

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 09:38

More than three dozen headstones at a Jewish cemetery in a Chicago suburb were vandalized over the weekend with messages referencing Nazis and the musician Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, who has gone on a number of antisemitic tirades in recent weeks. 

Sixteen headstones at the Congregation Am Echod Jewish Cemetery in Waukegan, Illinois were found vandalized with “large red-painted swastikas,” and 23 more were defaced with red spray paint, according to Fox 32 Chicago. One headstone was defaced with “Kanye was rite,” according to a video obtained by Fox 32 Chicago. Police are investigating, but no arrests have been made so far, according to local outlets.

The vandalism follows a nationwide surge in antisemitism, with a record number of incidents in 2021, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The surge has received increased attention as a result of recent antisemitic remarks from Ye, the suspension of Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving for promoting an antisemitic movie, as well as several other high-profile incidents of antisemitism nationwide

Waukegan Mayor Ann Taylor said in a statement posted to Facebook that she was “deeply disturbed and angered by the hateful imagery” found in the cemetery. “Hate does not have a home in Waukegan; when such incidents occur, our marginalized neighbors are victimized, and our entire community suffers,” Taylor said. 

“I hope our officers promptly locate the perpetrators of this despicable act and hold them accountable, and I offer my full support to those directly impacted by this vandalism,” Taylor added.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, who won re-election last week, called the vandalism an “evil act” and offered state resources “in the pursuit of justice.”

The Anti-Defamation League has tracked more than 400 percent increase in antisemitic incidents in Illinois since 2016, ABC7 in Chicago reported. The ADL has said that 2021 saw the most antisemitic incidents in the U.S. since the organization began tracking them in the 1970s.

“What it really represents is this normalization of antisemitism, and that is what we find to be incredibly concerning,” ADL Midwest Regional Director David Goldenberg told ABC7.

Ye, who is from Chicago, posted a text exchange with Sean “Diddy” Combs last month in which Ye told the producer and record label executive that he was going to “use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me.” Ye later tweeted he was going to go “death [sic] con 3 on Jewish people.”

In unaired clips from an interview between Ye and right-wing Fox News host Tucker Carlson, which were published last month by VICE News, Ye claimed that Planned Parenthood was created to “control the Jew population.”

“When I say Jew, I mean the 12 lost tribes of Judah, the blood of Christ, who the people known as the race Black really are,” Ye said, echoing a central tenet of Black Israelite beliefs. “This is who our people are. The blood of Christ. This, as a Christian, is my belief.”

Last month, several people in Los Angeles gave Nazi salutes and unfurled a banner that read “Kanye is right about the Jews” over a busy freeway. One person held a sign that read “honk if you know.” And after the University of Florida and University of Georgia’s college football teams played their annual game in Jacksonville in October, a message reading “Kanye was right about the Jews” appeared on a video board outside of the stadium

Earlier this month, the FBI’s office in Newark, New Jersey issued a warning of a “broad threat to synagogues” in the state. An 18-year-old was later arrested and charged with transmitting a threat.

Larry Yellen, whose mother and father are buried at the cemetery in Waukegan, said he thought about his parents and “how angry” his parents would be. 

"My father lost at least four aunts in the Holocaust, his family was from Poland,” Yellen told Fox 32. “They know more than anyone what a swastika means.”

Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here. 

Categories: Tech News

Dell agrees to pay $1b to settle claims it shortchanged stockholders during EMC acquisition

The Register - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 09:38
Drawing a line under the share swap drama of 2018, or trying to...

Dell has agreed to pay shareholders $1 billion to settle claims it didn't give them the full picture when using their allegedly undervalued shares to finance the $67 billion purchase of EMC in 2016.…

Categories: Tech News

Teamsters Help Community Save Park From Being Turned Into an Amazon Warehouse

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 09:23

For about 7,000 kids in Freeport, Long Island, Cleveland Avenue Field is the only green space around. Spanning about nine acres, it serves as an athletic field for the local school district and a public gathering spot. It’s been empty for over 20 years, and it lets neighboring residents get sunlight, fresh air, and exercise.

But in July, Freeport tried to sell the land to develop a last-mile delivery warehouse. Freeport mayor Robert Kennedy promised jobs and economic development, as well as the renovation of a park further downtown, but residents say that’s not what they want. And now, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is involved.

“The union members are the community members, and the union and community have to work together,” said Dave Carew, a UPS driver with Teamsters Local 804. “What we know about a fight, we’re going to make sure everybody knows.”

Freeport residents who oppose the warehouse, as well as the Teamsters, said they suspect the warehouse was for Amazon—and in the beginning, it was. In the town’s initial records of the sale, one Freeport resident’s testimony reads, “The sale and use of the property for the new Amazon warehouse on the Cleveland Street property would provide an estimated annual tax revenue of around $700,000.” It continues, “The new Amazon facility would also provide an estimated 300+ jobs for the area which is sorely needed.”

“They took this land from the people and sold it to a developer, and first they had Amazon in as the developer,” Carew explained. “They wanted to sell, I believe, for $39 million to Amazon, and then everybody kind of got wind that it was going to be an Amazon facility. So then they brought in this other group called the Panattoni Group. They build warehouses as what’s called ‘on spec’—there’s no real end user on it. They’ll lease it to whomever. They came in with an offer $10 million higher than Amazon did.”

The Panattoni Group did not respond to a request for comment. An Amazon spokesperson declined to say whether the Panattoni Group development would be used by Amazon.

Town hall meetings started during the summer, discussing the rezoning of the park to an industrial site. By the end of July, the mayor and trustees had voted to sell the park for $49 million to PDC Northeast LPIV, LLC, a Delaware corporation controlled by the Panattoni Group. They allotted $10 million to reduce resident property taxes and the remaining $39 million would go to Freeport’s reserves.

Residents said the sale was done hastily and improperly. “There were no community meetings, which are required by state law—or if there were, the public was not properly notified,” said Kiana Abady, a community leader with the Long Island Progressive Coalition, in a phone call with Motherboard. “We came together, we went to all the town halls, and we demanded that the Mayor listen to us. But he actually proceeded with the sale of the property.”

Abady was already doing intense community organizing when the Teamsters got involved to support her cause. “We were organized to make enough noise on our own that they noticed us,” she said. “It’s great! Being an aggressive organizer is very hard and it’s all volunteer work. They were able to help fund some of our efforts and share around the community.”

Together, they asked New York Attorney General Letitia James to investigate the legality of the sale—and James filed a lawsuit temporarily blocking it in August.

The development was initially planned as a last-mile Amazon warehouse, according to town records. Many residents in the community were unhappy with that. Last-mile warehouses are dangerous in residential communities, or industrial zones next to residential communities.

“It erodes the quality of life,” said Demos Demopoulos, the Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Joint Council 16. “Congestion, pollution—they live out in the suburbs because they want to get away from the congestion and the rushing around. That’s all going away.”

Antoine Andrews, a second UPS driver with Local 804, said, “The traffic, as it is, puts our kids at  risk. Most residents in these areas complain about the safety of their children and the safety of themselves. It would take away from the wildlife, and the fresh air in these areas—it’s just going to be gone.”

Other union members were concerned that the development was happening in a predominantly minority community. “Why does this have to be in a Black and brown community?” said Anthony Rosario, a UPS driver with Local 804. “It’s been said that they have plenty of warehouse space in industrial areas to use, but it’s literally one of the last greenspaces in Freeport.”

cleveland parkCleveland Park. Image Credit: Kiana Abady

Motherboard has previously reported on efforts by the Teamsters around the country to protest new Amazon warehouses and tax breaks for the company, saying that it’s eroding working conditions and generally destructive to communities. Particularly on Long Island, the Teamsters have successfully stopped Amazon warehousing developments in Westbury and Islip, and pushed back against tax breaks for a warehouse in Syosset.

But Teamsters say the Long Island problem is still growing. “The exponential growth of Amazon’s warehousing, it’s ridiculous,” Carew said. “In 2016, there wasn’t one Amazon warehouse on Long Island. Right now there’s 12. That’s a model all across the country.”

Members were also adamant that any jobs promised by Amazon when it builds a new facility are unreliable and dangerous.

“They're going to increase jobs at a 150 percent turnover rate,” Carew said. “Think about that. They're promising X amount of jobs, but traditional Amazon warehousing has a 150 percent turnover rate. That's astounding. And then you're going to get fired because you're not working fast enough. I get paid $41.52 an hour—at Amazon, a person gets paid $17 an hour. Is that a good job? I get benefits. I get a pension. Amazon is not going to give them that at all.” Motherboard has previously extensively reported on the conditions at Amazon’s warehouses.

Andrews echoed Carew’s concerns. “These are bad jobs that would potentially be created,” he said. “Amazon workers are not being trained properly. I am a UPS driver myself, and Amazon workers, we all do the same thing. They’re getting half of what we’re getting as UPS workers. It’s unfair and unjust. It’s about equality.”

Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy promised in July that a new facility would bring an additional 320 jobs to the village population of around 44,000 people. But some Teamsters members say it’s unlikely those jobs would go to Freeport workers. They pointed to the warehouse in Syosset whose tax breaks they protested last year—Amazon was getting tax breaks to be able to hire new workers, they said, but had only been relocating workers from a warehouse that closed down less than 10 miles away.

“We found out that Amazon, in other areas of Long Island, wasn’t holding up its end of the deal,” Abady said. “Why would it for Freeport? What makes us so special?”

Community opposition—with Teamster support—has been vehement over the past several months, and has even reached Gov. Hochul’s desk. A bill proposed to the State Senate would allow Freeport to alienate the land of Cleveland Ave Park, meaning the school district that uses it as an athletic field would no longer have any jurisdiction. That would make the sale and potential development of the land much easier. The bill has passed both the Senate and the Assembly, and is waiting on Gov. Hochul’s signature. But the organizers are hoping for a veto.

“We all had a meeting with Kathy Hochul’s staff,” Rosario said, referring to the proposed bill. “We had a long conversation about why this is important to us, to labor, and to communities. What we got is that she would wait until after the election to do anything.”

The fate of Cleveland Ave Park is now entirely in Gov. Hochul’s hands, union members say. But they’ve continued to rally in support of the communities around the park.

“This is one of those governments that thinks the community can’t speak for itself, and can’t fight for itself,” Abady said, referring to the Freeport Village government. “But we stood up and we said, ‘No, we’ll fight back.’ And we did.”

Categories: Tech News

DuckDuckGo’s Android anti-tracking tool offers stronger third-party protections

ARS Technica - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 09:18
Cloud of app tracking companies around a Google logo and DuckDuckGo's app tracking tool

Enlarge / DuckDuckGo says its App Tracking Protection automatically blocks many kinds of known trackers, while Apple's App Tracking Transparency only blocks IDFA (Identifier for Adverstisers) and asks developers to block others. (credit: DuckDuckGo)

Privacy-focused search site DuckDuckGo has added yet another way to prevent more of your data from going to advertisers, opening its App Tracking Protection for Android to beta testers.

DuckDuckGo is positioning App Tracking Protection as something like Apple's App Tracking Transparency for iOS devices, but "even more powerful." Enabling the service in the DuckDuckGo app for Android (under the "More from DuckDuckGo" section) installs a local VPN service on your phone, which can then start automatically blocking trackers on DDG's public blocklist. DuckDuckGo says this happens "without sending app data to DuckDuckGo or other remote servers."

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Categories: Tech News

Measles outbreak jumps to 7 Ohio daycares, 1 school—all with unvaccinated kids

ARS Technica - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 09:13
A false color image of the measles virus.

A false color image of the measles virus. (credit: Arizona Department of Health)

A measles outbreak in Ohio has swiftly expanded, spreading to seven childcare facilities and one school, all with unvaccinated children, according to local health officials. The outbreak highlights the risk of the highly contagious but vaccine-preventable disease mushrooming amid slipping vaccination rates.

On November 9, the health departments of the city of Columbus and Franklin County, which encompasses Columbus, announced an outbreak at one childcare facility, which had sickened four unvaccinated children. Officials reportedly expected that more cases would follow.

As of Wednesday morning, there have been 18 confirmed cases from seven childcare facilities and one school. All of the cases are in unvaccinated children, and at least 15 cases are in children under the age of four. At least six have required hospitalization, Kelli Newman, spokesperson for Columbus Public Health, told Ars.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Categories: Tech News

Razer doubles its latest Blade laptop’s USB speeds with a firmware update

ARS Technica - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 09:03
Razer's newest Blade 14 laptop is getting a spec bump via firmware.

Enlarge / Razer's newest Blade 14 laptop is getting a spec bump via firmware. (credit: Razer)

Owners of the latest Ryzen 6000-based version of Razer's 14-inch Blade laptop are getting a significant update soon: The company confirmed to The Verge that a BIOS update for the laptop would add USB 4 support to its USB-C ports, doubling the transfer speeds from 20Gbps to 40Gbps and adding support for high-bandwidth, Thunderbolt-compatible external accessories like external GPU docks.

USB 4 is kind-of-sort-of feature compatible with Thunderbolt, the spec that Intel made royalty-free back in 2019. Like Thunderbolt 3 and 4, a fully enabled USB 4 port supports data-transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps and PCIe tunneling for support of external GPUs and other high-speed accessories. Some USB 4 ports only support the spec's minimum speed of 20Gbps, the same speed as USB 3.2 Gen 2, but Razer's ports do appear to be fully enabled 40Gbps ports.

Razer isn't doing anything particularly special to boost its USB speeds. Rather, it's taking advantage of the USB 4 capabilities that are built into all Ryzen 6000 processors. As long as a laptop's manufacturer has included the hardware necessary to support USB 4 speeds, any manufacturer can "upgrade" to USB 4 via a firmware update and a chipset driver that AMD released over the summer. PCWorld tested Ryzen 6000's USB 4 support on an Asus ZenBook that also required a BIOS update before it supported the feature.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Categories: Tech News

How the PS5’s DualSense controller is failing disabled players

ARS Technica - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 08:55
The DualSense Edge offers some nice improvements for pro PS5 gamers, but not the additional accessibility gamers with disabilities need.

Enlarge / The DualSense Edge offers some nice improvements for pro PS5 gamers, but not the additional accessibility gamers with disabilities need.

On opening night of August's Gamescom conference, PlayStation announced its new PlayStation 5 controller, the DualSense Edge. With the new iteration, players can remap inputs and save them as custom profiles and even replace physical buttons and add levers to the controller’s backside.

Though these changes offer a certain level of accessibility, neither the announcement nor the accompanying blog post suggests this was deliberate. Rather, the DualSense Edge is a “high-performance, ultra customizable” gamepad ostensibly aimed at competitive gamers. At its heart, the Edge remains the same-old DualSense, and, as such, its accessibility improvements feel incidental rather than intended.

That has been something of a disappointment to gaming accessibility advocates and players who rely on non-standard controls. In the wake of Microsoft’s success with the Xbox Adaptive Controller, Sony’s lack of similarly accessible control options for the PlayStation 5 is starting to stick out like a sore thumb(stick).

Read 21 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Categories: Tech News

Broadcom looks for EU approval of VMware takeover

The Register - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 08:30
If antitrust regulators aren't happy, the deal won't go through

Broadcom has begun the process of getting European Union approval for its proposed $61 billion takeover of cloud and virtualization biz VMware, which the company hopes to close within its current fiscal year.…

Categories: Tech News

Laser-driven fusion’s internal energies not matching up with predictions

ARS Technica - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 07:42
Image of an incredibly complex set of equipment surrounding a blue sphere.

Enlarge / Where the action happens inside the National Ignition Facility. (credit: Damien Jemison/LLNL)

On Monday, a paper was released that describes some confusing results from the National Ignition Facility, which uses a lot of very energetic lasers focused on a small target to begin a fusion reaction. Over the past few years, the facility has passed some key milestones, including ignition of fusion and creating what's termed a burning plasma.

Now, researchers have analyzed the properties of the plasma as it experiences these high-energy states. And to their surprise, they found that burning plasmas appear to behave differently from those that have experienced ignition. At the moment, there's no obvious explanation for the difference.

Ignition vs. burning

In the experiments at issue here, the material being used for fusion is a mix of tritium and deuterium, two heavier isotopes of hydrogen. These combine to produce a helium atom, leaving a spare neutron that's emitted; the energy of the fusion reaction is released in the form of a gamma ray.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Categories: Tech News

Elon Musk issues ultimatum to Twitter staff: Go hardcore or go home

The Register - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 07:30
Divisive CEO becomes a prisoner of his own device

Comment  Following a public engineering spat, and multiple firings, Twitter CEO Elon Musk has issued an ultimatum to his employees: get hardcore or get out of my way.…

Categories: Tech News

City birds are changing their tune

ARS Technica - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 07:14
The house wren (Troglodytes aedon ) is a small brown bird found throughout the Americas. A study conducted in Costa Rica revealed that these birds change their song in the city to counteract the effects of noise produced by humans.

Enlarge / The house wren (Troglodytes aedon ) is a small brown bird found throughout the Americas. A study conducted in Costa Rica revealed that these birds change their song in the city to counteract the effects of noise produced by humans. (credit: Larry Keller, Lititz Pa./Getty Images)

Dawn breaks in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. The city is still asleep, but the early risers are greeted by a beautiful symphony: Hummingbirds, corn-eaters, yigüirros (clay-colored thrushes), yellow-breasted grosbeaks, blue tanagers, house wrens, warblers and other birds announce that a new day has arrived.

Soon the incessant noise of vehicles and their horns, construction, street vendors and more take over, shaping the soundscape of the frenetic routine of hundreds of thousands of people who travel and live in this city. Then, the birds’ songs will slip into the background.

“The act of birdsong has two main functions in males: It is to attract females and also to defend their territory from other males,” says Luis Andrés Sandoval Vargas, an ornithologist at the University of Costa Rica. For females in the tropics, he adds, the primary role of their song is to defend territory. Thus, in order to communicate in cities, to keep their territory safe and find mates, birds must find ways to counteract the effects of anthropogenic noise—that is, the noise produced by humans.

Read 22 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Categories: Tech News

NASA Finally Launches Its Artemis Moon Mission

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 07:06

NASA’s Artemis I mission is finally on its way to the Moon, a feat that marks the debut of the world’s most powerful rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), and secures a major milestone in the agency’s quest to return humans to the lunar surface in the coming years. 

The long-awaited mission is not carrying any astronauts on its journey to orbit the Moon, though it will test out the new Orion spacecraft that NASA plans to use for crewed trips beyond Earth, including to Mars, in the future.

SLS, which produces even more thrust than the Saturn V rocket that carried the Apollo astronauts to the Moon a half-century ago, blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 1:47 am Eastern Time for its very first flight on Wednesday. 

The rocket successfully delivered the Orion spacecraft into orbit, kicking off a journey around the Moon and back that will last about 25 days. If all goes to plan, Orion will return to Earth after its lunar test flight and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on December 11.

“What an incredible sight to see NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft launch together for the first time,” said NASA administrator Bill Nelson in a statement. “This uncrewed flight test will push Orion to the limits in the rigors of deep space, helping us prepare for human exploration on the Moon and, ultimately, Mars.” 

This launch was no doubt met with a collective sigh of relief from the Artemis team, as the mission has experienced a host of setbacks and delays. SLS was originally scheduled to embark on its first flight back in August, but a sensor malfunction and a hydrogen leak scuttled that plan. 

The mission was pushed back two more times by Hurricane Ian in September and Hurricane Nicole last week. Though Nicole damaged Orion slightly, mission leads decided it was safe to proceed with Wednesday’s launch, setting Artemis I on course to orbit the Moon.

Orion will reach lunar orbit in the coming days and pass within just 60 miles of the Moon’s surface next Monday, November 21. It will then swing out to an altitude of 40,000 miles before performing another close pass on December 5, which will give it the gravitational assist to return to Earth.

The launch marks the official beginning of the Artemis Program, a series of missions spearheaded by NASA that aims to send several crews on the lunar surface. Among the goals of the program is to land the first woman and person of color on the Moon, and to establish a laboratory called the Lunar Gateway in lunar orbit. 

“The Space Launch System rocket delivered the power and performance to send Orion on its way to the Moon,” said Mike Sarafin, Artemis I mission manager, in a statement. “With the accomplishment of the first major milestone of the mission, Orion will now embark on the next phase to test its systems and prepare for future missions with astronauts.”  

Categories: Tech News

Photos Capturing a Pre-Obama and Pre-Trump Texas

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 07:00

“How many American movies had I seen by the time I got to Texas? Thousands,” says British photographer Edward Thompson, recalling how much of his relationship to the country had been strictly visual, long before he arrived. He'd been to New York a few times to visit his late father, but Texas was a different world. And it was his interest in cinema that really kickstarted his fascination with the Lone Star State to begin with.

“It was a surreal experience,” he adds. “Because so much of the language, the lexicon, the iconography… I knew it.” After travelling to Texas in his mid-20s, Thompson spent 2006 and 2007 photographing his surroundings. This body of work would eventually become The Texas Hill Country, a new book he’s recently crowdfunded on Kickstarter. 

Shot in pre-Obama, pre-financial crash Texas, Thompson's photographs seek to subvert reality, inspired by his heroes Diane Arbus and Joel Sternfeld. He documents roadside diner signs, Veterans Day celebrations and derelict houses – each photograph bringing the surrealism of pedestrian settings right to the surface. Some of his photos are strangely foretelling. In one, he captures a truck covered in homemade signs that speak to the anti-immigration rhetoric of the Trump administration that would follow a decade later.

Now, 15 years on in his career, Thompson has received a Sony World Photography Award, lectured at the V&A museum and self-published a number of personal projects, such as 2012’s Occupy London and In-A-Gadda-Da-England, which came out earlier this year. “My last book was very much about what fuelled Brexit – the weaponising of nostalgia, austerity and class,” he says. “And with this book, it was like, ‘when I saw that truck…’”

Here’s what Thompson had to say when we spoke with him.

VICE: What initially inspired you to travel to America, and the South specifically?
Edward Thompson:
When I was studying we were shown lots of conceptual photography, but I stumbled across a Diane Arbus book and it blew my mind. I've always been a fan of film, and it was so incredibly surreal and cinematic, her work, yet it was documentary. That drew me onto Joel Sternfeld’s American Prospects. I fell in love with these two American photographers, and then friends of my family were in Texas, so I had an invite. I knew if I could get there, I had a place to stay. 

A three-legged cat in Texas in the mid-2000s. Photo: Edward Thompson

And how did the first trip come about in 2006?
There was a master's degree at LCC [London College of Communication], taught by Paul Lowe. I wasn't ready, but my friend did it, so I found out what the projects were [before starting]. There was this big project, so I said “Fuck it, I'm going to start now.” It was my version of “the European photographer goes to America”, which we've seen time and again. But that was my shot, my first last chance.

I got to Texas in 2006, but I wasn't really equipped to work as a photojournalist. I went back in 2007. I couldn't afford a direct flight so I took 48 hours of Greyhound buses nonstop from New York, which was a nightmare. But I read Neil Gaiman's American Gods, which helped me keep my shit together. I got a distinction for the work, but this was in-between other life stuff, and it just sat in a box in various houses.

You shot for three months over the space of two years. How did your perspective of the place change? 
It wasn't like in my head – oil wells and cowboys. It was much more hills and grassland. Just a massive landscape. Going there was a weird paradigm shift – it’s cinematic but slightly dangerous, because everyone's got guns.

[At university] we had to do risk assessments and I was like, “Dude, I'm only going to America” but my tutor was like “Ed, where you're going there's more guns than anywhere else.” I was so naïve, but I think naivety is quite a powerful tool, and maybe I wouldn't have got the photos I did.

Cars as part of a veteran's parade in Texas in the mid-2000s. Photo: Edward Thompson

Can you speak on your experience, photographing as an outsider?
I learned how I work as a photographer. There was a woman who lost her mother, she was upset and all these women gave her this massive hug. I was on a balcony and could have got this amazing shot, but it didn't feel right. The next trip I saw her and I got some amazing shots on her ranch. So I got good at reading a moment, where it's wide enough or it's an event and people expect photographers.

On the street I’d to talk to people because I wanted to have a nice moment – if you pull over a stranger who's not used to being photographed, they jam up, you'll see it in their face, they're awkward. The main thing I had going for me is I’m enthusiastic and chatty. People quickly realised I was English too, which sometimes helped, sometimes didn't. 

You were shooting during the George Bush administration, just as Obama announced his presidential run and the financial crash occurred. How politically engaged were you at the time? 
That was a massive pull factor, I mean George Bush's Western White House was in Texan Hill Country. I went to this gun show once and saw this truck with handmade signs: “Rome was destroyed by liberals, illegal aliens and terrorists” and “No amnesty for illegals”. Then walking around the show there's one guy buying the rifle he used in Vietnam – my only two shots that day. I see him in another town and it was only his truck.

It was 2006, the year Twitter was invented, but his truck was his Twitter. When I saw that truck at the time I was like, “Huh, that’s a funny guy” then Trump’s elected and you’re like, “Wow, there's a lot of guys.” There was a wave when Obama was president, I’d look at the work and think, “Oh, history.” But with the rise of the right around the world since, it's not history. 

The Texas Hill Country is now available to pre-order here

A ripped United States flag photographed in Texas in the mid-2000s. Photo: Edward Thompson Larry, photographed on his front porch in Texas in the mid-2000s. Photo: Edward Thompson An abandoned farmhouse in Texas in the mid-2000sPhoto: Edward Thompson A veteran's day parade in Texas in the mid-2000sPhoto: Edward Thompson A “Try some roadkill” sign in Texas in the mid-2000sPhoto: Edward Thompson Two people in Texas in the mid-2000s, photographer by Edward ThompsonPhoto: Edward Thompson A soap playing on the TV in Texas in the mid-2000sPhoto: Edward Thompson


Categories: Tech News

Musk tells Twitter staff: Agree to work “long hours at high intensity” or quit now

ARS Technica - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 06:50
Illustration of an Elon Musk bust surrounded by flags with the Twitter logo.

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson)

Elon Musk has sent an ultimatum to all Twitter staff—commit to an "extremely hardcore" approach to work or quit your job by Thursday.

"Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore. This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade," Musk wrote in the all-staff email.

The email's subject line was, "A Fork in the Road."

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Categories: Tech News

The Feds Are Getting Serious About Stopping Starbucks’ Alleged Union Busting

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 06:47

The National Labor Relations Board petitioned a federal court in Michigan Tuesday for a “nationwide cease and desist order” barring Starbucks from firing its employees for union activity. 

It’s the fourth time this year that the NLRB has asked a federal court for an injunction ordering the company to rehire fired pro-union employees and stop committing alleged unfair labor practices.

The NLRB has made similar efforts in Buffalo, Phoenix, and Memphis, but requesting a national prohibition on firing employees for supporting union efforts marks a significant escalation in the labor board’s attempts to rein in Starbucks’ alleged union-busting. 

Starbucks Workers United, the union representing Starbucks workers, has accused the coffee giant of illegally firing more than 150 employees as retaliation for supporting the union, though the company has repeatedly and consistently denied those claims. 

On Tuesday, the NLRB’s regional director in Detroit, Elizabeth Kerwin, asked the Eastern District of Michigan to prohibit Starbucks from “discharging employees at any of its stores in the United States and its territories for supporting the Union or any other labor organization,” and “interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees” from their rights afforded under the National Labor Relations Act. 

“Given the number and pattern of Starbucks’ unfair labor practices here and elsewhere, particularly discharges, a nationwide cease-and-desist order is necessary to halt Starbucks’ systemic campaign of retaliation,” the NLRB wrote in a memorandum in support of the preliminary injunction. 

A Starbucks spokesperson denied the allegations in an email to VICE News.

“We respect the right of all partners to make their decisions regarding union issues, whether they favor or oppose representation—and in all union dealings, including collective bargaining, we will always engage honestly and in good faith,” Starbucks spokesperson Andrew Trull said. 

“No Starbucks partner has been or will be disciplined or separated for supporting, organizing or otherwise engaging in lawful union activity.”

A former Starbucks manager in the Buffalo area testified under oath in August that he was encouraged by higher-ups to scrutinize the record of a longtime pro-union employees to find “something in there we can use against her,” and to ensure a manager was always working and able to discourage employees from talking about the union. Starbucks has denied the those claims.

The petition filed Tuesday also asks the court to order the company to rehire Hannah Whitbeck, a shift supervisor in Ann Arbor and leader in Starbucks Workers’ United efforts in Michigan who was fired in May before her store’s election. Starbucks had accused Whitbeck of leaving a coworker alone on the floor (Whitbeck told VICE News she left because her scheduled shift was over, and the incident involved a dispute with another coworker), but last month, an NLRB administrative judge ruled that Starbucks had “acted with animus” toward Whitbeck and illegally fired her for her union activity. 

Starbucks Workers United said in a statement provided to VICE News that the petition for a nationwide injunction is a “huge victory for workers.” 

“Workers across the country are organizing to make Starbucks a better company and place to work,” the union said. “Yet Starbucks has responded by threatening, bullying, and firing over 150 union leaders across the country.” 

“We look forward to seeing Starbucks held accountable and look forward to winning our contract.”

The NLRB has issued a number of complaints against Starbucks this year, and has accused the company of retaliation—including firings, suspensions, selective scheduling, and more—against pro-union employees all over the country, including in western New York, Phoenix, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Tennessee. In Phoenix, a federal judge rejected the NLRB’s petition to force Starbucks to rehire three employees the labor board said were fired for organizing a union.

But in September, seven employees in Memphis who were fired earlier this year won their jobs back after a federal court ordered the company to reinstate them and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling. The Memphis store, at the intersection of Poplar Ave. and Highland St., is one of more than 250 Starbucks locations whose employees have voted to unionize this year.

Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here. 

Categories: Tech News

Cloud vendors should take some responsibility for stolen compute, says Canalys CEO

The Register - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 06:45
Crypto winter also attributed to semiconductor slumps in recent quarters

Canalys Forums APAC  Canalys CEO Steve Brazier has proposed that cloud vendors should have similar accountability to credit card companies when accounts are hacked and used to mine cryptocurrency.…

Categories: Tech News

Is Sam Bankman-Fried Playing ‘League of Legends’ While FTX Burns?

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 11/16/2022 - 06:37

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s empire is in ruins and he says he’s in the Bahamas after early reports that he’d fled to Argentina. And while the crypto market crashes, a viral tweet claimed that Bankman-Fried was playing a few League of Legends games. “SBF is playing League of Legends while FTX crumbles around him and the authorities close in you could not make this up,” Parik Patel, a crypto parody account, said on Twitter. He posted a screenshot purporting to show Bankman-Fried in a League game.

But is that really SBF’s League of Legends account? And why would a man everyone is looking for taking time out of his busy schedule of avoiding repercussions to play a ranked League match on an account people know belongs to him?

For starters, the League account with the username SBF probably isn’t Bankman-Fried. There are lots of accounts across multiple servers with some variation and combination of the letters “SBF” and “FTX” and “TSM.” TSM is an esports company associated with Bankman-Fried. It’s common for a League player to have multiple accounts on different servers, but it’s impossible to know if any of them belong to Bankman-Fried. Shitposters are having fun with that ambiguity.

Some of these screenshots are from accounts probably not related to Bankman-Fried. Others, like the one from C207, are fake. But Bankman-Fried does play League of Legends. One of the legends people told about him was that he was playing a game during a big pitch meeting with Sequoia. According to reports, a partner walked over during the meeting and realized “the fucker was playing League of Legends through the entire meeting.”

Bankman-Fried also tweeted about League of Legends. “I play a lot more than you’d expect for someone who routinely trades off sleep vs work,” he said in 2021 on Twitter. “Why? Well there’s one answer, which is the obvious one. The single most universal thing about LoL is that everyone who plays it says they wish they didn’t.”

Bankman-Fried has revealed his account name before. In June of 2021, he joked that he was part of the TSM team and revealed the name of one of his accounts and his avatar. There is an account with that name and avatar on the Japanese servers, but it hasn’t played since September. An account with that name and a different avatar on the North American server is active. But again, there’s no reason to believe this is actually Bankman-Fried’s account.

If the North American TSM FTX SBF account is him, it means the FTX founder has a decent ranking in the game. He’s a platinum 1 in ranked solo and a diamond 2 in ranked flex. But this isn’t the account that’s being shared around. People want to believe some of these other accounts with lower rankings are Bankman-Fried.

“The silliest part of this whole thing is that SBF was pretty garbage at league,” delian, a venture capitalist Twitter Blue account, said on Twitter. “You’re worth $16b and play multiple hours a day, can afford world class coaching and still hard stuck on bronze 2? Yikes.” Below, delian posted screenshots from a North American league account with the name SAMBF.

Bankman-Fried has been gaming since the downfall of FTX, however. He told the New York Times he’s been playing Storybook Brawl, a card game that is also mentioned in a now-deleted article written by Sequoia Capital: “He has also found other ways to occupy his time in recent days, playing the video game Storybook Brawl, though less than he usually does,” the New York Times wrote. “‘It helps me unwind a bit,’ he said. ‘It clears my mind.’”

Categories: Tech News