From The Next Web

  • Polk’s Alexa-enabled soundbar now supports multi-room music

    Polk Audio today announced its Command Bar, an Alexa-enabled soundbar, will receive a software update adding Amazon‘s multi-room music (MRM) protocol. It’s the first third-party smart speaker to do so. The Command Bar is among the best sounding speakers featuring Alexa support, but it suffers from a lack of features when compared to Amazon‘s first-party products. Until now, it was an isolated speaker (plus sub-woofer) that sounded great, but couldn’t join the party if you wanted to make the...


  • The 2019 iPhone might not be so ugly after all

    We’ve only just started 2019 but the rumor mill for this year’s iPhone is already churning at a comfortable pace. It was just last week that @OnLeaks alarmed people with a supposed render of an iPhone 11 prototype with a hideous triple camera setup. Back from September 2019, I bring you the very 1st and very early glimpse at which I guess #Apple will unveil as #iPhoneXI!!! Yes, time has already come to meet the new #iPhone through gorgeous 5K renders made on behalf of new coming Partner...


  • Forza axes emotes after Fortnite controversy

    The publisher of Forza Horizon 4, our pick for the best racing game of 2018, recently updated the game. In addition to adding several new cars, it also removed two emotes. While this wouldn’t seem like a big deal in and of itself, you begin to see what a bullet it’s trying to dodge when you look across at the legal tangle that is Fortnite, Epic Games, and the dance emote lawsuits. An update on the Forza website simply says “The ‘Carlton’ and ‘Floss’ avatar emotes are no longer available.” Both...


  • Vinyl made a surprise but welcome resurgence at CES

    For a show all about the technology of tomorrow, CES sure had a lot of turntables – decidedly the technology of yesterday. If you ask the audiophiles, vinyl never really went away. But it’s certainly seen a resurgence the past few years – growth ironically aided by streaming services. It’s easier than ever to discover new music, and when people find something they really like, they’ll often shell out to own it in physical form (just look at ebooks vs regular books). Higher vinyl sales naturally...


  • WordPress announces a toolkit to kickstart small to mid-sized newsrooms

    WordPress, the open source CMS that powers nearly one-third of the web, is now looking to streamline newsrooms around the world. In 2019, we’ll see a new commitment to small and medium-sized publishers with a toolkit called Newspack. Born of a partnership between WordPress and News Revenue Hub — an organization to support sustainable, and profitable journalism — Newspack is a toolkit meant to allow publishers to hit the ground running, while minimizing hurdles in development, optimization, and...


  • Hollywood's making 'Just Dance' and DDR movies, but why?

    Somewhere deep in the bowels of Skull Mountain, where Hollywood‘s evil studio bosses come up with all of the movies and TV shows Tinsel-town will produce, things are amiss. The well, as they say, has run dry. Otherwise there wouldn’t be two upcoming films adapted from dancing-based video games. Screen Gems, the company responsible for one of the greatest motion picture thrill-rides of all time, “Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid,” recently secured the film rights to the 10-year-old Just...


  • 5 lessons we forgot we learned from our year-long newsletter experiment

    Last week was our beloved/behated daily newsletter‘s first birthday. We published an article looking back at the seven things we learned from Big Spam’s first year. In it, we talked about how people hate change, our Las Vegas casino aesthetic, and our favorite subject lines. As soon as we hit publish, we realized we’d made a terrible mistake. There were so many lessons we’d forgotten we’d learned, and we immediately started to write the second part, which is this bad boy right here. So without...


  • Kano to launch Star Wars programming kit later this year

    Disney: if it can get stick a logo on something and then train an army of Chinese teenagers to manufacture it en-masse, it’ll do so. This has been to the dismay of Star Wars fans, who have seen their once-beloved franchise diluted with a plethora of plastic tat which, no doubt, will eventually find its way into the marine food system. Goddammit, I’m cynical. Perhaps I shouldn’t be, because there is some genuinely good Star Wars merchandise out there. One bright spot came today, as Kano announced...


  • Gillette triggers Twitter's right-wing elite with 'toxic masculinity' ad

    Gillette, a company that sells razors, triggered a slew of right wing celebrities on social media yesterday with an advertisement featuring a new take on its old “the best a man can get” slogan. The video in question is nearly two minutes long and serves as a vehicle to call out toxic masculinity. It depicts men and boys showing violent aggression towards one another, pretending or preparing to sexually assault women, and dismissing poor behavior with the typical “boys will be boys” line. “Boys...


  • The real-life Pinkertons take issue with their inclusion in Red Dead Redemption 2

    Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Red Dead creator Rockstar Games, is duking it out in court with the Pinkerton Detective Agency — yes, they still exist, apparently. The Pinkerton Detective Agency, who appear in fictional form in Red Dead Redemption 2, issued a cease-and-desist letter to Take-Two, asking for royalties for the use of its name. Take-Two has since fired back with a lawsuit claiming fair use due to the Agency’s prevalence in the historical record during the time period the...


  • The strange zen of the data diet

    It’s said that moving — along with getting divorced, or contracting a life-threatening illness — is one of the most stressful events you’re likely to experience in your lifetime. Two weeks into my move, I’m starting to feel the pressure. No, I’m not talking about the boxes piled up around my ankles. The fact that I still haven’t found my cutlery and thus have been using and re-washing the same knife and fork isn’t causing me anxiety. I’m talking about the Internet. I’m a journalist. My wife is a...


  • Anonymous Bitcoin miners are taking over the network

    The world’s most popular cryptocurrency is a now a little bit more decentralized, thanks to the waning influence of Bitmain and the return of the anonymous Bitcoin miner. Blockchain research unit Diar has published new data revealing exactly who has been validating the Bitcoin network. Analysts determined that mining pools either owned by or heavily tied to Bitmain (Antpool, BTC.com, and ViaBTC) are now validating far less Bitcoin blocks than this time last year. In fact, it is “unknown”...