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27
May

VTOL drone can evacuate wounded soldiers and disaster victims, deliver cargo


Evacuation by drone could soon appear on the readiness checklists of rescue and first responder groups worldwide. Tactical Robotics’ Cormorant ratchets up the potential for drone deployment for a wide range of military, industrial, and civilian applications.

The unmanned Cormorant is a compact, single-engine Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. Internal lift rotors give the drone the ability to land and take off almost anywhere it can find a large SUV-sized horizontal surface.

Unlike helicopters and many smaller drones with exposed rotors, the Cormorant’s six-foot rotors turn inside circular housings underneath the aircraft within the superstructure’s front and rear — hence the term “internal lift rotors.”

The lift rotors don’t swivel for horizontal travel. Instead, two smaller encased rotors are mounted vertically on either side of the drone’s tail. A single turbocharged engine powers all four rotors.

The Cormorant’s rotor arrangement minimizes the craft’s footprint. The smaller size and encased rotors allow it access to obstructed areas with wires, buildings, forests, jungles, and even mountainsides, where helicopters could never attempt to touch down.

In addition to its unique rotor placement, the Cormorant also stands out for payload capacity. Two main cabin compartments can each hold a bit more than 27 cubic feet of cargo (think medium-sized refrigerator), and an optional belly-mounted cargo hold accommodates an additional 35 cubic feet (a large refrigerator). Maximum combined cargo weight is approximately 970 pounds.

In battlefield evacuation and accident or disaster rescue, the VTOL drone has space for two casualties inside the cabin with ample room below in the belly cargo hold — if equipped — for additional supplies or materials.

According to the manufacturer, the Cormorant can transport prodigious quantities of food, water, and other needed supplies to remote or otherwise unreachable locations. With continuous round trips in a 50-mile radius, the drone could deliver more than six and a half tons of supplies (13,000-plus pounds) — enough for 3,000 people — in 24 hours.

Tactical Robotics lists unmanned inspection and monitoring flights for electrical grids, bridges, agricultural areas, and offshore oil platforms among diverse civilian applications. With optional remote-controlled mechanical arms, the Cormorant also could be used for spraying, retrieval, and other tasks.

The drone may be unique in its ability to provide “eye in the sky” photographic surveillance, and can transport cargo and equipment and perform evacuation duties.

Tactical Robotics has demonstrated the Cormorant operating via a preprogrammed course and with a human operator from a remote site.

Another useful item on the options list is a rocket-deployed parachute substantial enough to lower the drone and a full payload to safety if the engine or VTOL lift rotors fail.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • 2018 Nissan Maxima first drive review
  • This super-sized drone has several tricks up its sleeve
  • 7 ambitious DARPA projects that will help out the military of the future
  • University of Michigan hopes new drone facility pushes students to great heights
  • Yuneec Breeze review


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27
May

Pelican coolers, SanDisk flash drives, and Amazon’s Echo are all on sale today


Whether you’re looking for new tech gear or household items, we’ve got you covered.

Today you can get big discounts on Pelican coolers, SanDisk flash drives, Amazon’s Echo, and more!

View the rest of the deals

If you want to know about the deals as soon as they are happening, you’ll want to follow Thrifter on Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter, because missing out on a great deal stinks!

27
May

The best HTC U12 Plus cases to keep your phone safe and beautiful


Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

So you’re a fan of the HTC U12 Plus — and why shouldn’t you be? HTC has outdone itself once again with a device that is packed to the brim with the latest powerful hardware, an impressive camera suite, and some utterly gorgeous good looks. But even with all that backing it up, the U12 Plus isn’t invincible, and that’s why, if you want your phone to keep looking pretty and stay crack and scratch-free, you better look at getting some protection for it.

But where to start? There is nowhere better than right here — we found the best HTC U12 Plus cases that will keep your phone safe.

Skinomi Brushed Steel Skin ($16)

If you want a modicum of protection, but don’t like the feeling of cases, or don’t like adding extra bulk to your phone, then a skin is probably the way forward. This skin from Skinomi isn’t exactly the same thing as a case, in that it’s essentially a textured sticker that you can lay across your phone in order to give it a new look — but it will protect your phone from some surface-level scratches, even if it won’t give it any extra protection against things like drops and bumps. It comes in a variety of looks, not just the brushed steel we’ve highlighted, and each one comes with a free screen protector for extra protection against scratches.

Buy it now from:

Skinomi

Olixar Flexishield Gel Case ($7)

If you’re looking for something with a decent amount of all-around protection and don’t want to break the bank or slap on a bulky case, then a simple gel case is for you. The Olixar Flexishield is made from TPU, a shock-absorbent and resistant soft material that also provides a good amount of additional grip. The soft TPU material won’t protect as well as a larger, bulkier case, but it will protect against bumps, smaller drops, and other threats by simply absorbing some of the shock. It has a raised bezel around the outer edges to stop your phone from touching down on surfaces, and it has cutouts for all the ports and functions.

Buy it now from:

Mobile Fun

BasicStock Hard PC Protective Case ($7)

If you want something a little harder than TPU, then check out this polycarbonate (PC) case from BasicStock. PC is a hard, lightweight material that’s great at resisting scratches and damage and it won’t add extra bulk to your phone, because it’s extremely thin and light. It won’t be able to resist drops as well as a TPU case, due to the material being less flexible, but it’s better than nothing. It has a nice, smooth texture laid over the PC material, lending extra grip to your phone, and the subtle black design adds a quiet style to your HTC U12 Plus.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

Yuqoka PU Leather Wallet Case ($8)

What is better for imparting an air of casual, executive style to a phone than a wallet case? This wallet case from Yuqoka is made from PU leather, which is a durable, easy-to-maintain alternative to real leather that is pretty tough to tell apart from real leather while being a fraction of the price. The flip cover rests over your screen when not in use, working with the inner TPU shell to keep your phone protected and can be folded back around the phone when in use to form a handy horizontal kickstand. It lives up to the “wallet” in its name with a card slot for credit cards or spare cash, and the soft feeling of the outside of the case and subtle elegance impacts a luxury feel to your phone at a bargain price.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

Moonmini Hard PU Leather Case ($8)

If wallet cases aren’t your thing, but you love the aesthetic of leather, then this stylish case from Moonmini might be your case of choice. It’s made from PU leather layered over hard PC, so it imparts all of PC’s hard protection, while also showcasing the elegant style of PU leather. The leather is formed into two sections, a two-tone pattern of black leather at the top and brown below, with fake stitching between the two. It’s soft in the hand, giving extra grip thanks to the leather texture, and the design really gives a new style to your already beautiful HTC U12 Plus.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

Poetic Karbon Shield ($10)

Good-looking protection can be hard to find, but this protective case from Poetic is a great example of how it’s done correctly. With a rugged, carbon fiber design and texture, the Karbon Shield provides all the soft, shock-absorbing protection of TPU, while also sporting futuristic good looks. It’s thin, adding only 0.1-inch onto the thickness of your HTC U12 Plus, and the carbon fiber texture provides extra grip for your device. There are even molded button covers for your phone’s buttons, keeping those otherwise vulnerable areas safe. All in all, it’s a great protective TPU case that doesn’t add bulk to your phone.

Buy it now from:

Poetic

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The best Nokia 7 Plus cases to keep your noteworthy Nokia untarnished
  • The best Moto E5 Plus cases to keep your budget phone beautiful
  • The best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases to keep your titanic phone safe
  • These are the best iPhone X cases to protect your new Apple investment
  • Keep your shiny bezel-less phone safe with the best LG G6 cases and covers


27
May

Apple’s Phil Schiller Explains Why Valve’s Steam Link App Was Rejected


Apple recently made the decision to reject Valve’s Steam Link app after initially approving it, leading to many unhappy Steam customers who had been looking forward to the feature.

Apple has been silent on the issue despite several requests for comment, but today, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller explained the reason behind the rejection to a MacStories reader and other Apple customers on Reddit who emailed to ask Apple to reconsider. In the email, Schiller says the Valve app violates a number of guidelines and that Apple is working with the Valve team to rectify the issue.

We care deeply about bringing great games to all of our users on the App Store. We would love for Valve’s games and services to be on iOS and AppleTV. Unfortunately, the review team found that Valve’s Steam iOS app, as currently submitted, violates a number of guidelines around user generated content, in-app purchases, content codes, etc.

We’ve discussed these issues with Valve and will continue to work with them to help bring the Steam experience to iOS and AppleTV in a way that complies with the store’s guidelines. omplies with the store’s guidelines. We put great effort into creating an App Store that provides the very best experience for everyone.

We have clear guidelines that all developers must follow in order to ensure the App Store is a safe place for all users and a fair opportunity for all developers.

The Steam Link app is designed to allow Steam users to play their Steam games on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV using either a 5GHz WiFi network or a wired Ethernet connection to a host PC or Mac. As our sister site TouchArcade said in a review of the app, it allows for “real” PC-like game experiences on Apple devices.

“I could see a very real situation where many people just straight up stop buying things from the App Store and exclusively purchase Steam games through Valve instead,” wrote TouchArcade editor-in-chief Eli Hodapp.

As MacStories points out, we don’t know the specifics of the guidelines the Steam Link app violates, but Apple has strict rules for features like filters for objectionable content, in-app purchases, loot boxes, and more. Steam Link, as a remote access app, does allow customers to purchase Steam games without standard in-app purchase methods, which is likely to be one of Apple’s main qualms.

Valve first announced the Steam Link app on May 9 after initial approval from Apple, but Apple later said the preliminary approval had been a mistake and told Valve the app was not eligible for release due to “business conflicts.” Valve’s statement:

On Monday, May 7th, Apple approved the Steam Link app for release. On Weds, May 9th, Valve released news of the app. The following morning, Apple revoked its approval citing business conflicts with app guidelines that had allegedly not been realized by the original review team.

Valve appealed, explaining the Steam Link app simply functions as a LAN-based remote desktop similar to numerous remote desktop applications already available on the App Store. Ultimately, that appeal was denied leaving the Steam Link app for iOS blocked from release. The team here spent many hours on this project and the approval process, so we’re clearly disappointed. But we hope Apple will reconsider in the future.

Valve has not commented on what features might need to be tweaked or removed to earn Apple’s approval, and it is not clear when we might see a modified version of the Steam Link app available for sale if Valve is able or willing to make the necessary changes to the Steam Link experience.

Tags: App Store, Phil Schiller, Valve, Steam
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27
May

The Dreem headset promised to improve our sleep, but it was a nightmare


Rythm

If you’re one of the 60 million Americans who have a sleep disorder, you’re probably willing to try anything to get a bit of shut eye. And while you may have already tried dozens of different sleep remedies with little success, a new sleep wearables manufacturer called Dreem believes it may have the solution.

What is the Dreem? Think of it like a minimalist cycling helmet designed by Yves Béhar you wear in bed, and you’re on the right track for the look. The headband contains five electroencephalography (EEG) sensors that monitor your brainwaves, along with an accelerometer, a heart-rate sensor, and a bone conducting speaker system. It’s light, coming in at a little over four ounces, and is wrapped in a plush fabric to make the device as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately for us, no amount of plush fabric could make it comfortable enough to make it through the night wearing the headset.

Dreem’s main benefits include falling asleep faster, which it promotes by playing white noise or simple audio tracks through the speakers, as well as improving the overall quality of your sleep by stimulating your brain during deep sleep stages with pink noise. Based on scientific research, this may help you wake up feeling more refreshed and better prepared for the day. Who doesn’t want that?

It could take up to a week to adjust and before you feel the benefits.

In addition to helping you fall asleep and get a better night’s sleep, Dreem offers an additional benefit: It helps you track your sleep patterns. Using the app, you’ll find data on your length of sleep, sleep cycles, position changes, as well as a sleep score.

Set up and pairing is relatively simple, though we wish Dreem provided more in-depth instructions in the companion app. Because the headset doesn’t directly connect to the app on your phone during the night, there’s no active Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signals zapping through your head while you sleep.

The battery is only good for one session though, and we had to recharge it every day. The bone-conducting speakers work by using your skull as a sound conductor so there’s no need for earbuds or headphones.

The target demographic

The first night I tried Dreem, I fell asleep quickly, and slept soundly for a few hours. I’d soon wake up feeling the front of the headset “stuck” to my forehead. It wasn’t actually stuck, but the EEG sensors were definitely more attached than I expected. Like little limpets. It was uncomfortable enough that it woke me, which seemed a bit troubling since I didn’t have any trouble sleeping in the first place.

Rythm

In my drowsy, keen to get back to sleep state, I always took the Dreem off and fell instantly back to sleep. It helped me fall asleep, and it felt good during those early deep sleep stages — making me think there’s something to it — and I wanted to experience a full night. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

After this repeatedly happened, we spoke to Dreem, keen to find out whether this was a problem with us, or the headset. It turns out that while the company’s website is rather general about the benefits — it says it uses the technology to “improve your sleep every night” — it’s not really for people who sleep pretty well already, and is for people who don’t sleep well at all.

My first night with Dreem was, frankly, sort of a nightmare.

“We designed this for people with serious sleep issues, either falling asleep or waking up in the night,” Chief Marketing Officer Damien du Chéné told Digital Trends. “It’s best for people that have tried other methods to improve sleep, but without success, including sleeping pills.”

Du Chéné went on to explain that he believed people who actually have sleep problems would be able to acclimate to the device.

“We know it requires some effort, and that the first nights it’s normal to feel the headband. It’s an issue if it’s painful, but not if it’s uncomfortable. Those who are really motivated to change their sleep issues work past this.”

Since I am clearly not the intended audience for Dreem, we agreed to send the device to Steven Winkelman, a Digital Trends staff writer who has been diagnosed with a sleep disorder to see if he would have better luck.

Steven’s take

Since being diagnosed with a sleep disorder in my early twenties, I’ve tried dozens of remedies to get a better night’s sleep. I have no problem falling asleep mind you; I just wake up after a few hours, and am unable to fall back asleep. At that point, I either embrace the sleeplessness and pick up a book or, if I’m really tired, I’ll down a few Trazodone and pass out until the morning.

Before I even began to use the Dreem, I set up a call with executives from the company to learn more about the headset. I ended up not learning much else about it, but was strongly encouraged to try the headset for an entire week to get acclimated to it.

My first night with Dreem was, frankly, sort of a nightmare. When I initially put it on, I couldn’t really hear anything, so I fiddled with the volume slider at the top to turn up the speakers, only to find my partner complaining about the noise. Like usual, I fell asleep, only to wake up about two hours later. But this time, instead of being wide awake, I was wide awake with a headache.

Thankfully, Dreem does offer a 30-day money back guarantee if you want to give it a go yourself.

Since I expected the first night to be rough, I soldiered on thinking the experience would get better. It didn’t. I had the same headache on the the third night, and then the fourth night. By the fifth night, I pulled the Dreem off for the last time. I’d rather deal with insomnia over insomnia and a headache.

Conclusion

While the science behind Dreem is exciting and holds promise for people who suffer from sleep disorders, we’re not sold on the actual headset. In its current form, we found it too bulky and uncomfortable to wear for any reasonable amount of time. And at $500, the price of entry is just too high for a device that may or may not work. Thankfully, Dreem does offer a 30-day money back guarantee if you want to give it a go yourself.


27
May

‘League of Legends’ tournaments coming to ESPN+


ESPN has announced that League of Legends is coming to ESPN+. The cable sports network made the announcement on Friday, saying that it has signed a multi-year agreement with LoL‘s developer Riot Games. ESPN+ will kick off its coverage on July 16 — just in time for the North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split. Following this, the summer finals will be held in September, followed by the world championships later this year,

ESPN’s agreement with Riot is not an exclusive one, so LoL fans will still be able to stream the matches on Twitch at no cost. ESPN is likely hoping this move will entice some people to sign up for its ESPN+ subscription service. The service costs $5 per month and gives users access to thousands of hours of live sporting events, original programming, and ad-free use of the ESPN’s site and mobile app.

Like many traditional media outlets, ESPN has struggled with adapting to how the internet has changed news and sports coverage. The cable news network has had to contend with dwindling subscription numbers, as many people opt to cut ties with cable altogether. In its prime, ESPN was one of America’s most popular outlets for coverage of sporting events, analysis, and player interviews. Now that virtually every professional athlete has their own Twitter profile, there is less need for traditional sporting coverage.

The decline of cable may play a large part in ESPN’s decision to move into the realm of esports coverage. A decade or so ago, the idea of ESPN covering video games in a major way was a laughable concept, but esports have grown into a multi-million dollar industry, with a fanbase just as devoted as those of any traditional sport. In fact, many esports teams, such as those in the Overwatch League and a handful of LoL teams, are owned by major sports teams.

ESPN’s deal with Riot is not the first time that ESPN has covered MOBA competitions. In 2015 and 2016, ESPN partnered with Blizzard Entertainment for coverage of the Heroes of the Dorm tournament, which focused on Blizzard’s own MOBA, Heroes of the Storm.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Everything you need to know about ESPN+
  • ESPN+, the stand-alone streaming sports app we’ve been waiting for, is here
  • Here’s everything you need to know about the Overwatch League
  • Twitter doubles list of original shows with new deals, renewals from MTV to ESPN
  • ‘Overwatch’ review


27
May

Best External Hard Drives for PlayStation 4


The days of cracking open a PS4 for expansion are over!

ps4-hero.jpg?itok=VsU1HQmb

PlayStation 4 owners have no shortage of choice when it comes to storage expansion. Popping out the internal drive is fairly easy, but if you don’t want to go through that trouble there’s an alternative. Just plug a USB hard drive into your console, and instantly you have all the storage you could ever need.

All you need now is to pick the right drive for your needs. Here are some solid options available to you today.

Toshiba Canvio Connect II

toshiba-canvio.jpg?itok=TymL4F86

If you need a storage bump but don’t want to take up another power outlet on your entertainment center or would prefer the hard drive be easy to hide away, Toshiba has what you need. The Canvio Connect II is a 1TB hard drive that is powered by the USB port and is small enough to tuck away behind the console.

See at Amazon

This will effectively double the storage of the more spacious PS4s you can buy today and will be more than enough for those upgrading a 500GB console. And for $47 you don’t have to worry about hitting the wallet too hard.

Western Digital WD Elements

wd-elements.jpg?itok=UJsDvxDo

People who want to massively upgrade the storage on their PS4 but don’t want the hard drive to take up a lot of space aren’t left with a ton of options, but one of the better choices comes from Western Digital. The WD Elements series isn’t small enough to be pocketable but can be concealed on most entertainment centers. Most important of all, it’s a 2TB drive, so you’re unlikely to fill it with your PlayStation 4 games anytime soon.

See at Amazon

WD Elements do also come in 1TB and 3TB variants, but for $75 the 2TB model is the most competitively priced and will be more than enough for most PS4 owners.

Seagate Expansion

seagate-expansion.jpg?itok=fdsJsSsU

If all you really care about is storage, and you want to make sure you never have to worry about running out of storage on your PlayStation 4 ever again, the Seagate Expansion series has you covered. These external hard drives will go up to 5TB in capacity but is one of the few 3TB options for under $100 if you’re also concerned with your budget.

See at Amazon

These drives are big, so don’t grab one thinking you’re going to be able to easily hide it next to your PlayStation 4. As long as that isn’t a problem for you, these $86 drives will get the job done.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Drive)

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Not everyone needs to buy a whole new external drive to expand a PlayStation 4; you just need a solid enclosure to put an existing drive in. If that’s you, the Inateck enclosure is everything you need. It’s USB 3.0 enabled, offers an aluminum body to better handle heat dissipation when under stress, and doesn’t require any additional software to set up.

See on Amazon

Drop your drive in, connect to your PlayStation 4, and you’re done. Not bad for $27, assuming you already have a drive you aren’t using.

Update May 2018: This post has been updated with our favorite portable drives for PlayStation 4.

Why are we talking about PlayStation 4 stuff on Android Central? Let us explain.

PlayStation 4

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  • PS4 vs. PS4 Slim vs. PS4 Pro: Which should you buy?
  • PlayStation VR Review
  • Playing PS4 games through your phone is awesome

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27
May

Get lifetime access to 1TB of cloud storage for only $39!


Our current, tech-obsessed world demands a storage solution for your multimedia data, the most convenient being cloud-based storage which you can access from anywhere. Most cloud-based storage services charge a monthly fee, which, over time, adds up to quite a fee. Those of you sick of subscription fees need a storage solution that requires a single payment for a lifetime of access. More importantly, you need cloud storage that is encrypted and can be accessed from all your devices.

Keep your stuff backed up for life! Learn More

Right now, Android Central Digital Offers has a deal on 1TB of cloud storage from Zoolz — a single payment of $45 gives you lifetime access. Does this seem cheap? It is — but it gets even cheaper when you use coupon code MEMDAY15 to take an additional 15% off! That drops your final price to just $38.21.

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You will never be charged any extra fees, and you can access your cloud storage from multiple devices. Your data is protected with 256-AES encryption to better safeguard your stuff, and you can schedule backups and throttle bandwidth during uploads. Place files you know you won’t soon need in cold storage — takes three to five hours to access — or place files you frequently need in standard storage that can be accessed instantly.

Use coupon code MEMDAY15 for extra 15% off! Learn More

Considering 1TB of storage from other popular services costs about $10 per month, this deal will pay for itself in four months, and you can keep using it forever. Even if you don’t think you need it now, you probably will need it in the future. Don’t miss this great opportunity to snag 1TB of cloud storage for only $38.21!

27
May

Here’s your weekend comments thread with a dose of gratitude


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We have Monday off because others gave their lives for it.

Monday is Memorial Day in the U.S., and while many of us will be grilling burgers or otherwise enjoying a relaxing long weekend, we should remember why we have it.

I’m not one to glorify why we need armed forces. As a child too young to understand, I can remember each evening when several of my mother’s friends would join us to watch the news; that’s where Walter Cronkite would tell us all how many young men and women were killed in action that day in the Vietnam War. Growing up in an Army town meant there were usually tears and I learned at an early age that even to a civilian, war is hell.

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But all Americans need to remember that those young men and women, along with countless before them and countless after, gave their lives because they thought they could make ours better. Try to take a moment sometime this weekend to honor them in your own way, then celebrate with friends and family because that’s why they made the sacrifice.

I’ll be spending a quiet weekend at home for the most part, simply enjoying the company of my lovely wife. I don’t deserve her, though she would disagree, and with the kids gone and the house to ourselves I’ll have an excellent weekend just because she’s with me. There will be peace and quiet, thick rare steaks, and plenty of red wine.

Take a moment and share your weekend plans with everybody in the comments and spend a few minutes connecting — that’s how the internet is best used!

27
May

Here’s what we’re reading, watching, playing, and listening to this week


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How we’re spending our leisure time.

Everyone has a bit of quiet downtime once in a while. Whether you’re sitting quietly at home or trying to relax on a plane or just giving your busy mind and hands a break, it’s important to relax.

A good way to do that is to read a book, listen to some music or watch a movie or show. See what’s caught our attention for the week of May 26th.

Ara Wagoner

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The new YouTube Music is here, and as I continue to dig into every nook and cranny of the new app looking for new quirks, old flaws, and more tips to our loyal AC readers, I’m also indulging an ungodly amount of music. YouTube Music has a selection that is unparalleled, between official music from the labels, remixes, covers, and live concert recordings from musicians and roadies of every shape and size, and so, so many songs that users have uploaded after seeing them missing from the catalog.

YouTube Music’s recommendations have also been taking me back in time with albums like Play, Disneymania and Baby Got Back, which has been stuck in my head for days and refuses to get out. Among the newer suggestions, I’ve been rocking a lot of Ariana Grande, including her gospel-backed take on Hercules ‘Zero to Hero’ from We Love Disney Vol. 1. It’s also a fitting song for an app that most people had completely written off before last week, don’t’cha think?

Marc Lagace

Netflix keeps churning out docu-mini series on different gruesome topics and it can be a bit exhausting to watch them all. Having said that, I gotta recommend the new show “Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist”.

The four-part series takes a deep dive into the 2003 Pizza Bomber mystery, in which a man named Brian Wells robbed a bank with a live bomb locked to his neck. The story became the inspiration for the 2011 comedy film “30 Minutes or Less” starring Jesse Eisenberg, but the true story is dark and disturbing. This one is not for those with a weak stomach for violence and murder, but if you enjoyed “Making a Murderer” then you’ll like Evil Genius, too.

Joe Maring

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I’ve been in a podcast mood this week, and to crave that itch, I’ve been spending a lot of my time listening to The Moth. The Moth is a non-profit based out of New York that frequently hosts live events around the country where people come to tell their life stories.

These stories are selected from the various events and compiled into about an hour-long program based around a certain theme, and the end result is phenomenal. It’s incredibly easy to keep listening to episode after episode without any intention of stopping, and that’s fine by me. Some stories have made me laugh out loud while others have sent chills down my spine, but they all have one thing in common — they’re raw, uncut, and human.

As much as I’m loving The Moth, I did take a break to watch Deadpool 2 on opening night in IMAX. I think I still enjoy the first one just a tad more, but that didn’t stop me from having a great time with the movie. Just like the first Deadpool, the sequel is action-packed, gut-busting funny, and has the best mid-credits scene ever.

Tom Westrick

I saw Deadpool 2 this week, and while it’s not as enjoyable as the first one, it’s still an entertaining movie in its own right. Since we’ve already seen most of the characters interact with each other, it’s nearly impossible for a sequel to have the same magic that the original does. Without giving away any spoilers, I will say the last act dragged on more than it needed to. But overall, the movie was hilarious while still having an emotional story, like the first.

Elsewhere, I’m almost at the end of watching Frasier, and I’m debating what to jump into next. It’s between Cheers (yes, I know I should have watched that before Frasier), The West Wing, or diving back into my Plex library.

I’ve also been listening to Jake Bugg, an English singer that sound an awful lot like Hank Williams (Sr, not either of the crazy Jrs.). I’ve only listened to the album Shangri La, but I’ll give the rest of his albums a listen before long.

Essa Kidwell

I’ve never been the type that watches shows as soon as they come out. My attention span is in a thousand places at once, so sitting down and designating times for me to catch up on the latest shows and movies was never really something that was ever on my to-do list. Instead I wait till there’s enough to marathon on a streaming service and binge watch all of it at once while I’m writing.

This week I’m addicted to American Gods.

Much like what happened to me when I binged Game of Thrones I ended up addicted and needing more. I already know when I finish the last season available on my PlayStation I’m going to be dying for more. Good thing the American Gods book is waiting for me on my bookshelf! Checkmate!

Kennedy Weston

My fiance and I recently invested in the latest multiplayer game, A Way Out. It’s a pretty awesome game that has a unique way of using multiplayer. Instead of being able to do your own thing that still helps out the other player, you have to actually work together in order to progress in the game. It’s an interesting way to make sure that you and your friend or significant other can and will actually work well together.

I’ve also recently got to Season 3 of a TV show called Community, which takes place in a community college and it’s all about the shenanigans that go down. It’s absolutely hilarious and has wonderful actors and actresses like Joel McHale, Donald Glover, and Yvette Nicole Brown. If you have a Hulu membership or Crackle, you can watch all of the seasons of the show on those streaming services.

Quentyn Kennemer

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Being a big fan of the original State of Decay and disappointed when they eventually canceled plans to bring out a multiplayer mode, you know I was all over State of Decay 2. This Xbox One and PC zombie survival game is just as much about battling the scarcity of resources as it is battling a zombie plague, and doing it with friends makes the experience infinitely more fun. I’m also still getting my butt kicked by Nordic trolls in God of War, so that’s fun.

When I need a break from all the zombies and draugrs, I’m turning to my huge backlog of Marvel shows and movies I have yet to watch. Yes, spoiler alert, I haven’t seen Avengers: Infinity Wars, and I have a lot more to catch up on before I do that. I’ve just finished the first season of Luke Cage. Next stop: Jessica Jones, followed by season 2 of Luke Cage on Netflix next month.

Your turn

What are YOU reading, watching, or listening to this week? Let us know in the comments!

Update, May 26, 2018: This is a weekly series where we tell you what we’re into, so check back every weekend!

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