Every week, there are thousands of new songs hitting the airwaves — and it’s just too much for your two ears to handle. With all those options, you can’t be wasting your time on tracks that deserve a thumbs-down click.
But don’t worry, we’re going to save you the hassle. We listen to some of the most-hyped and interesting songs each week, and tell you which are worthy of your precious listening time.
More: Spotify vs. Apple Music: Which service is the streaming king?
Here are our top five songs to stream this week. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our Spotify page for a playlist of our weekly picks, which can also be found at the bottom of this post.
Kendrick Lamar — The Heart Part 4
Kendrick Lamar’s latest single features multiple slow-paced grooves and a massive amount of wordplay, with the rapper using each shift in accompaniment to change his vocal tone and subject matter. As usual, the Compton, California-born musician places each word perfectly over every beat, curating a single that you’ll be listening to on repeat until his next album hits store shelves some time this year.
Angel Olsen — Never Be Mine
Singer/songwriter Angel Olsen and her live band recently appeared on Seattle’s KEXP radio, performing songs from her latest record, My Woman. The live version of Never Be Mine is the gem of her half-hour set — a beautifully layered pop number that showcases the serious musical abilities of both Olsen and her band.
Gorillaz — We Got The Power
Famed electronic band Gorillaz released four new songs this week, but the most interesting is We Got The Power, which sees frontman Damon Albarn (formerly of Blur) collaborating with one time British pop rival Noel Gallagher of Oasis. A short and sweet single with a four-on-the-floor beat, We Got The Power is clean, simple, and just plain fun to listen to.
Foxygen — Be Yourself
Underground psych-pop kings Foxygen showcase a clean-cut soundtrack jam with their latest song Be Yourself, which was written for an upcoming American Girl special on Amazon Prime Video. Horn backgrounds, punchy bass, and a gentle use of percussion work together on the track, which feels like it could have been plucked straight from a vintage AM radio station.
Hoops — On Top
This week’s best workout song comes in the form of On Top, a new single from washed-out indie rockers Hoops. A clean-grooving jam driven by an extremely melodic guitar line, On Top will help you lace up those sneakers and go on that run you’ve been thinking about all week.
That’s it for now, but tune in next week for more tunes — and check out the playlist loaded with our recent selections below:
We’ve had a variety of Digital Offers over the past year, and some of them are more popular than others. From VPN offers to courses that teach you how to code, these offers are great ways for you to learn new skills without spending a ton of money. Our friends over at Thrifter have secured an exclusive deal to help you all save 25% more on these already discounted offers, and you won’t want to miss out on them.
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The Radiohead Prophesies:
How ‘OK Computer’
Predicted the Future
Pitchfork is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Radiohead’s OK Computer this week, including a pretty interesting look at how Thom Yorke imagined the future in 1997. Released at a time when the internet was still a new thing, the album’s content ties in directly to 2017. As Berman notes, “OK Computer is really more like the first draft for a never-filmed pilot episode of Black Mirror.”
Researchers Are Using Darwin’s Theories to Evolve AI, so Only the Strongest Algorithms Survive
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Meet Marian Hill, the Most Shazam’d Band in America
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Soon We’ll Actually Know Where Planes Are As They Fly Over the Ocean
Aireon’s new satellite tracking system can monitor flights in areas where air traffic control hasn’t been able to keep tabs on them before.
Why American Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors With Ukrainian Firmware
Did you know there’s a black market for hacking John Deer tractors? Me neither, but it’s a way to get around “unauthorized” repairs and other headaches.
Just because a TV channel wants to offer an online video service doesn’t mean it’s forward thinking. Case in point: AMC. Reuters sources claim that the network is prepping a paid streaming option (tentatively $5-7 per month) that would require a conventional TV subscription — it’d be an add-on to your cable package, and nothing more. What this service would offer isn’t clear (AMC isn’t commenting), but there’s talk of an online-only The Walking Dead spinoff in the mix. However, the bigger question is why AMC would chain the service to an existing TV bundle in the first place.
The tipsters say that it’s a way of supporting the traditional TV industry at a time when younger viewers are increasingly going internet-only. Surely millennials (a large part of AMC’s audience) will stick around if there’s more to watch online, won’t they?
The problem, as you might guess, is that AMC wouldn’t be launching this service into a vacuum. You can already get AMC through stand-alone streaming offerings like PlayStation Vue… are potential cord-cutters really going to keep a pricey cable package in the off chance they can pay more for some bonus Walking Dead material? And while they’re not directly comparable, it’s hard to ignore stand-alone services like HBO Now and Starz, both of which arguably offer better value to online viewers. Simply put, AMC’s reported plan would be more about placating change-resistant executives than pleasing customers.
Apple’s new (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, released yesterday, feature a bright red aluminum casing that many are a fan of. Unfortunately, it comes equipped with a white front plate, much like the Gold, Silver, and Rose Gold iPhones, something that’s been a point of criticism for people who think it would have looked better with a black front plate.
YouTuber Danny Winget recently tore apart a red iPhone 7 Plus and replaced its logic board and front plate with parts taken from a Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus, giving us a glimpse at what an actual (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 Plus with a black front would have looked like.
Winget had to replace not only the front plate but also the logic board because if he swapped just the front portion of the device, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor would have been rendered unusable.
Apple ties the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to an iPhone’s logic board and disables it for security reasons if any of the parts are swapped out. Therefore, most of the internal structure of the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone had to be replaced with parts from the Jet Black iPhone.
Purchasing an entire Jet Black iPhone 7 or 7 Plus for the purpose of creating a hybrid red/black iPhone 7 is probably out of the question for most people, but it’s an interesting proof of concept.
This method essentially ruins the Jet Black iPhone 7 involved, making it a rather pricy project, and it destroys the waterproofing seal on the red iPhone.
It’s also worth noting that this is a highly complicated process that essentially requires tearing apart two iPhones, melding them together, and hoping nothing goes wrong, something that the average person won’t want to attempt.
For a closer look at the Special Edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone, make sure to check out our hands-on video.
Related Roundup: iPhone 7
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Have questions about the Dark Web and how it’s accessed? We’ve got answers! The term essentially refers to heavily-encrypted sites that cannot be accessed via the average browser. As such, these sites are often used as an international black market and as a source for hacked data. They can have a number of other purposes as well, but, without the right software, you may never know they exist. Check out the FAQ below to learn more about the gnarly, hidden parts of the internet, and how you can access it with the right set of tools.
More: Buying a handgun on the Dark Web is “just like buying a bar of chocolate”
What is the Dark Web, exactly?
The Dark Web is a term referring to websites and networks that are heavily encrypted and “hidden” from the average internet user. There are a lot of reasons people do this, but the Dark Web has earned a connotation as a sort of immense black market, one associated with drugs, guns, porn, hacking, and conspiracies. That said, it’s also a haven for those who really, really like their privacy and aren’t fans of any kind of interference, as well as for those under strict governments that control free speech and employ heavy regulations.
How is that different from the so-called Deep Web?
While the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there’s an important difference: The Deep Web refers to all parts of the web that are hidden away from the average user, and not indexed by the average search engine. This includes an immense amount of data, internal copies of various webpages, and anything that you need an access code to reach. So pretty much every site online has some content that’s in the Deep Web, out of necessity. The Dark Web is only a small part of the Deep Web, with a more focused purpose.
So, is it separate from the normal internet?
More or less, yes. The data itself still uses the same channels, but the walls of encryption put a clear divide between “normal” internet content and the Dark Web. You cannot hop onto your favorite browser and visit a Dark site any time you want, for instance. Traditional search engines like Google also tend not to index or show any Dark Web content, for a variety of reasons.
Has it always existed?
Shady internet activities have existed since the public really started using the internet in the mid ’90s. But the Dark Web represents the start of a very large, more cohesive use of the internet for these kinds of activities. The term itself gained popularity in the late aughts, and became widely known in 2014/2015 thanks to government crackdowns on various Dark Web operations and the corresponding, complicated rise of Bitcoin.
How illegal is the Dark Web?
It’s generally not illegal to visit, but it does matter what you do while you’re there. After all, people peddle a smorgasbord of illegal and inappropriate content on the Dark Web — child pornography, beheading footage, etc. — and some people go there to seek that stuff out. Such being the case, you might want to avoid associating yourself with those kinds of people and places.
More: A vigilante hacker took down 20 percent of the Dark Web after finding child porn
The most famous example of illegal Dark activity was Silk Road, which used a combination of Bitcoins and the Dark Web to exchange recreational drugs internationally. Law enforcement agencies took down the online marketplace in 2013 — and again, in 2014 — but similar cartels still operate using the same methodology. Another example was the Ashley Madison hack, which saw a wave of names and information flood the Dark Web, blackmailing and exposing those who used the cheating service. It was illegal in a different way, and harder to pin down.
However, with caution and common sense, you can navigate the Dark Web without landing in any legal trouble. But don’t expect the “I didn’t know I was buying illegal drugs” line to work.
What are the dangers of going onto the Dark Web?
All the common dangers of a traditional black market exist on the Dark Web. To reiterate, you can buy or sell a whole lot of illegal things and get in a lot of legal trouble if law enforcement agencies manage to track you down (which, as noted above, can indeed happen).
However, there are also some unofficial dangers to be a wary of. Many of those who operate in the Dark Web have no problem exploiting you in any way they can — and since many of them are hackers or at least know how to use hacking tools, they can be dangerous.
As a result, there are many tales of blackmail peppering the Dark Web, from people who are somehow identified there, or tricked into giving their information. Downloads also tend to be even more suspect in the dark corners of the internet, so your computer may be in danger as well.
If I want to visit some parts of the Dark Web, where do I begin?
Read up on the Dark Web, and see what you’re in for. Visiting a subreddits like r/deepweb is a good idea, too, as it will allow you to see what people are looking for and what common topics arise in an environment that’s a bit more protected than the actual Dark Web.
You will need the Tor Browser and encryption software to access the Dark Web, which you can find here. Download the browser and follow the provided instructions to launch the software and start searching. This software encrypts your incoming connection, as well as any Dark websites you may come across. It also decrypts content as needed, essentially rendering it the universal tool of Dark Web operators. If you plan on using the Dark Web more than once, always ensure Tor is updated before you begin.
More: A beginner’s guide to Tor: How to navigate through the underground Internet
It’s worth pointing out that many who live on the Dark Web think of Tor as the starting place for what you need to stay anonymous. Most Dark Web aficionados also use a host of other security tools, including isolated operating systems and anonymous email accounts, to protect themselves (and not just from law enforcement).
The OneDrive cloud storage solution has become an important part of Microsoft’s platform, and in Windows 10, it’s baked directly into the operating system. You’re set up for it when you log in with your Microsoft Account, and you’ll find the storage available in File Explorer. There’s no app to open, download, or install — it’s just there from the start for you to use. Here’s what you need to know about OneDrive in Windows 10.
More: Have a file too big for email? Here’s how to share it for free
Windows 10 makes OneDrive more flexible and user-friendly
The old-style placeholders that represented actual files stored in OneDrive are replaced by a newer, “selective sync” system in Windows 10. Rather than OneDrive showing placeholders for every file that’s stored on OneDrive — and allowing users to access any file by clicking on the placeholder and downloading files as needed — the integrated OneDrive client now lets users select which files will be synced locally. This includes either all files and folders, or specific folders that you want to keep locally.
When you first set up your Windows 10 system, you will be given the choice of which folders will be downloaded and synced. To change OneDrive settings later, right-click the OneDrive icon in the notification area, select Settings, switch to the Choose folders tab, and click the Choose folders button. Then, you can either sync All files and folders on your OneDrive or Choose folders to sync, meaning they will be available locally.
OneDrive also supports remote access. Under the Settings tab, if you check Let me use OneDrive to fetch any of my files on this PC, you can access your files remotely. This means you can peruse your files using another computer via the OneDrive website.
When you enable this option, the connected PC will show up in the OneDrive web interface, which is accessible here. If the respective computer is turned on and connected to the internet, you can access any of its folders and files.
OneDrive integrates with Cortana and Universal Apps
Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant, is now available in Windows 10. Not only can she answer questions, but when you select Search my stuff, she can search your files — including the ones stored on OneDrive and not synced with your device. You can then access those files from the search results. Thankfully, Cortana also responds to both voice control and keyboard inputs entered into the Windows search bar.
In 2016, Facebook rolled out a privacy feature for the Messenger app called “Secret Conversations,” which are end-to-end encrypted conversations. End-to-end encryption means that the message can be read only on the recipient’s device and can’t be deciphered by a third party. As you may or may not know, Facebook Messenger encrypts your normal chats until they reach Facebook’s servers, so if required by law, Facebook could hand over your messages.
More: Even the FBI can’t defeat good encryption – here’s why it works
However, you will need to take care of a couple of things before you can start an encrypted conversation in Facebook Messenger. First, you need to enable the feature, and, second, you have to start the conversation as secret. How secret are the conversations? Facebook is using a protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems, which is the same protocol used for apps like Signal.
There is one limitation that we will show you in this walkthrough, and that is the ‘one device only’ limitation. If you have more than one device, say an iPhone and an iPad, when you enable secret conversations on one device, it will be disabled on the other.
Using secret conversations in iOS
When using Messenger in iOS, you have to start secret conversations separately from regular conversations. Let’s take a look at how to turn the feature on, start conversations, and delete your secret conversations.
How to enable secret conversations
Open Facebook Messenger.
Tap your profile picture in the upper-left corner.
Go to Secret Conversations, and make sure the feature is turned on.
Tap Me in the upper-left corner to go back to the Me page.
Tap Done in the upper-left corner.
Remember that you can only access secret conversations on one device at a time, so if you start using another device and you want to use secret conversations, then you will have to repeat this step every time you switch devices.
How to start a secret conversation
Open Facebook Messenger, or if you’re following from the last step, tap Done in the upper-left corner to exit the Me page.
Tap the pencil icon in the upper-right corner.
Tap Secret in the upper-right corner.
Select the user with whom you want to start your secret conversation.
Messages you type will disappear after 10 seconds. To change the timer, tap the timer icon to the right of the typing area.
How to delete secret conversations
Tap your profile picture in the upper-left corner.
Go to Secret Conversations.
Tap Delete Secret Conversations.
Tap Delete to confirm your decision and delete your secret conversations history.
Want a premiere RPG experience on your PC or console, but don’t feel like shelling out the cash for Final Fantasy XV? Worry not, adventurer, because now it’s easier than ever to dive into a collection of expansive game worlds without dropping a dime. Each of these worlds is flush with all the rich character development and features you’ve come to expect from a premium, AAA title from developers such as Bethesda and CD Projekt RED. It’s time to strap on that wizard staff and fire up your spaceship — here are the best (free) RPGs for both PC and consoles.
More: The best free-to-play games you can try right now
Initially released in 2013 as a full-priced game and part of a SyFy TV-game cross media project, Defiance draws comparisons to Bungie’s Destiny, thanks to the game’s rich science-fiction setting, cooperative player-versus-environment encounters, and real-time shooter gameplay. Defiance‘s sprawling, massive game world occasionally sees major “Arkfalls” spawn, requiring a team of coordinated strangers working together to take down an army of monsters in order to reap the valuable loot left in their wake. Even “solo” encounters routinely feature multiple characters teaming up on the fly, with seamlessly synchronizing mission objectives.
If you’re in the mood for a more competitive battle, Defiance’s “Shadow War” player-versus-player (PvP) mode, much like the battlegrounds in World of Warcraft, pits two teams against one another in a battle to the death. Special credits go to the victor, who can then spend them on special weapons and armor.
The game also has the added benefit of an expanded universe, derived from the Defiance TV show, which ran for three seasons. The two impacted each other in numerous ways, and though the show has since been canceled, it offers a great chance to see how the universe has developed over the last few years. You might even run into series protagonists Joshua Nolan and Irisa when you go back to the game.
Defiance is available on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. Anyone who purchased the game prior to its conversion to a free-to-play format will receive an additional character, inventory, and the “ark keycode” carrying capacity.
Why it matters to you
If you’re using a Chrome OS 2-in-1, Google has a couple of features that should make you happy.
Chrome OS hasn’t been around that long compared to some other operating systems, hitting the market installed on the first Chromebook in May 2011. Since then, though, it has made quite a stir in the low-cost PC market while slowly making its way to midrange devices.
Where Chrome OS hasn’t been as strong is on 2-in-1 devices, due in part to the fact that the Linux-based OS isn’t highly optimized for such systems. That’s slowly changing, however, and the latest stable version, Chrome OS 57, introduces a couple of features that will make the growing number of touchscreen devices more attractive.
More: New functionality could soon lead to Google’s Chrome OS in tablet form
Chrome OS 57 brings two specific improvements that will appeal to users of future tablets and existing 2-in-1s. The first is an update to the power button’s function, which with a simple tap will now turn the display off on devices with tablet-mode support. The second is a flip user interface mode in the Chrome Camera App for devices with front and rear cameras. These are relatively small changes, but for anyone using a touchscreen Chrome OS 2-in-1 device, any update is likely welcome.
Other fixes include the ability to turn on silent authentication, and the ability to unlock any Chromebook with a PIN. The Files app can also now access media files from Android apps, and image copy and paste is supported for the Citrix Receiver. Purely aesthetic changes include a new default wallpaper and an updated boot animation. And of course, the usual bug and security fixes are on hand as well.
Not all Chromebooks will receive the update immediately, however. Here’s a list of devices that will not receive Chrome OS 57.0.2987.123 (Platform version: 9202.56.1):
- Aopen Chromebase Mini
- Aopen Chromebook Mini
- Google Chromebook Pixel (2015)
- Asus Chromebook Flip C302
- Asus Chromebook Flip C100PA
- Samsung Chromebook Plus
- Acer Chromebook R13 (CB5-312T)
Chrome OS will automatically download the new updates, and will let you know when one is available by displaying the Update icon in the status are where your account picture appears. In order to update your Chromebook, just click on the Update button and then Restart to Update. You can manually check for an update prior to when the next automatic update is scheduled by clicking the Setting cog icon, then going to About Chrome OS and clicking Check for and apply updates.