Humler

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Apple's HomePod goes through audiophile testing and comes out unscathed

Reviews of Apple HomePod started pouring in last week, and it was was immediately apparent it sounded quite good compared other smart speakers on the market, especially for its size and price. But most of those reviewers weren’t really audio nerds, and considering the lackluster price-to-quality …

Audiophile

John Scalzi’s The Consuming Empire is a space opera about climate change denialism

The sequel to last year’s The Collapsing Empire hits stores on October 16th<p>Over the years, author John Scalzi has made a name for himself with his military science fiction <i>Old Man’s War</i> series, but when he kicked off a decade-long, multimillion-dollar contract with his publisher, he decided to start …

Writing

Grammarly's flawed Chrome extension exposed users' private documents

The grammar-correcting browser extension is used by about 22 million users.<p>Grammarly has fixed a security bug in its Chrome extension that …

IT security

3 awesome features coming to Firefox that you can get right now

The upcoming Firefox 59 will help you stop sites from asking for permission to send you notifications and know your location, but you can stop these right now in the current build of Firefox with a little digging.<p>When Firefox 59 is released in March, it will add controls for setting permissions for …

DJI’s new Osmo Mobile smartphone stabilizer is way cheaper than the original

DJI is introducing a new version of its smartphone stabilizer, the Osmo Mobile, that makes a handful of small changes to the original as well as one big one: its price. The Osmo Mobile 2 will start at $129, making it much more affordable than the original model (which started at $299, though you …

Videography

All the science fiction, fantasy, and horror books that everyone will be talking about in 2018

Bookshelf goals<p>With a new year comes the promise of new books hitting bookstores. 2018 is shaping up to have plenty of adventures to delve into — taking readers to distant planets, fantastical realms, and beyond. We’ll meet some authors publishing their first-ever novels, and we’ll become …

FCC Commissioner Clyburn’s extended dissent guts anti-net neutrality order

FCC Commissioner Clyburn’s passionate dissent at last month’s meeting left no room for guesswork on her position on the Commission’s plan to eliminate net neutrality. But it wasn’t all she had to say. Today, released alongside the final text of “Restoring Internet Freedom” order, is an extended …

Our Favorite Pairs of Underwear This Year

And you'll want them too<p>If there's one important thing we did this year, it was upgrade our underwear. Finding the right underwear isn't the easiest thing to do in the world. We are constantly on the search for better pairs to throw on. Every guy knows that if you buy the wrong ones, you can tell …

18 science fiction and fantasy books to read this January

Start off your year with a good book (or two)<p>It’s a brand new year, and that means that it’s time to dust off the reading list and take a look at what’s coming ahead.<p>In the last days of 2017, I finally found some time to catch up on Brian K. Vaughn and FIonna Staples’s brilliant comic <i>Saga</i>. I’ve …

Science Fiction

Gnomon by Nick Harkaway review – welcome to the future: it’s broken…

This quirkily plotted dystopian novel depicts a Nineteen Eighty-Four-style state<p>There is an intriguing, if familiar, idea in Nick Harkaway’s fourth novel – it’s the near future and an invisible, <i>Ninteen Eighty-Four</i>-style “Witness” programme means 500m cameras, microphones and sensors monitor our …

Books

The best science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels of 2017

Not a good year for humanity, but a great year for books<p>2017 was a hard year for a lot of people. With climate change, haywire politics, and tech companies running amok, there are lots of reasons to put the year in the rearview mirror. But through it all, a run of great books shined a light in the …

'If you're looking for Nordic angst, forget it!': your favourite books of 2017

From mind-bending typography to birdsong, from short stories to long lives, Guardian readers pick their favourite reads<p><b>Elmet by Fiona Mozley</b> <b>(JM Originals)</b><p>This brilliant, Man Booker-shortlisted first novel has been described as a noir, and it has echoes of southern gothic. A violent act precipitates …

13 sci-fi series starters to break in your new ebook reader

Visit other worlds<p>So you just got a new ebook reader for the holidays this year. Nice! Now, it’s time to find books to load it up with, which should give you plenty to read on your trip home, or if you need an excuse to avoid relatives for a couple of hours.<p>Here’s 13 science-fiction books that kick …

The 10 best Australian TV shows of 2017

From exploring the experiences of minority groups, to Indigenous documentaries, Australian television was a joy to watch in 2017<p>Australian television was a joy to watch in 2017: so much to like, and five truly exceptional series in the top spots. This year’s best programming was refreshingly more …

The 20 best TV shows of 2017

Plus some sneaky bonus shows, because this was a terrific TV year<p>Picking the best television shows of any given year used to be relatively easy, back when the major networks and a few powerful cable channels dominated the cultural conversation. These days, though, making any list of must-see TV is …

Plex Launches Miniaturized Music App for Mac and Windows Called 'Plexamp'

This week Plex announced Plex Labs, a new internal section of the company that focuses on sharing in-depth Medium posts, community ideas, and passion projects created by Plex engineers. The first such project is called "Plexamp," a macOS and Windows app that pulls from your existing Plex music …

Plex has launched its idea for a music player: Plexamp

A nod to Winamp<p>Plex, a cloud media server, introduced its solution for desktop music playback today. Inspired by Winamp (throwback!), the company's Plexamp app features a single window. You can get it for free through Plex Labs, the company’s experimental division for employee “passion projects.” …

Apps

Explore ancient civilizations (and their diseases) in this delightful coloring book

It’s a great distraction from those pesky, apocalyptic thoughts<p>A coloring book starring prehistoric tooth extractions, plague rats, and ancient colon contents could be <i>just</i> the right stress reliever for this holiday season. Coloring books are supposed to be soothing — but this one is also …

Netflix reminds everyone it’s creeping on them

This week Netflix trumpeted its users collectively streaming one billion hours of content weekly in 2017.<p>Also this week: Netflix reminded its ~110M global subscribers that while they’re paying to watch the content available on its platform, Netflix is busy watching what they’re watching…<p>In this age …

The 20 Coolest Christmas Songs For An Alternative Yule

So this is Christmas? As we’re knee-deep in Yuletide adverts, Slade’s ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ and Wizzard’s ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ …

Decorations

Persepolis Rising sets the stage for the end of The Expanse

A tightly plotted adventure with new challenges for the crew of the Rocinante<p>Six years ago, James S.A. Corey, the pen name for Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham, launched their <i>The Expanse</i> series with <i>Leviathan Wakes</i>, spinning out the story of a solar system rife with political divisions, an …

This free science fiction anthology is all about the future of space exploration

It comes with a fantastic lineup of authors<p>There’s been a growing movement within the science fiction community to imagine the future as something other than a dreary dystopia. That’s what Arizona State University is doing with a new digital anthology called <i>Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities: A</i> …

Science Fiction

Latest Google Sheets release helps automate pivot table creation

The spreadsheet gurus in your organization know how to use pivot tables to pull meaningful insight out of a morass of numbers. It has been what separated those folks from the rest of us, but Google is out to democratize the pivot table in the latest version of Google Sheets announced today.<p>Google …

The 50 best TV shows of 2017: No 10 Transparent

The transgender drama kept its radical edge by focusing on the younger generation of the Pfefferman family – pointing a way forward after off-screen concerns threatened to derail its trailblazing run<p>• See the long list • More on the best culture of 2017<p>A cloud hangs over Jill Soloway’s dazzlingly …

The best albums of 2017: 50-41

We start our countdown of this year’s most outstanding sounds with slacker duets, African fusions and mournful brilliance. Tune in tomorrow for another reveal<p>More on the best culture of 2017<p>41<p>Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile – Lotta Sea Lice<p>She’s the Aussie singer-songwriter whose bright, witty debut …

4 On-the-Go Workout Moves That Will Melt the Fat Off Your Body

These explosive motions really get your heart rate going<p>When it comes to burning fat, sometimes a simple exercise won’t do the trick. You need to dynamically challenge your whole body to really torch those calories—and as we all know, one of the best ways to burn off your lunch equipment-free is …

Barbary Station is a thrilling sci-fi adventure about space pirates and a homicidal AI

Space pirates!<p>In the opening of her debut novel <i>Barbary Station</i>, R.E. Stearns drops her readers into the midst of a thrilling heist of a colonial spaceship traveling through the solar system — and that’s just the first chapter. What follows is a fantastic, lightning-fast space opera that serves as …

Here's How to Temporarily Fix the macOS High Sierra Bug That Gives Full Admin Access to Your Mac Sans Password

A newly discovered bug in macOS High Sierra enables the root superuser on a Mac with a blank password and no security check, essentially giving anyone full access to your Mac.<p>Apple is likely already working on a fix, but in the meantime, there's a temporary workaround -- enabling the root user with …

Check out these beautiful Google Pixel 2 XL wallpapers

Zedge Ringtones & Wallpapers is one of the most popular customization apps around, letting Android phone users get quick access to free ringtones, wallpapers, and more. Earlier this year we teamed up with Zedge to bring you a few wallpaper collections, and this time they are back again bringing us …

34 new Netflix original shows and movies will debut in December – here’s the full list

This has been a fantastic year for Netflix, both on the business side of things and in terms of the company’s efforts with original content. So many …