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Comic for December 09, 2022

Dilbert - Sat, 12/10/2022 - 08:59
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Categories: Funny

Steve Martin and Martin Short's Alexa guessing game is hilarious chaos

Mashable - 5 hours 33 min ago

If you ever need to trick an Alexa into saying the word "chestnuts", be warned — it turns out it's far harder than it looks.

In the clip above, fresh from roasting each other for an entire interview, Steve Martin and Martin Short play "Hey Robot" with Jimmy Fallon — a game that involves trying to get an Alexa to say a specific word, without using that word yourself.

Things start off easily enough with "mistletoe", then quickly descend into glorious chaos.

Categories: IT General, Technology

Steve Martin and Martin Short's 'Fallon' interview turns into a brutal 8 minute roast

Mashable - 5 hours 40 min ago

Jimmy Fallon makes a solid attempt to interview Only Murders in the Building stars Steve Martin and Martin Short in the Tonight Show clip above, but his questions are met with a wall of roasts.

"Of all the late night shows this is the easiest one to fall asleep to," says short the minute Fallon has thanked them for being on. "Your comedy is just brilliant. It's true, I was watching the monologue. To me your comedy is like crypto — I don't understand it, but I admire it."

After a couple of minutes roasting Fallon, Martin and Short then gleefully turn on each other, piling in joke after joke while barely answering a single question with a straight answer. Fans of Only Murders... will have a special appreciation for it.

Categories: IT General, Technology

'Christmas Bloody Christmas' is ideal if you hate Christmas movies, love robot Santas

Mashable - 6 hours 2 min ago

Aside from a few variations and outliers, holiday movies are all pretty much the same, aren't they?

You've got the festive music, the warmth, the mistletoe. The happy endings. It's fine if you're in the mood for it, but what happens if you want a completely different kind of holiday movie altogether?

Well, there's an easy answer to that. And it involves a six-foot robot Santa with green lazer eyes and a penchant for axe-wielding murder.

What's Christmas Bloody Christmas about?

Following in the rich tradition of murderous Santa movies — think Santa's Slay, Deadly Games, and the recent Violent Night — writer/director Joe Begos' Christmas Bloody Christmas takes on the Santa Slasher subgenre and goes one better. It makes the killer Santa a robot. Specifically a military-grade robot that's been recalled that little bit too late, leaving a small snowy town vulnerable to extreme Christmas eve mayhem.

SEE ALSO: 13 of the best Christmas horror movies to haunt your holiday

On the receiving end of said mayhem is Tori Tooms (Riley Dandy), a rock-loving record store owner who's off to have Christmas Eve drinks with her friend and employee Robbie (Sam Delich). The night takes them to visit friends working in a local toy store, where said murder-Claus is standing ominously dormant.

As you probably guessed, it doesn't stay that way for long. Tapping into its military origins, robot Santa is soon clunking around the toy store looking for a suitable weapon before brutally dispatching the store's unfortunate inhabitants and marching to hunt more victims.

Not your typical Christmas Eve. Credit: Shudder/RLJE Films It's more than just a silly slasher.

OK, so don't get me wrong: Christmas Bloody Christmas is a silly slasher. It knows that. Any film that features a killer robot Santa with green laser eyes can't take itself too seriously, and Christmas Bloody Christmas comes with a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek. That being said, it also has other strings to its bow.

Rather than the type of cardboard cutout characters you often see popping up in slasher movies, Riley and Robbie are interesting and well-drawn. Their relationship is believable and engaging, something helped on by Dandy and Delich's performances and the realism and humour in Begos' writing.

Featured Video For You The best holiday movies (according to us)

In this way the movie has an element of quality about it that contrasts nicely with the more ridiculous sequences, bringing an element of realism that makes us actually care about the people robot Santa is attempting to chop up.

Robbie is one of the characters we end up getting attached to. Credit: Shudder/RLJE Films Are there any negatives?

Christmas Bloody Christmas feels like a film of two halves. The first is a mixture of festive slaying and — unexpectedly — an offbeat will-they-won't-they romance. The second half very much focusses on the slaying bit. Admittedly that's what most people will probably be watching Christmas Bloody Christmas for, and it is fun — but personally I wanted the first half, which came with its own tensions, to last a little longer.

Despite that, though, Christmas Bloody Christmas is well worth tuning in to — especially if you're fed up of feeling festive and want to lean into some extreme chaos.

Christmas Bloody Christmas is now streaming on Shudder.

Categories: IT General, Technology

'Empire of Light' review: Heartbreak feels cold in a place like this

Mashable - 6 hours 12 min ago

Blues Brothers is playing on Screen 7. The halogen lights illuminate the winsome, amber-smeared walls. The resplendent theater stirs once more as the popcorn sits and the candy beckons. This house of dream’s primary acolyte, a melancholic, forceful woman, is preparing this hallowed space for the devotees, who come to be bewitched by its splendor. These are tranquil images that open a film concerned with the graceful importance of the cinema as a center for community and art. And yet, the power of the theatrical experience has rarely felt as soporific as in writer/director Sam Mendes’ indelicate hands in Empire of Light, a contrived, politically trite exercise.

Set in 1980, the filmmaker positions the cinema as a magical, fantastical place where misfits go to hide. The duty manager of Empire of Light, the titular resplendent movie palace, is Hilary Small (Olivia Colman). As she works at the theater day and night with nary a day off, her cheery countenance hides the deep fissures in her mental health. There are others there, a lightly sketched cadre of oddballs, including an idiosyncratic projectionist played by Toby Jones and a philandering manager portrayed with greasy gusto by Colin Firth. Dampened by her daily lithium medication, Hilary merely drifts through this milieu rather than feeling the community it offers. That is, until a new, dashing employee named Stephen (Micheal Ward), who would be studying architecture if he could afford to go to a four-year institution, arrives at the theater. 

Empire of Light is derailed by its core romance.  Olivia Colman and Micheal Ward celebrate a birthday at work in "Empire of Light." Credit: Searchlight Pictures

From the opening nostalgic images of vested movie theater halls to the cozy seaside setting provided for this palace of electric scenes, it’s difficult to precisely pinpoint where Empire of Light flies off the tracks. Maybe the disconnect occurs when we learn that though Hilary dedicates her life to this cinema, she doesn’t actually watch movies there… or ever. Or maybe the disjointedness arises from the incuriosity by Mendes about the goings-on of the theater or the emotional connection any of these characters have to this building in particular. Either way, the Empire becomes more a gesture than an enveloping setting. While those issues do elicit annoyance, they don’t necessarily break the film. 

SEE ALSO: 'Empire of Light' teaser promises a love letter to cinemas

The clearest break from the spell that Mendes tries to cast actually occurs with a kiss. In an homage to Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, Stephen and Hilary fall madly in love with each other. Unlike Fassbinder’s star-crossed romantic masterpiece, which refreshingly centered an older woman as an object of desire, Empire of Light doesn’t make its pairing believable. 

We can understand why Hilary would be attracted to the cool yet innocent Stephen. He is charming, empathetic, and a passionate purveyor of contemporary pop culture in a way that classic folk and poetry fan Hilary is not. But Mendes doesn’t put in the work to make Stephen’s infatuation with Hilary plausible. Part of this stems from what little they have in common. The film positions them as kindred spirits, both ostracized by the world: Hilary due to her mental health, and Stephen because he’s a Black man facing a violent, bigoted era in Britain's history. We also learn by virtue of Stephen’s mother (a criminally sidelined Tanya Moodie) that he carries a slight savior complex. 

Those characteristics are not enough to define this unlikely couple’s bond. The problem is partly in the kiss. It occurs too early in the film, before we become comfortable with the two people as individuals, and before they become comfortable with each other. Instead, the only preamble to their romance is Stephen mending a hurt pigeon and a severe Hilary yelling at Stephen for mocking a theater patron. 

Empire of Light others Olivia Colman and Micheal Ward.  Micheal Ward shines in "Empire of Light." Credit: Searchlight Pictures

Onscreen chemistry is always difficult to measure, more dependent upon the actors and our connection to their personas than we care to admit. Still, Colman and Ward, two tremendously talented performers, capture as much spark as damp wood. 

The sensuality and passion that overwhelms the frame in Ali: Fear Eats the Soul sputters here. Empire of Light's Director of Photography Roger Deakins, the best in his field, allows the lens to be surprisingly distant and too subtle in the film’s primary sex scene. Physically, Colman and Ward are equally awkward throughout the picture. Their generosity as scene partners translates to friendship, but never into the charged, magnetic cadence required to bask us in their love.    

Neither character works as a thematic totem either, probably because Mendes can’t help but veer toward big, melodramatic events, rather than gripping viewers in the kind of mundanities that would build sturdier interpersonal dynamics. The director can’t fully explicate the racist pain Stephen feels without succumbing to this kid being viciously assaulted by a National Front mob. He can’t contextualize Hilary’s mental health struggles without, in spite of Colman’s best efforts, othering her as a curiosity, whose primary ailment stems from her heretical detachment from movies. Colman played a somewhat similar role in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter, a narrative propelled by a humanity and empathy for a character that is sorely lacking here. Instead, Mendes pities Hilary. 

That dearth of emotional truth doesn’t just lie in Mendes’ inert script, the first he’s written on his own. It haunts the crafts too. The lighting of Ward, the film’s primary Black character, is better here than, say, in James Gray’s Armageddon Time, where a Black kid is rendered negligible in the film's dim, othering lighting. You can actually see Ward’s features in Empire of Light, but the lighting is rarely flattering. Compare how director Steve McQueen and cinematographer Shabier Kirchner shot Ward in Lovers Rock, and you can see the glaring difference between luminescence and ashen. 

SEE ALSO: ‘Armageddon Time’ review: James Gray's white guilt manifesto Being There isn’t enough. Olivia Colman and Micheal Ward enjoy a moment in a movie theater in "Empire of Light." Credit: Searchlight Pictures

The theater itself also suffers, but because of Mendes' nostalgia. He and his cohorts recreated the cinema of his childhood. But their precise production design feels almost too immaculate, too engineered to match the magical space in the filmmaker’s mind rather than the tactileness that truly makes a theater a lived-in space. The effect is instead a stilted atmosphere. And even with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ enchanting, wistful score, meant to evoke the once-held grandeur of this space, the kinetic majesty of the building never fully bursts forth. 

It’s no wonder Mendes feels compelled to grift off the emotional power of another, greater movie. In Empire of Light’s climactic scene, Hilary finally takes in a picture at the theater. It’s Hal Ashby’s Being There. But Mendes doesn’t merely use the classic film as a passing reference. He leans on Ashby’s full-hearted vision to imbue his own picture with the kind of otherworldly mystique that can occur in a theater’s escapist mix of light and shadow. The scene, however, illuminates the director’s own shortcomings in providing us with a movie worthy of such an exalted reference point. Empire of Light instead confounds and frustrates, simplifies and flattens, bores on and on, as it reduces the racial and political realities of its world and ours into a glib postcard.

Empire of Light in theaters Dec. 9.

Categories: IT General, Technology

Going for a minimalist look? Try this 6-in-1 charging station for 35% off.

Mashable - 6 hours 12 min ago

TL;DR: As of Dec. 9, you can snag the 6-in-1 MagStand Mini Magnetic Charge Station on sale for $44.99 instead of $69 — that's a savings of 35%.

Clean up your messy nightstand. You may like to keep your devices close while they charge, but that doesn’t mean you need to clutter your space with a pile of cables. Save space on your nightstand and at your outlet with this Six-in-One MagStand Mini Charge Station. This multi-charger can power four devices at once, and it’s on sale for $44.99 (reg. $69). 

Organize your devices at home or work 

Power your phone, smartwatch, earbuds, and tablet with one compact charging station. You’ll have three wireless charging spots to choose from. Charge your iPhone 12, 13, or any Qi-compatible phone using the raised phone mount with a magnetic mount that keeps your phone at a useful angle for browsing or streaming. This charging station's space-saving design puts an Apple Watch charger right behind your phone mount, and its Apple Watch stand is compatible with series one through seven. 

Power up your AirPods or other Qi-Compatible devices on the base of the charging station. That’s also where you’ll find the USB outlet to charge a fourth device. A MagSafe metal ring is included to adapt non-MagSafe phone cases or other compatible devices. A Type-C to USB cable is included, but you’ll need a compatible AC adapter to get the best performance from your charger. 

No more scrambling in the dark looking for your phone. Tap the charging station’s base to activate or adjust the built-in night lamp. The light from your charger is a gentle yellow and adds to the pleasant atmosphere of your space. That’s a lot to get out of a charging hub that’s not even four inches wide. 

Power your iPhone, AirPods, Apple Watch, and iPod with one charger

You may be able to clear out some clutter by consolidating your chargers. For a limited time, get the 6-in-1 MagStand Mini Magnetic Charge Station for just $44.99 (reg. $69). 

Prices subject to change.

Opens in a new tab Credit: WonderCube 6-in-1 MagStand Mini Magnetic Charge Station (opens in a new tab) $44.99 at the Mashable Shop Get Deal (opens in a new tab)
Categories: IT General, Technology

Watch documentaries for life with the best Curiosity Stream price online

Mashable - 6 hours 12 min ago

TL;DR: As of Dec. 9, you can get a lifetime subscription to Curiosity Stream for just $179 — that's $71 in savings and the best price you'll find online.

Giving someone a textbook for the holidays may not go over well, even if they love learning. What you can do is make learning fun, engaging, and immensely relaxing. This year, give your loved one a lifetime subscription to Curiosity Stream so they can access a growing library of thousands of documentaries and shows for only $179. 

Documentaries on nature, true crime, science, and more

Whether you’re trying to escape the stress of everyday life or learn a whole lot about cargo ships, there’s a documentary for you on Curiosity Stream. That’s what makes it such an exciting gift for anyone who loves learning. Whether you’re shopping for a nature lover, a crime podcast aficionado, or a stargazer, they’ll be able to enjoy stunning deep dives into their interests. And there’s always something new to see. Literally, new content is added every week. 

Browse the documentary library by category, collection, or using the search bar. You may even find collections built around your favorite narrator. If you want to listen to Sir David Attenborough, Michio Kaku, or Brian Greene teach you about nature, space, and technology, then just sit back and enjoy. You can even download documentaries for later. See how fast a flight layover passes when you’re learning about NASA’s Artemis program. 

Rate what you watch to improve Curiosity Stream’s catered recommendations. You may not know how much you’d love to learn about bioluminescent fish until Curiosity Stream recommends it. Stream documentaries on your iOS or Android devices, in your browser, or using an Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV 4K, or Xbox One.  

Get a lifetime of learning at your fingertips 

You don’t have to wait for delivery times if you’re ordering a digital gift. For a limited time, get a lifetime of Curiosity Stream at the best price online, only $179 (reg. $250). 

Prices subject to change.

Opens in a new tab Credit: Curiosity Stream Curiosity Stream HD Plan: Lifetime Subscription (opens in a new tab) $179 at the Mashable Shop Get Deal (opens in a new tab)
Categories: IT General, Technology

Help your family FaceTime you more with an iPad that's only $180

Mashable - 6 hours 12 min ago

TL;DR: As of Dec. 9, you can get the Refurbished Apple iPad Air for just $179.99 instead of $499 — that's a 63% discount.

Want to help your less tech-savvy relatives stay connected? iPads have a simple user interface, and a ton of apps to choose from, and you can get a lightly used one for a great deal. This refurbished iPad Air could be a great gift, and it’s only $179.99. 

An easy way to connect with family 

This refurbished iPad could be a great gift for a family member. It’s an older model, but it has been refurbished to the point that you’d struggle to find any signs that it was used. The “B” rating just means you might notice some light scuffing or scratches, but that’s nothing the included snap-on case can’t cover. If your family member is a nature lover, they may even be excited to hear their gift is refurbished since re-using technology is a great way to cut down on e-waste — between the price and the eco-friendliness, it's a win-win. 

The 9.7-inch Retina Display is still crystal-clear. Whether you’re streaming, talking online, or just playing solitaire, you can enjoy the vivid color and clarity that iPads are known for.

Your family could snap photos and FaceTime using the 5MP rear camera or 1.2MP front-facing camera. Get up to 10 hours of operation from a single charge from the included AC lightning cable. If you’re looking for a gift for a frequent flyer, grab them a tablet that only weighs a pound. If you’re feeling fancy, you could even download some games you think they’d like in advance. 

An affordable tablet for your family

Help your family stay connected, even if they aren’t the most tech-savvy. Here’s your chance to save on a high-quality refurbished tablet that may still arrive in time for the holidays. For a limited time, get an Apple iPad Air on sale for just $179.99 (reg. $499). 

Prices subject to change.

Opens in a new tab Credit: Apple Refurbished Apple iPad Air (opens in a new tab) $179.99 at the Mashable Shop Get Deal (opens in a new tab)
Categories: IT General, Technology

Work on chiseling your jawline with this jaw exercise kit while it's 69% off

Mashable - 6 hours 12 min ago

TL;DR: Through Dec. 9, you can get the Jawzrsize® Facial Fitness Total Transformation Kit for just $45.99 instead of $149.99 — that's a 69% discount.

It takes 43 muscles to smile, but going into the new year grinning may not feel like the hardcore fitness regimen you were hoping for. If you don’t want to neglect the muscles in your face when you start working toward your New Year fitness goals, you might want to try the Jawzrsize®. This Facial Fitness kit could help you exercise the muscles in your jaw, and for one day only, it’s $45.99 (reg. $149).

A workout with some bite 

This Kickstarter-funded fitness tool gives you four levels of resistance to help exercise the muscles in your face and neck. There’s no complex equipment to learn. Just pick your resistance level, then put it in your mouth. They go all the way up to 50 pounds of resistance, but you’ll likely want to start at the beginner level. Chew your Jawzrsize® for just 20 minutes a day, and you may start seeing results. 

Fitness may thrive in the gym, but it starts in the kitchen. If you’re a frequent snacker, Jawzrsize® may be able to help. Keep your mouth and your mind occupied by working your jaw. This device is made of food-grade silicone, but like any workout equipment, make sure to wash it between uses.

An early workout can help keep your energy up through the day, and Jawzrsize® doesn’t require any bulky equipment. You could even use it while sitting at your desk. 

Get ahead of your fitness goals for the new year 

See if you can work toward a toned, chiseled jawline in the New Year. For one day only, get the Jawzrsize® Facial Fitness Total Transformation Kit for just $45.99. That’s 69% off, but hurry, as this sale ends at 11:59 p.m. PT on December 9. 

Prices subject to change.

Opens in a new tab Credit: Jawzrsize Jawzrsize® Facial Fitness Total Transformation Kit (opens in a new tab) $45.99 at the Mashable Shop Get Deal (opens in a new tab)
Categories: IT General, Technology

'Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio' review: a mature fairy tale about grief, war, and growing up

Mashable - 6 hours 12 min ago

How do we treat a miracle? This is the question that protrudes from the wooden heart of Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio, like a splinter we're meant to be snagged on. The miracle here is the eponymous little wooden boy, brought to life for a humble carpenter named Gepetto. But if you think you know this story, trust in del Toro to give it a fresh coat of dark lacquer, urging you to appreciate the grown-up themes in what might be mistaken for a children's story. 

Guillermo del Toro co-wrote Pinocchio with Patrick McHale and co-directs with Mark Gustafson, transporting Italian author Carlo Collodi's 1883 book The Adventures of Pinocchio to 1930s Italy, where fascism thunders under the leadership of Benito Mussolini. As he did with Pan's Labyrinth, del Toro plunges audiences into a world of fantasy and war, where threats might be supernatural or all too human. At their center stands a child who is brave, resilient, and forced to grow up unfairly fast. But this adventure won't be as rich or rewarding.

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio is a fairy tale with rough edges.   Credit: Netflix

In Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio, that child is a miracle, born from great pain. Literally, the pine from which Gepetto will carve his second son grew from a tree that sprung up from his first son's grave. In a frenzy of grief, the carpenter hacks and hammers at the wood, creating a bizarre facsimile of a boy.

His limbs are gangly. His eyes are holes amid a pair of knots in the grain. His mouth a sloppy scratch. His ear, well, he only has one, as if in the drunken wrath of woodworking, his father got haphazard. On the boy's back, there is a spattering of half-hammered nails, abandoned to protrude from his shoulder, uneven and alarming. Where his heart should be there's a hole, and inside a judgemental cricket has nested.

This Pinocchio is not the cuddly toy boy of Disney merch. He is a bit of a monster, like Frankenstein's, a child created, confounded, and entrusted with little instruction. His story begins in tragedy, but unlike his brother, may not end that way.

SEE ALSO: Guillermo del Toro's 'Pinocchio' trailer is absolutely gorgeous and should win every Oscar ever for animation Del Toro's Pinocchio is not kid stuff.  Credit: Netflix

For the mournful Gepetto (David Bradley), the boy (Gregory Mann) is a baffling burden, who has no idea how to behave in polite society. But to the entrepreneurial circus ringmaster Count Volpe (Christoph Waltz), Pinocchio is a spectacle to be showcased — for a fee, of course. The wooden child is happy to sing and dance for paying audiences. But to the sneering government official Podestà (Ron Perlman), the greatest gift Pinocchio has to offer the world is his magical immortality. Naturally, Podestà argues, this miracle child was born to die for his country, again and again as a child soldier. 

These growling old men push and pull Pinocchio down paths, to a solemn church, a staunch school, a rowdy circus tent, a deadly war zone, the inky blue land of the dead, and ultimately to the beast-infested ocean. The broad strokes of the journey are familiar, but mired in del Toro's earnest politics — along with awkwardly on-the-nose pronouncements — the ride gets rocky and at times creepingly slow.

Amid this meandering adventure, Pinocchio carves out for himself who he wants to be and what matters to him. In the headstrong hero's earnestness and impulsiveness, del Toro and his collaborators sincerely capture the impetuousness of youth. This child isn't endlessly adorable as much as he is authentically annoying, always ready with a challenging question or a nonsense song. Del Toro's refusal to idealize children grounds the fantastical story with a kid character who feels real in his mix of charming glee and chaotic energy. By contrast, the grown-ups around him — be they grandiose or grim — represent the sharp reality into which children are often pitched without warning. 

SEE ALSO: 'Pinocchio' review: One of Disney's darkest films lightens up (a little) with Tom Hanks

For the adults who need him, Pinocchio is a miracle. For Pinocchio, his life is a miracle. And through Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio, the visionary filmmaker urges us to consider the miracles in our lives, and how we use them. Are they a plaything to be picked up when we are bored? Are they a burden, demanding bandwidth that feels unfair? Are they to be shared? Exploited? Or sacrificed in the name of religion, nationalism, or whatever "ism" makes your heart thud hard? Here, del Toro will offer his two cents, rewarding his fans with an ending that is unsurprisingly bittersweet but beautiful.

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio boasts incredible stop-motion animation.  Credit: Netflix

Del Toro's signature blend of the repulsive and the resplendent is visually reflected in the film's look. Stop-motion animation lends his characters — who crawl, grovel, crack, and clamor — a physical weight and a sense of texture so tangible that your fingertips can sense the rough spokes of wood protruding from Pinocchio's head or the soft down of a wood sprite's feathers. With highly detailed sets and costumes, this animated film builds a world so full that it feels like we might tumble into it. But far from vibrant, Pinocchio's is a terrain of greys, browns, stone and mud, which undercuts the whimsy one might want from a fairy tale.

The true color comes from a star-studded voice ensemble adding gravitas that echoes through the eerie adventure across land and sea. David Bradley, who played the grumbling janitor Filch in the Harry Potter movies, gives a breath-snatching portrait of heartache as the hardened Gepetto. Ewan McGregor brings a dandy flair to the poignant — and at times pretentious — musings of Sebastian J. Cricket, who serves as Pinocchio's conscience and the story's narrator.

Christoph Waltz taps into his collection of unhinged baddies for the theatrical Volpe, while Perlman growls intimidatingly as the cold-hearted Podestà. Bringing a smoky femininity, Tilda Swinton voices this film's spooky version of a blue fairy, while Cate Blanchett's silky tones are constrained to the squawks of a jealous monkey called Spazzatura. Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard presents a brow-furrowed earnestness as Pinocchio's fair-weather frenemy Candlewick, while Gregory Mann stands in stark contrast to the lot, giving the titular no-strings puppet a vocal performance that flickers and glows brightly, like a candle flame. Love him or cringe over him, his boy is on fire with life and verve.

Altogether, del Toro's mature themes, textured animation, and vivid vocal performances chisel Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio into a curious adaptation, admirable in its ambition. Yet the plotting fumbles from one setup to another, while the script veers between poetry and proclamations. It's as if del Toro is torn on whether this movie is meant to speak to adults or talk down to children. So, the elegance in visual storytelling becomes undercut by dialogue that spells out emotions and motivations. The result is a film that feels roughly hewn in the way of its hero, full of emotion and intent, but lacking finesse. So, while elements are thoughtful and even wondrous, it is overall a bit of a slog.

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio comes to select theaters and will be available on Netflix Dec. 9

Categories: IT General, Technology

Apple Music is coming to Teslas soon, report claims

Mashable - 6 hours 17 min ago

Tesla might be working on a holiday update for its cars with tons of goodies.

This is according to Teslascope, which often has accurate news about Tesla software updates before they happen. According to their latest scoop, Apple Music is finally coming to Tesla cars.

Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab)

So far, Tesla only supported Spotify and Tidal's streaming service, with Apple Music oddly absent. True, Tesla CEO Elon Musk hasn't always been on the best terms with Apple, but the outlook of two companies being friends again has improved since Musk's recent meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook.

SEE ALSO: Tesla delivers first Semi electric truck to Pepsi

Should Apple Music finally show up in Tesla vehicles, it could mean additional benefits, beyond simply being a more convenient option for people who prefer Apple Music to other services. Like Tidal, Apple Music offers music in higher quality than Spotify. Apple Music also supports Spatial Audio, which is a type of surround sound which makes the music appear to come from all directions. Notably, Spatial Audio is coming to some Mercedes-Benz cars, so we know it can be done.

Also of note is the fact that we sort of know that Tesla is dabbling with Apple Music, as the integration was seen in November in a Tesla Model S car running yet-unreleased software with Apple Music on board.

Featured Video For You Everything I Learned Driving a Tesla 1,000 Miles in a Week

There's more. Teslascope new games are coming in the holiday update, too. It's unclear whether these are just regular games or Steam games (promised by Musk in July 2022), but Teslascope has some evidence that Steam integration is coming "soon" to "most" vehicles.

Other new features reportedly coming for the holidays include an improved music player that can be moved around and customized, remote light show scheduling, and myQ garage support. Finally, a feature that will make the inner child in many owners happy is remote control (via mobile app) of Tesla's "Emissions Mode," which is another way to say "fart mode," enabling owners to emit fart sounds from their Teslas remotely.

Categories: IT General, Technology

Elon Musk says Twitter will start showing if you've been shadowbanned

Mashable - 7 hours 47 min ago

The days of secret shadowbanning on Twitter are over – at least according to Elon Musk.

On Friday, Musk tweeted that Twitter is "working on a software update that will show your true account status, so you know clearly if you’ve been shadowbanned, the reason why and how to appeal."

Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab)

Shadowbanning is a controversial practice of making certain posts or users on social media less visible to others. On Twitter, it rose to prominence in 2018, after reports that Twitter secretly shadowbans Republicans, which Twitter co-founder and then-CEO Jack Dorsey denied.

SEE ALSO: You thought Twitter was bad this year? Just wait for 2023.

Musk's announcement comes after the second batch of "Twitter Files," which are internal company communications made public by none other than Musk himself (via outside journalists).

Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab)

This particular batch of files focuses on Twitter's "secret blacklists," claiming that "teams of Twitter employees build blacklists, prevent disfavored tweets from trending, and actively limit the visibility of entire accounts or even trending topics—all in secret, without informing users." Examples of accounts that were shadowbanned include those of right-wing talk show host Dan Bongino, conservative activist Charlie Kirk, and Stanford professor, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya.

Musk shared no details on how the "true account status" feature would be implemented, nor when it could see the light of day.

Featured Video For You Chloe Bailey on trolls with Twitter fingers: 'I can't look at it'

Notably, the news comes shortly after Instagram implemented a feature that shows users with professional accounts whether their content is eligible to be recommended to non-followers, along with the option to request an additional review of their content if they think Instagram made a mistake.

Categories: IT General, Technology

Comic for December 08, 2022

Dilbert - 8 hours 12 min ago
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Categories: Funny

Wordle today: Here's the answer, hints for December 9

Mashable - 9 hours 53 min ago

You made it's! It's Friday, and there's a fresh Wordle. We're here to help you with some subtle clues and the word of the day itself. A friendly reminder, in case you missed the recent rule change: The New York Times has added a new word list and updated the rules, so now plurals ending in S or ES will never be the solution.

If you'd rather have the answer to today's Wordle delivered straight, skip to the end of this article for December 9's solution revealed. Alternatively, if you prefer to do the work yourself, keep scrolling for tips, clues, and strategies to offer you a helping hand.

SEE ALSO: Best 'Wordle' starting word? Step up your game today. Where did Wordle come from?

Wordle was originally created by engineer Josh Wardle as a gift for his partner, but soon spread internationally. Thousands of people around the globe now play this game each day, and fans have even created alternate Wordle versions inspired by the original. This includes battle royale Squabble, music identification game Heardle, and variations like Dordle and Quordle that make you guess multiple words at once

In fact, the word puzzle game has proved so popular that the New York Times eventually bought it, and TikTok creators livestream themselves playing.

What's the best Wordle starting word?

Unlike a maths equation, there is no single correct answer to what the best Wordle starting word is. However, there are more strategic options, and we have plenty of ideas that can help you choose. For example, try picking a word that includes at least two different vowels, as well as some common consonants such as S, T, R, or N.

What happened to the Wordle archive?

The entire archive of past Wordle puzzles used to be available for anyone to enjoy when they had some spare time and no pressing responsibilities. Unfortunately it has since been taken down, which was done at the request of the New York Times according to the website's creator.

SEE ALSO: Wordle-obsessed? These are the best word games to play IRL. Is Wordle getting harder?

If you've been finding Wordle too easy, there is a Hard Mode you can enable to give yourself more of a challenge. But unless you activate this mode, we can assure you that Wordle isn't getting harder

Why are there two different Wordle answers some days?

Usually, Wordle solutions are like Highlander: There can be only one. However occasionally the puzzle game has accepted two different correct solutions on the same day, in apparent defiance of Wordle law. This aberration is due to changes the New York Times made after it acquired Wordle.

The Times has since added its own updated word list, so this should happen even less frequently than before. To avoid any confusion, it's a good idea to refresh your browser before getting stuck into a new puzzle.

Here's a subtle hint for today's Wordle answer:

It's a bit hairy.

Does today's Wordle answer have a double letter?

Not today!

Today's Wordle is a 5-letter word that ends with...

Today's Wordle ends with the letter D.

Featured Video For You Wordle 101: The best starting words to use and why What's the answer to Wordle today?

It's your last chance to guess today's Wordle! We're finally about to reveal the solution.

Are you ready?

The answer to Wordle #538 is...

BRAID.

Don't feel down if you didn't get it this time! There's always another day, and with it another Wordle. Come back tomorrow for more helpful clues and hints!

Categories: IT General, Technology

'Quordle' today: Here are the answers and hints for December 9

Mashable - 10 hours 12 min ago

If Quordle is a little too challenging today, you've come to the right place for hints. There aren't just hints here, but the whole Quordle solution. Scroll to the bottom of this page, and there it is. But are you sure you need all four answers? Maybe you just need a strategy guide. Either way, scroll down, and you'll get what you need.

What is Quordle?

Quordle is a five-letter word guessing game similar to Wordle, except each guess applies letters to four words at the same time. You get nine guesses instead of six to correctly guess all four words. It looks like playing four Wordle games at the same time, and that is essentially what it is. But it's not nearly as intimidating as it sounds.

Is Quordle harder than Wordle?

Yes, though not diabolically so.

Where did Quordle come from?

Amid the Wordle boom of late 2021 and early 2022, when everyone was learning to love free, in-browser, once-a-day word guessing games, creator Freddie Meyer says he took inspiration from one of the first big Wordle variations, Dordle — the one where you essentially play two Wordles at once. He took things up a notch, and released Quordle on January 30. Meyer's creation was covered in The Guardian six days later, and now, according to Meyer, it attracts millions of daily users. Today, Meyer earns modest revenue from Patreon, where dedicated Quordle fans can donate to keep their favorite puzzle game running. 

How is Quordle pronounced?

“Kwordle.” It should rhyme with “Wordle,” and definitely should not be pronounced exactly like "curdle.”

Is Quordle strategy different from Wordle?

Yes and no.

Your starting strategy should be the same as with Wordle. In fact, if you have a favorite Wordle opening word, there’s no reason to change that here. We suggest something rich in vowels, featuring common letters like C, R, and N. But you do you.

After your first guess, however, you’ll notice things getting out of control if you play Quordle exactly like Wordle.

What should I do in Quordle that I don’t do in Wordle?

Solving a Wordle puzzle can famously come down to a series of single letter-change variations. If you’ve narrowed it down to “-IGHT,” you could guess “MIGHT” “NIGHT” “LIGHT” and “SIGHT” and one of those will probably be the solution — though this is also a famous way to end up losing in Wordle, particularly if you play on “hard mode.” In Quordle, however, this sort of single-letter winnowing is a deadly trap, and it hints at the important strategic difference between Wordle and Quordle: In Quordle, you can't afford to waste guesses unless you're eliminating as many letters as possible at all times. 

Guessing a completely random word that you already know isn't the solution, just to eliminate three or four possible letters you haven’t tried yet, is thought of as a desperate, latch-ditch move in Wordle. In Quordle, however, it's a normal part of the player's strategic toolset.

Is there a way to get the answer faster?

In my experience Quordle can be a slow game, sometimes dragging out longer than it would take to play Wordle four times. But a sort of blunt-force guessing approach can speed things up. The following strategy also works with Wordle if you only want the solution, and don’t care about having the fewest possible guesses:

Try starting with a series of words that puts all the vowels (including Y) on the board, along with some other common letters. We've had good luck with the three words: “NOTES,” “ACRID,” and “LUMPY.” YouTuber DougMansLand suggests four words: “CANOE,” “SKIRT,” “PLUMB,” and “FUDGY.”

Most of the alphabet is now eliminated, and you’ll only have the ability to make one or two wrong guesses if you use this strategy. But in most cases you’ll have all the information you need to guess the remaining words without any wrong guesses.

If strategy isn't helping, and you're still stumped, here are some hints:

Are there any double or triple letters in today’s Quordle words?

No.

Are any rare letters being used in today’s Quordle like Q or Z?

No.

What do today’s Quordle words start with?

G, S, J, and O.

What are the answers for today’s Quordle?

Are you sure you want to know?

There’s still time to turn back.

OK, you asked for it. The answers are:

  1. GOLEM

  2. SPIRE

  3. JOKER

  4. OPTIC

Categories: IT General, Technology

Save up to 40% with the best last-minute Christmas deals on Garmin

Mashable - 11 hours 7 min ago

SAVE UP TO 40%: A range of Garmin fitness trackers and smartwatches are on offer in the Amazon last-minute Christmas sale, saving you up to 40% on list price for a limited time.

If you have a fitness fanatic on your Christmas shopping list, you should seriously consider investing in a Garmin watch. These popular fitness trackers and smartwatches provide everything you need to set goals and then smash them.

The problem with shopping for a Garmin is that there are a lot of models on offer, each with a different set of specs and features. We're not going to run through the advantages and disadvantages of every model, because Christmas is fast approaching. Instead, we're going to line up the very best deals on Garmin watches from the Amazon last-minute Christmas sale. There are plenty of models on offer, so you should be able to find something that works for you or your gift recipient.

These are the best last-minute Christmas deals on Garmin:

These last-minute deals are available right up until Dec. 22, but if you find something you like, make sure you leave enough time for delivery. We wouldn't want you to miss out this Christmas.

Save up to 40% on Garmin watches this Christmas.

Opens in a new tab Credit: Garmin Garmin Fitness Trackers and Smartwatches (opens in a new tab) Save up to 40% at Amazon Get Deal (opens in a new tab)
Categories: IT General, Technology

Get a lifetime license to Microsoft Office for Windows or Mac for under £35

Mashable - 11 hours 12 min ago

TL;DR: A lifetime license to Microsoft Office Professional 2021 for Windows or Mac is on sale for £33.36, saving you 89% on list price.

Crunching some numbers or revising a CV? Microsoft Office could be your go-to set of programs for that and more. Whether you’re drafting, organising, sharing, or researching, these programs are the real deal when it comes to productivity software for Windows or Mac users, and there’s a way to skip the subscription fees. 

Get a lifetime license for Microsoft Office Home and Business for Mac or Microsoft Office Professional 2021 for Windows for just £33.36. That’s 89% off, and no coupon is needed. 

Here’s your chance to get the best deal of the year on some of the best productivity software around. There’s a reason over a billion people use MS Office. If you need to create a document from scratch or from a template, Word could help you with both. Excel is practically a job-maker of its own, and you could even learn how to automate tasks with it. 

Need to share something with the class? PowerPoint isn’t just a slideshow program. You can also create fun animations, hyper-detailed posters, and more. Stay in touch with your colleagues and on top of your meeting schedule with Outlook and Teams, and don’t forget to keep your notes organised with OneNote. 

All six of these programs are available on the Mac and Windows license, though Mac does get the basic version of Teams. Windows also gets two exclusive programs: Publisher and Access. With Publisher, you could craft informative printables like flyers and posters, and Access is your own personal database. 

Get a lifetime license of Microsoft Office for Windows or Mac for just £33.36. No coupon needed. 

Opens in a new tab Credit: Microsoft Microsoft Office Lifetime License For Windows or Mac (opens in a new tab) £33.36 at the Mashable Shop Get Deal (opens in a new tab)
Categories: IT General, Technology

'Hades 2' trailer teases new game for anyone thirsty for Olympian gods

Mashable - 11 hours 15 min ago

Hades was one of the best games of 2020, the indie roguelike offering slick gameplay, gorgeous graphics, and writing that was full of personality. Now developer Supergiant Games has revealed it is working on a sequel, and the trailer looks every bit as good as its predecessor.

Unveiled at the 2022 Game Awards, Hades 2 will follow the new character Melinoë, Princess of the Underworld and a powerful witch, several years after the events of the first game. The sister of Hades' protagonist Zagreus, Melinoë will have to fight through the Underworld after her grandfather Chronos, the Titan of Time, escapes his prison and goes to war with Olympus. It's currently unclear what Zagreus is up to during all this, but there's a good chance we'll get to find out.

SEE ALSO: This 'Death Stranding 2' trailer is just...so much

As in the previous game, players will be granted boons by various Olympian gods to assist them. This includes returning deities such as Zeus, as well previously unseen gods like Apollo. Hecate, goddess of witchcraft and crossroads, will play a significant role in Hades 2, and the trailer also shows off retribution incarnate Nemesis and doom incarnate Moros.

Predictably, fans are already thirsting hard.

Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab)

Supergiant Games has not announced the release date for Hades 2, but the developer plans to reveal further information regarding an early access launch next year. We're just happy to know that it's in development.

Categories: IT General, Technology

How to livestream the FIFA World Cup quarterfinals for free

Mashable - 11 hours 17 min ago

SAVE 49%: ExpressVPN can unblock streaming sites from around the world to watch the World Cup for free. A one-year subscription to ExpressVPN is on sale for £83.43 and includes an extra three months for free — 49% off for a limited time.

The quarterfinals of the World Cup are fast approaching, with four absolutely massive matches promising joy, despair, and everything in between. If you're based in the UK, you should have no problem watching all four fixtures. If you're outside the UK, you might need to get creative.

When are the quarterfinals?

Friday, Dec. 9

  • Croatia vs Brazil — 3 p.m. GMT / 10 a.m. ET (BBC One or BBC iPlayer)

  • Netherlands vs Argentina — 7 p.m. GMT / 2 p.m. ET (BBC One or BBC iPlayer)

Saturday, Dec. 10

  • Morocco vs Portugal — 3 p.m. GMT / 10 a.m. ET (ITV 1 or ITVX)

  • England vs France — 7 p.m. GMT / 2 p.m. ET (ITV 1 or ITVX)

Can you stream the FIFA World Cup for free?

If you're based in the UK, you can stream every game from this year's World Cup for free on BBC iPlayer and ITVX. If you live outside the UK or you are travelling during the World Cup, you can still access these services with a VPN. Without one of these popular services, you'll be blocked due to your location.

To stream BBC iPlayer and ITVX from anywhere in the world, you simply need to sign up to your favourite VPN and download the app for your preferred operating system. You can then hide your real IP address and connect to a secure server in the UK. This quick and easy process tricks streaming sites into thinking you are based in the UK, meaning you can watch online for free.

You will need to pay something up front to subscribe to one of the best VPNs, but you can recover your investment after the World Cup using the money-back guarantees offered by pretty much every leading service. You can sign up to unblock streaming sites for the duration of the World Cup, and then recoup your investment once you've watched all the action. It's that easy.

What is the best VPN for unblocking BBC iPlayer and ITVX?

ExpressVPN is the top choice for streaming due to its strong connection speeds, powerful levels of encryption, apps for all operating systems, five multi-logins, and reliable unblocking of pretty much every streaming sites including BBC iPlayer and ITVX. It's not the cheapest service, but you get what you pay for with ExpressVPN.

A one-year subscription to ExpressVPN is on sale for £83.43 and includes an extra three months for free — 49% off for a limited time. This discounted plan also includes a year of free unlimited cloud backup and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Don't forget that you can sign up to watch the World Cup and then recover your cash using that generous money-back guarantee.

Watch the World Cup for free with the best deal on ExpressVPN.

Opens in a new tab Credit: ExpressVPN ExpressVPN (1-Year Subscription + 3 Months Free) (opens in a new tab) £83.43 only at ExpressVPN Get Deal (opens in a new tab)
Categories: IT General, Technology

Save 25% on Tile item finders in Amazon's last-minute Christmas sale

Mashable - 11 hours 22 min ago

SAVE 25%: A range of Tile item finders are on offer in Amazon's last-minute Christmas sale, saving you 25% on list price.

Everyone knows someone who is constantly losing their things. If you don't, then we're sorry to say that it's probably you. Either way, everyone could benefit from a Tile item finder. These little devices keep tabs on your property, so you don't need to give it a second thought.

You can attach Tile item finders to everyday things like keys, backpacks, or purses, and then use the free app to find them. You just need to use the Tile app to ring it when it’s within Bluetooth range, or ask your smart home device to find it for you. When outside of the Bluetooth range, you can still use the Tile app to view your device’s most recent location on a map. Helpful, right?

A range of Tile item finders are on offer in Amazon's last-minute Christmas sale, saving you 25% on list price. These are the best live deals:

These deals are live until Dec. 22, so you've still got plenty of time to stock up. If you're buying as a gift, make sure you give yourself enough time to receive the delivery. Nobody likes to miss out at this time of year.

Save 25% on Tile item finders this Christmas.

Opens in a new tab Credit: Tile Tile Item Finders (opens in a new tab) Save 25% at Amazon Get Deal (opens in a new tab)
Categories: IT General, Technology
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