Tech Tuesday: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Big Tech?

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Are you worried about how Facebook or Google might be using their information about you? If so, you’ve got company. According to an IBD/TIPP poll released just yesterday, 89% of us worry that huge tech companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple will misuse the reams of personal data they collect. Nearly as many […]

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The Rising Prevalence of Podcasting

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podcast picture

They’re everywhere, those little white knobs that rest ever so gently in the ears. They used to have leashes, locked into mobile pocket computers. Now they are free, cordless earbuds unbound by the manacles of rubber and silicone. With sales projected to skyrocket within the next couple of years, cordless earbuds have rapidly become the […]

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Tech Tuesday: Hogwarts Awaits—On Your Phone, That Is

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wizards unite

In case you haven’t heard,  a new augmented reality smartphone game was unveiled June 21, created by the same crew that brought you the über-hit Pokémon Go. This time, though, you’ll be trading Poké balls for magic wands. What is it? Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is a free iPhone and Android game created by WB […]

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Tech Tuesday: The Joys and Potential Strife of Discord

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discord

WhatsApp, Slack, Messenger, etc. etc. We’ve seen seemingly scores of free chat platforms that offer personal and corporate access to online conversations via text, voice and video. You can’t flip a digital coin without hitting at least a couple chat apps in the virtual ether. But if your kids are into videogames (and how many […]

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Pokémon Goes to Sleep

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Three years ago, something of Wailord proportions hit the gaming world: Pokémon Go launched on smartphones. And not only did that release reinvigorate and revolutionize Nintendo’s gotta-catch-’em-all franchise, it pretty much singlehandedly put augmented reality on every gamers map. In a heartbeat, there were kids and adults walking around looking for Pokémon in their school […]

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Culture Clips: Apple Deletes iTunes

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Once upon a time, we bought CDs. (And before that, cassettes, vinyl records and, yup, even 8-tracks for a hot minute in the mid-’70s.) But that list illustrates an inescapable reality: Music formats eventually become obsolete. CDs, while not technically extinct, have given way over the last two decades to digital music-streaming platforms such as […]

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Entertainment, Media and Mental Health: The Influence of Social Media

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This is the third part of a three-part series examining the connection between our entertainment/media culture and mental health, the latter of which is a growing problem for America’s youth. Last week, Paul Asay unpacked the ways that movies and TV depict characters struggling with mental illness. This week, we focus on what researchers are […]

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Is This the New VR We’ve Been Waiting For?

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vr new tech

Virtual reality is still a relatively new technology. But let’s face it, VR gaming systems such as the Occulus Rift and the PlayStation VR set have been around long enough that they’re starting to feel kinda old hat. They’re cool, and all, but we’re really wondering when that next big thing will happen. When do […]

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Culture Clips: Endgame’s Epic Entry

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culture clips endgame

Endings are hard. They’re hard to write. Hard to film. Hard to watch. (Just ask the creators of Lost, for example.) That’s because the more beloved a fictional set of characters is, the more investment we have in them. The more we have at stake. Which brings us to Avengers: Endgame, the culmination of 11 […]

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‘What Is Real?’ Reflections on The Matrix 20 Years Later

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The Matrix

Hundreds of new movies come and go each year. Some have theatrical debuts. Some stream online or are released direct to video. All feature stories that someone, somewhere, thought were interesting enough to warrant the trouble of making them. Most of these movies vanish, metaphorically speaking, into our cultural memory. Functionally forgotten, as if they’d […]

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Culture Clips: As the Jussie Smollett Case Turns

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jussie smollett

We live in a strange, confusing and unpredictable world. Need proof? Look no farther than the Jussie Smollett saga. First, we heard that the actor, who’s both black and gay, was attacked by two folks with some apparent racist, homophobic leanings. (Oddly, both attackers were black, too.) Then we were told that Smollett actually knew […]

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Culture Clips: When a Shooter Streams a Massacre

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New Zealand

The world was horrified last week when news spread of the horrific shooting that claimed the lives of 50 people at two New Zealand mosques on March 15. And though similar mass shootings around the world have become a terrible recurring story over the last couple of decades, such wanton carnage increasingly has a disturbing […]

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