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Updated: 17 hours 42 min ago

Here's how to set up a VPN and protect your data

Friday Sep 21st 2018

On today's internet, having at least some level of protection is essential.

A VPN or virtual private network is a tool to get an extra layer of protection — it essentially masks your connection while encrypting your data. The best part is you don't need to get any physical hardware to use one; using a VPN is usually as simple as downloading and launching an app

Once you have a VPN setup, you can use it on your home WiFi, public networks, over LTE, and even while traveling. 

SEE ALSO: Facebook to pull its creepy VPN Onavo from App Store after Apple pushback

Certainly, the internet is a great way to connect with others, but users need to be careful now more than ever. A VPN will mask your IP address and give you a bit more security, especially for your viewing history — not to mention it makes using public WiFi networks much safer and can stop hackers from accessing data. Read more...

More about Internet, Tech Utility, Vpn, Internet Access, and Internet Security

What Amazon got right about smart speakers that Facebook won't

Friday Sep 21st 2018

Just hours after Amazon surprised us with more new Alexa-enabled gadgets than we can count, word broke that Facebook's voice-activated smart speaker (reportedly called "Portal") is apparently back on — and launching as soon as next week

Suddenly, a market that's been dominated by Amazon and Google is starting to look more interesting ... right? Well, not exactly.

I'm not trying to pick on Facebook but, of everything we've heard about the yet-to-be-revealed Portal speaker, nothing suggests that it can overcome what will likely be its biggest hurdle: that nobody trusts Facebook anymore. If you think an Alexa-enabled microwave sounds creepy, how do you think people will react to a Facebook-branded smart speaker with an AI-infused camera?  Read more...

More about Gadgets, Facebook, Amazon, Tech, and Consumer Tech

7 best cat toys to delight your pet for hours

Friday Sep 21st 2018

There isn’t one way to describe your cat’s daily activities. They’ll hide in Amazon Prime boxes, or drink from toilet bowls. One thing most pet parents can agree on though is that cats need engaging playtime. If your feline is bouncing off the walls or scratching furniture, it might be time to buy new cat toys. 

Googling “cat toy” could send you down an internet sinkhole, because there are so many plush mice, circle tunnels, and colorful wands available for felines. Plus, you might not know if a cat toy will meet your pet’s playtime needs. Before you buy a cat toy, there are some things you might want to consider: Read more...

More about Cats, Mashable Shopping, Culture, and Animals

YouTube just made a major change to its trending page

Friday Sep 21st 2018

Days after shuttering its dedicated gaming app, YouTube made some more big changes to how users discover content. 

Now, YouTube’s trending tab breaks down what's popular in five categories: music, live, gaming, news, and movies.

SEE ALSO: YouTube will close YouTube Gaming, move it all to the main site

Trending on YouTube previously just displayed what videos were trending throughout a user’s country. YouTube said its algorithm takes a number of factors into consideration, such as view count and the rate of growth in views, among others.

Here's what the Trending on YouTube page looked like just earlier today.

Image: YOUTUBE

More about Trending, Video, Youtube, Tech, and Media Industry

Cryptocurrency exchange claimed it was 'practically impossible' to hack. It was hacked.

Friday Sep 21st 2018

I guess we shouldn't be all that surprised. But still, they did say it would be practically impossible. 

The Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange Zaif suffered a major hack last week. It issued a statement on Thursday stating that approximately $59 million worth of bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and MONAcoin had been stolen by unidentified criminals. This, obviously, is not good. What makes it perhaps worse is the company's past insistence that it applied the "maximum effort" possible to keep its customers' funds safe — and that hacking it would be "practically impossible."

Like many exchanges, Zaif has a page on its website where it details the precautions taken to secure customer funds. With tens (or potentially hundreds) of millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency at stake, it makes sense to let everyone know that you're taking this security stuff seriously.  Read more...

More about Hacking, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Cash, and Tech

Joana Ceddia went viral and brought back the spirit of old YouTube

Friday Sep 21st 2018

Joana Ceddia is blowing up right now. 

You might have stumbled across a video of her hacking off her hair with craft scissors in her parents' bathroom, or watched her break down the contents of her school backpack to reveal a watermelon wedge and a stray parka like an unboxing video gone wrong

SEE ALSO: Behold, 20 of the funniest YouTube videos ever

In my case, her video about DIYing an overpriced clothing line haunted the "Up Next" side bar for weeks. Like many Gen Zers, Ceddia was thoroughly disappointed that vlogger Emma Chamberlain's new collection wasn't even visible, since each item of clothing for sale in the Dote app was pixelated to add a sense of intrigue.  Read more...

More about Youtube, Viral Videos, Vlog, Joana Ceddia, and Culture

Octopuses are being given ecstasy in the name of science

Friday Sep 21st 2018

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine think that octopuses are just like us! Well, at least in the way they react to ecstasy. The research, which, yes, means giving octopuses ecstasy, can definitely be seen by some as a little unethical, but the experts say they make sure to take care of the animals. The research could help us better understand that our brain and social behavior are influenced by more basic processes than we imagined.  Read more...

More about Animals, Mashable Video, Octopus, Drugs, and Ecstasy

10 of the best laptops for Windows 10

Friday Sep 21st 2018

Although MacBooks have grown in popularity over the past decade, Microsoft is making a bit of a comeback among consumers with the release of Windows 10 a few years ago. In fact, there are some benefits of using Windows 10 over MacOS X, such as functionality, ease of use, and touch-ability. Believe it or not, you can actually use many Windows 10 laptops like tablets.

SEE ALSO: Up your game: 7 of the best gaming laptops to make you 'PC Master Race'

Moreover, Windows-based laptops are catching up with MacBooks in terms of design and looks. PC laptops have always gotten a bad name since they have historically prioritized function over style thanks to cheap materials and awful looking displays. Apple computers, on the other hand, integrate form and style into one beautiful machine.  Read more...

More about Tech, Windows 10, Laptops, Mashable Shopping, and Tech

Make your cooking a whole lot easier with this device

Friday Sep 21st 2018

Check out this handy and foldable cutting board by Joseph Joseph. Just squeeze the handle and you are ready to speed up all aspects of cooking in the kitchen. 

Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable's commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. Read more...

More about Mashable Video, Cutting Board, Kitchenware, Cooking, and Knife

Thanks, Apple, for making it easy to cling to my iPhone 6S

Friday Sep 21st 2018

It's launch day for the iPhone XS and XS Max. And if it seems a little muted compared to iPhone launch days past, that may be because Apple is making it increasingly easy to hang on to your three-year-old phone instead — even if they no longer sell that phone

As I wrote last week, I was in the market for an XS. But I was torn: I'm one of those people who believes the iPhone 6S is the last truly great iPhone Apple made. I'm loath to swap my built-in headphone jack for a life in which I have to carry around a Lightning-to-aux dongle just in case. 

And yes, fanboys, before you jump in: I already use Bluetooth headphones! I just like the option to plug in a wired set of cans — the same option I am afforded on my latest-model iPad Pro and bang-up-to-date MacBook.  Read more...

More about Apple, Iphone 6s, Tech, Consumer Tech, and Big Tech Companies

Telltale Games lays off all but 25 employees, announces 'majority studio closure'

Friday Sep 21st 2018

UPDATE, 6:06 p.m. ET: Telltale Games has issued an official statement, which has been added below. Story has been updated throughout.

Beloved game studio Telltale Games went through a major downsizing.

The company went through a major round of layoffs Friday, dropping the size of its studio from about 250 people down to just 25 people as the developer moves toward "majority studio closure," Gamasutra, The Verge, and US Gamer, and former Telltale employees reported Friday.

— Telltale Games (@telltalegames) September 21, 2018

SEE ALSO: 'Marvel's Spider-Man' Review: You really can do whatever a spider can Read more...

More about The Walking Dead, Telltale Games, Stranger Things, Entertainment, and Gaming

Facebook Pages can now join Facebook Groups

Friday Sep 21st 2018

Your Facebook Page can now join members-only Facebook Groups.

In a new setting update spotted by social media aficionado Matt Navarra, Facebook is now going to let Pages on the site interact with communities through Facebook Groups. 

Handy... Facebook is now letting Pages join Groups

h/t @MariSmith

— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) September 19, 2018

Within Facebook Group settings, a new option has popped up for group owners that enables them to “allow Pages to request to join as group members.” Previously, only personal profiles could join Facebook Groups and post and comment within them. Read more...

More about Facebook, Social Media, Facebook Groups, Facebook Page, and Tech

China blocks Twitch

Friday Sep 21st 2018

Last month, Twitch popularity surged in China thanks to the streaming service's coverage of eSports events during the Asian Games. So many Chinese people flocked to the service that the iOS Twitch app surged to third spot in the free app charts. However, the service and its app are now blocked in China.

As Abacus reports, Twitch confirmed the block is in place meaning the Twitch website can't be accessed and no streaming can be initiated or watched in China. The Twitch app has also been removed from the App Store there. We don't know what triggered the block by the Chinese authorities, and if Twitch knows it isn't telling anyone yet. Read more...

More about Twitch, Entertainment, and Gaming

This guy makes a 'September' music video every year, and this year it's the best

Friday Sep 21st 2018

Demi Adejuyigbe knows how to commit to a bit. 

The comedian has been heralding in every autumn with a tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire — dancing to their eternal banger "September" every September 21. 

SEE ALSO: Twitter’s relationship with third-party apps is messy — but it’s not over

The tradition started in 2016, when he tweeted a video of himself grooving to the song. Wearing a t-shirt that reads "SEPT 21" on the front and "THAT'S TODAY" on the back, Adejuyigbe's tweet went viral for being freaking fun.

But then he followed up a year later — this time, he jazzed up his performance with a red curtain.  Read more...

More about Twitter, Music, Viral Videos, Culture, and Web Culture

Twitter bug potentially exposed DMs to unauthorized developers for over a year

Friday Sep 21st 2018

Well this isn't good. 

Late Friday morning, Twitter notified a select group of users that some of their private messages might not have been exactly, well, private. The warning, issued to at least one Mashable reporter in the form of a popup within the mobile app, says the issue has been ongoing since May of last year. 

That's right, this bug may have been exposing some of your direct messages for 16 months. 

SEE ALSO: Twitter will make it super easy to switch back to a chronological timeline

"On Monday, September 10, we identified a bug that may have sent one or more of your Direct Messages or protected Tweets (if your account was protected at the time) to Twitter developers who were not authorized to received them," read the message. "The issue has persisted since May 2017, but we resolved it immediately upon discovering it." Read more...

More about Twitter, Direct Messages, Tech, and Social Media Companies

This all-in-one wallet is a lifesaver

Friday Sep 21st 2018

Check out this sleek and stylish wallet by Strapo. It can hold up to 10 cards as well as some cash to boot. Better yet, it prevents electronic pickpocketing. Pretty nifty!

Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable's commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. Read more...

More about Kickstarter, Mashable Video, Money, Style, and Cash

Here are the perfect gifts for any 'Fortnite' fanatic

Friday Sep 21st 2018

My dad plays Fortnite, my little cousin plays it, even an ex of mine plays it—and at some point they all forced me to watch them slaughter dozens of players on the TV screen. So, if you're like me, and are constantly surrounded by Fortnite fanatics, then you know how much this game means to them.

But what better way to show them that you kind of understand their obsession, than by getting your loved one a Fortnite-themed gift. Sure, you'll feed into their habit, but what matters the most is that you're hip, cool, and totally "get them."

SEE ALSO: Did 'Fortnite' Peak?

It can be hard to find the perfect Battle Royale gift if you know nothing about the game. Thankfully, there are some products out there that combine the game's imagery and art with a cute object of your choosing.  Read more...

More about Video Games, Gift Guide, Fortnite, Gift Guide 2018, and Culture

Best 4K TV deals this weekend: Save on Sony, Samsung, LG, and more

Friday Sep 21st 2018

Now that the weekend is here, it's probably a good time to think about upgrading your old TV for a shiny and new 4K smart TV. We've gathered the best deals on 4K TVs from Amazon, Walmart, Target, and the Samsung Store. No matter the size of your living room, we pretty sure there's a 4K TV on sale that you'll love.

SEE ALSO: Snag a pair (or two) of Apple AirPods from Walmart on sale

For TVs 40 inches and up, Samsung's Flat 49-inch 4K UHD 8 Series Smart TV is on sale for just $697.99, while a 43-inch Smart UHD Bright Pro TV by Philips is priced at $329.99. Meanwhile, Sony's 49-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV is discounted to $748.00. Read more...

More about Samsung, Sony, Lg, 4k Tv, and Vizio

PayPal makes it harder to buy shady supplements from Infowars

Friday Sep 21st 2018

PayPal confirmed Friday that it was dropping support for all Infowars websites, where conspiracy theorist Alex Jones makes serious cash selling shady health supplements.

"Our values are the foundation for the decision," a PayPal spokesperson told Mashable in a statement.  "We undertook an extensive review of the Infowars sites, and found instances that promoted hate or discriminatory intolerance against certain communities and religions, which run counter to our core value of inclusion."

SEE ALSO: Twitter bans Alex Jones and InfoWars for good

Jones might have become famous for his angry, hate-filled rants, as well as pushing disgusting conspiracy theories like the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, but he made lots of money selling supplements such as "Brain Force Plus" and "Alpha Power" online.  Read more...

More about Paypal, Alex Jones, Tech, and Big Tech Companies

Joaquin Phoenix looks downright chilling in Joker makeup

Friday Sep 21st 2018

There are roughy 73874239 Joker movies in development, but director Todd Phillips' upcoming project has the edge – an actual Joker. A new video on Phillips Instagram reveals star Joaquin Phoenix in full joker makeup and, well...we have chills. 

View this post on Instagram

Camera test (w/ sound). Joker.

A post shared by Todd Phillips (@toddphillips1) on Sep 21, 2018 at 10:00am PDT

A previous headshot of Phoenix from the film called him Arthur – which fans quickly connected to Arthur Fleck, The Killing Joke's Joker. In the new video, we see solemn, unsmiling Arthur give in to the Joker's signature sneer. He offers a little smirk at the end before getting serious again, which can't bode well for his enemies. Read more...

More about Entertainment, Movies, Dc, Warner Bros., and Todd Phillips
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