I am genuinely excited for widgets, translucent windows, and Android apps on Windows to get a new lease on life

Multiple times throughout Microsoft’s Windows 11 event today (when I could watch it, anyway), I felt a strong sense of déjà vu. Windows was getting a new look with translucent windows! There’s a new dedicated space where you can find widgets! And, for what feels like the hundredth time, there will be a kind of hacky workaround that lets you run Android apps on Windows!

Time is a flat circle and all that.

It’s a little odd to see Microsoft pulling out the full version number treatment for an operating system — especially after claiming that Windows 10 would be…

Between spam, Do Not Disturb, and confusing permissions, I have no idea when I’m missing something important.

An illustration of notification icons in a jumble
An illustration of notification icons in a jumble
Image: Getty/vectorwin

When I got my first Android phone in 2008, I remember being stunned by the notification shade. It was a brilliant feature that seemed so obvious, yet most platforms still hadn’t adopted it: a single place to get every kind of notification you’d need. Get a new email? Notification. Text message? Notification. Someone on Twitter called you a moron? It’s right there in the notification shade!

Finally, there was a single funnel that everything important could be run through and either addressed or dismissed with ease. No more manually refreshing a dozen apps to find everything I needed to know…

Getting there first is, apparently, not everything.

INA FASSBENDER via Getty Images

There’s a scene in The Social Network, where one of the cofounders of HarvardConnection — arguing over whether or not to sue Mark Zuckerberg for stealing their website idea — makes a claim that is often taken as a sacred truth in real life.

Divya Narendra: We know he stole our idea, we know he lied to our faces for a month and a half.
Cameron Winklevoss: No, he never lied to our faces.
Divya Narendra: Okay, he never saw our faces. Fine. …

Twitch may be forced to build its own ContentID–or pick a fight with the music industry.

Thomas Trutschel / Contributor via Getty Images

On Friday, Twitch sent out an email to its users letting them know that the company had received “about 1,000 individual claims from music publishers,” and “they will likely send further notices.” The message was clear: Stop using copyrighted music in your streams, and check your old videos before they get taken down.

This isn’t the first time that Twitch has wrestled with the problem of music on its platform, and it doesn’t look like the issue will resolve any time soon. …

There’s no shame in safe sexting

Today, Google announced a new feature of the already incredibly powerful Google Photos app: Now you can add photos to a locked folder, where they will be hidden behind a PIN or biometric ID and won’t show up in your photo roll.

This feature is for your nudes. But Google won’t say that.

While announcing the feature, Google executive Jen Fitzpatrick explained one possible reason you might want to have a hidden folder in your photos app: secret dogs. …

You’re better off contacting the company directly

Photo: Brett Jordan/Unsplash

Over the weekend, the online banking app Simple shut down, transitioning its customers over to accounts with its parent company BBVA. This did not go well. Users of the service (including myself) found themselves locked out of their accounts and took to Twitter to complain, where BBVA’s social media team could reach out to help with their problems.

This is a terrible way to do customer support. But then that’s not the goal, is it?

Let’s set aside BBVA in specific here for a second. The issues with the transition from Simple to BBVA started long before they got to…

It’s not your fault the social media giant is like this

Today, Facebook’s self-created Oversight Board released a decision and guidance about whether or not the social network made the right call in banning the former President of the United States from its platform after a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

I have a confession though. It’s all my fault. None of this would’ve happened if I had just quit Facebook.

I could’ve stopped it.

It’s hard to talk about the problems with Facebook without being told that the solution is to “Just quit Facebook.” You’re annoyed by the flood of unnecessary notifications from the app? Quit Facebook. Your data…

A move-by-move guide

Lord Ravenscraft is a video essay series created by Eric Ravenscraft. You can watch the latest full episode on YouTube.

Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movies don’t get the credit they’re due. Especially A Game of Shadows. The latter of the two films had the gall to end, not on a CGI battle, but on a chess match. Not just any chess match, mind you, but the game Sherlock and Moriarty play is a variation of a famous (in chess circles anyway) game played in 1966.

The game in question was played between Grandmaster Bent Larsen and then-World Chess Champion…

And don’t tell me to get an iPad

Source: Apple, Inc.

Today, Apple announced a new iPad Pro that will use the same M1 processor as its Macbook Air, Macbook Pro, and now even the new, more colorful iMacs. The inevitable convergence of Apple’s lineup seems obvious to everyone but Apple itself.

So I’m begging you, Apple. Please just make a touch-screen Macbook already.

For years, the appeal of an iPad Pro has been, ostensibly, that it’s powerful enough to fill the space that a laptop would usually fill but with a more intuitive touch screen, much better battery life, and access to the vast library of iOS apps. And for…

How these online communities rallied together during the pandemic

Image: SOPA Images/Getty Images

When the pandemic lockdowns first started, most people started staying home on nights and weekends and even worked or studied from home. Quarantine didn’t do much for everyone’s mental health, but it did have a silver lining for some Twitch streamers: If everyone’s at home, there’s more time to watch (or play) games.

The past year has helped lead to a massive shift for some streamers who have managed to grow their audience and build up their community at the same time.

For people fortunate enough to start working from home, one of the most substantial differences was the lack…

Eric Ravenscraft

Eric Ravenscraft is a freelance writer from Atlanta covering tech, media, and geek culture for Medium, The New York Times, and more.

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