Mashable

Taylor Swift used facial recognition at a concert to detect stalkers

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:50:28 +0000
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While facial recognition is increasingly being used by authorities to keep track of wrongdoers, entertainers have employed the tech as well – to keep track of stalkers.

As per Rolling Stone, at Taylor Swift's Rose Bowl concert in May, a kiosk was set up where it was playing clips of the pop star's rehearsal.

Little did concertgoers know was that a camera was hiding behind the kiosk's screen, where a facial recognition camera was snapping photos and transferring them to a Nashville-based "command post."

The images were then checked with a database of the singer's known list of stalkers, which numbers in the hundreds. Read more...

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E-scooters can be hacked. Here's what companies are doing about it.

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:39:50 +0000
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It seems almost too easy to steal an electric scooter. 

They’re light, only about 30 pounds, and usually aren’t locked to anything, so you can simply lift them and throw them in your car. As long as you don't try to ride one while locked, the alarm shouldn't go off. And a guide on a scooter forum recently spread on Twitter, showing people how a $32 kit from China could be used to rejigger a $500 scooter from Bird into your own personal vehicle.  

So why don’t scooter companies seem worried?

The kit comes straight from China and takes ~8 weeks to arrive. Domestic sellers are selling them for slightly more expensive.

h/t to @TheRideshareGuy for finding the thread: https://t.co/fYu7LmLC9F pic.twitter.com/LpOWPh2wfU

— Nick Abouzeid (@nickabouzeid) December 4, 2018 Read more...

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Rap made from Will Smith's grunts in YouTube Rewind is better than YouTube Rewind

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 23:26:57 +0000
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There's no easy way to say this: YouTube Rewind 2018 was ... pretty cringey. But YouTuber Jacksfilms made the best of it and created a surprisingly good song out of Will Smith's bizarre grunting. The resulting musical homage to Smith — The Fresh Prince of Bell-Air star, award-winning actor, and most recently, vlogger — is an absolute bop. 

"YouTube's hot, but he made it hotter," Jacksfilms raps, with a lighthearted jab at the awkward fact that YouTube Rewind 2018 is the second most disliked video in the site's history.

But maybe not for long: It's well on its way to beating Justin Bieber's "Baby" in dislikes. At the time of writing, a live count of the two videos shows YouTube Rewind 2018 just over 260,000 dislikes behind "Baby."  Read more...

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An unwelcome reminder that eating raw cookie dough is dangerous even when it's egg-free

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 22:47:39 +0000
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The CDC is reminding people not to consume raw cookie dough, even if it is egg-free. Egg-free dough isn't safe if it includes raw flour

Products with cookie dough, such as ice cream, have killed the germs by heating up the dough.  Read more...

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The Geminid meteor shower peaks this week, and it'll be a special one

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 22:08:16 +0000
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Get ready for what might be the best meteor shower of 2018. 

The Geminid meteor shower, which peaks late at night on Thursday into the wee hours of the morning Friday, could bring more than 100 meteors per hour to light pollution-free skies in dark areas around the world, according to NASA.

That's a whole bunch of meteors.

"If you can see the familiar winter constellations Orion and Gemini in the sky, you'll see some Geminids," NASA explained in a skywatching video.

"Expect to see up to 120 meteors per hour from a dark sky location, but only after the first quarter moon sets around midnight your local time. From the Southern Hemisphere, observers should see fewer but still plenty of medium-speed meteors once Gemini rises above the horizon after midnight local time." Read more...

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Commuter starts petition to move Holland Tunnel's infuriating holiday decorations

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:56:02 +0000
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You ever see something mildly infuriating but manage to breeze past it? 

Imagine breezing past it every day, five days a week. And instead of breezing past it, you're stuck in bumper to bumper traffic during rush hour. This mildly infuriating decor oversight looms overhead, filling you with pure rage as it taunts you with terrible design until you finally snap.

The Holland Tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey has its fair share of issues, but the most egregious of all is the halfhearted holiday decorations. The Port Authority placed a festive wreath over the O — which makes total sense. It also placed a wreath over the U in a somewhat uncomfortable but understandable balance.  Read more...

More about Holidays, Nyc, Change.Org, Culture, and Web Culture
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Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 review: Basic to the extreme, but hands-free Alexa is a nice bonus

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:53:10 +0000
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Amazon Fire HD 8
$79.99 (Starting)
The Good
Very affordable at $79.99 with special offers • Display is good enough for 'consumption • ' with great color accuracy • Sound is surprisingly balanced • Front facing camera is good for video calls • Hands-free Alexa
The Bad
Processor is average but slow for heavy tasks and games • No access to the Google Play Store for apps • YouTube is not supported
The Bottom Line
At $80, the Fire HD 8 can be a cheap Echo Show replacement, or a basic Android tablet that works well for consuming media.
Mashable Score3.5
Cool Factor3.0
Learning Curve4.0
Performance3.0
Bang for the Buck4.0
Read more...More about Android, Amazon, Reviews, Tablet, and Review
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15 songs turning 20 in 2019

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:45:00 +0000
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Take a look at all of the hit songs turning 20 in 2019, and you'll be reminded that music was bangin' in 1999.

Pop goddesses like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Jennifer Lopez gave us some of their greatest hits, while bands like the Backstreet Boys and Destiny's Child blessed us with songs that continue to have serious staying power. 

Of course, 1999 was also the year that the ungodly ear worm and Shrek theme music "All Star" by Smash Mouth was unleashed upon us.

Here are 15 hit songs that debuted 20 years ago, for all you nostalgic music lovers: Read more...

More about Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Songs, Pop Music, and Culture
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Save $250 on the iRobot Roomba 960 at Best Buy. (That's nearly as good as Black Friday.)

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:35:16 +0000
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While the Roomba 980 is iRobot's best vacuum yet, the 960 isn't too far behind. And when this thing goes on sale, people can not get enough of it. (Case in point: When we wrote about this deal on the 960 ahead of Black Friday, it was one of the most popular posts we did all week.)

People love deals on robot vacuums. And it's a good thing too, since here's another one: The iRobot Roomba 960 is on sale for $449.99 right now, which is $250 off the original $699.99 price and almost as good as it's Black Friday price.

The 960 features iRobot's iAdapt 2.0 Navigation with Visual Localization to easily maneuver and clean an entire floor of your home. And since it works on both hardwood and rugs, you shouldn't have to worry about it transitioning from one room to the next.. Read more...

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Puma is reissuing 86 vintage smart shoes that are fresh as hell

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:25:21 +0000
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Puma is upgrading your workout wardrobe with the RS-Computer shoe. These vintage beauties originally came out in 1986, and were able to track your speed and other factors with a built-in computer chip. Puma says the 2018 model will look the same while sporting some new tech inside. Read more...

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Save up to $150 off the iPad, iPad Pro, and new MacBook Air at Amazon during this Apple sale

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:11:36 +0000
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Holiday sales are great to help you save a few bucks on gifts for your loved ones — but they're also an excellent way to justify getting something shiny and new for yourself.

If you've been putting up with the same crappy laptop or tablet for far too long, you should know that Amazon has the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, 9.7-inch iPad, and brand new 2018 MacBook Air all on sale today.

And just to put the nail in the coffin, the discounts Amazon has on all three of these devices are the same (the iPad Pro) or better (the 9.7-inch iPad and MacBook Air) than what Best Buy is currently offering as part of their Apple Sales Event. Shout out to friendly competition. Read more...

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Christine Blasey Ford is 'in awe' of former gymnast Rachael Denhollander

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 20:45:35 +0000
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In a video statement for the Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year Awards, Christine Blasey Ford makes her first public appearance since testifying against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault.

Ford presents the Inspiration of the Year award to lawyer and former gymnast Rachael Denhollander, who was the first woman to publicly speak out against former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar in 2016. 

"Her courage inspired other survivors to end their silence, and we all know the result," Ford says. 

Hundreds of women, including Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney, came forward and shared their stories of abuse. Nassar was later sentenced to up to 175 years in prison.  Read more...

More about Sports Illustrated, Kavanaugh, Christine Blasey Ford, Social Good, and Sports
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A closer look at 'Time' magazine's 2018 Person of the Year

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 20:09:58 +0000
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Time refers to the group of journalists targeted for their work as "The Guardians." The magazine released a series of four black and white covers, focusing on "the War on Truth." Read more...

More about Mashable Video, Time Magazine, Person Of The Year, Jamal Khashoggi, and Culture
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Is the face-swapping robot with multiple 'personalities' cool or just plain creepy?

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 19:55:40 +0000
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Furhat Robotics, which is based out of Stockholm, is attempting to bring robots that mirror human emotion into the workplace

The company, which hopes to incorporate the bots into training modules, has designed the product with pre-built gestures and facial expressions.   Read more...

More about Tech, Robots, Mashable Video, Future, and Future Of Work
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Grab this well-reviewed Philips air fryer on sale for $100 off at Amazon

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 19:37:02 +0000
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You've seen air fryers enough in holiday sale ads and morning cooking shows to know that they're kind of huge right now. If that's not enough of a push, here's your sign that it's time to stop feeling guilty for eating your favorite foods and just get an air fryer already.

The 2.75-quart Philips Avance Turbostar Digital Air Fryer is nearly $100 off and just $199.99 at Amazon today

We're not about to try to sell this to you as a budget air fryer — it's one of the best out there with a premium price tag to match. What we will tell you is that a high-end air fryer like this won't be 100 bucks off often — it's on sale at numerous other retailers right now, but for $219.99. Who's up to save an extra $20? Read more...

More about Cooking, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Amazon, Shopping Solo, and Shopping Electronics
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Happy holidays from this human Christmas tree walkin' around New York

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 19:10:18 +0000
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Huge news: One man in New York City just WON Christmas.

Don't believe us? Check out this video a paparazzi by the name of Joe Jonas took while standing outside of a Bank of America.

The 13 seconds of footage shows a Christmas tree straight up crossing a street! What a sight, right? And once the tree gets closer you'll notice there's actually A MAN inside there who's so committed to his holiday wardrobe that he even wore some pants that resemble the bark of a tree trunk.

Jonas, who has three brothers and sings in the band DNCE when he isn't recording festive runway walks, tweeted the video on Wednesday morning with the caption, "How you win Christmas 🎄 ... very proud of catching this on camera." Read more...

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The correct length for a relaxing YouTube video is 8 hours

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 19:00:00 +0000
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This post is part of Hard Refresh, a soothing weekly column where we try to cleanse your brain of whatever terrible thing you just witnessed on Twitter.


To the extent that "relaxing" online is possible, YouTube is full of relaxing content, from hot knife ASMR to unedited dog show footage. But sometimes I don't have two hours to watch the 2017 Crufts sporting group competition. Sometimes I don't have time to watch anything at all.

This is where relaxing nature sounds come in. When I find myself anxious but truly unable to take a break from work, I pop on a video from artist Johnnie Lawson's YouTube channel to use as background noise. Read more...

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'Game of Thrones' was 2018's most on-demand show, despite no new episodes

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 18:54:28 +0000
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Game of Thrones is the number one show for Comcast video-on-demand, USA Today reports – even though the show hasn't aired a new episode in almost 18 months.

"The fact that that show is still ranked No. 1 across the board when it wasn't even current is pretty incredible," Brynn Lev, VP of editorial and programming at Comcast Cable told USA Today. "It shows just how large of a following that show has (and) how new people are still discovering it,"

Comcast examined data from its 22-million subscribers on network TV viewing behaviors (a.k.a. no streaming originals). After Thrones, the top on-demand shows were This Is Us, Power, 9-1-1, and The Good Doctor. Power actually beat Thrones for the top spot in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and D.C., and almost half of the top 20 were on broadcast networks (e.g. not premium cable like HBO, Starz, or Showtime). Read more...

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This gold iPhone XS Max-Apple Watch combo is the dumbest way to spend $21,050

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 18:52:36 +0000
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It’s an iPhone. It's an Apple Watch. It's, um, both. And it costs $21,050.

Yes, Caviar, the Russian company that gave us the golden Vladimir Putin iPhone, just dropped the Swiss Dreams Watchphone.

In case you're wondering, that's an iPhone XS Max covered in gold and decorated with a world map for some reason. Attached is an Apple Watch Series 4, with the added convenience of not being wearable. 

Imagine the kind of person who would buy this monstrosity. Can’t do it? That’s because no reasonable human being on Earth would purchase this thing for $1,000, let alone more than $20,000. An oligarch raised in a Gucci-lined platinum Bugatti would probably think it was a bit much. Read more...

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Big Bird has the best 'thank u, next' meme yet

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 18:10:17 +0000
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Who needs Steak-umms or Moon Pie Twitter when you can have eight-foot-tall big yellow bird Twitter?

On Wednesday morning, Big Bird decided to contribute his own "thank u, next" meme.

Folks, it was good.

The meme, which has been trending for weeks, came out of Ariana Grande's latest hit, "thank u, next."

Big Bird came in hard:

thank u, nest

— Big Bird (@BigBird) December 11, 2018

If this doesn't make you "LOL" or even "L" internally,  you need to open up your heart. Sesame Street has an exceptional social media presence. I enjoin you to abandon your hardened Twitter ways and embrace Cookie Monster social. Read more...

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Practically imperfect? Critics are divided on 'Mary Poppins Returns'

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 18:05:53 +0000
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Ranging from "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" to "meh," critical reactions to Mary Poppins Returns are all over the place.

Some early audience members delighted in the revamped world of color, propriety, and nostalgia. While other critics, like Mashable's Angie Han, say the sequel feels contrived, forced, and thoroughly unimaginative.

Starring Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns takes viewers back to Cherry Tree Lane where Michael and Jane are all grown-up with children of their own. When Michael's wife dies, Mary returns to the Banks' home to set things right—with help from a newly imagined Bert-type, played by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Read more...

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'The Good Place' wants to teach you some 'Mother Forkin' Morals' in hilarious video

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 18:00:00 +0000
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Last week's episode of The Good Place was the last of 2018, which means we've got weeks and weeks to wait until the next one. But don't worry—NBC has another plan to get you your comic philosophy lesson fix in the meantime. 

Welcome to "Mother Forkin' Morals," an animated video series with The Good Place philosophy advisor Dr. Todd May. The first episode, which you can watch above, deals with existentialism, using Michael and Chidi's journeys to break down the concept. 

Who knew a dead professor and an immortal being could be so relatable?

more episodes of Mother Forkin Morals every Thursday this month Read more...

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Stay toasty this season with these incredible deals on winter wardrobe staples

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 17:55:02 +0000
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Heads up: The MashStash team writes about stuff you'll probably want to buy. If you do purchase something through MashStash, Mashable might earn some cash through an affiliate commission.

Whether you come from a family of outdoor enthusiasts and are looking for last-minute holiday gift ideas, or you’re seeking a little something “from Santa” to add to your own pile of loot, there’s something for everyone on your list at Columbia Sportswear.

Now through Dec. 20, get up to 50 percent off select Columbia products such as jackets, parkas, footwear, fleeces, and other winter wardrobe staplesGreater Rewards Members will also get free shipping. There’s no code required, so head on over to Columbia today to begin perusing this incredible sale. Read more...

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Amazon Go gets an 8th store, and you'll never guess where

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 17:41:39 +0000
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We're still getting used to the idea of a store where there's no checkout, but Amazon isn't standing still. It's just launched a new, much more compact version of its cashierless Go stores.

Jeff Bezos is more than happy to dive into a new market and start disrupting it, but Amazon's success is due to how the company keeps relentlessly pushing an idea in new directions. That's why we don't just have one type of Go store anymore.

As Reuters reports, in Amazon's Seattle offices a new version of the Go store now exists and it counts as the company's eighth store. It's only a quarter of the size of the first Go store, which is also located in Seattle, and the products offered cater specifically to the needs of employees. That's why it's full of salads and snacks. Read more...

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Jack non-apologizes for his tone deaf Myanmar vacation tweets

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 17:31:52 +0000
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Add Jack Dorsey's name to the running list of white men who have issued non-apologies in 2018.

On December 8, the Twitter CEO shared reflections on his recent meditation retreat to Myanmar, a country whose army is killing and raping Rohingya Muslims "with genocidal intent."

Some criticized the blind-eyed and tone deaf seeming thread in the days that followed. Now, Dorsey has issued what he called "more color" on his trip to Myanmar "given the resulting conversation."

I’m aware of the human rights atrocities and suffering in Myanmar. I don’t view visiting, practicing, or talking with the people, as endorsement. I didn’t intend to diminish by not raising the issue, but could have acknowledged that I don’t know enough and need to learn more.

— jack (@jack) December 11, 2018 Read more...

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'Mary Poppins Returns', but the magic's gone

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 16:59:00 +0000
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To ask why Mary Poppins Returns exists would be to ask why Disney would want a license to print money. The studio has been on a tear remaking, remixing, and revisiting its old classics, to great box-office success; Mary Poppins Returns, with its nostalgia-inducing premise and family-friendly holiday release date, will surely be no different.

Now that Mary Poppins has returned, though, it seems worth asking: Did we really need her to?

The Banks family seems toReturns picks up in the 1930s, with the Banks children now grown. Jane (Emily Mortimer) is an activist like her suffragette mother, while Michael (Ben Whishaw) is a struggling artist with three little moppets of his own—John (Nathaneal Saleh), Annabel (Pixie Davies), and Georgie (Joel Dawson).  Read more...

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Samsung 4K TVs, Bissell vacuums, Beats headphones, Kindle Paperwhite, and more on sale for Dec. 12

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 16:30:48 +0000
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Happy Hump Day, y'all. To get you through the rest of the week, we're rounding up the most exciting deals from Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy. Our favorite things on sale today include premium audio gear and headphones, brilliant 4K TVs, and vacuums and floor care products. We also found great deals on Amazon devices, like the new Kindle Paperwhite.

Here are the best deals for Wednesday, Dec. 12:

Premium audio gear: Speakers, headphones, and more

Listen up: If you're looking to give Bluetooth speakers and headphones as gifts for the holidays, we've got you covered with amazing deals on Bose, Beats, Sonos, and more. Read more...

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Comedian Nick Turner's emotional roller coaster while painting along with Bob Ross is very relatable — The Bob Ross Challenge

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 16:30:05 +0000
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They don't call it a "challenge" for nothing.

The Bob Ross Challenge is not affiliated with The Joy of Painting or its producers. Read more...

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Nostalgic Instagram accounts explore queer women's fashion of the '90s

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 16:25:32 +0000
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Between straight-to-the-trash reboots, Roseanne dramedy, and jeans big enough for the Partridge family to fit in, the '90s nostalgia wave has hit the country hard in the past few years.

You know what? Bring it on.

If nothing else, digital nostalgia has brought us dykeyspice and multiple other Instagram accounts dedicated to exploring the feminist queerness at the heart of '90s fashion. 

For that, we should be sort of grateful.

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Easy stocking stuffers: Xbox One and PS4 games on sale at Amazon

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 16:00:23 +0000
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When gifting to gamers, the best stocking stuffer you can get are a few new games that are missing from their library. 

You can save up to 50% on select Xbox One and PlayStation 4 games on Amazon right now, many of which just recently hit shelves. To make things easier, we've picked out a few of our favorites:

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 — save $20

At the top of the list is Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. The latest entry in the long-running series is $39.99, making it $20 off the listed $59.99 price. In this iteration, you'll ditch the single-player campaign in favor of focusing on multiplayerMashable's Adam Rosenberg said in his review: Read more...

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