Sony’s PSVita isn’t expected to hit shelves for another couple of months, but that doesn’t mean the tech industry has lost interest in the device. In fact, new information regarding the console is making the headlines every week and this latest tidbit might be one of the most interesting things we’ve heard to date.

Eurogamer reports that Sony Europe R&D manager Phil Rogers recently revealed the new portable can also be used as a controller for the PS3. Rogers revealed the feature while speaking to Develop 2011 attendees:

‘PS3 can send data down to Vita and Vita can display it,’ Rogers is quoted as saying. ‘You could use the unique features [of Vita] – gyroscope, touch front and back – as a control device for a PS3 game.

‘You can run software on both devices and use the network to sync the game states. And that’s pretty good, because you then have the processing power of PS3 doing that work, Vita [doing] fancy graphics – however you want to do it. You’re not sacrificing the PS3’s CPU to be able to have a rich experience on Vita.’

The news of Wii U-like compatibility with the PS3 makes the Vita even more interesting. Rogers said that Vita will also support cross-platform play (Wipeout 2048 being one of the titles that utilizes this feature) as well as other cross-platform features, like scoreboards.

Do all these new features have you itching to get PSVita once they do arrive in stores? Let us know in the comments below!

A recent article out of Brussels warns that young Europeans are in danger of damaging their ears by playing MP3s.

According to the Reuters, a European Union body on health risks warns that the young Europeans are playing the MP3s too loud through personal music players. However, the warning is not new, as adults and health officials have warned against ear damage caused by loud music ever since the invention of the portable music device… if not before.

The EU Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks stated that listening to MP3 players and other music devices – at high volumes for long periods of time – can cause loss of hearing and tinnitus. The Committee discovered that 5 to 10 percent of consumers risk permanent hearing loss if listening to loud music for one hour a day each week for at least five years. Currently there is no cure for tinnitus or hearing loss.

‘Let’s be frank — we are looking at a catastrophe unless something is done soon,’ Stephen Russell of the pan-European ANEC consumer safety group said.

While the warning is more of the same heard across decades, one thing to keep in mind is the current music industry’s need to deliver loud music. Many call it the ‘loudness war,’ and as Wikipedia, this classification refers to the music industry’s tendency ‘to record, produce and broadcast music at progressively increasing levels of loudness each year to create a sound that stands out from others and the previous year.’ Wikipedia even shows an animated diagram showing the trend in increasing loudness shown in waveform.

So while children of the 80s shrugged off parental scolding about listening to music at loud levels via those nifty tape players, critics of today have a more solid reason to warn against ear damage with louder, potentially damaging levels of music available in physical and digital form. In fact, today’s music might actually cause fatigue.

‘You get more apparent volume but less dynamics,’ producer Kevin Killen told thelast year, who has worked with Elvis Costello, Tori Amos and Jewel. ‘By the end of it, the listener just ends up feeling fatigued, a little like an assault to the ears.’

In an effort to combat the loudness wars, engineer Charles Dye co-founded Turn Me Up to show that musicians can create softer, more dynamic recordings. He said that record labels and producers originally did not set out to create loud music, to ‘strip music of dynamics and emotion,’ but rather continuously increased the volumes over the years because everyone else was doing it.

Ultimately, it’s not the actual MP3 that’s the root of the problem, but the engineered music compressed within the file. It would not be surprising if some organization steps in and regulates the loudness levels of music by either fining record companies, or implementing hardware volume limitations on music devices. Still, in the meantime, listeners should turn the volume down and preserve the eardrums before music levels become deafening.

If you want to get serious about, you’re going to need a high-quality microphone.

But many of the best mics out there are pretty bulky, which is a problem for streamers who travel often — or simply don’t want a big microphone taking up a chunk of their camera feed. That’s where Razer’s new $99 Seiren X comes in.

The Seiren X uses what Razer calls a ‘Super Cardoid’ pickup pattern, which is designed to record your voice with precision while filtering out unwanted noise. However, when comparing voice recordings between the Seiren X and the Yeti’s Cardoid mode, I noticed that Razer’s microphone let in a lot more background noise. The Seiren X did pick my voice up with decent clarity, but it might not be the best mic out there for recording in noisy environments.

While the Seiren doesn’t have all the features or overall quality of the $129 Yeti, it’s also $30 cheaper. And its portability really is killer, especially for on-the-go streamers who want something a little more robust than, say, the $36 Samson Go Mic.

The Seiren X is launching alongside, which is the first USB webcam with a built-in ring light for illuminating your face (my colleague Andrew Freedman loved it; check out his review here). Between the Seiren and the Kiyo, Razer seems fully committed to solving some very specific problems for aspiring Twitch and YouTube stars, and we’re eager to see what the gaming giant cooks up for broadcasters next.

Image Credit: Mike Andronico/Tom’s Guide

All speech is not equal, especially if it’s on YouTube. CEO Susan Wojcicki said at Google I/O that the site is different from traditional media because it serves as a “two-way conversation,” allowing people to interact with those they watch.

Then, product manager Barbara Macdonald stepped on stage and proved that’s not true anymore. She showed off Super Chat, a tool for viewers to have their message highlighted during a livestream and pinned to the top of the stream for up to five hours. It’s not a brand new tool (it launched in January), but the company wanted to show off new APIs to make videos interactive to those who pay.

YouTube says that this makes sure that your chat “stands out from the crowd to get even more of your favorite creator’s attention,” but it won’t be because it’s in bright green; it’s because you paid them.

This also fetishizes YouTubers to a degree that can be uncomfortable. As, it’s somewhat similar to chat systems that live porn cam websites have used for a long time. You’re paying for attention, for a connection that’s not there when the camera shuts off.

YouTube isn’t the only site with a system like this. Twitch, a streaming service aimed at people playing video games, has a system called cheering in which audience members pay for emoticons that draw attention to their messages. It’s kind of gross, but the intent is slightly different — to celebrate during awesome moments (think like a tip jar for headshots in Call of Duty or goals in Rocket League). YouTube’s is purely for attention from the people you admire who make videos.

Earlier this month, Kotaku’s Cecilia D’Anastasioabout people who fall in love with Twitch streamers, and those who took that love further than is appropriate. Surely, there are people who believe they have connections with YouTubers, too, and they’ll be willing to pay to further those feelings.

The whole idea, paying for an e-celebrity’s attention, is bad for the internet and its users. It’s a slow step in making sure the rich’s speech have more influence, and it can help further unhealthy obsessions with celebrity. If this is how YouTube is going to foster “two-way” conversation, it will leave a whole lot of people sitting on the sidelines.

What? Huh? There’s Bluetooth in my touchy little iPod Touch? It’s probably a given that many consumers had no idea the device has Bluetooth capabilities, remaining dormant… until now.

In all the hoopla regarding the iPhone and the upcoming 3.0 OS, it’s less-than-loaded half-twin, the iPod Touch 2G (second generation), sat just off stage, wishing it could chime in on some of the spotlight. But, instead of sulking and hanging its head low, the iPod Touch listened, waited, bid its time until someone caught on that the new OS update would unlock a secret treasure laying dormant within. No, it’s not an Alien embryo waiting to burst through the cavity of its slick, touchscreen surface. It’s another blue little demon altogether: the sacred Bluetooth.

For many consumers, the revelation of this feature is quite a pleasant surprise. But for tech-savvy fans who have kept up with the technology powering the device, they may already be aware of the Broadcom BCM4325 wireless communications chip planted within; it was discovered back in September 2008 in a hardware tear-down performed by. To be more specific, the uncovered Broadcom chip was found capable of single-band 2.4GHz 802.11b/g, dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11a/b/g.  Additionally, it had Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR support and an advanced FM receiver. Simply put, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities were already present in the iPod Touch, with the latter deactivated via software.

At the time, it was widely speculated that the chip was mainly used to communicate with the Nike+ iPod sensor puck accessory, however some believed that perhaps Apple had other sinister plans for the Bluetooth portion, and just wasn’t in the mood to share the Bluetooth goodness just yet. Evidently the speculators were correct, as it’s now official that the iPod Touch 2G is fully capable of Bluetooth audio and data transmission, able to carry out Bluetooth functions such as wireless streaming 2-channel audio with A2DP, wireless accessory control (perhaps for gaming), and peer-to-peer connections. The upcoming 3.0 OS will enable these features, costing consumers $9.95 to upgrade the current OS to 3.0.

It’s not uncommon to see device manufacturers stuff their products with deactivated components, or locking said components via firmware by the request of the supplier. Many Verizon subscribers have lashed out at the wireless provider, having ‘locked’ the built-in GPS chip in BlackBerry devices from 3rd-party navigational applications. Thus, Verizon Wireless customers must subscribe to its VZNavigator subscription service, shelling out an additional $10 per month just for it use alone (not including any data packages). As it stands, BlackBerry users on Verizon cannot use the real-time navigational features in other applications such Google Maps, Yahoo maps and so on, having to settle with triangulation options instead.

However, for a one-time fee of $10, the 3.0 OS upgrade for Apple’s iPod Touch seems to be worth every penny, offering not only the new Bluetooth features, but other vast improvements that will make the device that much more useful and fun to play. With peer-to-peer connections, gaming will become even more prominent on the device, offering local multiplayer support previously limited to Wi-Fi connections.

Look for the 3.0 OS upgrade sometime this summer.

The Chrome DevTools is one of the biggest reasons developers refuse to touch any other browser.

But most of us use only a handful of features, remaining oblivious to many more mind-blowing features that get released silently.

Let’s uncover some of these hidden gems!

Everyone has their favorite operating system, hardware platform, device type, device form factor, etc. But one thing is common to all — they are running the Chrome browser and only the Chrome browser! I think it’s safe to say that the browser wars are over, and Chrome has won convincingly.

Windows users use the default browser only to download Chrome and thereafter use Chrome, ignoring all “recommendations” by Windows. The same goes for Apple’s devices (especially MacBooks and larger-screen devices), where users and developers avoid Safari, despite Apple’s many strong claims and conversion tactics.

And if a device is not running Chrome, chances are high it’s running a Chrome-compatible spinoff such asor. Yes, I know, technically, these browsers are not based on Chrome, but that’s another discussion. The average user might be using thesefor ideological or special reasons, but when it comes to developers, there’s no other browser in sight except Chrome.

Even the fact that it’s a memory-eating monster gets ignored. The reason is simple:.

Now, if you’re reading this article, it’s safe to assume that you’re either a power-user, a tinkerer, a, or something along those aligns. As such, none of us needs an introduction to the DevTools, how to open it, its various features, etc.

Instead, without wasting any time, let’s dive straight into some of the lesser-known but astonishingly useful features of the Chrome DevTools.

Design Mode

One of the things developers routinely do is inspect an element on the page and then modify its HTML to preview something or test the effect of a change.

However, working with HTML directly in the DevTools isn’t the smoothest thing ever — wading through the tag soup, straining your eyes trying to find the right opening/closing bracket, and dealing with a ridiculous amount of whitespace while editing text (whitespace that is clearly missing from the document you’re seeing), are some of the issues you can have to deal with. It’s even worse if you’re a designer and don’t want to sift through the mess.

Here’s a screenshot from one of the pages of this very website (Geekflare):

The deeply nested HTML and mysterious, confusing CSS classes are typical of any non-trivial website today, which is where the experience with DevTools is suboptimal, to say the least. 🤭

But there is a DevTools feature called Design Mode, which can lessen the pain in many cases. Using the Design Mode (that’s not the official name, by the way; it’s just what people have named it because of how it gets activated and what it does — don’t worry, we’ll see very soon!), changes to the page can be made visually and live, just like editing a spreadsheet or text editor! The only catch is that this feature isn’t on by default, and activating it is a bit of a headache, especially for non-developers.

In any case, doing so is quite simple; all you need to do is follow the below instructions. Depending on where you sit on the user-sophistication curve, this might be laughably easy or moderately difficult. Here’s what to do:

  • Make sure the web page you want to edit is loaded, and you’re currently looking at it (that is, the tab in question is the active one).
  • Open the DevTools panel the way you usually do (keyboard shortcut, mouse clicks, whatever). I like using keyboard shortcuts, and on Mac, Opt + Cmd + I does the job.
  • Now, with the DevTools open, go to the tab called “Console”. Some of you might be rolling your eyes at how silly, and obvious all this seems, but hey, let’s also think of the (hundreds of?) thousands of people out there who struggle while working with the browser console and JavaScript (for whatever reason).
  • Click on the first line next to the cursor, which will then present a typing prompt, and now you can write JavaScript code there (see the screenshot a little further below).
  • Now we need to write some JavaScript code. Don’t fret, as what you need to write/type is very short and straightforward: document.designMode = 'on'. You can also copy and paste the code from this page (if you do, make sure that the formatting doesn’t get copied — we need only plain text) or if you’re feeling confident, type it out.
  • Hit Enter/Return.

Yup, that’s all!

Now you can freely make edits to the page as if it were a document. Check out this example video where I live-edit the Spotify website using Design Mode:

The Design Mode feature, exciting as it is, is not a silver bullet; you can’t, for example, easily copy-paste buttons, change their appearance, and so on. The actual number of things it can do compared to a dream visual web page editor is very low; however, it does solve use cases where content needs to be changed visually and on-the-fly.

That said, it’s not too far-fetched to claim that the Chrome folks are testing how well this feature is received; if it finds good reception and a strong use case, it’s reasonable to expect that more powerful editing capabilities will soon follow! 🤞🏻🤞🏻

Simulating network conditions

The Network tab in Chrome DevTools is perhaps the one most widely used (I don’t have data on it, of course, but as a web developer, I tend to use the Console tab maybe 20-30% of the time, and the Network tab the rest of the time). It gives us all sorts of information about the requests being made from the page, their type, metadata/headers, status, download progress of assets (images, stylesheets, etc.), load times, and so on. With such incredible usefulness, it’s no wonder that the Network tab is the most common.

And yet, it’s straightforward to miss the feature we’re discussing; you might not have noticed a harmless dropdown that states the obvious: Online.

If you click this, you’ll see a dropdown with various options that let you throttle the network speed: Fast 3G, Slow 3G, Offline, etc. While there can be various use cases for this option, the most common is to test website performance on slow networks or web app behavior when offline (assuming such capabilities were added).

Let’s take this for a spin. I’ll set the network to “Slow 3G” and reload the same page from the previous screenshot. Before I do that, notice in the earlier screenshot how on my current network connection (a 40 Mbps broadband), most assets are being downloaded in under 100 milliseconds.

And now, time to see what slow 3G does to it.

What a difference!

Notice that thefor assets is now in the 5-10 seconds range. Also, the site finished loading fully in 17.25 seconds! Yes, I know what you’re thinking, but you have to consider that on a slow 3G network, any modern website will take several seconds to load. Whether you want fast loading on slow networks is another thing, though all in all, it has to be a business decision where the gains justify the effort.

In the screenshot above, notice the warning icon on the Network tab. That’s Chrome’s way of reminding you that you made some non-default, persistent change, and unless you know what you’re doing, you should maybe reset it.

Interactive color picker

Inspecting DOM elements in DevTools is something we all do pretty much every day. We’re also used to the CSS details section shown alongside, and we know we can edit it and see the results immediately.

One tiny convenience hidden among all this is that if you click on a CSS color property, a familiar color picker interface will pop up!

Notice that it’s not a bare-bones, basic color picker. It lets you control transparency, change color systems being used, pick a color directly from the page, and much more.

So, the next time you’re experimenting with a site’s accent colors, for example, you don’t need to work out or guess at the right value for the shade you have in mind! In fact, many people like to design websites directly in the browser; for them, features like these are a godsend! 🙂

Monitoring events on-page elements

We often are in a situation where we wish we knew what was going on with that one specific element we’re interested in. This is especially true when using jQuery in a non-trivial code-base — whether yours or others’; event handlers and logic are spread all over the place, and tracking down a bug can be a nightmare.

Thankfully, Chrome DevTools has a nifty feature for just this. It will observe the indicated element for you and log the events to the console. But there’s a bit of a letdown: this feature doesn’t have element selection capabilities based on CSS class names. So, the jQuery way of $('#email') isn’t available. 🙂

With that said, let’s see how to make it work. We begin by doing a simple “inspect element” using the DevTools inspector. Yes, it’s the very same inspection tool we use every day.

In the screenshot below, I’ve used the inspector tool to highlight the text input. By “highlight” I don’t mean that the element on the page is highlighted (it’s not, as you can see); rather, the inspector cursor was clicked on the text input, and the corresponding HTML code in the DevTools is highlighted.

Doing this targets the currently inspected element for event monitoring, which makes the element accessible as a special JavaScript variable called $0. Next, making sure I don’t click elsewhere on the browser window carelessly (especially the HTML code part), I click on the Console and attach an event listener for this text input. For this, all I need is a single line of code: monitorEvents($0, 'mouse'). The “mouse” part here tells Chrome that I’m only interested in watching for mouse-based events.

As soon as I hit Enter/Return, monitoring is activated, and if I now hover over or click on the text input, those events are logged to the console as JavaScript objects:

As you can see in the screenshot, several types of mouse events were captured as I clicked on the element, typed my name, and then moved the mouse away (the typing events, being keyboard events, were not logged). The events are JavaScript objects themselves, as is clear from the screenshot; each event object contains a tremendous amount of information. For instance, I expanded the “click” event object, and the number of properties couldn’t fit all in a single screenshot!

I highly encourage you to try out this feature right away since it’s sure to save you lots of headaches in your upcoming projects!

Website performance reports

These days,makes or breaks a business/website. Even a small increase in performance translates to massive SEO gains as well as user satisfaction. But how do you know which parts of your website need attention and which ones are good already?

Do you need to hire a team of experts and wait patiently for a few days?

Well, there are cases where that needs to be done, but thankfully, Chrome DevTools has the rest of us covered. In the latest versions of Chrome (late 2020), you’ll find atab in the DevTools. A few months back, it was called Audits, and confusingly enough, that’s the name you’ll find in the official docs as of writing. Anyway, the point is that Lighthouse used to be a trendy website for checking website performance for free, but then Google took it down (no reasons were given). Thankfully, the same powerful functionality later resurfaced in DevTools.

To generate a performance report, all you need to do is hit a single button after the page you’re interested in has loaded:

As you can see on the right side in the screenshot, there are a few options to control how much information you want (and, of course, what you want to test for). Once you’re happy with the settings, hit that big blue button, sit back, and relax. A few seconds later, you’ll have a beneficial report looking something like this:

The numbers you see in the above screenshot show the overall score for each category. The category for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) is greyed out, likely because this website has no PWA capabilities. Also, as you can tell by the scroll bar size in the screenshot (to the very right), it’s a long report.

Here’s what a part of the section on performance looks like:

I won’t claim that Lighthouse and its suggestions are the holy grail of website performance, but these are extremely helpful; that’s because website owners and developers rarely have a clue about what issues exist and how exactly to address them.

Honestly, even I feel lost as a web developer, as performance and testing tend to be specializations of sorts. As such, Lighthouse is a little-known, under-appreciated tool, now part of the Chrome DevTools, that is of immense use for business owners and developers/sysadmins alike.

Code-editing prowess

The Sources tab in DevTools lets us access various files loaded by the website. It also has capabilities like code editing, saving snippets, etc. This much should come as no surprise to web developers. However, DevTools also has a few conveniences built-in that make life easier for developers used to their favorite code IDEs.

DevTools uses some well-known keyboard shortcuts that will save you time and minimize code-wrangling frustration. For example, Ctrl + D (or Cmd + D on Mac) can be used to highlight multiple occurrences of a word. Similarly, holding Ctrl (or Cmd on Mac) and clicking at multiple places in the code gives you multiple cursors. Have a look at the video below to get a better idea:

If you think this is cool, make sure to dive into the official docs to take advantage of all code-editing features the DevTools has to offer.

Control DOM element state

Sometimes we’re testing or debugging something, but the behavior we’re chasing is only available in a particular element state. Depending on what state it is, you might end up having a terrible time; for me, it’s the “hover” state, as I remember wasting countless minutes trying to time the hover action or tacking on additional, temporary CSS, etc.

Thankfully, Chrome DevTools has an easy way to change the state of an inspected element. What’s more, the option to do so is right there if we right-click the element (in the Elements tab), but given the number of features and the pressures of a day’s work, it’s easy to overlook this:

Yes, it’s really that simple!

Now, you don’t need to bake conditional testing logic into your code, write additional CSS or jump through some other hoops when observing an element in a different state.

Tools panel

Last but definitely not least on this list is the Tools panel. It’s another of those incredibly useful features that are well-hidden and can only be seen using keyboard shortcuts. As the name suggests, the Tools panel is not a single tool but a dashboard of sorts where almost all of DevTool’s functions are available. Since there are way too many functions offering the overall DevTools functionality, a search bar is available right at the top.

To activate the Tools panel, make sure you’re in the DevTools panel and then hit Ctrl + Shift + P (or Cmd + Shift + P for Mac users):

The Tools panel is full of capabilities and surprises. For instance, did you know that you could take a screenshot directly from the DevTools?

I bet not, because you’d have to fire up the Tools panel and type “screenshot” in the search bar to uncover that:

You’ll also notice several options for taking screenshots, including one for the selected DOM node! Explore the Tools panel more, and I assure you won’t be disappointed!

If you need to take a screenshot of any webpage remotely, check out the.


The Chrome browser itself is feature-rich, but where it really shines is the DevTools offering. As we saw in this article, there are quite a few well-hidden features–and others hiding in plain sight–that a vast majority of users don’t know about. Why are these features hidden?

I guess that some of these are very experimental (such as Design Mode), and the Chrome developers want to make it hard for everyday users to find these features. For the rest of the many features, I believe it’s simply a case of information overload: if there are, say, 120 features, with some of them having sub-features and so on, it’s pretty much impossible to design the right UI for such a scenario. Also, Google historically hasn’t done a great job with its, so there’s that. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Regardless, I hope you found some of these features useful. But more importantly, I hope this article gave you a sense of what’s hiding where so that the next time you want to explore or search for something particular, you know where to go to “dig deep”. 😆

It’s been two years since Microsoft revamped its mobile efforts and introduced us to Windows Phone. Still, the company has a long way to go before it can stand up to the likes of Android in terms of apps. Back in October, Microsoft revealed that the Windows Phone marketplace now boasts 120,000 applications. In comparison, Google’s Play Store hit a milestone of 700,000 apps around the same time. Obviously, Android’s got a lot of apps that Windows Phone doesn’t. However, it seems one app in particular is being kept away from Windows Phone on purpose.

According to Microsoft, Google is preventing Microsoft from offering consumers a fully featured YouTube app for the Windows Phone. Redmond first complained about this back in 2010, claiming that Google refused to give Windows Phones the same access to YouTube metadata that was offered to Android and iOS devices. This meant Microsoft’s YouTube app was actually just a browser displaying the mobile version of YouTube. Microsoft actually went as far as to complain to the European Union and the FTC about Google’s conduct. This week, Microsoft raised the issue once again.


Though Google may not have any interest in developing apps for Windows Phone (or Windows 8), refusing a competitor access to data that is made readily available to other competitors (in this case, Apple) isn’t exactly conducive to a level playing field, is it? Google has yet to comment on Microsoft’s allegations, but we’ll be sure to update if we hear anything.

Nokia may have just announced an ambition to make Windows Phone 7 its primary smartphone OS but prior to that, the company had all kinds of plans involving Symbian and MeeGo, the Linux-based OS it developed in conjunction with Intel. Here’s a device that the company filed a patent for last year. 

and just recently published by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office, the patent sketches portray an N8-like tablet but reveal little about the specs or even the OS of the device. We can see a smattering of ports along one side of the device, but other than that, there’s not much else to see. Since this patent was discovered by Boy Genius Report, Electronista managed to. Also filed in May of 2010, the design of the second tablet is a little different to the first, but again, the filing offers nothing else in the way of information about specifications or operating systems.

It’s very likely these are tablets that have been shelved since Nokia’s decision to move away from MeeGo and towards Windows Phone 7, but you never know.

Further Reading:

demonstrated that there was a demand for cheap(ish) cable replacement services, delivered over the Internet.iterated on the design and delivered an even better service, andtried its hand at expanding the channel selection — and.

Now, ($35 per month) wants a piece of the pie, and it’s burst onto the scene with very little preamble from its parent company, Google.

While my full review of YouTube TV is still in the works, I wanted to give you my initial impressions of the service, having installed it this morning and used it intermittently until this afternoon. In a nutshell: It’s competent, but not impressive. The mobile app is pretty and snappy, and the PC interface works as advertised. On the other hand, the channel selection isn’t all it could be, and it suffers from some device limitations that will take time to work out.

and more.

Over time, the app learns your preferences, and starts recommending content you’ll really like — the latest episode of a show you’ve been watching, or a movie in a series you follow, and so forth.

The Library section is similarly clean and easy-to-use. As you tell YouTube what you want to watch, it will record every instance of a show available, and keep the recordings almost indefinitely. Think of it as having a DVR with infinite space. PlayStation Vue is fairly generous with its DVR options, but YouTube TV sails right past it; Sling TV’s DVR-in-beta lags far behind, while DirecTV Now offers nothing.

If DVR is your thing and you feel that you left it behind with your cable or satellite subscription, YouTube TV can help fill the on-demand hole in your heart.

The Live TV section also shows live previews of channels when you run your finger or your mouse over them. It’s a relatively low-bandwidth way to give you an idea of what’s on without committing to a certain show.


The Bad

have complained about YouTube TV’s channel selection, and I can’t blame them. With fewer than 40 channels at $35 per month, it’s not quite as robust as DirecTV Now, whose $35 plan offers more than 60 channels, nor as cost-effective as Sling TV, which offers more than 30 channels for $20 per month.

Some of the channels YouTube is missing are glaring omissions: there’s no Nickelodeon, no Discovery, no CNN, no AMC, and no TBS, among others. Sure, you get broadcast networks, but you can get those just as easily with an HD antenna.

Finding content is also not as easy as it should be due to a truly baffling design choice. I searched in vain for a way to browse by network, by genre or by on-demand availability and found nothing. At last, I clicked the search bar, and lo and behold, was redirected to a whole page of browsing options — plus a search tool, naturally. The issue is not a deal-breaker by any means, but a page that should have been front-and-center in YouTube TV’s interface is instead relegated to a function that usually does the exact opposite thing. (Users tend to browse to find general content, and search to find specific content.)

What I felt when I used YouTube TV more than anything else, though, was a general sense of “been there, done that.” Yes, the service’s DVR features are miles ahead of the competition, but in a world of on-demand content from individual channels and Netflix/Hulu/Amazon alike, DVR is not nearly as vital as it once was. Take that away, and you’re left with a decently navigable cable replacement service that has some channels you want, and some you don’t.

In other words: It’s a lot like Sling TV/PlayStation Vue/DirecTV Now. It’s not as obtuse as Sling TV, not as restrictive as PlayStation Vue, and not as buggy as DirecTV Now, but I can’t point to anything it does remarkably better or worse than its three big competitors.


The Ugly

By far, the most unusual decision Google made for YouTube TV was allowing it to launch with onlycompatibility. (Android TV has Chromecast functionality as well, but there’s no dedicated app.) If you have an,,or just a, you (ironically) won’t be able to watch YouTube TV on your TV.

Apps for other streaming platforms are probably forthcoming, but Google hasn’t provided any solid information about them. YouTube TV could prove a very tough sell if you purchase it with only the vague hope that it will someday be compatible with the devices you already own.

First Impressions

So far, I’m not bowled over by YouTube TV, but I’m also not disappointed with it. If Google set out to launch a competent cable service at a reasonable price with a sensible interface, it succeeded. If, on the other hand, Google set out to do something unexpected and innovative in the cable replacement space, it missed the mark.

I’ll need to spend a few more days learning the service’s ins and outs before I give it a full review. In the meantime, YouTube TV offers a, so if you want to give it a spin for yourself, now is as good a time as any.

Imagine you could make the President of the United States say whatever you wanted, no matter how incendiary or volatile, on video. That’s the new normal, thanks to the frightening world of Deepfakes, a new AI-assisted technology that’s becoming ever-more available.

Yesterday (April 17)and actor/director/writer Jordan Peele (Get Out) demonstrated the dangerous potential of Deepfakes, with a video where a man who looks just like former President Barack Obama says the following: ‘So, for instance, they could have me say things like ‘Killmonger was right’ or ‘Ben Carson is in the Sunken Place,’ or ‘President Trump is a total and complete dipshit.”

that the video looked clumsy at first, but got ‘remarkably better’ once FakeApp had time to mash the mouth and face together.


How can you avoid getting fooled by Deepfakes?

The bad news is that we’re only in the infancy of Deepfakes, and the technology can only become more convincing as more and more people work on its improvement.

How fast is this technology moving? Deepfakes first gained popularity last December when a subreddit popped up to show how miscreants were using FakeAdd to swap celebrity faces into adult films. and areport documented how one clip wasn’t ‘going to fool anyone who looks closely. Sometimes the face doesn’t track correctly and there’s an uncanny valley effect at play, but at a glance it seems believable.’ Adobe’s even been developing a ‘photoshop for audio’ dubbed, but it may never see the light of day.

But back to the Deepfakes of today. If you squint closely at the mouth of Deepfake Obama, you can see a blurred area, that might remind Star Wars fans of how the mouth of Grand Moff Tarkin looked in the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, since the deceased actor Peter Cushing wasn’t there, but reborn in CGI.

Aside from that blur, and Peele’s voice not being Obama’s, there’s little in this video that signifies that it’s a forgery (minus the confession at the end).

So, your best bet is to use an old bit of journalistic wisdom and ‘consider the source.’ Don’t believe your eyes when you’re watching social media. Rely less on short videos posted online, and more on the content from reliable publications like The New York Times.

As Peele and Obama say in the video, ‘It may sound basic, but how we move forward in the Age of Information is going to be the difference between whether we survive or whether we become some kind of f*cked up dystopia.’