Apple

Netflix removed 9 films and TV shows due to government demands. Here’s why.

Doesn’t it suck when your favorite movies and TV shows get removed from Netflix?  When Netflix lost Friends at the beginning of the year, fans of the show were really disappointed. But, hey, that’s showbiz. Rights to movies and TV shows get bought, sold, and expire all the time. But did you know that Netflix…

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Doesn’t it suck when your favorite movies and TV shows get removed from Netflix? 

When Netflix lost Friends at the beginning of the year, fans of the show were really disappointed. But, hey, that’s showbiz. Rights to movies and TV shows get bought, sold, and expire all the time.

But did you know that Netflix has removed movies and TV shows from its service at the demand of foreign governments? Thanks to Netflix’s new efforts to be more transparent, we now know for the first time exactly what content has been removed due to these demands.

According to Netflix’s , the company has removed nine titles in its streaming history in compliance with government takedown demands. The takedowns all occurred between 2015 and 2020.

Government takedowns aren’t a new phenomena for online media platforms. Facebook, Apple, Twitter, YouTube, and even Wikipedia often receive and comply with requests from government bodies to remove content from its platforms in those countries. The reasons for such requests often range from local laws banning certain kinds of content to the publishing of unauthorized material to straight up attempts of censorship.

However, as you can see, many of the companies that receive these takedown requests are social media platforms or services where the content is user-created. The content on Netflix, a subscription-based streaming video service, is all specifically owned by or licensed to the company by television rights holders and Hollywood distributors.

“We offer creators the ability to reach audiences all around the world,” Netflix says in the

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Apple

The 6 best photo-editing apps you need to download on your iPhone

The iPhone has improved a lot over the years, especially when it comes to the camera.  Just look at the iPhone 11 Pro. That bad boy comes complete with a triple rear camera setup (each of which are 12-megapixels) and a telephoto lens. Your pictures have never looked better.  But even though Apple has upped…

The iPhone has improved a lot over the years, especially when it comes to the camera. 

Just look at the iPhone 11 Pro. That bad boy comes complete with a triple rear camera setup (each of which are 12-megapixels) and a telephoto lens. Your pictures have never looked better. 

But even though Apple has upped the ante in terms of hardware, it’s highly unlikely you’ll upload a picture to social media without slightly altering at least some part of it. 

Luckily, there are some great alternatives to settling for those basic Instagram filters or sticking to the built-in camera tools. Because every single one of us needs all the “likes” we can get. And because #nofilter is no longer a thing.

Here are six of the best iPhone photo-editing apps to download right now. 

Bye, Instagram filters. Hello, beautifully edited photos! 

1. VSCO

Wonder if she's a VSCO Girl.

Wonder if she’s a VSCO Girl.

Image: vsco

Ahhhh, a nice community that doesn't judge you for not getting enough

Ahhhh, a nice community that doesn’t judge you for not getting enough “likes.”

Image: vsco

I’m not sure there will ever be a time when my mind doesn’t associate the word “VSCO” with the word “girls.” But behind the viral trend is a photo-editing app that’s a bit unique from the rest.

If you opt for the free version, you’ll have access to basic tools to edit RAW images — like contrast, saturation, texture, crop, and skew. There are also 10 different VSCO presets (also known as filters) to choose from.

If you’re willing to pay $20 per year, you’ll unlock the more advanced photo editor tools, like split tone and HSL. You can also use the app edit videos, create short GIFs, and use the Montage feature to piece together content to create video collages. 

Oh, and you’ll also have tons more presets to choose from, you photography pro. Like, over 200. So many options for your pictures!! 

When you’re done with your photo masterpiece, you can either export it to upload to different social media platforms or post it to the VSCO community. The best part: There are no “likes” or comments, so you won’t have to constantly refresh the post to see how it’s doing. 

Don’t worry, we’re all guilty of it.

2. Snapseed 

You've got plenty of photo filters to choose from.

You’ve got plenty of photo filters to choose from.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

Look at allllll the tools to edit your photos.

Look at allllll the tools to edit your photos.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

With Snapseed, in addition to different filters, there are tons of photo editing and adjustment tools, too.

Coming from someone who mostly edits only the brightness and saturation on her photos, I’ve never even heard of some of what the app offers, but that doesn’t mean these tools are useless. They’re just more on the level of professional photographer effects.

With over 30 edit tools and filters to choose from, you can use things like lens blur (for Bokeh), tune the exposure, boost shadows, adjust the white balance, and more.

It sounds intimidating, but the Snapseed app is super straightforward and easy to navigate for all your photography needs. And, for you newbies out there, there are plenty of photo editor tips and tutorials to read through to help you get the most out of the app.

3. Adobe Photoshop Express

Photoshop your pictures with a cool Bokeh effect.

Photoshop your pictures with a cool Bokeh effect.

Image: adobe Photoshop express

Remove red eye from your photos, it's not welcome here.

Remove red eye from your photos, it’s not welcome here.

Image: adobe photoshop express

Photoshop Express is more like a “lite” version of the original photo-editing software, built specifically for your phone. It’ll set you back $9.99 per month.

You can use the Photoshop app to remove red-eye or noise, adjust contrast, or crop and straighten images. To enhance the photos, you can also adjust color temperature and vibrancy, or add filters. And then there’s the more fun stuff, like adding borders, texts, stickers, and texts to your images. You can literally create your own memes while you’re at it. 

If you have an abundance of snapshots, there’s a handy-dandy photo collage feature, too. 

4. Afterlight

How to make your photos look vintage? We got you.

How to make your photos look vintage? We got you.

Image: afterlight

Touch tools let you edit specific parts of each photo.

Touch tools let you edit specific parts of each photo.

Image: afterlight

While Afterlight offers tools that are similar to those of other photo-edit

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Apple

iPhone reports of increased screen time during coronavirus are pretty rude TBH

If you’ve been turning to your smartphone for connection to the outside world more than usual lately, you’re not alone. iPhone users are accustomed to getting a “Weekly Screen Time Report” on Sundays. These provide stats about how much time people have spent looking at their phones over the last week. A notification of the…

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If you’ve been turning to your smartphone for connection to the outside world more than usual lately, you’re not alone.

iPhone users are accustomed to getting a “Weekly Screen Time Report” on Sundays. These provide stats about how much time people have spent looking at their phones over the last week. A notification of the report shows the percentage by which a person’s use was up or down compared to the previous week. 

This week delivered a dose of reality about how social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic might be affecting our screen time. Across much of the country over the past week, people socially isolated themselves to slow the spread of coronavirus. 

That’s good for the world’s health, but apparently bad for our relationship with our smartphones. Social media users bemoaned their skyrocketing screen time results, and some pointed out that it’s pretty! rude! of Apple to show how quarantining is affecting their iPhone dependency.

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Apple

10 of the best Squarespace templates for videos, blogs, and more

If you’ve listened to any podcast ever, you already know the spiel: Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder that makes it easy to create a beautiful online presence. Numbers-wise, it’s one of the most popular web building and hosting service out there, supporting millions of websites across the internet.  One of the primary reasons why…

If you’ve listened to any podcast ever, you already know the spiel: Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder that makes it easy to create a beautiful online presence. Numbers-wise, it’s one of the most popular web building and hosting service out there, supporting millions of websites across the internet. 

One of the primary reasons why Squarespace has seen this success — well, aside from all of those ad slots — is that it’s inherently all-inclusive. For about £10 to £30 per month, Squarespace plans offer access to hosting, around the clock customer support, website metrics, mobile optimisation, SSL security, unlimited storage and bandwidth, an intuitive drag-and-drop page builder, and dozens of original, modern templates.

Most of those features are self-explanatory, although the latter could benefit from a bit more elaboration: A Squarespace template determines how your site looks and works. Users have more than 90 different options to choose from, each of which has been designed and coded exclusively for Squarespace (which means you won’t find them on WordPress, Wix, or other site-building platforms). 

Every Squarespace template belongs to a so-called template family, or a group of similarly coded templates that are alike in their basic structure, functionality, and customisation options. Squarespace categorises its templates this way, per its support page, “to showcase their versatility and to help you find the layout and pre-set style options that work best as a starting point for your site.” Poking around within a family can be helpful if you want to see how Squarespace’s tools can be used to make websites look different, it adds, pointing to Brine and Thorne (below) as good examples of two templates that are in the same family of template, but styled differently:

1src of the best Squarespace templates for videos, blogs, and more

Image: squarespace

What’s great about Squarespace is that it caters to users of all web design skill levels, with each template falling somewhere on a customisation spectrum. Some templates give you the tools to go all-out with fonts, colours, image effects, border sizes, landing pages, and more, letting you fine-tune every detail, whereas others offer only a few style options to eliminate any potential hassles. It’s up to you to decide how much time and effort you’ll dedicate to designing your site.

At this point, you’re probably wondering: How do these features set Squarespace apart from, say, WordPress, another popular platform? The short of it is this: You get what you pay for. With WordPress, you’ve got virtually unlimited customisation options if you cough up some dough for hosting services, quality themes, and reputable plugins. 

Squarespace offers far less flexibility in comparison, but all of its templates are ultra-reliable and mobile-ready. And while they’re not as prolific as WordPress plugins, Squarespace supports the official integrations of certain services, including Acuity Scheduling (to let visitors schedule an appointment), Apple News (to cross-publish your content), and Paypal (to let your site accept PayPal payments from customers), among a few dozen others. Plus, most of the technical drudgery for your site is handled by Squarespace’s team of experts so you can direct your focus elsewhere. 

If Squarespace sounds like the right solution for you, know this: You really can’t go wrong with any of its templates. Like, it’s almost impossible to make an ugly Squarespace site, but just in case you need a little help to get the ball rolling on the site of your dreams, save yourself a Google search and just keep reading.

These are 10 of the best template options for all sort of purposes, from podcasts to portfolios and beyond.

Best for blogging

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Image: five

The Good

Sidebars, sidebars everywhere • Highly flexible

The Bad

No index page

The Bottom Line

An oldie and a goodie for bloggers who value versatility and a sidebar (or two).

Five

An oldie and a goodie for bloggers who value versatility and a sidebar (or two).

  • Family: Five
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Five may be one of the older Squarespace templates out there, but it’s anything but washed up. One of its main draws is its support for sidebars, which can play an important role on one’s blog. 
You can use a sidebar to highlight promotions, house a call-to-action, or plug your bio and social media handles to build your brand. Every page on a Five site can feature up to two sidebars; in fact, Five is the only Squarespace template that features a two-sidebar design. 
With Five, you’ve also got options to showcase your content in the form of full-width banners and videos, tweak your navigation menu, style galleries as grids or slideshows, create events, and much more. Plus, Five supports Squarespace’s integrated commerce feature so you can set up an online store once your blog takes off.  

Best for e-commerce

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Image: galapagos

The Good

Interactive shopping experience • Clean layout

The Bad

Few opportunities for customisation

The Bottom Line

Sometimes basic isn’t a bad thing, especially if it takes the fuss out of incorporating interactive design elements.

Galapagos

Sometimes basic isn’t a bad thing, especially if it takes the fuss out of incorporating interactive design elements.

  • Family: Galapagos
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For an elegant online shop that requires minimal effort on your part, Galapagos is where it’s at. 
Its customisation options are pretty limited compared to most other ecommerce Squarespace templates, but that means you can spend less time designing your site and more time selling your stuff. Your customers won’t even know the difference, either, because the final result will look and work as if you spent hours perfecting its design: With a Quick View feature, Product Image Zoom, and several product layouts and special on-hover effects to choose from, Galapagos can make your shop fully interactive in just a few clicks and drags. 
Besides your Products page, the Galapagos theme can also support list-style blogs with one sidebar, galleries styled as slideshows or grids, calendars or lists of events, an album page with playable music, and a unique landing page.  

BEST FOR A PORTFOLIO

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Image: wexley

The Good

Adaptive grid layout • Tools for online shop • Single sidebar can be added to blog

The Bad

Non-landing pages are pretty unexciting

The Bottom Line

A simple yet beautiful way to showcase your best creative work that facilitates visitor exploration.

Wexley

A simple yet beautiful way to showcase your best creative work that facilitates visitor exploration.

  • Family: Wexley
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Wexley is another older template that’s stuck around for a reason: Its “adaptive mosaic” layout for visuals — that’s Squarespace’s way of saying “fancy grid” — has proven to be a compelling way to flaunt one’s artwork and photography. 
It works like this: You’ll put together a landing page that features the best of your portfolio, wherein every image will be optimi

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Top translation apps for filling your passport (and your home screen)

Traveling isn’t just about the destination. Translation applications are essential to understanding. Even if you have months of Duolingo under your belt, your vocabulary will still be behind native speakers. Get yourself a translation app and suddenly you’ll be way more comfortable navigating communication in a foreign land. Apps have a variety of features, so…

Traveling isn’t just about the destination.

Translation applications are essential to understanding. Even if you have months of Duolingo under your belt, your vocabulary will still be behind native speakers. Get yourself a translation app and suddenly you’ll be way more comfortable navigating communication in a foreign land.

Apps have a variety of features, so prioritize what you’ll need. There is real-time voice translation, phrasebooks, and picture translation, making these great tools for both learning and translation. Use phrasebooks to ask essential questions, voice translators to understand native speakers, and picture translators to read signs and menus. If you’re unsure if you’ll have a cell signal, make sure to get an app with offline translation.

If you’re traveling, you should probably check out our other resources on the matter. We know the best carry-on luggage, best travel adaptors to make your charger go global, and the best travel pillows that aren’t awkward.

Because I’m nowhere near bilingual, I phoned a friend or two to help me try these apps. My roommate is fluent in Spanish, and she spent the summer in Costa Rica. I asked her for a good test of an app’s knowledge of slang. She said “library” is “biblioteca” in Spanish, but locals often shorten it to “biblio.” So I told my phone “Vamos al biblio” over and over to test each app. All of the apps answered incorrectly, but a few picked up that it’s close to “book” and “Bible.”

My dad also offered an assist on app testing. He has been learning German and works on it everyday for a few hours. To test the apps, he sent me a paragraph from Der Herr de Ringe (that’s The Lord of the Rings in German) with lots of similar words like “coach” and “trainer” to see if the software could pick up on the intricacies. None of the translations were perfect, but none were awful either. 

I ran my tests on 17 of the highest-rated translation apps to find my top picks — here they are.

Best translation app overall

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Image: Triplingo

The Good

Cultural education function • Conversion chart • Free

The Bad

Translation features aren’t as developed as other apps

The Bottom Line

Instead of being just one tool, this app is an entire toolbox.

1. TripLingo

This app combines multiple tools for international travel while maintaining a translation focus.

  • Voice translator: Yes
  • Text translator: Yes
  • Photo translator: Yes
  • Phrasebook: With subscription
  • Offline translation: Yes
See Details

TripLingo is the three-in-one hair and body wash of travel apps. But just like that ambitious three-in-one, this app has its downfalls.
TripLingo knows that you may have more than one travel need, so it tries to fill many roles. Just don’t expect the best from every single function. Reviewers on the App Store report bugs, like not being able to hear the translations. One reviewer said the developer fixed his concerns, and I haven’t experienced problems myself.
There are four tabs lining the bottom of the screen: home, culture, tools, and safety. Inside, there’s all three types of translators and many languages. Plus, it’ll help you convert inches to centimeters.
If you want to memorize a little, TripLingo provides flashcards and quizzes to help you learn. But certain features like an advanced phrasebook requires a subscription,
All the tools make this a good download. It’s great for short trips where you don’t need much detail to enjoy your stay. For longer cultural immersions, I’d pick apps that specialize in each area of travel.

Best translation app for social media

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Image:

The Good

Translate across your apps with Go Translate keyboard • Accurate translations

The Bad

It costs more than your Netflix subscription

The Bottom Line

On par with many of the other translator apps on the market, it’s the integrated keyboard that sets it apart from.

2. Go Translate

Full features require some dough, but options like an integrated keyboard make Go Translate stand out.

  • Voice translator: Yes
  • Text translator: Yes
  • Photo translator: With subscription
  • Phrasebook: No
  • Offline translation: With subscription
See Details

From Afrikaans to Zulu, Go Translate speaks many, many languages. If you feel like backpacking through multiple countries, the app has got you every step of the way.
I love this app for its integrated keyboard that follows me to every app on my phone, meaning it’ll easily translate my Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter. It’s great for the age of influencers, where it’s integral to attract eyes from all over the world.
The app isn’t practical for me because it costs $10 per week, which totals to $520 a year. Of all the subscription services, I’d sooner send my dog a BarkBox. But the weekly charge means you can make it through a short trip and cancel when you get home with minimal expense.
Reviewers on the App Store like the accuracy of the translations and help with pronunciations while many other brag that it helped them ace a class

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