While patrolling the streets of Brooklyn in search of late night festivities I stumbled upon your run-of-the-mill rooftop function, equipped with an on-grade-level DJ, a dance floor in need of resuscitation, and a guest list full of socially awkward New York socialites afraid of losing even one of their 10.4K Instagram followers. But it wasn’t all bad so, with Jack Daniels in hand, I looked to my boys for approval and braved the unknown landscape. Personally, I’m not one to let an evening go to waste, even if the party is on life support, so I made my rounds dancing and weaving my way through the crowd and as the night went on, this random roof top became more and more the place to be. When I finally made my way to the perimeter of the function to catch my breath, someone, who I thought was one of the people I came with, started to walk toward me. Just as I was about to suggest we make our exit, I realize this wasn’t my friend, rather it was Awful Records’ own KeithCharles fresh from a European tour with singer-songwriter HOMESHAKE.

As it turned out, the person I had mistaken him for, Midland Agency’s Aton Ibe, was a mutual friend and this common denominator broke the ice of awkward introductions before it could freeze. Once identities were confirmed, the conversation ran like a faucet. All small talk was cast aside while the subject of creative inspiration took the lead role. The quick run-in swiftly evolved into a near monologue of KeithCharles’ muses, past and present. Whether through drunken passion or pure will to inspire those around him, KeithCharles became a fountain of bohemian energy overflowing with enlightening anecdotes meant to help his creative peers level-up. Thank god the party was calm enough for me to catch every word he said.

Everybody can do this s***! Everybody can f****** do this s*** bro. I started making beats on Kazaa. Do you remember Kazaa bro? Limewire Kazaa bruh! My parents are both musicians, I knew from an early, early age what I needed to do this s***. I told my mom when I was like 9 or 10 years old that I needed an MPC. I knew that this is what I wanted to do. And its crazy to me that I’m able to f****** do it.

And that’s what this is all bout, inspiration. You’re paying it forward with your talent.

I just talk to people all the time and I think that’s helped my fanbase tremendously. After a show, I’d stand out in a crowd and just talk to people and bro, this s*** is actually all about telling someone else that you can do this s***.

I like that, because not a lot of artists in this day and age want to help people, not like put people on but just inspire them or give them a little bit of insight into…

..what it takes to do this!

Exactly, its almost like older generations or more experienced people tend to put young artists down or tell them they aren’t tight before they even get the chance to develop.

Atlanta helped me bro, because I came from the swamps of Tampa, Florida. I’m from the swamps bro, the sticks! Ain’t no culture bro, well except the culture that there is. My mom strictly believes in Jesus. I told her one day, “What if I was muslim?”, she almost got into a car accident.

That’s crazy, but thats that old-head mentality. How are you going to deny someone from being themselves.

What its all about to me, and I feel like everyone can understand this from my music, is that I’m only here to make sure that people who didn’t know that they could do this, know that they can do this. And can do it better than I can. You feel me? I’ve met crazy, crazy musicians and thats what I aspire to be right now. I’m taking piano lessons, guitar lessons, bass lessons and that has been my dream since I was maybe 14 or 15 years old. You feel me?

You have anything specific that you’re working on that’s coming soon?

Oh yeah bro, I’ve got different albums under different names. I have a whole house project under the name Small Twin.

Is that joint out already?

Naw naw, I’m still brewing it, I’m still brewing.

I already know Awful Records artists do everything.

Yeah bro!

But one thing I do enjoy about your music is that you are very honest with what you say and even with the sounds you use.

Are you a big ABRA fan?

 Of course!

She’s way more honest than I am and has been able to get to a certain security that comes from insecurity and thats where I am trying to get with what I am doing now.

Before I could get another question out, “Knuck If You Buck” began to blare from the surrounding speakers and like a trap Cinderella, KeithCharles vanished into the dance floor. Although I was not able to relocate him once Diamond’s verse dropped, his glass slipper was the subject of our conversation. Art is, in its essence, meant to inspire all those who it may come in contact with. As KeithCharles says, it is the role of the artist to incite hope in their supporters so that they too can be the one on stage with thousands of followers chanting their lyrics. They too can grow to release award-winning albums and tour the world making millions of dollars doing what they love; all it takes is a mustard seed of inspiration and the openness and willingness to nurture it and let it grow.


Sony should do more to boost cross-platform gaming

Sony should do more to boost cross-platform gaming

Halfway through 2017, gamers have a new console from Nintendo to enjoy, a high-end option from Microsoft to look forward to, and increasing interest in VR titles. With these advances in hardware, it seems silly that Sony is pedaling backwards with its decision to keep PS4 gamers away from enjoying cross-platform titles.

Speaking to Eurogamer earlier this month, Jim Ryan, head of global sales and marketing for PlayStation, explained the company’s position:

We have a contract with the people who go online with us, that we look after them and they are within the PlayStation curated universe.

Exposing what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after, it’s something we have to think about very carefully.

Xbox chief Phil Spencer isn’t buying the argument. In an interview with Giant Bomb, he pointed out that Microsoft owns one of the most family-friendly games around, and noted:

The fact that somebody would kind of make an assertion that somehow we’re not keeping Minecraft players safe, I found — not only from a Microsoft perspective, but from a game industry perspective — like, I don’t know why that has to become the dialogue. Like, that doesn’t seem healthy for anyone.

It’s odd to see Sony avoiding participating in an important phenomenon in the future of multiplayer gaming. Heck, even Nintendo’s getting in on the action: earlier this month, American studio Psyonix announced that it’s bringing its beloved soccer-but-with-cars game, Rocket League, to the Switch this holiday season, with cross-platform support in tow.

The title works between PC and Xbox One, and between PC and PS4 – it’s just that the consoles currently can’t talk to each other, because Sony won’t allow it. According to Psyonix, if Sony gave the go-ahead, it could have Rocket Leaguerunning across platforms in “less than an hour.”

Psyonix’s Jeremy Dunham told Engadget that while Microsoft and Nintendo were quick to work with Psyonix to support cross-platform play, Sony has been stalling the conversation.

Of course, it almost certainly has to do with money: Sony is hammering Microsoft in sales, with a global install base of 60 million PS4s as of June vs. 26 million Xbox Ones that were last reported in January. As the market leader, it may not want to risk losing out on any customers buying a PS4 so they can remain in the PlayStation universe.

But it’s hard to be sure that that’s just how things will go. Last October, the Xbox One outsold the PS4 for the third month in a row in the US. Sony probably knows something we don’t about the future of console sales. The trouble is, that doesn’t help players.

As Dunham explained, granting gamers access to each other across networks would translate into faster matchmaking, better matches and access to better opponents, and therefore, more time spent on consoles and more chances to sell them things like DLC and cosmetic items.

Instead of fighting to stay exclusive, Sony would do well to explore ways in which it can capitalize on the opportunities that cross-platform gaming will present – increased longevity for multiplayer titles, bigger audiences for niche games, and more word-of-mouth promotion of games between owners of various consoles.


Do you use mobile payments? [Poll of the Week]

Last week’s poll summary: Out of over 1,800 total votes, 32.3% of our readers said their favorite announcement from CES 2017 was the new ASUS ZenFone AR. 13.3% said they were most excited for Samsung’s Chromebook Plus & Pro, while 11.7% said their favorite announcement was the Faraday Future FF91.

Mobile payments have been around for a pretty long time now, but they didn’t start catching on until the release of Apple Pay and Android Pay a few years ago.

While Google, of course, wants all Android users to use Android Pay, Samsung wants its users to use Samsung Pay, and the same goes for Apple with Apple Pay. And if for some reason you aren’t fully satisfied with those three options, we have access to plenty more mobile payment services to round out the already crowded landscape. Chase Bank and even Walmart have their own proprietary services, for example.

Whichever service you decide to use, though, mobile payments are designed to make your life easier and save you time.

So tell us – do you use mobile payments, or are you still not convinced they save time and effort? Be sure to cast your vote in the poll attached below, and speak up in the comments if you have anything else to add. We look forward to hearing what you have to say!

[Source:- Androidauthority]


Android antivirus apps are useless — here’s what to do instead

Google Play

It seems like you can’t go a week without one security firm or another producing a statistic illustrating just how much Android malware there is in the wilds of the internet. More often than not, these reports come with a few reminders that the company’s own security suite can protect you from these nasty bits of code, which is true some of the time. However, Android is by its very nature more secure than a desktop computer, so maybe you don’t need these security apps. You’ve probably already got what you need.

The scare tactics

The most recent Android malware report comes from Check Point, which says nearly one billion android devices have critical vulnerabilities in the underlying Linux kernel. Shocking and upsetting, right? It’s a legitimate security issue, but the reporting is, as usual, overly breathless and dramatic. The PR certainly makes it seem like your phone is ripe for infection, but the real situation is much more nuanced.

The latest QuadRooter scare is actually a set of four issues known as CVE-2016-2059,CVE-2016-2504, CVE-2016-2503, and CVE-2016-5340. They are rooted in the Linux system code provided by Qualcomm to partners like Google. The way this is presented by many mainstream reports, you’d think Google is in panic mode and rushing out patches. In fact, the Android security model is much more mature now. Several of these vulnerabilities are already patched in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), and the others will be soon. As OEMs build new updates, they’ll include updated patch levels, which you can see in your software info.

We’ve all been programmed by PC malware, which can sneak onto your system simply because you visited the wrong website with a vulnerable browser. These “drive-by downloads” aren’t feasible on Android without a pre-existing infection. On Android, you have to physically tap on a notification to install an APK downloaded from a source outside the Play Store. Even then there are security settings that need to be manually bypassed.

What if a QuadRooter app were to make it into the Play Store before then? Google’s platform has the ability to scan for known malware when it’s uploaded. There’s also a human review process in place for anything that looks even a little bit questionable. Google just started doing this a few months ago, mainly as a way to keep copycat apps and obvious scams from slipping through the cracks.

Google Play

The solution pushed by AV companies is to install a security suite that manually scans every app, monitors your Web traffic, and so on. These apps tend to be a drain on resources and are generally annoying with plentiful notifications and pop ups. You probably don’t need to install Lookout, AVG, Symantec/Norton, or any of the other AV apps on Android. Instead, there are some completely reasonable steps you can take that won’t drag down your phone. For example, your phone already has antivirus protection built-in.

What you should do to stay safe

Your first line of defense is to simply not mess around with Android’s default security settings. To get Google certification, each and every phone and tablet comes with “Unknown sources” disabled in the security settings. If you want to sideload an APK downloaded from outside Google Play, all you need to do is check that box. Leaving this disabled keeps you safe from virtually all Android malware, because there’s almost none of it in the Play Store.
There are legitimate reasons to allow unknown sources, though. For example, Amazon’s Appstore client sideloads the apps and games you buy, and many reputable sites re-host official app updates that are rolling out in stages so you don’t have to wait your turn. If you do take advantage of this feature, the first time you do so a box will pop up asking you to allowGoogle to scan for malicious activity. This is known as Verify Apps and it’s part of Google Play Services on virtually all official Android phones. Google has confirmed that QuadRooter is detected and disabled by Verify Apps. So, even if your device is lagging on security updates, you shouldn’t have to worry.

Users have been rooting their Android phones ever since the first handsets hit the market, but it’s less common these days. The platform offers many of the features people used to root in order to acquire. Using rooted Android is basically like running a computer in administrator mode. While it’s possible to run a rooted phone safely, it’s definitely a security risk. Some exploits and malware needs root access to function, and otherwise it’s harmless even if you do somehow install it. If you don’t have a good reason to root your phone or tablet, just don’t open yourself up to that possibility.



[Source: Extreme Tech]