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Blood, Bondage, and Silver Bullets: How To Drink Gothic

Blood, Bondage, and Silver Bullets: How To Drink Gothic

Vampires and zombies, ruined castles and gloomy dungeons: the scary tropes of Gothic horror, which first terrorized the world 250 years ago with the publication of Horace Walpole’s Castle of Otranto, still colonize our imaginations today. What better way to celebrate the anniversary than by mixing yourself a Silver Bullet or Nosferatini and settling in for a Twilight marathon or to re-read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein?

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Sonos Controller app for iPhone and iPad review

Sonos finally updated their Sonos Controller app to version 5 and not only matched the interface and design of iOS 7, but gave it a better, more streamlined and fluid experience. Other than making the software match the ease and elegance of their hardware, however, how well does it work?

For those already familiar with using the Sonos Controller app, all the services you hook into and all the settings will remain the same. A huge amount of the update contains an update interface. Luckily, that means the navigation and user experience has also been rethought and it even better than ever. Swipe to the right in any screen to access the main menu. From here you can use the universal search to look up anything you want. The search displays results from all the services you have hooked in.

Just like previous versions of the Sonos Controller app, you will use it to add components, edit room settings, and more. If you frequently use the Queue feature, you can access and add tracks to it as you could before. The updated design makes the queue itself easier to access and more obvious than the older version.

One feature that has and still does bug me about the Sonos Controller app is that liking or disliking songs is never consistent. While I can do this with Pandora and Beats Music, it doesn’t work with Spotify and a few others. I’m sure this has everything to do with how each service allows Sonos to hook into it, but it creates an inconsistent experience nonetheless. This is one of the big reasons I would really like to see AirPlay support in the future.

The good

  • Great interface that now matches the ease of use Sonos hardware offers
  • Complete setup of a system takes only seconds with the Sonos Controller app
  • Gesture support makes it easy to get back to the home menu in one motion

The bad

  • Still no AirPlay support
  • Liking and disliking songs works with some services, but not others

The bottom line

The Sonos Controller app always did what it needed to do but wasn’t nearly as easy to use as the Sonos hardware itself. Luckily the 5.0 version changes all that and gives it the design it deserves. The only thing that could make the Sonos experience better in my opinion, would be native AirPlay support.

If you’ve given the Sonos Controller app a spin, what do you think of the new design? Are there any missing features you’d like to see in a future update? Let me know in the comments!

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Meet the Illustrator Who Drew Kids’ Books, Anti-War Posters, and Erotica

Meet the Illustrator Who Drew Kids' Books, Anti-War Posters, and Erotica

At one point in the documentary Far Out Isn’t Enough, French illustrator and provocateur Tomi Ungerer is sitting on a bench in a quaint town square, when from offscreen someone hands him a small, disembodied doll’s arm. His face lights up; then he picks his nose with it. Meet one of the most wonderfully artistic, blissfully twisted octogenarians on the planet.

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The Futuristic Superhighways of 1964 Had Glow-in-the-Dark Roads

The Futuristic Superhighways of 1964 Had Glow-in-the-Dark Roads

Glow-in-the-dark roads are finally a reality ; at least in the Netherlands. But we’ve been waiting on this particular vision of the future for quite a while now — for over 50 years, in fact.

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What Frozen would have looked like if Tim Burton made it

What Frozen would have looked like if Tim Burton made it

Artist Yoko imagined what Frozen would have looked like if Tim Burton directed it by re-drawing the characters in a style that Tim Burton would approve of. You know, the huge giant eyes, stick skinny bodies and oversized heads. It works pretty well!

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What is this secret code hidden in so many films and TV shows?

What is this secret code hidden in so many films and TV shows?

There’s a mysterious code hidden in an increasing number of films, shows, and videogames out there, from The Simpsons to South Park to Toy Story. The list goes forever, including live action features like Avengers, Star Wars, and Hunger Games. The code is the key to a secret society limited to a selected few.

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This Hubless Bicycle Folds to the Size of an Umbrella

This Hubless Bicycle Folds to the Size of an Umbrella

Folding bicycles are wonderful, but by and large they have to strike a compromise: large wheels and limited portability, or small pack-size but with tiny little wheels. This slightly strange hubless bike promises a solution to that problem.

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