Trending February 2024 # Rivet Radio Review: Listen To News Stories Curated Just For You # Suggested March 2024 # Top 5 Popular

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You’ve probably got a couple of apps in your stash that provides curated stories for you to read. But, what about an app that reports stories to you?

Rivet Radio is like listening to a version of NPR that only reports the stuff you are interested in. We’ve got a full app review of Rivet Radio for you right now.

Concept

Instead of reading the daily news, listen to it. Instead of being forced to listen to what your local radio station programs for you, select your favorite topics and further customize your experience by following topics, hosts, and programs that you like. Most of the stories come from partner media organizations like PRI, The New York Times, and the Associated Press. Additional content comes from the top popular podcasts like How Stuff Works, Mashable, 99 Percent Invisible, and more. Some content is also provided by Rivet journalists directly.

Design

The app has a fairly simple user interface. Once you’ve chosen topics, tap the play button to begin listening. The screen will display the title of a story, the date it was first aired, the host, and the program source. You can pause, play, and scrub stories. Additional controls and options are available from the menu.

App Use

You will first be asked to log in using Facebook, Google+ or by submitting your email address. Once logged in, you will select topics you’d like to listen to. Categories include Politics, Business, Technolgy, Science, and more. Pick the categories that appeal to you and hit Play.

Stories will begin to play automatically. You can follow the show, host, or program producer by tapping the Follow icon at the bottom of the screen. You can also share a story via social networking and save a story to replay later.

You can view your upcoming queue by tapping the Playlist icon in the upper right corner of the screen. Here, you can rearrange your playlist or delete stories you don’t think you’ll want to hear.

When you tap the Search icon, you’ll be able to view stories you’ve saved and followed, as well as your recent listening history. Tap on Saved items to view and listen to stories you’ve added to the saved queue.

Under “For You” you will see all stories from hosts, shows, and program producers you’ve followed. You can add stories to your queue or play them in order, directly from this section.

The Good

The stories generated are very compatible with my tastes. Tech info from How Stuff Works, news programs from the Associated Press, and lifestyle stories from NPR are all within the type of news stories I like to listen to.

It reminds me of the NPR One app, only stories aren’t relegated to NPR specifically.

The Bad

I really wish there were a way to download shows for offline listening. This app is only useful if you are always connected to Wi-Fi or don’t have any concerns about data usage.

Value Conclusion

If you listen to talk radio programs similar to what you’d hear on NPR, then this is definitely the app for you. It has plenty of content to keep you listening for hours on end and you can customize your listening experience to get the most out of what you want to hear. Download it in the App Store today.

Related Apps

Stitcher Radio lets you customize playlists based on podcasts you listen to and plays them like a radio station.

You're reading Rivet Radio Review: Listen To News Stories Curated Just For You

A Guide To Optimizing For Google News, Top Stories, And Discover

Optimizing sites to appear in Google News, Top Stories, and Google Discover is unique in many ways from the process of earning rankings in the 10 blue organic links.

This is because Google uses a variety of different organic SERP features to display recent or newsworthy content, each of which comes with its own set of ranking guidelines and reporting capabilities.

To make this even more complex, Google only provides dedicated reporting on some – but not all – of these News-related features through Google Search Console and Google Analytics.

This leaves some mystery about precisely where in the search results a given article might be driving traffic and impressions.

Google offers guidelines around how to appear in products like Google News and Discover.

However, these documents are often technical in nature (such as this example of Google’s article that explains technical recommendations for preventing content from being indexed on Google News without affecting its performance in regular Search).

In order to understand how your sites perform in News, Discover, and related features, it is best to analyze the performance of your own content to see what works and what doesn’t.

In this column, you’ll learn about the various Google SERP features that display recent or trending news and find tips on how to optimize and report on them.

I’ll also include some aggregated data and insights related to my own clients’ performance across these features.

Google News

Google News is a news aggregator product available both as a mobile app and by visiting chúng tôi in your browser.

Historically, publishers had to manually submit their sites for approval in Google News via the Google Publisher Center, and the approval process was notoriously difficult.

However, Google recently updated its guidelines about which sites are eligible to appear in Google News.

As of December 2023, the documentation quietly changed:

Hidden among this barrage of Publisher Center updates, this is quite a shock:

— Barry Adams 📰 (@badams) December 11, 2023

According to Google’s documentation, all publishers need to do to appear in Google News is “produce high-quality content and comply with Google News content policies.”

Complying with Google’s News content policies boils down to not producing content that is violent, hateful, dangerous, or deceptive.

Reading between the lines of these updated guidelines indicates that it is technically possible for content from any site to appear in Google News.

However, that doesn’t happen often for most sites.

Regardless of how frequently a site produces content, Google is strict in its criteria for which publishers to display in Google News.

As stated throughout much of its documentation, News sites must demonstrate good E-A-T: expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

In fact, in Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines, the definition of “YMYL – Your Money, Your Life” content starts with “News and current events” as the first example of the type of site that can affect a person’s future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety.

This likely indicates that the criteria used to evaluate content and websites for Google News may be subject to greater scrutiny of E-A-T than that of other areas of Google Search.

This would align with other articles and videos Google has published in recent years that confirm that Google increases its focus on the authoritativeness of publishers when it comes to breaking news, misinformation, elections, and times of crisis.

Two other features Google claims to promote in its rankings of News content are “uniqueness” and a “diversity of viewpoints.”

In late 2023, Google published an article emphasizing the importance of original reporting in its ranking of news content, with the goal of providing stronger rankings for “the story that kicked everything off.”

According to Google:

“While we typically show the latest and most comprehensive version of a story in news results, we’ve made changes to our products globally to highlight articles that we identify as significant original reporting.

Such articles may stay in a highly visible position longer. This prominence allows users to view the original reporting while also looking at more recent articles alongside it.”

If your goal is to rank well in Google News, this recommendation can’t be overlooked.

There are numerous aggregator websites and websites that primarily syndicate content from sources like Reuters or the Associated Press, which may be seeing declines in organic visibility in recent years because of this issue.

The SEO visibility of one such aggregator website is shown below, with blue letters indicating Google Core Updates:

While it’s not uncommon for syndicated content to drive traffic, achieving long-term, sustainable performance in Google News requires differentiating your content by providing original reporting or offering a unique angle not found on other sites.

In fact, Google recommends that syndicated content not be indexed, although, in reality, this type of content often drives significant organic traffic for many publishers who choose to index it.

Relevance.

Prominence.

Authoritativeness.

Freshness.

Location.

Language.

Publishing quickly is key.

Unlike traditional search, where timeliness may be more of a muted factor (depending on the query), in Google News, timeliness is everything.

This is especially true if a breaking news event takes place.

The sites that publish quickly will be the first to start accruing links and social shares, which will only amplify their performance on Google News.

Using NewsArticle structured data and News XML Sitemaps are also technical requirements for inclusion in Google News.

Google’s Publisher Center

Google offers news publishers a Publisher Center they can use to manage their Organization’s information. This includes general information about the organization, which categories are included on the site, official brand logos, feeds, and more.

If ranking in Google News is your goal, you should absolutely make use of the Publisher Center to control important information about your brand.

Visibility In Google News

While Google News aims to show a variety of viewpoints and not skew towards any end of the political spectrum, highly authoritative publications have been dominating in recent years.

Meanwhile, many fringe publications appear to have lost visibility.

Looking at the news publishers with the strongest visibility on Google over the last 12 months can shed some light on what it takes to be considered a news authority in various categories.

I pulled a list of the 100 highest traffic websites in “News and Media” from Similarweb’s list of highest traffic domains in that category.

I then cross-referenced this list with the Sistrix Visibility Index (VI) scores for these domains, which measures the overall visibility of a domain over time and assigns it a Visibility Index (VI) score based on how it ranks on Google across Sistrix’s set of 1 million tracked keywords.

These are the news domains that capture the most organic visibility on chúng tôi as of March 1, 2023, using the U.S. index:

Domain 3/1/21 VI 243.4 212.1 123.2 102.9 100.7 97.4 77.8 70.0 59.0 57.1 55.7 50.7 46.4 46.0 45.3 44.8 bbc.co.uk 32.3 29.7 29.0 27.5 26.4 26.4 26.3 26.3

The sites listed above are good sources of inspiration when determining how to structure your headlines, subheadlines, URLs, taxonomy, internal linking, and other considerations that are important for ranking in Google News.

For a comprehensive rundown of how best to optimize content for Google News, I recommend John Shehata’s article on Google News optimization.

Reporting On Google News Traffic

Google News traffic can be reported on through Google Analytics as well as Search Console.

Hiding most of this for client confidentiality purposes, but being able to easily join GA & GSC data from Google News makes it much easier to analyze which headlines generate the strongest CTRs in Google News, which is a gamechanger for many clients.

— Lily Ray 😏 (@lilyraynyc) January 13, 2023

Google Top Stories

For news publishers, Google’s Top Stories carousel is a goldmine of organic traffic. According to Richard Nazarewicz, the Technical SEO Manager of the Wall Street Journal:

“The Top Stories carousel for Mobile and Desktop SERPS is the most coveted spot for fresh or breaking news to surface within the Google Search ecosystem. Every newsroom is working hard with their SEO Editors or SEO desk, if they have one, to optimize using Google Trends, competitor analysis, and  A/B testing SEO title tags (headlines) to ensure their article is surfacing in the top 3 Top Stories results.

It is important to note that currently, only AMP articles are eligible for the Top Stories carousel on mobile devices.

However, Google stated that this requirement will be dropped in conjunction with the Core Web Vitals update set to roll out in May 2023.

After that date, any article can potentially appear in the Top Stories carousel.

However, if the major publishers continue using AMP, this will make it hard for non-AMP publishers to compete with the lightning-fast load times of AMP articles.

The Top Stories carousel currently does not have a dedicated reporting section in Google Search Console or Analytics.

One way to approximate performance data from Top Stories is to navigate to the Search Appearance tab in Search Console, filter by a mobile device, and select AMP article.

It can be helpful to navigate to this view after launching AMP to see if the articles are gaining traction in Top Stories.

It’s therefore important to focus on optimizing the article headline, such as by ensuring the name of the targeted entity (person, place, or thing being written about) is stated clearly and early in the headline.

Article headlines should generally stay under 22 words for optimal performance.

Google Discover

Google Discover is a personalized feed of articles that is available to mobile users via Android devices or the Google App on iOS.

Google Discover can also be accessed by visiting the chúng tôi homepage while logged into a Google Account on a mobile device using Google Chrome.

What makes Google Discover unique from other areas of search is that the list of articles is curated before the user types anything, using other user behaviors across Google to determine what the user might find interesting.

Therefore, a user who frequents publications about dogs, or perhaps shares dog articles on social media, or uses dog-related apps on their phone, may be more likely to see dog content appearing in their Discover feeds.

Content is eligible to appear automatically in Google Discover without using any specific structured data or sitemaps.

Google does require a “compelling, high-quality image,” that is at least 1,200px wide and enabled by the following meta tag:

or by using AMP.

According to Richard Nazarewicz,

“Discover Traffic tends to average around 20-40% of all Google traffic (GSC), whereas in Europe, it is more like 40-60%. The reason it is higher in Europe as well as the Middle East is that Android has a much higher percentage of the mobile market, as opposed to the U.S., where we are predominantly using the Apple iPhone, myself included!

Google continues to say that Discover traffic should be reported as search traffic and is only split out in Google Search Console which can be exported to sheets. But it is currently not available in the API, along with the recently added Google News Tab traffic.”

Last year, Abby Hamilton published this extensive resource on what Google Discover is and how to optimize for it, including original research about which articles tend to appear there.

I conducted a similar analysis, in which I analyzed over 5,000 URLs ranking in Google Discover across a variety of Path Interactive clients over the past year.

General Observations About Google Discover:

Not every page ranking in Google Discover is a news or blog article. Our clients have seen examples of local service pages or other local resources receiving significant traffic from Google Discover.

Articles that are several years old can be resurfaced in Google Discover, even without making any changes to those articles

It appears to be the case that websites that are flagged as “adult” content may not be eligible for Google Discover, and this is not just limited to extremely adult content. Google’s Discover documentation states that content containing “nudity, sex acts, sexually suggestive activities, or sexually explicit material” violates their content guidelines, and may cause publishers not to appear in Discover.

Below are some correlations we observed related to our clients’ performance in Discover.

As always, it’s important to note that correlation is not causation, but the trends can illuminate some insights about what content tends to perform well in Discover.

Our analysis showed that there is a positive correlation between H1 word count and increased CTR, up until about 27 words, where the CTR drops dramatically.

The strongest CTR (14.39%) was found on articles using 25 words in their headlines.

According to this data, writing a headline of about 15-25 words could be a good target for Google Discover.

Looking at overall article length, the articles that received the most traffic in Google Discover ranged from about 500-1,000 words in length, with the strongest performance in the 600-700 word count range.

It’s important to remember that word count is not a ranking factor across any Google Search feature, but we thought the trend was nonetheless interesting to observe for Discover specifically:

These correlations certainly should not dictate how to write your content – focusing on the quality of the content and engaging your users is the optimal approach for appearing in Discover.

Keep an eye on how your articles perform in Discover by navigating to the Discover Performance report on the left sidebar of Google Search Console.

Your own performance data is the best source of truth to see which articles and topics your site tends to rank well for.

Google’s relatively new visual news feature, Web Stories, is also used in Google Discover, making them a great source of traffic and a good way to stay ahead of the competition.

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, March 2023

5 Useful Tools To Help You Spot Fake News

In March of 2023 a group of MIT data scientists published a study which found that that humans and bots share fake news on Twitter at about the same rate, but the robots aren’t necessarily outsmarting us – we’re just playing along. The study, among other findings, showed that false news spread up to six times more quickly than real news and that it spread to more people: the top 1% of fake news reached 1,000 to 100,000 people, while real news rarely went above 1,000.

If you want to keep your social media profile credible, though, there are some steps you can take to double-check your news.

What is fake news?

So what can you use to detect it?

1. Your lizard-brain

Fake news is designed to trip the switches that control your instinctual “fight-or-flight” responses. If you read a headline or article that is clearly trying to elicit a strong reaction from you, especially if it’s slanted heavily towards one side of a debate, it’s probably fake. For example:

Fake: Social media is destroying truth: MIT scientists find evidence of humans and robots sharing so many lies that you can’t believe anything you read on Twitter! Lizard-people are now the only safe source of news.

2. Practice your fake news identification skills

Your brain is your first line of defense, so if you can get some practice identifying fake news, you’ll be better able to identify it on your own. The best way to learn is to do, and short of starting your own fake news site, these games are the closest you’ll get.

Factitious: a game that presents you with articles that are either real or fake and asks you to choose. It doesn’t take long and gives you good insights into what to look for.

Bad News: a game that puts you in charge of a fake news publication. You will learn about what goes into successful bad news and how people manipulate it for their benefit. It takes ten or fifteen minutes and might leave you wanting to play it again.

Fake It to Make It: This game takes significantly longer than the games above (1+ hours), but it puts you right into the mindset of someone who is manipulating social media purely for profit.

3. BS Detector

This browser extension works on Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Safari, and Edge, and gives you warnings when you are on a page that contains possible fake news. It analyzes the links to check for unreliable sources, then tells you why a particular site was flagged.

4. MediaBiasFactCheck

This Chrome extension is powered by the MediaBiasFactCheck database, and it not only alerts you when you are browsing a fake news site but will clue you into the political biases of legitimate sites as well. Accurate facts do not guarantee truth, after all; different presentations can leave you with very different ideas.

5. Fake News Detector AI

This Chrome extension is actually built on a neural network, using machine learning to predict whether the website you are visiting is spreading fake news or not. It only runs when you ask it to, which some users may appreciate. Not a Chrome user? You can visit the AI’s portal website and manually enter the web address you want to check. It’s last on the list because it’s not all that accurate, though: in my testing it reported RealClearPolitics and The Intercept as fake news — both sites that definitely have some bias, but are not at all fake.

Conclusion: Big tech and truth on the Internet

While ultimately it is up to the user to assess the news they read and make choices about it, some of the larger companies that control your news diet are making efforts to clean things up as well. Facebook, Google, and other tech/media companies are experimenting with ways to de-prioritize or flag possibly untrue content, though none of them has yet implemented such a system.

Algorithm tweaks and other solutions may have had some success, but no matter what the big tech companies do, fake news can never really go away without severely limiting the ability of users to freely express themselves. For the foreseeable future, then, the best strategy is just to rely on your own assessments and research. You don’t need to be a journalist to recognize falsehood – just make sure you look for overly-dramatic language, fact-check articles you aren’t sure about, and if you’re still not sure, just “be sweet, don’t retweet.”

Image credit: Thomas Schultz via Wikimedia

Andrew Braun

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2024 Genesis Gv70 2.5T Review: Things Just Got Interesting

2024 Genesis GV70 2.5T Review: Things Just Got Interesting

Genesis may have been late to the SUV party, but the GV80 showed it wasn’t coming unprepared. Now, it’s the turn of the 2023 Genesis GV70 to demonstrate the larger model was no fluke, and that Hyundai’s luxury arm really does have the magic touch when it comes to SUVs – compact or otherwise. While the top-spec trims are unsurprisingly polished, there are a few surprises in store for this mid-range GV70 2.5T AWD Advanced.

Pricing for the GV70 kicks off at $41,500 (plus $1,095 destination) and spirals all the way to just north of $64k in its most lavish form. At $51,245, then, this particular example splits the difference: loading up on comfort features, without stepping up to Genesis’ bigger (and thirstier) engine.

Chris Davies / SlashGear

I think it’s fair to say that, when it comes to automotive design right now, Genesis has been punching above its weight. Whether it’s sedans like the shapely G80 and handsome G90, bold and imposing SUVs like the GV80, or head-turning concepts we desperately hope will get the green-light for production, Genesis’ design team has nailed the balance between striking and outlandish. That’s not something you can say for every other player in the luxury segment.

For the most part, the 2023 GV70 achieves the same polish. The front bears the now-familiar shield shaped grille, flanked by the double-whisker headlights that we’ve come to associate with the brand. A more arcing roofline lends some extra, almost fastback taper to the silhouette, with a strong shoulder line that drops dramatically toward the rear three-quarters. Never afraid of avant-garde wheels, Genesis has a few different versions for the GV70 depending on size and trim: these fractal-esque multispokes are clever and distinctive, with the Advanced trim getting 19-inch rims. Standard trim gets 18-inch wheels, while Sport Prestige kicks things up to a possibly-too-large 21-inches.

Chris Davies / SlashGear

If there’s a weak spot, it might be the rear. Something about the way the chrome trim drops precipitously after the C-pillar and the general flatness of the taillight surfacing, together with the slightly-too-tall lower valance. It’s not bad, it just takes a little more getting used to.

Unlike with the GV80, where Genesis at least gave a nod to three-rows (albeit only on one trim), the GV70 is resolutely a five-seater inside. The cabin features many of the same design elements that we’ve seen used before, but feels a little more playful and youthful – just like, maybe, Genesis’ target audience – in how they’re implemented.

Chris Davies / SlashGear

Swathes of soft-touch material span the dashboard, intersected with a scoop of metal and glossy touchscreen for the HVAC controls. A sizable crystal drive mode dial sits in the center console, behind a similarly-lavish jog wheel for the infotainment system. That spins, yes, but its smooth, concave surface is a trackpad as well. Or, you can simply reach out and tap the wide, low, 14.5-inch touchscreen which is generously standard on all trims.

Genesis’ latest software is clean and easily navigated, no matter how you interact with it. There’s Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – both wired, not wireless – too, if you’d rather use smartphone projection. Tucked away behind the steering wheel is a fingerprint sensor, which can be used to start the GV70 without the key present. You’ll still need your phone, though, since that’s used to unlock the doors.

Chris Davies / SlashGear

For the driver, there’s an 8-inch display in the cluster, alongside an analog speedo. No 3D option here, nor a fully-digital layout; that’s withheld for the top-spec 3.5T Sport Prestige model, though I didn’t really miss it. Sadly only that trim gets the head-up display, too. Wireless phone charging and heated front seats with 12-way power driver’s adjustment are standard across the board; Select trim and above have a panoramic sunroof and 18-speaker Lexicon audio.

Advanced trim and above have leather seats, a 360-degree camera, blind spot view monitor (which pipes a live camera feed from the side of the car to the instrument cluster when you flip on the turn-signal), along with parking collision-avoidance assist alongside a brace of standard safety tech. That includes Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go; Genesis’ surprisingly capable Highway Driving Assist II lane-keeping assistance tech is offered on higher-spec cars. It’s one of the better systems out there, though it does require hands-on-wheel reassurance.

That’s great for the highway, but the rest of the time you might be more keen to pilot things entirely by yourself. Genesis offers two engines, a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 with 375 horsepower and 391 lb-ft. Either way, all-wheel drive is standard, as is an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Genesis’ four-cylinder engine may feel a little like a compromise in its bigger cars, but it’s just the right degree of punchiness in the GV70. It’s responsive and eager, even when you’re not in Sport mode, which tweaks the adaptive suspension along with the transmission mapping and other settings to make things more purposeful. All of the engine power can be routed to the rear wheels, if traction and driving style demands it, and Sport Prestige models throw in a limited-slip rear differential which can push that between the left and right wheels specifically.

The trick diff’s torque vectoring would be good fun to play with, but you don’t need it to enjoy yourself in the GV70. Just like the smaller engine is plenty urgent enough, the adaptive settings let you go from soft through to body roll-squashing firmness. Sure, a sports sedan like the G70 will be even more engaging with its lower center of gravity, but it’s generally difficult to criticize Genesis’ setup here. 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway are solid for the segment, but the absence of even a mild hybrid, much less a plug-in hybrid or BEV, continues to heap shame upon Genesis’ product planning decisions.

Chris Davies / SlashGear

More practical is the trunk, which will hold 28.9 cu-ft with the rear seats up, or 56.9 cu-ft with them down. Despite the roofline, headroom is decent – though not plentiful – for the first and second row. What makes it all feel more special is Genesis’ use of lighting and non-traditional materials, which vary by trim level.

How To Access News On Facebook If You Live In Australia.

If you have just found out that Facebook will now be blocking all news content on Facebook in Australia. This article will take you through some workarounds that will bypass this regional news blockade in Australia. These changes will only affect your experience, so if you want to view and share content to or from Facebook with others using Facebook in Australia, everyone else needs to be using the same workaround. 

Related: How to set up and use SCRCPY for Android versions 5 to 10. SCRCPY v1.17 & newer

For most people in Australia Facebook’s sudden removal of all news content from their platform came as quite a shock. At 6 am Australian time, every single news source and service was blocked from the platform. Leaving thousands of content produces high and dry. Although most people thought that the block was for Australian content only, they quickly learned that the Facebook news block covers all news content from every single news source on the planet. It’s not even possible to share an Australian source to Facebook from any location in the world. 

Facebook’s drastic move aims to provoke Australian citizens into action against the government’s News Media Bargaining Code (NMBC). If you haven’t been paying attention to the progression of the NMBC, I really suggest that you look a little deeper as there are some major changes proposed. Just remember to look at the entire scenario objectively, It’s the rich who are fighting over who gets more of our money and data. 

How do you get around the Facebook News block? Bypass Facebook News Block in Australia.

If you just can’t stand the idea of a newsless Facebook and the onslaught of Facebook’s perfectly scripted algorithms, there are a few ways you can bypass the Facebook news block in Australia. Seeing as this is the first time most Australian’s have ever faced a block like this (unless you’re a pirate) you’re going to need to invest in a VPN or some sort. Now the next part is the most important, so make sure you pay attention. 

In order to get around the Facebook News block in Australia you will need a VPN, however, whatever you do, don’t just jump on the first free VPN you come across. VPN’s come in a variety of different variations, some of which monitor and use the data you pour through them. It’s as simple as “Nothing is truly free” in the case of VPN’s it is data collection. 

The best VPN’s to bypass the Facebook News block in Australia.

Below we have listed some of the best and most popular VPN services available, most of which offer a free 30-day trial. Which should be long enough to get you through Facebook’s little protest. If it isn’t and Facebook decides to take a longer stand, you can usually split the price of the VPN between friends as most VPN services allow for multiple devices to be connected at the same time. Just think of it like sharing your Netflix account. It’s the same thing. 

I’ve been using BoxPN for the last five or so years without any issue. The main reason I chose BoxPN was because of there special servers that allow you to connect to the US Netflix library along with fully encrypted unlogged data transfers. They also have a huge list of servers you can connect to, which makes accessing certain content easier. As an Australian who lives abroad a VPN because essential as there are a lot of Australian websites and government services that ignore international access. 

Facebook blocking all news content even though I’m using a VPN.

On the odd chance you are still unable to view news content on Facebook from Australia with a VPN active on your device, you may need to disable your location services before opening Facebook. Once you have turned off location services on your device make sure you restart it to reset any data. Unfortunately using GPS faking apps no longer worth with Facebook and Google. 

How An Apple Music Radio Show Has Amplified Music Discovery For Me

There was an uncomfortable calculation to make in the early days of subscription music services. Why pay a monthly fee for your music when you could just pay once and own it? Beats Music leveraged handpicked playlists designed for finding new music and rediscovering favorites. That became the differentiating factor for Apple when it absorbed Beats in 2014 to create Apple Music.

Now Apple has a number of algorithm-generated playlists similar to Spotify with New Music, Friends, Get Up!, and other mixes. These are fantastic for finding old favorites and new tracks from artists you enjoy, yet it’s a new mix on an original idea that has me pumped for Apple Music these days.

Last August, Apple Music dropped the Beats moniker from its Beats 1 streaming radio station, replacing it with Apple Music 1 while introducing Apple Music Country and Apple Music Hits stations.

I grew up in the TRL era of MTV and love everything from the greater blink-182 universe (Boxcar Racer/+44/Angels & Airwaves/Simple Creatures), so the Mark Hoppus hosted show called After School Radio on Apple Music Hits was made for me. Listening to the show live at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesdays has since become a highlight of my week, and the songs from it regularly lead me to discover artists, albums, and entire discographies.

I already subscribe to Apple Music (now through the Apple One bundle with iCloud and TV+), and the integration with Radio is pretty good. I can stream the show in the car with CarPlay, on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV with the Music app, or even with just my Apple Watch with the Radio app. Apple Music Radio is also available on the web.

I regularly find myself saving songs to my library directly from the Now Playing screen during the show. If I like the artist or song enough, I’ll go back and play through the full album or add more music from the artist to my library. It’s made the Recently Added section in my Music app the most active it’s ever been, frankly.

This show in particular also has a great format that includes weekly artist interviews and a regular panel of hosts who share music industry insight. It plays like a music podcast with relevant songs interlaced with the interview and conversation. If Apple Music and Apple Podcasts offered the tools, I would love to re-create my own version of a show like it with friends and songs on the service.

All three Apple Music Radio stations are free to stream live from the Music or Radio app, and Apple Music members can listen on-demand after the broadcast as well.

Now that I’m routinely interacting with Apple Music Radio, I’m also reminded of all the feature requests we had when it was Beats 1 all those years ago. Push notifications for shows, offline playback for episodes, and an easy way to follow favorite shows would be great features for members.

Listening live is easy once you learn the schedule, but listening on-demand requires digging through the Music app. I used the share sheet to grab the URL that redirects to the section of the Music app for my convenience and sanity. 🥸

This weekly two-hour radio show totally changed how engaged I am with Apple Music all these years later. There’s no question that the value of Apple Music for me is in removing friction in finding new music and playing it from anywhere. Here’s to hoping After School Radio has a long home on Apple Music.

Updated on April 12 with new start time at 2 p.m. changing to 7 p.m. ET starting April 13.

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