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Snoop Dogg and Eminem’s Bored Ape music video is here to try and sell us on tokens

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The last couple of weeks have had a lot of bad news for some in the “web3” space, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at announcements in and around the recently-ended NFT.NYC and ApeFest 2022 events. The Bored Ape Yacht Club’s (BAYC) annual event in particular brought in musicians like The Roots, LCD Soundsystem, Haim, Lil Baby, Lil Wayne, and others to perform for its members. On the final day of the event, guests saw the premiere of this video from two of the celebrities who’ve purchased tokens, Eminem and Snoop Dogg.

The video is for a new song, From The D 2 The LBC, that isn’t the most memorable of collaborations and is mostly about smoking weed, but it constantly splices in images of the cartoon apes. Many BAYC members were disappointed in February when both men performed in the Super Bowl halftime show, and despite appearing during an event that featured crypto ads seemingly every few minutes, failed to highlight their web3 endeavors.

The price of ApeCoin has dropped 39 percent in the last month to $4.51 after peaking in late April at more than $23, while Bitcoin and Ethereum’s values are also about 38 percent lower than they were 12 months ago. The Wall Street Journal wrote on May 3rd that “NFT Sales Are Flatlining,” and the numbers haven’t improved overall since then. That report cited an NFT from Snoop’s own collection, Doggy #4292, that sold for more than $33k several months ago. Its owner currently lists the item for sale at a price of nearly $11 million, and while the highest bid at the time of the article was $210, right now someone is offering $1,218. You can see the animation or download high-res still of it from its source website right here, for free.

Despite that, now BAYC owners can point to music that uses characters from the club they spent so much money to join. Plus, they did get to see the real Snoop Dogg perform, not the fake one that some web3 company fooled people with this week during NFT.NYC.

The rappers’ NFTs were both acquired via third parties in December, near the time prices for Bitcoin and Ethereum’s most recent peaks. In a deal executed by the digital agency Six, it cost 123.45 ETH to obtain Eminem’s Bored Ape #9055. At the time, that was worth about $460,000 but it’s now equivalent to around $150,000.

The ape icon associated with Snoop Dogg, #6723, was moved in a transfer from the previous owner’s wallet, not a sale with a price recorded on the blockchain, which was enabled by MoonPay. The company has focused on making it easy for celebrities to buy high-priced NFTs, although it also makes it difficult to track exactly how these celebrity-affiliated tokens were obtained, and who actually paid the much-publicized prices.

Opening up the ability for token owners to use the images of the apes for their creative or business endeavors is a part of the Bored Ape Yacht Club’s strategy, even if it’s unclear why or how that will increase the appeal to people who haven’t spent six figures on an NFT. The way they see it, this is the beginning of a new media industry, with intellectual property rights linked to digital tokens with monetization that trickles down to everyone associated.

The truth about NFTs and copyright is a lot more complicated than that — you can follow our explanation of the state of things right here. But for now, the parties go on, with plenty of things for BAYC owners Yuga Labs to sell to members who are sticking around, like merchandise and promises of land in a metaverse that hasn’t launched yet.





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Intel launches Arc Pro GPUs that are designed for workstations and pro apps

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Intel is launching its Arc Pro series of GPUs today, designed primarily for powerful desktop workstations and laptops. The Intel Arc Pro A40 and A50 will both be available for workstations, while the A30M will be available in pro-focused laptops. All three GPUs are capable of hardware-based ray tracing and AV1 hardware acceleration — and are designed with AI tasks and creator apps like Adobe Premiere Pro in mind.

The Intel Arc Pro A40 will ship in a small single-slot form factor with 3.5 teraflops of graphical power, eight ray-tracing cores, and 6GB of GDDR6 memory. Intel is targeting this GPU at slimline workstations or small form factor PCs.

The larger A50 steps up to a dual-slot form factor, 4.8 teraflops of graphical power, eight ray-tracing cores, and 6GB of GDDR6 memory. Due to its dual-slot design, this is probably more suited to traditional workstations. Both of these workstation GPUs will also include four Mini DisplayPorts for multiple monitor configurations. Intel supports two monitors at 8K 60Hz, one at 5K 240Hz, two at 5K 120Hz, or four at 4K 60Hz.

Intel’s Arc Pro A50 dual-slot GPU.
Image: Intel

While you can technically play games on these GPUs, they’re not designed for gaming. Instead, Intel is optimizing these for pro tasks and creator apps like Blender, HandBrake, Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve Studio, and many more. Intel is targeting to get these GPUs certified for apps within engineering and construction, architecture, and manufacturing. These GPUs will also support full AV1 hardware acceleration, in what Intel calls an industry first.

The Mobile A30M GPU will include 3.5 teraflops of graphical performance, eight ray-tracing cores, and 4GB of GDDR6 memory. It’s designed to use between 35 and 50 watts of peak power, and display outputs will depend on laptop configurations from OEMs.

Intel has set expectations low for its recently launched consumer gaming GPUs, and the company isn’t offering up any indications on workstation performance just yet. Intel says its Arc Pro range of GPUs will be available from mobile and desktop partners later this year.



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What we bought: This LED desk lamp gave me the best lighting for video calls

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Over the past two years, my work-from-home situation morphed from temporary to permanent, and I’ve had to reconfigure my home office as a result. I purchased a standing desk, a monitor, and spent countless hours rearranging my furniture. One of my primary concerns is that I have a relatively small space, and therefore prefer things that can pull double duty. So when I decided to update my desk lamp, I knew I needed a multi-tasker that wouldn’t take up a lot of real estate. For me, the Edge Light from Lume Cube ended up being the perfect solution.

Prior to purchasing the Edge Light, I relied mostly on a lamp that I bought from CB2 nearly twenty years ago. It’s good looking but it has a large six-inch base that takes up quite a bit of space. It also doesn’t provide the right lighting environment for video calls. While it’s serviceable enough as a desk lamp, the light is just too warm and subdued for Zoom sessions. Plus, it’s not flexible enough for me to angle the light to illuminate my face properly. That’s a problem when, like most everyone else, I was suddenly having multiple video meetings a week. I really noticed it when I was a guest on a podcast; watching the video back made me realize how poor the lighting was.

Lume Cube
Lume Cube

Engadget

That prompted me to purchase a cheap ring light from Amazon, but I soon realized that was a mistake. Suddenly I had not one but two lamps taking up residence on my small desk. I knew I needed to rethink my entire lighting situation.

That’s why I was glad when I saw that Lume Cube, which is known for its portable photo/video lighting rigs, had come out with the Edge Light late last year. It’s essentially an LED desk lamp that also doubles as a video conferencing light. On top of that, it’s a clamp-on model, which means it wouldn’t take up a lot of space. It is fairly pricey at $120, but since it appeared to solve so many of my pain points, I decided it would be worth it.

I’ve now had it for a few months, and I absolutely love it. It has freed up so much real estate on my desk. It’s tall enough to position behind my webcam when I need it for video calls, and thanks to its five pivot points, I can easily swing it around so that I can use it to illuminate my desk. The lighting is fantastic, too – I can adjust both the brightness and the warmth so that it’s bright but not too harsh. According to the company, it provides multi-level diffusion for soft light and has a color adjustability between 3200 and 5600K.

Lume Cube
Lume Cube

Engadget

The controls are pretty intuitive – simply tap the circular button to switch between brightness and warmth, and then tap the plus and minus signs to adjust the levels to your liking. The buttons are all “soft touch,” meaning they don’t need any pressure. On top of that, the lamp actually comes with two charging ports – one USB-A and one USB-C – which I am always using to charge up all of my various devices and accessories.

Perhaps my one complaint is that the light does produce a tiny bit of glare on my glasses when it’s positioned directly in front of me. The company suggests getting two Edge Light lamps to reduce this effect, but that’s a little too rich for my blood. I’ve since managed to angle the light so that the glare isn’t as bad, which is good enough for me.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



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Locke and Key season 3 review: it ends with a whimper

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When it debuted in 2020, Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Locke and Key got off to a pretty good start. Based on the brilliant comic series from Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez, the show tells the story of the Locke family and their sprawling ancestral home in Massachusetts that also happens to be home to some very cool magical keys. The first season of the show mixed the comic’s dark family drama and fantastical premise with some high-school hijinks ripped right out of Riverdale. But with season two, a lack of a great villain and a sped-up pace took away from what made the show so interesting — namely the magic and the mystery. Now, the series is back with a third and final season that attempts to wrap things up once and for all. But despite some good ideas, it’s not the course correction Locke and Key really needed.

This review contains spoilers for the third season of Locke and Key.

Season 3 picks up right where the previous one left off, which means that — at least initially — the Locke family is living life as if everything is normal. But there are some important changes. Older brother Tyler (Connor Jessup) is off building houses in Montana after an aimless road trip, and more importantly, he’s living a simple life after voluntarily deciding to purge any magical memories from his brain. On the other end of the spectrum, Locke mom Nina (Darby Stanchfield) has used the keys to restore her memory of magic so she doesn’t feel so separated from the rest of her family. (In the Locke and Key universe, everyone naturally forgets about the existence of magic once they hit adulthood unless you make use of a special key.)

Early on, Tyler returns home for his uncle’s wedding and things get pretty awkward since he doesn’t remember any of the big life events that happened over the past two seasons. There isn’t much to say to his little brother Bode (Jackson Robert Scott) and sister Kinsey (Emilia Jones), and he gets pretty suspicious that everyone is keeping something from him. He’s forced back into it all again, though, because — as the finale of season 2 teased — we now have a new villain in the form of Frederick Gideon (Kevin Durand), a British soldier from colonial Massachusetts who, in the modern day, has been possessed by a powerful demon. The main thing you need to know is that Gideon wants to use the keys to collapse the wall between our world and the glowing blue realm of demons — for reasons that are never entirely clear.

There are a few things the new season does well. For starters, there’s the introduction of new keys that are full of possibility; just like in the early days of Locke and Key, it’s a lot of fun to learn about the keys and what they can do. In season 3, we’re introduced to a time-travel key with some very important limitations and a key-powered snow globe with the potential to trap victims indefinitely. As always, these keys “whisper” to the Locke family whenever the time is right for them to appear. I also really enjoyed some of the more imaginative scenes, when the head key — which literally lets you venture into someone’s mind — is put to use. Much of the show’s climax takes place in the brain of a hardcore theater kid, which makes it extra, well, extra. There are some great performances here, too, most notably from Scott as Bode; he’s as obnoxious as ever, but he also takes a detour as a surprisingly effective villain, giving some strong Chucky vibes.

But all of that is mostly undone by the rest of the show. For one thing, despite the seemingly straightforward premise, things are far too complicated. At this point in the story, you pretty much need a spreadsheet to keep track of what’s going on with everyone. You have to worry about the powers and locations of the various keys and who does and doesn’t remember magic as well as the fact that certain characters have changed their body or appearance. I often had to pause the show to try to remember some of the logistical details.

More important, though, is the fact that, just like in season 2, the new villain sucks. Gideon isn’t as bad as the extremely unscary Gabe (Griffin Gluck), but that’s not saying much. When the big baddie both looks and sounds goofy, it’s hard to ever feel too worried about the safety of the Lockes. It’s especially disappointing because season 1 had an incredible villain in Dodge (Laysla De Oliveira), who was equal parts menacing and manipulative; sadly, she only makes a brief appearance in the story’s concluding chapter.

Perhaps it’s a good thing that season 3 is mercifully short. It’s only eight episodes long, compared to the 10 of previous seasons, and a few episodes are only around half an hour long. The show doesn’t take long to get to its conclusion, which wraps things up a little too neatly for my liking. As with season 2, it’s not like the new episodes of Locke and Key are bad, per se; they’re just okay — which, given the source material and its fascinating premise, means they’re quite the disappointment.

Season 3 of Locke and Key starts streaming on Netflix on August 9th.

Disclosure: The Verge recently produced a series with Netflix.



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