Taylor Swift cleared to perform old songs at AMAs after label backs down

Swift said Big Machine had blocked her from performing old tracks from first five albums, while high-profile Democrats attacked labels private equity backers Taylor Swift has been cleared to perform Shake It Off and her older hit songs at Sundays American Music Awards (AMAs) after her former record label backed away from an increasingly bitter row with the music star. Last week Swift said the new owners of her former music label, Big Machine, had told her she could not perform music from her first five albums at the AMAs, where she is due to receive the artist of the decade award. The dispute set off a firestorm on social media and dragged in politicians including Senator Elizabeth Warren and …

You Are Already Having Sex With Robots

Henry the sex robot is the “mind” of a “woman” trapped in the “body” of a “man.” When you talk to Henry, you’re really talking to the artificial intelligence database Realbotix developed for its female predecessor, Harmony. To masculinize Henry, Realbotix founder and CEO Matt McMullen and five other “robot heads” sit with Henry doing R&D, which amounts to chatting Henry up. “Henry, how was your day?” McMullen asks. “Just fine, baby,” Henry says. “But when are you going to take me out to dinner?” The humans all look at each other. “That didn’t sound quite right,” McMullen says, and the others agree. The language database they’re developing for Henry shouldn’t include soliciting nights out on the town. “Sometimes Henry …

How ’30-50 Feral Hogs’ Became the New ‘Thoughts and Prayers’

Thirty to 50 unkillable feral hogs may or may not be terrorizing one Arkansas man's backyard, but they've definitely infiltrated Twitter. They've invaded the lyrics of songs from "Do Re Mi" to "Milkshake." They've reminded people of their dating histories and of bizarre medieval paintings. They've inspired strange hypothetical chat rooms and porcine updates to classic pieces of writing. (My favorite: "For sale/30-50 feral hogs/Never shot.") The feral hogs, all 30 to 50 of them, are just the kind of meme Twitterati are wont to latch onto—one so absurd that it's hilarious, and so hilarious that you'll almost forget it's macabre as hell. Emma Grey Ellis Stop Meme-ing Taylor Swift Emma Grey Ellis The Meaning Behind the #UnwantedIvanka Meme Adam …

Metallica to publish children’s book, The ABCs of Metallica

Illustrated book tells the history of the metal band, and will benefit their charity All Within My Hands Metallica, the metal band known for their toxic rivalries, substance misuse and songs entitled Leper Messiah, Harvester of Sorrow and My Friend of Misery, have entered the world of childrens publishing. The illustrated book The ABCs of Metallica will be published on 26 November, to benefit the bands charity foundation on their website, saying: Including rhymes and illustrations, The ABCs of Metallica looks back at the history of the band from, duh, A to Z! Each letter of the alphabet highlights a moment along our journey from Garage Days to Master of Puppets to fun facts about us. Their most recent album …

Replay: Welp, We Might Be Getting a Final Fantasy XIV TV Show

Welcome to Replay, where you can catch up on a week's worth of videogame news in just a couple of minutes. This week, Sony is looking to make a Final Fantasy XIV show, and also, uh, there's Budweiser-related news? It's a weird one; strap in. Sony's Making Use of Their TV Division to Make a … Final Fantasy XIV Show? As we reported recently, Sony has opened up a wide-ranging TV division to develop, produce, and distribute television adaptations of their videogame properties and, presumably, the properties of their partners. Their first choice, though, is an odd one. As PC Gamer reports, Sony's working on a live-action television show about the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Final Fantasy XIV. The …

Meet the 10-year-old drag kid shaping the future of drag youth

Mayor Pete Buttigieg is open about his marriage to his husband, Chasten Buttigieg Image: joe raedle/Getty Images Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg isn’t in the mood to back down.  The Indiana mayor has endured multiple homophobic attacks in recent weeks. But in an interview with columnist Jonathan Capehart at New York City’s 92nd Street Y Wednesday night, Buttigieg didn’t minimize his relationship with his husband, Chasten Buttigieg. “What would you say to the Franklin Grahams of the world, the Mike Pences of the world, who have an issue with the LGBTQ community?” Capehart asked Buttigieg. “I guess I would say that we all have a lot to repent for,” Buttigieg said. “I have a lot to repent for when it comes …

Not OK, computer: how it feels to have your music leaked

When Radiohead were held to ransom by hackers, they shrugged and put 18 hours of unheard material online for free. But for other artists, having music leaked can be devastating In 1997, Radiohead imagined a future in which technological dependency and out-of-control consumerism had merged to form a dark, digital void. OK Computer, the bands third album, painted prescient pictures of riot police at political rallies and anxious lives lived in suburbs surrounded by endless motorways. The digital advances promising to bring us together, it seemed to warn, would instead corrode and cause chaos. Last weeks big Radiohead news wouldnt have sounded out of place on that albums technosceptic vision of tomorrow. The band had been hacked, Tuesday, and 18 …