“Among Us” is one of the most popular multiplayer video games available right now. Although it was originally only available for iOS and Android mobile devices, the game has expanded to other platforms, allowing even more players to join the crew.
Yes, ‘Among Us’ is a cross-platform game
“Among Us” is a multiplayer game available for Android and iOS mobile devices, Windows computers, and the Nintendo Switch. And unlike some other games that can be played on multiple systems, “Among Us” is fully cross-platform.
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To say that a video game is “cross-platform” means that multiple people can play the game together regardless of what platform they’re using. Here, for example, it means that “Among Us” players on an iPhone can host or join games with PC or Switch players. As long as you are on the same server and the regional versions of the game don’t conflict with each other, you can play together online.
To play “Among Us” across different devices, all players will need to be logged into the same server, which is determined by geographical location: North America, Europe, or Asia. This means that players in North America won’t be able to play with friends in Asia or Europe unless they change their location in-game.
One of the iPhone’s greatest assets is its connectivity. Built into Apple products are several ways to share what you’re viewing or working on from your iPhone to a Mac.
This can be useful if you want to display a photo album or app on your computer, or play video content directly from iPhone apps like Hulu.
The drawback to mirroring your iPhone to your Mac, however, is that you have to either use the QuickTime app on your Mac, which requires a wired connection, or download a third-party app, like Reflector, which uses AirPlay. Here’s how to do both.
How to mirror your iPhone to a Mac with QuickTime
1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac using your Lightning to USB cable.
2. Open QuickTime on your Mac.
3. Click on “File” in the menu bar at the top of the screen.
4. Click “New Movie Recording.”
5. Next to the red record button (bottom middle), click on the down arrow. Select your iPhone from the list of available devices. If it’s not there, try disconnecting and reconnecting your iPhone.
6. Your phone should now be fully mirrored on your computer, in the exact shape of your iPhone screen.
How to mirror your iPhone to a Mac with AirPlay
AirPlay is an Apple feature that lets you wirelessly stream content from one device to another. It’s designed for streaming from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to an Apple TV or AirPlay-compatible smart TV.
There’s no direct way to AirPlay, or screen mirror, from an iPhone to a Mac, but you can work around that by downloading a third-party app like Reflector, and connecting both devices to the same Wi-Fi network.
To mirror your iPhone to Mac, first download Reflector on Mac. Then open the Control Center on your iPhone, click AirPlay, and select the Mac you want to mirror to.
Here’s a full step-by-step guide.
1. Download the Reflector app on your Mac, and open it.
2. You can either AirPlay content directly from an app that allows for AirPlay like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, or the NFL app, in this example. Or, you can AirPlay your entire iPhone screen by opening the Control Center.
3. If you’re AirPlaying from within an app, start playing content, like a show or movie, and hit the AirPlay symbol (it’s a rectangle with a solid triangle at the bottom) in the upper-right corner of the video.
If you’re AirPlaying from the Control Center, select the “Screen Mirroring” tile.
4. Once you’ve selected either the AirPlay symbol from within an app or “Screen Mirroring” from the Control Center, a pop-up will ask you to select a device – tap the name of your Mac.
5. Your iPhone will ask for an AirPlay Code, which will be displayed on your Mac. Type the code into the text box on your iPhone. Your iPhone content will now show up on the Reflector program on your Mac.
If it came with your Galaxy device, you won’t need to connect it, but there are still a few steps needed to use it. And the newer your device, the more features you’ll have access to with the S Pen.
How to use S Pen on Samsung Galaxy
You can start using the S Pen by pressing on the end of it to release it from your Galaxy device. Your Galaxy will vibrate to let you know that it recognizes you’ve released it.
Your S Pen should start working immediately. If it doesn’t, hover the S Pen over the screen and quickly double-press the button in the middle of the stylus.
Ways to use the S Pen
You can use the S Pen to do anything that you could normally do with your finger. And depending on the Galaxy Note or Tab model you have, you may be able to use some or all of the following useful features. Test them all out and see which ones you like.
Take notes on the lock screen. Simply take out your S Pen and write on the locked screen.
Customize the pen button. Press and hold the pen button. Go into your settings’ advanced features section for the S Pen and select “S Pen remote” or “Air actions.” Then tap “Hold down Pen button to” and select the desired option.
Annotate a PDF. Open the desired PDF file in the Samsung Notes app and write your notes on it with the S Pen as you read.
Automatically change your handwriting to text. Turn on your S Pen and open the Samsung Notes app. Create your handwritten note and hit save, then tap the handwriting-to-text icon in the lower toolbar.
Turn your stylus into a remote. Go into your settings, then select “Advanced Features,” and then “S Pen,” followed by “Air Actions.” Then tap the toggle to turn on the “S Pen remote” option.
Remotely take photos and videos. Follow the steps above to use the stylus as a remote. Then, when you have the camera open and ready, simply tap the end of the stylus once to take a photo or begin a video. Tapping twice will switch between the front and rear cameras. This works when the stylus is less than 10 meters away from the device.
Control your music and other media with the S Pen. Once you’ve set up your S Pen as a remote, you’ll also have the ability to start and stop your media by tapping the end of the stylus while watching a video or listening to music.
Customize air actions. Swipe down on your device, and on the notification panel, select “S Pen air actions.” Under “App actions,” select the app you want to customize. Tap the item you want to customize and select either “Pen button” or “Gestures.”
Use direct pen input. This is turned on by default and allows you to write in text boxes, like in the Messages, Internet, or Phone app, and also converts your handwriting to text.
Advance through a slide deck. Open a presentation on your phone, then pull down your notification menu and choose to use your phone as a touchpad. Go into presentation mode and click your pen once to go to the next slide, or twice to go back a slide.
One of the advantages of having a large computer monitor is being able to see two or more windows side by side on the same screen.
In Windows 10, splitting your screen makes it easier to copy and paste between windows, see information from multiple sources at once, or just generally multitask. You can divide your screen with two, three, or four windows. Here’s how to do it.
How to split screen on Windows 10
To split screen in Windows 10, simply drag a window all the way to one side of the screen until it snaps into place. Then select another window to fill the other half of your screen.
Here’s a full step-by-step guide with keyboard shortcuts.
Split screen between two windows
1. Drag one of the windows by its title bar to the left or right side of the screen. You’ll see an outline of the window appear – release your mouse and the window will snap into that outlined position.
2. You should now see all your other open programs appear in thumbnails on the opposite side of the screen.
3. Click one of the other program windows. It will snap to the other side of the screen, so you’ll have two windows side by side.
Split screen between four windows
If you have a larger display, you can snap up to four windows to the screen – one in each corner. The process is similar to snapping a window to either side of the screen:
1. Drag one of the windows by its title bar to a corner of the screen. As the cursor reaches the corner, the screen will flash and you’ll see an outline of where the window will appear. Let go of the mouse button to snap the window into place.
2. Drag the next window to another corner in the same way. Again, let go of the mouse to snap it into place.
3. In the empty space of your screen, you should see thumbnails of your remaining open windows. Click the program you want and, if you want it to take up a third of the screen, snap it to the entire remaining side of the screen. If you want to pin four windows, drag it by the title bar to snap it into one of the remaining corners, and then select another window to pin to the final corner.
At any time, you can “unsnap” a window by dragging it by the title bar away from the edge or corner.
However, there’s no denying that leaning back with a controller in your hand is much more relaxing than crouching over a mouse and keyboard.
Fortunately, just like you can connect your mouse and keyboard to a PS4, you can likewise connect your PS4 controller to a PC.
Here are three different ways to connect your PS4 controller to a Windows 10 PC.
How to connect PS4 controller to PC with USB
If you want to connect the controller with a micro-USB cable (the same cable you use to charge the controller), you have two options.
Connect via Steam
If you’re a PC gamer, chances are that you have a Steam account. Luckily, Steam makes connecting new controllers easy.
1. Open Steam and click the “Big Picture Mode” icon in the top-right – it looks like a square with two arrows pointing out.
2. Once in Big Picture Mode, select the gear icon at the top-right to navigate to Settings.
3. Under the “Controller” tab, click “Controller Settings.”
4. Check the box for “PlayStation Configuration Support.”
5. Plug the PS4 controller into your PC using the micro-USB cable. Make sure the backlight on the controller glows to indicate there’s a connection.
6. Steam should automatically detect and configure your controller. Click it when it appears at the bottom of the page.
Connect via DS4 Windows Utility
If you want to use the wired controller with a non-Steam game, this is another option.
1. In a web browser on your PC, go to DS4Windows.com. Click “Download Now.”
2. You’ll be redirected to Github. Find and click the DS4Windows.zip file, and then download it onto your computer.
3. Find the downloaded .zip file on your computer and open it, and then double-click “DS4Updater” and click “Extract All.”
4. Pick a location for the files to be extracted to – it should be a location that you can find easily.
5. Once extracted, open the location you picked and double-click “DS4Windows.” If you’re asked to confirm that you want to run the program, click “Run.”
6. You’ll be asked where you want to save the program’s files. If you don’t care where they go, pick “Appdata” – if you want to be able to move them around, pick “Program Folder” and select a location.
7. Once you’ve picked a spot to save the files, click “Step 1: Install the DS4 Driver” and let the program install its files. If you’re asked whether you’d like to install the software, click “Install.”
You can now use the PS4 controller on your PC with a micro-USB cable, although you may need to restart your computer first.
How to connect PS4 controllerto PC with Bluetooth
If your PC supports Bluetooth – and if it was made in the last ten years, chances are it does – you can pair and connect your controller wirelessly.
This method also works for the newer PS5 DualSense controller, although that controller might not be supported by every game.
1. Open your PC’s search menu (you can press the Windows key + Q to open it immediately) and search for “Bluetooth.”
2. When “Bluetooth and other devices settings” appears in the search results, click on it.
3. Make sure your computer has Bluetooth enabled by setting the switch labeled “Bluetooth” to “On.”
4. Hold down the Playstation and Share buttons on your controller until the backlight starts flashing.
5. On your PC, click “Add Bluetooth or other device,” and select “Bluetooth.”
6. You’ll see your PS4 controller listed as “Wireless Controller.” Click it to finalize the connection. If you’re asked for a passcode, enter “0000.”
Dave Johnson contributed to a previous version of this article.
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Like any emulator, BlueStacks creates a virtual version of an Android device that runs in a window on your computer. It doesn’t look exactly like an Android device, but it resembles a phone’s screen well enough that even a first-time user should have no trouble using it.
BlueStacks is free to download, install, and use. While you can use BlueStacks to run almost any Android app (it’s compatible with about 97% of the apps in the Google Play Store), the app has found its largest audience with Android users who want to play mobile games on their desktop computer.
The app is optimized for gamers, but gives direct access to the Google Play Store, and any app can be downloaded using your Google account, just like on an Android device.
BlueStacks is a safe and trustworthy app
BlueStacks is a legitimate app that’s developed and produced by a major company. As long as you install the program from BlueStacks’ website, it’s safe to install and use – installing it from a third-party site might be more risky.
Even so, some anti-malware utilities might block the installation of the program even from the Bluestack website. As long as you’re installing the official program from Bluestack, it’s safe to proceed.
It’s also completely legal – although some companies try to argue otherwise, emulators are protected by US law, and can be run like any other app.
BlueStacks’ main features and capabilities
The BlueStacks home screen doesn’t replicate any particular version of Android or phone screen, but it should be easy for any Android user to find their way around.
The home screen includes an icon for the Google Play Store as well as a collection of system apps (including Settings). A toolbar on the side of the window gives you access to the programs’ various modes and features, as well as lets you adjust the volume, take screenshots, rotate the display, and more.
There’s also a separate settings icon for adjusting BlueStacks’ settings – this is different from adjusting the virtual Android device’s settings.
You can navigate around using the Back, Home, and Recent Apps icons at the bottom-right of the toolbar.
BlueStacks’ most popular features
Easy app installation: You can install Android apps directly from the Google Play Store within BlueStacks in the same way you’d install any app on your phone. If you have an app’s .APK file (the executable app file) you can install it from the BlueStacks toolbar.
Integration with PC devices: BlueStacks integrates seamlessly with your computer’s devices and peripherals, including the mouse, keyboard, webcam, and more. These devices will work as if they were built into your Android device, and Android apps will be able to take advantage of them automatically.
Game controls: Most Android games have a set of default controls that make the best use of the computer’s mouse and keyboard, though you can modify and customize these controls within BlueStacks.
Multi-instance support: BlueStacks allows you to open the same game in multiple windows, playing it with two or more accounts at once. You can use this to play multiple games at the same time, to play the same game from several accounts, or even to play multiplayer games with yourself.
Macros: BlueStacks includes a robust macro editor to automate tasks with keyboard shortcuts.
But perhaps the simplest way to create your own newsletter is by using Microsoft Outlook.
How to start a newsletter with Microsoft Outlook
Creating a newsletter template
The first step is to create a template that can serve as a consistent backbone for your newsletter each time you need to send it. The template will define the background and font selection as well as the overall structure of the newsletter, so you only need to replace the text and images each time.
1. In Microsoft Outlook, click “File” and then in the fly-out pane on the left, choose “Options.”
2. In the Outlook Options window, click the “Mail” tab.
3. Click “Stationary and Fonts.”
4. Click “Theme.”
5. Browse the themes and find the one you want to use. Some themes have custom background images, while others only customize the font style and color. When you find a theme, click “OK” to exit each dialog box and return to the main Outlook window.
6. Click “New Email.” The blank email should open with the theme attributes you just specified.
7. Now use this new email message window to craft your email template. Create headings, sections, body text, and insert images as needed – it’s up to you whether you want to create your first newsletter in its entirety or just use boilerplate temporary text. Either way, create a backbone that you can modify with fresh text each time you want to send a new newsletter.
8. When your template is done, click “File” and then “Save As.”
9. In the “Save as type” dropdown, choose “Outlook Template.”
10. Give your newsletter template a name and click “Save.”
You’ll probably want to return to Outlook’s Options and reset the theme to the default, or all future emails you send will use the same theme you just selected for the email newsletter.
How to open and fill in a newsletter template
Once you’ve saved your template, you can use it every day, week or month to send a new newsletter.
1. In Outlook, click “New Items” from the “New Email” tab and then, in the dropdown menu, choose “More Items,” then “Choose Form.”
2. In the Choose Form dialog box, click the dropdown menu for Look In and choose “User Template in File System.” You should now see a list of all templates you’ve created and saved in Outlook.
3. Choose the template you want to use and click “Open.”
4. Now modify the boilerplate text and images you entered when creating the template.
How to create a mailing list for your newsletter
If you create a newsletter using Microsoft Word, you need to merge your contacts from Excel because Word doesn’t have the ability to manage email addresses on its own. But it’s much easier in Outlook, because as an email app, it already has a database of contacts.
You simply need to create an email group so you can send the newsletter to the right group of people quickly and easily.
1. In Outlook, click the Contacts icon at the bottom left of the window. Outlook should switch to the Contacts view.
2. In the “New Contact” tab, click “Contact Group.”
3. In the untitled contact group window, click “Add Members” in the ribbon, then choose “From Outlook Contacts.”
4. In the list of contacts, double-click each name you want to add to the group. You should see the name appear in the field at the bottom.
5. When you’ve added all the contracts to your group, click “OK.”
6. At the top of the contact group window, type a name for the group (such as “Newsletter Mailing List”) and then click “Save & Close” in the ribbon.
How to send your newsletter to a mailing list
Now that you’ve created your mailing list, sending the newsletter is simple: In the Bcc field at the top of the email window, type the name of the group you created. As you type, you should see it appear as an auto-suggestion. Select it and then click “Send.”
You should always put the mailing list on the Bcc field so the recipients can’t see each other’s email addresses. This is good newsletter etiquette because it preserves your mailing list’s privacy.
How to create a recurring newsletter reminder
If you plan to send a newsletter regularly – whether it’s daily, weekly, monthly or on some other schedule – Outlook can remind you automatically about the impending date. You simply need to set up a recurring event in your Outlook calendar.
1. At the bottom left corner of Outlook, click the Calendar icon.
2. In the ribbon, click “New Appointment.”
3. Fill out the untitled appointment window. Enter a title, such as “Monthly newsletter.” Enter the first start date and time.
4. In the ribbon, click “Recurrence”
5. In the Task Recurrence window, specify how often you should be reminded. Select whether it should be daily, weekly or monthly, for example, and set when the event should repeat. When you’re done, click “OK.”
6. When the reminder is all configured, click “Save & Close.” Now Outlook will let you know when it’s time to prep your newsletter.
Even if you’ve never used Reddit, you’ve no doubt heard of it; it’s one of the largest sites in the US, and with more than 2 million “subreddits,” it has a stunning depth and breadth of content.
With all that activity, it’s not surprising that Reddit has become a hub for digital piracy, and the site has struggled with managing copyright violations for several years. A subreddit called r/piracy (all subreddits begin with an “r/”) in particular has become the focus of some unwanted attention.
Reddit’s piracy subreddit, explained
While other subreddits have occasionally shared copyrighted material, the r/piracy forum is, by design, for individuals interested in the tools, techniques, and resources of online piracy.
With more than 640,000 members, it was created in 2008 with the mission of being “a community dedicated to the discussion of digital piracy,” according to its own description. That you can find discussions of the vulnerabilities of piracy laws on Reddit is unsurprising.
“Google ‘reddit piracy’ and you’ll find lots of active links, where Reddit users openly discuss the weakness and vulnerabilities of various piracy laws,” said Monica Eaton-Cardone, chief operating officer of Chargebacks911.
Given the subject matter, the piracy subreddit attempts to thread a particularly precarious needle. According to the rules of the subreddit, “submissions must be related to the discussion of digital piracy.” The rules of the forum specifically prohibit activities like linking directly to pirated media, requesting activation keys, asking others to download pirated content, or asking how to pirate specific copyrighted works (though generalized conversations about pirating techniques are acceptable).
A scan of r/piracy reveals an active community (at any given time, there are more than 1,000 users online) with threads about a diverse range of topics, including tips and tutorials on using popular tools and utilities, troubleshooting tips (“why are my 4K movies purple?”), and news about sources for copyrighted content.
Unlike many online forums elsewhere on the internet, though, r/piracy is a moderated community (Reddit moderators are unpaid volunteers from the community) and the discourse is largely civil and on-topic.
The state of piracy on Reddit
Reddit has been attempting to address piracy on its platform for several years, with serious efforts to mitigate copyright infringement beginning around 2019. Eaton-Cardone said, “Reddit has banned some of the more blatant abusers – /r/NFLstreams, /r/NBAstreams, /r/soccerstreams, /r/UFCstreams, /r/WWEstreams – but Reddit is one of the largest sites in the world. Policing it is extraordinarily difficult.”
Nir Kshetri, a professor at the Bryan School of Business and Economics, explained why Reddit was compelled to act: “When it was shut down, r/NBAstreams had 474,000 subscribers who could access pirated NBA content for free. The subreddit r/soccerstreams had more than 400,000 subscribers who had access to pirated soccer streams.”
Rather than shutting down r/piracy outright, as happened with those other subreddits, Reddit decided in 2019 to delete all of r/piracy’s posts and comments created prior to September 2018 – a decade’s worth of content, erased from the Reddit archives.
In Reddit’s transparency reporting, it’s clear that the platform has been increasing its content monitoring exponentially. In 2018, Reddit received 9,534 copyright notices, which resulted in 26,234 content removals. In 2019, Reddit received 34,989 copyright notices, which resulted in 124,257 content removals – nearly five times that of the year before. In 2020, Reddit received 86,866 copyright notices and removed 375,774 pieces of content – three times as many as in 2019.
Based on the takedown requests – and actual takedowns – Reddit appears to have a piracy problem, and r/piracy moderators have existential concerns about the future of their subreddit. “We are now on thin ice,” moderators wrote in one post, and added that the subreddit is in jeopardy. “We definitely do not want to be banned like r/megalinks, which was a subreddit specifically tailored to providing links to pirated content.”
Cleansing Reddit won’t eliminate piracy
Even if members appear to follow guidelines and avoid posting links to copyrighted material, some users say that the subreddit is still a direct vector to piracy.
Will Peach, a fourth-year medical student who regularly uses the r/piracy subreddit, said, “It happens via the backdoor. Recommendations are made in various threads and then DMs [direct messages] are sent privately. Piracy happens via other portals, like Google Drive. But it almost always starts on Reddit.”
Reddit moderators appear to be enforcing guidelines in hopes of staving off a full shutdown of the r/piracy subreddit, yet they’re also planning for the worst.
Allan Borch, founder of the tech marketing blog Dotcom Dollar, said, “[They] already have a list of forum replacements, including rival discussion site Raddle.me.” Referring to the purge of posts older than 2018, Borsh added, “Indeed, those posts 10 years in the making aren’t actually gone. They’ve already been archived on GitHub. Piracy might move away from Reddit, but that doesn’t mean it’s dead.”
Your display’s refresh rate is a measure of how frequently the on-screen image is updated. Refresh rate is measured in hertz (Hz), which indicates the number of times per second something occurs. So a 60Hz display is one that has a refresh rate of 60 times per second.
Understanding monitor refresh rates
Most people don’t need to worry much about refresh rate, especially when using a computer for ordinary productivity applications. That’s because computer displays typically have a refresh rate of 60Hz – that’s the default for many monitors – and that value is perfectly adequate almost all the time. It’s fast enough that there’s no obvious blurring or “image tearing” when there’s on-screen motion. Below this value – 30 Hz, for example – you might see some stuttering or jitteriness when things are moving on the screen.
Higher refresh rates are of interest to gamers, though. Because many video games rely on fast-moving visuals, many computer displays are optimized for gaming with very high refresh rates – 144Hz, 240Hz, and even 360Hz. For gaming, the higher the refresh rate the better.
There’s also a relationship between screen resolution and refresh rate. Because a computer only has so much bandwidth for the display, you might find that at higher resolutions, your display can’t run at its maximum refresh rate. If you are adjusting these settings, you might need to make a choice between, for example, an HD (1920×1080) display at 144Hz or a 4K (3840×2160) resolution at 60Hz.
Depending on your monitor or laptop display, you might be able to adjust the refresh rate. Some displays aren’t running at their highest refresh rate by default, for example, and it’s adjustable in the system settings. If you try to increase the refresh rate but it won’t go as high as you think the monitor is designed to go, you might need to lower the resolution to make a higher value become available.