Apple Hearing Study says you should lower your headphone volume – CNET

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You should be mindful of the volumes you're exposed to, according to Apple.

Apple

Apple on Tuesday warned that you could be damaging your hearing through sound exposure, citing a year's worth of results from the Hearing Study carried out via its Research App. The study was conducted in collaboration with the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

It found that average weekly headphone exposure for one in 10 participants is higher than the World Health Organization recommends, so you should think twice before pumping up the volume.

A quarter of participants experience ringing in their ears multiple times a week, which may be a sign of hearing damage. Only 10% of those in the study have been diagnosed with hearing loss, but data suggest that 20% have hearing loss by WHO standards, and half of that is a result of noise exposure.

"Even during this pandemic, when many people are staying home, we're still seeing 25 percent of our participants experiencing high environmental sound exposures," Rick Neitzel, associate professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, said in a statement. "The results of this study can improve our understanding of potentially harmful exposures, and help identify ways that people can proactively protect their hearing."

The WHO estimates that more than 700 million people globally will experience profound hearing loss by 2050, Apple noted.

See also: AirPods Pro vs. AirPods Max: Should you buy earbuds or headphones?

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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PlayStation Store is dropping movie and TV show purchases in August – CNET

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Why yes, the PS5 is much larger than the PS4.

Chris Parker/CNET

You won't be able to buy or rent movies and TV shows from PlayStation Store after Aug. 31, Sony said Tuesday. If you've already purchased content, you'll still be able to access it on your PS4, PS5 or mobile device after that date.

The change comes as people shift to subscription- and ad-based streaming services (like Netflix and YouTube) on their consoles rather than purchasing or renting movies through Sony.

Microsoft still lets you buy or rent movies and shows via Xbox Live, while Nintendo never included such content on its  gaming-centric eShop.

See also: Where to buy PS5: Details about inventory drops at Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, other retailers

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Watch: Pokemon Presents livestream promises news Friday – CNET

The Pokemon Company teased us some delicious news Thursday, with a livestream scheduled for Friday at 7 a.m. PT (10 a.m. ET/3 p.m. GMT/1 a.m. Saturday AEST). It comes a day before the 25th anniversary of Pokemon Red and Green's original release in Japan, which is being marked with a virtual Post Malone concert

Friday's livestream will last around 20 minutes, the company said in a release, and it'll be embedded here for your convenience.

It's unclear what the event will include. Let's hope for a new Nintendo Switch game, since Sword and Shield's expansions are out. New Pokemon Snap is due to hit Switch on April 30, and it's nearly been two years since we heard anything about the mysterious Pokemon Sleep.

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Watch: Pokemon Presents livestream promises news Friday – CNET

The Pokemon Company teased us some delicious news Thursday, with a livestream scheduled for Friday at 7 a.m. PT (10 a.m. ET/3 p.m. GMT/1 a.m. Saturday AEST). It comes a day before the 25th anniversary of Pokemon Red and Green's original release in Japan, which is being marked with a virtual Post Malone concert

Friday's livestream will last around 20 minutes, the company said in a release, and it'll be embedded here for your convenience.

It's unclear what the event will include. Let's hope for a new Nintendo Switch game, since Sword and Shield's expansions are out. New Pokemon Snap is due to hit Switch on April 30, and it's nearly been two years since we heard anything about the mysterious Pokemon Sleep.

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WandaVision episode 8 recap: Marvel show dives into Wanda’s painful past – CNET

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Wanda and Agatha go on a trip down memory lane.

Marvel Studios

WandaVision's sitcom formula spiraled into beautiful chaos Friday, as episode 8 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe show landed on Disney Plus. Turns out the witch Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) was behind pretty much all the weirdness so far, and she's got Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) trapped in her ludicrously creepy basement.

Outside the house, newly superpowered SWORD agent Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) was confronted by Pietro Maximoff (Evan Peters), who's seemingly been under Agatha's control since arriving from the X-Men universe. Also, astrophysicist Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) filled in Wanda's husband, Vision (Paul Bettany), on the past he'd forgotten, and he's on his way home.

I didn't think this show was that complicated, but it kinda is. We're up to the penultimate episode, and it's called Previously On. Time for dem SPOILERS.

Marvel Studios

The Scarlet Witch

This whole episode is basically Agatha trying to figure out exactly what Wanda is, since her power is off the charts. After running through pivotal moments in the Avenger's past and acting as a pretty mean therapist, Agatha realizes she's wielding Chaos magic and is capable of "spontaneous creation," before uttering the thing we wanted to hear.

"And that makes you the Scarlet Witch."

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Agatha isn't even pretending to be nice now.

Marvel Studios/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

This isn't a name we've heard previously in the MCU, but it's been her code name since her first appearance in X-Men No. 4 in 1964.

Given what we saw earlier in the episode, it seems like Wanda had some latent ability to tap into this magic and it was enhanced by the Mind Stone. Agatha presumably wants to control this power, but to what end?

Agatha also has Wanda's magically created kids Billy and Tommy on creepy magic leashes, which really isn't OK.

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Vision's body is back online, and looking pretty nefarious. 

Marvel Studios/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

The doppelganger

In a midcredits scene, it's revealed that acting SWORD director Tyler Hayward (Josh Stamberg) had Vision's body all along. He couldn't reactivate the synthezoid (who was made with stupidly valuable Wakandan vibranium), but used a drone to absorb the chaos energy surrounding Westview. Since that energy was derived from the Mind Stone that originally brought Vision to life, it gets the body back online.

The Vision we've been seeing in Westview has actually been a magical construct, created by Wanda. 

Agatha's past

The episode's initial flashback brings us back to Salem, Massachusetts, in 1693 (the real-life Salem witch trials happened in 1692-93), when Agatha's coven accuses her of tapping into forbidden dark magic.

"I did not break your rules. They simply bent to my power," she replies, awesomely.

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Agatha has a pretty epic past.

Marvel Studios

Led by Agatha's mother, Evanora (Kate Forbes), the coven prepares to end her. She turns their power on them, reducing all the witches to desiccated husks. Agatha also takes her mom's broach, which we've seen her wearing in most of the previous episodes.

Much as I've grown tired of characters blasting each other with energy beams and lasers in superhero movies, the blue energy Agatha turns back on her coven seems significant. Her magic manifests itself as purple energy -- a combination of red and blue. Since Wanda's Chaos magic is red, it seems likely this was the forbidden power Agatha got in trouble for using -- she just couldn't use it at the same level as Wanda. 

Fietro

Agatha says fake Pietro (Evan Peters) wasn't "literally" her, she was just possessing him. She also notes that it wasn't necromancy, so it wasn't the original MCU Pietro's body with a new face. 

It's still unclear if Fietro is actually the one from the X-Men universe. In the comics, Wanda's status as a Nexus Being -- someone whose power can affect probability and change the flow of time -- means she can touch other realities. If that's the case with MCU Wanda, she could have pulled Pietro over from the Fox X-Men reality (where he was called Peter).

Also in the comics, Nexus Beings are monitored by the Time Variance Authority, a group that'll show up in the upcoming Loki show and perhaps in next week's WandaVision season finale.

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The Maximoffs decide what to watch, minutes before their whole world is ripped apart.

Marvel Studios/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

The Maximoffs at home

We meet Wanda and Pietro's parents, Iryna and Olek (Ilana Kohanchi and Daniyar), in their Sokovian home. And we know the kids are 10, so this happened in 1999. Their TV night -- The Dick Van Dyke Show, season 2, episode 21 -- looks pretty nice, but there's a horrifying war raging outside, and the sense of inevitability is palpable. 

The parents are killed in an explosion, an incident referenced in Avengers: Age of Ultron and the commercial in episode 2. The twins are trapped under the rubble, staring at a beeping, unexploded Stark Industries shell. The young Wanda mutters about it being a "bad dream" and reaches out.

Agatha reckons she used a probability hex to stop the detonation, which seems like Wanda's first use of magic.

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Hail Hydra

We see Wanda as a volunteer test subject for Hydra, and enters a room containing Loki's scepter (which Hydra sneakily got hold of after the first Avengers movie, a moment revisited in Avengers: Endgame) The Mind Stone -- one the six Infinity Stones that Thanos will later use to wipe out half of all life -- extracts itself from the scepter in her presence. 

She gets a vision of her comic book costume, but it's unclear if this has any significance in the MCU. We saw her in a similar outfit in the Halloween episode and she said it was a Sokovian fortune teller, but she could have been subconsciously recalling this moment.

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Wanda has a vision of the Scarlet Witch comic book costume.

Marvel Studios/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Wild thought: What if Wanda was actually seeing her comic book counterpart? As a Nexus being, it's possible that comics Wanda could reach out to her MCU self.

We previously thought contact with the Mind Stone gave her and Pietro their powers, but Agatha reckons it awoke or supercharged her latent abilities.

As if Wanda is some kind of mutant.

When the Hydra scientists try to play back the security recording to see what happened after Wanda touched the stone, they find that moment missing, like when the Westview broadcast was cut.

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Like any good couple, Wanda and Vision fell in love while watching Malcolm in the Middle.

Marvel Studios/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

The Vision effect

We jump to a moment with Vision in the Avengers compound in the period following Age of Ultron, when Wanda is mourning Pietro's death. Vision acknowledges that he's never felt loss like she has, but reveals the depth of his empathy.

"But what is grief, if not love persevering?" he asks.

Excuse me, I have something in my eye. This is clearly another major high on Wanda's emotional rollercoaster, and Thanos would later bring her low by killing Vision in Avengers: Infinity War.  

Hayward's machinations

We previously thought Wanda broke into SWORD headquarters, stole Vision's corpse and defied his wishes by resurrecting him. The flashback reveals that Hayward initially exposed Wanda to the shocking sight of his engineers dismantling Vision. He then suggested Wanda bring him back to life, but she refused and just left -- no thievery or resurrection to be had.

Hayward's sympathy routine is also pretty similar to one he used on Monica before sending her to Westview, because he's a manipulative jerk.

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Wanda re-creates Vision.

Marvel Studios/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Westview gets a refresh

Wanda's clearly feeling pretty low after visiting the SWORD facility, and she drives to Westview. It's our first time seeing the New Jersey town before she sitcom'd it up, and it's a sad place with closed businesses and amenities falling into disrepair -- this could reveal the economic impact of the Blip. 

She visits a plot of land (2800 Sherwood Drive) with the foundations of a house, and a deed reveals she and Vision planned to start a life together here -- a plan ruined by Thanos.

"To grow old in," reads the cute note, signed "V."

Overwhelmed by grief, she remakes the town as a '50s sitcom and Vision is reborn from her magical energy. From the midcredits scene, it seems like Wanda played right into Hayward's hands.

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The Maximoffs have a lovely box of sitcoms.

Marvel Studios/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Sitcom heaven

In the case you're wondering what the other options for TV night were, the box of DVDs includes Who's the Boss?, The Addams Family, I Love Lucy, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie and Malcolm in the Middle.

However, Malcolm in the Middle didn't air until Jan. 9, 2000, and the first DVD box set didn't come out until 2002, so the Maximoffs couldn't have had it in 1999. This suggests the timing was a little different in the MCU, or that Wanda's memory is a little unreliable (probably the latter, since she previously misremembered when The Parent Trap and The Incredibles came out).

Later, in Wanda's Hydra containment cell, she's watching The Brady Bunch. It seems to be season 1, episode 7, in which Cindy Brady treats her doll like a real baby and it goes missing. Which seems to mirror what happened with Billy and Tommy. 

Observations and WTF questions

  • The purple Marvel Studios logo is super cool.
  • "Only the witch who cast the runes can use her magic." This seems like the kind of line we'll get a callback to later. Maybe Wanda will turn the tables on Agatha?
  • I guess the cicada wasn't Mephisto.
  • And it turns out the people in the commercials weren't Wanda's parents after all. So who are they?!
  • This was the episode without the "Please Stand By" message in the credits.

Join us for more Easter eggs and observations next Friday, when episode 9 of WandaVision hits Disney Plus. It's the season finale, so expect Westview to get leveled by colored beams of energy or something.

CNET's Caitlin Petrakovitz contributed to this recap.

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Spider-Man 3 gets a title: No Way Home – CNET

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The reveal video includes a bunch of fake titles, along with the real one.

Sony; screenshot by CNET

The third Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man adventure got its official title on Wednesday: No Way Home. It comes after actors Tom Holland, Jacob Batalon and Zendaya trolled fans with fake titles on Tuesday.

The movie, which is being helmed by returning director Jon Watts, hits theaters Dec. 17, 2021.

The name follows the series trend of including the word "Home," after 2017's Homecoming and 2019's Far From Home, and could hint at the movie's multiverse storyline. Jamie Foxx and Alfred Molina are seemingly reprising their roles as Electro and Doctor Octopus from the Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies, even though the three Spidey series are set in different universes. 

However, recent episodes of the Disney Plus MCU show WandaVision hint that the barriers between Marvel's various cinematic universes are thinner than we thought. The character who showed up in the Far From Home postcredits scene could also hail from an alternate universe.

Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige reportedly confirmed that the events of No Way Home will tie into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is coming out March 2022.

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Watch: Post Malone headlines Pokemon Day virtual concert Saturday – CNET

Feb. 27 is Pokemon Day, marking 25 years since Pokemon Red and Green came out in Japan, and rapper Post Malone is headlining a virtual concert to mark the anniversary. It kicks off at 4 p.m. PT Saturday (7 p.m. ET/12 a.m. Sunday GMT/10 a.m. Sunday AEST) and is embedded above. We got a sneak preview Thursday, with Malone's cover of Hootie and the Blowfish's '90s classic Only Wanna Be With You.

If YouTube isn't your first choice of virtual concert venue, the gig will also be livestreamed on Twitch. The official Pokemon site will show the gig as well. Katy Perry will join another "P25" musical event.

The Pokemon Company also revealed some major new games for Nintendo Switch in a livestream Friday: Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are coming out later this year, and Pokemon Legends: Arceus arrives in early 2022. New Pokemon Snap, which comes out April 30, got a fresh trailer as well.

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Star Wars: Republic Commando hits Switch, PS4 on April 6 – CNET

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Delta Squad is ready to take down some clankers in Star Wars: Republic Commando.

Aspyr/Lucasfilm Games

Star Wars fans looking for some clone trooper action can jump back into battle on April 6, as the remastered version of Republic Commando comes out on Nintendo Switch and PS4. The tactical first-person shooter, which will set you back $15, released a trailer on Wednesday.

Republic Commando originally came out on Xbox and PC in 2005, a few months before Revenge of the Sith hit theaters. As with the recent Jedi Outcast, Jedi Academy, Episode 1: Racer and Knights of the Old Republic 2 re-releases, the remaster is being handled by Aspyr. This new version won't have the original's multiplayer mode but will include modernized controls.

It's set during the Clone Wars and puts you in the charge of special ops unit Delta Squad -- a team of clone commandos with awesome self-explanatory names like Boss, Scorch, Fixer and Sev (that last one is a bit unclear, but he's a sniper). Aside from shooting baddies, much of the game has you ordering your squadmates to take actions based on their unique skills.

Boss is voiced by Temuera Morrison, who played Jango Fett and the clones in the prequel trilogy. The actor recently returned to the Star Wars universe as Boba Fett in season 2 of The Mandalorian and will star in upcoming Disney Plus show The Book of Boba Fett.

"Since its original launch in 2005, Republic Commando continues to be a fan-favorite Star Wars game. We're honored to be able to work with Lucasfilm Games to bring back this beloved moment in franchise history," Ted Staloch, Aspyr's co-founder, said in a statement.

Xbox gamers shouldn't feel left out. Republic Commando is available on Microsoft's consoles via backward compatibility. If you get the PS4 version, it'll be playable on PS5 as well, Aspyr confirmed.

Republic Commando's story is no longer part of the mainline canon, but Delta Squad is. The team showed up in The Clone Wars season 3 episode Witches of the Mist. The upcoming Disney Plus show The Bad Batch will focus on a different team of clone commandos.

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NASA hid secret messages in the Perseverance parachute – CNET

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"Dare mighty things," reads the message in the Perseverance rover's parachute.

NASA screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET
This story is part of Welcome to Mars, our series exploring the red planet.

You might have noticed an unusual pattern to the red and white in the Perseverance rover's parachute as it landed on Mars last week, and NASA teased a secret message coded in the colors. Maxence Abela, a student at French computer science institution Epitech, together with his father, quickly figured it out.

The message reads "Dare mighty things," a slogan of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, while a JPL's Paul Ramirez revealed that the outer rings included GPS coordinates for its offices in Pasadena, California.

Abela provided a detailed explanation of his work, which scientist Emily Calandrelli distilled into a fun TikTok

Science writer Corey S. Powell compared it to the tradition of ancient artisans leaving a secret in their work, noting that the Perseverance's predecessor rover Curiosity spells out "JPL" in Morse code as it rolls across Mars. 

On Monday, NASA revealed images and video from Mars, including a panorama of the Jezero Crater that Perseverance has been sent to explore. One of the rover's microphones also sent back the first audio recorded on the planet's surface.

Follow CNET's 2021 Space Calendar to stay up to date with all the latest space news this year. You can even add it to your own Google Calendar.  

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Google Doodle celebrates writer and activist Zitkala-Sa – CNET

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Zitkala-Sa played a huge role in preserving Native American culture.

Google Doodle

The Google Doodle on Monday paid tribute to Zitkala-Sa, a member of the Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota and a writer, musician and activist, on her 145th birthday.

Born on Feb. 22, 1876, Zitkala-Sa resisted assimilation into European American culture through writing and political activism. To preserve her people's traditional stories, she published the anthology Old Indian Legends in 1901, and wrote the first Native American opera, The Sun Dance, in 1913.

She also co-founded the National Council of American Indians in 1926, to get tribes across the US full citizenship rights, and served as its first president until her death. She was instrumental in the passage of the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act and the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act, which increased Native American self-governance. 

After her death on Jan. 26, 1938, she was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

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