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The Public Access Weekly: So this is the New Year

Amber Bouman

It's widely accepted that with a new year comes new beginnings and now that 2016 is upon us, we're taking that as an open door to shake things up at Public Access. We've been planning and plotting, and there are changes in store! Let me give you a quick run-down of what's been happening, what's changed, and what's to come.

First and foremost, if you are registered as a Public Access member then go directly here to take our survey. Seriously, GO HERE NOW. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, go take the survey! We'll be leaving the survey up for about the next week or so and we really, really want to hear from all Public Access members on what you're liking most (and least) about contributing. Listen, the Public Access page is for you and by you and this is an opportunity to weigh in and tell us what you'd like to see on the page.

We'll also be showing love to outstanding Public Access posts by sharing them with the Engadget social channels, so be on the look out for the Public Access hashtag on Twitter (#PublicAccess, naturally) as well as a growing presence on the Engadget Tumblr page -- we'll also @ mention those members who include a Twitter handle or social media profile in their Public Access profiles, so if you haven't included that info in your profile yet you can go here to update it.

So, what else has been happening over on Public Access since our last update? A. Lot. Like the rest of Engadget, Public Access got a redesign. While top stories are still highlighted at the top of the page, now all Public Access stories can be found in The Latest section underneath the This Week's Top 5 box. Clicking the "More Public Access Stories" link at the bottom of the Latest feed will take you to a chronological listing of every story on the page. Below that you'll find our cheeky Q&A section (currently featuring answers from the one-and-only Jake Solomon).

It's not just the Public Access page itself that has been changed -- we're working on updating and changing the backend CMS that Public Access members use as well (yet another reason why it's important to weigh in on the survey!). The first step in that direction is the addition of a Preview button, meaning that now when you write stories you can get a sneak peek at what it will look like when it goes live. Check it:

We're working on other features as well, so keep an eye out for more details in these updates (which will go back to a weekly schedule, with a new post every Friday).

Looking for something to read? Check out:

The Complete guide to geek holidays: Penned by yours truly, and to receive updates throughout the year -- let me know if I've missed any!

The seven people you meet on Facebook (and wish you didn't): This (overly?) honest social media story is getting a lot of traction this week.

The Future of Ad Blocking: What Ad Blocking is Really About: An insiders perspective on advertising, the software that keeps it from your view and the balancing act between content and profit.

Looking for something to write about? Mull over:

4K Blu-ray vs Streaming Media: Some serious conversations are happening in the comments on this one. What do you think -- is 4K Blu-ray over?

Biometrics vs Passwords: Are passwords really dead? Can biometrics replace them? What are your security procedures for secure passwords? And would you use a biometric solution?

Personal Gaming: This incredibly moving story about the game That Dragon, Cancer examines how a game can have a very emotional impact on the player (although that story contains spoilers so be careful). Have you ever played a game that had an emotional impact on you? What was it, and why was it so special?
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