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The Public Access Weekly: Ooh! A piece of candy...

Amber Bouman
02.11.16
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Just once I'd like to wake up on a Friday morning and not get Rebecca Black's infamous song stuck in my head -- but every Friday it sneaks in there like the overachieving ear worm that it is. (Perhaps I really do gotta to get down on Friday....) So while I spend part of my afternoon googling "Friday songs" in an attempt to find an alternative track to drown it out, pull up a seat and catch up on what's going down this week in Public Access.

First up as always: A bit of housekeeping. Those of you who have included Twitter handles in your Public Access profiles may have noticed an extra "@" symbol so that Twitter links next to an author's name looked like this: @@Dameright.

This is because our system was automatically adding the at sign, so if you're including a Twitter handle in your Public Access profile you only need to enter in the name itself --not the @ sign. This error has been corrected, but if you notice that your profile has added an @ symbol to your Twitter handle you can go here to edit out the symbol (and to update anything else you'd like on your profile!).

Also, some of you savvy Public Access members may have noticed a small change to the back-end: The box that held all the "Assignment" suggestions now says "Topic Ideas." Like so:


Why the change? Well, while I was looking through the answers to the Public Access member survey (see, I told you those answers mattered), I noticed that more than a few people have been under the impression that these are strict, mandatory assignments or that Public Access members must write to the assignments.


That is absolutely not the case! The list of topics here are simply suggestions on what you can write on, not on what you have to write on. These are not at all mandatory, they are simply prompts to help get you started if they're a question or topic that speak to you. If none of these ideas are a topic that you're interested in, simply don't accept them.

As a Public Access member, you are free to write upon pretty much any technology topic that strikes your fancy from smartphone apps to virtual reality to troubleshooting PC problems to the game that you cannot stop playing to tech advice for parents to useless IoT devices that you hate and more. If it has anything to do with computers, the internet, a tech device, science or general geekery, you have a green light.

And if you have an idea for an amazing topic idea, give us a holler! This is, after all, your community so please feel free to contribute any ideas that you think would be great for Public Access. In the meantime, new topic ideas will go live every Friday a few hours before the Public Access Weekly post gets published so if you do like the suggestions you can catch them then.

Looking for something to read? Check out:

Everyone wants to chime in on the comments to Violet Blue's new Bad Password column on the "death" of Adblock Plus.

Just in time for VDay, our Love at First Byte series highlights the tech loves and heartbreaks of the Engadget staff, like this 'dear John' letter to a Nexus 7.

If you haven't already heard: Gravitational waves. We've detected them. This is a BIG DEAL. Go science!

Looking for something to write about? Mull over:

Another article in the Love at First Byte series is this piece on the dark side of tech love: A toxic relationship with fitness wearables. How's your relationship with your fitness wearables? Are you still BFF-4-eva or are you looking to part ways with your trackers?

We posted an article on Twitter changes and how they affect harassment policies on the social network. Some commenters thought this was well overdue, while some felt that everyone needed to quit their whining. Is this a smart step to making Twitter a friendlier place? Does Twitter even need to be a friendlier place? What is the responsibility of a social network to its users?

GTA 5 was apparently smokin' sales in January -- Have you played it? Is it really that good? What were your favorite/least favorite parts of the game play? And would you recommend it to friends?