AP NEWS

Digital Dish: ‘Stranger Things’ keeps scaring up bingers

July 25, 2016 GMT

A taste of social media: Stranger Things: Haven’t seen “Stranger Things” yet? Welcome to the sci-fi/horror nostalgia everyone’s binging on.

The Netflix series premiered July 15, but it’s still drawing new viewers to its riveting haunts — in this case 1983 Indiana, where a Dungeons & Dragons-loving boy vanishes and a telekinetic girl appears amidst so much murk and mystery.

The eight-episode series by the Duffer Brothers unfolds like a spooky, yet sweet homage to early Steven Spielberg and Stephen King, teeming with boys on bicycles, shady government activity and supernatural chills and thrills. You even get Winona Ryder as the missing boy’s frazzled mom, and Matthew Modine as a sinister scientist. What’s not to love?

Here are some area tweets from folks discovering and loving what’s “Stranger”:

We’ve been watching Stranger Things, so when I thought I saw a light bulb flicker I may have lost my mind. — Jon Pyle, @jonpyle

Started watching @Stranger_Things & transported to my childhood, biking in the dark. Glad I survived it. — Lisa Pietsch, @LisaPietsch

Stranger things is literally a mix of poltergeist and war of the worlds but it’s still good af — Pamela, @pamela_olivia

Free Windows 10 upgrade ends Friday: Guess Microsoft is celebrating the first anniversary of its new OS by charging if you’re new to the party. Its free upgrade offer for Windows 10 ends Friday. After that, Microsoft said you can get Windows 10 on a new device or buy a full version of Windows 10 Home for $119.

It pays to upgrade now, and not just because you’d have to pay for Windows 10 later. Upgrading before Friday means getting free future updates too, such as the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which boasts improved Cortana virtual assistant features such reminders for email commitments.

You can download Windows 10 — free for now — from windows.com.

Emoji get a boost of gender equality: As Ars Technica reported, the Unicode Consortium has announced support for 11 new “profession” emoji that depict both men and women of that job, as well as 33 male and female versions of existing emoji that currently have just a man or woman but not both. All the emoji also can support skin tones.

The new emoji professions are: farmer, welder, mechanic, scientist, health worker, coder, business worker, chef, student, teacher and a very David Bowie-looking rock star. Their pictograph pairs look like dot-eyed twins, save for long hair to denote the female and short hair to denote the male.

It won’t be long before you’re texting them either. Vendors can design these emoji now and deploy them before the end of the year, the consortium said. The new jobs and gender options come from combinations of existing emoji, so there’s no need to wait for the new version of the Unicode international coding standard, which doesn’t hit until June.

Get verified at Twitter: Ever wish you had one of those snazzy little check marks next to your name on Twitter? Now you can apply for that hallowed verified account status, thanks to a new online application.

“Our goal with this update is to help more people find great, high-quality accounts to follow,” Twitter said in a recent blog announcement, “and for creators and influencers — no matter where they are in the world — to easily connect with a broader audience.”

Verified accounts are often those of celebrities, journalists, and other public figures and organizations. The badge proves an account is authentic, so you know you’re following the real Rihanna and not some fake.

If Twitter thinks you meet similar criterion for such public interest, you just might join the club. Expect to provide a verified phone number, confirmed email address and other pertinent info that proves you’re worthy.

René A. Guzman