Trending December 2023 # Apple’s Self Service Repair: Everything You Should Know # Suggested January 2024 # Top 15 Popular

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Apple has always restricted the right to repair their devices to a chosen few. But now that Apple’s Self Service Repair program is finally released, things are changing, albeit a bit slowly. Now, we can all be geniuses.

The announcement in November opened the door to a lot of speculations. While some questions are answered now as the program is available to US customers, some still remain. I have done a deep dive into the matter to get all the answers* you need, so read on.

What is Apple’s Self Service Repair program?

Self Service Repair is Apple’s current stance on the right-to-repair moment. For years, Apple has gone to extreme lengths to lock the user in its network of authorized service centers, from using microcontroller chips to blocking features or tagging products as non-genuine components.

But now, this program gives users the freedom to repair their Apple devices independently. Users can access Apple genuine parts, tools, and repair manuals, similar to those used at Genius Bar (repair teams).

To help you become an Apple genius, the tech giant gives you all you’ll need, from repair manuals to over 200 individual parts and tools. You can also buy all the tools outright or rent them at $49 or buy individual tools to keep them.

Note: Apple has also published a supporting paper, “Expanding Access to Safe, Reliable, and Secure Service and Repair,” wherein it mentions that it will provide service and parts for products for at least seven years after they’re last sold.

Which devices can you repair?

iPhone 12 Series

iPhone 13 Series

iPhone SE (3rd generation)

MacBook Air / MacBook Pro

Furthermore, the program currently helps you repair the iPhone’s




Bottom speaker

SIM Tray

Taptic Engine

Self Service Repair for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro offers more than a dozen different repair types for each model, including the display, top case with battery, and trackpad, with more to come.

Who can access the program?

For now, the service program is limited to the US only. Although, Apple expressed plans to include other countries and regions, starting with Europe, later this year.

Source: Apple

Who is this targeted at?

While open for all Apple users, Self Service Repair is not designed for all. Not everyone has the skill, knowledge, and experience to pull apart an electronic device and fix it back together. It is intended for individual technicians deft at repairing such devices.

However, Apple also states that users without experience should restrain and depend on certified technicians.

Note: Apple currently boasts 5,000+ Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASPs) and 3,000 Independent Repair Providers (IRPs), and over 100,000 active technicians.

How does the Self Service Repair program work?

Apple has also released a four-step outline on how the Self Service Repair program works.

Step 1: Use the repair manual to find what you need

A free-to-use, in-depth guide on fixing your device and what parts, tools, and materials you’ll need to order.

Important: You’ll need a repair manual ID in the next step, and you’ll find it in the manual’s introduction. This indicates to Apple that you’ve indeed read the manual.

You’ll also see,

The tools you’ll need for the repair

Step-by-step repairing guide with appropriate images

Caution messages to help you avoid the risky areas

Source: Apple

Visit the Self Service Repair Store and select Start your order. Here select the product, its model, and repair type.

On the main page, where all parts and tools are listed, scroll down to Apple Tools (79 pounds packed into two heavy-duty cases). You’ll find a neat $49 tool rental option; add this to your cart.

As per Apple’s tool kit rental page,

The rental will start the day you receive the tool kit and last for 7 days.

It costs $49, including shipping.

Your credit card will have temporary authorization equivalent to the full replacement value of the tool kit.

If tools are not returned on time, a fee (including taxes) will be charged.

Also, if any tool is missing or damaged, Apple will deduct its charge.

Step 3: Repair your device

Once you receive the parts and tools you need, open the repair manual and get on with it. There’s a hitch here; you’ll need to call Apple to complete the repair process.

Apple has put a System Configuration requirement (some call it silly, Apple’s call is compulsory) without which your device will not recognize the parts as genuine and won’t work as intended.

To complete this step and your self-repair process, go to the Contact Us section of the Self Service Repair Store. You can contact the service team via chat or phone to initiate System Configuration.

Step 4: Return replaced part for recycling

As part of Apple’s carbon-neutral approach, you can return the replaced part and get a portion of the money back. Like with their AASPs and IRls, these parts will be refurbished or recycled responsibly.

Of course, there are terms and conditions applied. Apple will inspect the part to determine the credit eligibility and then refund a portion of the original payment.

Apple Self Service Repair cost

The cost of parts and tools vary as per the repair and device type. For reference and comparison purposes, let’s take the example of the iPhone 13 Pro.

The display bundle costs $269.96 upfront, if we subtract the return credit of $33.60, it will be $236.36. Although we’ll also have to consider the $49 tool rental, the total comes up to $318.96 (before) and 285.36 (after return credit). Notably, Apple’s screen replacement service costs $279 (add your commuting cost, if applicable).

Is Apple Self Service Repair really cheap?

By the above calculation, absolutely no. I even compared the battery replacement cost; the battery bundle costs $71, while battery service through Apple costs $69.

Furthermore, there is the added risk of spoiling your device more rather than repairing it. And on the other hand, trained technicians are handling your device, plus it’s Apple’s responsibility to fix your device.

Should you exercise your right to repair?

With great freedom comes a greater responsibility of using the rights in the right manner. In simple words, only a skilled and experienced user can handle a successful repair.

However, plenty of curious souls would like to take things into their hands, and it might do more harm than good. Even if you put your faith in a friendly neighborhood technician’s hand, risks are involved. Plus, it isn’t saving much money either.

So, I’ll suggest accessing the situation with a broader perspective. Understand how difficult is the repair, the risks involved, and whether going to an authorized repair shop will be better.

Apple Self Service Repair: The real catch

Whenever Apple releases something that attempts to go outside their walled garden, users should accept it with a pinch of salt (sometimes even more). Thanks to this program, Apple users now have three choices.

Repair the device themselves.

Visit nearby small shops.

Send the device to Apple or visit an authorized repair shop.

However, the right to repair is not just about these choices; it also means ease of access, saving money, cutting down the monopoly, and reducing the e-waste by a large margin. But is the program really doing that?

The Serial / IMEI number limitation

While it might not sound preposterous at the start, it limits a lot of things. For instance:

What if you don’t use the part for the same phone you ordered it for?

The Serial/IMEI number gives Apple the right to reject/block the repair, starting from the System Configuration step.

Why does a skilled technician have to wait every time?

Imagine you know a skilled technician who can resolve your Mac and iPhone’s issue quicker than sending it to Apple. But, they can only order the parts when you give them your Serial/IMEI number. Then you’ll have to wait for parts to arrive before the repair can begin.

Why can’t the technician order some extra parts and prepare them for your rainy days? Agreed this might open the flood gate to fake parts, but Apple can keep a service code for parts and continue the System Configuration step accordingly.

Repair specialists iFixit very nicely put the situation into perspective – “This program expands the freedom to repair with one hand while locking the door with the other.”

Are we being fooled?

As of now, it certainly looks like it. We now have the right to repair our devices. However, we still don’t have the liberty one might expect. From the Serial/IMEI number restriction to the heavy-duty price point, nothing seems to favor the users.

This initiative looks like an intentionally feeble and doomed attempt to bypass the right to repair regulations and activists. Honestly, I hope Apple gives some levy in upcoming announcements.

It’s a great deal outside the US.

I also need to put a point in favor of Apple. Apple claims that “in the US, eight out of 10 Apple customers are located within 20 minutes of an authorized service provider.” Although that’s not the case for other countries and regions.

So, while we are bitching about the program because we have an option to compare, this might be the best and only option for some people. And when eventually they’ll get this program, it would be godsent. To give credit where it is due, Apple has done a nice deed by introducing the program (albeit flawed).

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A self-professed Geek who loves to explore all things Apple. I thoroughly enjoy discovering new hacks, troubleshooting issues, and finding and reviewing the best products and apps currently available. My expertise also includes curating opinionated and honest editorials. If not this, you might find me surfing the web or listening to audiobooks.

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Lmb Key On Keyboard: Everything You Should Know

You might be excused for thinking that keyboards are primarily used for typing, as do the majority of people.

However, if your mouse or trackpad isn’t working, you might be curious about what the LMB key does and how to utilize it. The LMB key can serve you as a helpful button if you learn how to perform all of its functions.

You might be wondering what LMB on a keyboard stands for. Where is it located, and what does it do? We would like you to know you’ve come to just the right place. Let’s get started.

The LMB (left mouse button) is an old standard keyboard key that’s still used today. The definition of “left-mouse button” is simple: it’s any button on a computer mouse, including its left half.

LMB is often confused with the MMB (middle mouse button), also called a scroll wheel or trackpad. However, they’re different and have different purposes in different situations so let’s clear up some confusion!

If you are one of the users of the Mouse Keys feature in Windows, then this button could prove especially useful to you. Also, the LMB key comes in handy if you use a keyboard that has a touchpad built into it or a trackball.

There are several ways you can use the LMB:

For instance, pressing the “5” key on the Numpad, the Minus (-) symbol, and then the “5” key once again would be necessary to push the Left Mouse Button and the Right Mouse Button consecutively using Mouse Keys.

See the best keyboards with touchpad

There is no need for an external mouse if you have a keyboard with this feature because this key is identical to the LMB key on a mouse.

Similar to how a typical trackball mouse is made, the LMB button on a keyboard with a trackball is typically placed beside the trackball itself.

The LMB key is also included on keyboards with a TrackPoint (the red dot that is frequently found on Lenovo laptop keyboards), as the TrackPoint was designed to provide all the functions of a mouse.

Since there isn’t room for it to be placed around the TrackPoint, the LMB key is situated at the bottom of the keyboard.

LMB (left-middle-button) is typically located on the left side of the keyboard. It’s also known as a “touchpad” or “fingerprint” because it looks like a fingerprint. Despite this similarity, it’s not exactly a fingerprint!

For example, press LMB and drag across some text with one hand while holding down SHIFT with your other hand so that all three fingers are touching at once; then release LMB when all three are pressed down again. That way each finger will move independently—and with this, you can avoid any accidental keystrokes!

On laptops, the LMB can be found under your number pad or just above it (on some models). If you don’t have a number pad on your laptop though, then look for an icon that looks like two arrows pointing toward each other in the top row of keys.

This will be where the cursor will move when you press down gently on those arrow buttons with your fingertips instead of pressing them directly into their respective positions (which would result in accidental typing).

The last of the three keys is the MMB key, which stands for Middle Mouse Button.

Unlike LMB and RMB, the MMB key may not be on every keyboard which contains the LMB and RMB keys, as its functionality isn’t as vital as these keys.

To be quite honest, we don’t know if the LMB key is present on every keyboard in existence. However, we do know that every keyboard, wireless or wired, includes the useful F10 shortcut key in addition to the SHIFT key.

It should come as no surprise that there isn’t enough room for you to work if your workplace is too small to accommodate your desktop or laptop. A peripheral mouse may become difficult to scroll and maneuver as a result. The left mouse button can be key in certain scenarios and can turn out to be a practical and efficient answer to this issue.

When your mouse breaks down or when you accidentally leave it at work but have a deadline for a project or report the next day, you’ll appreciate having a left mouse button on your keyboard the most.

If you lose or permanently damage your mouse and have to wait a few weeks for a replacement to arrive, your computer’s LMB will quickly become your closest buddy. These buttons are very necessary for situations like these when there is no other choice for the majority of people.

Despite the LMB button being quite handy, you shouldn’t immediately put away your mouse. Despite all of its benefits, the LMB key does have certain drawbacks that may become apparent to you after frequent use. A few of the most typical are listed below:

Using the LMB key will be quite difficult if the touchpad sensor chooses to go bad.

According to several studies, using an external mouse is more accurate and productive than using the LMB key on a keyboard.

The left mouse button on the keyboard might not work with some online video games. For avid gamers this is a potential deal-breaker, so be sure to conduct thorough research to prevent it.

When using the LMB key, some tasks could take noticeably longer than they would with an external mouse or might not be possible at all.

Some high-end design and 3D modeling applications, like Fusion 360, might not allow pressing the LMB key on a keyboard.

There is no doubt that the LMB key has its benefits in several situations, even though you won’t find it on many keyboards. Particularly if you would like to take a break from using your external mouse, then it comes up as a good alternative.

Amazon Luna: Everything You Need To Know About Amazon’S Cloud Gaming Service


Cloud gaming might still be in its infancy, but major companies aren’t shying away from investing early in the future of gaming. Amazon Luna is the latest platform to join the fray, and with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Twitch behind it, Luna could very well take the cloud gaming crown.

After over a year of rumors, Luna was officially announced in September 2023. In March 2023, after a long invite-only testing period, the service officially went live for anyone in the US to check out. A year later, it expanded to the UK, Germany, and Canada. If you want to sign up for Amazon Luna, you can do so at the link below.

What is Amazon Luna?

Is Amazon Luna worth it?

Amazon Luna is still in its infancy, but we were cautiously optimistic in our Amazon Luna review. Gameplay was smooth, although not as smooth as Stadia was, and the game library is impressive, although not as impressive as Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The user experience also left something to be desired, and the need for a persistent subscription will be off-putting for some.

At the end of the day, we had trouble seeing exactly where Luna would fit into the market. Game Pass Ultimate is a better overall deal for hardcore gamers, but it’s also more expensive. Stadia was a better choice for casual gamers, but now that it’s going the way of the dodo, it’s possible that Amazon Luna will take up its place.

Depending on where you live, you may not even have the option to try Amazon Luna. It’s only available in the US, and the company has made no announcements regarding a worldwide release. In fact, no new games have been added to the service since March of this year, while Xbox Game Pass and Geforce Now are frequently adding new titles to their platforms.

Ultimately, whether or not Amazon Luna is worth it depends on you. If you want a taste of the future, it’s absolutely a respectable alternative to Xbox Cloud Gaming or other cloud gaming services. We wouldn’t necessarily recommend it over any other service, but since it’s a simple subscription you can try and cancel at any time. There are also a few games included with an Amazon Prime subscription, so you might be able to get a taste without having to pay extra.

Amazon Luna Plus costs $9.99 a month.

One nice thing about Amazon Luna is that it offers a variety of streaming options to cater to different speeds. Amazon recommends speeds of at least 10Mbps for 1080p streaming, or 35Mbps for 4K when it becomes available.

Data caps are also a concern for many customers and can lead to reduced speeds or a shockingly high bill at the end of the month. Gaming at 1080p can consume upwards of 10GB per hour, so use discretion if you don’t have an unlimited plan.

Thankfully, Amazon Luna has implemented an option to cap stream quality at 720p. This should alleviate data consumption woes faced by other cloud gaming services.

Device support Play games with your phone as a controller

If you have an Amazon Fire TV-based device or smart TV, you can download the Luna Controller app for iOS and Android, and use that app as a touch controller for gaming on your big-screen TV. This controller app is mainly for casual games that don’t need a real physical controller.

Luna Plus — This is the main gaming channel for the service. It costs $9.99 a month. This subscription includes unlimited access to a growing catalog of games and 1080p/60fps streaming on two devices simultaneously. As of 2023, the Retro and Family channels have been rolled into the main Luna Plus subscription, boosting the number of games to roughly 100.

Prime Gaming — Amazon Prime subscribers can access a select number of Luna games for free, which is certainly a nice additional perk for being a member.

Ubisoft Plus —  This channel features games developed and/or published by Ubisoft and includes both classic and its most recent games. It costs $17.99 per month. It includes the same 1080p/60 quality and unlimited gameplay, but only for one device. However, it features the ultimate edition of each game, with all DLC unlocked for certain titles. If you already pay for Ubisoft Plus on another platform, you can connect your Ubisoft account to access the Amazon Luna channel at no additional charge.

Jackbox Games — This channel features the many casual trivia games made by the Jackbox Games publisher. You can get it for $4.99 a month.

The Amazon Luna controller


If you want to get the most out of a Luna subscription, you’ll also want to pick up an Amazon Luna controller. Amazon claims that using the official controller can reduce latency by 17 to 30 milliseconds when compared to standard Bluetooth controllers, which is huge for competitive multiplayer titles.

It does this by connecting directly to Amazon’s servers with a built-in Wi-Fi receiver with support for both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz networks. This removes the middleman of your local PC or streaming device for inputs. Wired gameplay is also available with a USB-C cable, which unfortunately isn’t included in the box.

Amazon Luna games


An Amazon Luna Plus subscription includes unlimited access to roughly 100 games from a variety of publishers. The list isn’t as impressive as Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming catalog, but it’s a solid start. The games are running on Windows machines, so theoretically, it should be easier to add games to Luna than Stadia, which required developers to port their games to a Linux-based platform.

However, these games cannot be purchased individually and require a persistent subscription to play. Games may also be removed from the service as time goes on, removing access for even paying subscribers. In this regard it’s similar to Xbox Game Pass, but without the option to buy a game once it’s removed.

Although you can get more games by subscribing to more channels, the base subscription to Amazon Luna Plus includes a wide variety of games. Here’s the full list of Amazon Luna Plus games as of June 2023:

Note: We’ve listed out all of the retro titles included in Capcom Arcade Stadium separately for full visibility.

1941 Counter Attack



1944 The Loop Master

19XX The War Against Destiny

Alien Isolation


Arcade Paradise

Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader

Baseball Stars 2

Batora: Lost Haven

Battle Circuit

Batman: Arkham Knight

Beach Buggy Racing 2

Bee Simulator

Bionic Commando

Bug Fables The Everlasting Sapling

Call of the Sea

Capcom Arcade Stadium

Captain Commando

Carrier Airwing

Castlevania Anniversary Collection

Chicken Police


Close to the Sun


Contra Aniversary Collection

Control Ultimate Edition

Cross Code

Cyberbots Fullmetal Madness

Death Squared

Devil May Cry 5

Dirt 5

Dirt Rally 2.0

Dragon’s Lair

Dragon’s Lair 2 Time Warp


Dynasty Wars

Earthworm Jim

Earthworm Jim 2

Endzone: A World Apart


Final Fight

Forgotten Worlds


Freshly Frosted

Garfield Kart Furious Racing

Get Packed Couch Chaos

Ghostrunner Complete Edition

Ghosts’n Goblins

Ghouls’n Goblins


Grow Song of the Evertree

Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition


Horizon Chase Turbo

Hot Wheels Unleashed

Kingdom Come Deliverance Royal Edition

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning

Legendary Wings

LEGO DC Super-Villians

Lost Judgement

Lumines Remastered


Martha is Dead

Max The Curse of Brotherhood

Mega Twins

Megaman 11

Megaman Legacy Collection

Metal Slug

Metal Slug X

Metro Exodus

Mighty Switch Force Collection

Monster Harvest

Monster Truck Championship

Mortal Shell

Moving Out

Narita Boy


Okami HD


Overcooked 2

Panzer Dragoon

Paper Beast Folded Edition


Pile Up

Pirate Ship Higemaru

Potion Permit

Powered Gear


R Type Dimensions Ex


Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 3

Retro Classix: Breakthru

Retro Classix: Express Raider

Retro Classix: Super Real Darwin

Retro Classix: Wizard Fire

Ride 4

Riptide GP Renegade

River City Girls

Rogue Heroes

Sail Forth

Saints Row The Third Remastered

Samurai Warriors 5

Section Z

Senjo no Okami II

Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse

Shantae Half Genie/Hero Ultimate Edition

Shantae Risky’s Revenge Director’s Cut

Shock Troopers

Shock Troopers 2nd Squad


Sonic Colors Ultimate

Sonic Mania Plus

Space Age

Space Otter Charlie

Spongebob Squarepants Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated

Steamworld Dig 2

Steamworld Heist

Steamworld Quest Hand of Gilgamech

Steel Assault

Street Fighter II

Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting


Strife Veteran Edition

Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania

Super Street Fighter II Turbo The Ultimate Championship

Tatakai no Banka

Team Sonic Racing

Tetris Effect Connected

The Adventure Pals

The Falconeer

The King of Fighters ’97 Global Match

The King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match Final Edition

The Legend of Heroes Trails from Zero

The Mummy Remastered

The Smurfs Mission Vileaf

The Wonderful 10 Remastered


Time on Frog Island


Tormented Souls

Tracks Toybox Edition

Trails of Cold Steel IV

Twinklestar Sprites

Twinsen’s Little Big Adventure Classic 2


Valkyria Chronicles 4 Complete Edition

Varth Operation Thunder Storm

Vengeful Guardian Moonrider


Warriors of Fate

Windjammers 2

Worms Crazy Golf

WRC Generations

Yakuza Kiwami

Yakuza Kiwami 2

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

Youtubers Life OMG

Ys IX Monstrum Nox 

Ys VII Lacrimosa of Dana

What is the Amazon Luna release date?

Amazon Luna officially launched in the US on March 1, 2023. Just over a year later on March 22, 2023, the service was expanded to the UK, Germany, and Canada.

Amazon Luna is currently available in the United States, the UK, Germany, and Canada. Sign up at the link below.

How does it stack up against alternatives?

Amazon Luna is poised to take on the likes of Xbox Cloud Gaming and GeForce Now. Although it’s still too early for a definitive take on which is best, there are some key similarities and differences to take note of.

Xbox Cloud Gaming (formerly Project xCloud) is the service that’s most similar to Luna. It also has a library of games locked behind a single subscription fee, but the games are a step above Luna’s offerings. They include all of Microsoft’s first-party titles from popular franchises like Halo and Gears of War. However, cloud support is currently limited to 720p quality and doesn’t include games you’ve purchased. It’s tied to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which costs more than twice as much as Luna at $14.99 a month, but comes with a library of downloadable PC and Xbox games, too.

GeForce Now is more of a virtual machine service than a true cloud gaming platform, but it offers many of the same benefits. It allows you to play your existing game library from Steam or other stores on a powerful machine in the cloud. The free plan is limited to game sessions of just one hour, but the Priority plan bumps that up to $9.99 a month. There’s also an RTX plan that includes access to RTX 3080 GPUs, costing $100 for six months. Just keep in mind that you will need to buy all of your games separately, and not all the games you own will work with the service.

In theory, yes. However, more than 50 games were removed in early 2023, and only a few were added. Currently, Luna has roughly 100 games for the base Amazon Luna Plus subscription, plus many more with add-on channels like Ubisoft Plus.

Project Tempo was the codename for Amazon Luna while it was in development. Now that it’s been officially revealed, the codename has been dropped.

No, Amazon Luna is currently only available for early access in a few countries. We’ll update this article as soon as global availability expands.

While the main service is available separately from Amazon Prime, Prime members can check out a small selection of Luna games for no additional cost. This list rotates every month, much like Amazon Prime Gaming.

What Is Allblk? Here’S Everything You Need To Know About The Streaming Service

Read more: Best streaming services

Here’s what you need to know about Allblk and whether or not you should check it out for yourself. You can sign up for the service at the link below:


ALLBLK is a streaming service from AMC Networks that offers movies and TV shows made for African American audiences.

See price at ALLBLK

What is Allblk?

Allblk is a premium streaming service made primarily for an African-American audience. It was originally launched in 2014 as the Urban Movie Channel by RLJ Entertainment and was founded by Robert L. Johnson, who previously created the BET cable channel. In 2023, AMC Networks acquired RLJ Entertainment, including the Urban Movie Channel. In January 2023, the name of the service was changed to Allblk.

Where is Allblk available?

At the moment, Allblk is available in the US as a standalone online service and as an add-on for several cable, satellite, and online services. Allblk also available in Canada as an add-on channel via Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video.

Allblk costs $4.99 a month, or you can also purchase an annual subscription for $49.99

Yes, Allblk offers a seven-day free trial where you can access all of its content with no restrictions. You can cancel your trial before the end of the seven days to avoid being charged.

African-American audiences will find a lot to watch on the service. From recent drama and action movies to documentaries, to filmed stage plays and more, there should be something for every taste. The fact that Allblk’s price is very low at just $4.99 a month should be a big incentive to watch the content. Allblk is growing its original content with a number of exclusive TV dramas, comedies, and reality series. The only thing this service lacks is content made for younger kids.

Read more: BET Plus: Everything we know about the streaming service

What can I watch on the service?

AMC Networks

Allblk not only features hundreds of recent movies and TV shows from a variety of studios, it’s also the home for a growing number of exclusive original movies and shows only available on the streaming service. Here’s a look at some of the exclusive shows available on Allblk.

Allblk – Exclusive original TV shows

A House Divided – A soap opera about the rich Sanders family dealing with lots of secrets, betrayal, and more. You can watch three seasons of the show, and a fourth is in the works.

Double Cross – A drama with a brother and sister who fight crime as vigilantes known as the “Wonder Twins”. Two seasons are available now, and a third is coming in 2023.

For the Love of Jason – A dramedy that focuses on the title character Jason and his dating life.

Covenant – An anthology series that reimagines classic stories from the Bible in the modern-day world.

Lace – A legal drama about a female lawyer who defends rich clients in LA.

Beyond Ed Buck – A docuseries about the deaths of two gay black men in Hollywood, California at the hands of Ed Buck, a white businessman who had major Democratic political ties.

The service will also be adding some  more original shows in the coming months, including:

À La Carte – A woman falls in love with a married man in this dramedy.

Send Help – An actor who is riding high on the success of his TV show has to deal with a family tragedy.

Snap – An anthology-style genre show about a supernatural being that affects the life of a different person in each episode.

There are a couple of streaming services that offer programming similar to Allblk. Let’s check them out now:

BET Plus

The recent streaming service from Paramount and Tyler Perry Studios, with both classic and original movies and TV shows.

See price at BET Plus



Netflix has been adding a number of original series and movies tailored for Black audiences. That includes the acclaimed Spike Lee film Da 5 Bloods, along with more recent films like The Harder They Fall, and the Colin Kaepernick docudrama limited series Colin in Black and White.


Netflix is still the leading premium streaming service, with over 200 million worldwide subscribers. It offers thousands of movies and TV shows to binge watch, including its always growing list of original films and series, including Stranger Things, The Witcher, Bridgerton, and many more.

See price at Netflix

That’s everything you need to know about Allblk. We’ll update this post as more information about this streaming service is announced.

Everything You Must Know About Koalas!

This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon.


An article here describes the rationale behind using Koalas and then talks about the different library usage with different spark versions. It then discusses the differences between Koalas and Pandas and performs tests to verify those differences. The purpose is to help the reader establish a strong foundation in the former. As the foundation is established, the next chapter will discuss what data scientists should consider when using it and finally finish up with a summary and key takeaways. Let’s get started.

Why Koalas?

Koalas library got introduced because of the following issues in the current spark system [2].

 Several features frequently required in data science are missing in Apache Spark. Specifically, plotting and drawing charts is an essential feature that almost all data scientists use daily.

Koalas Library Variants

To use Koalas in the spark notebook, you need to import the library. There are two options available in libraries. The first option is “databricks.koalas” and prior to PySpark version 3.2.x, this is the only option available. But post 3.2.x, another library named “pyspark.pandas” was introduced and this name aligns more realistic with Pandas API [3]. Spark suggests using the later one as the former will stop support soon.

Koalas vs. Pandas

The key similarity between pandas and koalas is that the APIs used in both libraries are the same. That is if pandas use pd.DataFrame(), then in koalas also, the API use would be the same i.e., kl.DataFrame(). However, the difference between the two data frames (pandas & koalas) makes koalas really special. That is, the koala’s data frame is distributed – in a way similar to the spark data frame [1]. Unlike other spark libraries, Pandas runs in a single node on a driver rather than across all the worker nodes, so it cannot scale. Opposite to Pandas, the Pandas API (aka koalas) works exactly the way similar to the spark library.

To understand the two terms, let’s use a sample program (refer to GitHub) to conduct some tests that confirm the above differences mentioned.

The first test conducted was to check how count operations execute in the data bricks environment. Also, to check if anything different is been observed if the three counts operations are compared for spark, koalas, and pandas data frames, respectively. The output has depicted pictorially in the diagram below. It confirms that the pandas’ data frame doesn’t use a worker thread. This is because you won’t see any spark job runs when performing an operation on the pandas’ data frame (refer to the diagram shown below). On to this, the spark and koalas data frames work differently. Their spark has created jobs to accomplish the count operation. These jobs are created over two separate workers (aka machines). This test confirms two things:

Firstly spark and koalas are no different in terms of working.

Secondly, Pandas are not scalable when the data load increases (i.e. it always works under a single node on the driver irrespective of data size). On the other hand, “koalas” is found distributed in nature and can be scaled as and when data size varies.

The second test performed in the sample program is the performance check for different data frames. Here the count operation execution time was calculated. The table below shows clearly the record count operations take a good amount of time in spark and koalas as opposed to the pandas. This justifies that underneath they are nothing but the spark data frame. Another important point to note here is the panda’s count performance is way ahead of the other two.

The third test confirms again that both are similar as there are not many operations that need to be performed by the data bricks if underneath two entities are the same.  To test this, a performance test was conducted in a data bricks notebook, which tested the completion time of operations when converting spark data frames to koalas and pandas, respectively. The output shown here shows that the koalas’ conversion time is negligible compared to the pandas’ conversion time. This is because there is not much to do for spark because of the same structure of koalas’ data frame.

Evaluate Koalas Read API with the Complex Data Structure in Delta Table

The most common way of persisting data in modern delta lake is in the form of delta format. Azure Databricks delta table supports ACID properties similar to the transactional database tables. It is worth checking how the koalas (pandas API) work with the delta table that contains a complex JSON nested structure. So let’s begin.

Sample data structure

The sample data shown here contains two columns. First, the bank branch id (simple data) and second the department details (a complex nested JSON structure). This data is stored as the delta table.

Sample data – code

The sample data can be created by using the code below. The complete codebase is available on GitHub.

payload_data1 = {“EmpId”: “A01”, “IsPermanent”: True, “Department”: [{“DepartmentID”: “D1”, “DepartmentName”: “Data Science”}]} payload_data2 = {“EmpId”: “A02”, “IsPermanent”: False, “Department”: [{“DepartmentID”: “D2”, “DepartmentName”: “Application”}]} payload_data3 = {“EmpId”: “A03”, “IsPermanent”: True, “Department”: [{“DepartmentID”: “D1”, “DepartmentName”: “Data Science”}]} payload_data4 = {“EmpId”: “A04”, “IsPermanent”: False, “Department”: [{“DepartmentID”: “D2”, “DepartmentName”: “Application”}]} # create data structure data =[ {“BranchId”: 1, “Payload”: payload_data1}, {“BranchId”: 2, “Payload”: payload_data2}, {“BranchId”: 3, “Payload”: payload_data3}, {“BranchId”: 4, “Payload”: payload_data4} ] # dump data to json jsonData = json.dumps(data) # append json data to list jsonDataList = [] jsonDataList.append(jsonData) # parallelize json data jsonRDD = sc.parallelize(jsonDataList) # store data to spark dataframe df =

Store temporary data to the delta table

Now persist above created temporary employee data to the delta table by using the code shown here.

table_name = "/testautomation/EmployeeTbl" (df.write .mode("overwrite") .format("delta") .option("overwriteSchema", "true") .save(table_name))"./testautomation/")

Read complex nested data using the koalas’ data frame

import pyspark.pandas as ps pdf = ps.read_delta(table_name) pdf.head()

On executing the above code the below output appeared.

Read complex nested data using the Spark data frame

df = display(df)

On executing the above code the output that appears is here.

Fig. 7: Complex JSON data – show via Display function

The above result suggests Pandas API (Koalas) doesn’t work well when calling the HEAD function to display the complex JSON Nested structure. This is against the main principle of using the Koalas library as its ultimate intention is to provide the distributed mechanism in the pandas’ library using the pandas’ functions. However, this can be achieved via a workaround where you can use the DISPLAY function in koalas’ data frame.


This article has set a strong foundation on the Koalas library for the readers. Furthermore, the different tests performed to verify the differences between pandas and koalas have indicated that koalas are nothing but spark data frames added to them with pandas’ APIs. In this post, we discussed the limitation that prevented Panda’s “head” function from properly displaying the nested JSON data. In summary, wrong to say that as a primary method for analyzing and transforming big data, Koalas is a good choice, but be aware of its limitations so you have a fallback plan in case certain APIs may not work properly.

Key Takeaways

By allowing data engineers and data scientists to interact with big data more efficiently, Koalas improved productivity.

Make sure you do some research before using Koalas for complex nested JSON structures since its API may not produce the desired results.

Koalas bridges the gap between the usage of Pandas API with the single node and distributed data to a great extent.

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Minecraft Sculk: Everything You Need To Know

The Minecraft 1.19 Wild Update is here, and it brings a plethora of exciting new stuff to the game. And one of the most discussed additions in this latest Minecraft update is the sculk family. It is a collection of blocks that finally add movement and sound-based mechanics to the game. While doing so, it also unlocks a variety of new Redstone functionality for players to utilize in their farms and builds. But that can’t happen if you don’t know anything about the different types of sculk blocks in Minecraft 1.19. That’s where this detailed guide will come in handy. We are here to cover everything you need to know about sculks in Minecraft. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

How to Find, Get, and Use Minecraft Sculk Blocks (2023)

We have divided our guide into separate sections to cover various aspects, types, and uses of sculk blocks. You can use the table below to skip to the section you are eager to discover about in this update.

What is Sculk in Minecraft

The Minecraft 1.19 update has added a new family of blocks called sculks to the game. They were first planned for the Minecraft 1.18 Caves & Cliffs Part 2 update and would have made the caves much darker and more interesting. But they were delayed because of some unknown reason. Now, in their improved version, the sculk blocks are making a return with Minecraft 1.19. Sculks are both decorative and functional blocks that can change the Redstone machines forever.

Key Features of Sculk Blocks

All sculk blocks in Minecraft have the following features:

They are fireproof and can’t catch fire even from lava.

All sculk blocks follow the same theme and even the Warden’s body has a similar texture.

A gold hoe is the fastest tool you can use to break sculk blocks.

The sculk blocks can’t generate naturally outside of the caves. However, you can get and use sculk catalyst in Minecraft 1.19 to easily generate sculk features anywhere. Read our attached guide for more details.

Types of Sculk Blocks in Minecraft 1.19

ImageNameTypeFunctionSculkDecorativeOnly for aesthetics and buildingSculk SensorRedstoneDetects vibration and sends out Redstone signalsSculks CatalystFunctionalGenerates sculk features whenever an experience dropping mob dies nearbySculk ShriekerFunctionalSummons the Warden after detecting vibrations three separate timesSculk VeinDecorativeOnly for aesthetics and decorationImage Courtesy: Minecraft Wiki

Where to Find Sculk Blocks in Minecraft

All sculk blocks exclusively spawn in the new Deep Dark biome of Minecraft. You can find them throughout the biome, but they spawn at a higher rate within the Ancient cities. So, our list of best Ancient city seeds can help you reach the home of sculks in no time.

If you are in the creative mode, all five types of sculk blocks show up in your creative inventory. But you can’t directly break the sculk blocks to pick them up in any game mode, be it hardcore or creative. You need to use enchantments to be able to successfully mine the blocks and get something useful out of them.

How to Get Sculk Blocks in Minecraft

To pick any sculk block, you have to break it using a tool with the silk touch enchantment applied to it. This allows you to pick the block as a whole without breaking it. Since a hoe breaks sculk blocks the fastest, it’s best to use an enchanted hoe to break sculk blocks. You can use our Minecraft enchantments guide to learn how to apply silk touch to your hoe.

On the other hand, if you break any sculk block without the silk touch enchantment, the block will simply disappear, leaving behind several experience orbs. So, depending on your requirements, you can break the sculk with enchanted or unenchanted tools.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can grow sculk features in your game by killings mobs that drop experience around a sculk catalyst. 

Does skulk drop XP?

Sculks blocks are known to drop some of the highest amounts of XP in the game. That makes them the perfect competition and companion for the mob XP farms in Minecraft. 

What does Warden drop?

Use Sculk Blocks in Minecraft Builds and Redstone Machines

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