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NelsonG

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Posts posted by NelsonG

  1. Woman using laptop

    TL;DR: A lifetime subscription to Rosetta Stone is on sale for £143.27 with code ROSETTA.


    Your special someone might be fluent in the language of love, but that may just be for you to hear. For talking to practically everyone else in the world, they'll have to study up, and Rosetta Stone may be the place to do it. With beginner to expert lessons for 25 different languages, Rosetta Stone is a fun, adaptable way to learn a new language, and you can get it for life for only £143.27 with code ROSETTA.

    There's more than one way to learn a language, so Rosetta Stone gives learners options. Users can try out their pronunciation with advanced speech-recognition technology that gives live feedback. Or they can brush up on their vocabulary with reading, writing, and listening exercises. 

    This subscription lasts for life, which means your Valentine can take all the time they want to learn a new language, or a few new ones. There are 25 total, including Spanish, French, Italian, German, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Filipino, Japanese, Swedish, and so many more. 

    Get a lifetime of language learning with Rosetta Stone for only £143.27 with code ROSETTA.

    View the full article

  2. Hands on laptop

    TL;DR: A wide range of online courses from Harvard University are available to take for free on edX.


    AI is coming, whether you like it or not. You could handle these first steps into a brave new world with panic and fear, or you could learn how to harness this technology.

    The choice is yours, but edX makes the decision a lot easier. This online learning platform hosts free courses on Python, Javascript, and of course, AI. And better yet, these online courses are delivered by famous institutions like Harvard University. You could become a Harvard student without ever leaving home.

    We have lined up the best free online courses from Harvard University on topics like Python, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity:

    You don't get a verified certificate of completion with these free courses, but that's the only catch. You can still enroll and start learning at your own pace. So what do you have to lose?

    Find the best free online courses from Harvard University with edX.

    View the full article

  3. Catalans Dragons Sam Tomkins during the Betfred Super League final match

    TL;DR: Stream Catalans Dragons vs. St Helens in the Betfred Super League for free on BBC iPlayer. Access this free streaming platform from anywhere in the world with ExpressVPN.


    We're still in the early stages of the Betfred Super League season, but St Helens and the Catalans Dragons are already making a big impression. Both sides have started strongly, making their upcoming matchup a tantalising prospect for fans of rugby league.

    If you want to watch Catalans Dragons vs. St Helens for free from anywhere in the world, we have all the information you need.

    When is Catalans Dragons vs. St Helens?

    Catalans Dragons vs. St Helens kicks off at 8:05 p.m. BST on April 6. This fixture takes place at the Stade Gilbert Brutus in Perpignan, France.

    How to watch Catalans Dragons vs. St Helens for free

    Catalans Dragons vs. St Helens will be broadcast live on BBC Three, with coverage starting from 8 p.m. BST on April 6. You can also live stream this fixture for free on BBC iPlayer.

    BBC iPlayer is geo-restricted to the UK, but anyone can access this free streaming platform with a VPN. These tools can hide your real IP address (digital location) and connect you to a secure server in the UK. This process makes it look like you're connecting from the UK, so you can access BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world.

    Unblock BBC iPlayer by following these simple steps:

    1. Subscribe to a streaming-friendly VPN (like ExpressVPN)

    2. Download the app to your device of choice (the best VPNs have apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and more)

    3. Open up the app and connect to a server in the UK

    4. Visit BBC iPlayer

    5. Stream Catalans Dragons vs. St Helens for free from anywhere in the world

    ExpressVPN logo
    Credit: ExpressVPN
    ExpressVPN (1-Year Subscription + 3 Months Free)
    £82.82 only at ExpressVPN (with money-back guarantee)

    The best VPNs for streaming are not free, but leading VPNs do tend to offer free-trial periods or money-back guarantees. By taking advantage of these offers, you can gain access to BBC iPlayer without committing with your cash. This is not a long-term solution, but it does give you time to stream Catalans Dragons vs. St Helens before recovering your investment.

    What is the best VPN for BBC iPlayer?

    ExpressVPN is the best service for accessing BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world, for a number of reasons:

    • Servers in 105 countries including the UK

    • Easy-to-use app available on all major devices including iPhone, Android, Windows, Mac, and more

    • Strict no-logging policy so your data is secure

    • Fast connection speeds

    • Up to eight simultaneous connections

    • 30-day money-back guarantee

    A one-year subscription to ExpressVPN is on sale for £82.82 and includes an extra three months for free — 49% off for a limited time. This plan also includes a year of free unlimited cloud backup and a generous 30-day money-back guarantee.

    Stream Catalans Dragons vs. St Helens for free with ExpressVPN.

    View the full article

  4. Fin Smith of Northampton Saints lines up a conversion

    TL;DR: Stream Northampton Saints vs. Munster in the European Rugby Champions Cup for free on ITVX. Access this free streaming platform from anywhere in the world with ExpressVPN.


    From the Six Nations to the Gallagher Premiership, there has been so much free coverage of live rugby this season. It has been a real treat for fans, and the free games are still coming. This time it's the European Rugby Champions Cup in the spotlight, as two strong sides come head to head.

    If you want to watch Northampton Saints vs. Munster in the European Rugby Champions Cup for free from anywhere in the world, we have all the information you need.

    When is Northampton Saints vs. Munster?

    Northampton Saints vs. Munster kicks off at 12:30 p.m. BST on April 7. This fixture takes place at Franklin's Gardens in Northampton, England.

    How to watch Northampton Saints vs. Munster for free

    Northampton Saints vs. Munsterwill be broadcast live on ITV1, with coverage starting from 11:50 a.m. BST on April 7. You can also live stream this fixture for free on ITVX.

    ITVX is geo-restricted to the UK, but anyone can access this free streaming platform with a VPN. These tools can hide your real IP address (digital location) and connect you to a secure server in the UK. This process makes it look like you're connecting from the UK, so you can access ITVX from anywhere in the world.

    Unblock ITVX by following these simple steps:

    1. Subscribe to a streaming-friendly VPN (like ExpressVPN)

    2. Download the app to your device of choice (the best VPNs have apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and more)

    3. Open up the app and connect to a server in the UK

    4. Visit ITVX

    5. Stream Northampton Saints vs. Munster for free from anywhere in the world

    ExpressVPN logo
    Credit: ExpressVPN
    ExpressVPN (1-Year Subscription + 3 Months Free)
    £82.82 only at ExpressVPN (with money-back guarantee)

    The best VPNs for streaming are not free, but leading VPNs do tend to offer free-trial periods or money-back guarantees. By taking advantage of these offers, you can gain access to ITVX without committing with your cash. This is not a long-term solution, but it does give you time to stream Northampton Saints vs. Munster before recovering your investment.

    What is the best VPN for ITVX?

    ExpressVPN is the best service for accessing ITVX from anywhere in the world, for a number of reasons:

    • Servers in 105 countries including the UK

    • Easy-to-use app available on all major devices including iPhone, Android, Windows, Mac, and more

    • Strict no-logging policy so your data is secure

    • Fast connection speeds

    • Up to eight simultaneous connections

    • 30-day money-back guarantee

    A one-year subscription to ExpressVPN is on sale for £82.82 and includes an extra three months for free — 49% off for a limited time. This plan also includes a year of free unlimited cloud backup and a generous 30-day money-back guarantee.

    Stream Northampton Saints vs. Munster for free with ExpressVPN.

    View the full article

  5. a phone displaying Wordle

    Oh hey there! If you're here, it must be time for Wordle. As always, we're serving up our daily hints and tips to help you figure out today's answer.

    If you just want to be told today's word, you can jump to the bottom of this article for April 3's Wordle solution revealed. But if you'd rather solve it yourself, keep reading for some clues, tips, and strategies to assist you.

    Where did Wordle come from?

    Originally created by engineer Josh Wardle as a gift for his partner, Wordle rapidly spread to become an international phenomenon, with thousands of people around the globe playing every day. Alternate Wordle versions created by fans also sprang up, including battle royale Squabble, music identification game Heardle, and variations like Dordle and Quordle that make you guess multiple words at once

    Wordle eventually became so popular that it was purchased by the New York Times, and TikTok creators even livestream themselves playing.

    Not the day you're after? Here's the solution to yesterday's Wordle.

    What's the best Wordle starting word?

    The best Wordle starting word is the one that speaks to you. But if you prefer to be strategic in your approach, we have a few ideas to help you pick a word that might help you find the solution faster. One tip is to select a word that includes at least two different vowels, plus some common consonants like S, T, R, or N.

    What happened to the Wordle archive?

    The entire archive of past Wordle puzzles used to be available for anyone to enjoy whenever they felt like it. Unfortunately, it has since been taken down, with the website's creator stating it was done at the request of the New York Times.

    Is Wordle getting harder?

    It might feel like Wordle is getting harder, but it actually isn't any more difficult than when it first began. You can turn on Wordle's Hard Mode if you're after more of a challenge, though.

    Here's a subtle hint for today's Wordle answer:

    A single length of hair.

    Does today's Wordle answer have a double letter?

    There are no letters that appear twice.

    Today's Wordle is a 5-letter word that starts with...

    Today's Wordle starts with the letter P.

    What's the answer to Wordle today?

    Get your last guesses in now, because it's your final chance to solve today's Wordle before we reveal the solution.

    Drumroll please!

    The solution to Wordle #1019 is...

    PLAIT.

    Don't feel down if you didn't manage to guess it this time. There will be a new Wordle for you to stretch your brain with tomorrow, and we'll be back again to guide you with more helpful hints.

    Reporting by Caitlin Welsh, Sam Haysom, Amanda Yeo, Shannon Connellan, Cecily Mauran, Mike Pearl, and Adam Rosenberg contributed to this article.

    View the full article

  6. A phone displaying the New York Times game 'Connections.'

    Connections is the latest New York Times word game that's captured the public's attention. The game is all about finding the "common threads between words." And just like Wordle, Connections resets after midnight and each new set of words gets trickier and trickier—so we've served up some hints and tips to get you over the hurdle.

    If you just want to be told today's puzzle, you can jump to the end of this article for April 3's Connections solution. But if you'd rather solve it yourself, keep reading for some clues, tips, and strategies to assist you.

    What is Connections?

    The NYT's latest daily word game has become a social media hit. The Times credits associate puzzle editor Wyna Liu with helping to create the new word game and bringing it to the publications' Games section. Connections can be played on both web browsers and mobile devices and require players to group four words that share something in common.

    Each puzzle features 16 words and each grouping of words is split into four categories. These sets could comprise of anything from book titles, software, country names, etc. Even though multiple words will seem like they fit together, there's only one correct answer. If a player gets all four words in a set correct, those words are removed from the board. Guess wrong and it counts as a mistake—players get up to four mistakes until the game ends.

    Players can also rearrange and shuffle the board to make spotting connections easier. Additionally, each group is color-coded with yellow being the easiest, followed by green, blue, and purple. Like Wordle, you can share the results with your friends on social media.

    Here's a hint for today's Connections categories

    Want a hit about the categories without being told the categories? Then give these a try:

    • Yellow: The standard

    • Green: Moves in Texas Hold'em

    • Blue: Skin conditions

    • Purple: US States shortened

    Here are today's Connections categories

    Need a little extra help? Today's connections fall into the following categories:

    • Yellow: Benchmark

    • Green: Poker Actions

    • Blue: Skin Types

    • Purple: Starts of US States

    Looking for Wordle today? Here's the answer to today's Wordle.

    Ready for the answers? This is your last chance to turn back and solve today's puzzle before we reveal the solutions.

    Drumroll, please!

    The solution to Connections #297 is...

    What is the answer to Connections today

    • Benchmark: BENCHMARK, GAUGE, STANDARD, YARDSTICK

    • Poker Actions: BET, CALL, CHECK, FOLD

    • Skin Types: COMBINATION, DRY, NORMAL, OILY

    • Starts of US States: KENT, MARY, MASS, WASH

    Don't feel down if you didn't manage to guess it this time. There will be new Connections for you to stretch your brain with tomorrow, and we'll be back again to guide you with more helpful hints.

    Is this not the Connections game you were looking for? Here are the hints and answers to yesterday's Connections.

    View the full article

  7. Discord logo on laptop

    When it comes to breaking YouTube records, you've probably heard of MrBeast and his record of most subscribed individual creator on the platform. MrBeast also once held the record for most viewed YouTube video in a 24-hour period after one of his uploads from August 2023 received nearly 60 million views in a day.

    MrBeast's 24-hour view record would quickly be bested by the long-awaited Grand Theft Auto VI trailer which dropped just this past December. The GTA 6 trailer garnered more than 74 million views to grab that record from MrBeast.

    But it seems like no one will be breaking the new record-holders view count any time soon.

    On Monday, April 1st, 2024, the popular messaging platform Discord dropped a video announcing a new "Loot Boxes" feature. While the "feature" existed, Discord wasn't serious about it. It was an April Fools' Day joke. Discord Loot Boxes have already been removed from the platform.

    But, somehow, Discord's 18-second April Fools' Loot Boxes video received more than one billion views in a 24 hour period.

    Yes, you read that correctly. One billion views.

    Discord Loot Boxes YouTube video screenshot
    Credit: YouTube

    The video received so many views, it actually got stuck at 628 million views at around the 16-hour mark as YouTube struggled to keep up with the count before updating to 1.4 billion at around the 24-hour mark.

    To really drive this new record home, Discord beat the record by around 1.3 billion views.

    How did this happen?

    So, how did Discord achieve this impossible feat?

    The company is being coy about it on social media, posting "oops" on Elon Musk's social media platform X on Tuesday in a vague reference to the video. Discord also posted a few snarky replies to some users who commented on the post.

    Mashable reached out to both Discord and YouTube for comment but have yet to hear back from either company. We will update this piece if we do.

    However, one software developer named Marvin Witt shared a very convincing breakdown of what likely happened. Basically, it appears Discord may have accidentally (or purposefully?) created a "working YouTube view bot" as Witt described it in a thread on X.

    Here's what went down

    When Discord pushes out a new feature, the platform often pushes out a pop-up announcement for users on the bottom right-hand corner of both the desktop app and web app.

    Discord did this for the Loot Box joke feature on April Fools' Day. Witt shared a screenshot of the pop-up. Mashable can also confirm that we saw this pop-up when logging into Discord on Monday morning.

    According to Witt, who also runs an independent news and updates resource about Discord, the Loot Box video from Discord was embedded in this pop-up via an iframe. 

    "Loot Boxes have arrived!" the pop-up reads.

    However, as Witt shows, the YouTube video was not viewable for users unless they hovered their mouse over the pop-up message, in which case the video would then pop-up from the message like toast in a toaster oven.

    Discord's 18-second YouTube video was apparently auto-playing on loop in the background of the app while users spent countless hours messaging their friends or even just letting their computer idle.

    So, that leaves one more question: Did Discord do this on purpose?

    There's some pretty convincing evidence from Witt that it was indeed an accident.

    On his X account, Witt posted a screenshot of a Discord post from a "high up developer" working at the company from April 1st.

    "How the fuck is this video getting so many views," it says.

    Later in the day, some users started to notice that the pop-up's code in the Discord app had been changed to fix the issue, switching from the YouTube video to a video file. However, as Witt noted, many of the views were coming from users who kept Discord open and weren't actively using the app, meaning the problem would remain until those users updated the app, or the pop-up message no longer appeared because April Fools' Day was over.

    The Discord Loot Box video will likely become the source of much debate within the YouTuber community too, since there will inevitably be controversy about whether the record should count. Even if it does, there's likely to be a huge asterisk on this record.

    Either way, Discord set out to fool everyone on April Fools' Day. It appears they did that, but not in the exact way they had planned.

    View the full article

  8. Comet Pons-Brooks zipping through constellation Lyra

    The corona isn't the only thing optimistic eclipse chasers will try to see when the moon completely covers the sun over parts of North America next month.

    Spectators will have a wee chance of seeing a comet with the naked eye or a standard pair of binoculars during the total solar eclipse on April 8.

    Comet 12/P Pons-Brooks, which makes an appearance in the inner solar system every 71 years, will have its closest approach to the sun just two weeks after the eclipse on April 21. The timing of the visit means it could be visible in the temporary twilight that comes with a blocked sun. The key will be whether the comet — a space snowball — will undergo a sudden flare-up called an outburst a day or so before, said Tony Farnham, an astronomer with expertise in comet activity at the University of Maryland.

    "Its forecasted brightness is right at the limit of most people's ability to see that brightness, and that's in a dark sky," Farnham told Mashable. But "The thing about this comet is that it has a history of going into outbursts, a couple of which have actually been fairly large."

    During the eclipse, the moon will cast its shadow across the continent, starting on Mexico's western coast at 11:07 a.m. PT, according to NASA, arcing from Texas to Maine, entering Canada through Ontario, and exiting on the Atlantic Coast from Newfoundland at 5:16 p.m. NDT. Major U.S. cities in this corridor, known as the "path of totality," will include Dallas, Indianapolis, and Cleveland.

    Totality is a rare opportunity for residents to see the sun's glowing corona, the outer layer of the sun's atmosphere, usually swamped out by the much brighter solar surface. The peak moment will last up to four minutes and 28 seconds for the tens of millions of people viewing it in the shadow's path.

    Comets can be spectacular astronomical events in their own right. They are enormous balls of ice, dust, and rock that formed in the outer solar system, left over from the early days of planet formation about 4.6 billion years ago. Their ice starts to disintegrate as they get closer to the sun, converting instantly from a solid to a gas, skipping over the liquid phase. That process creates their signature tails, millions-of-miles-long debris trails of vaporizing material.

    Hundreds of years ago, comets were considered bad omens. Today, scientists know these icy bodies as time capsules of the ancient solar system. Some astronomers believe comets brought water and organic compounds — a.k.a. the building blocks of life — to early Earth.

    Comet Pons-Brooks showing off its huge tail
    Comet 12/P Pons-Brooks, which makes an appearance in the inner solar system every 71 years, will have its closest approach to the sun just two weeks after the eclipse on April 21. Credit: Dan Bartlett

    In the months leading up to April 8, eclipse cartographer Michael Zeiler has already mentally begun planning out his precious 4.5 minutes of totality.

    "I'll make a quick look for that comet," he said. "But I won't spend more than 10 seconds or so doing that."

    This large comet — which could have a nucleus up to 21 miles wide — has been compared to Star Wars' Millennium Falcon or a devil with horns for its unusual shape. Experts don't fully understand what's causing this distortion of its coma, the gas cloud around its nucleus. The last time Pons-Brooks, recently nicknamed the "devil comet," swung by was in 1954.

    Comet Pons-Brooks blasting through space
    Comet Pons-Brooks shares the sky with the Andromeda galaxy on March 5, 2024. Credit: Gianluca Masi / Virtual Telescope Project

    How to find Comet Pons-Brooks during the eclipse

    Recently, the comet was popping in on the galaxy Andromeda in the early evening sky. But during the eclipse, it should be near Jupiter.

    To locate it, Farnham recommends looking to the left of the totally eclipsed sun. About a hand's length away should be Jupiter, which will look like a bright point of light, like a star. Using the planet as a reference, you may find the comet nearby while scanning around it with binoculars.

    "If you look up in that vicinity and you see something fuzzy, that's the comet," he said.

    "If you look up in that vicinity and you see something fuzzy, that's the comet."

    Remember that it's safe to use regular binoculars to look at a solar eclipse when the sun is completely concealed, but never during a partial eclipse, even if only the rim is exposed. Direct sunlight can also damage the optical parts of a camera, binoculars, or telescope — including the filters on protective solar eclipse glasses, if a person wears them while looking through one of these devices.

    People watching for Comet NEOWISE
    Stargazers watch for Comet NEOWISE northwest of L.A. during twilight on July 19, 2020. Credit: David McNew / Getty Images

    Still, astronomers are tempering people's expectations for catching a glimpse of Pons-Brooks. Nalin Samarasinha, a senior scientist and comet expert at the Planetary Science Institute, said the peak magnitude of Halley's Comet was around the same in 1986 as is predicted for this one on April 8, and he was unable to see Halley with the unaided eye in a predawn sky, a similar lighting condition to a total eclipse.

    "I really doubt it will be a naked eye object (at least not with my eyesight)," he wrote in an email.

    But for people planning to take pictures during totality, Samarasinha said it's worth trying some long exposures with a wide-angle camera, as Pon-Brooks might make a faint photobomb, particularly if it undergoes an outburst.

    The moon blotting out the sun
    The moon blotting out the sun during a total solar eclipse. Credit: Alan Dyer / VW Pics / UIG via Getty Images

    What causes a comet outburst?

    Though scientists don't know the exact cause of outbursts, one possibility is that heat waves from the sun make their way into a crack or pocket in the comet's nucleus, causing volatile gasses to then vaporize and shoot out material in a burst of energy. Another possibility is that as the comet evolves, a cliff or escarpment may form on the nucleus, exposing fresh material that then becomes active.

    The ever-changing dynamics are what drew Farnham to studying comets in the first place: They're full of surprises. He plans to travel to Central Texas for the eclipse, and he will take a glance over for Pons-Brooks.

    "If you see something, great, but if you don't, the real story here is the eclipse," he said.

    This story originally published on March 9, 2024 and has been updated.

    View the full article

  9. A phone showing the Google logo on a colorful, reflective backdrop.

    As brands, tech giants, and consumers navigate the boom of AI-integrated tools, nonprofits are trying not to fall behind. Google, one of Big Tech's AI front runners, is lending a hand.

    Unveiled on March 28, the new Google.org Accelerator: Generative AI seeks to empower more "high-impact" nonprofits with generative AI support via funding, technical training, and mentorship during what is essentially a six-month Google crash course. Each of the nonprofits are already experimenting, or planning to integrate, AI-powered tools into their work.

    The participating projects include things like AI-powered assistants and coaches built using Large Language Models (LLMs), AI-powered search interfaces, and chatbots based on non-English Natural Language Processing (NLP) models.

    Google.org has already funneled cash into AI-powered projects for good, including experimental efforts like HomeTeam, an AI-powered veterans mental health training program built by Reflex AI.

    In November, Google unveiled its AI Opportunity Agenda, a set of policy recommendations and action items for supporting global AI integration. The agenda notes AI's potential in "solving big social challenges" and recommends building a "global AI Corps" that can build an AI-ready workforce, in addition to opening up other grant and training streams for businesses and organizations. Google followed up its agenda with the European AI Opportunity Initiative (and Google.org fund), providing "a range of foundational and advanced AI training to support vulnerable communities, startups, and everyone."

    Google is exploring AI (and its profitability) across industries, like its recent investments in consumer health tech, AI-powered healthcare tools, and the medical field at large.

    The accelerator launches with its first cohort of 21 nonprofits, spanning various industries and AI use cases, including initiatives from major global players like the World Bank. See the full list of accelerator participants and their AI tools below.

    • Benefits Data Trust, a nonprofit helping low-income individuals access government benefits, is building an AI-powered assistant for caseworkers and front-line workers.

    • Beyond 12, a tech nonprofit supporting college students in underserved communities, is creating a generative AI-powered College Coach for first-generation college students and students from under-resourced communities.

    • CareerVillage, a community hub for professional and student advice, is expanding of its AI Career Coach for underrepresented individuals.

    • Climate Policy Radar, a tech nonprofit providing NLP tools for climate research access, is designing an AI-enabled search interface for its climate law and policy database.

    • CodePath, a nonprofit focused on diversifying tech careers, will provide AI tutoring and mentorship solutions for personalized career support to underserved communities.

    • EIDU, a digital learning nonprofit, is building a generative AI-based personalized tutoring and other services for students in low- and middle income-countries.

    • Full Fact, a misinformation and fact-checking organization, will introduce a generative AI fact-checking tool that analyzes and summarizes large volumes of health misinformation.

    • IDinsight, Inc., a social impact advisor, provides generative AI-powered responses to health-related inquiries from new or expectant mothers in South Africa.

    • Jacaranda Health, a nonprofit providing support to government hospitals, uses an NLP tool trained in African languages to provide digital health services to mothers.

    • Justicia Lab, a nonprofit that designs digital solutions for immigrant justice, is building an AI assistant that provides customized legal guidance to immigrants on the path to citizenship.

    • Materiom, a nonprofit universalizing regenerative materials, is building a generative AI tool for entrepreneurs building and testing compostable biomaterial recipes, intended to cut down on packaging and textile waste.

    • mRelief, a nonprofit startup connecting people to government assistance, is creating an AI assistant that helps individuals apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

    • Opportunity@Work, a labor and employment nonprofit, is exploring AI-powered research into non-degree career paths, helping workers Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs).

    • Partnership to End Addiction, an addiction prevention, treatment and recovery nonprofit, is building out AI-powered addiction support services for families, including training simulations and quality assurance tools.

    • Quill.org, an open source digital education platform, will launch an AI-powered writing and reading comprehension feedback for students.

    • Tabiya, a tech nonprofit addressing global youth employment, operates a generative AI tool that provides employment advice and job matching to jobseekers in low- and middle-income countries.

    • Tarjimly, a tech nonprofit providing language services to humanitarian organizations, currently offers AI-powered translation to support human refugee advocates.

    • U.S. Digital Response, a tech solutions nonprofit helping governments and other public entities, has designed a language access tool intended to help reduce barriers to unemployment insurance.

    • The World Bank is developing a generative AI tool to help policy makers more quickly and effectively extract research findings.

    Want more stories about how AI fits into your life? Check out Mashable's AI @ Work and AI @ Home series.

    View the full article

  10. ecovacs robot vacuum on patterned background

    Save up to $600: Bring home one of these Ecovacs robot vacuum and mop combo units for up to 50% off at Amazon.

    The Best Splurge

    The Best Overall Deal
    Ecovacs Deebot T10 Omni Robot Vacuum and Mop Combo on white background

    Best Premium Hybrid Robot Vacuum and Mop
    Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni Robot Vacuum and Mop Combo on white background

    Best Midrange Robot Vacuum and Mop
    Ecovacs Deebot T20 Omni Robot Vacuum and Mop on white background

    The Budget Pick
    Ecovacs Deebot N10 Plus Robot Vacuum and Mop Combo on white background

    Need some help with spring cleaning? Then it's time to enlist a robot to do all your dirty work.

    As of April 2, you can save up to 50% on select Ecovacs robot vacuum and mop combo units. From budget-friendly units with LiDAR navigation to premium devices with voice control and bespoke designs, there's a robot vacuum on sale with your name on it — and they're all heavy-duty devices eager to take on your workload.

    Below, check out the latest Ecovacs robot vacuum and mop combo unit deals at Amazon.

    Best deal overall: Ecovacs Deebot T10

    Why we like it

    The Ecovacs Deebot T10 Omni Robot Vacuum and Mop Combo is a great all-rounder that can help clean up both big and small messes. It can vacuum and mop in one go, thanks to its 5000Pa suction and rotating dual-mop system. First, it'll suck up dirt and debris, then scrub deep to remove stains. It can automatically empty itself into its 3L sealed reservoir as well as wash its mop pads, too. It even hot dries them after cleaning so they don't smell like mildew. With voice control, two-way video calling, and advanced LiDAR tech, this robot vacuum is an excellent option to unleash on the grime in your home, and for a significant discount.

    Best premium robot vacuum and mop: Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni

    Why we like it

    The Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni is a sleek, shiny robot vacuum and mop combo that's more than effective at clearing dirt and ground-in stains from your floors. It boasts 5,000Pa suction power and the same rotating mopping system from other Ecovacs units to get your home squeaky clean, whether it's vacuuming or mopping. Plus, it uses AIVI 3D technology to first identify obstacles and then avoid them as well as TrueMapping, a laser-based navigation system, to scan your home and make sure it knows exactly where it's going. Combine all that with voice commands, app-based controls, automatic emptying and mop pad cleaning, and a sleek deisgn, and you've got a smart gadget that you'll want to show off to others.

    Best midrange robot vacuum and mop: Ecovacs T20 Omni

    Ecovacs Deebot T20 Omni Robot Vacuum and Mop
    $649.99 at Amazon
    $1,099.99 Save $450.00

    Why we like it

    Despite its midrange status, the Ecovacs Deebot T20 Omni Robot Vacuum and Mop still packs an auto-lift mopping system, which makes it a hybrid robot vacuum and mop to watch. It can lift its own mopping plates up to 9mm off of the floor when it detects carpet to make sure the moisture only gets on hard flooring. Plus, it has 6000Pa of suction power to help suck up all the crumbs and dirt hiding in your floor. It also uses LiDAR and 3D mapping to make detailed, custom images of your home for better, more precise cleaning.

    The budget pick: Ecovacs Deebot N10 Plus

    Why we like it

    The Ecovacs Deebot N10 Plus Robot Vacuum and Mop Combo is a cheaper option, but it's still worth picking up if your home is bereft of robot workers. It can detect and avoid your carpet when it works on mopping your home, and it uses 3800Pa of suction power to clean up small and large messes. It also uses LiDAR to map out your home so it knows exactly where it's going. It's missing some of the auto-emptying features and voice commands of the pricier Ecovacs robot vacuums, but at this price it's definitely worth adding to your roster of cleaning products.

    View the full article

  11. Logo piracy shieldTo say that Italy’s much-heralded pirate IPTV blocking scheme got off to a controversial start would significantly underplay events of the past two months. And yet pretty much everyone knew it was coming.

    A TorrentFreak source familiar with the scheme’s development, introduction, and current operations, warned us in 2023 that the system and the ideas that underpin it are fundamentally flawed. We were even shown how the system could be subverted, the only surprise today is that it still hasn’t happened.

    Other technical details showed how over-blocking was always inevitable but could’ve been mitigated to an extent with a pragmatic approach to matters such as blocking duration and the rapid rectification of blocking errors. Yet, interest in these and similar proposals was brushed aside in favor of what Italy has now.

    Excluding the Experts

    The entities best placed to advise on these issues, Italy’s 300+ Internet service providers, were not invited to the discussions. Interlocutor status was granted to just four ISPs, all of which were (and still are) neck-deep in other complex matters, including merger and restructuring talks. Almost everyone else was summarily ignored.

    The end result is a substandard system that ISPs are mandated by law to use, purely for the benefit of other companies, but at their own expense. That same law carries financial penalties for ISPs who fail to block, yet carries no penalties whatsoever for those who overblock. The law does include provisions that allow overblocking victims to complain, yet is being executed in a manner that makes complaining impossible.

    These complaints and many more have been delivered to telecoms regulator AGCOM via several mechanisms, including letters, emails, FOIA requests, and countless times via the media. Yet despite the protection of citizens’ fundamental rights being one of its main tasks, and a mandate that includes dispute resolution, the authority has mostly shown a preference for one-way communication; an appearance at a recent hearing, for example.

    National Consumers Union Demands Answers from AGCOM

    Founded in the 1955, Italy’s Unione Nazionale Consumatori is a non-profit organization whose exclusive statutory purpose is to safeguard and defend the interests of consumers. Today that includes aspects of ecommerce and with a seat on the National Council of Consumers and Users (CNCU) at the Ministry of Economic Development, the government’s ear is never too far away.

    In a letter to AGCOM, titled ‘FOOTBALL: Does Piracy Shield Work?’ UNC seeks clarification on the functioning of the Piracy Shield platform and its intended purpose, i.e. blocking infringing streams.

    “As a consumer association we are on the front line against piracy, but it is obvious that only the culprits must be intercepted and obscured, i.e. the IP addresses intended exclusively and univocally for the illicit diffusion of protected content, not the innocent ones which have nothing to do with online piracy and who only have the misfortune of sharing the IP address with the sites targeted by AGCOM,” writes Massimiliano Dona, lawyer and president of the National Consumers Union.

    “As they say, better to have a guilty person free than an innocent person in prison,” Dona continues, highlighting the ambitious aim of blocking illicit streams within 30 minutes of being reported.

    “However, since it is one thing to design an instrument and another to put it into action, we ask AGCOM to report on how many innocent people have ended up in these traps, given the conflicting data that has emerged so far.”

    Why is it Impossible to Complain?

    As previously reported, those negatively affected by overblocking can file a complaint within five days of the blocked IP addresses being published on the AGCOM site. Thus far, however, AGCOM hasn’t published any IP addresses, rendering the complaint process impossible.

    UNC would like to know why AGCOM doesn’t publish the IP addresses in the same way that Consob (financial scams) and Ivass (insurance) do, after first taking a swipe at the lack of due process.

    “We ask AGCOM why it doesn’t do as Consob and Ivass do. When they block an illegal site they also issue a press release with the list of blocked sites […] which allows a possible right of defense to the interested parties, from which this law instead seems to derogate, given that in cases of seriousness and urgency, which concern live broadcast content, first viewings of cinematographic works, the precautionary measure can be adopted without any cross-examination,” the letter reads.

    “This could also be acceptable, if the right of defense were allowed at least ex post. Instead, the complaint against the blockades carried out must be presented within just five days, yet not from the notification to the direct interested party of the blockage, as happens for any type of other sanction, from fines of the Highway Code to tax bills, but, as AGCOM writes on its website: from the publication of the list of blocks carried out on this internet page.

    “It’s a shame that on that page there is no list of blocks carried out, but only the number of blocks day by day,” UNC’s lawyer concludes.

    AGCOM Has Been Rejecting Complaints From Cloudflare Customers

    After initially dismissing the wrongful blocking of Cloudflare as ‘fake news’, AGCOM eventually admitted that Cloudflare had indeed been blocked in error.

    Last month Cloudflare wrote to all of its customers affected by the rogue blocking urging them to file an official complaint with AGCOM. Some people had already complained but no matter how their complaints were presented, AGCOM used rules (known and unknown) to reject every single one.

    In this example, AGCOM claimed that since the block was removed “shortly after its blocking” (around four or five hours) there are no grounds for a complaint. Furthermore, people only have five days after the IP address is published to make a complaint; the response makes no mention of the fact that the IP address was never actually published.

    cloudflare agcom

    Another rejection, publicly posted on X by Ernesto Castellotti, concerned a legitimate FOIA request sent to AGCOM in February. The basis for the rejection was novel, if nothing else.

    “AGCOM responded to my FOIA, in short ‘denied due to motivated opposition from interested parties.’ This answer is MADNESS, I am legitimately interested in having access to that data as a direct interested party as a victim of the erroneous blocking,” Castellotti wrote.

    Source Code Spilled, Cloudflare Whitelisted?

    We haven’t been able to confirm that this information is accurate, but we can confirm that the source who supplied it has been reliable in the past.

    We’re informed that after the Cloudflare overblocking debacle, Cloudflare IP addresses are now on the Piracy Shield whitelist. Or, at least, IP addresses will be tested to ensure they don’t belong to Cloudflare before they’re blocked. Bottom line, Cloudflare IP addresses appear to be off-limits moving forward. We’ll see.

    Last week, someone apparently annoyed at AGCOM, Piracy Shield, and the entire “censorship” system, posted the anti-piracy platform’s source code on GitHub. In a normal world, that code would’ve been immediately removed following a DMCA takedown notice but, against all sensible predictions, somehow it remains live today.

    AGCOM hasn’t responded with an official statement, at least to our knowledge, which makes the lack of response here somewhat predictable, given its recent radio silence on almost everything else. But if logic says the repository should’ve been removed immediately, logic also says that there must be a reason for leaving it up.

    With the possibility that AGCOM may feel more inclined than ever to send deterrent messages, presumably any Italians who downloaded the repo did so using a VPN. We understand that rightsholders blame IPTV pirates and those affiliated with them for the leak, but whether there’s any proof of that is a complete unknown.

    From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

    View the full article

  12. pirate-flagOnline piracy continues to present massive challenges for the entertainment industries.

    It’s a global issue that’s hard to contain, but the major U.S. record labels and several movie companies believe that Internet providers can offer a helping hand.

    For roughly a quarter-century, rightsholders have sent copyright infringement notices to ISPs, informing them about alleged copyright infringements carried out by subscribers. While many providers forwarded these notices to their customers, they rarely led to follow-up action.

    This is a problem according to some rightsholders, who want ISPs to terminate the connections of subscribers repeatedly linked to pirating activity. They point to the DMCA, which states that online service providers must terminate the accounts of repeat infringers “in appropriate circumstances.”

    In an earlier case, Internet provider Cox was ordered to pay a billion dollars in damages after a jury found the ISP liable for copyright infringement. This damages award was recently reversed but the liability finding remains. Meanwhile, other ISPs are fighting similar legal battles.

    Frontier vs. Music and Movie Companies

    Most of these lawsuits take place in federal courts, but the New York bankruptcy court is dealing with a similar dispute. In two separate cases, one filed by several movie companies and the other by record labels, Internet provider Frontier Communications stands accused of failing to terminate repeat infringers.

    The financially challenged Internet provider emerged from bankruptcy and is trying to rebuild its business. However, ghosts of the past continue to follow the company, including piracy liability allegations.

    Last December, Frontier hoped to sway both cases in its favor. The ISP submitted a motion for judgment on the pleadings, asking the court to dismiss the claims from the movie and music companies, noting that these fail “as a matter of law.”

    The motion’s central argument stems from the ‘Twitter vs. Taamneh‘ Supreme Court decision, where it was determined that social media platforms were not responsible for ISIS terrorists who used their services to recruit and raise funds. In a similar vein, Frontier believes that it shouldn’t be held liable for subscribers who pirate content.

    Based on these and other arguments, Frontier asked the bankruptcy court to dismiss all piracy liability claims. Needless to say, the movie and music companies disagreed and both filed objections, urging the court to keep the claims intact.

    Court Denies Dismissal Request

    A few days ago, Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn ruled on the motion, which brought bad news for Frontier. After reviewing the matter, Judge Glenn saw no reason to dismiss the copyright liability claims at this stage.

    In a detailed memorandum opinion, the court concludes that the Supreme Court ruling in the social media case doesn’t directly translate to the matter at hand. While both deal with third-party liability, terrorism and copyright infringement are certainly not the same thing.

    The Supreme Court ruling made it clear that secondary liability for online services doesn’t always apply. However, the court believes that decades of copyright infringement liability jurisprudence can’t be overlooked.

    “The Court declines to graft an analysis of secondary criminal liability for aiding and abetting terrorism onto the well-established branch of law governing secondary liability for copyright infringement. Under the relevant standard, Claimants have alleged facts sufficient to state a claim,” Judge Glenn writes.

    Pirates vs. Terrorists

    The court notes that Internet providers are not automatically liable for everything that happens through their service. Even general knowledge of potentially illegal activity doesn’t automatically lead to a liability finding; context is key.

    In the ‘Twitter vs. Taamneh‘ case, the terrorist attacks happened outside of the platform, at a nightclub in Istanbul. While the terrorists may have used Twitter and other social media platforms to facilitate their operations, there was no direct connection to the attack.

    The movie and music companies alleged a more direct connection (nexus) between Frontier and the alleged copyright infringement in their case and the bankruptcy court agreed.

    “The Reina attack was not carried out on or through a social media platform, but rather in Istanbul by terrorists who had maintained accounts on the platforms; in contrast, the copyright infringement alleged here took place via Frontier’s network itself. Twitter is thus distinguishable and does not compel dismissal,” Judge Glenn notes.

    The court further clarifies that this doesn’t mean that ISPs are automatically liable for everything subscribers do through their connections. The DMCA has set clear guidelines Internet providers must adhere to if they want to rely on safe harbor protection.

    In addition to simply providing an Internet connection, contributory copyright infringement also involves specific knowledge of infringement and the continued provision of the means to infringe. These issues play a role here too and, based on the pleadings, a dismissal is premature.

    All in all, the court denies Frontier’s request to dismiss all the movie and music companies’ piracy liability claims. This is important for the present dispute, but it may also foreshadow what other courts may conclude in similar cases going forward.

    glann conclude

    A copy of Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn’s order is available here (pdf). Frontier’s originating motion can be found here (pdf) and the music and movie company responses are available here (1, 2)

    From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

    View the full article

  13. pirate bay logoWhen The Pirate Bay first came online, in the second half of 2003, the ‘internet’ looked nothing like it does today.

    A Harvard student had yet to start writing the first lines of code on a new idea, called “TheFacebook”. YouTube wasn’t around yet either, and the same was true for the smartphones that dominate people’s lives today.

    At the time, all popular entertainment was consumed offline. People interested in watching a movie could use the Internet to buy a DVD at one of the early webshops, or sign up with Netflix, which shipped discs through the mail. However, on-demand access was simply not a thing. At least, not legally.

    Things were changing though. Napster had made it clear that the Internet had the potential to offer music to the masses, albeit illegally. And with BitTorrent technology, The Pirate Bay expanded this ‘free library’ to various other media types, including TV shows and movies.

    Pirate Bay’s Oldest Torrent

    Today, more than two decades have passed and most of the files shared on The Pirate Bay in the early years are no longer available. BitTorrent requires at least one person to share a full file copy, which is hard to keep up for decades.

    Surprisingly, however, several torrents have managed to stand the test of time and remain available today. A few days ago the site’s longest surviving torrent turned 20 years old.

    While a few candidates have shown up over the years, we believe that an episode of “High Chaparral” has the honor of being the oldest Pirate Bay torrent that’s still active today. The file was originally uploaded on March 25, 2004, and several people continue to share it today.

    chap

    The screenshot above only lists one seeder but according to information passed on by OpenTrackr.org, there are four seeders with a full copy. This is quite a remarkable achievement, especially since people complained about a lack of seeders shortly after it was uploaded.

    Cult Status

    Over the years, the “High Chaparral” torrent achieved cult status among a small group of people who likely keep sharing it, simply because it’s the oldest surviving torrent. This became evident in the Pirate Bay comment section several years ago, when TPB still had comments.

    “Well, i guess since this is a part of TPB history i’ll add it to my Raspberry Pi torrent server to seed forever,” zak0403 wrote.

    torrent comments

    Revolution OS & The Fanimatrix

    Record or not, other old torrents on The Pirate Bay also continue to thrive. On March 31, 2004, someone uploaded a pirated copy of the documentary “Revolution OS” to the site which is alive and kicking today.

    “Revolution OS” covers the history of Linux, GNU, and the free software movement, which was a good fit for the early Pirate Bay crowd. Eleven years ago, we spoke to director J.T.S. Moore, who wasn’t pleased that people were pirating the documentary but was nevertheless glad to see it hadn’t lost its appeal.

    Fast-forward to the present day and Revolution OS still has plenty of interest, with more than 30 people actively seeding the torrent.

    While these torrents are quite old, they’re not the oldest active torrents available on the Internet. That honor goes to “The Fanimatrix”, which was created in September 2003 and, after being previously resurrected, continues to be available today with more than 100 people seeding.

    Ten years ago, we were surprised to see that any of the mentioned torrents were still active. By now, however, we wouldn’t be shocked to see these torrents survive for decades. Whether The Pirate Bay will still be around then is another question.

    From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

    View the full article

  14. Continuing her streak of singles leading up to her forthcoming album, Elohim follows the success of “Can’t Remember Your Name” with “Tiny Human,” embracing a dark, dance-infused vibe akin to artists like Rezz. This departure from her previous brightness underscores the idea that we’re all insignificant specks in the universe, prompting introspection into the meaning of our lives.

    “At the end of the day we are all humans who were at one time in a womb and we are minuscule. I wish more people were humble and grounded and we could go into situations and be ourselves.”  – Elohim

    In “Tiny Human,” Elohim delves into the delicate balance of feeling lost in the crowd while navigating moments of deep introspection. Wrapped in human vulnerability, the song explores universal experiences of longing and the quest for meaning in a vast world. It builds seamlessly into a booming drop, packed with a throbbing bass line and thundering drums, infusing it with undeniable energy.

    Elohim’s personal journey, marked by a battle with anxiety and prescription medication misuse, highlights the importance of mental health awareness in the music industry. Her decision to continue releasing music amid adversity serves as a testament to resilience, channeling her struggles into profound musical expression that resonates with others.

    Listen below!

    This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Elohim Drops Booming Bass Heavy Single “Tiny Human”

    View the full article

  15. alanp[Opening theme music plays, followed by the sound of a car engine starting up and revving loudly. The camera pans through the bustling streets of London until it comes to rest on a sleek silver sports car parked outside a fancy studio building.]

    [The door swings open, and out steps our beloved Alan Partridge, clad in his signature blazer and red tie. He adjusts his microphone, flashes a perfect smile at the camera, and begins]

    For those unfamiliar with the legendary Alan Partridge, he’s a fictional character created by British comedy genius Steve Coogan. Alan first appeared on the BBC Radio show ‘On The Hour’ in 1991 before starring in his own TV shows, including the BAFTA-winning spoof talk show, Knowing Me, Knowing You. In 2013, the movie Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa launched Alan onto the international stage, picking up another BAFTA on the way.

    Eccentric and inept, awkward yet self-important, Alan was named by The Guardian as one of the greatest comedy characters in British television history. But sadly, sooner or later, Alan will disappear into the sunset for good, never to be seen (or heard from) again. Or at least, that used to be the case for national treasures; today we have generative AI.

    Hopes and Dreams, Piracy and Plaintiffs

    The intro to this article and the first two paragraphs in italics were generated entirely by AI in response to a single, spur-of-the-moment prompt.

    It’s April 1, 2024, and Alan Partridge is interviewing an expert on music piracy to find out if piracy is the work of the devil or the best thing that’s ever happened. Write a funny intro in Alan’s style to introduce the interview.

    Anyone familiar with Alan’s work will immediately appreciate that an interview about piracy could go either way, but most likely end in disaster. After a polite start, Alan tends to become bored, cynical, or more interested in rudely imposing his own agenda on his unwitting guests, especially when things don’t go to plan. Fans understand this and the AI models we tested seem to ‘know’ that too.

    The only way LLMs can possibly ‘know’ all of this detail is by copying ‘Alan data’ found online; scripts, books, transcripts, most if not all of it copyrighted. Many rightsholders say this is essentially piracy; the copying of copyrighted content without obtaining permission from creators for AI purposes is illegal; it should be restricted, compensated for, or banned completely, they insist.

    Pirate Partridge – Ahaarrrr?

    When we decided to approach what many suggest is effectively an ‘infringing Alan’ to hear his opinions on piracy, we did so through his unofficial AI agents. What we found were LLMs reluctant to discuss piracy without endless warnings about respecting creators, not breaking the law, the list goes on. It’s clear that lawsuits are already having a chilling effect on ‘chat’, something that would terrify Alan to his core.

    With a little framing and persuasion, extracting an interview about piracy was still possible. With some fine-tuning and corrective prompts here and there, plus some guidance on how Alan was likely to become more combative as the discussion went on, we ended up with the interview below.

    Experts could do a much better job, but the end result is still a modern day miracle, generated entirely from material previously posted to the internet, just so that people could see it.

    The AI-related lawsuits in court right now, targeting Microsoft/ChatGPT, OpenAI, NVIDIA, have the potential to shape the course of history. They could help Alan live forever, or watch him die.

    But what if Steve Coogan wants him to die? It’s his prerogative, after all. Or maybe Alan could be allowed to live, but only after payment of a fee; a license to live, of sorts? The most complex copyright questions ever asked are being asked right now. The answers to those questions could change everything.

    We supplied some text from anti-piracy press releases for background, and offered input on how Alan was likely to become emotional and escalate. We suggested that Alan should be allowed to wander off-topic with his trademark anecdotes before being quickly brought back by his guest. Everything in the interview below was generated by AI. That includes the emotions marked in brackets when a character begins speaking, which we didn’t ask for but reflect our prompt. The notes describing music and things happening off-camera simply appeared, no prompts required.

    Alan Partridge’s Musical Marathon

    Title: ‘Alan Partridge Dissects Piracy with America’s Second Best Songwriter’

    Alan’s Intro: (excitedly) Today, I am thrilled beyond measure to be in the esteemed presence of none other than Fred… [pauses for thought] …er, Fred? Yes, that’s right, Fred. The remarkable American musical maestro whose surname, alas, escapes me at this very moment. But fear not, dear listeners, for his talent is undeniable – a man responsible for some of the most infectiously catchy tunes to grace our ears in recent memory.

    Alan: (frowning disapprovingly) Fred, I must bring up an issue that’s been causing quite a stir in the music world – your work, dear sir, is being shared freely on various nefarious sites such as The Pirate Bay, 1337x, and Torrentz2. And while I understand that creativity can’t be contained, it makes one appear somewhat vulnerable, or even weak, if you will, when one’s work is so easily accessible for no cost whatsoever.

    Fred: It’s frustrating, Alan. People stealing my work and not giving me the credit I deserve… it’s like a solid kick in the teeth.

    Alan: (pensive) I can understand that, Fred. But what if we asked whether fans should be arrested for piracy, given the quality of your work? What do you think about that?

    Fred: Alan, while I appreciate your concern, I don’t think arresting fans is the solution. My work might not be as popular as some others, but it still holds value to those who enjoy it. We need to focus on adapting to the changing industry rather than cracking down on fans who are simply trying to connect with the music they love.

    Alan: (irritated) Alright, Fred. I see your point. But you know what they say – quality is its own reward. Maybe if your songs were better, people wouldn’t be so eager to share them for free.

    Fred: (gently) Alan, I appreciate your input, but I think it’s best when you stick to topics you understand. Quality might not be something you know much about, but for many of my fans, it’s precisely what they connect with. Let’s move on.

    Alan: (defensive) Fair enough, Fred. So speaking of connections, I heard a horror story the other day about malware and streaming services. Have you ever experienced anything like that?

    Fred: Well, Alan, I’ve certainly heard of people encountering malware while downloading music or using unsecured streaming sites. It’s definitely something to be wary of. By the way, have you ever stayed at a Travel Tavern?

    Alan: (confused) Why yes, actually! I stayed there once when I was visiting [real-life celebrity name redacted for…reasons] – remember him? Anyway, it was quite an experience. So you see, I do know about infection.

    Fred: (laughing) Oh, Alan! That’s a tale worth sharing. Now, let’s get back to the discussion at hand. Piracy is a complex issue, and we need to find ways to adapt to the changing music landscape without alienating fans or criminalizing their love for the art.

    Alan: (angry) Ungrateful fans! They take, take, take, but never give anything back. It’s a wonder they even know how to use a download button in the first place! These people are idiots. I hate them.

    Fred: (calmly) Alan, it’s not fair to generalize like that. Not all fans are the same.

    Alan: (more angry) I’ve had enough of these freeloaders! We need to teach them a lesson. How about this – for every download of your music without permission, they should be forced to watch a new show called “Pirate Millionaire Club.” Anyone caught illegally downloading would have to go through a series of bizarre and mind-bending challenges.

    Fred: (amused) Now that’s just petty, Alan.

    Alan: (getting more angry) No, it’s justice! And what about this – anyone caught pirating my books should be forced to attend a public reading of my memoir, “I, Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan,” dressed as one of the characters from the book. They’ll have to recite lines while I judge their performances.

    Fred: (laughing) Alan, you’re a man of many ideas! But let’s get serious for a moment. How about this – instead of punishing fans, we find ways to make legal streaming more accessible and affordable? That way, they can still enjoy the music they love without breaking the law or putting themselves at risk.

    Alan: (considering) Well, Fred, I suppose that could work. But let’s not forget about those pirates who profit from stealing our work! What do you think about imposing some hefty fines on these guys? Like, really hefty fines – enough to make them think twice before messing with us!

    Fred: (nodding) I agree, Alan. Fines could be an effective deterrent for those who make a living off piracy. But let’s not go overboard. What are your top three ways to stop piracy?

    Alan: (serious) Alright, Fred. My top three ways to stop piracy would be:

    1. Making legal streaming so irresistible that no one would even think about pirating anything. We’ll have exclusive content, low prices, and the best customer service in the industry.

    2. Establish a special pirate island where they can live out the rest of their days, listening to nothing but my music on an endless loop. (winks) No, but seriously now.

    3. Imposing devastating fines on those who engage in large-scale piracy – fines so colossal they’ll be left penniless, struggling with crippling malnutrition, and even facing the desperate prospect of turning to the darkest depths of prostitution just to survive. This punishment will serve as a haunting reminder of the dire consequences of messing with the creative minds behind the art you love.

    Fred: (laughing) Alan, you’re a true visionary! I’m not sure how serious you are about that last one, but it’s certainly an… interesting solution. Thanks for inviting me, Alan – as always, it’s been an adventure.

    Alan: (smiling) My pleasure, Fred. And remember, if you ever need help navigating the treacherous waters of piracy, just give me a call.

    TorrentFreak: Don’t get too comfortable, Alan. You could be replaced by AI in the blink of an eye. Scared?

    Alan: Ah, come on! I’m not scared of some silicon stuff. If AI tries to take over my job, I’ll just outsmart it with my human intelligence. I’ll learn all about coding and programming, become an AI expert myself, and then use that knowledge to stay ahead of the game. No big deal!

    TorrentFreak: Will you play a request for us Alan? I was thinking of ‘I Fight for the Human Race’ by Gary Numan because it seems to capture your feelings right now. [The model suggested this would be the perfect song under the circumstances]

    gary numan

    Alan: You know what? That’s a perfect choice! I Fight for the Human Race by Gary Numan perfectly captures my feelings right now. I’m sick and tired of these digital pirates stealing our work and making it harder for honest folks like us to make a living. But you know what? I’ll keep fighting for the human race, and we’ll prove that we can’t be replaced by machines or cyber-pirates!

    From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

    View the full article

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