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NelsonG

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  1. Check out our favorite air fryer deals as of Jan. 30: TOP PICK: The GoWISE USA Digital Air Fryer features eight cooking presets — $59.80 $119.99 (save $60.19) RUNNER-UP: The Dash Deluxe Electric Air Fryer includes an auto-shutoff function to prevent overcooking — $60.50 $99.99 (save $39.49) BUDGET BUY: The Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer Oven Combo is ideal for whipping up chicken wings and apps — $41.70 $59.99 (save $18.29) The holiday season may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t score a good deal. Right now, Amazon is offering up to $60 off select air fryers. This includes top-rated models from GoWise and DASH. Whether you're trying to keep a New Year's resolution to eat healthier or you're just looking to save some money, these air fryers are sure to make your life a little easier. Top pick Opens in a new tab Credit: GoWISE USA Our pick: GoWISE USA Digital Air Fryer (opens in a new tab) $59.80 at Amazon (save $60.19) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Why we like it The GoWISE USA Digital Air Fryer (5.8-quart) can bake, grill, fry, and roast. It features a built-in shake alarm and a touchscreen menu with eight cooking presets for fries/chips, pork, chicken, steak, shrimp, cake, fish, and pizza. This nifty gadget comes with a recipe book, one non-stick pan, and a detachable basket equipped with a cool touch handle and button guard. Runner-up Opens in a new tab Credit: DASH Our pick: DASH Deluxe Electric Air Fryer (opens in a new tab) $60.50 at Amazon (save $39.49) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Why we like it The DASH Deluxe Electric Air Fryer (6-quart) is ideal for feeding large families or entertaining. With a 6-quart capacity, you can whip up apps and baked goods in minutes. Just load it up, set it, and forget it. And, thanks to its auto-shutoff function, you won’t have to worry about burning or overcooking your snacks. Budget buy Opens in a new tab Credit: Instant Pot Our pick: Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer Oven Combo (opens in a new tab) $41.70 at Amazon (save $18.29) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Why we like it The Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer Oven Combo can fry, bake, roast, and reheat leftovers in minutes. This little countertop appliance features EvenCrisp Technology, so you get a perfect golden finish every time, and one-touch smart programs, including a setting for wings, roasted veggies, cookies, cinnamon buns, and more. View the full article
  2. The R&B singer Maeta also features on the new singleView the full article
  3. The new album, Praise a Lord Who Chews but Which Does Not Consume (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds), arrives in March via WarpView the full article
  4. Love or tolerate it, Valentine’s Day is the ideal time to right the gift-giving wrongs of the holidays. Were you sure your husband would love that faux-vintage turntable, only to find out later that what he really wanted was a weighted blanket? Did you misinterpret his months of hint-dropping about homebrewing, ponying up for the perfect craft beer kit, when he was actually talking about kombucha? SEE ALSO: The best gifts for men: Creative ideas for every type of guy In your defense, nailing the perfect gift for someone as close to you as a spouse is a lot harder than it sounds, especially when you've been together for a while and exhausted your best ideas. Instead of opting for something cliché or overly trendy, spend some time reading between the lines of his interests and hobbies. If he's a movie buff with a Regal Unlimited subscription who uses Letterboxd like his personal journal, for example, grab some cool merch from the A24 Shop. Don't be afraid to get hyper-niche. With that in mind, we’ve come up with a list of Valentine's Day gift ideas for over a dozen different kinds of husbands. Some are luxe versions of everyday items, while others are special-occasion splurges. A select few are gifts that the both of you can enjoy — because healthy relationships are all about sharing, right? View the full article
  5. SAVE $99.01: The 2022 iPad Air is back down to its holiday season record-low pricing. Grab it in your choice of colorway at Best Buy or in a more limited selection at Amazon as of Jan. 30. At just $499.99, you'll save 17% off its $599 list price. We're about a month and change past the holiday season, so any regrets you have about not grabbing fancy new tech at discounted holiday prices are settling in now. Just because we're heading into February in two days doesn't mean you have to wait until November for record-low pricing again. In fact, as of Jan. 30, the 2022 iPad Air (WiFi, 64GB) has returned to the $500 all-time low price we saw it at about a month back, and in every single colorway if you're shopping at Best Buy. Amazon also has the tablet discounted, but only in purple, blue, and starlight. SEE ALSO: Apple's foldable iPad might come next year Color preferences aside, the 2022 Air is one of the most versatile tablets Apple has out on the market. Mashable senior editor Stan Schroeder calls this iPad "the sweet spot of Apple's tablets" in his review, citing how its features-to-cost ratio makes it great "for both casual users and professionals." Those features include a high-powered M1 chip (the same one that was formerly only in iPad Pros), 8GB of RAM, and a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display. In other words, it's a high-powered tablet that'll have no trouble running a game or editing software, and can likely handle most multitasking you throw at it. For comparison, the 2022 iPad, which launched in late 2022 as compared to the Air's early 2022, comes with an A15 chip, and is only $50 less than the Air. The biggest downside is the 64GB starting storage, but at nearly $100 off, it's easier to swing. Strictly casual users might want to think before they buy, but for people who want a little extra power and a lot of bang for their buck, this deal on the iPad Air is hard to beat. Opens in a new tab Credit: Apple 2022 iPad Air (WiFi, 64GB) (opens in a new tab) $499.99 at Best Buy and Amazon Get Deal (opens in a new tab) View the full article
  6. San Holo is back with his latest single “DON’T LOOK DOWN” with LA based singer-songwriter Lizzy Land, released via newly launched dance label Helix Records. San Holo initially started the track with RL Grime, and then brought on Lizzy Land, who says of the songwriting process: “I heard the main melody for ‘DON’T LOOK DOWN’ almost instantly […] Like gentle bells ringing in my ears. I found it relatable to the way I often feel when I’m overwhelmed or looking for a boost. I hope it inspires people to believe in better days, a higher mindset, and the idea that they can get through anything.” “…your doubts and negative thoughts are just like clouds passing by. We easily get caught up in the noise of everyday life, myself included. I hope this song can help you keep your head up, and give you the strength to keep going! This song means so much to me and was written from the heart!” San Holo adds. Stream “DON’T LOOK DOWN” below, and keep out for new music! This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: San Holo collaborates with Lizzy Land for “DON’T LOOK DOWN” View the full article
  7. SAVE $86: As of Jan. 30, the bestselling Dyson Supersonic hairdryer is on sale at Best Buy for My Best Buy members for $343.99, down from $429.99. That's a savings of 20%. There are hairdryers, and then there's the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer. It has a huge cult following, keeps your hair smooth and damage-free, and costs an arm and a leg. That is, until today. As of Jan. 30, the bestselling Dyson Supersonic hairdryer is on sale at Best Buy for My Best Buy members (a free membership program) for $343.99, or $86 off. That's a 20% savings from its original price of $429.99. You will have to create a free My Best Buy membership account to take advantage of these spectacular savings, but it only takes about a minute. And there are a lot of members-only Best Buy deals that won't be available elsewhere, so we consider that a win. SEE ALSO: 6 of the best hair styling tools: Dyson Airwrap, Revlon One-Step, and more So why is everybody vying for one of these hairdryers? For starters, the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer measures the air temperature 20 times every second to keep your hair from getting overheated and damaged, which is a must if you style your hair with heat often. (After all, hair protectors can only do so much.) The small but powerful motor cuts down drying time by up to 15 minutes for longer hair, and its placement creates an even balance of weight within the hair dryer for easy gripping. The Supersonic also comes with magnetic attachments to help you style your hair in any way you like—think a diffuser, a smoother, and a unique-to-Dyson flyaway controller. The Dyson’s settings allow you to adjust speed and heat, and even blast a cold shot to set your hair after drying and styling. As of now, the colors fuschia, silver, copper, and limited edition special vinca blue are part of this deal, so you can choose the hue you love best. Check out this rare beauty deal while it lasts. Opens in a new tab Credit: Dyson Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer (opens in a new tab) Save $86 at Best Buy Get Deal (opens in a new tab) View the full article
  8. SAVE $40: As of Jan. 30, you can get a refurbished Nintendo Switch Lite for $159.99 at Best Buy, down from its regular price of $199.99. That's a savings of 20%. Truly dedicated gamers know that the game never really ends. That's why it's important to take it with you during flights, road trips, and anywhere you may need to distract yourself during long wait times. The cost of portable gaming consoles can definitely make a dent in your budget, but now may be the right time to snatch one up for less. As of Jan. 30, Best Buy is offering a refurbished Nintendo Switch Lite for $159.99. That's $40 less than its usual price of $199.99, and represents a savings of 20%. Best Buy has strict rules about its refurbished products: they are repaired to work as new, include a warranty, are subject to the same return and refund rules as other projects, and allow you to accrue My Best Buy points. This particular Nintendo Switch Lite was also Geek Squad certified, meaning it was put through a series of tests prior to placing it back on the market. SEE ALSO: The new Nintendo Switch version of 'Goldeneye 007' has one major advantage over Xbox With a screen size of 5.5 inches, you get just enough detail to see the action without having to lug a heavy device around. This Nintendo Switch Lite includes an integrated speaker and AC adapter with a battery so you'll never run out of juice. It's also super lightweight at 0.61 pounds and makes a perfect gift for children and teens. This Nintendo Switch Lite features both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, which lets you connect with up to eight Nintendo Switch systems for group gaming sessions. You'll also be able to play any Nintendo games that support handheld. Offers like this only come around once in a while. It's worth taking a look. Opens in a new tab Credit: Nintendo Refurbished Nintendo Switch Lite (turquoise) (opens in a new tab) $159.99 at Best Buy (save $40) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) View the full article
  9. Plus, they’re releasing a new vinyl-only live EPView the full article
  10. Our weekly playlist highlights songs that our writers, editors, and contributors are listening to on repeatView the full article
  11. TL;DR: As of Jan. 30, the Eden Comfort Oscillating Personal Heater is on sale for only $27.99 instead of $104.99 in white or teal. That's 73% in savings. Between the rising prices of eggs and cereal as well as utility costs, the idea of cranking up the heater in your entire home can make you riddled with guilt. It can also make your checking account resent you. You can always layer up when you're curled on your couch, but can you really rest well with two sweaters and a hoodie on? Probably not. To save money on heating and ensure your comfort at the same time, the easy solution is to invest in a personal heater that will keep you warm and toasty for as long as you want. The Eden Comfort Oscillating Personal Heater happens to be on sale at an end-of-season permanent price drop, so now's a good time to grab a heater while it's available. This personal oscillating heater is designed to keep you cozy wherever you are. Small, compact, and lightweight, you can use it at home or at your office with no problem transporting it from one place to another. Its built-in turbine blade delivers heat without drying out the skin or hair, and its third gear adjustment provides the warmth you need to feel comfy. The heater operates with almost no noise, and its touch key makes it easy to manage. It also has added safety features for your peace of mind. You can dump the power off whenever you want or amp up the double overheat protection. Cost-effective, energy-saving, and completely portable, this heater may be what saves your winter — and your wallet. The Eden Comfort Oscillating Personal Heater typically retails for $104, but for a limited time, you can grab it on sale for only $27.99. That's the end-of-season sale price, so you may want to snag one for yourself (and perhaps for a friend) while stocks last. Grab it in two colors: white and green. Prices subject to change. Opens in a new tab Credit: Remarkable Goodz Eden Comfort Oscillating Personal Heater (opens in a new tab) $27.99 at the Mashable Shop Get Deal (opens in a new tab) View the full article
  12. TL;DR: As of Jan. 30, you can grab two wireless charging stands from Polaroid for only $19.99 — that's a 75% discount from the original $79.99 price tag. Charging setups of electronic devices change every few years. We've long retired the now-archaic USB-A ports and traded them for USB-C connectors. Apple will reportedly abandon their trademark Lightning cables in the near future, too, in an effort to join the rest of civilization in embracing USB-C. In fact, experts predict that they'll go completely wireless someday as well. With that being said, it may take a while until standard chargers lose their wires, so you have to go out of your way to invest in one that would juice up your devices efficiently — and quickly. The good news? Polaroid (yes, as in the photo company) is offering not just one, but two fast wireless charging stands for the price of one, to help solve your charging dilemma. You can take advantage of its permanent price drop — $19.99 for two stands, shipping fee included! These charging stands offer a quick and easy way to power up your smartphone — or smartphones, rather. Powered by Qi-enabled technology, all you have to do is place your device on the stand, and wait for the battery to reach full capacity. The best part? You don't even have to wait that long because it's engineered to juice up your devices fast. The stand features a slim, angled design with anti-slip bottom, silicon rim, and raised support, meaning it will remain stable no matter what surface you put it on. It allows for uninterrupted smartphone usability, too. You can browse through your screen without disrupting your charging progress. Since the package comes with two wireless charging stands, you can place one in your home office and one at your actual workplace. If you're feeling generous, you can always gift one to a friend. Take advantage of the permanent price drop and grab these two wireless charging stands from Polaroid for only $19.99. Prices subject to change. Opens in a new tab Credit: Polaroid Polaroid Fast Wireless Charging Stand (2-Pack) (opens in a new tab) $19.99 at the Mashable Shop Get Deal (opens in a new tab) View the full article
  13. Apple is working on a very different version of iPad, and it might be coming in 2024. This is according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who claims that the "all-new design foldable iPad" is coming sometime next year. "I'm positive about the foldable iPad in 2024 and expect this new model will boost shipments and improve the product mix," wrote Kuo on Monday. SEE ALSO: Apple wants to take over your home with new iPad-like device, report claims Kuo also claims this new iPad will come with a carbon fiber kickstand, which should make it lighter and more durable. According to Kuo, all of this means there might be no new iPad releases in the next nine to 12 months. The first new Apple tablet we'll see will probably be the iPad mini, which should go into mass production in the first quarter of 2024. Given Kuo's predictions of an iPad drought for the bigger part of 2023, it's worth revisiting some recent rumors about Apple's upcoming tablets. In Dec. 2022, Kuo said that shipments of the new iPad mini might start in late 2023 or in the first half of 2024; now he seems more certain that it won't happen this year. Also, in Oct. 2022, The Information said that Apple is working on a massive, 16-inch new iPad, which might arrive in 2023. Analyst Ross Young said in Dec. 2022 that Apple is working on slightly larger iPad Pro models with OLED displays, likely to be launched in the first quarter of 2024. Finally, earlier this month, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said that Apple is working on an iPad-like device that will let users control various smart home functions. Featured Video For You CES 2023 Hands-On: Alienware x16, New 16-Inch Flagship, Amps Up the Power, RGB Bling A foldable iPad, if it's real, will definitely be the most interesting Apple tablet in a while. Not only would it be Apple's first foldable device of any kind, but it'll also steer the iPad into an entirely new direction, perhaps making it a better competitor to the company's own MacBook line of computers. We've heard rumors about it before, though, and they so far haven't materialized. View the full article
  14. TL;DR: as of Jan. 30, the DermaTreat Light Therapy Mask is on sale for $29.99 instead of $89.99. That's a 66% price drop. There's not much people won't do for beautiful skin. From trying every TikTok beauty trend to purchasing the latest and greatest promising products, the quest for a youthful appearance requires a lot of trial and error. If you've been looking for a way to get a fresh-looking face, with no chemicals involved, the DermaTreat Light Therapy Mask could be an excellent option. Unlike the popular one-use masks on the market, you can continuously use this effective LED mask for one low price. And it's currently on sale for $29.99, 66% off the usual $89 price tag. Curious how DermaTreat works? It's a revolutionary skin care lighting system that is totally non-invasive, yet designed to improve your skin's smoothness and quality. It works by emitting infrared lights that cause heat. The output of light in different spectrums is designed to lead to impressive results with regular use, which can include reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes, dark spots, and more. There are seven LED light settings to choose from, with each shade designed to provide a different benefit — the red aims to help combat aging, aiding blood circulation and accelerating the metabolism to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, the green is meant to help reduce and lighten pigmentation, smoothing and purifying the skin, and the yellow that's intended to help improve rough skin. Want to minimize your pores? Pick the purple, which is designed to help with that. With DermaTreat, you can treat yourself to a facial right in the comfort of your own home. Turn it into a total spa experience by choosing to lie down, or, thanks to the portable status, take it anywhere and promote better skin on the go. Enhance your skin at home with the DermaTreat Light Therapy Mask. It's on sale for 66% off — a price drop to $29.99 — for a limited time. Prices subject to change. Opens in a new tab Credit: Beauty Essentials DermaTreat Light Therapy Mask (opens in a new tab) $29.99 at the Mashable Shop Get Deal (opens in a new tab) View the full article
  15. Strike 3 Holdings is a familiar name in U.S. federal courts. Last year alone the adult entertainment company filed a record-breaking number of lawsuits against alleged BitTorrent pirates. While many of these lawsuits have resulted in private settlements, Strike 3 also encountered pushback from some of the people it sued. In the Middle District of Florida, for example, a “John Doe” defendant denied any wrongdoing and fought back. The previously unnamed adversary came out of the shadows as John Adaire last week, as both parties prepare to go to trial. Heading to Trial It’s rare for this type of case to make it this far without being settled. As a result, the parties are fighting tooth and nail to obtain the best possible position in preparation for a public showdown. According to Strike 3, it is clear as day that the man downloaded and shared 36 of Strike 3’s porn videos without permission. Backed up by technical evidence and testimony, Strike 3 explains that it repeatedly found an IP address, assigned to Adaire, sharing the pirated movies. The adult company further accused the defendant of destroying electronic evidence by deleting data from his desktop computer, mishandling a hard drive, and reinstalling the operating system on his laptop “Even if Doe were not the infringer, he made sure to destroy and conceal evidence of his innocence,” Strike 3 wrote in its pretrial statement. The defendant, now identified as Mr. Adaire, denied any wrongdoing and alleged that Strike 3’s evidence is unreliable. The adult company developed its “VXN” tracking technology in-house, which makes it little more than ‘circumstantial’ evidence. “VXN had no user’s manual, no design documentation, and was never verified by an independent third party. There is no known false positive rate of VXN, since it was never measured,” the defense argued. Excluding Homebrew Piracy Evidence? In preparation for a trial later this year, both parties submitted a motion in limine asking the court to withhold evidence from the jury. Among other things, the defense asked to exclude the VXN tracking evidence. In addition, the defense asked the court to exclude evidence taken from Doe’s social media profiles and comments from his neighbors, who testified on the strength of his WiFi signal. Last week the court delivered a mixed ruling. US District Court Judge Mary Scriven denied the request to exclude the VXN data. This means that Strike 3’s main evidence, which links the defendant’s IP-address to pirated films, remains intact. However, the court granted the request to prohibit the use of information from the defendant’s social media profile. On top of that, testimony by non-experts such as neighbors is, in principle, not allowed either. Copyright Troll & Press Strike 3 also asked the court to exclude information from the upcoming trial. As reported previously, the company doesn’t want the defense to use the term “troll,” which is often used to describe its sue-and-settle practice. According to Strike 3, it’s clear that being called a ‘troll’ is derogatory, so it wants to prevent a jury from being influenced by ‘prejudicial’ language. “Name-calling has no place in civil litigation,” Strike 3’s lawyers wrote, noting that the label is inaccurate and thus irrelevant. In her order, Judge Scriven doesn’t agree that this term is off-limits so denied the request. This means that the defense can freely use the ‘copyright troll’ moniker in their arguments. Aside from the troll worries, the adult entertainment company also wanted to exclude all blogs, media, and other Internet coverage from the potential pool of evidence. These online news articles often contain subjective comments that put the company in a bad light, which could present the wrong picture to the jury, Strike 3 argued. “The Internet and media articles target Plaintiff and its counsel and contain comments that are biased, slanderous, and prejudicial, and should not be referred to at trial for any purpose,” it wrote. The court was more sympathetic to this argument and granted the request “on stipulation”. This stipulation isn’t detailed further in the written order, but it’s a win for Strike 3 nonetheless. Summary Judgment and Sanctions The good news for Strike 3 doesn’t stop there. In addition to the motion in limine, the court also ruled on the motions for summary judgment from both sides, handing an early victory to the adult company. After reviewing all arguments, Judge Mary Scriven denied Mr. Adaire’s request for a judgment that he didn’t engage in any copyright-infringing activity. This question will be decided by the jury instead. Strike 3’s own request for summary judgment was denied along with most of Mr. Adaire’s counterclaims. The only remaining counterclaim is the accusation that Strike 3 misused its copyrights, by using the Florida State Court as a preliminary process to attempt to acquire federally protected subscriber information. This argument can be presented to the jury. Finally, Judge Scriven ruled that the alleged pirate will be sanctioned for failing to preserve electronically stored evidence. This is based on Strike 3’s arguments that the defendant destroyed evidence by wiping data from his desktop computer and other devices. Details of the sanctions aren’t revealed in the court order but they certainly won’t help the defense during trial. All in all, the case can still go either way. It will ultimately be up to the jury to decide on the copyright infringement allegations but Strike 3 will likely feel emboldened by the court’s recent orders. — A copy of U.S. District Court Judge Mary Scriven’s full order, which also touched on other subjects, is available here (pdf) From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more. View the full article
  16. Strong’s 1959 hit “Money (That’s What I Want)” was covered by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Led ZeppelinView the full article
  17. He joins previously-announced performers including Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, and Brandi CarlileView the full article
  18. As AI slowly creeps it way into every facet of our digital lives — from essay writing to conversations with therapists to the generation of original art — it's the least bit surprising that artificial intelligence would also take a step into music. It's also not surprising that tech giant Google would be the first major player on the scene. The company is reportedly building an AI bot that can create "original" music from both text and sound prompts — users would be able to type in increasingly specific prompts noting genres and styles or even build songs based on a hummed or whistled melody, according to reports. The future app is known in-house as MusicLM. SEE ALSO: You're not getting old, concerts are weird now The information was revealed in a research paper released on Jan. 26, describing MusicLM as a "model generating high-fidelity music from text descriptions" that "generates music at 24 kHz that remains consistent over several minutes." The paper explains that songs can be created from richly written captions, such as: The main soundtrack of an arcade game. It is fast-paced and upbeat, with a catchy electric guitar riff. The music is repetitive and easy to remember, but with unexpected sounds, like cymbal crashes or drum rolls. Additional sequences of timed text prompts help build the structure of songs, along with a library of sounds and other AI prompts generated from sources like art archives. Examples of the AI-generated songs have already been posted to Google's Github account, part of a preliminary release of a 5,500 music-text pair dataset known as MusicCaps. The unveiling of such a platform will inevitably stir additional conversations about the role of artificial intelligence in intellectual property theft and copyright infringement, generated by a plethora of artists and art repositories who haven't consented to public use of their art in the creation of AI bots like these — others, meanwhile, are capitalizing on the surge in AI fronted tech. Additional AI developments also pose unique risks for the humans behind the tech as well, as exploited workforces face the brunt of data mining and moderation. As for now, the Google AI music maker is not going to be released any time soon, with the company explaining ongoing concerns about cultural programming biases, glitches, and concerns about plagiarism that have to be resolved before its launch. View the full article
  19. SNL's Weekend Update rounded up quite the mixed-bag of news this week, including a proposed TikTok ban, Chipotle burrito sales, and cheese-induced nightmares. SEE ALSO: SNL's cold open makes Merrick Garland a whip-cracking legal hero and nods to Tyre Nichols Co-hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost went all in on the internet's trending topics, including the state of AI chatbots. They simultaneously roasted the de-facto TikTok lobby and last year's abortion ban in Texas, nailed musician Kanye West for thinking of himself as both "Jesus and Hitler", and even questioned the world's oldest living dog. The two traded joke after joke for the rest of the sketch, and, as always, made sure to remind viewers that the jokes and reality have become pretty blurred. View the full article
  20. SNL's cold open had the cast on the hunt for the infamous "classified government documents." Don't worry everyone, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland (Mikey Day) is on the case. This week's Saturday Night Live, hosted by actor Michael B. Jordan, joined the comedic forces of cast members Day, Kenan Thompson, Ego Nwodim, and Bowen Yang, who step up to the press podium to relay an unspoken truth of government officials of past and present: they're all a little incompetent. SEE ALSO: Michael B. Jordan plays a not-so-good neighbor in 'SNL' State Farm sketch Buttressed by humorously timed whip-cracking noises invoking the great TV procedurals of the past, Day plays a shakey but determined Garland. "I may look like I was born in a library, but there's something you should know: Merrick Garland don't play." The sketch ended with a more serious message, though: justice for the Memphis police killing of Tyre Nichols. "When we're done playing with these little papers," Thompson's character says, "we're going to head down to Memphis and make sure justice is served down there too, right?" Day's Garland responds, "I sincerely hope so." View the full article
  21. Another Saturday Nigth Live commercial spoof means another skit with Michael B. Jordan in a nice button-up. I really can't complain. This time around SNL host Jordan and the cast portray Southwest Airlines employees presenting to viewers the new and improved Southwest experience. The team at Southwest is sort of apologizing for the mess that happened over the holidays and according to them are "dedicated to a new, more modern Southwest Experience." These changes include updating the communications systems to 2008 Dell computers along with a "no more missing baggage" guarantee. SEE ALSO: Michael B. Jordan plays a not-so-good neighbor in 'SNL' State Farm sketch "From here on out, all luggage is sorted by color," says one southwest agent (Marcello Hernández). "That makes it your responsibility, not ours," another agent responds (Michael Longfellow). So make sure to bring red bags if you're going to Dallas, cause the blue ones are heading to Charlotte. Quickly, however, the allure of an actual apology from Southwest is gone as it becomes quite clear that the airline employees are sick of our shit. Jordan states that in-flight staff is being upgraded to former Waffle House employees because "these big bitches don't play." Heidi Garner agrees that mistakes were made, but some of that was on you too. "You bought a Southwest ticket," Garner says. "You obviously don't respect yourself, so why should we?" View the full article
  22. In one of Saturday Night Live's funniest commercial spoofs in a while, host Michael B. Jordan portrays an absolutely unhinged Jake from State Farm who attends to a family's home and auto needs. He's there when you need him...24/7. Things come to a head when the father, played by Mikey Day, begins to realize that Jake from State Farm is spending way too much time with his wife and his kids. He buys the family dinner while dad is at work, teaches the daughter the piano, and he even brings them to church. Things take a dark turn fast as the dad slowly realizes he's being replaced by Jake from State Farm and it gets even darker from there. While drunk, Day heads to a bridge, drunkenly singing “Like A Good Neighbor, State Farm is There.” “He took everything,” he says, before attempting to jump over a bridge. Then, out of nowhere, he is saved by insurance mascots LiMu Emu and Doug, from Liberty Mutual. The End. View the full article
  23. The Utah Senate voted to approve SB 16, a bill amending current state law to ban gender-affirming surgeries for transgender youth and halt access to forms of hormonal therapy. The state would be the first to do so in 2023, should the bill be signed into law, continuing a year of continued assault against transgender rights. Despite overwhelming medical evidence that access to gender-affirming procedures is a life-saving resource, state politicians are still debating the efficacy of such health services — it's a not-so-subtle attack on trans acceptance and an extension of nationwide attacks on bodily autonomy. Utah governor Spencer Cox told local press that he didn't have any plans to veto the legislation if it came across his desk, even though he had decried similar legislative moves in the past and was one of two republican legislators to veto a 2022 bill barring young trans athletes from competing in girls' sports. State senator Daniel Thatcher did speak out against a previous version of the bill, however, noting that "every credible medical organization on the planet says that that is the safest, best, and most appropriate care to save those lives.” SEE ALSO: 3 things to know before talking to ChatGPT about your mental health Earlier this month, the Utah Senate also passed SB 93, a bill barring government officials from issuing gender-amended birth certificates for minors. With SB 16, these specific forms of surgical and hormonal care are banned only for transgender youth. The provisions would apply to minors who receive a professional medical diagnosis after the bill's effective date of May 3, 2023. Young people diagnosed prior to that date may still be able to receive gender-affirming care if they meet a list of requirements established by the state, and legislators provide exemptions for minors who are intersex, have experienced early puberty, and are deemed to need treatment for “medically necessary” reasons. In 2021, Arkansas became the first state to pass a ban on health care for transgender youth, followed by similar legislative moves by more than 20 other states. In 2023, some states have moved to extend their already restrictive laws to non-minor patients, as well. Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia introduced bills that would ban state healthcare providers from treating patients under 21. A second Oklahoma bill, known as the Millstone Act, proposes a ban on gender-affirming care for anyone under 26 years of age — the most restrictive yet. Nationwide, activists, allies, and other progressive state legislatures are working to codify LGBTQ protections and provide life-saving resources to those most at risk. In the meantime, transgender and gender non-conforming youth must navigate these legislative invasions of their privacy, in an increasingly fraught political environment. View the full article
  24. The Atlanta rapper brought tracks from his latest LP It’s Only Me to the Michael B. Jordan-hosted episodeView the full article
  25. As outlined again only this month, people who simply watch pirate streams break UK law. If the content comes from an illegal source, it’s illegal to consume it under copyright law. That is a fact – there is no debate. The problem for rightsholders is that copyright cases are complex, difficult to prove, and won’t end in a prison sentence under civil law. A stronger, criminal angle might prove more persuasive. The Federation Against Copyright Theft, which acts for the Premier League, SKY, and BT Sport, came up with a solution – Section 11 of the Fraud Act 2006, which criminalizes the act of obtaining any kind of service dishonestly. With a potential crime now part of the equation, the logical conclusion for Joe Public is that people risk being arrested in their own homes for watching an unlicensed stream. Of course, people also need to be persuaded that an underfunded police force doesn’t have bigger fish to fry. Press Hysteria Early January, FACT sent out a press release titled “Police visit homes across the UK to issue warnings to subscribers of illegal sports streaming services.” The image below shows the first two paragraphs; We’ll return to the first paragraph shortly, but as anyone can see, there are two distinct statements. One says that FACT and police will be visiting homes. The second says that 1,000 people were identified after a raid on a streaming service. Nowhere does it say that FACT and police will be visiting the homes of 1,000 people. Dozens of articles just like these perpetuated the idea of a massive crackdown but the truth is more mundane. Some people will indeed get a personal visit, but the rest will be contacted by email, as confirmed by FACT when TorrentFreak questioned the volume. Prison “For Watching Unauthorized Streams” Let’s get this absolutely clear. While it is illegal under both civil and criminal law, nobody has ever gone to prison for simply watching an unauthorized stream in the UK. That doesn’t mean it won’t eventually happen, but the snippet (below) from FACT’s press release shouldn’t have been reported in isolation. Important and relevant information about these men was made available by FACT at the same time but given no weight in popular media. That led to widespread misinformation that could’ve been avoided. The prospect of ordinary people going to prison for simply viewing an unlicensed stream is an extraordinary claim and it’s a journalist’s job to investigate extraordinary claims. If it’s true that simply viewing unlicensed streams will put UK internet users in prison for months, millions of families face the prospect of seeing loved ones behind bars. That’s the bigger story that needed to be investigated, and it would’ve been ridiculously easy too. Simply scrolling to the bottom of the FACT press release reveals that both jailed men were operators of illegal streaming services and both pleaded guilty to multiple copyright and fraud offenses. The prosecution in Millington’s trial alone estimated damages running to well over £10 million. Instead, the ‘news’ that two men were arrested and sent to jail for 16 months for simply watching streams went all around the world, almost completely unchallenged. As the snippets above show, news outlets in Brazil, Russia, Poland, China, Greece, Italy, Thailand, Spain, Indonesia and beyond, not only repeated the statement without any context, but helped to make it an established and uncontested ‘fact’ around the world. Now here’s what actually happened, to set the record straight. No Ordinary Pirate Stream Watcher The details in Millington’s case reveal that the opportunity for a “watching streams” conviction came gift-wrapped and tied up in gold ribbon. The most serious charges against him related to his Kodi-based ‘stephen-builds’ software packages, which included the ‘Supremacy’ and ‘Supremacy Sports’ addons that provided his users with free access to illegal streams. For context, Supremacy was one of the most-used pirate addons on the entire planet and, according to the lawyer who prosecuted Millington, was responsible for causing more than £10 million in damages to rightsholders. Millington pleaded guilty to charges under Section 7 of the Fraud Act (making or supplying articles for use in fraud) and under the Copyright Act for distributing movies and other content via a Plex server. He also pleaded guilty to watching illegal streams under Section 11 of the Fraud Act (obtaining a service dishonestly) but the background shows this was no ordinary case. For several months after his home was raided, Millington’s defense was that the software and equipment he had accumulated existed for his own personal use. He was a keen gamer but also admitted that he used the equipment for viewing pirate streams via software he developed. Millington later changed his plea to guilty but there was a pivotal moment: To advertise his Kodi-related products online, Millington recorded a video of himself as he used his own pirate software to access illegal streams. That video was found on his phone during the investigation. The prosecution then took the opportunity to add a charge of viewing illegal streams to a case where the defendant ultimately had no choice but to plead guilty, due to a mountain of evidence. It’s still a conviction for watching unlicensed streams but in this case, context is everything. The source of this information is vitally important too. UK’s Leading Prosecutor of Streaming Pirates Ari Alibhai is the lawyer of choice when it comes to the private prosecution of pirates in the UK and his track record speaks for itself. Among many others, he’s conducted multiple successful pirate IPTV prosecutions on behalf of FACT, Premier League, BT Sport and SKY. It’s important to note that Mr Alibhai did not take part in the public announcements earlier this month, no reference was made to his work, and he has never claimed that Millington and Faulkner were sent to prison for simply viewing unlicensed streams. And he should know – he prosecuted both of them. Webinar Published on the Millington Case Late November 2021, Mr Alibhai conducted a webinar. The video of that presentation was posted more than a year ago on his company’s public website, together with other information on Millington’s case. Given the importance of the victory, the promotional value of the video is obvious and, as such, it’s still available today. For those who don’t have time to watch the entire video, discussion on the possibility of prosecuting people who simply watch unlicensed streams appears around 40 minutes into the 48-minute recording. It begins with a question from a man assisting Mr Alibhai from behind the camera. “You mentioned about the difficulty of prosecuting end-users,” he said. “Someone asked if there any reasonable risks of prosecution or penalty to the end-users, the ones watching the content?” Mr Alibhai’s response, as reported below, represents just a tiny fraction of a very informative presentation. In light of the reporting on this month’s events, and especially given the authoritative nature of the source, his opinion holds considerable value. In order to provide the most clarity, the response is cited verbatim. Ari Alibhai webinar on Millington/Supremacy prosecution Ari Alibhai: I’m assuming that question means, is there a risk to the user? So, is there a realistic risk to someone who’s watching TV that you will be prosecuted. Now, again, there’s an academic answer and then there’s a real answer. In theory you can be prosecuted for watching unlawful television. You can be prosecuted under the Copyright Act under section 297 (I think, I haven’t used it for a long time), but you can also be prosecuted under section 11 of the Fraud Act (obtaining services dishonestly). In fact, in the explanatory notes [of section 11] mention is made of illegal television viewing boxes being part-and-parcel of section 11. Section 11 carries a maximum penalty of five years in imprisonment so, you know, in theory you face imprisonment if you watch TV illegally. In practice, the idea of someone being prosecuted who isn’t also concerned in the trade, so they aren’t also concerned in supplying illicit television services, is minimal. This opinion from arguably the UK’s leading expert stands on its own two feet. Why overt public messaging sits in such stark contrast is puzzling to say the least. That being said, Mr Alibhai wasn’t quite done. Risk and Benefits of Viewer Prosecutions In follow-up comments, Mr Alibhai questioned whether the idea of NOT prosecuting viewers would be the right approach but then laid out the risks associated with that type of strategy. “I often feel that if you do you want to send a message out then maybe you’d have to take on pure prosecutions against end users. But clearly there is a reputation issue here, there’s a David and Goliath issue that’s going to come up for the broadcaster that takes that on. And there’s potential adverse press to consider,” he said during the webinar. “So in the round, I would say that it’s unrealistic to expect that, if anyone is watching it, then you’ll get prosecuted.” Scary Stories, Reputation, Animosity Finally, on the matter of reputational issues, the Twitter thread linked here contains an article from UK tabloid The Mirror. It states quite clearly that 1,000 homes will be visited as part of a “major ongoing criminal investigation” and that two people “were sentenced to a total of 16 months for watching illegal streams in 2021.” At the time of writing it has been viewed 6.3m+ times but the overwhelming majority of the comments on the tweet are negative. They either put the blame at the feet of the Premier League and/or the broadcasters, or criticize the police for taking this on when so many other ‘real crimes’ go unsolved. The above may suggest that even when presented with the prospect of going to prison, the public response isn’t to hand over their cash. Instead they list their demands – better access to matches (including at 3pm on Saturdays) and – overwhelmingly – don’t expect normal working people to spend £100+ every month to see a limited number of matches. Universal access to football at a fair price? It might just work. A commercial solution to what is essentially a commercial problem seems reasonable. The problem for the Premier League is the prospect of devaluing a premium product in the mere hope of gaining enough subscribers to maintain its financial position. Given that pirate services won’t simply go away, the difficult bottom line seems almost inevitable. The risk of being prosecuted for simply watching pirate streams may be low today, but that will almost certainly change. If those who currently stream illegally can afford it, perhaps they might consider supporting the sport they love. For those who don’t have the resources to buy what is essentially a luxury product, millions will sympathize. If the decision is to continue with illegal streams regardless, rightsholders most definitely will not. From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more. View the full article
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