It's a fairly well known fact that Spotify pays musicians mere pennies for making their music available on the streaming service, and big names like David Byrne and Radiohead's Thom Yorke have spoken out against the company (Yorke rather memorably called Spotify "the last desperate fart of a dying corpse"). But one Midwestern funk band has found an ingenious way to expose Spotify's disservice to musicians while making money in the process.
Ann Arbor, Michigan quartet Vulfpeck just released their new album, Sleepify, on Spotify, and they're encouraging people to stream it as many times as possible. This is actually a fairly easy task, considering Sleepify is made up of 10 short tracks of complete silence. To stick it to Spotify, "listeners" are encouraged to stream the silent album on loop overnight. By Vulfpeck's estimation, steaming Sleepify repeatedly over an eight-hour sleep period will earn the band $4 in royalties. All the money will help to fund a special tour of free shows, in which Vulfpeck will visit the cities that provide the most streams.
While the Sleepify album is likely as much of a publicity stunt for the band as it is a knock on Spotify, you've got to hand it to these guys for keeping a straight face throughout the album's release. "Please don't 'shuffle' sleepify," the band tweeted. "I know this might come of [sic] snobbish, but we spent a lot of time on track order."
Spotify, for its part, has acknowledged the stunt and seems to be playing it off well. "This is a clever stunt, but we prefer Vulfpeck's earlier albums," a Spotify spokesperson told Digiday.
Watch Vulfpeck explain Sleepify's premise below. You can stream Sleepify here. --Samantha Rollins
On Monday evening, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced during a news conference that a citywide curfew of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. will start on Tuesday, and will be extended as necessary after one week.
The mayor said that once the curfew goes into effect, everyone has to be off the streets unless it's a "medical emergency or you're going to work," and reminded people that there is a juvenile curfew of 9 p.m. that will be strictly enforced. Rawlings-Blake then turned her attention to the rioters, saying there is a "very clear difference" between the peaceful protesters "who wish to seek justice, those who seek to be heard and want answers," and the "thugs who only want to incite violence and destroy our city." Rawlings-Blake, a lifelong resident of Baltimore, added that "too many people have spent generations building up this city for it to be destroyed by thugs who in a very senseless way are trying to tear down what so many have fought for, tearing down businesses, tearing down and destroying property, things that we know will impact our community for years."
A police official also stated during the news conference that 15 police officers were injured by flying debris thrown by rioters, and two are still hospitalized. He said that over the next few days, officials will look over video footage to identify the perpetrators. Catherine Garcia
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signed an executive order Monday evening declaring a state of emergency and activating the National Guard, after looters and police clashed in the streets of Baltimore.
At least 15 police officers were injured Monday afternoon, including two who remained hospitalized Monday night. Cars have been destroyed, bricks have been thrown through windows, and after being looted, a CVS store was set on fire around 6:15 p.m. Once firefighters arrived on the scene, rioters poked holes in the water hose being used to fight the blaze. Baltimore police Capt. Eric Kowalczyk told WBAL-TV he understands that "the images people are seeing on TV are very disturbing. Our highest priority, our first focus right now is to protect the lives of our officers that are out on the street and the people that live and work in those areas." Catherine Garcia
On Monday morning, a teacher in Lacey, Washington subdued a student shooter before anyone was injured, police said.
— Drew Mikkelsen (@drewmikk) April 27, 2015
North Thurston High School government teacher Brady Olson tackled the 16-year-old suspected shooter after he fired a shot into the gym floor, then ran downstairs and fired into the cafeteria ceiling, police said. "I think it's heroic," Lacey Police Commander Chris Ward told NBC affiliate KING 5. "People rise to the occasion when they need to do something. I think, in this case, it probably prevented worse things from happening."
In a statement, Olson said that along with five other teachers, he ran toward the sound of the gunshot. "No one, including myself, can prepare for a situation like this, so I'm very thankful that we're all okay," he said. "As always, students come first, and today was no different." Classes were canceled for the day, and a spokesman for the school said police were interviewing the shooter. Catherine Garcia
Monday night's game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox has been postponed due to rioting in the streets of Baltimore.
The Orioles made the announcement on Twitter after the team consulted with Baltimore City Police, the Chicago Tribune reports. Both teams were keeping tabs on news reports throughout the day, but two hours before the game was to start, Sox manager Robin Ventura said they had yet to discuss canceling the game. "Anytime it becomes a violent protest, everybody's on high alert and you're trying to do what's best for the game and the players," Ventura told the Tribune. Police began to gather outside of Camden Yards about four hours before the start of the game, but there were no signs of violence in the area. Catherine Garcia
Tech giant Apple on Monday reported $58 billion in revenue and a $13.6 billion profit for the second quarter of the year, easily beating Wall Street's projections. The staggering three-month profit was a 33 percent increase from the same quarter one year ago, when Apple netted $10.2 billion. Surging iPhone sales contributed to much of the growth. Apple sold 61.2 million smartphones for the quarter, far more than the 43.7 million iPhones it sold during the same period last year. Jon Terbush
Fighting broke out Monday between protesters and police in Baltimore just hours after the funeral for Freddie Gray, the unarmed black man who died after suffering a spinal injury in police custody.
At least seven officers sustained injuries while scuffling with protesters, and one was left unresponsive, police said in a press conference. Footage from the demonstrations showed groups of young protesters throwing rocks, bricks, and other objects at lines of officers in riot gear.
All out war between kids and police pic.twitter.com/19y4YJ2Y5X
— Erica L. Green (@EricaLG) April 27, 2015
Police responded with tear gas and other non-lethal tools and said they would continue to crack down on violent demonstrations. Jon Terbush
As much as we'd like to think we are all special snowflakes who do our jobs with a certain flair that makes us irreplaceable, the unfortunate truth is that cold, hard machinery could replace many of us humans — and it would probably save employers a ton of money.
A new report co-written by Oxford University academics and Nesta, a London-based nonprofit research group, found that less than a quarter (21 percent) of all 702 categorized occupations in the U.S. were deemed creative enough to likely evade an impending robot takeover. Here are the top five jobs with the least likelihood that they will become automated in the near future, via The Wall Street Journal:
1. Translators and interpreters (5.8 percent)
2. Performing artists (7 percent)
3. Radio broadcasters (7.7 percent)
4. Film and TV producers (8 percent)
5. R&D on natural sciences (10.9 percent)
While artsy occupations bring a human charm that will be tough for robots to replicate, many employees in agriculture and manufacturing are in grave danger of being made redundant by machines. If you're in one of the fields below, you may want to check over your shoulder to make sure a robot isn't coming to snatch up your job:
1. Peat extractors (100 percent)
2 .Motion picture projectionists (97 percent)
3. Copper producers (70.7 percent)
4. Mailing list publishers (69 percent)
5. Bartenders (67.5 percent)
Perhaps the most troubling thing about the list above is the inclusion of bartenders, who, according to the study, could easily be replaced by robots in the near future. If that's the case, do you think robots do buybacks? Samantha Rollins