Puzzled men solving sudoku become YouTube sensation | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

When Simon Anthony quit his lucrative but miserable job at a London investment bank to solve sudoku puzzles on YouTube, it looked like a bit of a leap. His early posts had done well to gain 100 views. Perhaps he had overestimated the demand for long videos of a 46-year-old man putting numbers in a grid from his spare room in Surrey.
A year later, Anthony is one half of an unlikely viral sensation: Cracking the Cryptic, the channel he runs with his old friend Mark Goodliffe, has become a lockdown fixture for millions. Much to the puzzlement of both men, they have turned sudoku into what right now might be the world’s most popular spectator sport.
“It’s amazing when a video goes viral because it just goes everywhere,” Anthony says from his home in Reigate. The channel he launched three years ago has taken off in the past few weeks, attracting more than 200,000 rapt subscribers and almost 30m views. “It’s just very, very surreal,” he adds.
Anthony’s latest hit is The Miracle Sudoku, a strangely compelling 25-minute video in which he takes on a seemingly impossible grid. In each video, a live view of the puzzle fills the left half of the screen, next to a webcam view of Anthony or Goodliffe, who commentate on their attempts to solve it.

“You’ve got to be joking,” Anthony says as he considers a grid that contains only two given numbers. As well as the normal rules (each row, column and block of little squares must contain the numbers one to nine) this puzzle contains a series of constraints. Adjacent cells can’t contain consecutive digits, for example.
At first Anthony thinks the compiler must be trolling him. Then slowly he begins to add numbers to the screen. When, 10 minutes in, he finds a place for all the ones and twos, Anthony dares to dream. “This is just staggering,” he says as the threes then fall into place, never departing from a soothing Home Counties monotone. “We are watching magic unfold here.”
Soon it becomes clear that Anthony is going to solve the puzzle. “I’m not sure I’ve got the adjectives to describe what is going on here,” he says as numbers pour into the grid like rain on a desert. “It’s like the universe is singing to us.”

Simon Anthony solves the ‘miracle’ sudoku. Photograph: YouTube
That excitement swept across the web this week, particularly in America, home to 27% of Anthony’s audience. “I swear to God, this 25-minute video of a guy doing a Sudoku puzzle is the most riveting television I’ve seen all year,” tweeted Dana Schwartz, a 27-year-old Los Angeles-based author and screenwriter not hitherto known to the English puzzling community. The Guardian’s resident mathematician and puzzle master, Alex Bellos, also highlighted the channel and set the “miracle” puzzle for his devotees, noting: “What makes the videos so joyous is the constant stream of ‘aha!’ moments.”
Demand had already surged in lockdown. Anthony launched the channel in June 2017 but with its spare-room scenery, low-fi design and split-screen webcam format, it looks like it was made for this moment. Anthony suspects something else is happening. “We’re getting an awful lot of emails saying we’re helping people with their mental health,” he says. “There seems to be a sort of ASMR-type quality to the videos.”
Before the “miracle” post, the big breakthrough came last month when Anthony put up another 25-minute video. It elicited phrases such as “good grief!” and “that’s quite startling, it really is”, but didn’t really stand out. Anthony has watched it race towards 4 million views. “It’s just bonkers,” he says, still baffled. “We focus all our time on solving puzzles but the YouTube algorithm is one that we have not cracked.”
Tweets poured in from maths royalty. Simon Singh, the writer, Rachel Riley of Countdown fame and Bobby Seagull, the teacher and University Challenge star, are all fans. But fame has gone quickly mainstream – and global.
“I’ve officially unlocked a new level of boredom… currently watching videos of a man solving sudoku puzzles,” James Charles, a 20-year-old millionaire American makeup artist with 19 million YouTube subscribers and 2bn views, tweeted last month. He had been binge watching the channel for days. “The videos are SO interesting but also help me relax!” he told his 5.5 million Twitter followers. “WTF IM LEGIT WATCHING HIM RN,” one replied.
Anthony and Goodliffe, who is 53 and lives in Gloucestershire, have now increased output to two daily videos and receive dozens of submissions a day from sudoku constructors. They have launched three apps and a range of merchandise.
Anthony, who has two young children, does not regret quitting his City job. “I only did it for one reason and was constantly aware I was working my youth away,” he says. He left with some savings and a notion that money from YouTube ads might then pay the bills. His income is still lower than it was – but it’s now climbing fast.
Anthony met Goodliffe at a crossword championships 20 years ago, before the sudoku boom of 2005. Puzzling then was exclusively a pencil affair and newspapers were the only outlet. “Now there is a way to reach these vast audiences from a loft in Reigate. It’s…” For the second time this month, Anthony struggles to find the adjectives.

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Nat’s What I Reckon: the sweary, ranty YouTuber who’s become an isolation cooking sensation | Culture- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Looking every inch the metal drummer he is, Nat (no surname) is an unlikely Vera Lynn for our times. And yet, the Sydney comedian’s no-nonsense cookery segments are bringing comfort to the masses.
“What’s going on, Iso-Lords?” he says, introducing his latest clip, The Crowd Goes Mild Curry. “We’re back in the kitchen, saying no to jar sauce.”
Behind a sparkling-clean counter laden with fresh vegetables, spices and herbs stands Nat: black band T-shirt, hair halfway down his torso, arms and neck covered in tattoos. He walks us through the ingredients before getting stuck into the methodology.

“If you’ve got one of these cheeky bastards, use this. It’s called a microplane. I know it sounds like a small aircraft, but it’s just a pretentious name for a fine grater. If you don’t have one of these pratty things you can just use a normal grater, and if you don’t think you’ve got one of these, you’re wrong. You’ve got four of them and they’re buried behind the other three.”

The Nat’s What I Reckon YouTube channel has been in operation for 10 years, with 85,000 subscribers to Nat’s ocker brand of social commentary, rife with wordplay and colourful metaphors. Now he’s taken off to an even wider audience with recipes that wage war on processed food, like his End of Days Bolognese. Each video has clocked up around 5m views so far, and won him fans in the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, DJ Carl Cox and actress Yael Stone.
Sitting in a cluttered Sydney office on a Skype call with Guardian Australia, Nat apologies for being ineloquent. He doesn’t mean the fact that his dialogue is always peppered with swearing and mumbling, but the fact he’s trying to be helpful while struggling with fatigue. He works full-time on the clips with his girlfriend – he edits and answers messages, she films and designs – and says he’s not sleeping much from fielding business enquiries.

“It’s just a fucking tidal wave at the moment,” he says, looking dazed. “It’s hard to remember anything.”
Nat got the idea to diversify into cooking segments after the lockdown cancellation of what would have been his first live comedy tour (“heartbreaking”), but his own health kick was also an impetus. In earlier material, he’d wander around trade shows and art happenings with a mic, a perplexed attitude and what looked like a well-tended beer gut.
“I’ve lost about 24 kilos,” he says. “I had one of my lungs removed a while ago and put on a bit of weight because I was pretty sick. Going to the gym wasn’t doing anything and the gut wasn’t helping my breathing, so I started looking into what food I was eating.”

It’s pretty unreal that kids are digging it. I’m not going to judge your parenting.

Nat’s What I Reckon

What better time to turn that knowledge into a public service than during the panic-buying of jar sauce and packet soup? “There’s a fresh food section in the supermarket that hasn’t been touched and yet empty shelves of pasta sauce,” he says. “You’re fucking stuck at home – what are you doing? Eat better.”
Other Australian YouTube-reared comedians have covered the coronavirus pandemic in styles verging from satirical to political, such as Sooshi Mango, Alex Williamson and Jordan Shanks, but there’s something weirdly comforting – benevolent, even – about Nat’s grouchy big-brother style. Maybe it’s his “settle down” tone (even if he’s actually arguing about the fact we shouldn’t be putting zucchini in spag bol), or the fact he avoids shaming people, other than the odd “make sure you wash your fucking hands, you grubs”.

“Sometimes parents remake my videos with their kids and send them to me,” he says. “It’s pretty unreal that kids are digging it. I’m not going to judge your parenting.”
Damo is a Sydney-based chef (and a friend of mine) who watches Nat’s videos with his 11-year-old and nine-year-old, who’ve started spinning and whistling, Nat-style.
“He hit a chord with us because he feels familiar and we think we’d enjoy hanging out with him,” says Damo. He’s not surprised to hear that Nat’s dad was a chef who taught his son to cook. “He knows what he’s doing in the kitchen – I assumed that he was trained because he knows how to use a knife. One other thing that made me admire him is that during one video he said something like, ‘Just have a go, you’re more talented than you realise.’ I thought, this guy’s genuine, that’s a really nice thing to prop people up with. Then I found his videos on depression and anxiety, and I gained shitloads of respect for him.”

Nat’s What I Reckon: ‘I’ve always made fun of that narrow-minded boofhead thing.’
Damo’s talking about one of Nat’s segments called Is It Sh*t?, in which he once reviewed his own anxiety, and the comedian was also an ambassador for The Big Anxiety festival from the University of New South Wales in 2019. His current bio describes his work as “holding up a mirror to masculine culture”, though I can’t help wondering if he’s retrofitted that, since he surely started out just recording whatever made his mates laugh.
“I’ve always made fun of that narrow-minded boofhead thing,” Nat says, not taking offence. “The trade-show reviews I did were all about sticking it to boys’ clubs. Boats, burnouts, that kind of shit.”
That’s true; as well as his review of “massive money hoon” the Sydney Boat Show, which was the turning point for his popularity, he’s affectionately lampooned revhead events such as Canberra’s Summernats. Not using his surname saves him some grief from the dedicated car crowd.
So far, Nat’s What I Reckon has mostly been monetised through a merchandising line. The comedian avoids the sponsorship deals that are rife among social media figures, “given that the whole point is it’s me and what I reckon”. Still, it’s likely that international touring, once restrictions lift, will fill the coffers – though Nat can’t figure out how his hefty American fanbase can even understand him.
For now, his Australian tour has been rescheduled for September, and it’s nearly all sold out. Broader than standup, which he’s done for a couple of years, it will draw on multimedia and interactive crowd skits, and he’s turned his anxiety into a game show. All that’s missing is a set from one of his bands, Penalties or Kegadeth.
“[Until then] I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, smashing out videos, because it seems to be working,” he says. “The plan is to keep my hands on the wheel and hang on for dear life.”

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TikTok is the social media sensation of lockdown. Could I become its new star? | Technology- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

TikTok is the social media sensation of lockdown. Could I become its new star? | Technology- Tempemail – Blog – Tempemail.co

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Andy Warhol predicted a time everyone would have 15 minutes of fame. He was nearly right – it is actually 15 seconds. That is the maximum duration of a video clip with music (non-music clips can last up to a minute) on TikTok, the video-sharing platform that has taken the world by storm. Favoured by under-25s, who make up its core audience, TikTok this year surpassed Facebook and WhatsApp as the world’s most downloaded non-gaming app.
TikTok’s content doesn’t take itself too seriously, and ranges from food to fashion, pranks to pets – as well as the ubiquitous dance challenges. It is a perfect fit, in other words, for the lockdown, when many of us are stuck inside and in desperate need of some silly fun. This may be why, even if you haven’t downloaded it, you suddenly find, clogging up your social media, clips of Justin Bieber dancing to I’m a Savage by Megan Thee Stallion, or Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez swapping outfits to Drake’s Flip the Switch. It seems everyone from doctors and nurses in PPE to bemused parents quarantined with teenagers are flocking to the app – and sometimes going viral in the process.
What makes it stand apart from Snapchat or the now defunct Vine is one crucial difference: the closely guarded algorithm that produces the app’s opening dashboard. Unlike other apps, this home screen is not full of people you are following. That is because the algorithm searches for new clips rather than pushing already popular ones. Translation: you don’t need lots of followers to go viral. It is this tantalising prize that gives the app its USP, and what keeps TikTokers ticking over.
But how easy is it to become a TikTok influencer? I decided to try my hand at becoming TikTok’s next big thing, with the help of some of the app’s current British stars.
I am not a total TikTok novice, having tuned in almost daily for a year. I like the food and travel videos, as well as young female comedians (in particular Brittany Broski and ChiwithaC). Mostly though, I’m in it for the cat videos. (I’m not the only one: the #catsoftiktok hashtag has 5.9bn views.) In fact, my first foray into creating TikTok content was a (now deleted) video of a kitten grooming. I filmed it on Instagram, added a filter to give it a heavy-metal soundtrack and flames to make it look as though the cat was headbanging. Hilarious, right? It received a handful of views and no likes. Later, while complaining to a friend’s little sister that headbanging cats is objectively great content, I was instructed that the issue was using the wrong hashtags and not using a TikTok filter.
Her explanation tells you a lot about TikTok culture. The app, which launched in 2016 in China under the name Douyin with a focus on lip-syncing, was specifically designed with teenagers in mind. The hashtags invite you to take part and set challenges. Any user not sure what to create has not only topics but tools at their disposal, from image filters to options to use other users’ music or visuals.
I start by figuring out what is popular in the hope that I can ride the wave. As usual there is a dance challenge, currently #blindinglights, which sees people do a set sequence to a song by the same name from the Weeknd. But as dancing is not my strong point, I pass. Luckily, nearly all the other current trends are related to lockdown. As I too am in lockdown, I smell an opportunity.
I try out the tools by using two clips I already have. First, using my clip of a fox yawning in my back garden, I’ll shoot myself looking bored around the house. Then I’ll add music so it looks as if the yawning fox is singing. For my second video, I’ll try a traditional “hands in pans” food instruction clip. I have a video of a big box of Cornish fish I received from relatives, as well as pictures of the process of prepping, portioning up and freezing it. I know haddock storage doesn’t sound the most appealing subject for the under-25s, but I need something.
That is when I encounter my first hurdle. The great illusion of TikTok is that the best content is off the cuff. Some is, but for those who do TikTok seriously, it is a craft. I was shocked by how long my first few videos took. I needed to convert all my pictures into short videos, then find a song that delivered the right high note, at just the right moment, so it would look as though my yawning fox was singing – genuinely one of my most tricky journalistic assignments.

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“>The hours I spent honing my little clip was no surprise to Arshdeep Soni, AKA @arshsoni10, a 24-year old TikTok user with 6 million followers. “Sometimes I stay up until two or three in the morning,” he tells me. Based in Shepherd’s Bush, London, Soni performs magic tricks on his TikTok. “There’s a lot of work that goes into it. Planning ideas, rehearsing the right tricks for the right moment, then editing the video. Then I have to figure out the best time for me to post. There’s lots of tactics.”
Soni posts on other platforms, including Instagram and YouTube, but his biggest audience is on TikTok. When he is recognised on the street, “it’s usually TikTok”. His TikTok reputation helps him get corporate bookings, but he is beginning to generate income working with brands such as Burger King to promote their products, as well as record labels who pay him to use certain songs in his clips in the hope others will borrow that music – and so on – until it goes viral. Indeed, TikTok’s influence on the music industry is huge. It is seen as an incubator for smash hits and a way to turn lesser-known artists into stars: Lizzo’s Good As Hell and Doja Cat’s Say So became hits after being repeatedly used in clips on the site while Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road was popularised through a viral dance challenge.
Soni’s passion for magic shines through on his clips. I realise that if I want to be a big TikToker, I need a focus. I choose “London lockdown nature moments” as my subject. I figure that seeing flowers, bees and beautiful trees thrive in the green spots near where I live is exactly what people want to see.
I check on my first two videos. Weirdly, fish storage is outperforming the fox. I pull together another video from clips and pictures of a walk I had taken in a secluded wood as part of my government-approved walk. A friend gives me a tip about some nearby fields and I plan to head there the next day for my daily exercise.. But when I wake up, I feel camera shy. I had not worn makeup in the previous posts and am suddenly self-conscious.

Abi Else.
“I try to go makeup-free, or not look so great some days,” says Abi Else, AKA @aaaaaaaaaabi, a 22-year old TikToker from Brighton who focuses on style. “I think it’s important that younger people know that it’s fine to not look perfect all the time.” Pressure to conform to certain beauty standards is one of a range of pressures women face online; their appearance is often targeted in the abuse they receive. And TikTok has come under fire after reports that moderators were told to suppress videos from ugly, obese, poor and disabled users. TikTok claims the policy was to prevent bullying and has since changed its guidelines.
Else, however, says her 80,000 followers are “really nice … When I’ve had videos go viral, that’s when all the hateful comments come in. I think a lot of the time it’s because it’s a young audience. They don’t understand that it is actually someone on the other side.”
She tells me that it is important to engage with your audience and let them get to know you. Else likes to ask her audience questions so they feel part of the clips. I shoot a video of me in a tree with a fact about London’s green spaces so that my new followers (all two of them) can get a sense of who I am. The next day I find it is my best performing video so far. Well, after the one about fish.
If anyone can tell me about how to build an audience based around personality, it is Perrin Hooper, AKA @persworld, an 18-year-old TikToker with 380,000 followers. Hooper’s style is to talk straight to camera and muse on life – a video diary with the odd dance thrown in. Hailing from Cornwall, Hooper says: “Where I live, social media is your main way of reaching out.”

Perrin Hooper.
Hooper spends roughly three days a week working on TikTok, and the rest of the week is spent running an Etsy store selling pendants and other crafts. Recently, Hooper – who uses the pronoun they – has started producing and selling their own merchandise, a project they are working on with their mother. Mum does the “nitty gritty, stuff like costs, margins, packaging” while Hooper takes care of the creative side of things.
Despite its focus on young people, TikTok as a family business is not uncommon. One of the most famous TikTok families is the Harfins (@refelicity) – AKA Felicity and her sons, Finlay and Harrison – from Edinburgh, Scotland. Their 1.8 million followers watch the family play pranks, dance, cook and generally muck about. Felicity, a former marketer, runs the account and has helped to turn it into a business giving clients – from Mattel to the Brits – the chance to be mentioned or promoted in their videos. Indeed, it is now Felicity’s main job. But it was the boys who initiated the project. “They grew up watching videos online and always wanted to create themselves.” It took them years to persuade her. “I didn’t realise how much fun it was going to be.”
Felicity says that TikTok has given them “something creative to do as a family”. But the Harfins are often recognised in their daily life – and her sons are growing up internet-famous.
“They’ve had to learn younger than most about behaviour in public. People film them, so they’ve learned not to do something they’d be worried about being put online.”
I am curious about Felicity’s opinion on TikTok’s safety protocols, which have been the subject of sustained criticism from children’s charities. The concerns centre around how quickly inappropriate content spreads, owing to the very algorithm that defines the app. One such example is the #kidnap hashtag, which saw boys pretend to kidnap girls or girls pretend to be kidnapped. It’s acting, but such graphic themes are usually the preserve of 18-rated movies, not a fleeting challenge of schoolchildren.

The Harfin family.
“I don’t think that criticism is limited to TikTok,” she says, noting that YouTube is “far worse” and that TikTok has “sorted out” a lot of its problems. TikTok recently raised the age for using its live broadcast function from 13 to 18 after it was reported that predators were using the feature to groom children. It has also added functions such as restricted mode and family safety mode, which allow parents and children’s accounts to be linked.
After we speak, Hooper sends me some suggestions to improve my ratings – they advise I try a voiceover so people can hear me and to shoot vertically rather than in landscape. I have a brainwave. What better way to show TikTok more of myself, focus on nature and join in with the stay-home trends than with a guided tour around my garden – from the cherry tree to the chewed-up slippers the foxes leave each night. Given the time, skill and expertise of the people I have interviewed, I’m not sure I’ll be able to cut it as a TikTok superstar any time soon. But I don’t mind, as long as I can some day beat the 375 views of my frozen fish.

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Tempemail , Tempmail Temp email addressess (10 minutes emails)– When you want to create account on some forum or social media, like Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, TikTok you have to enter information about your e-mail box to get an activation link. Unfortunately, after registration, this social media sends you dozens of messages with useless information, which you are not interested in. To avoid that, visit this Temp mail generator: tempemail.co and you will have a Temp mail disposable address and end up on a bunch of spam lists. This email will expire after 10 minute so you can call this Temp mail 10 minute email. Our service is free! Let’s enjoy!