The Pirate Bay (TPB) may soon need to get those “Low Orbit Server Station” (LOSS) drones it talked about in March airborne, for things aren’t looking all that bright on the ground for the world’s largest torrent site. The latest setback for TPB comes in the form of a UK High Court ruling directing five of the country’s largest internet service providers (ISPs) to block the popular torrent site. Hit the jump for more.
Bad news for Brits: you too can be punished for violating U.S. copyright law! Richard O'Dwyer, a 23 year old student at Sheffield Hallam University, created the TVShack.net website, which U.S. officials claim linked to illegal movie and TV show files. Not hosted; just linked. Today, the Westminster Magistrates' Court ruled that O’Dwyer could be extradited to the U.S. and brought to trial for copyright infringement.
Seeing a lot of crappy status updates on Facebook lately from your British connections? Maybe your friends are constipated. That seems like a silly conclusion to come to, but is it really? According to a new study, British adults view Facebook as more vital to their day-to-day lives than a flushing toilet. We wish we were kidding.
In Britain, ripping music CDs to transfer songs onto portable media players or mobile phones is an act that runs afoul of the law. Lucky for U.K. residents, government officials are open to overhauling copyright law with an emphasis on common sense, two things that don't always go together. Britain's business secretary Vince Cable said new legislation will make it legal to copy CDs for personal use, which is one of 10 recommendations made in the Hargreaves Report, a six-month independent review into Intellectual Property (IP) led by Professor Ian Hargreavees.
As law enforcement and content associations alike slowly recognize the fact that trying to track down and prosecute millions of illegal file sharers is nothing more than a high-tech game of whack-a-mole (that they're losing), they're turning to commercial help in combating the threat of piracy. American ISPs have already voluntarily signed as copyright cops. In Britain, the real copyright cops – i.e. the London Police – are relying on payment processors to help put a halt on music sold without proper licenses. Yesterday, PayPal UK announced it had signed on to the coalition.
Q, everyone's favorite gadget-smith, never got the respect he deserved. The job carried some great perks, sure – getting his hands on all that cutting-edge tech must have been awesome, and Q stayed immaculately dressed – but in the end, it was always James Bond who got the glory and the tricked out Aston Martins. Q and his friends might end up with the last laugh, though. The British government is warning that it's losing computer whizzes left and right as the allure of big paydays and fast cars are sucking geeky government agents into the private sector.
In 2009, the NBA fined Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $25,000 for criticizing referees via his Twitter account. Since then, comments made via the social networking service have led to a few libel lawsuits. Former Welsch mayor, Colin Elsbury, would have been wise to pay attention, as he's become the first British man fined for a libelous tweet.
Linux has always been the go-to operating system for governments and non-profits trying to empower technology-starved people around the world with cheap, no-frills computers. So it is no surprise that the UK government has chosen the open-source OS for subsidized computers that will soon be offered to those Brits that are yet to log on to the internet (around 9.2 million) under its Race Online 2012 scheme, an initiative that the government there believes can help UK become the first nation in the world to have its entire population online.
Under this scheme, both PCs and internet connections will be subsidized so as to lure internet holdouts. The starting price for the affordable PCs will be just a shade over $150 (£98), with subsidized internet connections costing $14 (£9) per month. The PCs will include a flat-screen monitor, keyboard, mouse, warranty, dedicated telephone helpline and delivery, according to a BBC News report. The initial goal is to sell around 8,000 PCs during the 12-month trial period.
Think you're obsessed with technology? Try living in Britain and having a look around. A new study of 3,000 men and women reveals that our British brethren spend a whopping nine hours playing with gadgets.
"We all know that modern technology plays an important part in everyday life, but it is incredible to think that so many hours are spent using gadgets," said Stephen Ebbet from www.protectyourbubble.com, which commissioned the research.
"The average person probably isn't even awake for much longer than 16 hours a day, and more than half of that time is completely dominated by gizmos.
"The fact is that many of the electrical appliances used regularly - such as the computer, washing machine and microwave - are both necessary and time saving. So we might spend a few minutes fiddling with them, but they continue to work and carry out tasks for us even when we're busy doing something else."
Nevertheless, only a fourth of respondents said they are totally obsessed with gadgets, while 61 percent admitted to being surprised at how much time they spend with with technology.
According to numbers compiled by the blokes over at the Official Charts Company (OCC), Britain went and passed the 500 millionth digital download mark, and these are of the legal variety.
"There are nearly 70 legal music services, more than any other country, and consumers continue to embrace the choice, value, and innovation on offer," said Geoff Taylor, chief executive of music industry body BPI.
"Five hundred million downloads is an astonishing achievement especially given the ongoing backdrop of widespread illegal downloading the music industry still faces."
By the end of August, the OCC had recorded 102 million legal downloads, and is on pace to record 170 million by the end of 2010. That would surpass 2009's 150 million downloads and 2008's 110 million.