Suing file sharers in bulk has become the hot new thing in antipiracy cases, as it allows content providers to associate names with IP addresses quickly, but that tactic just suffered a major blow in the Golden State. The physical locations of P2P defendants have been a bone of contention in courts. Steele Hansmeier, an antipiracy law firm, used geolocation to confirm that the 188 porn pilferers named in its mass lawsuit actually lived in California, but the judge presiding over the case still axed 187 defendants off the suit, making it a single-party case.
Setting sail on the Lulz Boat with a of glass of wine in one hand and a wide-brimmed top hat protecting him from the harmful UV rays, a hacker might actually start to believe that life is all laffs and SQL injections. Here's a shocker: things aren't quite so sunny in the slam, jackass. British police are the ones lulzing in the Shetland Isles after arresting a 19-year-old man they say is Topiary, the smarmy LulzSec hacker responsible for the group's satirical Tweets.
Sites like Reddit and Digg are based entirely on free-thought concepts like crowdsourcing, forums and fair use. So, what's a poor former Reddit team member supposed to do when someone doesn't want to share their ideas? Apparently, he steals them. That's what Boston police say, at least. Today, they indicted 24-year-old programmer and Demand Progress co-founder Aaron Swartz on multiple charges, claiming he pilfered over four million documents from MIT and the JSTOR academic archive.
The best laughs in the country aren't found in comedy clubs or celebrity-filled roasts; if you want to really put the "L" in ROFL, you need to turn towards the court system. In today's humor-filled disposition, a store owner accused of selling illegal copies of DVDs says no, sir, he wasn't selling copyrighted DVDs – that's illegal, after all. He was actually giving the movies away for free, you see, and his customers were forking over $5 "donations" for the DVD cases.
Huzzah! Throw up the flags! Send off the fireworks! Summon the townspeople! Apple has lost! The people have won! Huzzah!
I’m referring, of course, to Monday’s ruling by The Library of Congress, which explicitly carves out a legal exception for those looking to jailbreak their iPhones. No longer will industrious little hackers (or those who downloaded a one-button jailbreak app off the Interwebs) be subject to Digital Millennium Copyright Act smack-downs over their choice of Cydia instead of the App Store.
In short, so long as you’re jailbreaking your iPhone to make it work with a third-party application that, itself, isn’t kosher on a vanilla iPhone, you’re in the clear. I’m not quite sure what you would do with a jailbroken phone otherwise—perhaps smash it with a hammer to test its durability or something--but there you have it.
Now, we’ve won, right? The choice of how and why you use your iPhone has finally been wrested out of the turtleneck-laden hands of Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The people are in control now, and we all have carte blanche to do with our handheld devices as we please! Yay!
Dell has always been the golden child of the PC industry, and with good reason. The company almost single handedly invented the direct from manufacturer business model, and went on to become one of the largest and most successful OEM’s in the world. Dell’s whirlwind success has been studied extensively, but new evidence is suggesting there might be more to Dell’s accomplishments than meets the eye.
On Thursday the US Securities and Exchange Commission released a batch of high level communications between Dell and Intel Executives that hint pretty heavily that the company was reliant on Intel kickbacks for its financial success, and that shareholders were intentionally kept out of the loop. According to the S.E.C, Kevin Rollins, Dell’s chief executive for part of the period in question attributed the companies runaway success with a “tightly controlled supply chain, highly efficient infrastructure and direct relationships with customers”. If this was true, it wouldn’t explain why Rollins communications with founder Michael Dell explained Intel payments as an “addictive drug” that they relied upon to hit quarterly targets.
Suspicion over Dell’s relationship with Intel swirled a few years back when AMD server chips had the edge, and Dell simply refused to play ball. Dell executives claimed that adding a second chip supplier would add complexity into an otherwise perfectly efficient supply chain. It sounds like typical executive double speak, but clearly something didn’t add up.
Dell has been slapped with a $100 million penalty, and even Michael Dell is personally on the hook for $4 million. Does this change your opinion of Dell?
That's all it takes for Apple to crush your dreams: Fifty little words. In fact, it's only one word--technically a hyphenated compound of two words--that spoils the flavor of the soup.
"Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, unless you have purchased a Family Pack or Upgrade license for the Apple Software, you are granted a limited non-exclusive license to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-branded computer at a time." (emphasis mine)
Don't get the pitchforks and torches out just yet, faithful Maximum PC readers. We're all geeks here. There's nothing wrong about wanting to do a little experimentation. You can say it just as easily as I can: Some parts of OS X are simply superior to what you might find in any Windows-based environment.
The point is ultimately moot, however, because Apple simply won't allow its operating system to exist on any platform but its own. It's not like there's much of a technological gap to leap: If the industrious (albeit illegal) third-party hackers can get OS X to work in a Windows-based virtual environment, I bet the smart minds over in the engineering department at One Infinite Loop can figure it out in short order.
Security firm FireEye has reportedly struck a massive blow against spam. The so called “Mega-D” or “Ozdok” spam botnet was effectively dismantled by these intrepid security researchers. After studying the beast, FireEye launched an attack by notifying ISPs, having command and control (CnC) domains removed, and then registering unused CnC domains.
Almost immediately, the spam ceased. No small feat, considering Ozdok was probably responsible for one third of the world’s spam. This takes the load off ISPs which were forced to filter the spam from this botnet. Individual users probably won’t notice much difference.
FireEye found that over 246,000 zombie machines were reporting to the CnC domains in their possession after the takedown. The security firm plans to work with ISPs to indentify the owners of the PCs so they may remove the malicious software.
Measuring the impact of illegal downloading on the music industry is a nearly impossible task that only seems to make the lawyers rich, but a new UK based study has concluded that illegal downloader's not only don't hurt music sales, they help. According to the survey which looked at the buying habits of about 1,000 16 to 50 year-old computer users, those that regularly downloaded music illegally also spent nearly 43% more per year through official channels than their legitimate counterparts. According to the UK Secretary of State for Business Peter Mandelson, this proves the shortsightedness of the new "Digital Economy Bill" set to become law next April which aims to boot any user off the Internet accused of downloading copyrighted material three times or more.
Peter Bradwell, from the think-tank Demos who commissioned the Ipsos Mori study agrees and claims, "The latest approach from the Government will not help prop up an ailing music industry. Politicians and music companies need to recognize that the nature of music consumption has changed, and consumers are demanding lower prices and easier access." The UK music industry however remains unconvinced, and insisted that the figures cited in the study show a skewed picture. It turns out in fact, that nearly 61% of all illegal downloader's surveyed claim they would stop downloading illegitimate tracks if they were threatened with losing internet service for a month.
So will illegal downloader’s spend even more money on digital tracks if they get cut off from Bit Torrent's? Or does it help to create fans who would have otherwise spent less on music using traditional discovery methods. It’s an interesting debate, where do you fall on the issue?
If you thought that YouTube was mostly a way to discover lame-o fan trailers, not-so-sophisticated movie spoofs, or the latest viral video sensation, think again. As ArsTechnica reports, pyramid scheme recruitment videos are now flourishing on YouTube. Although these so-called "cash gifting" or "cash leveraging" schemes are often referred to as Ponzi schemes, they're different. As an ArsTechnica commenter pointed out, in a true Ponzi scheme, early joiners are "paid back" by money from later "investors" by the people controlling the alleged investment, but in a pyramid scheme, you make your money only when you can con others into giving you money.
Regardless of how boring your Friday afternoons might be and how desperate you might be to make more money, watch out for videos like these. Our advice? Save your cash for better investments, like more RAM.