As we trundle towards the final days of December, we draw ever closer to the observance of an annual tradition that many Maximum PC readers partake in whether they want to or not: traveling home to break bread with far-flung relatives, and being asked to fix their computer’s issues before they even have a chance to get their coat off. The good news is that you’ll be rewarded with a turkey dinner for your efforts! The bad news is that every single one of your relatives will hamper those efforts by offering ham-handed advice drawn from a wealth of whimsical non-computer related life experiences. While we can’t stop the pain of being surrounded by computer-breaking turkey-craving luddites, we can suggest a tool that’ll help you to get to that holiday feast just a little faster: It’s called IPChicken.com, and it’s our Cool Site of the Week.
This just in from the “Isn’t it ironic?” department: IP addresses from some of the top content creation companies, including Fox, Sony and Universal, have been caught red-handed downloading torrents of movies, music and TV shows. That’s the claim from TorrentFreak, at least, who sifted through data from YouHaveDownloaded, a Russian site that logs – and exposes! – IP addresses downloading many of the public torrents you can find out there. TorrentFreak did some digging and managed to match several infringing IP addresses to IP addresses registered to the aforementioned companies.
You know that bug-eyed guy on that stands on the corner by your favorite pizza joint? Yeah, the crazy dude who goes on about alien abductions being an accidental side effect of the JFK consipracy. Turns out he was right! No, not about ET; about the Internet. Earlier this year, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority actually ran out of IPv4 Internet addresses. Don't worry though, the Web's not going to disappear into a black hole. Tomorrow, over 400 organizations are banding together for what they're calling "World IPv6 Day," the first large-scale trial run of IPv4's successor.
No, this isn't a rehashing of news from last year. Voltage Pictures, the maker of the Oscar-winning Hurt Locker, has filed a new lawsuit targeting 20,000 more alleged BitTorrent users. The anonymous defendants are accused of pirating the film over the p2p protocol. This brings the total number of users sued by Voltage Pictures to 24,583.
Pay-per-view events are big business, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) isn't in the mood to share. After seeing their live events streamed on both Justin.tv and Ustream, the organization is going after both sites, presumably with a choke-hold of some sort. Well, more likely the subpoena they have obtained to force the disclosure of the infringing IP addresses will take care of everything without the need for physical violence.
UFC's parent company, Zuffa LLC claims that during an event on January 2, more than 36,000 viewers tuned into an illegal stream on Ustream and Justin.tv that originated from a single IP address. Six weeks later, the same IP address hosted a stream of a pay-per-view event for 78,000 fans. It is unclear if there are additional streamers involved in other incidents. Both streaming sites have been working to keep pirated content off their services, but it's a losing battle. Some automated content fingerprinting is in use, but content makers have to work closely with the sites; something that has not happened in the case of UFC.
The UFC is apparently only after individuals that uploaded the content, not those that watched it. It's unclear if the sites will be forced to hand over the information. Do you think Ustream and Junstin.tv should give in and release the data?
According to several people in the know, the Internet will run out of new IPv4 address space in less than a year. As more internet enabled devices flood the market place, we're moving inexorably towards the day when the new IPv6 standard will have to save the day. But will we be ready?
IPv4 addresses are limited to 32-bit numbers, thus about 4 billion unique addresses exist. The IPv6 standard uses 128-bit numbers. So that works out to a few quintillion addresses. That should certainly be enough to tide us over until we entrust our network infrastructure to the loving embrace of Skynet. Most of the hard work to get ready for the changeover needs to be done by ISPs, which need to deliver addresses as IPv6.
Large content providers like Google and Facebook aren't just sitting back though. They will need to work with ISPs to ensure their content is implemented as IPv6. Do you foresee any issues with the IPv6 transition?
Late last month, the Hurt Locker’s producers filed a copyright infringement complaint against 5,000 people it accused of illegally downloading digital copies of the critically-acclaimed film using BitTorrent. In the complaint, the producers of the film informed the court that the defendants were only known to them by their IP addresses, and that they would amend the complaint to include true names of the downloaders at a later time.
The makers of Hurt Locker have now taken the first step toward identifying the alleged infringers by providing a list of 700 IP addresses to the court. The list also contains the names of their respective ISPs and the time when the infringement was recorded.
Time Warner customers don’t figure on the list as their ISP has chosen to excuse itself from what it considers a tedious process. As for the ISPs that do figure on the list, they will only be required to reveal the true identities of alleged offenders only if the court orders them to do so. And in the eventuality that it does, the downloaders will receive a $2500 settlement offer.
Gmail added a new security feature today to alert users of suspicious activity that may indicate unauthorized access. Gmail already has a feature that lists IP addresses the count is open at, but the information is at the bottom of the page and Google found that most users don’t know it’s there. Now Google will use a banner right up front to alert users proactively of strange activity.
The warning will show a brief description of the activity and link to a list of current and recent sessions identified by IP and geographic location. Google says the warning will only be triggered if the system considers the account to be at risk. For example, if you usually log in from a certain geographic area, then a log in occurs from outside that area, the alert would be triggered. The interface also allows users to change their password if they believe their account is indeed compromised.
We always like to see better security options for users, but it will be interesting to see if Google gets a lot of false positives. Keep an eye out and let us know if you get this warning and what caused it.