Replacing physical media with streaming music, movies and more is a wonderful idea, but in order to do it, you need a big, open bandwidth pipe. Nobody's ever watched an HD version of "Mad Men" on a 768kbps connection, after all. Christmas in July came early for cord cutting Verizon FiOS customers; the company plans on increasing users' max download speeds by a factor of two-fold or more, depending on which plan you're currently subscribed to.
Have you seen “Scared Straight?” Federal prison sucks. It’s supposed to suck; you don’t want to make life easy for mobsters and murderers like Al Capone, The Son of Sam, “Machine Gun” Kelly, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer and The Green River Killer when you send them to the clink to keep them from further harming the public. One unlucky pirate is going to find out firsthand just how crappy prison is, after a judge ordered 49 year old Gilberto Sanchez to a year in the federal slam for uploading X-Men: Wolverine to MegaUpload before the film's release.
Remember everybody's favorite pair of deliberately acting turtles, the Slowskis? Comcast used the commercials to poke fun at the slower speeds of Verizon's DSL service back when the cable company was trying to break into the broadband provider scene. Well, the tables have turned; even Comcast's 20Mbps speeds end up looking more tortoise than hare when compared to Virgin Media's blazing new 1.5Gbps down/150Mbps up connection.
It never fails: Someone always sends you a link to grab materials off of (or upload materials to) an FTP site the moment that you’re away from your desktop which, of course, has your favorite FTP client of choice just sitting right there in the start menu. Sure, you could manually try to connect to a FTP site via your browser (or Windows explorer), but you’re kind of stuck if you want to do anything more than just download a file or two. Or two hundred.
Try not to fret, however, for FTP applications can receive the same kind of "web app" treatment as most software applications nowadays! And I'll be taking a look at one such app after the jump.
Let's start with the good news. Sprint on Thursday announced a new Epic 4G update that promises "increased 3G upload speeds," while also fixing a few other issues. These include:
Wi-Fi standby battery drain
Amazon MP3 cannot download in 4G
Large emails lag in upload speeds
The over-the-air (OTA) update was supposed to be pushed to devices beginning yesterday and rolled out within the next several days, but Sprint apparently ran into a snag. Ready for the bad news?
"We were planning to release an update for your Samsung Epic 4G on 9/30. The file was delivered and on track for distribution but late this afternoon, we learned that an administrative issue prevented Google from releasing the update as we had planned," Sprint said. "We are working to resolve the issue and will provide an update as soon as we understand the new delivery schedule."
Upon hearing the news, some Epic 4G owners cried foul, saying the staggered update was part of a ploy to prevent users from returning their phones before the 30-day return window shuts. Sprint insists that isn't true.
"We would like to clarify that the timing of this update has nothing to do with the 30 day return window that many of you on these blogs have been discussing and that this delay has nothing to do with any last minute changes within the release package itself. The delay is simply due to an administrative issue that we are working to resolve," Sprint said.
Yellow spots (don't sweat it, the glue just hasn't dried yet). Dropped signals (dude, first off you're holding it wrong. And secondly, our math was buggered, you had less bars the whole time!). And now you can add slow uploads to the list of iPhone 4 woes. So who's to blame this time?
Not Apple, and hey, don't look at AT&T, the wireless carrier says. The problem, according to AT&T, is sloppy code in the software for Alcatel-Lucent's 3G network equipment, which temporarily drops upstream connections for a handful of AT&T subscribers. It took the launch of the iPhone 4 and the subsequent strain on upload capacity to expose the flaw.
"It came to the forefront after the iPhone 4 because of the big increase in the uplink data," said Mary Ward, spokeswoman for Alcatel.
It isn't just iPhone 4 owners who are affected, but anyone using a HSUPA (High-Speed uplink Packet Access) device, such as AT&T's LaptopConnect cards for PCs and netbooks. Even so, AT&T insists the problem is only affecting some 2 percent of its mobile subscribers.
Alcatel says it's working on the problem and expects to have it fixed soon.
Anonymous BitTorrent? Sign me up! Literally--a new-to-the-popular-vernacular freeware application called BitBlinder is making waves for its ability to conceal your BitTorrent downloading behind a Tor-styled "onion proxy." What you sacrifice in download speeds, you make up for in raw anonymity. Simply put, you'll have a host of new protections in place that will bounce your location from system to system, creating a giant, untraceable mesh that routes your Linux downloads from an exit node all the way back to your lil' system at-home.
Seems like a flawless solution for limitless, untraceable downloads, eh?
Rapidshare is one of the most popular file-hosting services in the world. It is not in an entirely enviable position, though, as the affection it commands among its patrons is offset by the contempt it receives from content owners affected by the abundance of unauthorized content on its servers. The courts have time and again made it clear Rapidshare has no choice but to proactively filter content. Having been pushed into a tight corner, the Germany-based file host has come up with a plan to pacify the entertainment industry.
“If a user finds out that several attempts to download an illegal copy of a DVD are in vain, and if his several attempts to ’steal’ this DVD have just brought him to an online-store, he may finally be frustrated and willing to purchase a licensed version of this movie,” Chang wrote in a letter to entertainment industry executives. “We are willing to invest substantially into this online store and I would be glad to not just talk about RapidShare as a threat for the entertainment industry, but also about RapidShare as an interesting option to sell your products.”
Rapidshare owes most of the several petabytes of data it hosts to its popularity as a safe haven for both uploaders and downloaders of unauthorized content. It is difficult to imagine its success without the free reign its users have enjoyed over the years, although it denies ever conniving at illegal file sharing. Ironically, Rapidshare has no recollection of its past business practices and even accuses competitors of “trying really hard to gain the favor of those users, who rely on cyberlockers to spread and distribute copyright protected content.”
It doesn't happen that often, but sometimes, you just need an FTP. Or, rather, the problem is more like this: You need to access an FTP and you don't have a suitable software client on-hand for whatever reason. Sure, you can usually access an FTP via your Web browser, but that just offers the most rudimentary form of functionality (read: downloads only) that you can get. And that's even assuming that you can get into the FTP site you're trying to access--I've tested good ol' Mozilla Firefox on a few FTP sites that definitely work in a software client, yet do absolutely nothing when the ftp.*.* address is typed into a browser.
What do you do? If you're a fan of Mozilla Firefox, all you need is but one simple extension to bridge both worlds together. That's right--an FTP browser inside your Internet browser, which you can pull up into its own separate tab as if it was a new Web page, even though it's not.
What wizardry is this? Click the jump to find out!
It's been a busy week for BitTorrents! I've showed you how to download them, how to tweak the heck out of a great program you can use to download them, and how to remotely access your BitTorrent downloads through Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. You, young padawan, are now fully grounded in the ways of the torrent. But you are no Jedi yet...
The final task that awaits you isn't so much related to the act of downloading information via BitTorrent as it is contributing to the cloud of data that you're usually pulling from. Yes, that's right. You're going to learn how to make your own .torrent file for distribution via your tracker of choice. While I realize there's a handy feature in uTorrent that allows you do this rather effortlessly, you're limited to working on one torrent at a time via this method. What if you want to make a whole bunch of .torrent files corresponding to a larger number of files you want to make available for download?
In that case, you're going to need the Download of the Week: MakeTorrent. Click the jump to see how it works!