We're not sure if this is just an excuse to dress up as pirates and wave the Jolly Roger in a public setting (and admit it, you've wanted to do this since the first time you rode Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride as a child), but a band of Swedish 'pirates' marched in protest of the Stockholm district court scalawags who issued a guilty verdict in the Pirate Bay trial. Pirate Bay's founders -- Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundstrom -- were each sentenced to walk the plank one year in jail and ordered to be pay 30 million kronor ($3.6 million) in damages to several major media companies following the ruling on Friday.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets led by Sweden's Pirate Party, a political organization which supports free file sharing for noncommercial use, many of which could be seen wearing bandannas and other pirate-attire. The party said it's membership shot up 20 percent to about 20,000 after the verdict was announced.
"The establishment and the politicians have delcared war against our whole generation," said Rickard Falkvinge, party Chairman and founder.
While unconfirmed, we hear that several court officials, fearful the protest might turn physical, made a clean getaway after someone distracted the crowd by shouting out, "Look behind you, a three-headed monkey!"
Earlier this month, we caught wind (no pun intended, MSI) of Samsung's upcoming netbook, the N120. Details were scarce at the time, with only half-baked preliminary e-tailer product pages to go off of, but that's no longer the case. Amazon (and others) are now selling the N120 that Samsung has been surprisingly quiet about.
Available in both black (N120-12GBK) and white (N120-12GW) trim, the new 10.1-inch netbook model keeps it simple (read: boring) with an Intel Atom N270 (1.6GHz, 533MHz frontside bus, 512KB L2 cache) processor on an Intel 945GSE chipset, integrated Intel GMA950 graphics, a 160GB/5400RPM hard drive, 1GB of DDR2-667 memory, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3 USB 2.0 ports, 3-in-1 memory card reader, 1.3MP webcam, Windows XP, and a handful of other features we've now seen a thousand times before.
We've spotted several vendors selling the N120 for around $465.
The pirate bay is taking on water at a frantic pace, and while an appeal in the trial is still likely, odds are pretty good that site may soon be brought down once and for all through a court injunction. Truth is though; the Pirate Bay brought this down on themselves. By picking up the torch that Napster and Kazaa dropped, they painted a huge bulls eye on their chest and blatantly taunted the movie and music industry by posting take down notices on the site, a sign of open defiance.
Though they may soon pay the price for these actions, it remains to be seen who the movie and music industry would consider to be “next on the list”. Tracker sites like Mininova, isoHunt, and Demonoid come to mind, but one searching tool rules them all, Google. Type any movie or TV show into Google followed by the word “torrent” and every tracking site, including many lesser known domains; spill their results for the world to see. In fact according to Google Trends, searches for the term “wolverine torrent” quadrupled after the movie was leaked onto peer-to-peer networks.
Google claims they are quick to remove offending content, but it’s a never ending battle. When one torrent link dies, dozens more take their place.
Can Google be held legally liable for this? It’s hard to say but with the Pirate Bay gone, we may soon find out! What do you think?
We have spent a lot of time speculating about who would be the US’s first CTO. Heck, even Intel’s CTO has chimed in on the issue. But when all the smoke cleared, Obama had chosen Aneesh Chopra, currently Virginia’s secretary of technology to fill the new and very high profile national position. Working side by side with chief information officer, Vivek Kundra, Chopra will be responsible for setting technology policy within government, and help to find ways to improve security while lowering costs.
Vivek Kundra was widely speculated to be a strong contender for the position, but so were several other Silicon Valley hopefuls. The announcement of Chopra as CTO puts to rest months of speculation, and will allow him to get down to business. As always, critics of the decision are lining up, but for the most part many respected industry leaders are coming out in favor of Obama’s decision.
According to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, “He is an excellent selection”. “He served proficiently in Virginia as Secretary of Technology and also has a strong background in the private sector advising the health care industry on technology management issues," he said in a statement. "He will bring to the position real world technology and public policy experience."
Does this mean Obama is going to hand over the Internet off switch? What do you think of the new CTO?
We’ve all seen the laptop hunters in action over the past several weeks and though you may not have noticed it at first, these ads represent a significant shift in tactics. The new marketing campaign by Microsoft takes a much less passive aggressive stance than in the past, and for the first time, charges head on into their primary competitor. In the previous campaign which featured a diverse group of actors claiming to be PC’s, Apple is never specifically mentioned, but clearly if you’re not a Mac you’re a PC right?
Microsoft’s strategy up to this point has been to ignore Apple completely, and to never give them the satisfaction of being acknowledged publically as a valid alternative to Windows. This new campaign is much less subtle about the value of a PC when compared to a Mac, and it is not surprising that they have invoked a response from Apple as a result.
According to an Apple spokesman “The one thing that both Apple and Microsoft can agree on is that everyone thinks the Mac is cool. With its great designs and advanced software, nothing matches it at any price." So close, yet so far”. Certain publications such as BusinessWeek would also have us believe that Anti Virus software and Geek Squad visits will make up the price difference between a $699 HP & a $2,800 Mac, but we don’t buy that argument either. One thing is certain however; we can likely expect Apple’s next ad campaign to respond in kind, making this the start of a very interesting and public war between the two rivals.
Yesterday YouTube announced an application that allows users of their popular video sharing service to add text captions to their videos, thanks to an all-new feature called (what else) “CaptionTube.”
CaptionTube, which is a part of YouTube’s TestTube labs section, allows the addition of captions directly inside your browser, thanks to a setup that will look and act much like a video editor. By selecting how long you want each caption to appear on screen for, and adding beginning and end points for each line of text it’s relatively easy to get a video captioned and ready for the Intertubes.
So, if you’re feeling up to the challenge, go forth and caption some MC Frontalot videos! I promise, it’ll take up at least an afternoon to do “Braggadocio.”
Boy oh boy, what a tumultuous few weeks it’s been!
So, for those of you just tuning it, not too long ago the minds over at Time Warner Cable decided to experiment on placing diminutive bandwidth caps (as low as 1GB/month!) on not only their customers in Texas, but others as far out as Rochester, NY.
But, after much public uproar, Time Warner’s own Cable Chief Operating Officer took it upon himself to repeal the negative press by writing an open letter to all of Time Warner’s customers, as well as others interested in the matter. His claim was simple: providing the Internet gets costly, and without capping the bandwidth hungry beasts that broadband users turn out to be, it’s just not going to work out in the long run! Still, the public outrage wasn’t quelled.
And, now, thanks to the power of the geekerati, the absurd bandwidth caps at Time Warner have been completely removed. Ultimately this uncapping could be temporary, because, in their own words, Time Warner states that they are holding off on the trials “while the customer education process continues.”
Sounds mighty condescending to me, but at this point, a win is a win.
Earlier this week YouTube announced that they’ve finally wrapped up a deal that will allow them to stream a large range of full-length movies and TV shows from Sony, Lionsgate, as well as other television networks and various indie movies.
The movies and episodes will come in a new section of YouTube, as ad-supported (but free) content. Some of the content initially included will be “Casino Royale,” CBS’ new series “Harper’s Island,” and even Morgan Surlock’s popular “Super Size Me.” Though, for the time being Sony’s content will simply be a link that leads users directly to their site, allowing Sony to collect traffic from their own video player.
Sadly, as Google admits, much of the content is at least a decade old. But, for the time being they’re looking towards making baby steps before they can fully compete with Hulu.
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.
In what's being billed as "Design Excellence for Engineers," 3DConnexion, maker of 3D input peripherals, launched the SpacePilot Pro this week. It's one of the grooviest looking mice we've ever seen and comes with a ton of goodies for CAD professionals, including an integrated color LCD display.
"The SpacePilot Pro's LCD Worldflow Assistant gives at-a-glance visibility, whether it's email, calendar events, or RSS feeds," said Deiter Neujahr, 3DConnexions president. "It's push technology but the user can easily customize what they do and don't want to see. The intention is to focus you on your design work, with fewer interruptions to your workflow and less clutter on your main display."
Other features include keyboard modifiers (ESC, CTRL, ALT, SHIFT), 3D mouse keys, a SpaceNavigator knob capable of left/right, up/down, forward/backward, tilt, spin, and roll maneuvers, function keys, several applets, and a bunch more.
Gamers need not apply, but if you're into CAD, the svelte SpacePilot Pro might be just what you're looking for, provided you're willing to drop $500 on an input peripheral.