Len

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  1. This week, tabloid headlines screamed that so-called "Kodi Boxes" are a threat not only to the entertainment industries, but also to life itself. Claiming that devices could kill their owners due to electrical safety standards failures, we took a look at the actual report. Forget just throwing set-top boxes in the trash, it looks like anything electrical without a brand name needs to be discarded immediately. Another week, another batch of ‘Kodi Box Armageddon’ stories. This time it hasn’t been directly about the content they can provide but the physical risks they pose to their owners. After being primed in advance, the usual British tabloids jumped into action early Thursday, noting that following tests carried out on “illicit streaming devices” (aka Android set-top devices), 100% of them failed to meet UK national electrical safety regulations. The tests were carried out by Electrical Safety First, a charity which was prompted into action by anti-piracy outfit Federation Against Copyright Theft. “A series of product safety tests on popular illicit streaming devices entering the UK have found that 100% fail to meet national electrical safety regulations,” a FACT statement reads. “The news is all the more significant as the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) estimates that more than one million of these illegal devices have been sold in the UK in the last two years, representing a significant risk to the general public.” After reading many sensational headlines stating that “Kodi Boxes Might Kill Their Owners”, please excuse us for groaning. This story has absolutely nothing – NOTHING – to do with Kodi or any other piece of software. Quite obviously, software doesn’t catch fire. So, suspecting that there might be more to this than meets the eye, we decided to look beyond the press releases into the actual Electrical Safety First (ESF) report. While we have no doubt that ESF is extremely competent in its field (it is, no question), the front page of its report is disappointing. Despite the items sent for testing being straightforward Android-based media players, the ESF report clearly describes itself as examining “illicit streaming devices”. It’s terminology that doesn’t describe the subject matter from an electrical, safety or technical perspective but is pretty convenient for FACT clients Sky and the Premier League. Nevertheless, the full picture reveals rather more than most of the headlines suggest. First of all, it’s important to know that ESF tested just nine devices out of the million or so allegedly sold in the UK during the past two years. Even more importantly, every single one of those devices was supplied to ESF by FACT. Now, we’re not suggesting they were hand-picked to fail but it’s clear that the samples weren’t provided from a neutral source. Also, as we’ll learn shortly, it’s possible to determine in advance if an item will fail to meet UK standards simply by looking at its packaging and casing. But perhaps even more intriguing is that the electrical testing carried out by ESF related primarily not to the set-top boxes themselves, but to their power supplies. ESF say so themselves. “The product review relates primarily to the switched mode power supply units for the connection to the mains supply, which were supplied with the devices, to identify any potential risks to consumers such as electric shocks, heating and resistance to fire,” ESF reports. The set-top boxes themselves were only assessed “in terms of any faults in the marking, warnings and instructions,” the group adds. So, what we’re really talking about here isn’t dangerous illicit streaming devices set-top boxes, but the power supply units that come with them. It might seem like a small detail but we’ll come to the vast importance of this later on. Firstly, however, we should note that none of the equipment supplied by FACT complied with Schedule 1 of the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994. This means that they failed to have the “Conformité Européene” or CE logo present. That’s unacceptable. In addition, none of them lived up the requirements of Schedule 3 of the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 either, which in part requires the manufacturer’s brand name or trademark to be “clearly printed on the electrical equipment or, where that is not possible, on the packaging.” (That’s how you can tell they’ll definitely fail UK standards, before sending them for testing) Also, none of the samples were supplied with “sufficient safety or warning information to ensure the safe and correct use, assembly, installation or maintenance of the equipment.” This represents ‘a technical breach’ of the regulations, ESF reports. Finally, several of the samples were considered to be a potential risk to their users, either via electric shock and/or fire. That’s an important finding and people who suspect they have such devices at home should definitely take note. However, the really important point isn’t mentioned in the tabloids, probably since it distracts from the “Kodi Armageddon” narrative which underlies the whole study and subsequent reports. ESF says that one of the key issues is that the set-top boxes come unbranded, something which breaches safety regulations while making it difficult for consumers to assess whether they’re buying a quality product. Crucially, this is not exclusively a set-top box problem, it is much, MUCH bigger. “Issues with power supply units or unbranded and counterfeit chargers go beyond illicit streaming devices. In the last year, issues have been reported with other consumer electrical devices, such as laptop chargers and counterfeit phone chargers,” the same ESF report reveals. “The total annual online sales of mains plug-in chargers is estimated to be in the region of 1.8 million and according to Electrical Safety First, it is likely that most of these sales involve cheap, unbranded chargers.” So, we looked into this issue of problem power supplies and chargers generally, to see where this report fits into the bigger picture. It transpires it’s a massive problem, all over the UK, across a wide range of products. In fact, Trading Standards reports that 99% of non-genuine Apple chargers bought online “fail a basic safety test”. But buying from reputable High Street retailers doesn’t help either. During the past year, Poundworld was fined for selling – wait for it – 72,000 dangerous chargers. Home Bargains was also fined for selling “thousands” of power adaptors that fail to meet UK standards. “All samples provided failed to comply with Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations and were not marked with the manufacturer’s name,” Trading Standards reports. That sounds familiar. So, there you have it. Far from this being an isolated “Kodi Box Crisis” as some have proclaimed, this is a broad issue affecting imported electrical items in general. On this basis, one can’t help but think the tabloids missed a trick here. Think of the power of this headline: ALL UNBRANDED ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT CAN KILL, DISCONNECT EVERYTHING or, alternatively: PIRATES URGED TO SWITCH TO BRANDED AMAZON FIRESTICKS, SAFER FOR KODI Perhaps not…. The ESF report can be found here (pdf) https://torrentfreak.com/the-truth-behind-the-kodi-boxes-can-kill-their-owners-headlines-171118/
  2. Judge Halts Copyright Troll's Lawsuit Against A Now-Deceased Elderly Man With Dementia And An IP Address Stories about copyright trolls issuing questionable settlement demands and lawsuits using laughably flimsy evidence with no regard to mitigating circumstances are somewhat common around here. The most egregious cases range from trolls sending threat letters to the elderly to flat out suing the innocent. This sort of thing is essentially inherent in a business model that closely apes an extortion ring, and here's another quintessential example of that. It all started when Venice PI sued a man for being part of a torrent swarm offering the movie Once Upon a Time in Venice. The judge in the case has put the proceedings on hold, noting rather harshly that Venice PI's evidence sucks, and that the man in question had severe enough dementia that his family says he couldn't even have operated a computer as described in the lawsuit and, at age 91, has died. The man’s wife informed a federal court in Seattle that he passed away recently, at the respectable age of 91. While age doesn’t prove innocence, the widow also mentioned that her husband suffered from dementia and was both mentally and physically incapable of operating a computer at the time of the alleged offense. These circumstances raised doubt with US District Court Judge Thomas Zilly, who brought them up in a recent order (citations omitted). “In two different cases, plaintiff sued the same, now deceased, defendant, namely Wilbur Miller. Mr. Miller’s widow submitted a declaration indicating that, for about five years prior to his death at the age of 91, Mr. Miller suffered from dementia and was both mentally and physically incapable of operating a computer." Oops. Still, the condition of the copyright troll's victim wasn't the topic which received Judy Zilly's harshest criticism. That distinction goes to the quality and quantity of evidence Venice PI produced in its lawsuit. The Judge notes that this evidence amounts essentially to nothing more than an IP address. He then goes on to suggest that any tracking of IP addresses that pointed to Mr. Miller being a torrent-y type of guy should have its accuracy immediately questioned. Beyond that, the judge indicated that Venice PI can't use that IP address to try to find, you know, actual evidence. Moreover, plaintiff may not, based solely on IP addresses, launch a fishing expedition aimed at coercing individuals into either admitting to copyright infringement or pointing a finger at family members, friends, tenants, or neighbors. To that end, lawyers for Venice PI are barred from having any contact with Miller's family or any other unnamed defendant in this case. In addition, Zilly is demanding any other evidence the plaintiff's can produce -- likely none --, as well as information on how IP addresses in bittorrent swarms might be spoofed. The judge goes on to say that if no further evidence can be presented, the claims will be dismissed with prejudice. It's simply great to see a court get this so correct in a copyright troll case. Too often trolls are allowed to skate by in presenting evidence that isn't evidence at all, with no ground given to the sort of mitigating testimony offered by Miller's widow. That Venice IP hasn't dismissed their case against the now-deceased man is an added stain on its trollish soul.
  3. "GLOBAL FREELEECH IS ACTIVE - This means that all you download doesent count"
  4. "Uploading is for everyone! Everyone can upload torrents, so why not try it? It helps your ratio and our community. If you think that you need help, please ask for help in the forums. Some uploaders are part of our staff. If you think that you have it in you to be a Pornbits Uploader, please send me a PM."
  5. 1.Nexus Master and above users will be retained forever; 2.Insane User and above user account storage account (in the control panel) will not be deleted account; 3. Sealing account users do not log in for 120 consecutive days will be deleted account; 4. Users who have not archived accounts will not be deleted for 60 consecutive days. Again to remind everyone that if you can not use the network for a long time, please hang up accounts. (Do not count login website). Dislike the trouble you can donate website for VIP status. Code: https://hdhome.org/donate.php For details, please refer to: Code: https://hdhome.org/rules.php
  6. Tracker's Name: CiNEFiLHD Genre: MOVIES / TV / GENERAL Sign-up: http://www.cinefilhd.org/signup.php Additional information: CiNEFiLHD is a Private Torrent Tracker for MOVIES / TV / GENERAL
  7. Sitewide Freeleech for 6 hours
  8. E-Book Rules & Few Reminders Its been a long time coming, but finally we have a neat and concise set of rules to officially govern the treatment of E-Books, including Guides & Manuals as well as Books & Magazines with game related content. Please take a moment to familiarise yourself with the new rules. An important point to note is that these new rules apply to both uploads under GameDOX Release Type and uploads under the E-Book Category. To see the new changes, head over to the ↑ 5. E-Books rules. On top of the introduction of E-Book rules, there have been a few small changes made existing rules. As usual, small rule updates can be found in the Rule & Wiki Changelog. Few example groups and torrents *gazellegames.net/torrents.php?id=26149*https://gazellegames.net/torrents.php?id=27225*https://gazellegames.net/torrents.php?id=16158*https://gazellegames.net/torrents.php?id=28850*https://gazellegames.net/torrents.php?id=28889 (For examples sake, issues from 2017 was kept as individual uploads for now. Rules allow those torrents to be trumped by year pack, but if we were still on for example September, this is how those should be uploaded)*https://gazellegames.net/torrents.php?id=35806 (GameDOX - Game Guides section) ↑_ 1.1.8. Self-extracting 7-Zip, WinZip, WinRAR or any other self-extracting archive formats as well as custom installers like InstallShield are not allowed for Home Rips. They pose a security risk to our members. Recently there has been an increasing amount of torrents added to the site considered as Home Rips that also come with custom installer. As per ↑_ 1.1.8, all custom installers and self-extracting archives are not permitted on Home Rip uploads. Only Scene, Recognized P2P Groups and GGn Internal Team releases may use custom installers or self-extracting archives. Any torrent a user wishes to upload that has a custom installer and is not one of the above mentioned Release Types, it is not allowed to be uploaded. If there is some explicit reason why an upload must be contained in a custom installer, an exception may be granted in rare cases upon request from staff. Only special cases of some rare content will be considered, and the safety of the torrent has been checked by staff. Custom installers always pose a security risk to our users. The original creator of the installer can easily hide malware, bitcoin miners and other nasties in the installer, and have it installed along with game. Alternatively someone with malicious intent could take an existing custom installer, modify it to add malware, and spread it disguised as an original reputable release. We understand that the rules regarding this are strict, and although some may oppose our stance, its done to keep everyone here as safe as possible. We cant mitigate the risks completely, but these rules help significantly. Violations of this rule have become much more common recently, and so we are forced to take an even stricter approach. Starting immediately, any user who uploads a Home Rip with a custom installer will receive a site warning - no matter what the circumstances are. Repeated violations will put your account at great risk of being banned. If you are unsure if your upload is allowed or not, just send us a Staff PM before uploading to make sure. We would like to remind everyone about the importance of reporting any issues or rule violations you see on GGn. Staff work tirelessly to spot and fix whatever issues there are, but it’s hard to spot them all. Community help in this matter greatly appreciated and strongly encouraged. With your help its easier for us to better prioritise our time, and the community benefits when we can tackle the issues faster. Staff are working to resolve all issues, but it might take time. Often we see complaints in torrent comments, forum posts and IRC about issues with torrents, forum rule violations, abusive members, etc. Please keep in mind that we dont penalise anyone for invalid reports (unless you spam us just for fun), so even if something you notice makes you wonder if or when staff should do something about it, its a good enough reason to report it. <3 GGn Staff
  9. Tracker's Name: Wrestling Desires Torrents (Ultimate Wrestling Torrents) Genre: PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING / MMA Sign-up: http://ultimatewrestlingtorrents.com/signup.php Additional information: Wrestling Desires Torrents (Ultimate Wrestling Torrents) is a Private Torrent Tracker for PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING / MMA
  10. For foreign cloud providers, entering China’s market is often more trouble than it’s worth. Not only are overseas firms required to form joint ventures with local companies, but they’re also prohibited from owning or operating certain types of cloud tech and hardware. That’s why AWS sold off US$300 million worth of cloud assets to its Chinese partner earlier this week. Factor in China’s new data localization laws, and it’s no wonder that domestic firms captured more than 80 percent of revenue in China’s cloud industry this year. Storj Labs, a US blockchain startup, thinks a decentralized model could soften some of those pain points. Instead of operating and running its own data centers, the startup runs a peer-to-peer Dropbox-like service that lets users (called ‘farmers’ in Storj parlance) rent out excess storage space on their hard drive. Farmers are paid in STORJ, the startup’s eponymous token. The details of each file transfer, such as payment, are recorded on the company’s blockchain. It’s an asset-light cloud storage model that Storj Labs claims mitigates traditional data failures and cuts costs. Users who want to store their data with Storj can pay US$0.015 per gigabyte per month. AWS’s equivalent service goes for US$0.023. “I think it’s probably early to say that we’re going to disrupt AWS, Microsoft, and Google, but we do think that there is the potential to take a huge unused resource […] and bring that to market,” John Quinn, co-founder of Storj Labs, tells Tech in Asia, referring to excess storage capacity. In China, the startup is working with Genaro, a Shanghai-based blockchain startup that is developing its own decentralized cloud storage system. The partnership, announced today, will see Storj Labs’ more mature technology integrated with Genaro’s in exchange for expansion into China. Due to latency issues associated with the Great Firewall, the catchall term for China’s online censorship system, Storj Labs needs in-country farmers. According to Genaro founder Larry Liu, the company plans to work with large cryptocurrency mining farms in China, who will add storage units to their mining rigs. That will help the Chinese firm launch its network with thousands of terabytes of available space, he says. To date, Storj Labs has more than 40,000 users storing data on its network across 50,000 devices in 70 different countries. Genaro’s network is still in beta testing. Data loss Genaro will also be responsible for compliance within China, which includes handling the all-too-familiar issue of illegal content stored on the cloud, such as porn and pirated movies. Last year, a crackdown on banned content in China forced many cloud storage providers to shut down. In that sense, Storj Lab’s system may have an advantage. Stored files are encrypted, splintered into different pieces, and then distributed across the company’s network. Copies of file shards are also stored to help prevent data loss, which can happen if a farmer shuts down their hard drive. “In other words, no one hard drive will have an entire readable file that might be pointed to by regulators as illegal content which could get the node’s owner in trouble,” explains Jason Inch, chief strategy officer of Storj Labs. The company also can’t decrypt or know the contents of files on its network, as it doesn’t hold the encryption keys. If illegal content is discovered on Storj or Genaro’s network by the authorities, the company “will comply with any lawful requests regarding the illegal content owners,” says Quinn. After all, the Chinese government could simply shut down Genaro if illegal file storage got out of hand. That would take down Storj’s entire network in China. Founded in 2014, the US startup is one of the earlier players in the peer-to-peer cloud storage space. Other companies in the industry include blockchain startups MaidSafe and Sia. So far, the Atlanta-based company has raised a total of US$33 million, which includes a US$30 million token crowdsale or initial coin offering (ICO). To be sure, it’s still early days for Storj Labs and its Chinese counterpart – and decentralized cloud storage overall. On the topic of data loss, Quinn admits that his company has dropped files before. “I think running a large distributed network is complex,” he says. “Amazon loses files. Microsoft, Google, loses files. We have definitely also lost files.” But at scale, he defends, decentralized models will prevail.
  11. For years, many who want to capture the best Premier League action without shelling out on a full-blown satellite subscription have gambled on set top “pirate boxes,” that can get them access for a fraction of the cost. The devices, known officially as Illegal Streaming Devices (ISDs) have long courted controversy for sailing close to the border of legality, but according to Sky’s Matthew Hibbert, they can no longer be used to access the satellite TV company’s subscription services. However, nothing is ever quite as straightforward as it seems. Changing dynamics in the gambling and sports sector It could be that the digital landscape is evolving more rapidly than Mr Hibbert realises, particularly in the fields of watching and gambling on professional sporting events. Just as football fans and gamblers can now access a range of sports betting and Live Casino sites through laptops and mobile devices, there are also various platforms, devices and apps for watching live events. It seems disingenuous to think that Sky can stem the tide. A technological onslaught Mr Hibbert made his comments at an industry event in Studio City, Macau, the gambling capital of the world. A discussion on illegal streaming was led by Dr Ros Lynch of the Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), and highlighted just how much the world of TV streaming has changed over the past two years. Mr Lynch pointed out that when the UKIPO was first alerted to the phenomenon of ISDs in 2015, the organisation consulted with Premier League rightsholders to canvass opinion and was told that is was not considered a big problem. Given that the league had just signed a £5.14 billion rights deal at the time, these were words that were always likely to come back to haunt them, and this has proved to be the case. Mr Lynch described the rise of ISDs as an “onslaught of piracy that is shaking the market.” Site blocking Both the Premier League and Sky have fought back over recent months. The league obtained a ground breaking legal injunction in July that allows it to work with internet service providers including Sky, Virgin Media and BT, to block live streams in real time. This certainly makes it makes it far more difficult to watch live streams through illicit means, but Mr Hibbert’s comments that it has completely eliminated the practice seem overly optimistic. An independent review assessed the most popular streams and found that while the blocking measures have certainly affected some pirate services, around 50 percent were still operating steadily. Clearly, live football piracy is a long way from having been wiped out. Perhaps the biggest impact has been in the area of public broadcasts. Publicans are understandably reluctant to openly flout the law, and while in 2015, there were numerous pubs streaming live games through illicit means, the practice is almost non-existent today. For those who watch the football from the comfort of their own homes, or even from their smartphones, however, it is another matter, and it seems improbable that the pirate streams will be eliminated any time soon.
  12. Streaming sports competitions online, or watching them on TV subscription packages, can be costly. Thus sports fans who don’t have much cash sometimes turn to piracy for their fix. Recently, however, pirating sports online has become much tougher. The reason? Governments and law enforcement agencies are working harder to crack down on piracy on behalf of the entertainment industry. In Spain, the authorities recently arrested seven people for running several sports-related piracy websites. According to the police, a nationwide investigation has culminated in coordinated raids and arrests. The police hope to close down a sports piracy ring believed to have generated around €1.4 million to date. The arrests happened late last week, during raids in Madrid, Alicante, Albacete, Gandía, and Valencia. The seven arrested men had been running websites providing vastly cheaper access to streaming football matches. According to the police, the men coordinated a sophisticated piracy ring that provided football matches via streaming, direct download, subscription streaming, and peer-to-peer distribution. It is this unusually diverse range of platforms that allowed the website developers to make massive financial returns from their illegal activities. During their investigation, the Spanish authorities ascertained that the servers for the football piracy ring were located not only in Spain, but also in France, Canada, and the US. That investigation has been ongoing since the middle of 2016, when the Spanish premier football league – La Liga – officially complained about piracy. At that time, representatives working for La Liga complained that they had discovered around 13 websites offering illegal access to Spanish football matches, and other international competitions. Massive Operation The Spanish authorities have gone on the record to say that the operation was extremely professionally and successfully managed. According to sources close to the investigation, website developers were primarily profiting from advertising that appeared on the pages providing pirated football. The police have also revealed that the site’s operators had attempted to make the operation harder to shut down by using scattered servers and intermediary companies, as well as “server location anonymization services.” The authorities have frozen numerous bank accounts believed to have been linked to the operation. In addition, law enforcement claims that raids on eight houses have generated a huge amount of evidence. The police say the investigation is still ongoing and could result in further website shutdowns and arrests. For people who like watching football for free, the website shutdowns are likely to cause a sudden hole in their entertainment schedule. Sadly for pirated sports aficionados, website closures haven’t been confined to just Spain, either. International Crackdown In the UK, the government passed legislation this year that forces Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to close down pirated streams of Premier League matches as soon as they discover them. This means that even last minute streams of matches are closed down as soon as they are discovered in real time. This is making it much harder for British football fans to avoid paying large sums of money to watch football. According to Sky’s head of litigation, it is working. At an industry convention in Macau this week, Matthew Hibbert announced that it had become impossible to stream free football in the UK thanks to those new site-blocking laws. Speaking at the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) Conference 2017, Hibbert told the audience that pirated streaming of football matches had been just about eradicated within the UK. Exaggerated Claims If one was to take Hibbert at his word, one would presume that the Premiership is managing to use the new laws to completely blackout pirated football in the UK. However, the reality is that people are still using set-top boxes, such as Kodi boxes, to stream free football. In addition, many websites remain available – streaming sites in China, for example – that do show Premiership matches for free. In fact, according to sources that have been monitoring the availability of pirated football streams in the UK, about half of the dozen popular sites that provide streams have still been up and running on match days. Interruptions to football are usually only intermittent. Despite these findings, 2017 has seen a much more coordinated effort from government authorities – within various regions – to crack down on sports piracy. The news coming out of the CASBAA conference is that citizens can expect similar piracy blocking executions to become more effective as time passes. In the UK, a coordinated effort has seen a successful clampdown on illegal football broadcasting in pubs. In addition, many Illegal streaming device (ISD) vendors have been successfully prosecuted for selling devices. For people who want to watch football or other sports online cheaply, it may be simpler to use a VPN to access a market where an official football package can be purchased for less. BeIN Sports, for example, offers massive amounts of sports (including football) to the Middle Eastern market at highly affordable prices.
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  14. If you encounter the following prompt when logging in: One more step Please complete the security check to access hdhome.org This is prompted by the site CDN service providers Probably they think your IP is threatening or otherwise, you need to enter the Google verification code to complete the login, Google has been shielded, so the verification code can not be displayed. The easiest way is to change the IP, restart the cat can be solved, if it is fixed IP, contact your network provider to change IP.
  15. Remembering What.CD We would be remiss if we let today go by without taking a moment to acknowledge the loss of What.CD exactly one year ago. What.CD picked up the torch originally lit by Oink and carried it forward bravely for nine great years. Along the way, the staff and members of What.CD curated an incredible library of music, developed Gazelle and Ocelot, and created the community from which Redacted was built. To those of you who have made Redacted your new home for the last year*, we the staff are grateful and promise to do our best to carry the fire. Feel free to share your memories, reflect, and Move Along in this thread. * Does that mean a birthday party is in order?