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Found 17 results

  1. On June 16th 2015, Parliament will vote on how EU copyright reform will develop. On the table are all the sensible proposals: legalize file-sharing, promote peer-to-peer, enable technologies to be transparent and understandable. But all the non-sensible proposals are there as well: stricter laws, punish the people! If the people wont be punished – punish their service providers until their service providers cages them in prohibitive technical standards and digital locks! The pro-copyright lobbies are the best organised in the world. Second only to the tobacco lobby. They gather up employees and contractors and tell them real people and real internet users are bad people who want to harm them. When I was in the Parliament, I was at one time visited by a young mother of two who wondered why I was trying to put her children without food or education on the streets. She was a script-writer for tax-payer-financed French-German TV station ARTE. Even if I understand that her wages don’t come from copyright licenses, even indirectly, and even if she appeared not to have thought of that, it was uncomfortable to be accused of harming someone else’s children. Had I not been 10 years younger than her, and convinced that there are ways for her to make money that don’t include destroying the internet or putting file-sharers out of their homes, I may have opted to change my political opinion because of her heartfelt accusation. Many individuals like her are currently visiting our legislators. Many politicians are presently being accused of harming children should they consider progressive copyright proposals. What these politicians aren’t hearing, are the stories of those people who get cease-and-desist letters, get sued, or put through criminal trials or get handed damages so large they can’t reasonably be paid off in a life-time by a single individual. They’re not hearing the stories of those who’ve built networks for millions of Europeans where, for want of better words, cultural affinity arises. File-sharing and peer-to-peer culture, like no other culture in modern times, has created a common cultural base in Europe. Although I hope that even without my idealistic formulation of these matters, you’re all convinced copyright at least somehow needs to change. Politics too often gets stuck in the realm of the possible. It is possible that a 35-year-old mother could have her income impacted by a legislative reform that in no way influences her employer. It is not possible, but real, that many individuals in the European Union every year are caused heavy, even impossible, costs due to file-sharing trials and cease-and-desist letters. It is not possible, but real, that copyright laws are increasingly forcing technology companies to innovate to the disadvantage of the freedom of the users. The European Parliament needs to be taken back down to reality, and away from the realm of possible dangers before June 16th. If you are presently in the European Union, or if you can reach out people in the European Union, in any way at all: this is the time to ask them to contact their representatives in the European Parliament. Tell the Members about yourselves, your lives, your children and the world in which you want to live. Give them a taste of the reality which exists away from the speculative possibilities of professional lobbies. Whenever we’re too tired or too scared to tell our politicians what is important, whoever has the resources will weave them stories of realms of possibilities instead. The future of copyright, and of all of the Internet, is too important to leave in the hands of such story-tellers. Go to copywrongs.eu and figure out the specific demands you want to place to your MEP, but remember – your biggest asset is that you’re real, and the lobby stories mostly aren’t. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Amelia Andersdotter represented the Swedish Pirate Party in the European Parliament between December 2011 and July 2014. She’s an expert on topics related to the Internet, intellectual property and IT-policy. https://torrentfreak.com/how-you-can-help-to-fix-eu-copyright-law-150606/
  2. The best way for Hollywood to defeat piracy is by making content available, legally. To further this effort dozens of video on demand services have been launched throughout the world. However, not all of these services are happy with how the major studios treat them, and today we hear why. The account below comes from an employee of a mid-sized video on demand (VOD) service in Europe. To avoid repercussions from the major studios the author prefers to remain anonymous. — Exploitation On Demand Every once in a while wrongdoings are reported by whistleblowers. Motives are often political and have worldwide consequences. Today, we’re addressing a much more down to earth topic. We don’t pretend for a second that we’re changing the world but instead we’re shining light on what we consider to be wrongful practices destroying an industry. Our case is business centered, yet the industry we’re denouncing has damaged its fair share of individual liberties and has violated countless numbers of ethical principles. We’re talking about the Major Movie Studios. For quite some time we’ve been working with “Major Studios†such as Warner Bros, Walt Disney, Universal, Sony, 20th Century Fox and Paramount. We would like to refer to it as collaboration, but unfortunately it’s really been a one way street thus far. Money transits and the final destination is the Majors’ pockets We’ve been operating a video on demand service (VOD) for quite some time now, trying to make the best out of it. Eventually we grew tired of being shaken down at every turn and now feel it’s time to share the limitations that come with a deal in the “legit distribution†system. This may not be breaking news to some of you, yet we feel it’s important for people to understand how operating within the constraints imposed by the Majors works. While observing the latest productions coming out from Hollywood studios (Fast & Furious 7, Avengers, Transformers 4, Dumb and Dumber 2, Taken 3) you may have noticed that this industry is not very risk savvy, to say the least. In fact it hates risk. In recent years the studios’ strategy has been to buy rights to bestselling or comic books, plus games and kids toys to feed the public with a new episode every year. Another risk minimizing strategy is to pre-sell cinema-distribution rights in certain territories to finance film making. By this mechanism a film is basically paid for before it gets made. This system works for cinema distribution and was exported for home entertainment, where it affects our business. For a video on demand (VOD) operator to distribute any given catalogue, it must pay “Minimum Guarantees (MG’s)†to the studio. This allows one to exploit the catalogue. Mind you, you don’t get to choose what you pay for. That would be too simple. Output deals are the norm and in essence they mean you need to take every licensed film as part of a single deal. If you want the latest blockbuster, you must also take the latest winner of the Golden Raspberry awards, and take our word for it, there are some pretty unworthy films in there. These Minimum Guarantees are quoted in millions of dollars per deal, and as a result VOD services like ourselves have to operate on very small profit margins. On top of MG’s, distributors must also agree to pay revenue shares. Should the sales top the Minimum Guarantee on a given year the rev share kicks in. Revenue shares are usually in the studio’s favor (between 70% and 50% depending on whether we’re speaking of recent releases or old ones). If a given platform manages to recoup its costs it must also share its future revenue with the Rights Holder, while providing the majority of the value chain involved in a streaming service: Storage, streaming costs, platform development, DRM licenses and geoblocking tools. In the meantime, studios provide a license that costs them virtually nothing and they take the lion’s share of the deal for it. And we haven’t even started on release windows yet. Windows? If you thought that paying a fortune for a film allowed you to exploit it forever, think again. Usually the window for a film is 90 days. You got that right: platforms have 90 days to pay for a Minimum Guarantee if they expect to turn a profit on a film. And keep in mind most of the profit just gets funneled back to the studios anyway with the revenue share clause. After that a title simply gets pulled off their catalogues to allow for Pay-TV and linear TV distribution. The title can come back in the catalogue after 12 to 18 months, given of course that it’s properly paid for. This may seem like a lot to process, and it is, yet it’s just the tip of the iceberg. We will probably write a follow-up to this article as these people are not acting as if they were selling entertainment; they’re behaving like they’re selling enriched uranium! Facilities that host servers on which films are kept have to be equipped as if they were a bank. If studio’s are looking to diversify they should consider giving Fort Knox consultancy services on security matters. More on that soon… We love films and originally started a VOD business hoping to provide a legit solution that would entertain millions. How will we ever be successful while we have to operate on such stiff policies? Well we won’t. It’s no wonder that streaming and P2P services are thriving: Majors’ constraints imposed on people who are trying to abide by their standards are just disabling anyone trying to be competitive enough and offer a comprehensive catalogue at a decent cost to the public. Until this framework changes no one will ever. With their own policies, the major movie studios are sawing at the branch on which they sit . They probably realize it to some extent. But they certainly don’t care enough to do something about it. Surely this is because piracy is not hurting them as much as they want us to believe. By cutting some slack to their partners they would have concrete tools to cut down piracy. They’re simply too comfortable to consider that as an option. https://torrentfreak.com/how-movie-studios-exploit-video-on-demand-services-150524/
  3. There are persistent rumors going around that some file-sharers are doing everything they can to fly under the radar but when ruining privacy is so much easier, why bother? For those who couldn't care less about online security and have a burning desire to turn their online lives into a public free for all, here's our essential guide. Every single day one can hear do-gooders banging on endlessly about staying private on the Internet. It’s all encryption this and Edward Snowden that. Ignore them. They’re lunatics involved in a joint Illuminati / Scientologist conspiracy. No, what Internet users need is a more care-free approach to online surveillance, one that allows them to relax into a zen-like state of blissful ignorance, free from the “Five Eyes†rantings of Kim Dotcom. And there are plenty of real people already following this advice. Real events reported here on TF (and investigated by us over the past few months) have shown us that while operating in the world of file-sharing (especially if that involves releasing content or running a tracker) it is absolutely vital to lay down an easily followed trail of information. Here are some golden rules for doing just that. Naming convention If at all possible, file-sharers should incorporate their real-life names into their online nickname. Dave Mark Robinson should become DaveR at a minimum, but for greater effect DaveMR should be used. As adding in a date of birth allows significant narrowing down of identities, DaveMR1982 would be a near perfect choice. This secret codename can then be used on any torrent site, but for best effect it should be used across multiple trackers at once so the user is more easily identified. But let’s not think too narrowly here. As an added bonus, Dave should also ensure that the same nickname is used on sites that have absolutely nothing to do with his file-sharing. EBay profiles and YouTube accounts are perfect candidates, with the latter carrying some personally identifying videos, if at all possible. That said, Dave would be selling himself short if he didn’t also use the same names on….. Social media If Dave doesn’t have an active Facebook account which is easily linked to his file-sharing accounts, he is really missing out. Twitter is particularly useful when choosing the naming convention highlighted above since nicknames can often be cross-referenced with real names on Facebook, especially given the effort made in the previous section. In addition to all the regular personal and family information readily input by people like Dave, file-sharing Facebook users really need to make sure they put up clear pictures of themselves and then ‘like’ content most closely related to the stuff they’re uploading. ‘Liking’ file-sharing related tools such as uTorrent is always recommended. File-sharing sites When DaveMR1982 signs up to (or even starts to run) a torrent site it’s really important that he uses an easy to remember password, ideally one used on several other sites. This could be a pet’s name, for example, but only if that pet gets a prominent mention on Facebook. Remember: make it easy for people, it saves so much time! Dave’s participation in site forums is a must too. Ideally he will speak a lot about where he lives and his close family, as with the right care these can be easily cross-referenced with the information he previously input into Facebook. Interests and hobbies are always great topics for public discussion as these can be matched against items for sale on eBay, complete with item locations for added ease. Also, Dave should never use a VPN if he wants his privacy shattered, with the no-log type a particular no-go. In the event he decides to use a seedbox he should pay for it himself using his own PayPal account, but only if that’s linked to his home address and personal bank account. Remember, bonus points for using the same nickname as earlier when signing up at the seedbox company! Make friends and then turn them into enemies Great friendships can be built on file-sharing sites but in order to maximize the risks of a major privacy invasion, personal information must be given freely to these almost complete strangers whenever possible. In an ideal world, trusting relationships should be fostered with online ‘friends’ and then allowed to deteriorate into chaos amid a petty squabble, something often referred to in the torrent scene as a “tracker dramaâ€. With any luck these people will discard friendships in an instant and spill the beans on a whim. Domain registration Under no circumstances should Dave register his domains with a protected WHOIS as although they can be circumvented, they do offer some level of protection. Instead (and to comply with necessary regulations) Dave should include his real home address and telephone number so he is easily identified. If for some crazy reason that isn’t possible and Dave is forced to WHOIS-protect his domain, having other non-filesharing sites on the same server as his file-sharing site is always good for laying down breadcrumbs for the anti-privacy police. If the domains of those other sites don’t have a protected WHOIS, so much the better. Remember, make sure the address matches the home location mentioned on Facebook and the items for sale on eBay! Conclusion As the above shows, with practice it’s easy to completely compromise one’s privacy, whether participating in the file-sharing space or elsewhere. In the above guide we’ve simply cited some genuine real-life techniques used by people reported in previous TF articles published during the last year, but if you have better ideas at ruining privacy online, please feel free to add them in the comments. Torrentfreak
  4. Hi there, Due to the site being invite only again, we have set up a forum topic for those that want a chance at some invites. Make sure you read the first post before you post in the topic, these rules apply to everyone.. The Forum post can be found here
  5. I have OVH with 500GB space, how about you guys?
  6. Last Thursday file-sharers flocked to an HD copy of the movie Taken 3 after it was uploaded to torrent sites. Several days earlier TF was informed it was coming and even shown where it would be obtained from. Let's take a dusty trip to the Middle East to find out more. Soon after its U.S. premiere on January 9, pirate copies of the new Liam Neeson movie Taken 3 began appearing online. While quality was decent for a ‘cam’ recording, it was nothing to get really excited about. As it happened that didn’t matter too much since most downloaders were already preoccupied with the recent flood of high quality Oscar screeners. Nevertheless, those who ventured into a cinema to record Taken 3 are likely to have exposed themselves to considerable risk. In many countries one can end up in jail for such activities, especially when recording is followed by uploading to the Internet. But just a week later new events meant that the Taken 3 pirates’ dance with danger would largely be forgotten. Last Thursday an HD copy of Taken 3 appeared on all major torrent sites but thanks to an earlier tipoff, that came as no surprise to us. Several days earlier a source already told TF that a “pristine†copy of Taken 3 would become available on January 22. So how did he know? The answer lies thousands of miles away in the Middle East. OSN is a pay TV network with its headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The network offers international entertainment content such as movies, TV shows and sporting events. Perhaps surprisingly to readers in the West, it also provides access to movies still running in U.S. theaters. As can be seen from the image of an OSN TV screen below, Taken 3 was due to air on the PPV network on January 22. TF was assured that a copy would quickly by pirated using OSN as several other popular movies had also been ‘capped’ from the same source in recent times. Sure enough, the first copies to appear online last Thursday all appeared with tell-tale Arabic subtitles or a suspiciously narrow image window where they’d been cropped out. While it’s not easy to say whether all ‘subbed’ copies now online originate from the first original ‘capping’ of Taken 3, we know that the first ‘big’ copy on Western sites (uploaded by a group called CPG) was not the first overall. Those honors fell to a group called “weleef†who uploaded this “exclusive†to Arabic forum ArabScene shortly after the first showings on OSN. Of course, thanks to this source people from all around the globe were able to watch a good copy of the movie, despite it still playing in cinemas in the United States and elsewhere. Sadly, even those wanting to pay for the movie in the U.S. will have to wait until April 2015 for a VOD release. Why Hollywood treats citizens in the Middle East and Asia better than its home audience is anyone’s guess, but if defeating piracy is the goal the practice might be backfiring. Our source says that a Chinese VOD site already has 50 Shades of Grey listed for an end of February release, two weeks after its Valentine’s Day premiere in the U.S. Only a month to find out if that leaks too. Update: A new and non-subtitled copy of Taken 3 is now flourishing online. The source? An OSN set-top box… http://torrentfreak.com/how-cunning-vod-pirates-plundered-taken-3-150128/
  7. Share here how big is your movie collection. Normally i like to keep in store my favourite movies but as space is of constraint i delete many movies... right now i have approx 900gb in movies. hindi & english..
  8. Here's how you invite friends to your "virtual couch." Sony has released a short video tutorial for Share Play, a new feature that allows you to share yourPlayStation 4 games with friends who don't own them. As you can see in the video, Share Play is accessed through the PS4's party menu. If you're the host, you'll see a new option for Share Play in the party menu, where you can select "Give Controller to Visitor." This will give the guest control of the game for up to an hour. The host will need to be a PlayStation Plus member to use this feature, but not the guest. If the guest is a PlayStation Plus member as well, you can use the Share Play feature to play a multiplayer game together without the guest having to own or download the game. Share Play, a feature Sony introduced at its Gamescom press conference as a "virtual couch" experience, is being added to PS4s this Tuesday in the v2.00 firmware update dubbed "Masamune." The update also adds YouTube sharing, themes, and a USB music player that effectively enables custom soundtracks. You can find out more about what's included in the "Masamune" update right here. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  9. Changing Skype accounts soon? Grab a copy of your contact list information from your current account before you switch. Whether a swarm of spammers is attacking your Skype, or you just decide that you're tired of your current username, you may want to export your contact list and move it to another account. Ghacks.net recently shared a post about an application that can show you all contact information in an organized window, but this example will use Skype's default tools. Skipping on the third-party application means the data will be a bit messier to look at, but you can still get the job done with relatively little effort. Here's how to export your Skype contact list: Step 1: Click the Contact menu in your Skype window and select Advanced > Back up Contacts to file. Step 2: When the window appears for saving the file, you can either keep the *.vcf file extension if you're going to import to another Skype account, or you can change the extension to *.txt. Note: You can also assign *.vcfs to open with Notepad, too. You should see all of your contacts, their usernames, and any other information they have made available on their Skype profile. Additionally, all accounts you've blocked in the past will also be included in the file. (Optional) Step 3: Delete any entries in the file you do not want to import to your new account. Then head to the Contacts menu > Advanced > Restore contacts from file. Contacts will be sent a request for you to add them to your new list. If you don't hear back from them, you can right-click their username in the list and resend the invitation, along with a personalized message. http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-export-your-skype-contacts/
  10. Demo coming on Tuesday won't be freely available on the 3DS eShop. The playable demo of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire arrives Tuesday, October 21, but it will--for whatever reason--not be freely available on the 3DS eShop. To download it, you'll need to first obtain a code to download this "Special Demo Version" of the game through one of several ways. Some of these methods guarantee you a code (provided supplies last), like buying certain games on the eShop, while others are pretty much banking on luck. Curiously for a demo of a pair of games that launch in November, some of these options won't present themselves until November (or December, in one case). Courtesy of Nintendo's website, here are your six ways of securing a code: Codes will be distributed at select cinema locations nationwide from Nov. 7-Nov. 13 (while supplies last). Check with your local retailer during the holidays to find out about special demo code giveaways (while supplies last). Get a code with your purchase of the new Pokemon Art Academy game (out Oct. 24) when you buy from Nintendo eShop on your Nintendo 3DS or 2DS system. You'll also get a code with your purchase of one of two classic Pokemon games coming to the Virtual Console service on Nintendo eShop: the Pokemon Puzzle Challenge game (out Nov. 6) or the Pokemon Trading Card Game (out Nov. 13). You'll find your free demo code on your eShop receipt (download codes available while supplies last). Codes will be emailed the week of Oct. 31 to select Nintendo customers with Nintendo Network IDs who have signed up to receive promotional emails from Nintendo. Codes will also be distributed during the holiday mall tour from Nov. 24-Dec. 21 at 16 different locations throughout the nation. Talk to a staff member to try out Pokemon Omega Ruby, Pokemon Alpha Sapphire or any of the featured Nintendo 3DS games to receive two codes—one for you, and one for a friend (while supplies last). Unfortunately, there weren't any specifics offered regarding which movie theaters or retailers would offer the demo codes. The company said it would announce locations for the mall tour "soon." We do know that demo players will get access to "exclusive scenarios in the Hoenn region," the setting forPokemon Ruby/Sapphire and their respective remakes. Certain progress can be transferred from the demo version to the full games, launching November 21. This includes certain items and a Mega-Evolved version of a "familiar" Pokemon. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  11. This week HarperCollins and anti-piracy company Digimarc announced the debut of a new ebook watermarking system to enable the identification of leak points in the company's supply chain. TorrentFreak caught up with the publisher to learn about its new anti-piracy solution and its overall anti-piracy strategy. harperOne of the key elements leading to ease of piracy is file-size. Since music files are relatively small, unauthorized content can be distributed and accessed using a wide array of methods, from torrents and direct storage sites through instant messaging and humble email. If music files are small, ebooks definitely share the same kind of characteristics. As a result, ebooks are widely pirated and made available on thousands of sites and services in a wide range of convenient formats. By attacking the problem from a number of different directions, this is something publisher HarperCollins is trying to do something about. As part of its latest drive, this week the company announced a collaboration with LibreDigital, a leading provider of distribution and fulfillment services for ebook retailers. Together they adopted a new watermarking solution from anti-piracy company Digimarc. Called Guardian Watermarking for Publishing, the system embeds all but invisible markers into ebooks. Then, Digimarc trawls the web looking for leaked content containing the watermarks. Once found, the anti-piracy company reports the unique identifiers back to Harpercollins who can match them against their own transaction records. This enables the company to identify the source of that material from wherever it occurred in the company’s supply chain. Speaking with TorrentFreak, HarperCollins said that tracking these pre-consumer leaks provides intelligence to prevent them happening again. “We have had leaks in the past in the final stages of our supply chain – via isolated instances of early releases by retailers. We therefore intend to be able to track these potential leaks in the future – especially now that our digital supply chain extends to many partners in many markets,†a spokesperson said. “[The system] empowers us to go back to the source of the problem (ie identify the source) and find solutions to prevent this from happening in the future.†Of course, pirates are known to attack watermarks by utilizing various methods including transcoding of files. Speaking with TF, Digimarc say their system is up to the challenge. “The embedded identifiers are designed to survive conversion and manipulation,†a spokesperson said. Interestingly, HarperCollins are going out of their way to ensure consumers that these watermarks won’t affect their privacy. “This solution does not facilitate tracing back to the individual purchaser, only to the sales channel through which it was purchased,†a spokesperson explained. “And Digimarc itself stores absolutely no personally identifiable information or purchase information in the implementation of the watermark.†That’s not to say that consumer leaks aren’t part of the problem though, they are, but HarperCollins says it employs separate strategies for pre and post-consumer piracy. “Both [types of piracy] merit being addressed and we have different solutions for each. For the supply chain we will watermark; for the end consumer the retailers are applying DRM and we are employing Digimarc to issue takedowns and ensure site compliance – to protect our authors’ content,†the company said. Like many content companies, HarperCollins regularly sends takedown notices to many websites but those it sends to Google are the most visible. To date the company has sent more than 250,000 to the world’s leading search engine, but what effect has that had on availability? “The aim of our participation in Google’s copyright removal program is to reduce the visibility and availability of infringing content. The desired effect is clearing illegal download links from its SERP. We believe this to be an effective way to discourage piracy,†the company told TF. We asked HarperCollins how it would rate Google in terms of anti-piracy cooperation, but the publisher declined to comment. The company also wouldn’t be drawn on how many notices it sends to other search engines and ‘pirate’ sites. “We do not comment on the amount of notices – but we do want to assure authors that their entire catalog is covered by our work with Digimarc,†they said. As eBooks continue to gain traction, publishers like HarperCollins will be keen not fall into the same traps as the music industry. It could be argued that actioned properly, takedowns are the most consumer friendly option. And watermarking shouldn’t become too unpopular, as long as it doesn’t extend to identifying the public. DRM, however, is rarely appreciated by the paying public.
  12. Want to try out the latest features on your Chromebook before the rest of the world? Of course you do! Google is known for offering up products to the masses under the "beta" label. For years Gmail was a beta product (it might still be for all we know), and the likes of Google Glass is currently in beta. With Chrome OS, however, Google allows users to make the choice of whether or not to run a beta version of the operating system. There are three different channels, as Google calls them, which a Chrome OS user can opt into, each following a different update schedule and offering different features. The Stable channel is the default for Chrome OS, and the most reliable. It's updated every few weeks with bug fixes, and every six weeks or so with feature updates and changes. Next, the Beta channel is for those who like to work with the latest features even though minor issues are likely. It's updated every six weeks, but receives new features a full month before the Stable channel. Lastly, the Dev channel is where new features, but also more bugs, can be found; it's updated once or twice per week. Changing from the Stable channel to either the Beta or Dev channel is a painless process, with the majority of your invested time spent waiting for the update to download. From the home screen on your Chromebook (or any Chrome OS device), click on your profile icon in the shelf followed by "Settings" in the menu. Along the left side click on the "About" link. Alternately, you can click on the menu button in an open browser window, followed by Settings then About (or Help). Once there, you'll find details relating to the current channel your Chromebook is using. Click on "More info..." followed by the button labeled "Change Channel." The most difficult part is deciding which channel you want to move to. A word of advice: Moving to less stable channels (that is, from Stable to Beta, or Beta to Dev) is possible without losing any information stored on your device. However, going from Dev to Beta (or to Stable) will require you to completely wipe your Chrome OS device. I recommend starting with Beta, then going down to Dev later if you're feeling more adventurous. After selecting a channel, Chrome will download the update and post a notification when it's done. A simple restart is all that's required to finish the process. For more information about Google's Chrome OS Beta and Dev channels, read through this support page. Or for more Chromebook how-to content, be sure to check out this page dedicated to all things Chrome OS. http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-test-out-the-latest-chrome-os-features/
  13. A quick Terminal command can turn off App Nap, letting all of your apps run at their full capacity when hidden from view. We've covered how to disable App Nap on an app-by-app basis should you find the OS X Mavericksfeature interfering with some desired features or performance of a background app. If you are on aMac desktop, however, and don't care about the battery life gains that App Nap delivers, then you can disable the feature across your entire Mac. To do so, fire up Terminal and enter this command and hit Enter: defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAppSleepDisabled -bool YES Any apps that are running need to be restarted for the change to take effect, or you can simply restart your system to disable App Nap for all of your applications. You can use Activity Monitor to check to see if any of your apps hidden from view are using App Nap. Open Activity Monitor, click on the Energy tab and take a look at the App Nap column. To reverse this change and bring back App Nap, use this Terminal command: defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAppSleepDisabled -bool NO http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-disable-app-nap-system-wide-on-os-x-mavericks/
  14. Kim Dotcom is pulling out all the stops in his fight against the U.S. government and his adversaries in Hollywood. On the table now sits a $5 million bounty for anyone prepared to reveal behind-the-scenes wrongdoing and corruption. Dotcom told TorrentFreak how it will work. dotcom-laptopWhichever way you look at it, Kim Dotcom has a series of huge battles in front of him. Up soon is his fight to avoid extradition to the United States where he is wanted in the biggest copyright infringement case ever. Running in parallel to that criminal case are a pair of civil actions brought by the MPAA and RIAA, with both entities currently attempting to put a lock on his currently frozen assets, should the entrepreneur get his hands on them again. As those battles continue in the background, Dotcom is preparing his next steps, and he’s calling on supporters to help him. On the table today sits a cool $5 million bounty payable to anyone who provides substantial information that will allow the Megaupload founder to win his case. It’s a large amount by any standards but of course Dotcom rarely does anything in half measures. So what exactly is Dotcom looking for and how will the project play out? “Let me be clear, we are asking for information that proves unlawful or corrupt conduct by the US government, the New Zealand government, spy agencies, law enforcement and Hollywood,†Dotcom told TorrentFreak. “It is the opinion of my legal team that disclosure of such information would be lawful. I would also guarantee that any whistleblower coming forward would have the best legal representation at zero cost.†Dotcom goes on to reiterate a long-standing claim, that the action against him and Megaupload was a “corrupt contract prosecution†carried out by the White House in order to get Hollywood’s support for Obama’s re-election campaign. He’s interested in evidence that supports that assertion. “Former Senator and now MPAA chairman Chris Dodd and Vice President Joe Biden in particular have abused their political power to make the pre-trial destruction of Megaupload possible,†he explains. “Joe Biden’s personal counsel (while Biden was still a Senator) Neil MacBride was promoted to a top position at the DOJ and oversaw the Megaupload destruction. We have already exposed a whole range of unlawful government conduct in the Megaupload case, backed by court rulings.†So presuming people have information, what should they do with it? Dotcom suggests going to a well-known newspaper with a proven track-record in handling leaks. “I have been in touch with the Guardian editor and he has kindly retweeted my offer and told me that he hopes that someone will reply to that offer,†Dotcom says. Dotcom notes that potential leakers can utilize the new whistleblower tool released by The Guardian this week. But for those who really need to cover their backs, more drastic additional steps could be taken. “In order to be completely safe I would advise any Whistleblower not to use this tool from home or work. Go to an Internet cafe with a memory stick. Don’t use your own computer or phone. You can also buy a cheap laptop or netbook just for the purpose of leaking and destroy it after you’re done.†The big attraction of course is the $5 million Dotcom has put on the table. What assurances can Dotcom provide concerning the cash? “I’m currently in talks with my legal team about how to formalize the bounty. We will probably setup a trust account to deposit the bounty and provide terms and conditions for anyone who will provide information. I will not just offer a bounty for the piece of ‘case winning’ information but for anything useful,†he explains. “We know that there are people out there with information. I’m willing to pay for that information. I’m determined to fight a grave injustice that has been done to a legitimate cloud storage business, its 220 employees and over 100 million users. This struggle has just begun and it will take time. But in the end we shall be victorious and we shall expose those who have abused their power,†he concludes. There’s little doubt that $5 million is potentially a life-changing sum for the right person.. Will someone step forward into that new life? Time will tell. http://torrentfreak.com/how-kim-dotcoms-5m-whistleblower-bounty-will-work-140607/
  15. SEXPAND BitTorrent isn't the quiet haven it once was. These days, everyone's looking to throttle your connection, spy on what you're downloading, or even send you an ominous letter. If you use BitTorrent, you absolutely need to take precautions to hide your identity. Here's how to do that with a simple proxy.P This post originally detailed the setup of a proxy called BTGuard. Since its original publication in 2011, we've changed our recommendation to Private Internet Access due to BTGuard's slow speeds, bad customer service, and other difficulties. If you're still interested in using BTGuard, you can find instructions on their web site.P You have a few different options when it comes to hiding your BitTorrent activity, but we've found that a proxy is the most convenient and easiest to set up, so that's what we're going to cover here. We've talked about proxies a few times before, most notably with our original guide on how to set up BTGuard our guide to safe torrenting post-Demonoid. Unfortunately, BTGuard has never been a great service—it was just the most convenient. Thankfully, Private Internet Access—one of our favorite VPN providers—now provides a proxy very similar to BTGuard, but with faster speeds and better customer service. So we recommend using it instead, using the instructions below. If you don't want to use a proxy, check out the end of the article for a few alternative suggestions.P 4 How Do I Torrent Safely Now That Demonoid Is Down? Dear Lifehacker, My favorite private BitTorrent tracker, Demonoid, has apparently gone down for…Read more How a BitTorrent Proxy WorksP SEXPAND When you download or seed a torrent, you're connecting to a bunch of other people, called a swarm. All of those people can see your computer's IP address—they have to in order to connect. That's all very handy when you're sharing files with other netizens, but file sharers such as yourself aren't necessarily the only people paying attention. Piracy monitoring groups (often paid for by the entertainment industry either before or after they find violators) also join BitTorrent swarms, but instead of sharing files, they're logging the IP addresses of other people in the swarm—including you—so that they can notify your ISP of your doings.P A proxy (like Private Internet Access) funnels traffic—in this case, just your BitTorrent traffic—through another server, so that the BitTorrent swarm will show an IP address from them instead of you. In this case, Private Internet Access' proxy server is in the Netherlands. That way, those anti-piracy groups can't contact your ISP, and your ISP has no cause to send you a harrowing letter.P But wait, can't the piracy groups then go to the anonymizer service and requisition their logs to figure out what you're downloading? Theoretically, yes, but if you're using a truly good anonymizer, they don't keep logs, so there's no paper trail of activity leading back to you. All the piracy monitors see is a proxy service sharing a file, and all your ISP sees is you connecting to a proxy service. If you encrypt your BitTorrent traffic (which we recommend), your ISP won't even be able to see that you're using BitTorrent.P How to Boost Your BitTorrent Speed and Privacy BitTorrent's been around for a whopping ten years, but it continues to evolve and remains one…Read more Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, there are a few downsides. Most notably:P Anonymity isn't free. Well, at least the ones worth using aren't. Private Internet Access costs $6.95 a month or $39.95 a year. That isn't very expensive, though, and it's well worth it for the privacy you get.P You'll get slower download speeds. Running your connection through another server inevitably slows you down, though how much depends on what torrent you're downloading, who from, and a lot of other factors. In my experience, more popular torrents stayed at their top speed of 3.4 MB/s (my bandwidth cap) with a proxy, while other less popular torrents slowed down from 1 MB/s to about 500-600 kB/s. Your mileage may vary. I lost significantly less speed with Private Internet Access than I did with BTGuard, though.P Not every BitTorrent client supports proxies. uTorrent for Windows works great, but Mac and Linux favorite Transmission sadly does not support proxies. You'll have to use something like Vuze or Deluge instead (or try one of the alternatives listed at the end of this article).P Nothing is foolproof. Using a proxy may bring you increased anonymity, but nothing is guaranteed unless you avoid BitTorrent entirely.P Ready to get started? Here's what you need to do.P How to Set Up the Private Internet Access ProxyP Setting up a proxy is actually very simple, and just involves signing up for a service and checking a few boxes in your BitTorrent client. We'll be using Private Internet Access and uTorrent for Windows for this guide, but you can tweak things to fit your own setup pretty easily.P Step One: Sign Up for Private Internet AccessP Private Internet Access is primarily a VPN provider. We'll talk a bit more about VPNs later in this post, but what we really want is the SOCKS5 proxy that comes with their VPN service. So, head to Private Internet Access' web site and sign up for their VPN service. We recommend starting out with a monthly plan to see if you like it before buying a whole year's subscription.P Once you've signed up, Private Internet Access will email you your username and password. Log into the system with those credentials, and change your password from the client control panel.P Step Two: Generate a Proxy PasswordP Your account credentials are only to manage your account—we'll need a new set of credentials for the Proxy service. In the client control panel, click the "Generate Password" button under "PPTP/L2TP/SOCKS Password." This is what we'll be using to configure our BitTorrent client. Write down the username and password that appears here (it's different than your regular account credentials) and move on to step two.P Step Three: Configure Your BitTorrent ClientP SEXPAND Next, open up uTorrent and head to Options > Preferences > Connection. Under Proxy Server, choose Socks5 under "Type" and enter the following information:P Proxy Type: Socks5P Proxy Host: proxy-nl.privateinternetaccess.comP Proxy Port: 1080P Username: Your Private Internet Access Proxy username (from step two)P Password: Your Private Internet Access Proxy password (from step two)P Check all of the other boxes under "Proxy" and "Proxy Privacy." Your Connection preferences should look exactly like the image above.P Step Four: See If It's WorkingP SEXPAND To ensure that it's working, head over to CheckMyTorrentIP.com. This site can tell you what your IP address is, and compare it to the IP address of your torrent client, which will let you know whether your proxy is working correctly. To test it, hit the "Generate Torrent" button, and open the resulting torrent in uTorrent. Then, go back to your browser and hit the Refresh button under the "Check IP" tab. If it's the same as your browser IP—which you'll see next to the Refresh button—then your proxy isn't working, and you'll want to double-check all of the above settings. If it shows a different IP address (which should be in the Netherlands), then Private Internet Access is successfully tunneling all your traffic for you.P Other Ways to Anonymize Your BitTorrent TrafficP A proxy like Private Internet Access is the most convenient way to anonymize your traffic, but it isn't the only way. If you want to try something else, here are a few other tricks we recommend.P Use a VPNP A virtual private network (or VPN) is very similar to a proxy, but instead of rerouting just your BitTorrent traffic, it reroutes all your internet traffic. For some people, that's a good thing—it gives you privacy all over the web. However, it can also be inconvenient, navigating you to different web pages for that VPN's country or causing issues with streaming services. If you have a NAS, you can set up your VPN on it to route only your NAS traffic, which is aperfect option for downloading anonymously. VPNs are about the same price as most proxies, and I personally have found that I get better speeds with most VPNs than I do with a proxy.P 4 Why You Should Start Using a VPN (and How to Choose the Best One for Your Needs) You may know what a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is; you probably don't use one. You…Read more So which VPN should you use? Check out TorrentFreak's list of the best VPNs for BitTorrent, as well as our Hive Five on the subject to find a provider that works for you.P 4 Which VPN Providers Really Protect Your File Sharing Activities? In light of all the peer-to-peer file sharing lawsuits that have been thrown around lately, you…Read more Rent a SeedboxP Unlike proxies and VPNs, seedboxes don't route your BitTorrent traffic through another country. Instead, you actually rent a dedicated server that resides in that country, and do all your torrenting through that machine. They usually have insanely fast speeds, and if you're on a private tracker, they'll seed 24/7, giving you a great ratio. Once you download a torrent on your seedbox, you can just connect to it via FTP and download the file as fast as your home connection allows. Note that seedboxes also require a bit of extra setup, and some may require a little command line work to get running.P What's a Private BitTorrent Tracker, and Why Should I Use One? Dear Lifehacker, I've heard people murmur about "private" BitTorrent trackers and…Read more Seedboxes are more expensive than proxies and VPNs, ranging from entry-level boxes at $10 or $20 a month to fast boxes with more storage at $50 or even $100 a month. But, it offers a lot of advantages over proxies and VPNs—if you have the money to spare and want super fast speeds and a good ratio, we highly recommend getting a seedbox. Providers like Whatbox,Feral, and Bytesized come highly recommended, but a bit of searching can provide you with a ton of options. Shop around and see which one's best for you.P Ditch BitTorrent AltogetherP Your last alternative is to try a new file sharing service entirely, like Usenet. It offers encrypted connections and doesn't connect to peers, so others can't track what you're doing. It doesn't always have the selection that BitTorrent has (depending on what you're downloading), but it offers a ton of other advantages, most notably higher speeds and better privacy. Check out our guide to getting started with Usenet to see if it's right for you.
  16. This Is How The UK Piracy Warnings Will Work Last week news broke that UK ISPs are teaming up with copyright holders to notify Internet subscribers caught sharing pirated material. The plan has been widely covered in the media, but unfortunately fact and fiction are often intertwined. So how scary are these piracy warnings really? Let's find out. In an effort to curb online piracy, the movie and music industries have reached an agreement with the UK’s leading ISPs to send warnings to alleged copyright infringers. Thus far details on the proposed system have been scarce, leading to the wildest assumptions and in some cases a core misunderstanding of how the process will work. Earlier this week, for example, the CEO of a smaller UK Internet provider said that he will refuse to join the program as ISPs shouldn’t be compelled to monitor everything their customers do. Others fear that they may receive a warning for downloading an MP3 from a file-hosting site, or for streaming a copyrighted YouTube video. All of the above have nothing to do with the proposed measures. To clear up some of the confusion TorrentFreak spoke to a source closely involved in the Vcap system. We were informed that Vcap will be part of a larger campaign to inform the public about copyright issues. For this reason, the warnings, or alerts rather, will focus on educating people about how they can access content legally, much like the scheme currently operating in the U.S. The four ISPs who are confirmed to be involved in Vcap are BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media, but other providers could join in at a later stage. Below we have summarized how the Vcap program is expected to work, including several new details. What will be monitored? According to information obtained by TorrentFreak the Vcap system will only apply to P2P file-sharing. In theory this means that the focus will be almost exclusively on BitTorrent, as other P2P networks have relatively low user bases. Consequently, those who use Usenet providers or file-hosting services such as 4Shared, RapidShare and Hotfile are not at risk. The same is true for those who use streaming sites. In other words, the Vcap program only covers part of all online piracy. Will all P2P file-sharers receive a warning? TorrentFreak has learned that not all P2P file-sharers will receive a warning. The system will focus on people whose Internet accounts have been used to share copyrighted material more than once. This is different from the U.S. model where people get an alert after the first offense. The focus on repeat infringers is a logical choice since there are millions of file-sharers in the UK and the copyright holders and ISPs have agreed to cap the warnings at 2.5 million over three years. Who will be monitoring these copyright infringements? While ISPs take part in the scheme, they will not monitor subscribers’ file-sharing activities. The tracking will be done by a third party company. The most likely candidate is MarkMonitor (Dtecnet) who are also the technology partner for the U.S. Copyright Alert System. This tracking company collects IP-addresses from BitTorrent swarms and sends its findings directly to the Internet providers. The lists with infringing IP-addresses are not shared with the record labels, movie studios or other third parties. Each ISP will keep a database of the alleged infringers and send them appropriate warnings. If the ISPs get approval from the Information Commissioner’s Office, recorded infringements will be stored for a year after which they will be deleted. Will any Internet accounts be disconnected? There are no disconnections or mitigation measures for repeat infringers under the Vcap program. Alleged file-sharers will get up to four warnings and all subsequent offenses will be ignored. The source we spoke with clarified that it’s not the intention of Vcap to stop the most hardcore file-sharers. The program is mostly focused on educating casual infringers about the legal alternatives to piracy. Can the monitoring be circumvented? The answer to the previous questions already shows that users have plenty of options to bypass the program. They can simply switch to other means of downloading, but there are more alternatives. BitTorrent users could hide their IP-addresses through proxy services and VPNs for example. After the U.S. Copyright Alert Program launched last year there was a huge increase in demand for these kind of anonymity services. So how scary is the Vcap anti-piracy plan? While we can’t say anything too conclusive, it appears that the main purpose is to inform casual infringers about their inappropriate behavior. The focus lies on education, although the warnings also serve as a deterrent by pointing out that people are not anonymous. For some this may be enough to switch to legal alternatives. All in all the proposed measures are fairly reasonable, especially compared to other countries where fines and internet connections are on the table. Whether it will be successful is an entirely different question of course, and one which will only be answered when the first results come in. Finally, it’s worth noting that if Vcap fails it’s not automatically a win for the pirates. A few months ago the Government promised to “bring the Digital Economy Act into force as soon as practicable,†which will result in more stringent anti-piracy measures.
  17. his week it was revealed that following a request from a Swedish anti-piracy group, police action was taken against a torrent site hosted on Canadian soil. The general understanding is that torrent sites are currently legal in Canada, so how does a situation like this come to pass? Earlier this week tips coming into TorrentFreak suggested that a relatively small torrent site known as Sparvar had come under the scrutiny of the police. Sure enough, the site subsequently went offline. Problems had been building for more than two years. Swedish anti-piracy group Rights Alliance (Antipiratbyran) had built up an interest in Sparvar, a site directed at a largely Swedish audience. In early 2012 following action against a private site known as Swepiracy, Rights Alliance warned that Sparvar was on their list of targets. Until this week, however, Sparvar had been hosted in Canada with Montreal-based Netelligent Hosting Services. For some time it had been presumed that hosting a torrent site is Canada is legal, a notion that was recently backed up by Netelligent president Mohamed Salamé. “[As] long as there are no violations of our [acceptable use policy], we take no actions against torrent sites which are still legal in Canada,†Salamé told TF. Nevertheless, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) still took action against Sparvar. How did this come to pass? A source familiar with the case who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity told TorrentFreak that Netelligent was served with a data preservation order by the RCMP who were working together with authorities in Sweden. In the first instance Netelligent were gagged from informing their client about the investigation, presumably so that no data could be tampered with. Netelligent was then sent a hard drive by the RCMP for the purposes of making a copy of the Sparvar server. This was to be handed over to their authorities. We’re led to believe that Netelligent put up a fight to protect their customer’s privacy but in the end they were left with no choice but to comply with the orders. And here’s why. MLAT, or Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty agreements, enable countries to gather, share and exchange information in order to enforce the law. Since 2001, Canada has had an MLAT with Sweden and since there was a criminal investigation underway in Sweden against Sparvar, Canada and Netelligent were legally obligated to provide assistance in the case. So what does this mean for other sites hosted in Canada? Well, according to our source anyone running a site should be aware of the countries that Canada has MLAT agreements with, just in case another country decides to launch a case. Those countries can be found here but they include everyone from the United States to Australia, from China to Russia, and many countries across Europe including the UK, Netherlands, Spain, Poland, France and Italy. Finally, our source informs us that while cooperation in criminal cases has obviously been requested before, to the extent of his knowledge this is the first time that a torrent site has been a target. Source : Torrentfreak