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  1. Popular CDN service CloudFlare has denied allegations from the RIAA that accuse the company of aiding and abetting piracy. Warning against a SOPA-like precedent, the company has asked the court not to include CloudFlare in the restraining order which aims to stop a reincarnation of music service Grooveshark. After Grooveshark shut down earlier this month it was quickly replaced by a “new†Grooveshark, much to the annoyance of the major record labels. Headed by the RIAA, the operators of the new site were quickly taken to court. The group filed a sealed application for a temporary restraining order (TRO) targeting the site’s domain name and hosting services. The court granted the RIAA’s request earlier this month, allowing the music group to demand that hosting companies and registrars stop offering their services to the ‘rogue’ site. Namecheap swiftly complied and seized the initial domain name. However, popular CDN service CloudFlare refused to take any action, claiming that the TRO doesn’t apply to them. The new Grooveshark, meanwhile, moved to another domain and is still using CloudFlare’s services. Hoping to compel CloudFlare to comply with the order, the RIAA asked the court to expand it by specifying that the CDN service has to take action. According to the RIAA, CloudFlare is “aiding and abetting†piracy. However, in an opposition brief CloudFlare clearly disagrees. With help from the EFF, the company argues that even if it terminates its services, the ‘Grooveshark’ site would remain available. “Even if CloudFlare—and every company in the world that provides similar services—took proactive steps to identify and block the Defendants, the website would remain up and running at its current domain name,†CloudFlare argues (pdf). The request to include CloudFlare in the restraining order goes way too far, the company believes. If granted, this may lead to a snowball effect of orders against automated Internet services that are not actively assisting illegal activity. “Given that CloudFlare clearly is not in ‘active concert or participation’ with Defendants, it appears Plaintiffs are effectively attempting to expand the traditional boundaries of Rule 65,†the lawyers write. “That attempt, if accepted by this Court, could have implications well beyond this case. Other parties may seek the same remedy, using allegations of trademark or copyright infringement to obtain orders against the world.†The RIAA is demanding SOPA-like powers with its request, CloudFlare argues. The company highlights that the SOPA bill was turned down after heavy criticism, but that the RIAA is now acting as if it’s become law. “The [sOPA] bill was met with widespread public criticism from Internet users, technology companies, law professors, and software pioneers who helped create the Internet. Congress tabled the bill and did not advance it further,†CloudFlare notes. “Here, Plaintiffs ask the Court to construe its injunction power as though H.R. 3261 had in fact become law. But lacking explicit statutory authority for such an order against a nonparty, the TRO cannot be construed to reach so far.†CloudFlare therefore asks the court not to expand the restraining order. The company warns that any contrary ruling could set a dangerous precedent, putting many infrastructure providers and other services at risk. For the RIAA and other copyright holders the case is an important test for future anti-piracy efforts against other pirate sites. The new Grooveshark is barely getting any visitors after the initial hype, but it has certainly triggered a crucial legal battle.
  2. A few days ago it was revealed that Google is forwarding controversial settlement demands from copyright holders to its subscribers. Responding to the news, Google says the notices are forwarded in an effort to be as transparent as possible. However, the company adds that targeting individual downloaders isn't the best way to solve piracy. In recent years it has become more common for copyright holders to include settlement offers in the takedown notices that are sent to Internet providers. While most large ISPs prefer not to forward these demands, Google Fiber decided it would. A few days ago we highlighted the issue in an article. Before publication we reached out to Google for a comment, but initially the company didn’t reply. Now, a week after our first inquiry Google has sent a response. Google explains that it’s forwarding the entire takedown notice including the settlement offers in an effort to be as transparent as it can be. “When Google Fiber receives a copyright complaint about an account, we pass along all of the information we receive to the account holder so that they’re aware of it and can determine the response that’s best for their situation,†a Google spokesperson tells TF. This suggests that the transparency is seen by Google as more important than protecting customers against threatening and sometimes inaccurate notices. Overall, however, Google notes that targeting pirates directly is not the best solution to deal with the issue. “Although we think there are better solutions to fighting piracy than targeting individual downloaders, we want to be transparent with our customers,†Google’s spokesperson adds. Google doesn’t say what these better options are, but previously the company noted that piracy is mainly a pricing and availability problem. While transparency is often a good thing, in this case it doesn’t necessarily help Google Fiber customers. After receiving the notice they can either pay up or ignore it. If they choose the latter generally nothing happens, but recent history shows that there’s a legal risk involved. Last week the news broke that Rotten Records, one of the companies which sends settlement requests to ISPs, sued Comcast subscribers for ignoring these infringement notices. With the possibility of false accusations, it would probably be in the customers’ best interest if ISPs ignored the notices entirely, which some do.
  3. Sam Smith would have "cried and crawled off stage" if he'd done a Madonna. The US superstar made fans wince in empathy when she took a nasty tumble at the 2015 Brit Awards last month, when a dancer accidentally pulled her backwards down some stairs during her performance. The Queen of Pop quickly got over the fall, dusting herself off and carrying on singing Living For Love. However, fellow performer Sam says he wouldn't have been so graceful. "I used to fall up the escalator on the tube all the time. I'd do what every guy does and look back as if there's something wrong with the ground. I like to think if I'd been like Madonna and fallen at the Brits I'd have powered through, but chances are I'd have cried and crawled off stage," he laughed to British magazine Stylist. The Brits proved to be a big night for Sam too, with the singer picking up British breakthrough act and the global success gong. He celebrated the wins with pal Ed Sheeran, who scooped best male and best album, with photos of the pair looking bleary eyed making the papers. "[i got over my Brits hangover] by eating cheese!" he smiled. "The Brits was amazing but I feel like I've celebrated enough now. Since the Grammys I've had a couple of weeks flapping about not actually writing any music, it's time to get back into work mode." Sam recently rerecorded his track Lay Me Down with John Legend to raise money for charity Comic Relief. His busy schedule has unfortunately left the 22-year-old feeling under the weather though, and earlier this week he had to pull out of his Milan gigs after being struck down with laryngitis. "Milan I'm back in June and I will sing the hardest I've ever sung. That's a promise x (sic)," he told his 2.2million Twitter followers.
  4. Indie heroes Ocean Colour Scene and Johnny Marr join Y Not festival's huge 10th anniversary line-up Less Than Jake, We Are Scientists, Augustines, Reverend & The Makers and more confirmed to appear alongside headliners Snoop Dogg, Basement Jaxx and Primal Scream. The hills, or more appropriately the Peaks, will be alive with the sound of indie, rock and pop when Y Not sets up camp in Derbyshire 31st July to 2nd August. Ocean Colour Scene and Johnny Marr are amongst the latest additions to the festival's 10th anniversary line-up. Tickets starting at £89.50 are on sale now via Also celebrating a significant year, Ocean Colour Scene are announced for Y Not festival just weeks after the completion of their 25th anniversary tour. The Moseley-formed quartet come armed with belters like 'The Day We Caught the Train' many more from a 10-album back catalogue. 'Godlike Genius', as dubbed by NME, Johnny Marr is next to step up to the plate. The former Smiths' guitarist and solo artist in his own right garners the upmost respect from music fans who flock to his iconic sound. Elsewhere amongst additions are Florida's ska punkers Less Than Jake wholl be on hand to keep crowds jumping, also heading to Derbyshire from the States will be New York indie trio We Are Scientists. Stepping up to the mic will next be Jon 'The Reverend' McClure and friends, better known to the music world as Reverend & The Makers. Rock of widescreen proportions will come courtesy of Augustines, post-hardcore quartet Don Broco and alternative metal outfit Young Guns. 'Solo Dancing' singer Indiana serves up sleek electropop whilst for those looking for something completely different, Y Not welcomes comedy folk outfit The Lancashire Hotpots. Diversity continues across Y Not's stages with Japanese psychedelic noise wielders Bo Ningen, alt R&B singer and Games of Thrones actor Raleigh Ritchie and rap/metal fusers Hacktivist. Mancunian grunge band Nine Black Alps and screaming mathcore specialists Rolo Tomassi are set to keep things loud, flanked closely by The Bohicas, rockers LTNT and Solemn Sun. Blues-tinged singer Kim Churchill and the soulful Jake Isaacs add a different hue to the airwaves, and last but by no means least things are turned back up to 11 for metallers Zoax. Winner of 'Best Small Festival' at the 2012 UK Festival Awards, Y Not returns in 2015 to celebrate in style. Friends, fans and newcomers are invited to enjoy panoramic countryside views sound-tracked by fresh and loud sounds from bands both up-and-coming and superstar in stance. Tickets priced only £89.50 are available now from
  5. The past six months have not been good ones for some of the world's leading file-hosting sites. Many have seen their traffic plummet as a result of Google algorithm changes, but interestingly some are bucking the trend., for example, is doing better than ever. In the file-sharing world sites tend to be split into two camps – those that facilitate access to content held elsewhere (torrent sites) and those that host the content themselves. What to call the sites in this latter category largely depends on the context. The generic “file-hoster†monicker works well for all, but the more recent term “cyberlocker†has somehow become associated with sites that have some kind of “rogue†business model attached. Last September, Netnames produced a report about ‘cyberlockers’ and annoyed the operators of by categorizing the site as some kind of illicit operation. This week, only adding to the controversy, Mega revealed that U.S. government pressure had led to PayPal withdrawing its services from the company. This week, several months after the publication of the NetNames report, we decided to take a look at how the file-hosting sites listed have been doing on the traffic front. According to Alexa they are mostly on a significant downward trend, but as we shall see that’s not universally the case. In fact, Mega appears to be doing particularly well. The big losers All of the sites in this section lost significant overall traffic during 2014 and early 2015. 4shared, Zippyshare, Turbobit, BitShare, LetitBit, FreakShare, 1fichier and 2shared all had big downward trends and, as illustrated by the charts below, October time seems to mark the beginning of most of the bad news. That date closely coincides with Google’s downranking of sites for which it receives the most infringement notices. The change hit many major torrent sites causing immediate drops in traffic, but for others the change only seems to have brought good news. The big winners, a site included in the NetNames report but not indexed by Google due to the site’s own restrictions, appears to have reaped rewards where others have failed. Following a slump in the summer of 2014, the period since October 2014 has been nothing but a success story for the Kim Dotcom-founded operation. Another site bucking the downward trend is UptoBox, a site which NetNames claims has around six million monthly users and $1.7 million in annual revenues. Despite Google receiving close to 368,000 complaints about the site, UpToBox has been doing better than ever since October 2014 when most of the other sites started to suffer. Only a small slump in January 2015 spoiled the party. The others RapidGator is one of the most popular file-hosting sites around but had a bit of a disappointing 2014. After starting the year strongly as one of the 500 most popular sites in the world, the site embarked on a steady downward trend and like most it took a big hit at the start of October when Google’s down-ranking began. Between then and the end of 2014 it regained traffic to position itself where it had been during the summer. But in January came a new slump which took the site back down to its lowest traffic levels to date. Another site on a general downward trend is, but again the site’s traffic demonstrates some interesting features. After taking a big hit in October the site recovered somewhat, only to peak and begin dropping off again. Overall It’s fair to say that the majority of the big sites in the NetNames report are on a downward trend but sites like Mega are clearly able to buck the trend. Whether that’s due to the company’s charismatic founder, its end-to-end encryption or simply by being a good provider with a great service is up for debate. Nevertheless, an ability to avoid Google downranking punishments is certainly a plus and one that the company will be keen to maintain.
  6. Hi to all here Whether anyone here has some information for TTG whether it is still down or not, for me work only login page but I can not login I see only this:
  7. In a first of its kind case a student accused of attempting to pirate the 3D movie Gravity has been completely cleared by a court in the UK. The presiding judge said there was absolutely "no legal basis" for the case and instructed the jury to find the 28-year-old not guilty. There have been a number of so-called “camming†cases in the UK in recent years with the MPAA-affiliated Federation Against Copyright Theft keen to stamp out the practice. Punishments can be severe. Fast and Furious 6 ‘cammer’ Philip Danks was sentenced to 33 months in prison last year for recording, uploading and selling physical copies of the popular movie. But prosecutions can be complex and sometimes things can backfire in the biggest possible way. Earlier this month, Birmingham student Ciprian Florea went on trial accused of attempting to ‘cam’ the space blockbuster Gravity. The case was special in a number of ways, not least that this was the first time that an individual had been accused of going equipped to capture a movie in full 3D. According to the prosecution, Florea attended a Cineworld cinema in the city during November 2013 equipped with a home-made recording rig consisting of a pair of high-def cameras fashioned together in a device held on the man’s chest. Florea, a student of film technology at Birmingham City University, is said to have hired the cameras the day before his arrest. These had been placed in a custom-made box in order to record the left and right eye as required for 3D imaging. But before he had even entered the screening the student was spotted by a security guard who confiscated the device and called the police. Florea said he had no intention to record the movie and only had the device to record his friends. He attended the screening without the device. In the light of the fact that the UK has no specific “anti-camming†legislation and no copyright works were ever recorded, the prosecution accused the student of possessing a 3D camera with intent to commit fraud, i.e the recording and subsequent distribution of the movie. The Judge didn’t buy it. “I am sure everything was done with the best of motives. However I have real concern as to whether this prosecution should have been brought at all,†said Mr Recorder Nolan QC. “It ought to have been absolutely clear there was no legal basis for it,†he added. The Judge added that there was nothing to suggest that Florea had intended to commercially exploit any copy. Going further, he noted that even if a copy had been made and posted online, the offense may have been a breach of copyright but would not have amounted to fraud. This may well present a problem for similar future prosecutions. With no uploading to the Internet and no evidence to support that was the intent, it appears claims of copyright infringement and/or fraud are effectively ruled out. In a case like this, where the movie hadn’t even been recorded, it’s not difficult to see why the case fell apart. Nevertheless, the Federation Against Copyright Theft, who supported the prosecution, told TorrentFreak that the student’s behavior suggested he intended to break the law. “The circumstances of Mr Florea’s actions in entering a cinema with equipment constructed to capture a 3D film provided strong evidence that he intended to commit a criminal offense,†FACT said. “FACT supported the prosecution brought against him by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service on the basis of the serious damage caused to the film industry by those who illegally record films in cinemas. We are disappointed with the verdict, but respect the decision of the court.†In comments to the Birmingham Mail after the verdict, Florea said he was glad the whole thing was over. “I am relieved. It has taken a year and to be honest it has been a big pain in my life,†the student said. “Although I won the case it has really been hard for me in my third year of my course. It was the first test of my final year’s project. I was just taking film of friends at the cinema.†
  8. Last December the MPAA announced one of its biggest victories to date. The Hollywood group won its case against file-hosting site Hotfile, who agreed to a $80 million settlement. However, this figure mostly served to impress and scare the pubic, as we can now reveal that Hotfile agreed to pay 'only' $4 million. It’s been nearly a year since Hotfile was defeated by the MPAA, resulting in a hefty $80 million dollar settlement. While the public agreement left room for the file-hosting service to continue its operations by implementing a filtering mechanism, the company quickly shut down after the settlement was announced. As it now turns out, this was the plan all long. And not just that, the $80 million figure that was touted by the MPAA doesn’t come close to the real settlement Hotfile agreed to pay. Buried in one of the Sony leaks is an email conversation which confirms that the real settlement payment from Hotfile was just $4 million, just a fraction of the amount widely publicized in the press. “The studios and Hotfile have reached agreement on settlement, a week before trial was to start. Hotfile has agreed to pay us $4 million, and has entered into a stipulation to have an $80 million judgment entered and the website shut down,†the email from Sony’s SVP Legal reads. Considering the time and effort that went into the case, it would be no surprise if the movie studios actually lost money on the lawsuit. The good news for the MPAA is that the money was paid in full. There were some doubts if Hotfile would indeed pay up, but during the first weeks of December last year the $4 million was sent in three separate payments. The huge difference between the public settlement figure and the amount that was negotiated also puts previous cases in a different light. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the $110 million settlement with isoHunt and the $110 deal with TorrentSpy were just paper tigers too. Whether or not the Hotfile case resulted in a net loss is probably not that important to the MPAA though. Hollywood mostly hopes that the staggering numbers will serve as a deterrent, preventing others from operating similar sites.
  9. The Pirate Bay has been down for less than a day and already the rumor machine is firing on all cylinders. Contrary to several reports in the Sydney Morning Herald and elsewhere, The Pirate Bay has not been resurrected and is not operating under a new domain. Not yet at least. pirate-crThere hasn’t been this much panic in the file-sharing world since 2006. Back then the cause was a huge police raid that targeted The Pirate Bay in its Swedish homeland. Now, eight years later, it’s deja vu all over again. As everyone knows by now, yesterday morning Swedish police raided a data center in Nacka, Stockholm. A little time later The Pirate Bay disappeared offline and late last evening anti-piracy group Rights Alliance took responsibility for the complaint that forced the site offline. In the hours that followed dozens of news reports appeared, most of which accurately reported the facts so far. However, several outlets, Sydney Morning Herald included, reported overnight that The Pirate Bay was in the process of being resurrected at a brand new domain. The domain mentioned in most of the reports is the Costa Rica based As can be seen from the screenshot below, it does indeed look like The Pirate Bay. pirate-cr Only adding to the excitement (or perhaps causing it), plenty of posts appeared on Reddit trumpeting this domain as the site’s new home. Sadly, however, these reports are wide of the mark. is a Pirate Bay proxy/mirror service (it’s listed by Proxybay) and as such relies entirely on The Pirate Bay for its torrent content. Currently it has none. The site appears to be operating out of the Netherlands and only became widely available in October. While admittedly quite popular in India (it recently became its 1,349th most popular site according to Alexa, already people are proclaiming the .CR domain as the new Pirate Bay. In fact, someone has already begun marketing a range of t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, posters and greetings cards carrying the site’s name. The confusion appears to stem from the fact that some “proxy†homepages stay up even when The Pirate Bay goes down as they cache some content. As can be seen from the screenshot below, another proxy ‘‘ displays just fine, but then does nothing when the user attempts to find torrents. LaBaia While still in the early hours following the shutdown, there’s nothing to suggest that The Pirate Bay’s domains have fallen into the hands of the authorities. This suggests that if the site does reappear, it will do so via one of its existing domains, although that position is certainly open to change. In the meantime users should be cautious of sites claiming to be “the new Pirate Bayâ€. While most probably just want to get some traffic, there could be others with more nefarious ideas in mind. Update: Apparently the commercialism doesn’t stop at novelty items. The .CR domain listed above was briefly diverting users to another domain ( which demands anything from $4 to £4 for users to access torrents – AVOID. Update: The .ee domain removed the paywall, but it’s still nothing more than a mirror without new content. torrentfreak
  10. In a new court filing Megaupload's legal team refutes the U.S. Government's claim that Kim Dotcom and his former colleagues are fugitives. The filing further reveals efforts to uncover the MPAA's involvement in the criminal investigation into Megaupload and Kim Dotcom. kimfugitiveIt’s been nearly three years since Megaupload was taken down by the U.S. authorities but it’s still uncertain whether Kim Dotcom and his fellow defendants will be extradited overseas. As there’s little progress in the criminal case, the U.S. launched a separate civil case asking the court to forfeit the bank accounts, cars and other seized possessions of the Megaupload defendants. The U.S. claims that these assets were obtained through criminal activities. In a recent motion to strike the DoJ added that Kim Dotcom and his fellow defendants have no right to oppose the forfeiture request as they are fugitives. “Claimants Bram van der Kolk, Finn Batato, Julius Bencko, Kim Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, and Sven Echternach, are deliberately avoiding prosecution by declining to enter the United States where the criminal case is pending,†U.S. Attorney Dana Boente noted. Yesterday evening Megaupload’s legal team filed a response to the Government’s motion, noting that the U.S. heavily distorts the “fugitive†status concept. The lawyers inform the court that Kim Dotcom and his fellow defendants aren’t trying to avoid prosecution. Instead, they’re remaining in place until the New Zealand court decides over their extradition request. “These Claimants never fled the United States to evade prosecution. To the contrary, they remain precisely where they have long been residing and carrying out the very business enterprise that the Government characterizes as criminal—in New Zealand.†“Nor have these Claimants altered their plans so as to avoid return to the United States. To the contrary, they are simply maintaining the pre-indictment status quo and following the rule of law by invoking their rights under the laws and procedures of their home countries, where they had long-planned to remain.†In a declaration to the court Dotcom emphasizes that he’s currently under supervision of the New Zealand court. He never fled from the United States, in fact, he has never been there in his entire life. “I have never been a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. I have never visited the United States,†Dotcom writes. Megaupload’s lawyers ask the court to deny the U.S. “fugitives'†claim or keep it pending until there’s a decision on the motion to dismiss they filed earlier. In this motion they argued that the entire case should be dismissed since the U.S. doesn’t have a statute for criminal secondary copyright infringement. If the court decides to move forward, Megaupload’s legal team want the “fugitives†claim to be converted to a request for summary judgment. This would allow them to conduct discovery and find out what role the MPAA played in the criminal investigation. Shortly before the investigation began the MPAA hired former Assistant Attorney General, Cybele Daley, for lobbying purposes. Daley had a budget of over $1 million a year to lobby attorneys at the Department of Justice, and Megaupload’s lawyers want to find out where the U.S. was overreaching. It’s now up to the Virginia federal court to decide how to proceed. Needless to say, the outcome will have a major impact on Dotcom’s means to fight back. torrentfreak
  11. A new web-based torrent service has been making headlines with some heralding the arrival of a new Popcorn Time-style tool. But while is very slick and provides better privacy, the service is more vulnerable in two key areas - centralization and rising costs. While BitTorrent’s underlying technology has remained mostly unchanged over the past decade, innovators have found new ways to make it more presentable. Torrent clients have developed greatly and private tracker systems such as’s Gazelle have shown that content can be enhanced with superior cataloging and indexing tools. This is where Popcorn Time excelled when it debuted earlier this year. While it was the same old torrent content underneath, the presentation was streets ahead of anything seen before. With appetites whetted, enthused BitTorrent fans have been waiting for the next big thing ever since. Recently news circulated of a new service which in several headlines yesterday was heralded as the new Popcorn Time. is a web-based video service with super-clean presentation. It’s premise is straightforward – paste in a magnet link or upload a torrent file from your computer then sit back and enjoy the show. Not only does Joker work, it does so with elegance. The interface is uncluttered and intuitive and the in-browser window can be expanded to full screen. Joker also provides options for automatically downloading subtitles or uploading your own, plus options for skipping around the video at will. While these features are enough to please many visitors to the site, the big questions relate to what is going on under the hood. Popcorn Time, if we’re forced to conduct a comparison, pulls its content from BitTorrent swarms in a way that any torrent client does. This means that the user’s IP address is visible both to the tracker and all related peers. So, has Joker successfully incorporated a torrent client into a web browser to enable live video streaming? Last evening TF put that question to the people behind Joker who said they would answer “soonâ€. Hours later though and we’re still waiting so we’ll venture that the short answer is “noâ€. Decentralized or centralized? That is the question.. The most obvious clues become evident when comparing the performance of popular and less popular torrents after they’ve been added to the Joker interface. The best seeded torrents not only tend to start immediately but also allow the user to quickly skip to later or earlier parts of the video. This suggests that the video content has been cached already and isn’t being pulled live and direct from peers in a torrent swarm. Secondly, torrents with less seeds do not start instantly. We selected a relatively poorly seeded torrent of TPB AFK and had to wait for the Joker progress bar to wind its way to 100% before we could view the video. That took several minutes but then played super-smoothly, another indication that content is probably being cached. To be absolutely sure we’d already hooked up Wireshark to our test PC in advance of initiating the TPB AFK download. If we were pulling content from a swarm we might expect to see the IP addresses of our fellow peers sending us data. However, in their place were recurring IP addresses from blocks operated by the same UK ISP hosting the Joker website. Conclusion Joker is a nice website that does what it promises extremely well and to be fair to its creators they weren’t the ones making the Popcorn Time analogies. However, as a free service Joker faces a dilemma. By caching video itself the site is bound by the usual bandwidth costs associated with functionally similar sites such as YouTube. While Joker provides greater flexibility (users can order it to fetch whichever content they like) it still has to pump video directly to users after grabbing it from torrent swarms. This costs money and at some point someone is going to have to pay. In contrast, other than running the software download portal and operating the APIs, Popcorn Time has no direct video-related bandwidth costs since the user’s connection is being utilized for transfers. The downside is that users’ IP addresses are visible to the outside world, a problem Joker users do not have. Finally and to address the excited headlines, comparing Joker to Popcorn Time is premature. The site carries no colorful and easy to access indexes of movies which definitely makes it a lot less attractive to newcomers. That being said, this lack of content curation enhances Joker’s legal footing. Overall, demand is reportedly high. The developers told TF last evening that they were “overloaded†and were working hard to fix issues. Currently the service appears stable. Only time will tell how that situation develops. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  12. This week the web-based torrent service Joker has been making headlines all over the Internet. However, after a few days the fun stopped thanks to pressure from copyright holders including Sony Pictures, who ordered Joker's hosting company to pull the plug. While most people use standalone torrent clients to download files, there are also several services that allow people to stream videos in a web-browser via the popular file-sharing protocol. One of the best implementations of BitTorrent ‘powered’ streaming is Although the actual streaming is not fully peer-to-peer, as the transfers first go through central servers, its ease of use is certainly appealing. This week hundreds of news sites wrote about the service which became overloaded with new users as a result. A success story, but one with a downside, as copyright holders were immediately on high alert. Just a few days after the service first gathered serious online momentum, it is already gone. The website currently shows a placeholder mentioning that it’s looking for a new home. TorrentFreak contacted the Joker team who explained to us that the service was shut down by hosting company Redstation following “pressure†from various copyright holder representatives. One of the notices Redstation received was sent by Entura International on behalf of Sony Pictures Entertainment. This notice alleged that Joker facilitates copyright infringement at 3 levels. 1. The initial download of content via BitTorrent without permission. At no point has Rights Holder authorized transmission of its content via this medium. 2. The storage and/or caching of BitTorrent chunks of the content. 3. The conversion and re-transmission of stored/cached content in streaming video format to users via web browser. Entura International asked the hosting provider to stop the alleged unlawful activities by suspending Joker’s account or null-routing the associated IP-address. Redstation chose the latter option and the Joker service has been unavailable since. Joker is disappointed at being labeled a “pirate siteâ€. The developers believe they offer a neutral and useful service that is piracy agnostic. Potential infringing data is stored only temporarily, without their knowledge. “Which is the worst? Google, where you can find thousands of torrents with a single “X .torrent†search, torrent sites, where you can get access to millions of .torrent files, or†the Joker team asks. “Using torrents is not illegal, we are just a service that converts video torrent files to streamable mp4s. We don’t link or enable search for any content,†they add. Despite the current problems Joker doesn’t intend to throw in the towel. They are currently looking for a new hosting solution for their service and will return. “Hell yeah we will come back,†the Joker team concludes. Before they return Joker intends to improve their services and address potential issues, to prevent the risk of another shutdown. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  13. The Court of Justice of the European Union handed down a landmark verdict this week. The Court ruled that embedding copyrighted videos is not copyright infringement, even if the source video was uploaded without permission. One of the key roles of the EU’s Court of Justice is to interpret European law to ensure that it’s applied in the same manner across all member states. The Court is also called upon by national courts to clarify finer points of EU law to progress local cases with Europe-wide implications. This week the Court of Justice issued a landmark ruling on one such case that deals with a crucial and integral part of today’s Internet. Is it legal to embed copyrighted content without permission from the rightsholder? The case in question was referred to EU’s Court of Justice by a German court. It deals with a dispute between the water filtering company BestWater International and two men who work as independent commercial agents for a competitor. Bestwater accused the men of embedding one of their promotional videos, which was available on YouTube without the company’s permission. The video was embedded on the personal website of the two through a frame, as is usual with YouTube videos. While EU law is clear on most piracy issues, the copyright directive says very little about embedding copyrighted works. The Court of Justice, however, now argues that embedding is not copyright infringement. The full decision has yet to be published officially by the Court’s website but TorrentFreak has received a copy (in German) from the defendants’ lawyer Dr. Bernhard Knies, who describes it as a landmark victory. The Court argues that embedding a file or video is not a breach of creator’s copyrights under European law, as long as it’s not altered or communicated to a new public. In the current case, the video was already available on YouTube so embedding it is not seen as a new communication. “The embedding in a website of a protected work which is publicly accessible on another website by means of a link using the framing technology … does not by itself constitute communication to the public within the meaning of [the EU Copyright directive] to the extent that the relevant work is neither communicated to a new public nor by using a specific technical means different from that used for the original communication,†the Court’s verdict reads. The Court based its verdict on an earlier decision in the Svensson case, where it found that hyperlinking to a previously published work is not copyright infringement. Together, both cases will have a major impact on future copyright cases in the EU. For Internet users it means that they are protected from liability if they embed copyrighted videos or images from other websites, for example. In addition, it may also protect streaming sites who use third-party services to embed videos, even if the source is an infringing copy. During the days to come the Court of Justice is expected to issue official translations of the ruling as well as a press release. Many legal experts have been waiting for the decision and further analysis of the verdict’s implications is expected to follow soon after. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  14. Taylor Swift is furious that people think all celebrities have "dirty secrets". The 24-year-old singer wants to be known for her music, but over the years her personal life has hit the headlines too. She got so tired of hearing rumours about who she was dating and being referred to as someone who was unlucky in love that she stopped seeing boys altogether. "That's what I don't like about celebrity culture and the obsession with it, and the takedown culture that we seem to be in," she told the American edition of Esquire magazine. "You have celebrities who are pushed to the brink of a public meltdown, and so the public thinks that every person in the public eye has dirty secrets that they're keeping, or isn't what they seem, or is masking it and faking sincerity, faking authenticity, faking being surprised at award shows when you win a Grammy." The star sees her fame as a double-edged sword. While she understands how lucky she is, the constant speculation about her private life could have an effect on her lyrics if she isn't careful. This is something she is doing her utmost to stop happening. "I'm not gonna let them make me have a meltdown. But, I think, as a songwriter you lose your edge if you find a way to protect yourself from everything they're going to say about you," she explained. "You lose touch with what made you vulnerable enough to connect with people in your songwriting. And that's not something I wanna do. So it's all about walking a tightrope between not being so fragile and breakable that they can level you with one blow and being raw enough to feel it and write about it when you feel it." While untrue headlines aren't fun, Taylor has paid a higher price for her fame. She's been the victim of stalkers and, after railing against it for a long time, has hired security to watch out for her at all times. The musician hasn't driven a car on her own for six years and admits it's hard not to get paranoid. "They [her security] have to be in a car behind me. Because just the sheer number of men we have in a file who have showed up at my mom's house, threatened to either kill me, kidnap me, or marry me," she explained. "This is the strange and sad part of my life that I try not to think about. I try to be light-hearted about it, because I don't ever want to be scared. I don't want to be walking down the street scared." Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  15. "Supporting the 8 GB model is a consideration, it is neither a deal-breaker nor the only challenge." The Wii U version of Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty, the remake of Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee first released on PlayStation in 1997, is having some trouble, but it's not canceled. Speaking on the Fragments of Silicon podcast, the series' creator Lorne Lanning said that publisher Oddworld Inhabitants is facing challenges, but is committed to bringing the game to new platforms, especially the Wii U. "If you're going to make a game for the Wii U it better run on the 8 GB unit, otherwise it's not really a Wii U game. I'm desperate to get on Nintendo, I believe it will resonate with that audience." The Wii U comes with either 8 or 32 GB of storage, and Lanning said that the limited space is posing a problem. The Oddworld Inhabitants Twitter account later clarified the situation: "New 'n' Tasty is not cancelled on Wii U," it said. "We are currently having challenges with the platform that we are striving to overcome. Regarding Wii U, while supporting the 8GB model is a consideration, it is neither a deal-breaker nor the only challenge." New 'n' Tasty is currently only available as a downloadable title on PlayStation 4, but PlayStation 3 andPlayStation Vita versions will follow with Cross-Buy support. PC and Xbox One versions are in the works as well. GameSpot's review of New 'n' Tasty on PS4 gave the game an 8/10 for its gorgeous graphics and deep and engaging puzzle platforming. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  16. Iggy Azalea has denied being "fuming mad" at anyone. Yesterday TMZ claimed the Australian musician was angry at Snoop Dogg after he supposedly posted a meme on Instagram of a person with cornrows who appeared to be albino, with the caption reading: 'Iggy Azalea no make-up.' Now the 24-year-old blonde has taken to Twitter to clear things up. "lol, i wish writers exaggerated the positive sh*t going on in this world too. Im not "fuming mad" at anyone. (sic)," she wrote, seemingly in response to the article. According to TMZ, Iggy responded to Snoop's picture with a series of tweets, which were deleted. The image is also no longer available on the rapper's Instagram. Luckily, Iggy has her fans to keep her going. She's currently riding a wave of success, following collaborations with the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande and Rita Ora. "i love my azaleas so much, i keep all your letters and drawings and i can't wait until you see my new home because i have an office..." she tweeted. "that I'm framing a lot of the sweet things you've said and hanging on the wall. love you so much. (sic)" She also promised fans she would set up an "Azalea mailbox" at shows, where fans could leave their letters and pictures for her. "okay I'm gonna do it guys, next years tour. ill get a human sized epic mail box right as you walk in the show. < 3" she wrote. "the box would have to just be for letters and not any objects or strangely shaped things. hahaha. (sic)" Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  17. Apology issued after "misspeaking" that Assassin's Creed Untiy's resolution was unified "to avoid debates". Publisher Ubisoft is looking to draw a line under the controversy that was triggered because one of its developers said Assassin's Creed Unity's resolution was made equal across consoles "to avoid debates". Writing on the official Ubisoft blog, spokesperson Gary Steinman said "let’s be clear up front: Ubisoft does not constrain its games. We would not limit a game’s resolution. And we would never do anything to intentionally diminish anything we’ve produced or developed." The next-gen game is locked at a 900p resolution across PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, which Vincent Pontbriand, a senior producer at Ubisoft Montreal, explained was because the dev team "decided to lock them [the game] at the same specs to avoid all the debates and stuff". Ubisoft moved quick to deny this in a statement released to the media, before it issued another note suggesting the game's specs were not final. The publisher has not explained how a senior producer misspoke about "avoiding debates", but nevertheless Pontbriand has apologised for what he now deems as an inaccurate statement. “I simply chose the wrong words when talking about the game’s resolution, and for that I’m sorry.†He added: “We’ve spent four years building the best game we could imagine. Why would we ever do anything to hold it back?†The Ubisoft blog, which you can read here, goes on to detail why the development team did not prioritise resolution and frame-rate. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  18. Mojang stresses it's still early days for film based on its seminal world-builder. The upcoming Minecraft movie from Harry Potter studio Warner Bros. is a "large-budget" production, but is still very much in the early days of development. In a new interview, Minecraft creator Mojang COO Vu Bui said the movie--which will be produced by The Lego Movie's Roy Lee--might not be released until 2017 or 2018. "I still have no idea," he said in an interview with The Guardian. As for why Mojang decided to partner with Warner Bros. for the Minecraft movie, Bui said he got the impression that the company was looking to make a movie that respected the source material instead of one that made a quick buck off one of hottest brands in gaming. "We were approached by so many studios, but after talking to Warner Bros, we decided that this are absolutely the team we want to work with," Bui said. "They respect the brand, respect the IP, and want to make something that is going to be awesome, not just capitalize on the success of the game." Pressed for further details about the movie, such as if it will be live-action and if so, who might star in it, Bui deflected. "A movie takes years, especially a large-budget movie like this. It's still in the beginning stages, and there really isn't a clear picture yet of what this is going to be. Once there is, I'm sure we'll share more." Bui was more forthcoming regarding the story--at least at a high level--that the Minecraft movie will tell. He made it clear that, just like the game, whatever narrative is decided on for the film will represent just one possibility. After all, part of Minecraft's success is the way it doesn't push gamers into one avenue or another. This freedom will be reflected in the movie. "We don't want any story that we make, whether it's a movie or a book, to create some sort of 'this is the official Minecraft, this is how you play the game' thing," he said. "That would discourage all the players who don't play in that way. When coming up with a story [for the movie], we want to make sure it is just a story within Minecraft, as opposed to the story within Minecraft." In September, Xbox company Microsoft acquired Mojang and the Minecraft franchise in a deal worth $2.5 billion. Mojang's three founders, including Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson, will leave the Swedish studio when the deal closes, which is expected to happen by the end of 2014. The Minecraft film is one of many video game movies currently in development. Ubisoft has a total of six films in the pipeline, including movies based on Assassin's Creed, Watch Dogs, and Splinter Cell. Meanwhile, Sony is making a Last of Us movie, Konami is moving forward on a film based on Metal Gear Solid, Blizzard Entertainment has its Warcraft movie, and an Angry Birds film is scheduled for 2016. On top of those, new movies based on Capcom franchises Resident Evil and Dead Rising are in the works. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  19. The parent company of luxury watch maker Cartier is trying to expand the grounds on which websites can be censored in the UK. In an action against the country's leading ISPs, Richemont International is seeking an injunction to have sites displaying pirated brand logos blocked at the ISP level. The UK is now one of the easiest countries in the world to obtain a website blocking injunction on copyright grounds. While much work had to be done initially, having websites filtered out by the leading ISPs is now a streamlined and largely closed-door practice. Child protection issues aside, up until now it has been copyright holders leading the charge for websites to be blacked out. Dozens of sites are affected, with the majority of the world’s leading file-sharing portals now inaccessible by regular means. If the parent company of luxury watchmaker Cartier has its way, soon a new and potentially more widespread wave of website blockades will begin. Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A. owns several well-known luxury brands including Cartier and Mont Blanc. For some time it has been trying to pressure sites offering counterfeits into closing down, but without success. Mirroring the tactics being employed by the studios and recording labels, Richemont has essentially given up on that approach and has decided to take legal action ISPs instead. In March 2014, Richemont reportedly wrote to the country’s leading ISPs (Sky, TalkTalk, BT, Virgin Meda, EE, Telefonica (O2)) complaining that third party sites were engaged in illegal activity and were displaying pirated logos which infringe on Richemont trademarks. In May the ISPs responding by telling the company that it had not done enough to have the sites close down, such as contacting their webhosts to have service discontinued. The ISPs also complained that by blocking the websites there was a chance that legitimate trade could be affected. An unfair financial burden for the ISPs was also a probability, particularly given the number of likely copycat requests if the application was successful. While it appears the ISPs are putting up more of a fight in this case than they did with entertainment company blocking requests, those were actioned under copyright law where injunctions against service providers are catered for. UK trademark law has no such direct provision. The case, which is now being heard at the High Court, has attracted the attention of the Open Rights Group. ORG says it takes no view on the merits of the case, but has been given permission to intervene in order to raise awareness over the possibility that third party interests could be affected if blocking injunctions are granted. “As the court is being asked to extend the circumstances in which blocking orders are granted, it’s vital that the wider public interest is taken into account. We hope that our intervention will help ensure that future claimants cannot use blocking orders to restrict legitimate activity or free speech,†says ORG Legal Director Elizabeth Knight. ORG says its concern is that if Geneva-based Richemont are successful, further applications could be made which are contrary to public interest. These could include blocking sites that use logos to legitimately criticize or parody well known brands “Court blocking orders may also affect commercial third parties who have no involvement in any alleged infringement – for example law abiding businesses whose products appear on websites alongside those of companies involved in infringing activity,†the group says. It remains to be seen how smoothly the process pans out, but there could be interesting side effects. Entertainment industry companies and artists also own plenty of trademarks that are often displayed on ‘pirate’ websites. If the trademark route proves a simple one, that could end up being their chosen path for future blocking requests. Mr Justice Arnold has requested submissions on how third party rights could be affected if injunctions are granted. ORG will ensure he gets the message. source: torrentfreak
  20. A new study published by research firm KPMG reveals that only 16% of the most popular and critically acclaimed films are available via Netflix and other on-demand subscription services. The study, which reveals that availability through other platforms is excellent, is praised by the MPAA, but the big elephant in the room is conveniently ignored. There is little doubt that, in the United States, Netflix has become the standard for watching movies on the Internet. The subscription service is responsible for a third of all Internet traffic during peak hours, dwarfing that of online piracy and other legal video platforms. It’s safe to assume that Netflix is the best and most convenient alternative to piracy at this point. That is, if the service carries the movies people want to see. This appears to be a problem. Research firm KPMG has just released a new study that looks at the online availability of the 808 most popular and critically acclaimed films. The study was commissioned by NBC Universal and praised by the MPAA, presumably to dispel the argument that many people pirate because they don’t have the option to watch some films legally. “This first-of-its-kind report analyzed the availability of 808 different film titles over 34 major online video distribution services and found that 94 percent of the films were available on at least one service,†MPAA’s Chris Dodd commented on the study. The MPAA is right that most of the movies are available through online stores and rental services. However, the Hollywood group conveniently ignores the lacking availability on popular subscription platforms which services such as Netflix and Hulu use. This is not a minor oversight as the study finds that availability of top films on Netflix and other subscription services is very low. Although KPMG decided not to mention it in the executive summary of the report, the findings show that only 16% of the films are available through on-demand subscription services (SOVD). Availability of the top films The above sheds a different light on the availability argument. Because, what good is it if 94 percent of the films are available online, but (at least) 84% are missing from the most-used movie service? After all, most people prefer to get their movies in one place as it’s not very convenient to use a few dozen services to get your movie fix. Of course this is not an excuse for people to go out and download films without permission, and we have to admit that a lot of progress has been made on the availability side in recent years. However, Hollywood can definitely learn from the music industry, where most of the popular content is available through subscription services. From the availability point of view there’s another issue worth pointing out. The most pirated titles are usually recent releases, and these are generally not available, not even through iTunes, Amazon or rental services. This is also illustrated in the KPMG report which shows that 100% of the top 2012 films are available online, compared to 77% of the 2013 releases. It’s probably safe to say that the majority of all pirated downloads are of films that are not yet legally available. In other words, there’s still plenty of improvement possible.
  21. The Australian Government has proposed a wide variety of measures to deal with online piracy, including website blocking. The local Pirate Party believes that censorship is not the answer, however, and signals a range of problems with the Government's plans. This is a guest post written by Simon Frew, Deputy President of Pirate Party Australia. — The Australian Government recently called for submissions into its plans to introduce a range of measures that are the long-standing dreams of the copyright lobby: ISP liability, website blocking for alleged pirate sites and graduated response. The Government’s discussion paper specifically asked respondents to ignore other Government inquiries into copyright. This meant ignoring an inquiry by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) into copyright in the digital economy and an IT pricing inquiry. These reviews both covered important aspects of sharing culture in the 21st century, yet they were completely ignored by the Government’s paper and respondents were instructed to ignore issues covered in them. The ALRC review examined issues around the emerging remix culture, the ways the Australian copyright regime limits options for companies to take advantage of the digital environment and issues around fair dealing and fair use. It recommended a raft of changes to update Australian copyright law to modernize it for the digital age. Whilst the recommendations were modest, they were a step in the right direction, but this step has been ignored by the Australian Parliament. The IT pricing inquiry held last year, looked into why Australians pay exorbitant prices for digital content, a practice that has been dubbed the Australia Tax. Entertainment and Tech companies were dragged in front of the inquiry to explain why Australians pay much more for products than residents of other countries. The review found that, compared to other countries, Australians pay up to 84% more for games, 52% more for music and 50% more for professional software than comparable countries. The result of this review was to look at ways to end geographic segmentation and to continue to turn a blind eye to people using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to circumvent the higher prices in Australia. Between the Australia Tax and the substantially delayed release dates for TV shows and movies, Australians don’t feel too bad about accessing content by other means. According to some estimates, over 200,000 people have Netflix accounts by accessing the service through VPNs. Pirate Party Australia (PPAU) responded to the latest review with a comprehensive paper, outlining the need to consider all of the evidence and what that evidence says about file-sharing. To say the Government’s discussion paper was biased understates the single-mindedness of the approach being taken by the Government. A co-author of the Pirate Party submission, Mozart Olbrycht-Palmer summed it up: The discussion paper stands out as the worst I have ever read. The Government has proposed both a graduated response scheme and website blockades without offering any evidence that either of these work. Unsurprisingly the only study the discussion paper references was commissioned by the copyright lobby and claims Australia has a high level of online copyright infringement. This calls into question the validity of the consultation process. The Government could not have arrived at these proposals if independent studies and reports had been consulted. The entire review was aimed at protecting old media empires from the Internet. This is due in part, to the massive support given to the Liberal (Conservatives) and National Party coalition in the lead-up to the 2013 federal election which saw Murdoch owned News Ltd media, comprising most major print-news outlets in Australia, actively campaign for the in-coming Government. There is also a long history of media companies donating heavily to buy influence. Village Roadshow, one of Australia’s largest media conglomerates, has donated close to four million dollarsto both major parties since 1998: in the lead up to the 2013 election alone, they donated over $300,000 to the LNP. The sort of influence being wielded by the old media is a big part of what Pirate parties worldwide were formed to counter. The Internet gives everyone a platform that can reach millions, if the content is good enough. The money required to distribute culture is rapidly approaching zero and those who built media empires on mechanical distribution models (you know, physical copies of media, DVDs, cassettes etc) want to turn the clock back, because they are losing their power to influence society. Much of the Pirate Party response centred on the need to allow non-commercial file-sharing and dealing with the wrong, bordering on fraudulent assumptions, the paper was based on. From the paper: Digital communications provide challenges and opportunities. Normal interactions, such as sharing culture via the Internet, should not be threatened. Creators should seize the new opportunities provided and embrace new forms of exposure and distribution. The Pirate Party believes the law should account for the realities of this continually emerging paradigm by reducing copyright duration, promoting the remixing and reuse of existing content, and legalising all forms of non-commercial use and distribution of copyrighted materials. The discussion paper asked, ‘What could constitute ‘reasonable steps’ for ISPs to prevent or avoid copyright infringement?’ This was of particular concern because it is aimed at legally overturning the iiNet case, which set a legal precedent that ISPs couldn’t be sued for the behavior of their users. This section was a not-so-subtle attempt to push for a graduated response (‘three strikes’) system which has beenheavily criticized in a number of countries. The agenda laid out in this discussion paper was very clear, as demonstrated by Question 6: “What matters should the Court consider when determining whether to grant an injunction to block access to a particular website?†The Pirate Party obviously disagrees with the implication that website blocking was a foregone conclusion. Censorship is not the answer to file-sharing or any other perceived problem on the Internet. Government control of the flow of information is not consistent with an open democracy. The Pirate Party submission attacked website blocking on free speech grounds and explained how measures to block websites or implement a graduated response regime would be trivial to avoid through the use of VPNs. On Tuesday September 9, a public forum was held into the proposed changes. The panel was stacked with industry lobbyists, no evidence was presented while the same tired arguments were trotted out to try to convince attendees that there was need to crack down on file-sharing. It wasn’t all bad though, with the host of the meeting, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, flagging a Government re-thinkon how to tackle piracy after the scathing responses to the review from the public. Despite signalling a re-think, the Australian Government is still intent on implementing draconian copyright laws. Consumers may have won this round, but the fight will continue.
  22. Whatever you do, don’t move into a house where the previous owner murdered their family under mysterious circumstances. You would think that characters in horror films would’ve picked up on this lesson by now; or, at the least, perform far more rigorous background checks on their newly-acquired real estate than they generally do. Either way, that’s not what happens in the upcomingAmityville: The Awakening, if the newly-released trailer is anything to judge by. Previously known as just Amityville, this new installment in the Amityville Horror movie franchise – the twelfth (!) overall - reboots the supernatural horror property (… again), and has no connection to the Amityville Horror remake (starring Ryan Reynolds) that was released a decade ago. Well, except that both films revolve around a family that moves into the same Long Island house where, in 1974, a mass murder took place. The Amityville: The Awakening trailer footage (watch it above) includes the customary unsettling events, seemingly paranormal entities, and requisite jump scares. It’s also got some surprisingly nasty body horror elements too, what with the bed-ridden James (played by The Giver‘s Cameron Monaghan) attracting supernatural maggots and being possessed by demonic forces that transform him into some kind of Gollum-esque monster. Or maybe that’s all in the head of his sister, Belle (Bella Thorne), who’s slowly going insane as she begins hearing voices that tell her to “Kill them all.†Amityville: The Awakening was scripted and directed by Franck Khalfoun, who certainly does have a thing for making gruesome horror fare – as evidenced by his previous collaborations with writer/producer Alexandre Aja on such films as P2 and the Maniac remake. Khalfoun’s new film appears to have its fair share of grossness too; whether or not it will conjure up much in the way of dread or effective scary storytelling, that’s another matter. (The release date doesn’t inspire loads of confidence, though.) The cast of Amityville: The Awakening includes Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Spectacular Now), Taylor Spreitler (Melissa & Joey), and Thomas Mann (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters), among others. Amityville: The Awakening opens in U.S. theaters on January 2nd, 2015.
  23. Ever wondered why anti-virus programs detect malware apps along with viruses? Many believe that the malware because it’s not a virus, isn’t that harmful. However, a new study shows that the malware is more harmful than many believe it to be. The study, done by University of Michigan and California-Riverside researchers, found that one single malware app is all it takes to reduce the security of the remaining apps on the device. The team used a malware-ridden app to hack into popular apps on Android devices, and in so doing, found that Google’s email app, Gmail, was the easiest app to hack into. The team tested seven apps, with Gmail being the easiest to hack (92% success rate), tying with H&R Block (92%), followed by Newegg (86%), WebMD (85%), Chase Bank & (83%), and Amazon (48%). Despite how hard it is for hackers to access, a 48% success rate is still a bad sign for Android. And Gmail, as the default email app for Android users, is sadly unprotected from malware and hackers – which is the most unfortunate part of the study. This likely explains why Google looks to integrate Samsung’s KNOX business security into the upcoming Android L update. Google shouldn’t stop there, however – ordinary customers should receive access to KNOX security as well, even if they’re not business professionals. The researchers also seemed certain that the same hacks could be replicated on iOS and Windows Phone, although they hadn’t tested this hypothesis at the time of the study. The key to the hack involves accessing the app at the same time that a user attempts to enter into the app to check email (Gmail) or deposit a check (Chase). “By design, Android allows apps to be preempted or hijacked. But the thing is you have to do it at the right time, so the user doesn’t notice. We do that, and that’s what makes our attack unique,†said the University of California-Riverside researcher Zhiyun Quian. For Quian and his team, shared memory is the cause of successful malware hacks: shared memory is tied to public side channels that can be accessed by anyone – including hackers. Hopefully, studies such as this will show Google that Android still needs more internet security protection safeguards in the future. Google has started scanning apps for malware (which is a good sign), but the search engine giant also needs to find ways to prevent malware-ridden apps from arriving in the Google Play Store in the first place. Although some consumers have never come into contact with malware-ridden apps, some of us here at Inferse have – and it pays to have an anti-virus app that scans your device thoroughly in such cases. There’s always danger in mobile, and you can’t discredit the testimonies of others because you’ve never encountered it yourself. Thefts and robberies exist in the world, and you can’t say that they don’t exist because a thief has never arrived at your doorstep. Here’s to hoping that we get to a place one day where malware apps no longer appear in the Google Play Store – and stories such as this become irrelevant.
  24. We can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach
  25. A cross-platform push may be on at "cloud first/mobile first" Microsoft, but for now Internet Explorer isn't a product the company plans to make available for its mobile OS rivals. There's been a big cross-platform push at Microsoft for the past year or so, with the company releasing its software and services for non-Windows-powered devices -- sometimes even ahead of the Windows versions. So what about Internet Explorer? There was a version of IE for Mac up until 2003, after all. So couldn't -- and shouldn't -- a "cloud first/mobile first" Microsoft make IE available on non-Windows devices, too? It sounds like the answer, at least for now, is "no." In a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Thursday, when asked about making IE available on iOS andAndroid, an IE team member answered: "Right now, we're focused on building a great mobile browser for Windows Phone and have made some great progress lately. So, no current plans for Android/iOS. We are committed to improving our own engine. We love the fact that the web was built on multiple competing (yet interoperable) platforms and believe that this is how it is going to move forward into the future!" Microsoft is enabling developers to test IE sites using Macs, but that's about it for now, another IE team member said. There were some other good tidbits in the IE Reddit AMA. For one, Microsoft may bring over some of the features in "Modern"/Immersive/Metro Style IE to desktop IE. "There are some great features that are in the immersive version (FlipAhead, reading view, using site images to represent Favorites, swiping to navigate back and forward...) that we'd like to bring over to the desktop. Feel free to tell us any of your thoughts or what you'd like to see, too," said one IE team member. Based on Microsoft IE team responses, it also sounds like Microsoft plans to make a UserVoice feedback and feature suggestion site available for IE some time soon. Microsoft IE team members repeatedly found themselves responding to those who don't believe IE has changed much from the bad old days. There's been talk -- including some very recently -- inside the company about rebranding IE to reflect the newer, more standards-centric focus by the IE team, one of the Microsoft Reddit participants acknowledged. "It's (rebranding's) been suggested internally; I remember a particularly long email thread where numerous people were passionately debating it. Plenty of ideas get kicked around about how we can separate ourselves from negative perceptions that no longer reflect our product today," the Softie said. (Another joked that "Ultron" -- the villain in Marvel comic books -- was one name considered, which Microsoft lawyers vetoed.) Asked why IE doesn't do automatic updating like Chrome and Firefox, an IE staffer responded: "When a new version of IE is pushed out, it's setup as an important update and for those users with automatic updates turned on in Windows (which is the majority) they automatically get the newest version." In response to the same question from another participant, a Microsoft IE team member noted, "We've gotten faster. Went from 2 years to 18 months to 12 months. We're getting better but more work to do." Microsoft officials noted that the company has begun delivering new IE features, not just bug fixes and security patches, as part of Microsoft's Patch Tuesday updates. This week's August Patch Tuesday updates included new WebGL and F12 development tool features. Microsoft also recently announced plans for IE to block outdated ActiveX plug-ins, starting September 9. And as of January 2016, Microsoft will drop support for IE 8 and will require users on various versions of Windows to use the most current browsers available for those platforms in order to continue to receive security fixes and patches from the company. The IE team provides a public-facing Web site ( that lists features on which Microsoft is planning to support and not support in future versions of its browser.