Archive for the 'Computers' Category

17
Mar
09

Patent war threatens to deadlock CPU development.

Intel wants to limit the competition and is dragging AMD to court to make them stop producing x86-based processors. Patents are ridiculous and a ball and chain on innovation, specifically so in the hands of lawyers, and this is just more proof. For the consumers this is a loose-loose situation. Regardless who wins they will be without competition and CPU development will stagnate just like soundcard development did after creative screwed that market over. 

Are 12 cores @4GHz the best we will ever see?

04
Mar
09

EFF teaches you how to secure your data

Through Boing Boing I found this amazing site. Everything you ever wanted to know about protecting your data from surveillance, thieves and people who have no business rummaging through your private life.

02
Mar
09

The Pirate Bay Trial – day 11

Closing arguments. Nothing really surprising here except maybe that the prosecutor didn’t ask for the maximum  two years of prison time. Prosecutor Roswall claims that there are 64 ad spaces on the site and at an estimated 3500sek/week The Pirate Bay has earned over 10 000 000sek. Problem with that is that there are only 4 banner spaces(sv). So income from banners is 1/16th of that. And since hardware costs are around 80 000sek/month (estimate by anakata at the press conference before the trial) on average that makes TPB a loss generating project.

But then again these lawyers don’t care about the money. It’s not going to the artists anyways. All they want is to label TPB illegal so they can strong arm ISPs to block it. Effectively shutting creators that take advantage of radically shorter distance between creator and consumer that file sharing allows, out of their most important market. 

IFPI tried this just a week earlier in Norway, but it din’t turn out so well.

Interesting to note as well is that Swedish media is talking less and less about different outfits protecting the rights of the artists. Instead they word it as protecting the rights holder. This is of course welcome. 

Much much sadder, but not at all unexpected, was that the IPRED over implementation was passed into law last week. A quick run down on how this works:

  1. Rights holders are granted special permission to store sensitive personal information about civilians. Data that is otherwise strictly protected by law.
  2. A rights holder goes to the court and claims that a certain IP is infringing on their pattern privileges and the court forces the ISP to hand over the identity behind the IP. Swedish police cannot do this, so the copyright lobby are given more rights than any other authority in Sweden. 
  3. The copyright lobby can now freeze your bank accounts and seize your property. What you need to realize here is that they will always target the owner of the account at the ISP. So the actual file sharer could be anyone at this point. 
  4. Next they will raid your house, seizing any and all computer and IT related equipment and anything else they can motivate the need for. Have private pictures of your bf/gf/spouse, well tough luck. Unusual sexual preferences? Political views? Diaries? Anonymous blogs? Accounting for your home business? The lobby will seize it all and not only for the one named on the Internet account. Every member of that family will get their lives seized. 
  5. Now they will hand you an extortion letter. It will demand that you hand over a large sum of money or they will drag you to court and sue you for many times this amount. With no computer, no cell phones, no access to your accounts you will be given 10 days or so to reply. 
  6. If you for some reason choose to stand your ground you situation is as follows: You will have to go to court and prove your innocence. There will be no lawyers with experience in pattern privileges cases available to you since they are most likely being used by or have been used by the copyright lobby. Since this is civil law your insurance will most likely not cover your expenses. And what money you have is frozen. 
  7. If you loose you have to pay for the expenses of the lobby. You will also be forced to pay for ads in newspapers detailing the crimes you were just convicted of. 

This new law allows for everything detailed above. You are at the mercy of the whims of the rights holders. And considering their track records in the US, UK and Denmark they will use any legal tool they have access to with full force. 

MEPs try to sooth us with promises that rights holders wont behave like this because it would generate badwill. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry here. They aren’t interested in avoiding badwill. They want us to fear them, so we stop developing our own society, shut up and empty our wallets in their laps.

20
Feb
09

The Pirate Bay Trial – day 5

Today we got to hear Peter Sunde aka Brokep testify.

He kept his cool for the most part, but IFPI lawyer Peter Danowsky incurs his wrath during the following exchange:

D: Have you held a key note called “How to Dismantle a Million Dollar Industry as a hobby”?

S: Yes

D: Do you mention your view on copyright in that key note? [sic]

S: That’s a political question, I thought this was a court of law, not of politics!

Shortly after Danowsky ask Sunde about a blog post of his, and Sunde first questions the relevancy then says

S: Is this a political trial, or a legal trial, could I have an answer?

D: No you can’t.

The prosecution manage to get themselves reprimanded by the judge since they for the second day in a row keep introducing surprise evidence. This is not acceptable in a Swedish court and a great argument erupts prompting the court to adjourn it self. Upon return it tells the prosecution to hand over any and all surprise evidence to the defense so that they can read it. Prosecution complained that they weren’t sure they would need it but eventually caves.

We also get to hear right wing millionaire Carl Lundström testify. I keep reading it for something interesting but all it says is that he removed himself from the site because his lawyers recommended him to. He is questioned on several canceled business ventures with TPB and further explains that he would have liked to do business with TPB because it’s a strong brand that attract you people. He donated hardware to TPB while he saw a possibility to do business with them, but after he pulled out he was paid for the hardware.

The Local summarizes.

Also on TorrentFreak and ZeroPaid

Another great read is the interview with author Sam Sunberg – The Pirate Bay ‘best for choice and efficiency’

And yes, I bought the book. Multiple copies in fact. Even though the distributors supports IPRED, and should burn in hell. I feel dirty. I just hope Sam and co author Anders Rydell have good contracts so they get most of my money.

19
Feb
09

IFPI.se defaced

IFPI.se deface

IFPI.se deface

Earlier today IFPI.se was defaced

STOP LYING HÅKAN ROSWALL ! ! !

The mindless hunt that IFPI, The Anti-Piracy Bureau, Warner Bros and all other companies med a finger in the game has now resulted in a trial where four innocent men are charged with copyright infringement.

This is a declaration of war against the anti piracy industry and those behind it, and we urge everyone to boycott and lynching of those responsible.

IFPI is only the beginning. More to come

The New Generation

# cred to: anakata, TiAMO and brokep

This pointless and stupid. Nuff said.

-Update

Brokep says: we’re winnig, stop hacknig plz.

-Update 2

ifpi.com and ifpi.org are not responding anymore.

-Update 3

ifpi.com and ifpi.org are back and appear untouched.

ifpi.se still not fully recovered.

18
Feb
09

King Kong Defense – Gotta love Wikipedia

One things for sure, its fast!

18
Feb
09

The Pirate Bay Trial – day 3

I’m reading through the English articles I found over at Scaber Nestor. He’s also tracking articles in the rest of Europe, Asia and South America. Most of them are fairly neutral, but this one was a favorite. But that probably mostly because it has a video clip and I could rest my eyes for a bit. I’m wondering though why the reporter keeps calling the site The Pirate Web when all text, logos and everyone interviewed calls it The Pirate Bay? BBC also has a good and thorough article. It even covers some of the very shady dealings the content industry have a hand in. Theres a huge list in Swedish over at Political Blogger of the year award winner Opassande. I’ve been dying to translate it, perhaps later tonight.

As you might expect Prosecutor Håkan Roswall continues to deliver. This morning he was claiming that the amended charge sheet was merely a small adjustment(sv) and should not be seen as the prosecution dropping the charges. The court requests to know if either of IFPI, MPAA or the Anti-Piracy Bureau wants to pick up the charges. Mr Roswall responds by saying that prosecution might need a recess to discuss this, but then decides not to…

Thankfully he is getting a lot less room today when IFPI lawyer Peter Danowsky, MPAA lawyer Monique Wadsted and Anti-Piracy Bureau lawyer Henrik Pontén will be making their cases against the crew of The Pirate bay and attempt explain and justify their ridiculous 13.9m € damage claims.

Danowsky argues as follows:

  • When these downloads occurred legal download sites offered the same content at an average price of 10€.
  • The record labels cut of this was 6.5€.
  • Every download is lost sale.
  • TPB are mean to rights holders that are demanding TPB follows non-applicable law (usually the DMCA).
  • TPB has hindered the development of legal services since IFPI can’t compete with gratis.
  • Sharing of songs that IFPI isn’t even selling is particularly bad and IFPI will thus demand up to 10x the ordinary 6.5€ for each such download. (Beatles 1Q is 10x)

Well, Statens Kriminaltekniska Labratorium (SKL), which is the closest Sweden has to CSI, who investigated the hardware and other materials seized during the raid against TPB, did among others things look at the code for HyperCube. This is the webserver software that Ankata wrote in C and was previously used to run TPB. SKL found bugs in the download counters. Since the prosecution is unwilling to detail the bugs I’m assuming that they either don’t understand how the bugs effects the number of reported downloads or they are trying to downplay the significance of the bugs.

Further more the claim that each download is a lost sale is based on nothing more than fantasies. It’s being thrown out of US courts and defies the most basic concepts of supply and demand. In fact independant research shows that the economy benefits from file sharing. KTH and Hardvard have published similar reports, i might update with links later.

Humorous side note, Danowsky had to clarify that one the songs in the original charges had been removed (labeled 1J), this because it turned out that they did in fact not own the rights to this song.

Pontén argues as follows:

  • APB agrees with the reasoning of IFPI/Danowsky
  • Were TPB to acquire a world wide license from the clients of APB this would have cost 700 000 sek (~64 000 €)
  • Alternative they could go for 60% of an average full price sale (their cut) per download. ~6€
  • Bugs in HyperCube is not the fault of APB or their clients and should be ignored.
  • Goodwill has been lost since release date are “planned in great detail”.
  • We seek twice the amount in damages for loss of goodwill.
  • The movies in question have been seen next to ads for sexual services.

Sexual services? Brokep comments on twitter. We are dying to see them try to prove that one! Prosecution are also cheap bastards that refused to pay for Brokeps pizza after the trial today (also on twitter). 🙂

Wadsted argues as follows:

  • Policing torrents on a site with 22m users is just as easy as deleting a word document.
  • Production of copies and giving access to copies are sides of the same coin.
  • Even though the DVD of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released on DVD on in March 2006 it was available on TPB in February 2006.
  • TPB recievs huge traffic and has ads, therefore earns huge amounts of money

Here it bares pointing out that the most common source for pre-release material is from people inside of the industry. Maybe you have an uncle that operates a projector at a cinema, a music journalist that’s a child hood friend of yours and so on. The argument about the ads is quite funny aswell. She knows that any serious adds on TPB are targeted by the lawyers and the companies behind them are threatened with contributory copyright infringement unless the remove their ads from TPB. Further she has yet to provide any froof of the claim that TPB has earned these huge amounts of money. TPB is a top 100 site and has ads, thus it makes money.

Cum hoc, ergo propter hoc.

She also has the gall to complain that there is more demand for content without DRM than there is for content infected with it. In her world DRM adds value and we should all pay extra for that…

At this point the defense replies to the charges:

Wadsted counters with a claim that:

“The works were available on the day in question”.

The Court:

“It would be useful for the court to know, in the case that the court decides to reject the case before it, does the plaintiff wish assume the responsibility to proceed with the dropped charges on behalf of the prosecution”?

Wadsted:

“No”

Ok, maybe a slightly convoluted translation, but I think you get the point.

Further arguments of the defense:

  • The statistics on the TPB are unreliable.
  • The content on the site is generated by the users.
  • No copyright protected material can be found on the servers.
  • The crew of the site is in fact much larger that the four being charged today.
  • The mere existence of a torrent on TPB is not equal to making copyright protected material available
  • The torrent on TPB does in no way prove that the user that uploaded it was connected to the server at the given time let alone prove that the uploader actually had the file on his or her computer.
  • The supplier of a search engine can never be made responsible for the information found through it, or file transfers made.
  • A cornerstone of the Internet is links to information, and a torrent file is such a link, meaning you have a right to provide such links.
  • European e-commerce law declares freedom from responsibility for the parties that supply the technology. And in the case of BitTorrent what’s being transfered isn’t even the copyright protected content.
  • There is no correlation between the number of downloads and economic loss.
  • Its claimed that the majority the torrents on TPB link to copyright protected works. This is not true, hasn’t been proven and the lawyer of Peter Sunde promises to expand on this later.
  • The legal counsel for Carl Lundström claims that no more than 20% of the material on TPB is protected by copyright.
  • On each of the specific charges it is clearly stated what user is responsible for uploading the torrent to TPB.

The different lawyers for the different defendants made further arguments on top of this, but they are concerning the specific and individual involvement of each individual defendant. I see little reason to list them. They all deny all forms of involvement in any form of copyright infringement. Carl Lundström denies any and all involvement with TPB since 2005 (raid was 2006).

SR International interviews The Bureau of Piracy and STIM, and their lawyer Lars Henriksson naturally confuses free with gratis. He also says that developers of file sharing platforms should come to them and conform to their business model.

Parallel to the trial, ABBA founder Björn Ulvaeus demands we stop criticizing the law just pay dammit! Long time ABBA fan and author Anna Troberg responded with “I don’t mind paying with money, but I’ll sure as hell not pay with my freedoms or rights!” Writer Gene Oberto responds on The Local and on Newsmill, a liberal debate site, hundreds of readers commented on Mr Ulvaeus article saying pretty much the same thing.

WE ARE NOT PAYING WITH OUR CIVIL LIBERTIES OR HUMAN RIGHTS!

Other day 3 reports:

TorrentFreak, Another 15 Minutes, Happily Ever After Time?, P2pNET