Local Time

Sunday, January 20, 2013

RED BULL - slow death ...


France & Denmark have banned it from the country...

RED BULL - slow death ...

Do NOT drink this drink anymore!

Pay attention...read everything...

As a public health safety, please pass on this email to all the contacts in your address book especially those with teenage children.

This drink is SOLD in all the supermarkets IN OUR country and our children ARE CONSUMING IT ON A TRIAL BASIS. IT can be FATAL.

RED BULL was created to stimulate the brains in people who are subjected to great physical force and in stress coma and never to be consumed like an innocent drink or soda pop.

RED BULL IS the energizer DRINK that is commercialized world-wide with its slogan: "It increases endurance, awakens the concentration capacity and the speed of reaction, offers more energy and improves the mood. All this can be found in a can of RED BULL, the power drink of the millennium."

RED BULL has managed to arrive in almost 100 countries worldwide. The RED BULL logo is targeted at young people and sportsmen, two attractive segments that have been captivated by the stimulus that the drink provides.

It was created by Dietrich Mateschitz, an industrialist of Austrian origin who discovered the drink by chance. It happened during a business trip to Hong Kong , when he was working at a factory that manufactured toothbrushes.

The liquid, based on a formula that contained caffeine and taurine, caused a rage in that country. Imagine the grand success of this drink in Europe where the product still did not exist, besides it was a superb opportunity to become an entrepreneur.

BUT THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS DRINK IS ANOTHER THING

FRANCE and DENMARK have just prohibited it as a cocktail of death, due to its vitamin components mixed with GLUCURONOLACTONE ' - a highly-dangerous chemical, which was developed by the United States Department of Defense during the sixties to stimulate the moral of the troops based in VIETNAM, which acted like a hallucinogenic drug that calmed the stress of the war.

But their effects in the organism were so devastating, that it was discontinued, because of the high index of cases of migraines, cerebral tumors and diseases of the liver that was evident in the soldiers who consumed it.

And in spite of it, in the can of RED BULL you can still find as one of its components: GLUCURONOLACTONE, categorized medically as a stimulant. But what it does not say on the can of RED BULL are the consequences of its consumption, and that has forced a series of WARNINGS...

1. It is dangerous to take it if you do not engage in physical exercise afterwards, since its energizing function accelerates the heart rate and can cause a sudden attack.

2. You run the risk of undergoing a cerebral hemorrhage, because RED BULL contains components that dilute the blood so that the heart utilizes less energy to pump the blood, and thus be able to deliver physical force with less effort being exerted.

3. It is prohibited to mix RED BULL with alcohol, because the mixture turns the drink into a " Deadly Bomb " that attacks the liver directly, causing the affected area never to regenerate anymore.

4. One of the main components of RED BULL is the B12 vitamin, used in medicine to recover patients who are in a coma ; from here the hypertension and the state of excitement which is experienced after taking it, as if you were in a drunken state.

5. The regular consumption of RED BULL triggers off symptoms in the form of a series of irreversible nervous and neuronal diseases.

CONCLUSION: It is a drink that should be prohibited in the entire world as when it is mixed with alcohol it creates a TIME BOMB for the human body, mainly between innocent adolescents and adults with little experience. Forward this mail to Everyone and Let them know about this..









France & Denmark have banned it from the country...
RED BULL - slow death ...

Do NOT drink this drink anymore!

Pay attention...read everything...

As a public health safety, please pass on this email to all the contacts in your address book especially those with teenage children.

This drink is SOLD in all the supermarkets IN OUR country and our children ARE CONSUMING IT ON A TRIAL BASIS. IT can be FATAL.

RED BULL was created to stimulate the brains in people who are subjected to great physical force and in stress coma and never to be consumed like an innocent drink or soda pop.

RED BULL IS the energizer DRINK that is commercialized world-wide with its slogan: "It increases endurance, awakens the concentration capacity and the speed of reaction, offers more energy and improves the mood. All this can be found in a can of RED BULL, the power drink of the millennium."

RED BULL has managed to arrive in almost 100 countries worldwide. The RED BULL logo is targeted at young people and sportsmen, two attractive segments that have been captivated by the stimulus that the drink provides.

It was created by Dietrich Mateschitz, an industrialist of Austrian origin who discovered the drink by chance. It happened during a business trip to Hong Kong , when he was working at a factory that manufactured toothbrushes.

The liquid, based on a formula that contained caffeine and taurine, caused a rage in that country. Imagine the grand success of this drink in Europe where the product still did not exist, besides it was a superb opportunity to become an entrepreneur.

BUT THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS DRINK IS ANOTHER THING

FRANCE and DENMARK have just prohibited it as a cocktail of death, due to its vitamin components mixed with GLUCURONOLACTONE ' - a highly-dangerous chemical, which was developed by the United States Department of Defense during the sixties to stimulate the moral of the troops based in VIETNAM, which acted like a hallucinogenic drug that calmed the stress of the war.

But their effects in the organism were so devastating, that it was discontinued, because of the high index of cases of migraines, cerebral tumors and diseases of the liver that was evident in the soldiers who consumed it.

And in spite of it, in the can of RED BULL you can still find as one of its components: GLUCURONOLACTONE, categorized medically as a stimulant. But what it does not say on the can of RED BULL are the consequences of its consumption, and that has forced a series of WARNINGS...

1. It is dangerous to take it if you do not engage in physical exercise afterwards, since its energizing function accelerates the heart rate and can cause a sudden attack.

2. You run the risk of undergoing a cerebral hemorrhage, because RED BULL contains components that dilute the blood so that the heart utilizes less energy to pump the blood, and thus be able to deliver physical force with less effort being exerted.

3. It is prohibited to mix RED BULL with alcohol, because the mixture turns the drink into a " Deadly Bomb " that attacks the liver directly, causing the affected area never to regenerate anymore.

4. One of the main components of RED BULL is the B12 vitamin, used in medicine to recover patients who are in a coma ; from here the hypertension and the state of excitement which is experienced after taking it, as if you were in a drunken state.

5. The regular consumption of RED BULL triggers off symptoms in the form of a series of irreversible nervous and neuronal diseases.

CONCLUSION: It is a drink that should be prohibited in the entire world as when it is mixed with alcohol it creates a TIME BOMB for the human body, mainly between innocent adolescents and adults with little experience. Forward this mail to Everyone and Let them know about this..

Copyright Cops Arrested 9-Year-Old Girl

The entertainment industry sunk to a new PR low recently – they managed to accuse a 9-year-old girl of piracy and confiscate her Winnie-the-Pooh laptop.

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CIAPC – the very company that had TPB blocked by Finnish Internet service providers, has tracked some evil file-sharer. The media reports say that they demanded that she pay €600 or go to court. Apparently, the company had no idea that the evil pirate was only 9, which means that €600 was undoubtedly out of the range of her pocket money. They decided to use the case as an example of its extra-judiciary powers. As a result, Finnish taxpayers paid for an expensive raid on the 9-year-old suspect’s home, with the police confiscating her Winnie-the-Pooh laptop.

During the police interrogation, the girl broke and told that she had no money to buy the latest album from local multi-platinum-selling songstress Chisu. Last year the girl switched to the web, first through Google and then the world’s largest BitTorrent tracker, The Pirate Bay. However, the download didn’t work and her father finally bought her music in the store.

Anyway, the copyright cops weren’t impressed with this story, claiming that the girl would lose her laptop to test the power of the entertainment industry. They also told her that it would have been easier for everyone if she had paid the compensation. According to the girl’s father, it was worse than dealing with the Mafia, because the latter doesn’t normally use police to do their dirty work today, nor it feels honorable to hit up 9-year-olds for cash.

According to Electronic Frontier Finland, this recent move clearly illustrates just how far copyright enforcement has progressed in the country. As for Chisu, the artist has said that she didn’t want to sue anyone and that no musician needs such kind of media attention.

Censor from China Silenced

A local censor employed by the popular microblogging website Weibo was seen snapping on the back of a censorship story which is now going viral across China.

The Guandong Southern Weekly newspaper had to take action when it turned out that a top Communist Party official edited an article without consulting the publication. Then, the newspaper’s Weibo account was accessed by the local authorities who published a retraction on all comments about censorship, which prompted further protest along with rare planned strike action at the newspaper.

Due to the controversy, the country’s government wanted to censor all keywords and terms which had something to do with Southern Weekly, currently known as the “Southern Weekly New Year Greeting incident”. Since then, the users were expressing their frustrations at Sina Weibo, and one of the managers, going by @geiune_Yu_Yang, has snapped and published a detailed description of the censorship process. He explained that the Internet users were shielded from seeing the process. In case the company fails to delete controversial publications, the entire account can be banned. The manager also explained that there’s a group of people who can send alert signals to the portal, and are able to shut down the website when they wish. This scheme was compared to the “Emperor’s 18 golden orders in ancient times”, where in case of an urgent order there is no choice but to carry them out.

The manager insists that despite the fact that the company wants to give voices to people, it is under control of a manipulating hand. In other words, China has so many sensitive barriers that the organizations have to operate within a certain set of rules. Yu_Yang compared censorship orders to a scene in Cinema Paradiso, where a Catholic priest is sitting backstage, waiting for a scene considered against the church to ring a bell. The same happens with China – they have to take orders whenever they hear the ringing bell. The fate of the message proves this point, since it must have rung a bell and was promptly deleted, along with the manager’s account. However, as the manager pointed out, the messages are able to spread quickly despite their eventual deletion. This proved to be true and his message has been delivered, although the original message was destroyed by the Chinese authorities.

Book Publishers Have Won Lawsuit against File-Sharers

The first book publishing company which managed to win a lawsuit against several file-sharers turned out to be John Wiley and Sons. The court ruled that the two New York residents have to pay a $7.000 penalty for pirating their copyrighted content. 

dummies.jpg


Following the Recording Industry Association of America, which once tried to settle with pirates by filing lawsuits one after another, book publishing companies have also turned their heads to the legal system in a hope that legal precedent can help them stop book piracy.

John Wiley and Sons, the publishing company known for the “For Dummies” series, have recently sued a couple of New Yorkers for unauthorized sharing some of their books. The publisher was lucky – the court has decided to find them guilty as charged and fined them with $7.000 in damages.

However, the experts point out that the only thing that could be learned after RIAA’s reign of anti-piracy lawsuits is that pursuing people brings no results except upsetting the public, regardless of their status. Many times the portals like The Pirate Bay have been trying to find a middle-way between the file-sharers and content creators, and its partnership with Tim Ferriss, for instance, was quite successful. Tim Ferriss allowed the BitTorrent tracker to put a bundle of The 4-Hour Chef up for downloads, including behind-the-scenes videos and samples from the book. In result, he gathered over 1.4 million downloads and the attention of hundreds of millions file-sharers throughout the world. Moreover, The Pirate Bay also offered a complete download of his other bestseller titled The 4-Hour Workweek.

It is known that before partnering with BitTorrent, Tim Ferriss tried to contact Amazon, and this decision was criticized by many booksellers. As a result, the famous author focused on BitTorrent, taking into account that Bram Cohen’s company had proven to be successful with promoting young content creators, including writers and musicians.

Nevertheless, the truth is that it is next to impossible at the moment to quantify the amount of revenues this promotion brings to the content creator, but this doesn’t mean it’s a dead end.

O2 & Be Broadband Sent out File-Sharing Notifications

Subscribers of O2 and Be Broadband, alleged of unauthorized downloading copyrighted content, have already received notifications from their Internet service providers.
Subscribers-of-O2-and-Be-Broadband-Get-Filesharing-Warnings.jpg

Local media reported that O2 and Be Broadband have begun sending out notification letters to their customers alleged of being involved in downloading copyrighted material. The notifications have been issued to almost 2,800 subscribers.

Everything started with an intention of Golden Eye International to prevent Internet users from sharing content across the web to which it owns the copyright. The number of the originally targeted customers was close to 9,000, and the company believed that this number would translate in satisfying damage compensation fees. However, its plan was moderated by the High Court.

The entire system of demanding Internet service providers to notify subscribers alleged of downloading copyrighted content was enforced by the very controversial Digital Economy Act. The latter came into force two years ago as a means of cracking down on unauthorized file-sharing, but thus far there are still some provisions in it that are awaiting approval.

Facebook Profits from Cyber-Stalking Ads

It seems that the largest social network in the world can give Google a run for its money. The industry observers point out that Facebook is answering Wall Street’s demands to make more cash by introducing advertisements that cyber stalk its users. This type of behavior has been lively discussed many times by the industry observers and the concerned parties. Now the discussion continues with a new hero of the story.

Media reports claim that the advertisements follow the users as they browse the Internet and remember their habits for very long time. In the meantime, the Facebook Exchange (FBX) ad-bidding network is still in a testing mode. Of course, advertisers love this way of promotion, because it delivers the souls of an outstanding amount of users with a strong propensity to click on adverts. In addition, it helps follow the Facebook members for longer periods of time than is normally possible under competing systems. In other words, it can easily give the search giant a run for its money.

The system in question is already helping to improve Facebook’s financial situation, even though it hasn’t been saying much about it. However, there are a few things that could go wrong for the network yet. First of all, the system might anger privacy rights groups, especially in the European Union. Secondly, it is mostly PC-based, while that particular market seems to be slowly dying off. At the same time, on the money making mobile gadgets, it is much harder to follow and retarget users who routinely switch from browser to applications and back again, as well as from one gadget to another.

British Users Lose Interest to Facebook

Despite the fact that Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild, Facebook, remains the most popular social network in the world, the recent report from tracking company SocialBakers reveals that more than 500,000 British users lost interest to the service over the last month.

Actually, the United Kingdom is the world’s 6th most active user base for Facebook. However, the statistics says that usage declined by almost 2% over Christmas. Industry experts point out that the drop in usage is actually typical for the season, but the investors began to worry that the social network is fast approaching its saturation point. Everyone knows that Facebook was forced to go public, and its IPO wasn’t very successful. Since then, the concern of the experts was that the unpredictability of Facebook’s young CEO, coupled with a quandary over how it could effectively monetize its huge user base, made Facebook’s over valued shares drop quickly. The company is yet to go public on a plan to make it the sort of serious cash investors expect, this is in spite of Facebook’s incredibly high valuation.

However, within the last month, the tracking firm noticed a greater dip – overall, the common drop was 2.88% of users. Although the United Kingdom wasn’t the only most Facebook-friendly country to lose users over the festive period, other ten countries showed a lesser decline: for instance, there has been a slight drop in the United States (0.69% less users), along with Indonesia and Mexico, which are also in the top 10. At the moment, the United States is Facebook’s largest market, estimated at 167 million users. US market penetration there is estimated at just under 54%, while in the United Kingdom it is 52.6%.

Playboy Fined for Being Open to Children

In the United Kingdom, an agency known as Ofcom has recently slapped the adult magazine with a £100,000 fine over its failure to protect kids from pornographic content. The governmental agency has recently found out that a couple of Playboy websites – Playboy TV and Demand Adult – failed to provide adequate controls to check if their users are older than 18. It means that the websites didn’t ask their visitors to enter credit card details in order to prove that they were mature enough to view pornographic material and incur a lot of personal debt.

Demand Adult portal has displayed hardcore porno which could be viewed with just one click of a button saying “Enter I am over 18”. Apparently, these particular words aren’t something that would drive most porn users away. As for Playboy TV, it fared a little better, because it didn’t display explicit detail. Nevertheless, it still allowed visitors to register by providing details of a debit card, which can’t be regarded as an effective age verification method. As such, Playboy TV received a £35,000 fine, and Demand Adult is demanded to pay £65,000.

Last month, the UK Internet watchdog also fined adult site Strictly Broadband, which failed to include effective controls in place in order to verify that users of the website were aged 18 or over. The problem of our days is that it becomes harder and harder to introduce a system which would guarantee that the users are over 18. For instance, one of the verification systems is Captcha – it would force people to submit their responses through a Nokia 3310, and it is still considered by some as a proper foolproof age verification system. Playboy still has something to consider regarding the way of protecting children from explicit content.

A father passing by his son's bedroom

A father passing by his son's bedroom, was astonished to see that the bed was nicely made, and everything was picked up. Then, he saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow. It was addressed, ' Dad.'

With the worst premonition, he opened the envelope and read the letter, with trembling hands.

Dear, Dad

It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing to you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend, because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mum and you.
I've been finding real passion with Stacy, and she is so nice, but I knew you would not approve of her, because of all her piercings, tattoos, her tight Motorcycle clothes, and because she is so much older than I am.
But it's not only the passion, Dad . She's pregnant.

Stacy said that we will be very happy. She owns a caravan in the woods, and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children.

Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone. We'll be growing it for ourselves, and trading it with the other people in the commune, for all the cocaine and ecstasy we want.

In the meantime, we'll pray that science will find a cure for AIDS, so Stacy can get better. She sure deserves it!

Don't worry Dad , I'm 15, and I know how to take care of myself.
Someday, I'm sure we'll be back to visit, so you can get to know your many grandchildren.

Love,
Your son, Joshua.

P.S. Dad , none of the above is true. I'm over at Jason's house.
I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the school report that's on the kitchen table.

Call when it is safe for me to come home :)

“Six Strikes” Anti-Piracy Scheme Affects Some Businesses, Public WiFi Forbidden


During the coming weeks the controversial “six-strikes” anti-piracy system will start in the U.S. The initiative is aimed at educating the public, but last week we uncovered from leaked documents that it also applies to businesses. Today CCI director Jill Lesser confirms that indeed some business accounts will be affected. However, she adds that this is not going to affect café owners who offer public WiFi, as this is already prohibited in the applicable Terms of Services.
wifi-dangerA week ago TorrentFreak had the honor to reveal the full details of Verizon’s implementation of the upcoming “copyright alerts” system.
In short, the Internet provider will notify customers whose accounts are caught sharing pirated movies and music, and after four warnings these account will be temporarily throttled to 256kbps.
Besides from the details, the leaked documents also revealed that business accounts will also be subject to the copyright alert system. This means that these companies will have to prevent their employees from pirating, and makes it impossible for coffee shops to share their WiFi with customers.
Following up on this finding we asked the Center for Copyright Information (CCI), the group that’s responsible for the copyright alerts plan, whether Verizon perhaps made a mistake by applying it to business accounts. This is not the case.
CCI Executive Director Jill Lesser told TorrentFreak in a comment that most alerts will go to private customers, but that some businesses are indeed affected.
“The Copyright Alert System is targeted to residential customers, and the vast majority of alerts issued will be residential. There is a small pool of home office or home-business customers that may end up in the copyright alert system due to infrastructures in place at the member ISPs,” Lesser said.
According to the CCI this is not a problem as these companies shouldn’t let employees share copyrighted material in the first place.
“Importantly, the terms of service are essentially the same as residential accounts and if small businesses are allowing their employees to engage in copyright theft then they are violating their terms of service,” Lesser says.
The same is true for public WiFi according to Lesser, as these business accounts are already forbidden to share their Internet access with customers.
“In addition, the terms of service on such accounts do not allow them to be used to provide free WiFi or ‘hotspots’ so the hypothetical café owner offering public WiFi will not be subject to the CAS if they are following their terms of service.”
Indeed, as we look at Verizon’s business TOS we read the following:
“You may not provide Internet access to third parties through a wired or wireless connection or use the Service to facilitate public Internet access (such as through a Wi-Fi hotspot).”
Previously these terms were hard to monitor and enforce, but with the copyright alert system this changes.
We have no information on the number of small businesses that will be directly impacted, but expect that there are quite a few. So don’t be surprised to see the public WiFi disappear at your favorite coffee shop when the six-strikes scheme goes live.

Happy Internet Freedom Day! – But Was SOPA Really Defeated?


Today is Internet Freedom Day. After historic protests last year SOPA was shelved and the anti-piracy proposal eventually died completely, a big victory for the millions who protested. However, a year later we see that several of SOPA’s provisions are being executed nonetheless, without any oversight or complaint from the public.
internet-freedom“The Internet” celebrates the defeat of SOPA and PIPA as “Internet Freedom Day” today.
What started as a small protest movement by activist groups developed into mainstream news when tech giants such as Google and Wikipedia joined in. Exactly a year ago following months of scattered protests there was a massive Internet blackout campaign.
As a result the balance of power tipped, and Hollywood and the music industry were forced into retreat. Soon after both bills were declared dead but that doesn’t mean that the Internet is more free than it was before.
The irony is that many of the things that were so bad about SOPA are now pretty much common practice, without any new laws being passed. Let’s take a look at three key SOPA provisions:
1. SOPA would make it easier for copyright holders to request a court order asking payment providers to stop doing business with rogue websites.
2. SOPA would make it easier for copyright holders to request a court order askingadvertising networks to stop doing business with rogue websites.
3. SOPA would make it easier for copyright holders to request a court order asking search engines to stop linking to rogue websites.
Copyright groups took a lesson from the public’s revolt against SOPA and seem to be putting in more effort applying pressure behind the scenes now. Over the past 12 months we’ve seen more anti-piracy efforts than ever before involving payment processors, advertising networks and major search engines.
PayPal for example has stopped providing services to dozens of cloud hosting and Usenet companies. Copyright holders also have private agreements in place with VISA, MasterCard, CTIA, Monitise, PaySafeCard and PhonePayPlus to strangle finances to “unauthorized sites.”
When services clearly promote copyright infringement these actions may be warranted, but this is not always the case.
The same also applies to advertising networks. Various copyright groups have lobbied for a more strict policy against infringing sites, and this has now paid off through private agreements.
Similarly, copyright holders continue to put pressure on Google asking the search engine to do something about the piracy problem. Google is listening, but copyright holders themselves also upped the ante by asking Google to delete more than 50 million web pages from its search engine.
As we can see, these three examples show how copyright holders are successfully pursuing some of the SOPA provisions without any court getting involved. Again, in most cases these actions are most likely warranted, but it also affects legitimate businesses and free speech.
While it’s certainly worth remembering the defeat of SOPA and PIPA, Internet Freedom Day should mostly be a reminder of the threats that still remain. Those who want to take action against some of the current threats are welcome to take a look at the official campaign page.

Math Teacher Convicted for Linking to Pirated Answer Sheets


A Dutch teacher has been convicted for linking to pirated copies of math answer sheets stored on file-storage sites. The Amsterdam court ordered the teacher to remove the hyperlinks from his personal website and pay the litigation costs. According to the verdict the teacher facilitated students’ copyright infringements, this despite the fact that downloading for personal use is legal in the Netherlands.
mathTo assist students a Dutch high school teacher linked to pdf copies of answer books from his personal website.
The pirated answer sheets were stored on file-hosting services including Microsoft’s Skydrive.
However, instead of sending take-down notices to the hosting providers, the book publishers concerned schooled the math teacher in court.
The publishers, including Noordhoff, were not happy with the man’s defiant behavior and demanded that the teacher remove the links. They also claimed that the man was the initial uploader of the files.
In his defense the teacher argued that math answers are universal as there is only one right solution to a question, and that these answers are therefore free of copyright.
In a ruling yesterday the Amsterdam court disagreed. While answers to math problems may often be identical, the way the answers are explained can be crucially different, the court explained.
“Not only the formulation of the curriculum challenges the creator to make creative choices. This may also be the case in the construction of the answers. That there’s eventually only one right answer doesn’t change this,” the court writes in its verdict.
The court further explained that linking in itself isn’t copyright infringement, but that the links made it easier for others to pirate the answer books. As a result the court believes that the publishers were directly harmed by the teacher’s actions.
“In this context it is significant and can hardly be assumed otherwise, that Noordhoff will sell less and lose income because the answer books are made available on the Internet,” the court noted.
The teacher’s defense, that his website has no commercial purpose and that he’s aiding students, didn’t change the infringing nature of the links. The fact that downloading for personal use is legal in the Netherlands was seen as irrelevant.
A lower court initially ruled that the man was also the person who uploaded the pirated books, but the appeal court dismissed this claim from the publishers due to lack of evidence.
The teacher was found guilty of facilitating copyright infringement and the judge ordered him to remove the hyperlinks from his personal website and pay the litigation costs, which add up to several thousand euros.

Pirated Cartoon Download Leads to Kindergarten Porn Show


A teacher with an apparently limited knowledge of file-sharing techniques committed a blunder of epic proportions last Friday. In an attempt to obtain a cartoon movie for her class to watch the teacher fired up a file-sharing client, tapped a few buttons and initiated a download . Taking the finished product into class, she fired up her computer and went outside to answer a phone call. When she returned the 3 to 5-year-old children in her care were watching a porn movie.
There can little doubt, file-sharing networks can turn up some of the most amazing pieces of media to be found anywhere on the face of the planet.
In addition to all the latest movies and music from just about every musician ever, BitTorrent and other similar networks play host to lots of documentaries, rare footage, document caches, long-discontinued pieces of software and other digital rarities.
But of course, in addition to these undoubted jewels P2P networks also have the ability to turn up the unexpected, as one poor teacher in France learned the hard way last Friday.
The woman, a kindergarten teacher at a school in France, decided she would acquire a movie for her pupils to watch in class. Like many people these days she turned to the Internet and downloaded what she thought was a cartoon suitable for her 3 to 5-year-olds.
It didn’t go well.
After turning up at class she played the file in question but immediately left the room to answer a telephone call, leaving the children to ‘enjoy’ it alone. However, when she returned “five minutes at the most” later she realized that the file she had downloaded was not the ‘cartoon’ she expected, but a full-on porn movie.
A spokesperson for the school described the disaster as an “extremely regrettable accident.” Understandably some parents are claiming that their children were shocked by what they had seen.
As highlighted by our friends at Numerama the error is an easy one to make, especially with file-sharing clients that do not rely on websites to index their content.
On these networks files are identified by a hash but can be superficially renamed by anyone to pretty much anything. This means that malicious users can easily change the title of a porn movie to resemble that of a Disney classic, setting in motion a chain of events such as the one detailed above.
While it is unclear which file-sharing system the teacher used, the same error is unlikely to have taken place is she had put her faith in BitTorrent. Had she done so she would have visited an indexing site (such as The Pirate Bay) where not only would the porn be found in a section on its own, but users of the site would’ve already flagged the file as badly named and had it removed by the site’s moderators.
But of course, the porn industry doesn’t make things any better either. Fancy watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? Well if you do please take care, there is an adult movie of exactly the same name. Beauty and the Beast? Check. Little Red Riding Hood? Check.
The moral of the story is this: If you don’t want a nasty surprise, use an indexing site where possible, read the comments section thoroughly, and if you want to be double sure, paste the hash of the file being downloaded into Google. You’re not just avoiding porn here, but malware and other nasties.
Oh, and don’t expect technology to do an intelligent babysitting job, even for five minutes.

Pirate Party Battles LEGO Over Copyright and Trademark Injunction


The timeless plastic bricks of LEGO can be built into predetermined items such as a car or house but can also be formed into any shape, the options limited only by the creativeness of its builder. However, turn LEGO bricks into a controversial item and the company’s lawyers could soon be breathing down your neck. The Czech Pirate Party did just that and are now calling for Internet allies in their war with the corporates behind one of the world’s most famous toys.
legopirate1Without doubt the favorite toy of many kids’ is LEGO. What’s not to like about a kit for a country house that can be smashed to bits and turned into a ridiculous 30-wheel truck with a ray-gun on top?
Of course, the makers of LEGO probably aren’t that keen on kids building space guns and other makeshift weapons out of their famous multi-colored blocks. But while there’s little the Danish company can do about that happening in private, raise your head in public doing the same thing and matters can take a turn for the worse.
Last year the Czech Pirate Party produced an animated promotional video to assist their political campaign showing a couple of ‘influential’ businessmen with government connections throwing their money into a lake.
As the video below shows, their little party had an unexpected gatecrasher intent on draining the lake of the corrupt big fish.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, LEGO are not happy that the Pirates used their product in this way. LEGO issued the Pirate Party with a takedown notice in August 2012 claiming copyright and trademark infringement, but the party refused to comply.
“Their claim is based on ‘good reputation of a corporation’,” Mikulas Ferjencik, vice-president of the Czech Pirate Party told TorrentFreak. “LEGO claims that we have damaged their reputation by linking LEGO and the Pirate Party.”
In October matters escalated when LEGO applied to a Prague court for a preliminary injunction against the party. The injunction was granted, forcing the pirates to remove the video from their official campaign media, but LEGO have additional demands.
“First they want us to not use LEGO figurines in any of our activities. Second, they want us to apologize for using LEGO figurines without their permission and to state that we did not receive any financial support from LEGO for our campaign. Third, pay the costs of the court,” Ferjencik adds.
Despite the elections being over, the party went on to file an appeal against the injunction. The complaint from LEGO had certainly pushed their buttons.
legoalien“This is exactly the kind of action against which pirates are fighting. We do not like limiting artistic creation or restrictions on human freedoms under the guise of copyright protection, or under a similar pretext of protecting the reputation of a legal person,” says Czech Pirate Party chairman Ivan Bartos.
“The clip with LEGO figures was created by our fan as his artistic work. Is it really true, that an artist may not use a figure for his own story, until it is approved in the instructions of the LEGO marketing department?”
The appeal will be heard by the High Court in Prague but in the meantime the pirates are encouraging supporters to send a clear message to LEGO. This, the party says, will be achieved by turning the Danish company’s own product against them.
“Get a Pirate flag or two and/or other Pirate merchandise you happen to own, go to your nearest LEGO-land or LEGO store and take a photo in front of it with all the flags and stuff,” the party says in their appeal.
“Finally, send us the picture and, ideally, also the GPS coordinates of the place where the picture was taken, so that we can make a map of the places in case this campaign gets appropriately big.”
Other creative options for protest are acceptable according to the pirates, as long as they depict Pirate Party imagery alongside LEGO products.
In 1996 LEGO was involved in another controversy when a Polish artist used their product to make a concentration camp. LEGO took legal action but later dropped the complaint following public outcry. The Pirate Party would welcome a similar outcome.

Sound Recording Just 6% of Average Musician’s Income


For the major music labels the sales of recorded music represent the majority of their revenue, but a different picture emerges when looking at the income of individual musicians. A new survey among 5,000 U.S. musicians of different genres shows that on average only six percent of all revenue comes from recorded music. The research concludes that copyright law mostly affects the revenue of the highest-income musicians in a direct fashion.
The RIAA is certain, piracy has a devastating impact on the music industry.
However, a comprehensive study by Professor Peter DiCola of the Northwestern University School of Law shows that musicians themselves are divided on the subject. The survey questioned more than 5,000 United States artists on a variety of subjects, including unauthorized file-sharing.
Of all artists about a quarter say that they are hurt by online file-sharing, but just as many believe that file-sharing helps them. The remaining half have no opinion on the matter or didn’t answer the question.
The survey further shows that even if file-sharing results in a decrease in sales, this only impacts a small fraction of their total revenue. The pie chart below shows the income sources of musicians, and their average percentages of the total music related revenue.
The pie chart shows that “only” 6 percent of the average musician’s income comes from recorded sales. The revenue from live performances is significantly larger with 28 percent. This last group is also growing rapidly, as previous research has shown.

Average revenue streams
recmusic
For the major record labels the above pie chart would look quite different, as they mostly rely on revenue from music sales. This also explains their strong views against unauthorized file-sharing.
The survey also collected data on the incomes of the participating musicians. This makes it possible to compare the revenue streams per income group. As can be seen below, recorded sales are below 10 percent for all groups. Interestingly, the lowest income bracket earns relatively the most (9%) from recorded sales.
The top bracket, earning an average $330,000 a year, earns by far the most from compositions, which make up 28 percent of their music-related revenue. The lowest income bracket makes most revenue from live performances, more than 40% .

Revenue streams by income
distr
One of the conclusions of Professor Peter DiCola draws from the results is that copyright law mostly benefits the high earners.
“Rather than providing marginal incentives to create to all musicians at all times, copyright law mostly affects the revenue of the highest-income musicians in a direct fashion. This is not a surprise, given the prevalence of winner-take-all markets in the entertainment industry,” he writes.
However, he doesn’t say that copyright law should be thrown overboard. One reason for this is that the averages reported in the study don’t mean that certain subgroups (such as composers) rely heavily on copyright.
“Musical creativity takes a number of forms, not just the kinds that copyright law protects. This broader perspective should not, however, obscure the reliance on copyright for many musicians in particular subgroups”.
“Those who focus their activity on composing rely on composition revenue and are much more vulnerable to harm from copyright infringement. The same goes for recording artists who rely on sales of sound recordings,” DiCola writes.
There is little doubt that the music industry has undergone drastic change, so it will be interesting to see how these percentages are affected in the coming years.
Update: The title of the article initially didn’t take into account that some composers/songwriters also earn money directly from “music sales.” The 6% only applies to music sales revenue generated from sound recording.

Hackers Sentenced for Stealing Michael Jackson’s Music

A couple of UK citizens have hacked into Sony Music’s servers in 2011 just to stumble upon a treasure beyond their wildest dreams – they managed to get access to an enormous collection of unreleased music, including materials that belonged to Michael Jackson.

1898659-Sony-Music-Logo.jpg

James Marks, 27, and James McCormick, 26, hacked Sony Music’s servers and managed to download about 8.000 files, including songs, artwork and videos. All the content belonged to a number of musicians, including the King of Pop. Sony Music group had refused to provide any information on the nature of the stolen files, so the details are very scarce, but an official statement by the UK’s Serious and Organized Crime Agency claimed that some of the leaked files were stems. Stems are audio tracks that you can use in mixes and overdubs.

After being notified of the hacker attack, Sony Music immediately contacted the authorities of the United Kingdom and the intruders were arrested in May 2011. Unfortunately, the police found chat logs on their personal computers, which revealed that Marks and McCormick had the intention to sell and/or trade some of the downloaded music files.

James Marks and James McCormick pleaded “not guilty”, claiming that they “would never do anything to harm the legacy that is Michael Jackson’s music”. However, in September, they both pleaded guilty on charges of illegal access to computer material. This past Friday, the Leicester Crown Court has issued its ruling, which sentenced the hackers to 100 hours of community service. Not that much, actually.

Google Was Demanded to Disclose Bloggers’ Details

The Australian courts have recently dealt a blow to people who still believe they can publish whatever they like on the Internet anonymously. A South Australian court has announced its decision saying that Google is ordered to reveal to a businessman private details of anonymous bloggers who were claimed to have defamed him.

Shane Radbone, a former footballer, together with his wife Victoria Elise Radbone, is going to sue the bloggers for defamation. The problem is that the Radbones claim they were defamed on an anonymous blog. That’s why they had to apply to the District Court in Adelaide asking the judge to issue an order against Google to make it hand over the personal details of the bloggers.

The court satisfied the couple’s demand that has given the search giant 21 days to disclose to them full details of “relevant evidentiary material” which relates in any way to the identity of the person or people who registered 5 named blogs on the company’s blogger.com network. The court order said that Google has to hand over the email addresses, phone numbers and the IP addresses of the person or people who registered the blog in question. Legal representatives of the search giant were in court, but declined to tell the press what they thought of the case.

In the past, Google has repeatedly handed over private details of its users, but these were criminal cases or investigations. Even in those cases Google refused to disclose the details without a court order. Industry experts don’t remember when Google has ever disclosed information during civil proceedings.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Has Django Unchained defused the 'n-bomb'?

Quentin Tarantino's movie is latest twist in debate on racial epithet, but some believe controversy could help race relations

Django Unchained


Jamie Foxx and Christopher Waltz in Django Unchained. Photograph: Allstar/The Weinstein Company/Sportsphoto Ltd
What's "the filthiest, dirtiest, nastiest word in the English language"? According to one of the prosecutors in the OJ Simpson trial, there was no question. It's what many still dare refer to only as "the n-word". Deputy district attorney Christopher Darden submitted that learning that adetective had uttered this six-letter abomination would strip the jury of their judicial faculties.
Elsewhere, courts have ruled that letting slip this word is as understandable a provocation to violence as dealing a physical blow. Libraries and bookshops have purged their shelves of volumes such as Joseph Conrad's The Nigger of the Narcissus. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in which the word appears 213 times, has been banned from many schools; to overcome this problem, a new edition was published last year with the offending word changed to "slave" throughout.
In 2007, New York's city council unanimously passed a resolution banning the use of the word "nigger" within the five boroughs(theoretically, at least). That same year, giving voice to the lexeme was enough to get 19-year-old Emily Parr thrown out of the Big Brother house.
Against this background, the appearance of a major film in which it is to be heard more than 100 times was bound to provoke comment. Quentin Tarantino, the director of Django Unchained, maintains that the word has to be "part and parcel" of a truthful representation of life in the antebellum south. Still, he managed to intrude it 38 times even into Jackie Brown. Spike Lee thinks he's "infatuated" with it. Be that as it may, Tarantino's latest film invites a reappraisal of this oath's standing.
In Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word, Harvard professor Randall Kennedy sees his subject as "the nuclear bomb of racial epithets", a weapon that's been used to wound and degrade black people for three centuries. Some of those who still view it that way continue to want it banned completely from both public and private discourse.
Yet the response to Django Unchained has been surprisingly mild. Some people suggest that the film's forthright vocabulary may even serve to enhance race relations.
The comedian Lenny Bruce shared Tarantino's infatuation. Julian Barry's Oscar-nominated screenplay for his biographical film, Lenny, has him justifying it thus: "It's the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness. If President Kennedy would just go on television and say … 'Nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger' to every nigger he saw … till nigger didn't mean anything any more, then you could never make some six-year-old black kid cry because somebody called him a nigger at school."
Others have argued that sheer repetition is the way to defang the word. In the Death of Civil Rights and the Reign of Hip-Hop, professor Todd Boyd of UCLA writes: "To me, hip-hop has redefined the word … The more you say it, the more you desensitise it." Certainly, anyone shocked during the opening scenes of Django Unchained would surely find it just too exhausting to sustain their indignation through the next two and a half hours.
Not everyone accepts that over-exposure is sufficient to destroy evil: some argue that "nigger" is too robust to be so easily disposed of.Rapper Ashley Walters renounced his own infatuation with the word after hearing from a child victim of playground bullies. There are also those who believe the the removal of the taboo would trivialise the legacy of racial oppression.
Other hate-labels have been eliminated successfully through a recognisable cycle of decontamination. First, the target-group reclaims the insult and starts flaunting it as a badge of collective pride. After a time-lag, this usage seeps through to the general population. As this happens, the word in question is gradually drained of its malign potency. Having lost its point, it then disappears completely, liberating its former victims for ever from a once-effective instrument of abuse.
The word "queer" has been through this process. No replacement has emerged. "Dyke" seems to be going the same way, as perhaps are "wop" and "dago", while "crip", "bitch" and "slut" might be embarking on the same journey.
There's no doubt that "nigger" is well into stage one of this progression. A few maintain that its widespread use among black people reflects only self-hatred, or internalisation of white-racism of the kind displayed bySamuel L Jackson's "house nigger" in Django Unchained. However, this is patent nonsense. The word is clearly used frequently as a term of both endearment and empowerment, as when Django himself insists that he's one of those "one in 10,000 niggers" who won't be kept down.
As yet, the leap into the mouths of the well-meaning wider community has yet to occur. In 1993, a white basketball coach at Central Michigan University heard his African-American players using the word "nigger" to commend each other on an effective manoeuvre. He asked their permission to use the word in the same way; when they gave it, he did. His reward was censure by his superiors, sensitivity training, two campus protests and eventually dismissal.
Still, things may be changing. Last month, a white Staffordshire man was charged with racially aggravated threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour for shouting "nigger" at a black man. When he told magistrates he was a rap music fan expressing affection, he was acquitted.
Samuel L Jackson showed his own desire to see the word coming out of white mouths in an interview to promote Django Unchained. "There's been a lot of controversy surrounding the usage of the n-word in this movie," began Fox Houston's film critic Jake Hamilton. Jackson interrupted. "No? Nobody? None? The word would be … ?" he inquired. He then refused to answer the question until his interlocutor was prepared to pronounce the profanity.
Even so, Fox's finest still bottled it. Clearly, there is some distance to go on the yearned-for path to perdition. Perhaps Django Unchained will help things on their way.

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