Posts tagged ‘Facebook’

Блогът на Юруков: Блокиране във Facebook

This post was syndicated from: Блогът на Юруков and was written by: Боян Юруков. Original post: at Блогът на Юруков

Всеки ден виждаме много неща във Facebook, които не ни се нравят. Някои са расистки, сексистки или показват насилие, но повечето са просто глупави или обидни. Това, че нещо ни обижда, не означава, че не може да е в мрежата. Това е идеята на свободния изказ. Facebook си има правила, които трябва да се спазват – без расизъм, голота, насилие и прочие.

В понеделник споменах на страницата си, че в последните дни имам затруднения да споделям линкове. Не от конкретен сайт – при всякакви Facebook ми отказваше с аргумент, че намира нещо странно. Не съм увеличил активността си. Дори напротив – напоследък споделям по-малко. Нямам app-ове, които автоматично да качват статуси и статии.

Вчера разбрах какъв е бил проблемът. Изглежда е имало масово съобщаване (report) срещу статуса ми за двуличието в защитата на „нашите жени“ от „пришълците от агресивни култури“. Facebook ми съобщи, че премахва статуса ми заради несъответствие с правилата. Нямаше обяснение защо точно, те не дават такива.

Screenshot from 2016-01-12 17:53:22

Написах статуса скоро след статията ми, която разглеждаше колко погрешно е да се смята, че сексуалното насилие е нещо внесено в нашето общество. Някои възприеха тези два коментара като едва ли не обида срещу България, отричане на насилието в Кьолн или сравнение на тях самите с гаменчетата на онзи площад. Още в статията си, както и на няколко места след това, споделих, че виновните трябва да бъдат наказани. В последната седмица научихме много за случая, включително прикриване на подобна престъпност в други държави. Ще има доста неща, които трябва да бъдат разкрити.

Не трябва обаче да си въобразяваме, че проблемът със сексуалното насилие не е стар или го няма. Голяма част от изнасилванията и посегателствата стават в позната среда и от близки хора. Сравнително малък процент е от непознати. В България не се говори за това. Дори има не един и два случая на полицаи, които са били хващани в такива деяния, а последствията са никакви. Нямаме дори реална представа какви са измеренията на проблема, защото жените се страхуват да съобщят за тях.

Колкото и да бъдат докладвани статусите ми, това няма да се промени. А това, че някои са били обидени от думите ми не означава, че не са верни или че не трябва да ги казвам.

Допълнение 13 януари 10:30

Може да решите, че статусът ми е бил махнат заради използваните с ирония определения в него. Разбираемо би било просто да са си превели теста търсейки ключови думи без да отделят време да вникнат в контекста. Сигурен съм обаче, че не е това причината, защото аз и много други сме съобщавали за редица страници, групи, постове и коментари с откровено расистко съдържание призоваващи към насилие. Ето няколко примера от @RadidaG и @_lanzz_:

По мои наблюдения, Facebook не премахва дадено съдържание или група докато то ѝ създава трафик. Тоест може да пускате каквото си искате на страницата и профила си, стига много хора постоянно да коментират и да го споделят. Именно затова неонаци групите си стоят. Именно затова и моят статус беше свален едва когато дискусията около него стихна.

Допълнение 13 януари 11:40

Веднага след като Facebook ме уведоми за статуса ми, им изпратих сигнал, че са премахнали нещо, което не противоречи на правилата. Отвърнаха ми с формален автоматичен мейл как мога да съобщавам конкретни постове за нарушения и запитването беше затворено. Реших, че това е всичко.

Току-що обаче получих следното съобщение от тях:
Screenshot from 2016-01-13 10:40:26

Статусът беше незабавно възстановен. Може да го видите заедно с дискусията под него тук:

Българският мъжкар не вижда проблем да шляпва по гъза и да дърпа блузата на непознати момичета. Това е негово право и дъ…

Публикувахте от Боян Юруков в 7 януари 2016 г.

Допълнение 14 януари 12:00

Някой пак е подал сигнал, но този път срещу два от моите статуси. Facebook ме предупреди, че ги преглеждат за „голота“. Някой много е обидчив явно.

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Darknet – The Darkside: Facebook Disabled Flash For Video Finally

This post was syndicated from: Darknet – The Darkside and was written by: Darknet. Original post: at Darknet – The Darkside

So Facebook disabled Flash for video finally, sadly it’s still there for games but a large use case for it just went out the window. And really, it’s not surprising after the recent mega patch in Adobe Flash that fixed 78 CVE classified vulnerabilities. There’s just no good reason for anyone to still be using […]

The post…

Read the full post at darknet.org.uk

Let's Encrypt: Entering Public Beta

This post was syndicated from: Let's Encrypt and was written by: Let's Encrypt. Original post: at Let's Encrypt

We’re happy to announce that Let’s Encrypt has entered Public Beta. Invitations are no longer needed in order to get free certificates from Let’s Encrypt.

It’s time for the Web to take a big step forward in terms of security and privacy. We want to see HTTPS become the default. Let’s Encrypt was built to enable that by making it as easy as possible to get and manage certificates.

We’d like to thank everyone who participated in the Limited Beta. Let’s Encrypt issued over 26,000 certificates during the Limited Beta period. This allowed us to gain valuable insight into how our systems perform, and to be confident about moving to Public Beta.

We’d also like to thank all of our sponsors for their support. We’re happy to have announced earlier today that Facebook is our newest Gold sponsor.

We have more work to do before we’re comfortable dropping the beta label entirely, particularly on the client experience. Automation is a cornerstone of our strategy, and we need to make sure that the client works smoothly and reliably on a wide range of platforms. We’ll be monitoring feedback from users closely, and making improvements as quickly as possible.

Instructions for getting a certificate with the Let’s Encrypt client can be found here.

Let’s Encrypt Community Support is an invaluable resource for our community, we strongly recommend making use of the site if you have any questions about Let’s Encrypt.

Let’s Encrypt depends on support from a wide variety of individuals and organizations. Please consider getting involved, and if your company or organization would like to sponsor Let’s Encrypt please email us at sponsor@letsencrypt.org.

Let's Encrypt: Facebook Sponsors Let’s Encrypt

This post was syndicated from: Let's Encrypt and was written by: Let's Encrypt. Original post: at Let's Encrypt

We’re happy to share today that Facebook is the newest Gold sponsor of Let’s Encrypt. Facebook has taken multiple important steps to support and advance encryption this year, and we are glad to see Let’s Encrypt as the latest example.

According to Alex Stamos, Chief Security Officer at Facebook, “Making it easier for websites to deploy HTTPS encryption is an important step in improving the security of the whole internet, and Facebook is proud to support this effort.”

Facebook’s sponsorship will help us produce a greater impact as we open up our public beta today and usher in more participants over the coming months.

If your company or organization would like to sponsor Let’s Encrypt, please email us at sponsor@letsencrypt.org.

TorrentFreak: Hilarious Remixers Hand Out Copyright Smackdown

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

det-logoConsidering the amount of publicity a wrongful DMCA notice can generate these days, it’s no surprise that when a gift of a story presents itself, people are happy to jump on board.

Unfortunately, however, some stories are more complex than they first appear and when that complexity is borne out of a deliberate desire to mislead, chaos is bound to ensue.

On November 25 a tantalizing piece appeared in Electronic Beats detailing how in an apparent desire to protect copyright, Soundcloud had finally gone too far. A follow-up piece from YourEDM put meat on the bones.

“Just when you thought Soundcloud couldn’t get any worse, they strike again harder than ever. Now reaching an all time low, Soundcloud has removed a track that is nothing but 4 minutes of pure silence due to ‘Copyright Infringement’ claims,” it declared.

The piece was uploaded to an account operated by D.J. Detweiler and consisted of a remix (if one could ever be possible) of the John Cage ‘track’ 4’33”, a famous performance consisting of nothing but silence.

det-dmca

“That’s right, a song that has literally no sound was flagged for removal. How? Because Soundcloud is lazy and takes shortcuts to flag and remove content,” the YourEDM piece continued.

“Instead of crawling the uploaded content for copyright material, which takes a decent amount of CPU power, Soundcloud has resorted into cutting that process out entirely and beginning to flag content based on JUST the track title.”

As recipes for outrage go, this was an absolute doozy and no wonder it was picked up by several publications in the days that followed. However, as is now becoming painfully obvious, the whole thing was a giant stunt. A statement from Soundcloud obtained by Engadget revealed the cringe-worthy truth.

“The upload referenced in the screenshot was not a track of silence and was taken down because it included Justin Bieber’s What Do You Mean without the rightsholder’s permission,” the company said.

“The respective user uploaded the track under the title “4’33”,” which is also the name of John Cage’s famous piece of silence but it was not, in fact, silence.”

So what were D.J. Detweiler’s aims? Well, trolling the press appears to be one. In a biting follow-up amid several retweets of regurgitated articles on the same topic, D.J. Detweiler posted the following image.

Another aim appears to be recreating the work of Cage to prove a point. Although Cage’s track 4’33” was supposed to be silent, ‘performers’ are expected to be present but not play. Unless done so in a vacuum, the resulting ‘performance’ therefore includes ambient noise. Equally, it appears that D.J. Detweiler’s ‘silence’ is now intentionally causing noise around the Internet too.

“We are making a remix of the original performance of John Cage. The only different thing is that we are making it on the internet in 2015, instead of doing it in a space like a theater, like John Cage did. The whole environment around what we’re doing is the performance because everybody’s reacting.”

But trolling and frivolity aside, it does appear that DJ Detweiler have a copyright message to deliver.

“When John Cage wrote that piece, one of the main reasons was because he was trying to ask, who owns the silence? Who has the copyright for the silence?” they ask. “The laws surrounding copyright at this point seem highly outdated and need some sort of reformation, and we just want to push that.”

While the group have certainly achieved their aims, it’s perhaps a bit of a shame that’s been achieved at the expense of publications who mainly appeared to have sympathy with often overreaching copyright law.

That being said, when one looks at DJ Detweiler’s Facebook and homepages (epilepsy warning!), the value of doing more research really starts to pay off.

DJ Detweiler are taking part in a panel discussion about “branding, hype and trends” this Thursday at the 3hd Festival in Berlin. He’s described as an individual there but at this point, who knows?

In the meantime enjoy his/their remix of Sandstorm, Smack My Bitch Up, and my personal favorite, DJ Hazard’s Mr Happy.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

TorrentFreak: UK Anti-Piracy ‘Education’ Campaign Launched, Quietly

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

uk-flagIn an effort to curb online piracy, early last year the movie and music industries reached agreement with the UK’s leading ISPs to send ‘warnings’ to alleged pirates.

Under the new system copyright holders will monitor illegal P2P file-sharing activity with a strong focus on repeat offenders.

The warning program is part of the larger Creative Content UK (CCUK) initiative which also includes an educational component. Though various PR campaigns the coalition hopes to change people’s attitudes towards piracy.

CCUK was launched after years of negotiating and the plans were widely discussed in the media. However, when the first campaign launched a few weeks ago there was a remarkable silence.

The first education campaign is called “Get It Right from a Genuine Site.” It encourages people to stay clear from pirate sites and use licensed services instead, so that copyright holders and industry employees are properly compensated.

The campaign was promoted alongside an ad which aired during the UK version of The X-Factor and elsewhere late October. In the high-profile advertising spot, which isn’t cheap, viewers were encouraged to duck dodgy sites and go legit.

“Get the stuff you love from genuine sites and support creativity. Download or stream from dodgy sites and contribute nothing. It’s your choice,” it says.

Get It Right from a Genuine Site

CCUK is encouraging the public to use the hashtag #genuine to promote the initiative. However, thus far the response has been rather underwhelming with only a handful of tweets, mostly from industry insiders.

Today, the hashtag is mostly used in totally unrelated tweets and on other social media the project isn’t really taking off either. The official Facebook page of the campaign has only 114 likes.

The only Facebook comment responding to the campaign ad is not very encouraging either. “It’s not 2003. No one’s getting pirated music from IRC or whatever,” it reads.

In addition to the ad, CCUK is also backing a large street art project. It’s not entirely clear how this offline project relates to online piracy, but perhaps it’s an effort to appeal to the target audience.

TorrentFreak asked CCUK for a comment on the first campaign, but at the time of writing we haven’t heard back.

A CCUK spokesperson previously informed us that their ultimate goal is to bring down local piracy rates. During the months following the rollout the file-sharing habits of UK Internet users will be frequently polled to measure the impact of the campaign.

“The aim of Creative Content UK is to encourage greater use of legal content services and to reduce online copyright infringement. There will be regular measurements of legal and illegal consumption of content throughout the duration of the initiative, which will be compared with levels before the launch of the program,” CCUK told TF.

Considering the response and exposure thus far, there’s still a long way to go.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Schneier on Security: A History of Privacy

This post was syndicated from: Schneier on Security and was written by: schneier. Original post: at Schneier on Security

This New Yorker article traces the history of privacy from the mid 1800s to today:

As a matter of historical analysis, the relationship between secrecy and privacy can be stated in an axiom: the defense of privacy follows, and never precedes, the emergence of new technologies for the exposure of secrets. In other words, the case for privacy always comes too late. The horse is out of the barn. The post office has opened your mail. Your photograph is on Facebook. Google already knows that, notwithstanding your demographic, you hate kale.

Raspberry Pi: Did you get a Raspberry Pi Zero?

This post was syndicated from: Raspberry Pi and was written by: Liz Upton. Original post: at Raspberry Pi

We gave away something free with our magazine, The MagPi, yesterday.

MagPi issue 40 in all its glory

Who’s a pretty boy, then?

The magazine industry has a concept called “technical sellout”, where more than 80% of copies are bought.

You swarmed over UK newsagents and achieved that with The MagPi in less than 12 hours. As far as we know, the last time that happened was with the female version of Playboy in the 1970s. So, as Carrie Anne says, we’ve served up a victory for gender equality, and a free computer.

You’ll find a map of all the places carrying the MagPi in the UK and Ireland on the MagPi website – there are still a few copies out there, so it might be worth your while ringing the outlets closest to you to see if they still have stock.

Clive's Goblin Tinkerer

Clive’s Goblin Tinkerer

If you’re in Ireland or Northern Ireland: it appears there was a bit of a SNAFU yesterday. MagPis were meant to be going into Tesco stores across both Ireland and Northern Ireland, but the tills hadn’t been programmed correctly (this was the first month they were carrying the MagPi, and we think a crucial button didn’t get pressed), so the magazine didn’t scan. Tesco’s response was to order shops to return all the magazines to the warehouse.

We’re talking to the distributors now, and we heard ten minutes ago that the magazines will be going back to the stores at the start of next week. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed and Facebook – we’ll let you know as soon as we hear they’ve hit the ground, so you can all go and do the swarm of locusts thing at your local Tesco.

If you’re in the United States: At the time of writing, Micro Center still has stock of the Zero itself, at $5. You can reserve online but you’ll have to visit a store in person: while we’re still in shortage they’re not selling online. We think all other online outlets are sold out now. The magazine with a free Zero on the cover will land in Barnes&Noble and Micro Center in about three weeks. (We print in the UK and ocean freight the magazine to the USA to keep costs down, which takes a little while.) Again, we’ll let you know on Twitter and Facebook, and we’ll make sure that there’s a note at the top of the blog here on the day as well.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 13.49.11

Wherever you are in the world: you can still get your hands on Issue 40 with the free Raspberry Pi Zero if you subscribe (you’ll also get a free cable bundle). We’re waiting on a second print run at the moment for subscribers only; if you’d like to get your hands on one, you can find out how to subscribe at the MagPi website. Subs to the physical magazine start at just £12.99.

We’ve been enjoying seeing what the community’s been getting up to with their Pi Zeros.

This was unquestionably the best tweet of the day:

And watching you all on Twitter has been an absolute blast:

 

 

 

Some of you have started incorporating the Zero into builds already.

Meanwhile, even though Pi Zero has only been out for a day, add-on boards and cases are already appearing in the wild. Here’s Pimoroni’s gorgeous PiBow Zero case:

Pibow_Zero_1_of_3_large

Considerably larger than actual size

They’re also making a range of what they’re calling pHATs – not true HATs (no EEPROM), but teeny add-ons for the Pi Zero, like this very pretty scrolling LED beast, which is £10:

top_bce4101f-f78a-4494-a84e-fc75f67fc64d_large

You’ll find more pHATs (including a DAC) and other accessories at Pimoroni.

The folks from Bare Conductive, who do amazing things with capacitive touch, are already working on the Touch Board Pi Cap, which we’re really excited about – it’ll be available very soon, and will turn your Zero into a polyphonic music maker (just add bananas), empower you to turn all kinds of things around the house into buttons and switches, and much more. You can learn more over at Bare Conductive.

PiCap_front_1000x667-980x450

In answer to a frequently asked question: yes, we will continue to make Zeros for as long as you guys want them. It looks like demand will continue to outstrip supply for a while if yesterday’s rush is anything to go by, but we’re doing our very best to keep channels open, and we advise you not to buy from scalpers on eBay, because…karma. The Pi Hut and Pimoroni in the UK, and Adafruit in the US should be restocking soon, so keep an eye on them.

If you’re doing something fun with a Zero, please let us know – we’d love to feature you here or in the MagPi!

 

The post Did you get a Raspberry Pi Zero? appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Schneier on Security: Reputation in the Information Age

This post was syndicated from: Schneier on Security and was written by: schneier. Original post: at Schneier on Security

Reputation is a social mechanism by which we come to trust one another, in all aspects of our society. I see it as a security mechanism. The promise and threat of a change in reputation entices us all to be trustworthy, which in turn enables others to trust us. In a very real sense, reputation enables friendships, commerce, and everything else we do in society. It’s old, older than our species, and we are finely tuned to both perceive and remember reputation information, and broadcast it to others.

The nature of how we manage reputation has changed in the past couple of decades, and Gloria Origgi alludes to the change in her remarks. Reputation now involves technology. Feedback and review systems, whether they be eBay rankings, Amazon reviews, or Uber ratings, are reputational systems. So is Google PageRank. Our reputations are, at least in part, based on what we say on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Basically, what were wholly social systems have become socio-technical systems.

This change is important, for both the good and the bad of what it allows.

An example might make this clearer. In a small town, everyone knows each other, and lenders can make decisions about whom to loan money to, based on reputation (like in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life). The system isn’t perfect; it is prone to “old-boy network” preferences and discrimination against outsiders. The real problem, though, is that the system doesn’t scale. To enable lending on a larger scale, we replaced personal reputation with a technological system: credit reports and scores. They work well, and allow us to borrow money from strangers halfway across the country­ — and lending has exploded in our society, in part because of it. But the new system can be attacked technologically. Someone could hack the credit bureau’s database and enhance her reputation by boosting her credit score. Or she could steal someone else’s reputation. All sorts of attacks that just weren’t possible with a wholly personal reputation system become possible against a system that works as a technological reputation system.

We like socio-technical systems of reputation because they empower us in so many ways. People can achieve a level of fame and notoriety much more easily on the Internet. Totally new ways of making a living­ — think of Uber and Airbnb, or popular bloggers and YouTubers — ­become possible. But the downsides are considerable. The hacker tactic of social engineering involves fooling someone by hijacking the reputation of someone else. Most social media companies make their money leeching off our activities on their sites. And because we trust the reputational information from these socio-technical systems, anyone who can figure out how to game those systems can artificially boost their reputation. Amazon, eBay, Yelp, and others have been trying to deal with fake reviews for years. And you can buy Twitter followers and Facebook likes cheap.

Reputation has always been gamed. It’s been an eternal arms race between those trying to artificially enhance their reputation and those trying to detect those enhancements. In that respect, nothing is new here. But technology changes the mechanisms of both enhancement and enhancement detection. There’s power to be had on either side of that arms race, and it’ll be interesting to watch each side jockeying for the upper hand.

This essay is part of a conversation with Gloria Origgi entitled “What is Reputation?”

TorrentFreak: MPAA Wants $10 Million Piracy Damages From MovieTube

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

movietubeLast summer the MPAA sued several popular movie streaming websites which all operated under the MovieTube flag.

In their complaint the movie studios listed MovieTube.cc, TuneVideo.net, Watch33.tv, MovieTube.cz, Anime1.tv, MovieTube.pm, FunTube.co, MovieTube.la, KissDrama.net and several related sites.

The websites in question were typical streaming services, where users could watch videos and in some cases download source files to their computers. Since they used the same hosting facilities and design elements the studios believed that they were operated by the same people.

Several months have passed since the action was filed and the operators of the MovieTube sites have yet to appear in court. They were quick to pull the accused sites offline after the compliant was filed, but never responded to any of the claims.

Due to this inaction, the MPAA now requests a default judgment. In an affidavit submitted to a New York federal court before the weekend they point out that MovieTube made a healthy profit from its operations.

“Defendants’ aggressive promotion and search-engine optimization of the MovieTube Websites permitted them to profit off their blatantly infringing activities,” the MPAA’s attorney writes (pdf).

According to the MPAA the MovieTube sites attracted over 81 million estimated visits per month, including more than 60 million visits from the United States.

“Defendants’ advertising-based revenue model would have yielded them significant profits given their high traffic, little to no overhead, and the fact that, unlike legitimate digital content services, they paid not a single dollar to license the content on their websites.”

In a proposed default judgment (pdf) the MPAA requests a permanent injunction that would prohibit the accused from offering or linking to any copyright infringing material. In addition, the movie studios want the domain names to be transferred to them.

In addition, the MPAA requests statutory damages for willful copyright infringement in the amount of $75,000 per title, for a total of $10.5 million.

The proposed injunction no longer requires search engines, ISPs and hosting companies to stop linking or offering services to MovieTube. This request was dropped earlier after Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Yahoo branded it as a broad censorship attempt.

Without any opposition from the defendants the MPAA is destined to win this case. However, whether they will ever see any damages is highly doubtful. For now the true operators of the MovieTube sites remain unknown.

That said, the Hollywood group has already scored a victory by shutting down the MovieTube ring when the lawsuit was filed.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Backblaze Blog | The Life of a Cloud Backup Company: Elliott Finds Home as a Senior Sysadmin!

This post was syndicated from: Backblaze Blog | The Life of a Cloud Backup Company and was written by: Yev. Original post: at Backblaze Blog | The Life of a Cloud Backup Company

IMG_0574

Elliott comes to us from Facebook as a referral by Chuck, who was referred to us by…Elliott! Life is cyclical after all! Elliott’s already hit the ground running and is already all up in our systems. Like Chuck he likes car racing, and he just happens to be our first Mountain Dew drinker in the office! Lets learn a bit more about Elliott shall we?

What is your Backblaze Title?
I’m a Senior Sysadmin, which basically means “make the servers work”.

Where are you originally from?
I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and lived there until moving out to SF Bay Area in 2009.

What attracted you to Backblaze?
I actually originally ran across the job ad while looking for the blog entry about hard drive reliability after mine died. Sure enough, it was one of the infamous Seagate 3TB ones. I’d been thinking about moving to a smaller company for a while, and really liked how open Backblaze is and that they sell a useful service to people outside the Silicon Valley bubble.

What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze?
Storage. Lots of Storage. RAID, Reed-Solomon, controller and drive failure modes.

Where else have you worked?
I worked for EDS (then HP when they got bought) from about 2006-2009, then Facebook from 2009 to 2015.

Where did you go to school?
I went to the University of Tulsa off and on for a while, but ended up leaving before graduating. Tuition’s a harder expense to justify in an industry where all the job entries say “..or equivalent experience.”

What’s your dream job?
Hmm, that’s a tough one. I like helping and making things work better, especially if they’re failing in complicated and hard-to-track-down ways. Really, pretty much the jobs I’ve had since moving to the area have been dream jobs. Smart co-workers and interesting problems.

Favorite place you’ve traveled?
Either St. John in the USVI, which is just beautiful both on land and in the ocean, or Yellowstone for the strangeness.

Favorite hobby?
Racing terrible cars in the 24 Hours of Lemons series.

Of what achievement are you most proud?
Dodging this question in a clever way.

Star Trek or Star Wars?
Yes, although I sometimes feel like I’m a terrible geek for having only seen a little of TNG and basically none of the rest.

Coke or Pepsi?
Mountain Dew

Favorite food?
Hmm… tough to pick just one, but I’m a sucker for anything with pesto or garlic.

Why do you like certain things?
I like what I like, no reason needed.

Anything else you’d like you’d like to tell us?
What, answering all the other questions wasn’t enough?

We’re glad that our blog posts not only educate, but help us recruit! Since Elliott likes working on hard to solve problems, we’re pretty sure he’ll have a blast at Backblaze! We’ll make sure to keep the Mountain Dew stocked for you, and don’t worry about only watching TNG, that one was my favorite as well!

The post Elliott Finds Home as a Senior Sysadmin! appeared first on Backblaze Blog | The Life of a Cloud Backup Company.

Блогът на Юруков: Едни по-други избори

This post was syndicated from: Блогът на Юруков and was written by: Боян Юруков. Original post: at Блогът на Юруков

На 29 ноември във Франкфурт ще се проведат избори. Те не са за Бундестаг, кмет или което и да е много нива на администрацията помежду им. В по-големите градове в провинцията има т.н. съвети на чужденците. На всеки 5 години живущите постоянно в региона, които нямат немско гражданство, може да гласуват за него.

Във Франкфурт има 202000 такива гласоподаватели. 7545 от тях са българи. Макар на пръв поглед да изглеждат незначителни, може да се направят няколко интересни паралела между този вот и тези в България.

Бюлетини и гласуване

Кандидатите са съвета във Франкфурт специално са около 500. Изискването всички кандидати и листи да са изписани прави бюлетинните интересни.

IMG_20151101_175318

Сами виждате, че няма нищо страшно в големите бюлетини на скорошния местен вот в България. Исках да я снимкам с дъщеря ми, защото почти я скрива, но тя реши, че е одеало и се уви с нея. Бюлетина като тази не е изключение в Германия. Гласува с преференции – имаш 37 и може да ги разпределиш давайки до 3 на кандидат. Маркирайки листа, подреждаш автоматично гласовете си за първите в нея.

Всеки с право на глас в изборите получава по пощата примерна бюлетина, заедно с описание на вота, снимка и указания до най-близките секции. Получих и прословутото заявление за гласуване по пощата. Това е възможно на всеки вот в Германия и беше посочено като работеща алтернатива на дистанционното гласуване в България. Настрана, че е практически невъзможно в България, трябва да посоча, че сигурността му е практически никаква. Получавал съм такива документи и за местния вот, за който имам право да гласувам. Всеки може да ти бръкне в пощата и не е рядкост в някои квартали. На всички избори има мини-скандали със забавени или изгубени документи дори при стройна организация като немската.

IMG_20151101_175415 IMG_20151101_175404

Инструкциите къде да отидеш да гласуваш обаче са полезни. Не знам колко пари за изхарчили за това обаче, щом трябва да отпечатат различни листовки за всеки адрес в града. Приемам го като вид пряка помощ в местния бизнес – печатници, фотостудиа, медии, пощи.

Имат ли значение тези избори?

Съветът на чужденците има най-вече консултативна роля. Дава становища по различни решения и проекти на общината, работи срещу дискриминацията и повдига въпроси пред местната власт. Може да се сравни донякъде с ролята омбудсмана минус законодателната инициатива. На разположение на този съвет е и бюджет да спонсориране на НПО-та и събития, които подпомагат интеграцията на чужденците в града. Бюджетът, всъщност, е в пъти по-малък от това, което средностатистически общински кмет в България харчи за служебната си кола, но все пак е нещо.

a7970ef06b

С тези правомощия, членовете на съвета могат наистина да помогнат на емигрантската общност. Затова не бихте се учудили да разберете, че кандидати не липсват. Най-силни очаквано са турците. Подобно на изборите в България, организацията им е стройна. Заради простотата на гласуването по пощата, масово гласували така. Дочух, че имамите организирали всичко по изпращане на писмата на общността. Затова няколкото съвета до сега са били пълни с етнически турци. Макар да съставляват по-малко от 15% от емигрантите в града, до преди няколко години повече от половината кандидати са били с турски паспорт.

Това обаче се променя. Постепенно руснаците, украинците, италианците, гърците, пакистанците също се организират и съставят свои листи. Тази година за пръв път има и българска листа. Активността обаче е много ниска. Анализите, които се публикуват след всеки вот, показват само 6-8% гласували от онези 200 хиляди. Това обаче означава също така, че българските кандидати имат реални шансове да влязат, ако нашата общност се активизира следващата неделя.

Как да гласувам?

Liste_22-1b

Ако сте българин регистриран във Франкфурт преди 29-ти август и нямате немски паспорт, би трябвало да сте получили вече брошурите. В него пиша къде са секциите. За да гласувате, трябва да занесете лична карта или паспорт и Wahlbenachrichtigungskarte (първата страница от писмото). Тук има отговори на различни въпроси (тук са на български).

Българската листа се казва Bulgarische Gemeinschaft Frankfurt и е номер 22. Ако желаете да я подкрепите, може да маркирате направо кръга пред листата или да разпределите 37-те си преференции на кандидатите. Повече информация има на страницата им във Facebook. Ако живеете другаде в Hessen, може да погледнете какви кандидати има във вашия град.

yovko in a nutshell: Signal

This post was syndicated from: yovko in a nutshell and was written by: Йовко Ламбрев. Original post: at yovko in a nutshell

Реших да редуцирам каналите си за връзка, най-вече по отношение на всевъзможните messenger-и за директни съобщения.

Винаги предпочитам електронната поща за основна комуникация, понеже мога да подреждам (или пренебрегвам) по приоритет писмата, които заслужават внимание и евентуален отговор, и разполагам с end-to-end криптиране при нужда. Тук е актуалният ми PGP ключ. А ако не знаете някой от моите email адреси, винаги можете да ползвате този начин.

Преглеждам пощата си поне един-два пъти дневно, освен когато съм в почивка, без Интернет или работя по някой спешен проблем или проект. Но не получавам нотификации за нея на смартфона си – това е адски разсейващо и контрапродуктивно. „Любимо“ ми е някой да ми звънне по телефона с изречението: Току-що ти изпратих mail. Видя ли го?

За директни съобщения занапред ще използвам основно Signal на Open Whisper Systems като прилична база за отворена и сигурна платформа, която заслужава да бъде ползвана, популяризирана и подкрепена от потребителите. Временно, като резервна опция, оставям и WhatsApp заради няколко близки приятели, които предпочитат навика и не осъзнават необходимостта от сигурна комуникация, поради което ще отнеме време да бъдат убедени.

Okay, ако сте с iPhone или Mac можете да ми изпратите и iMessage като друга резервна опция, с едно наум, че сигурността и там е според зависи от Apple.

Принципно не ползвам Skype освен след предварителна уговорка за конкретен разговор. Нито Viber и Facebook Messenger (те дори не успяха да ми харесат). Спирам също и Hangouts, и Telegram, както и всякакви други, защото ми идват в повече.

Опитайте Signal – семпло и леко приложение – за криптирани писмени съобщения и разговори. Освен, че е свободно и open source е и безплатно. Има го за iPhone и Android, а скоро и за web. И даже Snowden го благослови ;)

TorrentFreak: MPAA Can Access Popcorn Time Services & VPN, Court Rules

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

pop-ytsAfter weeks of rumor and sealed lips, last evening it was made official. Movie torrent site YTS is dead, release group YIFY is no more, and the main Popcorn Time fork, PopcornTime.io, have all been shut down by the MPAA.

The operation involved legal action in two territories. In New Zealand the operator of YTS and related release group YIFY was hit by a multi-million dolalr lawsuit lodged at the High Court on October 12. Confidentiality agreements are in place so public details are scarce, but its believed that YTS has already settled with the MPAA.

In Canada, however, information is more readily available. On October 9, 2015, Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal City Studios, Universal Network Television, Warner Bros. and Disney, filed a statement of claim in the Federal Court.

Their targets were people and companies associated with PopcornTime.io, including key developer David Lemarier and his company Wasabi Technologie plus VPN.ht Limited, the outfit behind Popcorn Time’s VPN.

The demands of the studios were broad but clear – stop infringing their rights, stop developing Popcorn Time, shut down its websites and shut down VPN.ht.

“Since April 2014, the individual Defendants David Lemarier, Robert English and Louie
Poole have been developing, operating, distributing and promoting the computer
application ‘Popcorn Time’,” the studios wrote.

“In December, 2014, a paid VPN service provided by the Defendant VPN.ht Limited was integrated in Popcorn Time (PT Add-On). The integration of the PT Add-On acts as an important enticement for users of Popcorn Time to engage in acts of copyright infringement, and is explicitly marketed as such on its website.”

The studios claim that Lemarier is the CEO of VPN.ht and Louie Poole has worked there as a software engineer “at least as early as September, 2015.” Owned by Lemarier, Wasabi Technologie is the company operating VPN.ht’s PayPal account.

“The sale of the PT Add-On service generates important monthly revenues which directly profit the Defendants David Lemarier and VPN.ht Limited, and the Defendant Louie Poole as an employee of VPN.ht Limited. All the individual Defendants as well as VPN.ht Limited derive financial benefits from their participation in Popcorn Time,” the studios add.

Just seven days later on October 16, 2015, Mr Justice Martineau in the Federal Court responded to the studios’ demands by handing down an interim injunction (pdf) against the defendants listed above.

In broad terms it restrains them from infringing the studios’ copyrights, including by continuing to develop, operate, distribute or promote Popcorn Time or “any similar software application” or website. However, it goes further – much, much further.

The injunction includes a huge list of domains and sub-domains which the studios say must be dealt with in order to “fully deactivate” Popcorn Time. PopcornTime.io. and a further 17 are said to relate to the service’s API while 39 relate to the website and four the blog. Dozens of others make up discussion forums, development platforms, mail servers, nameservers, content delivery and sundry others.

The injunction orders the defendants to hand over the login credentials “for the hosting providers and/or registrars accounts” for all of them. They are also required to do the same for the official Popcorn Time Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts. This is so that computer forensics experts “acting under the supervision” of the studios can gain access to them.

Also under the microscope is VPN.ht. The injunction orders the defendants, including VPN.ht’s operators, to hand over the login credentials for “hosting providers and/or registrars” hosting the VPN.ht domains and sub-domains. They are also required to authorize computer forensics experts under the eye of the MPAA to log into VPN.ht’s infrastructure and deactivate the service.

While this development will be of concern to VPN.ht’s customers, the service itself says that there is currently nothing to worry about.

“VPN.ht is not a Canadian company, nor has any of its operations located in Canada, this means Canadian laws are not relevant in out case what so ever,” VPN.ht said in a statement.

“We understand that some of you might be worried or intimidated by the idea of the film studios, but we want to remind you that VPN.ht never logs, never shares any information with anyone else and mostly, cares about our clients and their safety. After all this is why we started VPN.ht, to protect the vulnerable.”

The company says it operates a warrant canary to notify users in the event it has been compromised. Currently that alone raises no alarms but it’s highly likely that user confidence will be undermined by the forceful nature of the injunction and the international reach of the MPAA.

To be continued…

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Man Freed Early From Record Music Piracy Sentence

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

d-jesusFollowing an investigation carried out by the BPI and IFPI, with assistance from the US Department of Homeland Security, in 2011 file-sharing links forum Dancing Jesus was taken offline.

Two men, one the owner of the site and the other one of the forum’s top uploaders, were arrested by City of London Police. Homeland Security seized a Dancing Jesus server hosted in the United States.

After years of quiet, last October it became evident that the BPI was pursuing a private prosecution against the pair. In January 2014, site owner Kane Robinson of South Shields pleaded guilty to illegally distributing music. Key uploader Richard Graham of Leicestershire entered a guilty plea at a later date.

On November 10, 2014, Robinson and Graham were sentenced and received the harshest punishments ever handed down to UK-based file-sharers. For his part in offering a reported 22,500 links to 250,000 titles, Robinson was sentenced to 32 months. Graham received 21 months.

At the time the sentences were criticized as being both harsh and disproportionate but within months positive signs began to emerge.

In August a posting to a Facebook campaign page titled ‘Justice for Kane Robinson’ carried an optimistic message.

“We saw Kane at the weekend he is doing well and it is hopeful he could be out soon..thanks for all your continued support guys!” it read.

Then last Thursday, after receiving the toughest sentence of its kind and serving time in three separate prisons, Robinson was freed ‘just’ 11 months into his sentence.

His Facebook campaign carried two simple hashtags: #‎Justice4Kane‬ ‪and #‎Missioncomplete‬

It’s unclear why Robinson has been released so early. Chronicle Live said it had approached the Ministry of Justice but the office declined to comment on individual cases. Robinson himself has also remained silent.

TorrentFreak caught up with David Cook, a specialist cyber crime solicitor who was previously instructed to provide expert opinion to the defense in the case. He told TF that he no longer represents Robinson or Graham but confirmed both had previously filed appeals.

“However, this probably has a more simple explanation,” Cook explained.

“A 34 month sentence would equate to 17 months in custody and 17 months ‘on license’ in the community. If a person behaves and is deemed suitable then they may be released earlier.”

Both men will now be looking to rebuild their lives, probably far away from the file-sharing arena.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Блогът на Юруков: От времето, когато 2: Османталгия

This post was syndicated from: Блогът на Юруков and was written by: Боян Юруков. Original post: at Блогът на Юруков

Под надвисналата заплаха Москов да въведе данък върху прекомерно мазните и сладки изделия, някои бизнеси се налага да станат по-гъвкави, за да оцелеят. Именно така се е родила идеята на (неназована за сега) верига баничарници да се върне към корените на един от най-продаваните им продукти – баклавата.

Всички ние помним колко вкусна беше баклавата от детството ни в сравнение с пластмасата, която се продава сега. А знаете ли колко по-добра е била онази от средата на 19-ти век? Несравнима като качество и технология. За да предаде това послание, баничарницата е взаимствала подхода със соцталгията от една друга рекламна кампания. Така ще внесат у нас нещо популярно напоследък в Турция – османталгията (от османска + носталгия).

Щом може да продава бира, защо не и баклава?

Предварителните допитвания показват, че тези реклами резонират добре с националистическите и етническо-партийни таргет групи. Добре разпознаваема е сред всички възрастови групи с повърхностни исторически знания. Както при другата рекламна кампания, тази също има регионална насоченост и потенциал да тръгне вайръл яхнала вълна от разгневени коментари и нападки.

Интересно ми е обаче какво е вашето мнение за тях:

От времето, когато властта
не само хващаше престъпниците,
но и ги увисваше на въжето

b2

От времето, когато брояхме
овцете, а не калориите

b1

От времето, когато
данъкът беше само 10%

b3

От времето, когато
всичката храна беше био

b4

От времето, когато имаше
мегдан вместо Facebook и Twitter

b5

От времето, когато жените
предяха и перяха вместо
да висят в БГМама и мола

b6

От времето, когато
семействата бяха големи

b7

От времето, когато
момите приставаха

b8

От времето, когато властта
не строеше магистрали, а джамии и бани

b9

От времето, когато младите
заминаваха да учат в чужбина
с трен, а не със самолет

b10

От времето, когато
училищата бяха качествени и килийни

b11

От времето, когато вързвахме
учителя и попа, за да ни е мирно селото

b12

От времето, когато
бяхме част от нещо наистина голямо

b13

От времето, когато търгувахме
от Тунис до Дубай, от Виена до Судан

b14

От времето, когато
Благоевград беше само гарнизон

b15

От времето, когато
Истанбул беше столица

b16

От времето, когато
София беше Сердика

b17

От времето, когато
Стара Загора беше Ески Зара

b18

От времето, когато
Добрич беше Хаджиоглу Пазарджик

b19

От времето, когато
Смолян беше Ахъ Челеби

b20

От времето, когато
Созопол беше Сизеболу

b21

Raspberry Pi: SnowPi, the GPIO snowman for Raspberry Pi

This post was syndicated from: Raspberry Pi and was written by: Helen Lynn. Original post: at Raspberry Pi

Do you wanna build a snowman? ‘Course you do.

SnowPi, the GPIO snowman for Raspberry Pi

SnowPi the GPIO snowman is a fun way for beginners to learn to solder and get into physical computing with Raspberry Pi. He comes as a kit for you to solder yourself, with two crystal blue LEDs for his eyes, six crystal white LEDs for his body, and an orange diffused LED for his adorable carroty nose. You’ll also solder a right-angled header to allow you to attach SnowPi to your Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins such that he stands up, and and resistors to limit the current to his LEDs and protect them from damage.

If you’ve never soldered before, now is a great time to learn! It’s easier than you think. Why not learn to solder with Carrie Anne?

Learn to how to solder with Carrie Anne

Ever wanted to learn how to solder but didn’t know where to start? Never fear, in this episode I’ll show you how to get started and the basic theory behind soldering. Check out my soldering blog post too. Like, share, & subscribe for more! http://www.geekgurldiaries.co.uk @GeekGurlDiaries http://www.facebook.com/GeekGurlDiaries Code: https://github.com/MissPhilbin/GeekGurlDiaries

SnowPi has no complex circuitry – he just provides a fun way to connect LEDs to the GPIO pins of your Raspberry Pi. This means you can write code for him in any language that can control Raspberry Pi’s GPIO, such as Scratch or Python. SnowPi’s Indiegogo campaign promises an online guide to programming SnowPi with GPIO Zero, a new Python library designed to make it as easy as possible for beginners to get started with controlling things connected to the GPIO pins.

UK hobby electronics company Ryanteck is hoping to ship the first 150 SnowPis in time for Christmas, and while they’re too experienced with electronics prototyping and production to make that into a guarantee, they have shipped all their previous crowdfunded products on time or early.

We think this is a great little physical computing project at a pocket-money price. If you like the look it too, you’ve got a week left to back SnowPi on Indiegogo!

The post SnowPi, the GPIO snowman for Raspberry Pi appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

TorrentFreak: Kim Dotcom Finally Launches Extradition Defense

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

kim-courtTwo-thirds through September Kim Dotcom’s long-awaited extradition hearing finally got underway.

Expected to last just four weeks, progress was hindered by legal argument, much of it centered around claims that Dotcom and former colleagues Mathias Ortmann, Finn Batato and Bram van der Kolk, weren’t getting a fair hearing.

Attempts to delay the extradition on those grounds ultimately failed last week and today Kim Dotcom’s defense finally got underway. As expected, lawyer Ron Mansfield immediately began painting a negative picture of U.S. prosecutors, highlighting selective use of evidence and subtle attempts at twisting discussion transcripts in their favor.

Much had previously been made of apparently incriminating Skype calls Dotcom had placed with his former business partners, but today Mansfield said the U.S. had knowingly translated those from German to suit their cause.

One, in which Dotcom allegedly said: “At some point a judge will be convinced how evil we are and then we are in trouble,” was corrected by Mansfield to state: “Because at some stage a judge will be talked into how bad we allegedly are – and then we will be a mess.”

Another instance, seen in the 3News image below, shows a Dotcom reference to individuals who uploaded large amounts of content to the site. For both sides in this fight the differences between the two translations are small but significant.

exhearing1

“It’s not only a misrepresentation which was known by the United States, it is one which it has exploited for its own benefit,” Mansfield told the court.

The U.S. had cherry-picked evidence sampled over several years, he said, discarding everything that contradicted their case and retaining anything that didn’t.

“What the United States have done here is simply bundle up years of selective or ‘cherry-picked’ conversations where those conversations [appear to show] an awareness or knowledge of copyright infringement,” Mansfield said.

While actual knowledge of copyright infringement is indeed a serious matter, Mansfield argued that there are limits on how far a company like Megaupload can be held liable for the actions of its users.

He said that in both New Zealand and the United States laws exist to protect people like Dotcom and the service provider companies they create, and the U.S. is attempting to create criminal liability where non exists.

“What the US is effectively saying to Internet service providers is: ‘You need to actively investigate copyright infringement and stop it, because if you don’t you’ll not only be civilly liable but criminally liable’,” Mansfield said.

“Internet giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter are immune from prosecution and to indict them would result in unprecedented public outrage.”

Of course, U.S. prosecutors aren’t placing Megaupload in the same category as the companies listed above. However, Dotcom’s lawyer said that Megaupload was not only legitimate, but also had the backing of some of America’s biggest stars.

To prove his point, Mansfield began playing the controversial ‘Mega Song‘, an advert that gained so much traction late 2011, just weeks before the raid on Dotcom.

Starring P Diddy, Will.i.am, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West, among others, Mega Song showed that Megaupload was mainstream and ‘up front’. Judge Nevin Dawson apparently didn’t see the video’s relevance, however, and ordered it to be switched off part way through.

Dotcom’s defense is expected to run for the remainder of the week. If extradited to the U.S. and subsequently found guilty, both he and his former colleagues face several decades in jail.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Pirate Sites and Their Users Are Suffering a Trademark Crisis

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

trademarkAnti-piracy activities often get plenty of negative press and when they’re overreaching and cynical, why shouldn’t they? However, in much the same way as one might have reluctant admiration for a brilliant but criminal genius, occasionally an anti-piracy strategy is also capable of generating a wry smile.

At first view the purpose of ‘pirate’ domain seizures and blocking seems obvious. Take away or reduce the effectiveness of a site’s most visible asset and that will not only hit its traffic but will also undermine its standing with users. Based on the fact that no site anywhere wants its domain screwed with, the strategy must be at least partially effective.

Nevertheless, the effect of seizures and blockades can be mitigated. Sites can get a new domain in a matter of minutes. Proxies and mirrors can be set up to allow blocked users to access sites again. It’s a never-ending game of whac-a-mole, a never-ending game of cat-and-mouse.

And it’s making a huge mess.

While plenty of people know that The Pirate Bay is still accessible on its .SE domain, fewer will be able to recall the other domains that the site now redirects to. Certainly, .la has less ring than most other TLDs, and by the time one gets to .mn and .gd, the memorable factor almost completely disappears.

Add in the fact that The Pirate Bay now has hundreds of proxies, mirrors and clones, all of which look just like the real site but are operated independently, and it’s clear to see that the real, original Pirate Bay has a branding crisis. What started off as a genuine intent to mitigate anti-piracy measures, has ended up creating a digital quagmire where nothing is quite what it seems.

But The Pirate Bay is not the only ‘victim’. There are copies of almost every key pirate site around today, some with good intentions, some with bad. There are few people out there, experts included, who can quickly and definitively tell the difference in all cases. This means that the brand images of all the major sites are being eroded by shady impostors on a daily basis.

If only there was a mechanism to stop people passing off their fake product or site as the real deal (he said without a hint of irony). Well, there is of course, but trademark protection isn’t a thing that any torrent site is going to invest much time in. Turning up in court for any kind of legal battle is well down their bucket lists, guaranteed.

But in the absence of such protection, users of those sites (or rather their nefarious clones) will suffer.

During the past week, in the wake of the YTS/YIFY closure, TF received a steady stream of emails from people who believed the operation was still running. Some pointed to sites with YIFY in the title, others pointed to dubious Facebook pages. All of them were fake, with each and every one abusing the YTS and YIFY ‘trademarks’ to further their own goals.

And of course, anti-piracy groups love this. They know that when fake sites appear they undermine the brand reputation of the genuine sites. They know that when malware gets offloaded or dodgy signups are required, people lose faith in the sites they’re trying to kill. When one thinks about it, people pirating pirate sites are doing their work for them.

With specialist branding/anti-piracy companies like MarkMonitor onboard, rest assured entertainment industry companies fully understand the value of undermining pirate branding. Their strategy is both cunning and clever too, since pirates are completely unable to protect their trademarks in the way that a normal company might. Popcorn Time tried – it didn’t get them very far.

It’s truly ironic then that if sites themselves could get trademark and copyright protection, they would be in a much stronger position than they are today. Failing that, consumers are left to try and understand which are the fakes sites and which ones are real. And for the layman that is getting more and more difficult every day.

Equally, some unlicensed services (such as Popcorn Time and Stremio covered yesterday) are difficult to tell apart from authorized products such as Netflix. Who would’ve imagined that both sides of the copyright wars would end up having the same weaknesses and vulnerabilities?

…and their respective branding efforts undermined by pirates….

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

TorrentFreak: YIFY/ YTS Shuts Down Forever – The End of a Piracy Icon

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

YTSTen days ago the popular movie torrent site YTS stopped working.

The downtime raised concern among many BitTorrent users, not least because the site belongs to movie release group YIFY, which has dominated public BitTorrent sites for several years.

Today we can report that this reign has come to an end. YIFY and YTS have shutdown permanently, as predicted earlier this week.

A lot of information has been made available over the past several days and multiple sources have now confirmed that YTS and YIFY will not return. The entire operation has stopped which means that no new official YIFY movie releases will appear on any torrent site, anywhere.

TF has received additional explanatory details from trusted sources, but we have been asked not to reveal all of the information just yet. However, our sources confirm without doubt that the shutdown is permanent.

The operator of YTS/YIFY, meanwhile, remains silent.

The news marks the end of a remarkable era. YIFY first arrived on the scene in 2010 and the group has shared over 6,000 movie releases since.

The group’s website (YTS.to) also gained popularity in recent years. Earlier this year the operator informed TF that they had close to a million unique visitors per day, generating six million pageviews.

The YTS/YIFY shutdown doesn’t mean that piracy will end anytime soon, but it’s one of the most significant changes to the landscape in recent history. YIFY releases were consistently among the most-pirated movies, week after week.

In an interview in 2013, YIFY attributed this popularity to the presentation and consistency of its releases.

“I personally think that many people are following and downloading YIFY encodes due to the consistency we offer in our releasing. Everything from the consistent film cover art, to the information layout, and ultimately to the file-size of our encodes,” YIFY said.

“I believe this is important because people like stability and assurance with what they are downloading. By adding consistency to a reasonable file-size, we have filled a spot in the community, which seemingly has a lot of demand,” he added.

YIFY also played a crucial part as the primary movie supplier for many Popcorn Time forks. The size of the shutdown fallout will become apparent during the weeks to come.

Over the past several days many people have been misled by fake YIFY websites, Facebook accounts and impostors. These should not be trusted and are trying to profit from the confusion.

To be continued.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

LWN.net: Tor: a landmark for hidden services

This post was syndicated from: LWN.net and was written by: ris. Original post: at LWN.net

The Tor Project’s .onion (hidden services) addresses have been formally
approved as a Special Use Domain Name by the Internet Engineering Task
Force (IETF). “[Jacob] Appelbaum, a security researcher and advocate at the Tor Project and
Alec Muffett, a software engineer at Facebook, co-authored the Request
for Comments (RFC 7686) to the IETF. Hidden services are used by human
rights defenders, political organizers, journalists, diplomats, and
ordinary people around the world who want to chat, email, blog or do
other everyday work privately and without the use of a centralized,
hackable server.

Backblaze Blog | The Life of a Cloud Backup Company: Welcome Chuck: Our Datacenter Expert

This post was syndicated from: Backblaze Blog | The Life of a Cloud Backup Company and was written by: Yev. Original post: at Backblaze Blog | The Life of a Cloud Backup Company

IMAG0517
Some say that all things in life are cyclical. Backblaze pioneered DIY server architecture on a large scale with the Backblaze Storage Pods. This in turn spurred Facebook to start their Open Compute Project. This led to them having top-notch Datacenter teams. And now that leads to Chuck Goolsbee joining the Backblaze team after running a datacenter for Facebook in Oregon. What’s Chuck going to be working on? As Backblaze expands we need more places to store your data, and Chuck is tasked with building out our network of future datacenters. It’s not an easy task, but Chuck feels oddly intrigued by it. Lets learn a bit more about the newest addition to our Datacenter team, shall we?

What is your Backblaze Title?
Director of Datacenter Infrastructure

Where are you originally from?
Spent my childhood in Illinois, Montana, and Texas, but have lived most of my life in the Seattle area. Currently living in central Oregon.

What attracted you to Backblaze?
Backblaze needs datacenters. I live and breathe datacenters. Prior to coming here I was at Facebook for almost five years, starting up and managing their Prineville, Oregon datacenter. Prior to that I built and managed a series of colocation datacenters in the Seattle area for a company I helped create named digital.forest.

What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze?
Move fast and build datacenters.

Where else have you worked?
See above. Most interesting job? I spent about 15 years as a professional, on-ice Hockey Official (Referee & Linesman) in the USA, Canada, and Europe. I was paid to travel and work games ranging from kids through College up to professional Ice Hockey. I started doing it in college for extra money (I played hockey at the time) and kept with it for years afterward. I tell people that no job better prepares you for on-you-feet decision-making, and staying cool in a crisis better than hockey officiating.

Where did you go to school?
I graduated from Texas Tech University with a BFA in Graphic & Package Design. I went there to study with a rather mercurial professor named Frank Cheatham. He was amazing, and brutal at the same time. About 90 of us started his program, and only four of us graduated. About a year after I started my professional design career, my whole world changed when the industry started going digital with the introduction of PostScript, Aldus PageMaker, Adobe Illustrator, et al. That changed everything, and began my journey to here.

What’s your dream job?
The guy whose perpetual subtitle reads “Professional on a closed course. DO NOT ATTEMPT.”

Favorite place you’ve traveled?
Anywhere with fresh powder and no lift lines.

Favorite hobby?
Skiing all winter, playing with cars when there is no snow. I try to ski between 750,000 and 1 million vertical feet every winter (that’s 229km—305km for the more rational, non-Imperial types out there). In the off-season I compete in the 24 Hours of LeMons race series, and try to keep a few old cars running… with very limited success. (OK, mostly outright failure.)

Of what achievement are you most proud?
hard to pick…
Raising two sons to reasonable and responsible adulthood.
Several top-ten finishes in highly competitive endurance auto races and TSD rallies.
Several successful datacenter builds.
Hitting 89.7 MPH/144KPH on skis.

Star Trek or Star Wars?
Why not both? (just no Jar Jar please!)

Coke or Pepsi?
Cabernet Franc.

Favorite food?
Medium rare steak, with sautéed green veggies and a Cabernet Franc.

Why do you like certain things?
I generally like things that require my complete, 100% focus in the moment I am doing them. Skiing, driving, whatever. I learned this while playing hockey. I was a goaltender, so if you lose focus for even a nanosecond, you lose. Maintain focus, and you can do just about anything.

Anything else you’d like you’d like to tell us?
It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.

Driving race cars and inching towards 90 MPH on skis? Never too late to have a happy childhood is right! Thanks for sharing your backstory with us Chuck. If you’re curious about what Chuck will be working on…

The post Welcome Chuck: Our Datacenter Expert appeared first on Backblaze Blog | The Life of a Cloud Backup Company.

TorrentFreak: Popcorn Time & YTS Global Outages Cause Concern

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

popcornThis week a new service called BrowserPopcorn debuted and then shutdown. Just to get things absolutely clear, that has nothing whatsoever to do with today’s situation. With that out of the way, let’s move on.

As reported earlier this week, the main fork of Popcorn Time is undergoing transition. Disputes over money and power have hit the project at its core. As a result key members have now left the project while others insist they will continue.

Today’s Popcorn problems

With that turmoil already concerning the community, this morning there are fresh issues making waves. Several hours ago the project’s official domain – PopcornTime.io – went completely offline.

The domain itself is owned by David Lemarier, aka ‘phnz’, one of the devs who left earlier this week. With that in mind it’s certainly possible (or even likely) that the outage is connected to his departure. While there are some reports that the domain is now slowly coming back online, the site itself is still accessible by direct IP address.

However, the outage is affecting more than just the Popcorn Time domain. For reasons that are not yet clear the project’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts (both named ‘popcorntimetv’) have also gone down, with the latter now complaining that it simply does not exist.

pop-twitter

But the problems go deeper still. An externally-hosted status page for PopcornTime.io reveals additional problems.

Not only are there issues with nameservers, the website and the forum, some of the APIs on which the entire PopcornTime application relies are also non-functioning, causing the whole system to fall over.

popcorn-status

The reason the movie API is down is the issue currently causing most concern, since it’s likely to keep Popcorn Time offline, even when PopcornTime.io returns. Here’s why.

The YTS connection

Most if not all versions of Popcorn Time rely on a website called YTS.re for their movie libraries and if YTS has problems, Popcorn Time has problems too. At the time of writing and for the past several hours, YTS.to has been completely offline too, meaning that Popcorn Time is pretty much broken.

TorrentFreak contacted the admin of YTS but did not immediately receive a response to our request for comment. However, when accessed directly, a public facing server operated by YTS does return the message – “Be Back Soon :)” – but it’s unclear if that relates directly to the current situation or is a generic downtime message.

Conclusion

At least for now it appears that the problems facing PopcornTime.io and its team are separate from the problems being experienced by YTS. However, due to PopcornTime’s reliance on YTS for content, the system falls down when the latter doesn’t function as it should.

More on the situation as we have it.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Lauren Weinstein's Blog: When Facebook’s “Real Name” Policies Can Kill

This post was syndicated from: Lauren Weinstein's Blog and was written by: Lauren. Original post: at Lauren Weinstein's Blog

A week ago in: Social Media Abuse Stories to Shrivel Your Soul I discussed the wide range of serious problems resulting from social media “real names” identity requirements, with Facebook being the most prominent and important perpetrator of the resulting damage to users. As I continue to receive associated stories in response to: Research Request: Seeking Facebook or Other “Real…

TorrentFreak: Fighting an RIAA Piracy Lawsuit Might Sound Cool But..

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

aurousWith its pretty interface there was never any doubt that brand new file-sharing app Aurous would be making headlines upon launch. It’s certainly lived up to that billing.

The software was tested here at TF a few weeks ago before it was available to the public. As a general rule we don’t ‘review’ sites or software, however with Aurous things felt different. Call it gut instinct after years of writing about copyright issues but this one had newsworthy – and litigation – written all over it.

Sure enough, on Tuesday the RIAA sued Aurous and co-founder Andrew Sampson. There was no surprise in TF’s virtual newsroom, only a sense of inevitability followed by a simultaneous “that was quick”. And the RIAA was definitely quick. In the space of 72 hours they tested Aurous, analyzed its code and briefed their lawyers.

That said, preparation had been done. Like thousands of others the RIAA would’ve noticed Andrew Sampson’s personal website detailing the open source projects he has on the go. And when they were done reading that they no doubt moved to his very public Github and Facebook pages. Hell, the guy even has a Wikipedia page dedicated to him.

So, unless the above amounts to seriously impressive decoy activity as part of a master plan in which Sampson leads the RIAA down a spectacular blind alley, we can presume that his true identity is well and truly out of the bag. And when you have the RIAA breathing down your neck, that must absolutely suck.

Yet aside from complying with a restraining order handed down on Thursday, Sampson seems totally unfazed. Maybe it’s his relatively tender age (he’s reportedly just 20) that gives him the strength to challenge the CEOs of the major labels to an arm wrestling match on Twitter. Maybe he’s insane. Maybe, just maybe, he knows something we don’t and he’s chuckling to himself right now.

If that’s the case, good for him I guess, but if not a miserable road lies ahead. Just thinking about what the Grooveshark guys had to go through year after year is stressful enough, not to mention the fact that Paul Geller, the company’s former EVP of Strategic Development, thinks Sampson’s fight “won’t be pretty“.

Worryingly Grooveshark had better odds of winning too. The service had a massive head start over Sampson, some licensing deals on board and significant dollars in the bank to put up a fight. Well, they started with dollars in the bank……

And that’s the thing. To many the idea of fighting the mighty RIAA will have a romantic ring to it, like David bringing down Goliath, like Hannibal inflicting huge losses on the Romans. But these are people’s lives were talking about and in the case of Sampson (and if his date of birth is accurate) it’s a life that’s barely out of the starting blocks.

So why the concern over a person I know little about getting himself into a fight with the RIAA? Well, quite apart from the fact that history shows us that no file-sharing developer has ever got into a proper war with the RIAA and truly won, I can’t stop thinking about someone who i’ve been in touch with for a year or so now.

I need to protect his identity but let’s just say he’s one of several people facing serious copyright infringement charges that will almost certainly change their lives forever. In our last exchange he sounded absolutely broken and I have no doubt whatsoever that given the chance he would’ve done things differently. I’ve been wondering how much that option would be worth to him today – probably every penny he has.

Sure, being a disruptor and fixing broken business models is the stuff of heroes and by its nature involves many risks, but are those risks really worth taking at 20 years old in 2015? Against the RIAA? A group that knows almost everything there is to know about copyright infringement lawsuits and one that can easily outspend you even if they can’t win?

Make no mistake, unless the RIAA decides otherwise Sampson is in an unwinnable fight that no lawyer will ever be able to turn around. Even Mike Masnick said as much on Friday and that is not a good sign.

Importantly, though, there’s no shame in walking away from an unwinnable fight because by making a strategic withdrawal without your own blood being shed, you’ve actually won. There’ll be another way for a bright and talented guy like Sampson to achieve his aims, if he makes the right decisions now.

Good luck Andrew, you know it makes sense.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.