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BTJunkie was one of top five BitTorrent sites out there, and has after 7 years in operation, decided to voluntarily shut down. This closure is sure to be in relation from the growing pressure from authorities in the U.S. and around the world, with MegaUpload taking the first big blow, as well as The Pirate Bay.
BTJunkie wasn't attacked by the authorities, so this looks like a preemptive move to avoid future legal action, and/or arrests. BTJunkie had boasted 80 million users at one point, and in its farewell message, BTJunkie wrote:
This is the end of the line my friends. The decision does not come easy, but we've decided to voluntarily shut down. We've been fighting for years for your right to communicate, but it's time to move on. It's been an experience of a lifetime, we wish you all the best!
Samsung's anti-Apple Super Bowl TV spot was shown just a few hours ago, dubbed "Next Big Thing". The ad shows off Samsung's 5.3-inch smartphone, the Galaxy Note.
The takes a stab at the religious-like Apple line ups for their new iDevices. The towns of San Francisco, Calif, Boston, Ma. and Denver, Co., burst into non-choreographed flash mobs, when they meet "The Thing Called Love," and by the thing called love, it's Samsung's Galaxy Note.
Considering that the Super Bowl ads were mostly filled with celebrity-laden advertisements for beer and cars, this is somewhat new for Super Bowl of late. Samsung were one of the only tech-based companies pushing their wares. Go, Samsung?
Anonymous have had an eventful 2012 thus far, with news today that they've intercepted and recorded a conference call that took place between the FBI and the British police cybercrime division of Scotland Yard on January 17.
Anonymous have now released an audio recording of the nearly 15 minutes of conversation online. During the call, the two parties discussed something quite important, a hacker plot called "Project Mayhem". What is Project Mayhem you ask? Well, it's only a strategy for bringing down Anonymous, you can now understand why this is of importance for Anonymous.
The two parties specifically talk about back arrests of members known as "Kayla" and "Tee-flow", as well as getting Ryan Cleary's indecent images which were found by the USAF who examined his hard drive and 15-year-old "Tehwongz" who has claimed to of hacked 32,000 Steam user names, logins and credit card details.
Apple don't have a TV on the market, where their biggest competitor in the smartphone market, Samsung, sure do have that market with their fist around it, tightly. The latest coming from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, has said that the Cupertino-based company has been checking out the TV component supply chain, in preparations of entering the TV market.
Munster wrote in a note to clients today:
In January we spoke with a major TV component supplier who has been contacted by Apple regarding various capabilities of their television display components. We see this as continued evidence that Apple is exploring production of a television. This latest data point follows January 2011 meetings in Asia that led us to believe Apple was investing in manufacturing facilities for LCD displays ranging from 3.5" mobile displays to 50" television displays.
Now I'm beginning to wonder. A consumer walks into a store that sells a bunch of different branded TVs, as well as Apple products. Said customer sees a 50-inch Apple TV for, I'm guessing here, $3999 and sees a 55-inch Samsung OLED TV, which makes the Apple screen look like a 640x480 CRT, and is $3499. Which would the customer buy?
The scary answer? Most like Apple, because of that darn attractive picture of fruit on the front. Go, Apple, go.
Thought MegaUpload was bad? Well, 6 petabytes of illegal content has been discovered at the Ukrainian equivalent of MegaUpload
Well, well. MegaUpload may have taken an arrow to the knee, but now we're seeing the cracks get wider, and the numbers are widening. Ex.ua, the Ukrainian equivalent of MegaUpload has been forced offline in the Ukraine. You've probably never heard of it, but Ex.ua is absolutely huge. Ex.ua accounts for between 16- and 36-percent of Internet traffic in the country at any one time.
Ex.au's offices were raided by the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, where they seized over 200 servers where they found, get this, over 6 petabytes (6,000 terabytes) of illegal content. There were supposedly 16 people working at the office, and are now looking to face prosecution.
Why did the raids take place? Adobe, Microsoft, and Graphisoft had made complaints in relation to copyright infringement. After which, an investigation was launched and had lasted six months before action had taken place.
Ukrainian ISPs should expect traffic to go down, and make less profits.
Ukrainian resident? Please drop me a line to let me know what's going on in your side of the world.
Crackle has launched an Xbox Live app, gives US, UK, Canadian and Australians access to TV shows, movies, for free
I've never heard of Crackle until now, so I've just pushed that rock up off my back and thrown it to the side for now. Crackle is part of Sony Picture Entertainment's video entertainment network, and now gives UK, US, Canadian, and Australians access to a bunch of TV shows and Hollywood movies, all for free.
For free! Free, as in, nothing? Well, Crackle is ad-supported, but it's not a direct competitor of paid-for video-on-demand services such as Netflix, which is also available on the Xbox Live hub, but instead Crackle offers a range of old movies, TV shows and animated series.
Phil Lynch, VP Digital Networks and Games at Sony Pictures Television says:
Crackle is the single best multi-platform source of free, ad-supported Hollywood films and television series. By our continued emphasis on cross-platform distribution, we are bringing an unparalleled viewing experience directly to Crackle's largest demographic of 18-34 males through their Internet-enabled devices. We are thrilled to be part of Xbox LIVE's entertainment expansion.
System-on-a-chip extraordinaire, Qualcomm, have posted their Q1 2012 financial results, with a very nice $4.68 billion in revenue for Q1, a 40-percent increase year-over-year, and 14-percent higher than just last quarter.
Profits were up, too, at $1.4 billion, a 20-percent increase year-over-year, and a 33-percent increase sequentially. MSM chip shipments were great for Qualcomm, seeing 156 million units shipped, a 23-percent increase from last year. September quarter total reported device sales are quite staggering, with approximately $41.4 billion in sales, up 22-percent year-over-year and 6-percent sequentially.
Qualcomm's cash equivalents and marketable securities now total $22 billion at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2012.
Qualcomm are going quite well, and I think this year will see a continuation of that effort.
This has been going on for quite a while now, but just a few moments ago, Sweden's Supreme Court handed down its decision to not grant leave to appeal in the long-running Pirate Bay criminal trial. What this means is that their previously determined jail sentences and fines handed out to Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm and Carl Lundström will stand.
During the original 2009 trial, Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström all had their sentences decreased, but ordered to pay increased damages that added up to millions of dollars to be handed over to the entertainment company plaintiffs.
The three men filed for a hearing of their case at the Supreme Court, which happened today, and their request was denied. This means that the previously-given sentences now stand, and are final. Peter Sunde aka Brokep, will face 8 months in prison. Fredrik Neij aka TiAMO, is looking at 10 months. Businessman Carl Lundström has just 4 months behind bars. They are all still required to pay a combined $6.8 million in damages.
Facebook has finally, after all this time, speculation and rumors, finally reached their status of hitting an initial public offering (IPO) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It raised $5 billion, less than the previously speculated $10 billion.
In their S-1 filing, Facebook also mentioned they would begin selling public stock as soon as possible. On top of the IPO news, they released some statistics on Facebook, which are very mind-blowing: Facebook now receives 845 million active users per month, 100 billion friendships, 2.7 billion likes and comments per day, as well as 250 million photos being uploaded every day.
We also found out that Facebook has been profitable for three years now, with revenue of $777 million on profit of $229 million in 2009 alone. Revenue grew 154-percent to $1.974 billion in 2010, and another 88-percent in 2011 to $3.711 billion. Facebook earned $1 billion last year, and are sitting on cash reserves of $3.908 billion.
What would you say Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg earned? Well, a salary of $483,333 in 2011, with a $220,500 bonus for the first half of the year, and $783,529 in other compensations (with $692,679 spent on chartered airplanes). This pay "reflected the impact of his performance in leading our product development efforts, our success in growing Facebook's global user base and developing strong developer and commercial relationships."
Twitter recently gave itself itself the power to censor particular tweets in particular countries, but this latest move tops them all. Two friends had planned a trip the the United States, as most people would dream of doing, with Leigh Van Bryan posting a tweet just weeks before his trip that he was going to "destroy America."
Now, a level-headed person would take that as someone who is excited about going to the U.S. with a friend, and is looking to have a great time. The U.S. didn't see it that way, and did not think it was said in a positive tone, where things escalated, quite a bit. Bryan and his friend, Emily Bunting, arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport, where they were questioned by U.S. special agents who had spotted their tweet.
They were questioned for over five hours, after which they were placed into an illegal immigrants van and were put behind bars, separately, for 12 hours. Bryan was questioned in regards to his tweet, where he jokingly said he would be "digging up Marilyn Monroe." The tweet where the U.S. believed Bryan was a "terrorist" was:
Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America.
Emily on the other hand stated:
Officials told us we were not allowed into the country because of Leigh's tweets. We just wanted to have a good time on holiday. That was all Leigh meant in his tweets.