The world's largest BitTorrent site, The Pirate Bay, as reported previously, will stop linking to .torrent files shortly and replace them with magnet links. Magnet links have a pretty big advantage over .torrent files, where they're much more portable, and easier to copy. On top of this, a new torrent link on TPB lists all titles and magnet links, where the public can download a copy that would fit onto even the smallest USB flash drive, or if you're still rocking those floppies, a few of them, too.
TPB told TorrentFreak that one of the advantages to a "magnet site" is that it requires little bandwidth to host a proxy site. A proxy site is required as TPB is blocked in many countries, and is of course, going to increase. Think it can't happen? Well, Pirate Bay user "allisfine" was intrigued by this idea, and has decided to find out just how small a copy of TPB would be. He told TorrentFreak:
I did a complete snapshot of ALL the Pirate Bay torrents, in case somebody wants to close it or something similarly crazy.
NVIDIA and Rambus have been fighting it out for a while now, with four years of lawsuits and fighting, have resolved the matter privately. They've inked a new deal that is valid for the next five years, but other than that, no other details are provided.
The PR statement is vague, just pointing out that the two companies have settled, and that there's a five-year agreement now:
The agreement covers the use of Rambus patented innovations in a broad range of integrated circuit (IC) products offered by NVIDIA. In addition, the two companies have settled all outstanding claims, including resolution of past use of Rambus' patented innovations. The term of this agreement is five years; other details are confidential.
"This is an important license agreement as it settles our differences and allows us to move forward with NVIDIA, the leader in visual and parallel computing," said Harold Hughes, president and chief executive officer at Rambus. "Looking forward, we have the opportunity to focus on developing innovative solutions in concert with our licensees to help bring compelling, innovative products to market."
It's good to see the issues resolved, now they can get back to business.
Paradox CEO, Fred Wester, is a man of important words. He has revealed the amazing growth of his companies digital distribution revenue. In his own words, he has said:
My own experience of digital distribution is that we made 1.5 percent of our revenue from digital distribution in 2006, while the digital number in 2011 was over 95%.
Did you see that? From 1.5-percent of their revenue, to a whopping 95-percent, in just 5 short years. In these 5 years we've seen retailers go from selling tonnes of retail boxed games, to the App Store opening, the Android Market arriving and more. Steam is generating more and more income, and other digital distribution methods such as GOG, and Origin.
Motorola is currently fighting Microsoft in a German court over some patents, where the court is inclined to side with Motorola. This could see Microsoft pay Motorola royalties of 2.25-percent in sales of Windows 7, and Xbox 360, among other products. The news comes from Florian Mueller, an intellectual property analyst who tracks worldwide patent disputes in his Foss Patents blog.
Mueller is quoted:
A short summary of today's trial (technically four trials, but organized as one because of overlapping issues) is that the court is inclined to rule, with a decision scheduled for April 17, 2012, that Microsoft Windows 7, Internet Explorer 9, the Windows Media Player and the Xbox 360 infringe on those two patents.
The two patents in question relate to a video compression and decompression technology, covering methods for reducing the amount of bandwidth required for video that is streamed online. It is said that Microsoft violated the patents which are used in its technologies and software including Windows 7, Internet Explorer 9, Windows Media Player and the Xbox 360.
We all know AMD has and still is, going through some troubling times, but there is hopefully some light at the end of that bulldozed tunnel. The bad news continues today with the exit door opening for its chief sales officer, Emilio Ghilardi.
AMD announced the departure just after the close of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, where current CEO Rory Read will take over Ghilardi's sales responsibilities in the meantime, there is a search for a replacement. Ghilardi had worked for AMD since 2008, and started as senior vice president and general manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Just a year later he was promoted to chief sales officer.
It's not known what move is next for AMD, when they're set to adopt an "ambidextrous" strategy when it comes to using chips from other companies. The next few months should be some interesting times from the underdog, whether we see them move into areas where they aren't fighting the big bad, Intel. It could be a smart move, where you can't win, go into a market where you have more chance, and less competition. Sounds good to me.
Considering LimeWire has been dead for quite sometime now, after the RIAA settled with LimeWire last year to the sweet tune of $105 million, Twentieth Century Fox, Viacom, Disney, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. now want some of that tasty LimeWire blood.
First up, we need to consider, its not like LimeWire had $105 million in cash laying around, so these lawsuits are nothing but praise for the MPAA/RIAA to show off "we sued a company for pirating!" but what actually gets done about it? People are sued, but its like taking blood from a stone. The stone has no blood, LimeWire has no cash. Why sue?
The complaint, published by Courthouse News reads:
The illegality of LimeWire has been fully and finally adjudicated by the Court. In a related case, Arista Records LLC v. Lime Group LLC ...the court found defendants liable for engaging in and facilitating massive copyright infringement.
The complaint lists 53 infringed works including shows such as South Park and Family Guy, as well as movies such as Avatar, Shrek and Harry Potter.
Motorola have been stirring up some problems for Apple in Germany, where they won an injunction on iCloud and also enforced a previous ruling where it requires Apple to pull some iPhone mobiles from stores in Germany. The sales ban last just hours, after which Apple managed to win a suspension later in the day.
New details have emerged from the battle between Motorola and Apple, where they've said that Motorola Mobility's legal complaints against Apple, want 2.25-percent of Apple's sales of wireless devices in exchange for a patent license covering Motorola's intellectual property. If Motorola wins this, they could receive $2.1 billion in retroactive fees from iPhone revenues dating back to 2007, which amount to a slither under $93 billion. This is before factoring in 3G iPad sales.
Which patent do Motorola have a grip over Apple on? Its 3G/UMTS patent, has recently been declared essential in implementing open industry standards and because of that, Motorola must license it under FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms to any competitor that requires it.
Apple has denied the fee, and is now filing motions to obtain information from other handset vendors such as Nokia, HTC, LG, and Sony Ericsson to find out what sort of royalty fees they're paying to Motorola. If Apple proves that Motorola are abusing its FRAND patents, then it could throw Motorola into an anti-trust investigation with the European Commission.
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.
Sony aren't in a good position right now, with three years of losses behind them, and the potential of a fourth, they're shuffling their CEOs in the near-future. Current CEO, Sir Howard Stringer, will be replaced by Kazuo Hirai, effective April 1.
After the move, Stringer will become chairman of the board after a shareholders meeting in June. Hirai, current PlayStation chief, will try to integrate the unprofitable TV business and computers, with content from Sony's entertainment divisions. Sony have lost a few battles now, with the Walkman losing to Apple's iPod, the Bravia TV's to Samsung, and Nintendo slamming the sales of the PlayStation 3.
Sony reports their third-quarter earnings tomorrow, where they're expected to post a loss. This will be the fourth consecutive year of losses, a first for the company since it was listed back in 1958. Hirai has quite the job ahead of him, I just can't see how he can steer Sony back into profits in the short term.
With Hirai off the PlayStation chief position, what does this mean for the PlayStation 4? Questions need to be answered, Sony.
Hasn't the world, or WikiLeaks, learnt anything? If the U.S. Government wants you, they'll come and get you. No matter what country, no matter if you're not a U.S. citizen, or whether you're on water - they'll find a way. Kim Dotcom would've thought he was safe with MegaUpload, after all. The latest out of WikiLeaks is that they want to move their servers offshore in an attempt to avoid prosecution from the U.S.
Citing "multiple sources within the hacking community," told FoxNews.com that those backing WikiLeaks' founder, Julian Assange, have been working behind the scenes to move the servers to international waters where they would find themselves under maritime law. This means that once they are far enough away from land, then maritime law is what you "report" to.
But moving servers onto the open sea isn't going to solve WikiLeaks problems overnight. Jim Dempsey, Vice President for Public Policy with the Washington, D.C., think tank Center for Democracy and Technology has said that moving the servers offshore wouldn't go any good unless those who are running WikiLeaks also moved offshore, where he's quoted;
Where the data resides isn't what determines jurisdiction. You prosecute real people, you don't prosecute servers. So if the WikiLeaks people want to live on a platform in the North Sea and educate their children there ... for people who have lives, that doesn't make sense.
Electronic Frontier Foundation comes to the rescue for MegaUpload users, will retrieve their non-infringing files
The MegaUpload debacle is in the middle of a complete storm right now, and users who have used the storage provided by MegaUpload are facing the possibility that their files will be completely wiped away and never seen again.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has stepped in, with the help of Carpathia Hosting, where they've announced plans to assess the scope of the issue facing MegaUpload users who are at risk of losing their data. Carpathia has created the website, http://www.MegaRetrieval.com to help users contact EFF. EFF will then take a look at the situation, and if possible, help resolve the issues.
Facebook are now expected to raise $5 billion in a preliminary IPO prospectus on Wednesday morning. This is much less than expected, but could balloon out from here based on investor demand "according to sources close to the deal," reports the International Financing Review.
The smaller deal is reportedly reflecting a decision to start with a conservative base, before deciding whether to increase. Facebook has chosen to hire five bookrunners including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital and JP Morgan. This list could grow, also.
Facebook are expected to finalise the IPO process by May, if everything goes right with the registration process with the SEC. It has been reported that Facebook have been "unusually guarded" about the process for selecting banks involved in the underwriting syndicate. Obviously because this would be not only a stressful move, but a very strategic move for their future growth.