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Tor is a popular program which enables people behind heavy government censorship to view the entire unobstructed internet. It's basically a proxy server which encrypts the outgoing packets so that they can't be snooped on. Unfortunately, these data packets can still be identified so the traffic can theoretically still be blocked.
Computer scientists have now come up with a way to mask these data packets as Skype traffic. This makes it near impossible for the government to block the data packets. If a government were to block Skype, there would be a massive outcry from other governments and the citizens themselves.
"The goal is to make the traffic look like some other protocol that they are not willing to block," Ian Goldberg, a professor at the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, told Ars. "They could just shut off the Internet, of course, like Egypt did for a few days a year or so ago, but that, of course, would be extremely unpopular to their own people that are wondering why can't see pictures of cute cats."
SkypeMorph, as the application is called, uses traffic shaping to convert Tor packets into User Datagram Protocol packets to avoid detection. The traffic shaping also mimics the sizes and timings of packets produced by normal Skype video conversations to further mask the connection from suspicion.
I always thought it was the government that I had to watch out for here in the United States. At least they allow me freedom of speech. However, Microsoft is no longer affording its users the same right. Now, if you try to send a message containing a link to The Pirate Bay, it will be rejected and an automated message will be sent back.
The message reads: "The link you tried to send was blocked because it was reported as unsafe." It doesn't matter if you are using the Microsoft client, or a third party one. Curiously enough, links to Demonoid still work without any issue. I'm not quite sure why Microsoft is appointing themselves the "Chat Police," but I do not like it one bit.
Climate change has not resulted in all bad, it would appear. Thanks to the climate change-induced melting of the Arctic sea ice, the Arctic ocean is now navigable by ship. This, in turn, is allowing for new fiber cables to be run at the bottom of the sea. The ultimate result of this is that England is digitally moving 60ms closer to Japan. In other words, there will now be 60ms less latency in the internet connection between England and Japan.
These new lines are good news for a wide variety of reasons. The current cables take a longer route, and traverse some of the heaviest traveled shipping lanes. This means that a ship who drags its anchor in the wrong spot could easily kill the backbone that links most of the world. Additionally, these cables are shorter, resulting in lower latency, as previously mentioned.
Another cable line is going to be laid following the North American coastline, instead of the Russian coastline. This will make connections into Canada, and ultimately reach Japan. The Russian Trans-Arctic Cable System (RUTACS) will be made of 6 pairs of fibers with a 1.6 Tbit/s capacity per pair, and the minimum latency between London and Tokyo will be 76.58 milliseconds. The North American route will have a total bandwidth between the countries will of 6.4 Tbit/s, with latencies between London and Tokyo of 168 ms.
The amount of people who fall for spam e-mail is enormous, I personally don't know why - because 99.9-percent of the time it's so blindingly obvious, but there are still quite a few who fall to the trick of "you've just inherited $4.5 million from an Uncle you've never heard of, in a country you've never heard of".
Google now want you to know why the messages they mark as spam, and will be, starting as of today, showing a brief explanation at the top of each spam message. All you have to do is look at any message in your spam folder to find out why it was put there, and to learn of any potential harmful content within the message itself.
Google hope this is not only interesting, but helps you learn just how they filter out those bad e-mails. You can leave the spam folder untouched (like most people do), or if you want to get into the educational side of things, the information is there for your help. I don't think I'll bother, I'll let Google sort out my spam, thanks, Google.
Last July, a wide selection of ISPs, including Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable, announced that they were adopting policies designed to discourage customers from illegally downloading music, movies and software. Since then, it has been quiet...too quiet. It was the calm before the storm. According to a panel discussion before a gathering of U.S. publishers, most participating ISPs are on track to start implementing the program by July 12. I don't quite understand why ISPs would want to take this on, but apparently they do.
The general plan goes something like this. ISPs send out one or two educational notices to those customers who are accused of piracy. If the behavior continues, the ISP is then asked to send out "confirmation notices" asking that they confirm they have received notice. Along with the "confirmation notices," the accused will also be informed of the possible risks and penalties of continuing to pirate material. Again, if the customer continues, the ISP can then ratchet up the pressure. ISPs can then choose to apply what the RIAA calls "mitigation measures." These include throttling connection speed, or stopping the connection altogether until the customer agrees to stop pirating. Luckily, not one of the service providers has agreed to permanently terminate service.
In the upcoming months, Google's web search will no longer just spit out a list of web links that match your query. It will start to present facts and direct answers at the top of the results page. These changes are among the biggest that the search giant have ever undergone and are a result of trying to keep a dominant market-share.
While Google isn't replacing its current keyword-search system, they are aiming to provide more relevant results by incorporating technology called "semantic search". Semantic search is the technology related to attempting to understand the meaning of the words themselves and provide relevant results. Over the past two years, Google has been quietly amassing a database of hundreds of millions of entities-people, places and things-which can provide data matched to queries.
After these updates, a Google query for "Lake Tahoe" would result in a listing of key attributes, such as its location, altitude, average temperature or salt content, above the usual listing of links based upon the old keyword search algorithm. When a more complex question is provided, Google may provide just an answer, rather than links to other sites. An example query would look something like, "What are the 10 largest lakes in California?" This query would likely return the answer, rather than links to other sites.
Photo sharing service Flickr, talked last month of an update coming to their site, and design, which would brush away some of the old dead weight design, and usher in something new. This "something new" is now here, in the form of a "justified" view.
The new "justified" view fills the screen with photos, whilst maintaining the aspect ratios, and is now justifying its way into the streams of users photos. On top of the new layout, justified view also lets you favorite, comment, or view a photo in a light box (fullscreen) directly from the thumbnails.
The new justified view hasn't rolled out for everyone just yet, but it does fix most peoples complaints about the sites design. If you don't like the new justified look, you can always go back to the previous looks, by clicking the drop down menu in the upper right-hand corner.
Google's video website, YouTube, is streaming an absolutely mind-boggling 4 billion videos each and every day. This is a 25-percent increase over the last eight months, according to the company.
Why the sudden jump in viewing numbers? Google have pushed YouTube beyond the PC, with YouTube having its own app on smartphones, tablets and televisions, as Google step up efforts to offer more professional-grade content on the site. According to Google, roughly 60 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every 60 seconds, this is compared to the 48 hours of video uploaded per minute back in May of 2011.
Google acquired YouTube in 2006 for a nice $1.65 billion, and now represents one of Google's key opportunities to generate new sources of revenue outside of its traditional Internet search advertising business.
Mark it in your calendars, folks, June 6th is officially "World IPv6 Launch" day. A coordinated launch of the next-generation Internet protocol. On that day, various companies and corporations will begin to close the gaps and begin to deliver, true, end-to-end, next-generation Internet.
IPv6 is the replacement for the current version of IPv4 that is running out of addresses. The original IPv6 specification was actually published more than 15 years ago now, but it's only just this year that we'll finally start to see the beginning of it. IPv6 ushers in the ability to connect together billions of devices, both fixed and mobile, from the largest cloud-based systems, to the smallest Internet-connected sensors.
Google have now joined in on World IPv6 Day, with most of their services, including Search, Gmail, YouTube and more, will be available to the world over IPv6 permanently. Most users won't notice the change, but if you want to test your connection, you can visit ipv6test.google.com. It will be years before the Internet is fully transitioned to IPv6, but that's what the future holds for the Internet.
Ah, torrents. You used to be cool before everyone dived onto you, years ago, but as they have become mainstream, the target has been made. Torrents used to not be mainstream, and thus, the websites hosting them were pretty safe. Now I hear grandmas discussing how their son/daughter/friend/grandson "downloaded X or Y movie/TV show from 'the torrents'".
The Pirate Bay is one of the largest torrent-hosting sites on the Internet, and in a month from now, thepiratebay.org will remove all torrent files from its site, in favor for magnet links. This new move is what The Pirate Bay calls a "new future" in file sharing, consisting of true peer-to-peer sharing without the use of trackers.
TPB has already switched over to the underlying technology that runs alongside magnet links, with Distributed Hash Table (DHT) and Peer Exchange (PEX). TPB have been using magnet links with torrent files for a while now, without letting any of its users know.