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U2 front man Bono is appreciative to see Apple and Spotify stepping up to pay musicians during a turbulent time in music. Digital album and song downloads are sliding, as more listeners turn to streaming music services, and some artists aren't supportive of the current trend.
Bono said Apple is "unique in big tech in trying to get artists paid," at a time when iTunes, Spotify, and other services garner various acceptance from musicians and the music industry.
"We all now understand the Internet is giving us access to information that is mostly flattening an uneven playing field," Bono recently said. "This is all good except when some technologists think that creative content is only valuable in its ability to show off their wares - hard or soft."
Thanks to a new advancement, Google are giving students some much needed assistance in the form of rental textbooks for all Aussie students.
Textbooks are often very expensive, seeing most university courses asking you to put up hundreds of dollars for lengthy books that you sometimes barely use - which is obviously quite hard given you are a student and generally don't have much money to spare.
Thanks to advancements in technology, these digital textbooks are fully searchable, notes can be taken, stored and exported at your will and your own notes can even be stored long after the textbook rental has expired. Also don't worry, if you're not yet a registered student, you can still gain full access to any of these textbooks - simply rent and try them out for yourselves.
Bing and Yahoo were experiencing some major issues just a few days ago thanks to Microsoft pushing an update without thoroughly checking it for bugs, as Reuters reported.
If you're an avid user of these search engines, you'll have noticed that after typing search.yahoo.com into your browser, you would have been met with an error message saying that Yahoo engineers were working to resolve the issue. Microsoft struggled to roll-back the updates changes, rectifying the outage a few hours later.
It has been reported that after the crash, Microsoft's initial roll-back failed, forcing them to shut down its groups of linked servers until eventually order was restored. According to an unnamed source, once the search was restored, Yahoo had some issues handling the backlog of search requests - eventually restoring order after a number of hours on the job.
The music industry continues to undergo drastic change, and music labels are unsure how to deal with paid download sales dropping as more users begin to enjoy streaming music.
Paid album downloads dropped 9 percent year-over-year down to 257 million albums, with paid individual song downloads dropping 12 percent to 106.5 million in 2014, according to Nielsen SoundScan statistics. Currently, streaming music has been unable to restore the music industry - the RIAA counts 1,500 song streams as a single album purchase, and listeners are tuning in - but generating revenue from this effort remains difficult.
More users are enjoying streaming music, whether sitting at the PC or using mobile devices, with 164 billion songs listened to in 2014 - a whopping 54 percent increase year-over-year. Record labels will have to find methods to ensure they monetize this change in how listeners listen to music, though will have to do so while limiting intrusions stations and listeners will endure.
Netflix is undoubtedly one of the biggest and best online-streaming platforms available today, but unfortunately for some countries (like Australia), its services aren't supported - seeing them region locked due to copyright and various other laws. As there is a demand we've seen a sub-culture of users who are located within this 'exclusion zone' - they're still paying members of Netflix, but utilize a VPN to trick this service into thinking they live in America.
Are they pirates or not? Its a commonly asked question among media entities and the public. Although these users are paying members and are not stealing content, they're using a VPN to trick the streaming platform into thinking they live in a supported country.
TorrentFreak has just reported of Netflix's implementation of specific blocks, said to block some services that get around geo-blockers. Although not everything has been taken down just yet, reports claim that more of these VPN extensions and applications may be stamped out one-by-one from here on in.
Google is apparently eyeing India, the second largest country in the world, as the next candidate for Google Fiber services. Google is planning to provide fiber broadband services as part of the Digital India program, with a small roll-out planned as a proof-of-concept project. Along with the blazing bandwidth, 100 times faster than normal connections, Google is offering unlimited uploads and downloads, and 1TB of free cloud storage.
There are several hurdles in the way. Google might have to acquire a telecom licence, which is apparently quite the feat in India, and several large native telecom companies are lining up to oppose the plan. The expansion to India would open a massive market of over 1.2 billion people up for Google, but there are numerous challenges and low internet penetration for the average citizen. The latest numbers from 2013 indicate only 15.1 citizens per 100 have internet access in India, which puts India at number 146 of 211 countries globally.
The Pirate Bay previously made its website open for hosting by anyone with "minimal web knowledge". After it was closed recently time and time again thanks to various lawsuits, GitHub has seen 372 copies of "The Open Bay" created, seeing The Pirate Bay hit the open source market.
Being starred over 2,282 times and forked 679 times over on GitHub, this source codes front-page reads "we, the team that brought you isoHunt and oldpiratebay.org bring you the next step in torrent evolution. The Pirate Bay source code."
Isohunt has called out to developers across the globe, asking them to band together to make oldpiratebay.org something of a nostalgic improvement to the long-standing and popular torrent website, them stating that "our current goal is not only make it open source, but eventually provide fully decentralized torrent database for the community." As The Pirate Bay still remains shut down, where will users go for their illegal downloads? The answer is basically everywhere - with us previously reporting on the fact that torrent traffic has not slowed down at all since this large-scale shutdown.
Apparently, the North Korean government isn't happy with the Obama Administration and Sony's decision to release "The Interview." The North Korean National Defense Commission (NDC) released a statement that accuses the US of crippling its Internet - which has happened twice in less than one week - while also lobbing a racial slur towards Obama.
"Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest," said someone from the North Korean Policy Department, in a statement published by the Korean Central News Agency.
Once Sony Pictures reversed its decision to release "The Interview," it seemed likely the North Korean government would issue public statements. Furthermore, this isn't the first time North Korea has issued racially-driven statements aimed towards Obama, though this appears to be nothing more than political posturing.
US Internet, a company that offers fiber-optic service to 30,000 households in Minneapolis, has announced that it will offer 10-gigabit per second internet speed to its customers. This equates to 10,000 Mbps, or an amazing download around 1.25 GB/s. Yes, 1.25 Gigabytes per second.
The cost isn't cheap though, a blazing fast connection will weigh in at $399.00 per month. US Internet describes the service as the fastest internet service the world has seen, and if they manage to deliver the service they will take the crown. US Internet has a relatively small user base, so we shouldn't expect this to expand much further than the Minneapolis area. It is good to see this type of service being deployed, it is very likely the larger ISP's are taking note of US Internet's advances.
The North Korean internet failures have generated a massive amount of international press coverage. One would expect this to be the work of a sophisticated group of hackers, possibly even with the funding of the United States, or other governments wishing to stem the tide of North Korean hackers. Turns out, a 12 year old kid can likely do it. North Korea only has 1,024 IP addresses for the entire country, compared to the 1.5 Billion IP addresses in the United States.
There are potentially thousands of computers behind each IP address, but the odds of that are very unlikely. Sanctions and embargoes have severely limited access to computers. Researchers monitoring the North Korean internet have detected a few PlayStations and Xboxes on the network, and one solitary MacBook has been detected....in the entire country. The North Korean agency responsible for hacking is likely contained behind only a few IP addresses, so isolating and monitoring them shouldn't be too taxing for a heavyweight like the NSA. North Korean citizens have very limited access to the internet, which is reserved for government officials, foreign ambassadors, and relief agencies.