Thursday 28 February 2013

An Apple A Day….Not!

8 Characters to Crash Apple Apps

Apple developers aren’t usually happy to hear they created the most insecure software across the globe, but as it turned out, they have had to come up with a way of crashing the system so simply everyone can do it without leaving their home.

It turned out that the bug only works in the latest versions of Apple’s Mountain Lion OS, so if you want to try it you have to upgrade. Anyway, such feature will make you the envy of all your fanboy friends: the matter is that all you have to do is type “File:///”, which will cause the app to crash. In other words, it’s all about 8 characters in total (and don’t forget to capitalize F) to have any app you want crash without apparent reason.

Only applications that are entirely dedicated to the Apple view of reality will crash this way. In other words, Echofon, QuickTime, Safari, and Notes are proved to crash, while outsiders like Firefox won’t crash on demand. The experts explain that the feature in question happens since the software is created around a built-in assertion. Assertions allow programmers to mandate expected behaviour, validating input to assure its correctness, and in our case, the automated data detectors find what a malformed URL. In response, they send off an app exception to report the internal inconsistency, which crashes the app. The reason for crash is simple: Apple developers forgot to write a built-in handler…

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Doesn’t Know When To Stop!!

Embarrassing Material Search Filter is Lobbied

Disgraced motorsport executive Max Mosley keeps making attempts to promote an idea to implement search engine filters in order to weed out embarrassing content. Max Mosley should know a thing or two about embarrassing leaks, because he was the one who found himself embroiled in a very controversial sex scandal a couple years ago, courtesy of the defunct News of the World. At the time, the tabloid published pictures of Mosley’s sexual escapades involving 5 sex workers dressed up as prison guards, calling the episode as a “Nazi orgy”. Of course, this didn’t go down well with Mosley, as his father was the leader of the British Union of Fascists. Nevertheless, Max claimed there was nothing Nazi about the kinky role play.

Unsurprisingly, Mosley went on the defensive, and required that newspapers must alert famous people before they publish articles about them, which allow them to block any undesirable reports. However, the European Court of Human Rights disagreed and rejected Mosley’s request, who still believes that it is possible to erase such material from public record. He explains that what should be done is filtering of Google in an attempt to change the past by taking down hundreds of websites and forcing the search giant to stop displaying embarrassing search results.

The problem is that Google have automatic search machines, which means that if somebody puts something up somewhere, if you Google “Max Mosley” it will appear, which is wrong, because the content is illegal, and the photos have been ruled illegal in the English High Court. Max Mosley then took his case to French and German courts, because he believed that continental jurisprudence is more favorable to his demands. Even if the courts ruled that the search giant needs to censor the photos, they won’t be deleted and still be easily accessible. In other words, even if the court rules in his favor, Mosley would have to go back to court and require mandatory filters on various social networks and other engines. Anyway, it is surprising that French and German courts haven’t rejected these requests at once, because the similar demands were deemed illegal by the European Court of Justice.

At the moment, a Google image search for Mosley is mostly legitimate pictures of him, but the engine puts a remark at the bottom that according to a legitimate request submitted to Google, it has removed some results from that page.

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Can Anyone Spare A Dime??

Microsoft’s Profits Drop

The experts believe that the main reason is that Microsoft is going to release a new version of Office and so punters aren’t interested in buying. According to the recent financial report, Windows 8 was revealed to have had a solid but unspectacular start. Although for some it would be tempting to write Microsoft off as a kind of the 1990s when it could release a new version of Windows and start coining it in, the reality appears a bit more complex.

In fact, the world has been in a long running recession and when Microsoft’s biggest customers in the corporate sector looked at Windows 8’s spec, they just saw nothing that could add value to what they already had. First of all, companies don’t like people putting their greasy paws on computer screens, and secondly, they generally want to defer increasing their hardware bill until the economy picks up.

Talking figures, Microsoft’s profit fell to $6.4 billion in the fiscal second quarter from $6.6 billion previous year. Overall sales increased 3% to $21.5 billion, which corresponded with Wall Street’s expectations. In the meantime, the main factor weighing on Microsoft was a 10% hit in Office sales, which considered the loss of deferred revenue relating to discounted upgrades to the new version of the software.

The industry experts admit that this was just a pause before a product launch, which is absolutely normal. Windows sales gained 24% to $5.9 billion, slightly ahead of the experts’ average expectations, which had been lowered within the last months.

The software giant announced that it has sold over 60 million Windows 8 licenses since its launch three months ago. This figure is in line with Windows 7 sales 3 years ago, so taking into account the state of the economy it isn’t that bad.

Monday 25 February 2013

Off We Go Again!!

Industry Hit Mega with Copyright Complaints

Kim Dotcom started his new file-sharing site late January and has already got 150 copyright notices.
Nevertheless, Kim isn’t letting this pressure from the entertainment industry get him down. Actually, he is using it as proof that he really is legal. According to the site’s attorney, Mega has reacted promptly to copyright infringements and made an official announcement that it doesn’t want people to use the service for infringing purposes. The website allows people to store 50GB for free which can be shared among users. This would have been an invitation for piracy in the good old days, but Kim Dotcom has claimed he designed the site to avoid copyright infringement allegations which marred MegaUpload.

Dotcom made a promise that any violating material to be found on his Mega will be removed, and this promise is already being put to the test. However, a French service called is currently showing copyrighted content, including “Django Unchained”, Microsoft Office packages and a tune by Elton John, on Mega’s servers.

The matter is that the content shared on Mega can be decrypted only if the uploader shares the encryption key, i.e. Mega can’t “see” what’s being uploaded on its servers. According to Kim’s lawyers, Mega was responsive to notices of copyright violation, including assisting some in fixing incomplete or defective notices. The site had already received 150 takedown requests from not only the US, but also other countries.

Despite the fact that Mega doesn’t have a search engine, like MegaUpload did, one of the French websites is already offering people the chance to browse Mega: Mega-search. By the way, an attempt to find out who owns this search engine failed. The only thing that is clear about Mega-search is that the service is hosted by OVH in France and uses a San Francisco-based company – CloudFlare.

Anyway, the site lawyers insist that the recently launched Mega should be treated as any legitimate cloud-storage service. It is normal that copyright extremists heckle such dual-use technologies focusing on the bad uses and ignoring the socially beneficial uses. However, the industries will surely put the new cyberlocker to the test, particularly with Dotcom still waiting for the extradition trial to be concluded.

Sunday 24 February 2013

We’re Not Watching You!!

German Activists Destroy CCTV Cameras

A group of Berlin activists has started an intriguing campaign to fight state surveillance – they simply turned the destruction of CCTV cameras into a game, which aim is to destroy as many cameras as possible. Once you destroyed one, you can upload a video of what you did to YouTube for online points and kudos. According to the rules of the game, the players should come up with a name which starts with “command”, “brigade”, or “cell” plus the name of a historical figure. After this they should destroy as many cameras as they can.

The activists instruct the players to video their trail of destruction and post it on the game’s site, though its homepage is continuously being shut down. They also recommend people to conceal their identities, but don’t consider it essential.

In the meanwhile, a representative from the group said that evading capture was not too difficult because they destroy the cameras. They admit that the most effective way is to either give someone a leg up or use a rope to take it away. In this case, the camera definitely won’t cause any more trouble – but you still need to put a hat over the lens or crush it to be sure it’s not transmitting anymore.

The anarchist movement particularly views cameras destruction as a legitimate tactic. They insist that it isn’t violence as it’s action against property which infringes on individual rights, without people.

The CCTV cameras are widely used all around the world, but the United Kingdom has more per capita than any other EU country. According to privacy campaigners, CCTV operations ran at a cost of £515 million to local authorities within the last 4 years. They estimated that at least 51,600 CCTV cameras were controlled by the authorities, and 5 councils ran over 1,000 cameras. So, it wasn’t surprising that some outfits have taken drastic measures to show their opposition to CCTV cameras. The governments seem determined to continue installing the cameras despite absence of credible evidence to prove that more cameras reduce crime. In other words, instead of following a policy of maintaining more cameras for the safety of the public, it’s actually an agenda for pursuing the public.

The experts admit that vandalism of the CCTV cameras could easily have been avoided if the German government listened to their citizens’ concerns and resolved the situation in a transparent and proportionate way.

Saturday 23 February 2013

One Born Every Minute??

Man tattoos his name across his lover's face

A tattoo artist has inked his name across his lover’s face in elaborate Gothic script just hours after they met for the first time.

Ruslan Toumaniantz, the tattooist, met Lesya in an online chat room in January this year. According to reports, the couple fell “head over heels in love”, and decided to meet up in Moscow.
It was after this encounter that Lesya agreed to let Ruslan tattoo his first name on her face. The tattoo covers almost the entire area between her jaw and temples.
It is accompanied by another, which reads “all for love” in English, above her eyebrow.
The couple became engaged on January 20, and Lesya is already using Ruslan’s last name, the Huffington Post reported.
A friend of the pair said: “Their plans for a life together include her learning to tattoo while she also gets the full-body ink that she’s always dreamed of and of course a family.”
He added: “I know that there are people who are terrified that Lesya has made a rash decision that she’ll regret horribly, but sometimes the best decisions are the ones you make in an instant with your heart rather than the ones long-debated in your mind.”
Lesya’s Facebook friends have supported her makeover, with one writing: "Sooo beautiful. Even the style of the name fits your face well."
"You must be so happy that you can wear that tattoo. Enjoy it. It looks great," wrote Ralf Bieler.
Mr Toumaniantz has precedence in making headlines with his work. The tattoo artist gained international notoriety in 2009 after agreeing to tattoo 56 stars across an 18-year-old Belgian girl’s face.
The teenager initially claimed she had only asked for three stars, and that Mr Toumaniantz had added the rest whilst she was asleep.
She threatened to sue, before later admitting that she had lied about the events in order to avoid her father’s anger.
Mr Toumaniantz fled the country after the incident.

Friday 22 February 2013


Grantham not sure it wants Baroness Thatcher statue

She is Grantham’s most famous daughter, but when a statue of Baroness Thatcher was offered to the local museum, it was considered by some to be a dubious honour.

The £150,000 white marble work was famously decapitated by a protester in 2002 but has since been restored.
Not everyone in her home town is sure they want to honour Britain’s first female prime minister, however, and Grantham Museum is yet to welcome the statue with open arms.
Jayne Robb, the manager of the volunteer-run museum, said: "It does need to go somewhere, but how the town responds to the life of Margaret Thatcher has to be a town decision.
"It is exceedingly heavy at two tonnes in weight and eight feet tall."
One Labour councillor went further, suggesting that displaying a monument to Lady Thatcher in a prominent place could actually be "asking for trouble" and invite further attacks.
Paul Kelleher, of Isleworth, west London, was found guilty of criminal damage after he attacked the statue with a cricket bat and decapitated it with a metal bar.
He claimed the attack was a protest against the ills of the world's political system and was jailed for three months.
The restored statue was later put behind a glass case at a cost of £3,000 but was later put in storage at the House of Commons.
Labour councillor Charmaine Morgan said some of the former Tory premier’s policies remained controversial.
"Placing it anywhere in a prominent, public place in Grantham it could be open to a similar event occurring," Ms Morgan said.
"I think if it is to go into a prominent place it is asking for trouble."
Despite calls from successive mayors to erect a statue in honour of Baroness Thatcher - including one site on a town centre roundabout - her legacy seems to be so divisive that Grantham has never put up a permanent memorial to her.
The white marble statue was unveiled by the former prime minister in 2002, but attacked with a metal pole at Guildhall Art Gallery by a theatre producer later that year.
The volunteer museum, which already features a Spitting Image puppet of Lady Thatcher and one of her trademark blue suit, said a decision had not yet been made about the offer.
Mrs Robb added: "The white marble poses problems. If we put it into a public place, we'd be painting it every day.”
Its white surfaces, she suggested, could prove to be an open invitation to vandals.
Grantham has no tourist attractions dedicated solely to Lady Thatcher, but that does not stop visitors from around the world coming to see where she grew up.
The grocer's daughter, who went on to be prime minister from 1979 until
1990, was born in Grantham and went to Kesteven and Grantham Girls' School.
She was the longest serving prime minister for more than 150 years.
At the former grocery shop and post office where Margaret Hilda Roberts grew up, there is nothing more than a small plaque to mark its connection with the future Baroness Thatcher.

Thursday 21 February 2013

Men Win Out…For A Change!

A third of drivers still in the dark over new EU gender laws

With just few days to go until the new EU gender directive comes into force, uSwitch research has found that a third of drivers remain unaware of its potential impact.
According to the AA, a female driver aged between 17 and 22 currently pays a typical premium of £2,057 compared with more than £3,000 for men in the same age bracket.
Many within the insurance industry predict that prices for young women will rise by an average of 25%, adding around £531 per policy.
Cheaper cover for men, price rises for women
Michael Ossei, personal finance expert at uSwitch, says: “The new EU gender ruling will affect anyone who drives a car. As it stands, too many consumers are in the dark about how they will be affected.
“From this Friday, insurers will not be able to factor in gender when setting car insurance premiums. The new rules could provide an early Christmas present for men, who are likely to benefit from lower premiums.
“However, women will be in for a rougher ride, with premiums set to rise by up to 25%. Hardest hit will be women aged between 17 and 25 who could see premiums almost double.
Women drivers to cut back on spending
Ossei continues: “The new rules could force almost a quarter of women drivers off the road – 13% have said that they will not be able to afford motor insurance and 11% may have to sell their cars. Over a third of female drivers would have to cut their living expenses to cope with higher premiums and 5% may have to borrow money.
“Very few women are taking action before the new rules are introduced – the majority are seeing their premiums out and risking the rise in the new year. This is a sensible route to take, given the hefty exit penalties charged by most insurers.
“With this in mind, it’s more important than ever at renewal time to do some research to find the best deal possible. With over 100 providers on the market, there can be a huge difference between the cheapest and the most expensive quote.
“A little bit of research will go a long way towards limiting the financial impact of this judgement and not letting cost force drivers off the road.”

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Mooby Central?

Leeds tops UK survey as 'Moob Capital'

A UK survey has revealed that the highest proportion of men with 'moobs' are living in Leeds, with Swansea sitting in second place.

Moobs, also known as 'man boobs', are sometimes due to hormonal or medical problems, but often the excessive fat build-up is just a sign that a healthier lifestyle is in order.

As part of a health and fitness research, over 2,000 men were surveyed across the nation, and found that almost half of men believe they have moobs.

The results were then broken up into cities which formed a league table for the highest proportion in each location:

1. Leeds - 59%
2. Swansea - 57%
3. Glasgow - 56%
4. Manchester - 54%
5. Bristol - 52%
6. Newport - 50%
7. Coventry - 48%
8. Wrexham - 46%
9. Colchester - 45%
10. Lincoln - 45%

Commissioners for the research,, also found that most of those with moobs do consider it to affect their confidence and would consider surgery to correct their problem.

Maz Darvish, CEO of, said: "Although the majority of men with 'moobs' admit they're a result of a lack of exercise and a poor diet, to find that so many would still prefer to have surgery to correct the issue is worrying.

"Cosmetic operations like 'moob surgery' and liposuction are potentially very short-term solutions to obesity, especially if the patient continues to eat unhealthily and exercise rarely."

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Let Me In!!

Pilot locked out of cockpit mid-flight after co-pilot fell asleep

Low-cost Dutch airline Transavia has opened a probe after one of its pilots was locked out of the cockpit mid-flight after his co-pilot fell asleep, Dutch authorities said Wednesday.
The incident, which occurred on a Boeing 737 flight to Crete in Greece in September, was made public by the Dutch safety board (OVV) in a quarterly report published on its website. The body called it a "serious" incident.
"After two and a half hours in the air the captain of the Dutch-registered plane left the cockpit to go to the toilet," the OVV said.
"A little later he wanted to return to the cockpit. When he used the intercom to call the first officer to open the door he got no reaction.
"When he managed to get into the cockpit, he found the first officer asleep," the OVV said, adding that Transavia was investigating the incident.
The OVV said it would decide what action to take after receiving Transavia's report.
Transavia is a subsidiary of Air France-KLM.

Monday 18 February 2013

Cookies For All

Thief demands cookies for kids as ransom

A thief who stole an historic golden cookie sculpture from a biscuit firm's HQ has an unusual demand for its safe return.

A German resident who goes by the alias Krümel Monster (Cookie Monster) wants all the children in a local hospital to receive a cookie.
The missing statue has stood guard over the Hannover base of biscuit maker Bahlsen for the past century. A person claiming to be the thief sent a ransom note to local media.

"I have the biscuit!" the letter mailed to
Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung read. "You want it and therefore you want, on one day in February, to give biscuits to all the children in Bult hospital.

"But those with milk chocolate, not those with dark chocolate and not those without chocolate. And a golden biscuit for the child cancer ward."

Bahlsen has offered a €1,000 (£860) reward for information leading to the thief's arrest, with the Krümel Monster demanding it be donated to a local animal shelter.

A spokesperson for the hospital said that Bahlsen has "already done a lot" for the facility and "doesn't need to be coerced in this way".

Sunday 17 February 2013

Pole Dancing?

Pole dancers brave cold to make point

Pole dancers in China have been showing off their talent in freezing conditions - to beg people to stop giving them the cold shoulder.
China now has a national pole dancing team for competitions, but the activity is frowned upon across the country as a part of the sex industry.

So the country's national squad - featuring three women and one man - are trying to show that their exhibitions are every bit as athletic as gymnastics.

"We train just like athletes. There's nothing sexy about what we do. It's a sport like gymnastics," explained squad member Song Yao.

"If people would shed their prejudices and just watch us , they'd see we're not sleazy."

"They seem to be very dedicated. Those poles must be freezing in this weather," commented one spectator.

Saturday 16 February 2013

Lights On?…Not In France!!

France to turn off office and shop lights at night

French shops and office buildings will have to turn off their lights at night to save energy and reduce light pollution, the French environment ministry said on Wednesday.
From July 1, all non-residential buildings will have to switch off interior lights one hour after the last worker leaves the premises. All exterior and shop window lighting will have to be turned off by 1 am.
Local authorities will be able to allow exceptions for Christmas lighting and other local events.
The new law will save about two terawatt/hours of electricity a year - the equivalent of the annual consumption of 750,000 households, the ministry said.
Environment Minister Delphine Batho said it would also make France a pioneer in Europe in preventing light pollution, which disrupts ecosystems and people's sleep patterns.

Friday 15 February 2013

It’s War??

Google Declares War on Microsoft

The search giant is heading for a war with Microsoft, claiming that it wants to get 90% of users who don't require the most advanced features of Office. According to Amit Singh, a Google vice-president and head of its Enterprise unit, Google only generates around $1 billion from 5 businesses which sell products and services to the enterprise which is only 4% of its business.
In 2012, the search giant ramped up its enterprise business and started its “infrastructure-as-a-service” cloud, Compute Engine. It competes head on with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Google also launched Drive, which allows Google App users store any type of document in the cloud. The company began charging for Google Apps for organizations with 10 employees or less.

This gave the search giant credibility with enterprises and Google won deals with such companies as Roche, BBVA, Dillards, Kohl's and Office Depot. In other words, 2012 was the year Google broke the barrier and got large-scale customer adoption.

At the moment , Google wants total domination of the Office software market. The company realizes the gaps between its features and Microsoft’s and it is enhancing them on a weekly basis. As you can understand, Microsoft isn’t the kind of outfit that would give up without a fight, and Office is still one of Microsoft’s main products. The experts predict that things will get messy on the cloud space this year.

Thursday 14 February 2013

Ripping Britain?

Britain Legalized Ripping CDs

Surprisingly enough, the UK government has vowed to decriminalize the ripping of CDs into digital formats. More than a decade after Napster popularized the use of digital music, which turned a lot of people into hardened criminals, the British authorities have decreed that people transferring music between various devices should no longer be pilloried.
During a review of Intellectual Property policy, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills has taken a decision that it would drag its outdated law into the 21st century. The statement in question read that the government would allow consumers to copy digital content they have purchased onto any medium or device they own, but only for their own personal use like transferring their music collection or eBooks to their tablet, smartphone or to a private cloud.

In other words, sharing content between the devices is no longer a criminal act, after a consultation with industry representatives during the government’s Hargreaves Review. According to Business Secretary Vince Cable, the “common sense” approach would also be not so bad for businesses. It was pointed out that making the intellectual property framework fit for the modern world isn’t just common sense but also good business sense: bringing the legislation into line with ordinary consumers’ reasonable expectations would undoubtedly boost respect for copyright, on which the creative industries rely.
Cable added he felt they had struck the right balance between enhancing the way people benefit from copyright content they have legitimately paid for, encouraging business opportunities and protecting the rights of content creators.

Nevertheless, the move has angered the Musician’s Union, with General Secretary John Smith claiming that more should be done to compensate the musicians. He said that while the Union understands the need for the exception to bring the legislation into line with consumer behaviour, they still feel strongly that the lack of fair compensation would considerably disadvantage artists in relation to the vast majority of their European counterparts.

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Walkies Or Else?

Dog shoots man in Florida

A man has claimed that his English bulldog shot him with a 9mm as he drove down a Florida highway.

Gregory Lane Lanier, 35, told police in Sebring he thought the 9mm Beretta semi-automatic handgun on the floor of his pickup truck was unloaded when the black and tan English bulldog kicked it and caused it to fire.
Mr Lanier was hit in his left leg. The bullet wound, which doctors at a local hospital attended to, was not serious.
Police in Sebring said they were sceptical, adding there were "some indications" that Mr Lanier may have made his story up.
"It's what he claims," Commander Steve Carr, a police spokesman, said of Mr Lanier's account.
"We didn't spend a lot of time investigating it," he said. "There doesn't appear to be any criminal act involved. You don't have to be licensed in Florida to carry a handgun."

Irish Linking!!

Ireland Made Linking to News Illegal

From now on, publishing a link to a news article from Ireland might appear an expensive business for some. Recently, a group of Irish newspapers have taken a decision that the way to make money from the Internet is to charge anyone who links to their news stories.
According to the National Newspapers of Ireland group, they have adopted a new licensing scheme which requires the websites to pay if they want to link to one of its members. The group has already been sending out notices demanding payment and called everyone who legitimately linked to their news a pirate.
Thus far they have written to Women’s Aid, since the latter had linked to articles in newspapers having positive stories about their fundraising efforts. Now the current fine is €100 for a link, and the group of fifteen newspapers believes that mentioning an article online is copyright violation.

In other words, the plan is that Irish newspapers want to get paid for getting their member websites more traffic. However, there’s no case law to back this up, but there’s a lot of EU case law which proves that there needs to be legislation to get anything remotely like this.
As for publishers, they have so far been targeting Google for its use of news stories in search results. However, it looks like the National Newspapers of Ireland group isn’t interested in taking on Google, but rather interested in demanding money from blog owners.

In Belgium, after Google lost the court case, the company had to comply with the court order to delist the newspapers from the search results. And the newspapers’ sites lost much of traffic and money. Even after that, the Irish newspaper group doesn’t seem to realize that a link is free advertising for the company which runs a web page itself.

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Digging For Victory?

German robbers dig 100 foot tunnel into Berlin bank safe room

Robbers dug a 100-foot tunnel into the safe deposit room of a Berlin bank and escaped with their haul, setting a fire as they left to cover their tracks.

Berlin police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf says the tunnel led from an underground garage into the bank's safe deposit room.
Mr Neuendorf told The Associated Press that the tunnel was "very professional" and must have taken weeks or even months to complete. It was elaborately constructed and even had ceiling supports.
Police were alerted to the break-in early Monday when a security guard noticed smoke coming from the deposit room.
Mr Neuendorf says police are still trying to determine what valuables were stolen from the deposit boxes.
Details of the heist called to mind the spectacular robbery of another Berlin bank in 1995. During that robbery thieves entered the bank through the door, took a hostage and demanded a helicopter and ransom.
Police besieged and eventually stormed the safe room where the thieves had holed up only to find out they had escaped through a tunnel dug by accomplices. Several – but not all – of the thieves were later caught.

Monday 11 February 2013

Dummies Rise Up!!

Book Publishers Have Won Lawsuit against File-Sharers

The first book publishing company which managed to win a lawsuit against several file-sharers turned out to be John Wiley and Sons. The court ruled that the two New York residents have to pay a $7000 penalty for pirating their copyrighted content.
Following the Recording Industry Association of America, which once tried to settle with pirates by filing lawsuits one after another, book publishing companies have also turned their heads to the legal system in a hope that legal precedent can help them stop book piracy.

John Wiley and Sons, the publishing company known for the “For Dummies” series, have recently sued a couple of New Yorkers for unauthorized sharing some of their books. The publisher was lucky – the court has decided to find them guilty as charged and fined them with $7.000 in damages.

However, the experts point out that the only thing that could be learned after RIAA’s reign of anti-piracy lawsuits is that pursuing people brings no results except upsetting the public, regardless of their status. Many times the portals like The Pirate Bay have been trying to find a middle-way between the file-sharers and content creators, and its partnership with Tim Ferriss, for instance, was quite successful. Tim Ferriss allowed the BitTorrent tracker to put a bundle of The 4-Hour Chef up for downloads, including behind-the-scenes videos and samples from the book. In result, he gathered over 1.4 million downloads and the attention of hundreds of millions file-sharers throughout the world. Moreover, The Pirate Bay also offered a complete download of his other bestseller titled The 4-Hour Workweek.

It is known that before partnering with BitTorrent, Tim Ferriss tried to contact Amazon, and this decision was criticized by many booksellers. As a result, the famous author focused on BitTorrent, taking into account that Bram Cohen’s company had proven to be successful with promoting young content creators, including writers and musicians.

Nevertheless, the truth is that it is next to impossible at the moment to quantify the amount of revenues this promotion brings to the content creator, but this doesn’t mean it’s a dead end.

Sunday 10 February 2013

Pirates In The TV!!

uTorrent in Your TV Set

Users have long been dreaming of streaming the films they have downloaded directly to their TV. Now it all came true with BitTorrent’s new device called BBK Box. It allows users to watch movies, wirelessly, via the most popular BitTorrent application in the world – uTorrent.
The newly introduced device runs Android OS and combines technology from both uTorrent and the BitTorrent applications. Talking about adaptability, the device supports DLNA, which means that users are able to play content from iTunes and Vuze on their TV set. In addition, they can control the device via the EShare remote control client, which is compatible with Android, Apple mobile phones and tablets.

As for the file management, the device comes with a built-in Internet browser which allows users to add torrent files. Otherwise, they are able to use USB drive, SD card, and even an external hard drive. The new magic box supports virtually all formats. In the meantime, the benefits of being compatible with Android are the thousand apps which can be found in the Android Market (it also allows installing VPN applications).

Finally, the device comes with such pre-installed applications as Google Play Market, Google Search, Web Browser, Clock, DVB Player, E-mail, File Browser, and a Music Player, featuring an internal memory of 55MB. Its price is below 90 Euros and not dollars because it is currently only sold in Europe.

BitTorrent's official site claims that the device has a lot of useful features, including built-in Wi-Fi which allows users to enjoy their connected media wirelessly. The box also provides easy connectivity with USB 2.0 and SD card connections and supports playback of media content from external removable storage. Users can make use of DLNA PC Media Link to browse PC and home network content, while the box can play multiple video formats from external hard disk or thumbdrive.

Saturday 9 February 2013


Shard lawyers investigate knickers mystery

The Shard is bringing in a team of lawyers to investigate after staff found a pair of women's black knickers in the men's lavatories at the 68th floor viewing platform of Britain's tallest skyscraper.

The finding led staff to believe visitors to Europe's second tallest building may have been having sex in front of the full-length windows offering superb views across the capital.
A spokesman for the Shard said they were bringing in lawyers to investigate the allegation. He added that the underwear could have been "planted".
"There is absolutely no evidence people were having sex," he added.
Staff reportedly found the underwear after an exclusive party and they fear more couples may choose the skyscraper for their amorous encounters once the viewing area, known as the View From the Shard, opens on February 1.
The practice has been dubbed the 'almost mile high club'.
The spokesman said: "A pair of black knickers was found but for all we know they could have been planted.
"There is absolutely no evidence people were having sex.
"We are investigating the issue and our lawyers will also be looking into the matter."
The 68th floor is 800ft up in the air and offers a panoramic view over London. The full height of the building is 1,016ft and it includes 600,000sq ft of offices and three floors of restaurants.

Friday 8 February 2013

Devil Of A Job!

US man quits job after '666' stamped on tax form

A Tennessee maintenance worker says he quit his job because his income tax form was stamped with the number 666.

Walter Slonopas told The Tennessean that accepting the number would have condemned his soul to hell. That number is considered the "mark of the beast" in the Bible's Book of Revelation describing the apocalypse.
"If you accept that number, you sell your soul to the devil," he said.
The company that handles payroll for Contech Casting LLC says the number meant Slonopas' form was the 666th one posted out.
The 52-year-old Slonopas says he had trouble with the number before. He was supposed to be assigned No. 668 to use when he clocked in. Because of a mix-up, he was assigned 666. He complained and got a new number.
The second incident with the W-2 form baffled Bob LaCourciere, vice president of sales and marketing for the Revstone Corp., which owns Contech Casting. He could not believe it had happened again. "I am completely at a loss for words," he said.
A company spokesman says Contech would send a new tax form and wants to rehire Slonopas.
But Slonopas says "God is worth more than money."

The Bloody Evidence….Not!

Bags of evidence, but case collapses

It WAS an open and shut case for police after a woman was seen with “blood” dripping from her car boot – until they found it was a broken bottle of cough syrup.
Grandmother-of-five Pat Major said she was shocked to be stopped by officers on suspicion of having a dead body in her car.
The 60-year-old was spotted by a bystander in an Asda car park stuffing something into her boot before driving off.
The shopper followed Mrs Major as she drove away in Newton Abbot, Devon, before spotting a red liquid leaking from the boot and calling 999.
Devon and Cornwall Police said they received a call from a concerned woman at about 5:25pm.
When officer arrived they discovered the liquid was blackcurrant cough mixture and the “blood-soaked body” was squashed bags of shopping.

Thursday 7 February 2013

She Left Me?

Man calls 911 after being stood up
A man who took a bus trip from Montreal to Barrie, north of Toronto, to meet a woman he met online called 911 after finding he’d been stood up.
Police say the man said he was supposed to meet the woman he had been chatting with and when he arrived at the city’s downtown bus terminal, she was nowhere to be found.
He became angry and called 911, wanting police to “track down” his missing date and find out why she stood him up.
When he was reminded about the proper use of 911, the man became even angrier.
The dispatcher suggested he find a place to stay for the night and cool off.

Wednesday 6 February 2013

It’s A Hoot?

Man needed hospital treatment after owl attack

A man was knocked to the ground and needed hospital treatment after he was attacked by an owl.

John Mackay, 58, was left bleeding from the back of his head in a built up area of Inverness near to the city centre. He thought he'd been hit by a brick.
He said the large bird of prey - around 2ft tall - knocked him to the ground and attacked the back of his head on Saturday evening.
The incident happened just outside the Masonic Club on Gordon Terrace in Inverness at around 9.15pm.
The 58-year-old went into shock after the owl, which he believes to be of the Eagle owl family, managed to slice the back of his head, causing heavy bleeding.
He said: "I thought I had been hit on the back of my head by a brick. I didn't hear a thing, not even the flap of a wing. It was only when I stumbled back onto my feet and I saw the owl perched on top of a van out of the corner of my eye that I then knew what had happened."
Mr Mackay of Bogallan, North Kessock said he was shocked by the amount of blood that seeped from his wound. He said: "The staff at the Masonic Club were brilliant. They took me inside and were stemming the blood flow with towels while we waited for an ambulance. I couldn't believe how much blood there was. People were asking for more towels and I thought to myself, this can't be good."
He added: "I went into shock straight away and I think I was in shock for about a day. It's not the kind of thing you expect to happen on a Saturday night."
Mr Mackay said he was in a group of people crossing the car park when they noticed the owl perched on top of a lamp post. He said: "I was crossing the car park, heading for the Masonic Club with a group of people when we noticed the owl. It was very large, around 2ft tall.
"The others went into the club ahead of me as I had to make a phone call and then that's when it happened."
Mr Mackay says he has no idea why the bird attacked him. He said: "I really don't know what happened. I'm not sure if it perhaps reacted to the glare in my mobile phone. I don't know because I didn't hear a sound. It didn't squawk, I didn't hear its wings.
"But it came down on the back of my head with some force because it knocked me straight to my knees. And then I saw all the blood.
"The doctors offered to stitch, staple or glue my cut on the back of my head, so I opted for the glue. I am okay now and that's the main thing, it could have been a lot more serious if the bird had got my eye or the cut was deeper."
Tommy Horne, of Croy, who rescues birds of prey and has a stall in the city centre, searched for the owl on Saturday night after being informed of the attack by Mr Mackay.
Mr Horne said: "It's very strange for any bird of prey to attack a human, I've never heard of it. Perhaps it's injured or something like that, but I really don't know. I was out looking for it on Saturday night, but so far there's been no further sightings of the owl.

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Woof Woof It’s A Baby!

Dog in maternity ward to watch owner give birth

Hospital managers have insisted that a dog allowed on to a maternity ward while its owner gave birth was there as a therapy aid, and not as a pet.
They said the pregnant woman was allowed to bring her black Labrador, Barney, into the delivery room at St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol because of his “calming presence”.
But a source said that there were concerns from some of the medical staff that hygiene standards in the delivery room were put at risk.
The charity Pets as Therapy (PAT), with whom the hospital claimed Barney is registered, said the incident was against their recommendations. The group said they do not work with the hospital and could not verify if the dog was registered with them.
The hospital said Barney regularly visits wards in his role as a therapy dog and approval had been sought from its infection control experts.
Sarah Windfeld, head of midwifery at the hospital, said:
“Barney is a certified Pets as Therapy (PAT) dog and with his owner regularly attends to patients in hospital.
“PAT dogs are examined and passed on health, temperament, suitability and stability grounds and patients can benefit from their calming presence.”
Ms Windfeld went on to say that the dog’s owner put in a request for Barney to be present when she gave birth, but as a therapy dog and not as a pet.
“Having first sought the approval of our infection control experts, we agreed to Barney sitting nearby in the delivery room,” she added. Ms Windfield said that thorough cleaning was done after the birth, as is usual practice at the hospital.
It is understood that Barney stayed for the birth, along with the woman’s partner and a midwife, before the family took their newborn child home.
Pets As Therapy Chief Executive Lisa Coles said that despite the benefit of animals to healthcare, this particular case was an individual agreement between the owner and hospital.
She said: “The circumstances surrounding this case are unusual and do not meet with our specified criteria.
“This particular hospital is not registered with Pets As Therapy and, not having the patient’s details, we cannot confirm that her dog is a registered PAT Dog.
“In this case the decision for the patient to have her pet dog present during child birth was made independently between the hospital and their patient.”
According the charity, there are currently around 4,500 active dogs and 108 cats at work in the UK. visiting about half a million bedsides each year

Monday 4 February 2013

Clued Up?

Man glues ex-girlfriend's fridge

Strange act leaves police and woman baffled
In a strange development, a boyfriend broke into his partner's home only to glue the refrigerator shut, claim Pennsylvaina police officials.
The woman called the nearest police station and reported a break-in during her absence.
She also realised that the intruder had not only glued her refrigerator shut, but also a utensil drawer. Glue was spread over her PC keyboard.
Police investigations led them to the woman's former boyfriend.
The 42-year-old man was charged Monday with burglary, trespassing, stalking and criminal mischief.

Sunday 3 February 2013

Where Not To Live In UK!!

Top burglary hotspots in Britain - list

The UK's burglary hotspots can be revealed today, including the postcode area where homes are most likely to have been targeted by thieves.

The top 20 most likely ranked by the number of claims per 1,000 enquiries are:
1 LS13 Leeds (34.8)
2 BD12 Bradford (34.2)
3 N12 North Finchley, north London (31.9)
4 M30 Manchester (31.6)
5 RM3 Romford (30.9)
6 SW12 Balham, south London (30.1)
7 LS18 Leeds (29.7)
8 UB3 Hayes, west London (29.5)
9 SE22 East Dulwich, south east London (29.1)
10 LS28 Leeds (28.4)
11 IG2 Ilford, east London (28.1)
12 HU6 Hull (27.8)
13 BD10 Bradford (27.7)
14 BD17 Bradford (27.3)
15 LS25 Leeds (26.9)
16 TW12 Hampton, south west London (26.7)
17 BD18 Bradford (26.2)
18 SW16 Streatham, south London (26.1)
19 LS12 Leeds(26.1)
20 BD6 Bradford (25.3)
These are the 20 least likely. The ranking is correct, but the figures for the first 16 have been rounded to one decimal place, so 0.0 is shown.
1 SA9 Swansea (0.0)
2 SA62 Pembrokeshire(0.0)
3 LA14 Cumbria(0.0)
4 TQ3 Devon (0.0)
5 EX31 Devon(0.0)
6 DD8 Angus (0.0)
7 KY7 Fife (0.0)
8 PL21 Devon(0.0)
9 PL26 Cornwall (0.0)
10 NR29 Norfolk(0.0)
11 AB16 Aberdeen(0.0)
12 NR19 Norfolk (0.0)
13 NR10 Norfolk (0.0)
14 TQ5 Devon (0.0)
15 NE7 Tyne & Wear (0.0)
16 CT21 Kent (0.0)
17 RH20 Sussex (1.6)
18 OX18 Oxfordshire (1.7)
19 NE22 Northumberland (1.8)
20 BA12 Wiltshire (1.9)

Saturday 2 February 2013

Extra Sprinkles? You’re Fired!

McDonald’s staff sacked for adding extra chocolate topping
A McDonald's emploee was given £3,000 in out of court settlement after she was sacked for sprinkling extra chocolate on a friend's McFlurry, reports Daily Mail.
She was charged with gross misconduct for what the firm termed as 'giving away free food'.
The 19-year-old girl did a small favour for her colleague but it was described as a major misconduct by her employees when they sacked her. She admits that when a colleague who was buying the dessert asked for a generous sprinking of chocolate over her McFlurry, she did giv e a little more but then she claims that there is no standard and precise measure and the amount of chocolate topping does vary among clients.
The teenager decided to take her employers to an employment tribunal. She was not only awarded £3,000 in out of court settlement but also termed an 'exceptional' employee.

Friday 1 February 2013

We’ve Passed Or Else!!

Students hold teachers hostage for 21 hours
About 29 students in a KOlkata school were demanding for their answer scripts to be re-evaluated.
The same number of students have failed the elegibility exam held before the class 12 board exam to be held around March next year, reports NDTV.
The students of Rishi Aurobindo Balika Vidyalaya in south Kolkata started pressurising their principal and other teachers to give them passing marks so that they could appear for their board exams held by Higher Secondary COuncil. The students who failed claimed that they had been failed 'wrongfully', according to the news channel.
The students even claimed that the institute had lost their answer sheets.
The seige continued from about 3pm in the afternoon till 11am the next morning when the HSC ordered a re-examination for those students who had been failed in the pre-board test.
The teachers of the school said that it would set a very bad precendent.