Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/christmas-surprise-hive-cm8-leaks-more-pirated-dvd-screeners-171226/
At the end of the year movie industry insiders traditionally receive their screener copies, which they use to vote on the Oscars and other awards.
As is tradition, quite a few of these advance screeners will leak on various pirate sites. In recent years one group has drawn quite a bit of attention, due to both the timing and volume of their releases.
Hive-CM8 appear to have good sources and often manage to get their hands on many prominent screeners, which are gradually released to the public.
This year it started with “I Love You, Daddy,” which was dropped by the distributor after Louis C.K. was accused of sexual misconduct. Following two weeks of silence, the second release followed on Christmas Eve when “Last Flag Flying,” an American comedy-drama film, appeared online.
The timing is once again carefully chosen. Hive-CM8 specifically notes that it prefers to avoid releasing on Christmas Day, but it nonetheless used the opportunity to wish people a Merry Christmas.
“We decided to make one [release] before Christmas, not on Christmas we are the nice ones. In this spirit, Merry Christmas and stay tuned,” the release notes read.
The ‘stay tuned’ part suggested that more were coming, and this was indeed the case. Just a few hours ago three additional screeners were posted online, and quickly made their way to public pirate sites.
Screener copies of “I, Tonya,” “Lady Bird,” and “Call Me By Your Name” are now widely available online. Interestingly, it was still Christmas in parts of the world when they came out, but apparently not where Hive-CM8 are.
The group again wishes its ‘followers’ a Merry Christmas but also adds that people should see these movies on the big screen to support the filmmakers. The screener releases are mostly for those who are not in the position to do so, they add.
“What a nice release after Christmas. Merry Christmas to everyone, from me and TiTAN. Don´t forget watching a Screener is not like the real thing, you should still all go to the cinema and support the Producers,” the release notes read.
“We are especially sharing this for the people who cant visit the cinema due to illness, or because it is a limited release that doesn’t make it to their country. So those people also can experience some award nominated movies..Enjoy.”
If previous years are any indication, the leaks won’t stop at five screeners this year. And indeed, Hive-CM8 suggests that they have many more screeners in their possession. There are still a few missing though, including Downsizing, Hostiles and Phantom Thread.
“We are still missing Downsizing, Hostiles, and Phantom Thread. Anyone want to share them for the collection? Yes we want to have them all if possible, we are collectors, we don’t want to release them all,” they write.
While not all screeners will come out, more are likely to follow during the weeks to come. Thus far Hive-CM8 has only given one guarantee: they’re not going to upload “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/a-christmas-carol-when-piracy-became-irrelevant-171225/
This is the story of Walter Scroogle, CEO of one of the major movie studios in Hollywood.
It begins on Christmas Eve, with Scroogle arriving home late at night. This wasn’t anything unusual, not even on a day like this. The rest of the family didn’t expect anything else and were already asleep in anticipation of the forthcoming festivities.
As Scroogle sits down he suddenly notices a pile of Amazon store boxes in the corner of the room. “Thank God, he mumbles, Christmas is saved.” But it was a close call.
It had been such a hectic week at work. So busy that Scroogle had totally forgot to get this year’s Christmas presents, one of the few things he arranges around the house. Luckily, modern day technology was there to save the day.
Amazon had everything in stock. The new bike for his son. The tablet for his daughter. The earrings for his wife, as well as many more gifts. It took Scroogle roughly fifteen minutes to get all his Christmas shopping done. And with same-day delivery, it arrived a few hours later. “Thank God,” he said again.
While a major disaster had been avoided, there were still a few presents to wrap. Apparently, there are no machines that can carefully wrap bikes. So there he was, at 2am Christmas morning, grumpily making the final preparations for the big day.
Halfway through Scroogle decided to lie on the couch for a bit. Just a short while, he promised himself, not knowing what was to come.
After a minute or two an exhausted Scroogle dozed off into his first dream.
Inspired by what had occurred earlier that day, he dreamt about forgetting the Chrismas presents. While he appeared to be his current self, the world was different. There were no Internet stores or even large malls. He had to drive to at least ten different stores to get what he wanted, and given that it was Sunday, most were closed.
Needless to say, it was a disaster.
The second dream was related to something at work. A few hours earlier he’d hosted a board meeting, discussing the new streaming platform the company had launched that morning. Scoogle was one of the pioneers. He was also the one who hastily decided to pull all their content from third-party platforms, Netflix included. “Everything will be pulled tonight. We want to be exclusive again,” he’s said.
The dream presented Scroogle with the darker side of his decision. It showed several families who, on Chrismas Eve, noticed that their favorite movies were no longer available. Christmas classics were removed without warning, forcing these families to take out another subscription. If the new service was even available in their region.
“Not the best way to spend time on Christmas,” Scroogle thought.
Scroogle was still fast asleep when the third and final dream kicked in. It was the future, apparently, as commercials for the streaming service and next year’s Christmas blockbuster were being shown on a TV. There was a Christmas tree and a family clearly amusing itself. Unfortunately for Scroogle, things didn’t turn out to be so bright.
After the commercial, the latest blockbuster played, but it was not on the company’s streaming platform. Instead, it was playing through what appeared to be some kind of piracy streaming device. “They are stealing our stuff,” he thought. “And on Christmas Day too! These people are cheapskates.”
Then, a deep-sounding voiceover became apparent.
“No, Scroogle, the family actually pays for seven streaming services already. However, their budgets are not endless. The increasing fragmentation in the current legal streaming landscape is pushing people toward these devices. If only they could get it all from under one roof.”
Then Scroogle woke up. At first, he hadn’t really processed what had happened. It was nearly 4am and he still had a few gifts to wrap, those that were so conveniently ordered a few hours earlier and delivered to his house, from one supplier. But, when it sank in, he knew that there was one thing he had to do before the family woke up.
Scroogle wrote an email to the board admitting that he was wrong. “We have to keep all our content on other services and think this through after the holidays. It’s inclusive from now on, not exclusive. People should be able to see our great films without hassle,” he typed.
A year later the new Christmas blockbuster was indeed released. It came out together with a brand new streaming platform, one where users could watch a massive library of all the best classics from the major studios, independents, and other services under one roof. Even the latest movies could be easily played on demand for a small one-time fee.
Streaming records were broken that day, and people were smiling.
Merry Christmas everyone!
2017 has been a busy year for Backblaze. We’ve reached a total of over 400 petabytes of data stored for our customers — that’s a lot!, released a major upgrade to our backup product — Backblaze Cloud Backup 5.0, added Groups to our consumer and business backup products, further enhanced account security, and welcomed a whole lot of new customers to Backblaze.
Blazing Power Tips for Backblaze Backup
Back Up All of Your Valuable Data
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Back Up Virtual Machines Installed on Your Computer
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You Can Back Up Your Mobile Phone to Backblaze
Gain extra peace-of-mind by backing up your iPhone or Android phone to your computer and including that in your computer backup.
Bring on Your Big Files
By default, Backblaze has no restrictions on the size of the files you are backing up, even that large high school reunion video you want to be sure to keep.
Rescan Your Hard Drive to Check for Changes
Backblaze works quietly and continuously in the background to keep you backed up, but you can ask Backblaze to immediately check whether anything needs backing up by holding down the Alt key and clicking on the Restore Options button in the Backblaze client.
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Select and Restore Individual Files
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Receive Your Restores from Backblaze by Mail
You have a choice of how to receive your data from Backblaze. You can download individual files, download a ZIP of the files you choose, or request that your data be shipped to you anywhere in the world via FedEx.
Put Your Account on Hold for Six Months
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Keep Your Data Secure
Protect Your Account with Two-Factor Verification
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Add Additional Security to Your Data
All transmissions of your data between your system and our servers is encrypted. For extra account security, you can add an optional private encryption key (PEK) to the data on our servers. Just be sure to remember your encryption key because it’s required to restore your data.
Get the Best Data Transfer Speeds
How Fast is your Connection to Backblaze?
You can check the speed and latency of your internet connection between your location and Backblaze’s data centers at https://www.backblaze.com/speedtest/.
Fine-Tune Your Upload Speed with Multiple Threads
Our auto-threading feature adjusts Backblaze’s CPU usage to give you the best upload speeds, but for those of you who like to tinker, the Backblaze client on Windows and Macintosh lets you fine-tune the number of threads our client is using to upload your files to our data centers.
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Want to Learn More About Backblaze Backup?
Do you have a friend who should be backing up, but doesn’t? Why not give the gift of Backblaze?
Hey folks, Rob from The MagPi here! We know many people might be getting their very first Raspberry Pi this Christmas, and excitedly wondering “what do I do with it?” While we can’t tell you exactly what to do with your Pi, we can show you how to immerse yourself in the world of Raspberry Pi and be inspired by our incredible community, and that’s the topic of The MagPi 65, out
today tomorrow (we’re a day early because we’re simply TOO excited about the special announcement below!).
Raspberry Pi for Newbies
Raspberry Pi for Newbies covers some of the very basics you should know about the world of Raspberry Pi. After a quick set-up tutorial, we introduce you to the Raspberry Pi’s free online resources, including Scratch and Python projects from Code Club, before guiding you through the wider Raspberry Pi and maker community.
The online community is an amazing place to learn about all the incredible things you can do with the Raspberry Pi. We’ve included some information on good places to look for tutorials, advice and ideas.
And that’s not all
Want to do more after learning about the world of Pi? The rest of the issue has our usual selection of expert guides to help you build some amazing projects: you can make a Christmas memory game, build a tower of bells to ring in the New Year, and even take your first steps towards making a game using C++.
All this along with inspiring projects, definitive reviews, and tales from around the community.
Raspberry Pi Annual
Issue 65 isn’t the only new release to look out for. We’re excited to bring you the first ever Raspberry Pi Annual, and it’s free for MagPi subscribers – in fact, subscribers should be receiving it the same day as their issue 65 delivery!
If you’re not yet a subscriber of The MagPi, don’t panic: you can still bag yourself a copy of the Raspberry Pi Annual by signing up to a 12-month subscription of The MagPi before 24 January. You’ll also receive the usual subscriber gift of a free Raspberry Pi Zero W (with case and cable). Click here to subscribe to The MagPi – The Official Raspberry Pi magazine.
The Raspberry Pi Annual is aimed at young folk wanting to learn to code, with a variety of awesome step-by-step Scratch tutorials, games, puzzles, and comics, including a robotic Babbage.
Get your copy
You can get The MagPi 65 and the Raspberry Pi Annual 2018 from our online store, and the magazine can be found in the wild at WHSmith, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Asda. You’ll be able to get it in the US at Barnes & Noble and Micro Center in a few days’ time. The MagPi 65 is also available digitally on our Android and iOS apps. Finally, you can also download a free PDF of The MagPi 65 and The Raspberry Pi Annual 2018.
We hope you have a merry Christmas! We’re off until the New Year. Bye!
Post Syndicated from Yev original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/2017-holiday-gift-guide-backblaze-style/
Here at Backblaze we have a lot of folks who are all about technology. With the holiday season fast approaching, you might have all of your gift buying already finished — but if not, we put together a list of things that the employees here at Backblaze are pretty excited about giving (and/or receiving) this year.
It’s no secret that having a smart home is the new hotness, and many of the items below can be used to turbocharge your home’s ascent into the future:
The holidays are all about eating pie — well why not get a pie of a different type for the DIY fan in your life!
An inexpensive way to keep a close eye on all your favorite people…and intruders!
Have trouble falling asleep? Try this portable white noise machine. Also great for the office!
Amazon Echo Dot
Need a cheap way to keep track of your schedule or play music? The Echo Dot is a great entry into the smart home of your dreams!
These little fellows make it easy to Wifi-ify your entire home, even if it’s larger than the average shoe box here in Silicon Valley. Google Wifi acts as a mesh router and seamlessly covers your whole dwelling. Have a mansion? Buy more!
Like the Amazon Echo Dot, this is the Google variant. It’s more expensive (similar to the Amazon Echo) but has better sound quality and is tied into the Google ecosystem.
This is a smart thermostat. What better way to score points with the in-laws than installing one of these bad boys in their home — and then making it freezing cold randomly in the middle of winter from the comfort of your couch!
Homes aren’t the only things that should be smart. Your body should also get the chance to be all that it can be:
You’ve seen these all over the place, and the truth is they do a pretty good job of making sounds appear in your ears.
Bose SoundLink Wireless Headphones
If you like over-the-ear headphones, these noise canceling ones work great, are wireless and lovely. There’s no better way to ignore people this holiday season!
Garmin Fenix 5 Watch
This watch is all about fitness. If you enjoy fitness. This watch is the fitness watch for your fitness needs.
The Apple Watch is a wonderful gadget that will light up any movie theater this holiday season.
Nokia Steel Health Watch
If you’re into mixing analogue and digital, this is a pretty neat little gadget.
Fossil Smart Watch
This stylish watch is a pretty neat way to dip your toe into smartwatches and activity trackers.
Pebble Time Steel Smart Watch
Some people call this the greatest smartwatch of all time. Those people might be named Yev. This watch is great at sending you notifications from your phone, and not needing to be charged every day. Bellissimo!
A few of the holiday gift suggestions that we got were a bit off-kilter, but we do have a lot of interesting folks in the office. Hopefully, you might find some of these as interesting as they do:
Wireless Qi Charger
Wireless chargers are pretty great in that you don’t have to deal with dongles. There are even kits to make your electronics “wirelessly chargeable” which is pretty great!
Self-Heating Coffee Mug
Love coffee? Hate lukewarm coffee? What if your coffee cup heated itself? Brilliant!
Yeast. It makes beer. And bread! Sometimes you need to stir it. What cooler way to stir your yeast than with this industrial stirrer?
This one is self explanatory. You know the old rhyme: happy butts, everyone’s happy!
Good luck out there this holiday season!
Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/christmas-shopping-list-2017/
Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for a beloved maker in your life? Maybe you’d like to give a relative or friend a taste of the world of coding and Raspberry Pi? Whatever you’re looking for, the Raspberry Pi Christmas shopping list will point you in the right direction.
For those getting started
Thinking about introducing someone special to the wonders of Raspberry Pi during the holidays? Although you can set up your Pi with peripherals from around your home, such as a mobile phone charger, your PC’s keyboard, and the old mouse dwelling in an office drawer, a starter kit is a nice all-in-one package for the budding coder.
Check out the starter kits from Raspberry Pi Approved Resellers such as Pimoroni, The Pi Hut, ModMyPi, Adafruit, CanaKit…the list is pretty long. Our products page will direct you to your closest reseller, or you can head to element14 to pick up the official Raspberry Pi Starter Kit.
You can also buy the Raspberry Pi Press’s brand-new Raspberry Pi Beginners Book, which includes a Raspberry Pi Zero W, a case, a ready-made SD card, and adapter cables.
Once you’ve presented a lucky person with their first Raspberry Pi, it’s time for them to spread their maker wings and learn some new skills.
To help them along, you could pick your favourite from among the Official Projects Book volume 3, The MagPi Essentials guides, and the brand-new third edition of Carrie Anne Philbin’s Adventures in Raspberry Pi. (She is super excited about this new edition!)
And you can always add a link to our free resources on the gift tag.
For the maker in your life
If you’re looking for something for a confident digital maker, you can’t go wrong with adding to their arsenal of electric and electronic bits and bobs that are no doubt cluttering drawers and boxes throughout their house.
Components such as servomotors, displays, and sensors are staples of the maker world. And when it comes to jumper wires, buttons, and LEDs, one can never have enough.
You could also consider getting your person a soldering iron, some helpings hands, or small tools such as a Dremel or screwdriver set.
And to make their life a little less messy, pop it all inside a Really Useful Box…because they’re really useful.
For kit makers
While some people like to dive into making head-first and to build whatever comes to mind, others enjoy working with kits.
The Naturebytes kit allows you to record the animal visitors of your garden with the help of a camera and a motion sensor. Footage of your local badgers, birds, deer, and more will be saved to an SD card, or tweeted or emailed to you if it’s in range of WiFi.
Coretec’s Tiny 4WD is a kit for assembling a Pi Zero–powered remote-controlled robot at home. Not only is the robot adorable, building it also a great introduction to motors and wireless control.
Bare Conductive’s Touch Board Pro Kit offers everything you need to create interactive electronics projects using conductive paint.
Finally, why not help your favourite maker create their own gaming arcade using the Arcade Building Kit from The Pi Hut?
For the reader
For those who like to curl up with a good read, or spend too much of their day on public transport, a book or magazine subscription is the perfect treat.
For makers, hackers, and those interested in new technologies, our brand-new HackSpace magazine and the ever popular community magazine The MagPi are ideal. Both are available via a physical or digital subscription, and new subscribers to The MagPi also receive a free Raspberry Pi Zero W plus case.
You can also check out other publications from the Raspberry Pi family, including CoderDojo’s new CoderDojo Nano: Make Your Own Game, Eben Upton and Gareth Halfacree’s Raspberry Pi User Guide, and Marc Scott’s A Beginner’s Guide to Coding. And have I mentioned Carrie Anne’s Adventures in Raspberry Pi yet?
Stocking fillers for everyone
Looking for something small to keep your loved ones occupied on Christmas morning? Or do you have to buy a Secret Santa gift for the office tech? Here are some wonderful stocking fillers to fill your boots with this season.
The Pi Hut 3D Xmas Tree: available as both a pre-soldered and a DIY version, this gadget will work with any 40-pin Raspberry Pi and allows you to create your own mini light show.
Google AIY Voice kit: build your own home assistant using a Raspberry Pi, the MagPi Essentials guide, and this brand-new kit. “Google, play Mariah Carey again…”
Pimoroni’s Raspberry Pi Zero W Project Kits offer everything you need, including the Pi, to make your own time-lapse cameras, music players, and more.
STEAM gifts that everyone will love
LEGO Idea’s bought out this amazing ‘Women of NASA’ set, and I thought it would be fun to build, play and learn from these inspiring women! First up, let’s discover a little more about Sally Ride and Mae Jemison, two AWESOME ASTRONAUTS!
Treat the kids, and big kids, in your life to the newest LEGO Ideas set, the Women of NASA — starring Nancy Grace Roman, Margaret Hamilton, Sally Ride, and Mae Jemison!
Explore the world of wearables with Pimoroni’s sewable, hackable, wearable, adorable Bearables kits.
Add lights and motors to paper creations with the Activating Origami Kit, available from The Pi Hut.
We all loved Hidden Figures, and the STEAM enthusiast you know will do too. The film’s available on DVD, and you can also buy the original book, along with other fascinating non-fiction such as Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rachel Ignotofsky’s Women in Science, and Sydney Padua’s (mostly true) The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.
Have we missed anything?
With so many amazing kits, HATs, and books available from members of the Raspberry Pi community, it’s hard to only pick a few. Have you found something splendid for the maker in your life? Maybe you’ve created your own kit that uses the Raspberry Pi? Share your favourites with us in the comments below or via our social media accounts.
Post Syndicated from Mark Calleja original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/secret-santa-babbage/
Tired of pulling names out of a hat for office Secret Santa? Upgrade your festive tradition with a Raspberry Pi, thermal printer, and everybody’s favourite microcomputer mascot, Babbage Bear.
The name’s Santa. Secret Santa.
It’s that time of year again, when the cosiness gets turned up to 11 and everyone starts thinking about jolly fat men, reindeer, toys, and benevolent home invasion. At Raspberry Pi, we’re running a Secret Santa pool: everyone buys a gift for someone else in the office. Obviously, the person you buy for has to be picked in secret and at random, or the whole thing wouldn’t work. With that in mind, I created Secret Santa Babbage to do the somewhat mundane task of choosing gift recipients. This could’ve just been done with some names in a hat, but we’re Raspberry Pi! If we don’t make a Python-based Babbage robot wearing a jaunty hat and programmed to spread Christmas cheer, who will?
Mecha-Babbage Xmas shenanigans
The script the robot runs is pretty basic: a list of names entered as comma-separated strings is shuffled at the press of a GPIO button, then a name is popped off the end and stored as a variable. The name is matched to a photo of the person stored on the Raspberry Pi, and a thermal printer pinched from Alex’s super awesome PastyCam (blog post forthcoming, maybe) prints out the picture and name of the person you will need to shower with gifts at the Christmas party. (Well, OK — with one gift. No more than five quid’s worth. Nothing untoward.) There’s also a redo function, just in case you pick yourself: press another button and the last picked name — still stored as a variable — is appended to the list again, which is shuffled once more, and a new name is popped off the end.
As the build was a bit of a rush job undertaken at the request of our ‘Director of Vibe’ Emily, there are a few things I’d like to improve about this functionality that I didn’t get around to — more on that later. To add some extra holiday spirit to the project at the last minute, I used Pygame to play a WAV file of Santa’s jolly laugh while Babbage chooses a name for you. The file is included in the GitHub repo along with everything else, because ‘tis the season, etc., etc.
Writing the code for Xmas Mecha-Babbage was fairly straightforward, though it uses some tricky bits for managing the thermal printer. You’ll need to install the drivers to make it go, as well as the CUPS package for managing the print hosting. You can find instructions for these things here, thanks to the wonderful Adafruit crew. Also, for reasons I couldn’t fathom, this will all only work on a Pi 2 and not a Pi 3, as there are some compatibility issues with the thermal printer otherwise. (I also tested the script on a Pi Zero W…no dice.)
Building a Christmassy throne
The hardest (well, fiddliest) parts of making the whole build were constructing the throne and wiring the bear. Using MakerCase, Inkscape, a bit of ingenuity, and a laser cutter, I was able to rig up a Christmassy plywood throne which has a hole through the seat so I could run the wires down from Babbage and to the Pi inside. I finished the throne by rubbing a couple of fingers of beeswax into it; as well as making the wood shine just a little bit and protecting it against getting wet, this had the added bonus of making it smell awesome.
I next soldered two LEDs to some lengths of wire, and then ran the wires through holes at the top of the throne and down the back along a small channel I had carved with a narrow chisel to connect them to the Pi’s GPIO pins. The green LED will remain on as long as Babbage is running his program, and the red one will light up while he is processing your request. Once the red LED goes off again, the next person can have a go. I also laser-cut a final piece of wood to overlay the back of Babbage’s Xmas throne and cover the wiring a bit.
Creating a Xmas cyborg bear
Taking two 6 mm tactile buttons, I clipped the spiky metal legs off one side of each (the buttons were going into a stuffed christmas toy, after all) and soldered a length of wire to each of the remaining legs. Next, I made a small incision into Babbage with my trusty Swiss army knife (in a place that actually made me cringe a little) and fed the buttons up into his paws. At some point in this process I was standing in the office wrestling with the bear and muttering to myself, which elicited some very strange looks from my colleagues.
One thing to note here is to make sure the wires remain attached at the solder points while you push them up into Babbage’s paws. The first time I tried it, I snapped one of my connections and had to start again. It helped to remove some stuffing like a tunnel and then replace it afterward. Moreover, you can use your fingertip to support the joints as you poke the wire in. Finally, a couple of squirts of hot glue to keep Babbage’s furry cheeks firmly on the seat, and done!
The Secret Santa Babbage masterpiece
The whole build process was the perfect holiday mix of cheerful and macabre, and while getting the thermal printer to work was a little time-consuming, the finished product definitely raised some smiles around the office and added a bit of interesting digital flavour to a staid office tradition. And it also helped people who are new to the office or from other branches of the Foundation to know for whom they will be buying a gift.
There are a few ways in which I’ll polish this project before next year, such as having the script write the names to external text files to create a record that will persist in case of a reboot, and maybe having Secret Santa Babbage play you a random Christmas carol when you squeeze his paw instead of just laughing merrily every time. (I also thought about adding electric shocks for those people who are on the naughty list, but HR said no. Bah, humbug!)
Make your own
The code and laser cut plans for the whole build are available here. If you plan to make your own, let us know which stuffed toy you will be turning into a Secret Santa cyborg! And if you’ve been working on any other Christmas-themed Raspberry Pi projects, we’d like to see those too, so tag us on social media to share the festive maker cheer.
Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/netflix-not-going-kill-piracy-research-suggests-171129/
There is little doubt that, in many countries, Netflix has become the standard for watching movies on the Internet.
Generally speaking, on-demand streaming services are convenient alternatives to piracy. However, millions of people stick to their old pirate habits, Netflix subscription or not.
Intrigued by this interplay of legal and unauthorized viewing, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Universidade Católica Portuguesa carried out an extensive study. They partnered with a major telco, which is not named, to analyze if BitTorrent downloading habits can be changed by offering legal alternatives.
The researchers used a piracy-tracking firm to get a sample of thousands of BitTorrent pirates at the associated ISP. Half of them were offered a free 45-day subscription to a premium TV and movies package, allowing them to watch popular content on demand.
To measure the effects of video-on-demand access on piracy, the researchers then monitored the legal viewing activity and BitTorrent transfers of the people who received the free offer, comparing it to a control group. The results show that piracy is harder to beat than some would expect.
Subscribers who received the free subscription watched more TV, but overall their torrenting habits didn’t change significantly.
“We find that, on average, households that received the gift increased overall TV consumption by 4.6% and reduced Internet downloads and uploads by 4.2% and 4.5%, respectively. However, and also on average, treated households did not change their likelihood of using BitTorrent during the experiment,” the researchers write.
One of the main problems was that these ‘pirates’ couldn’t get all their favorite shows and movies on the legal service, which is a common problem. For the small portion of subscribers who had access to their preferred content, the researchers did find an effect on torrent traffic.
“Households with preferences aligned with the gifted content reduced their probability of using BitTorrent during the experiment by 18% and decreased their amount of upload traffic by 45%,” the paper reads.
The video-on-demand service in the study had an average “fit” of just 12% with people’s viewing preferences, which means that they were missing a lot of content. But even Netflix, which has a library of thousands of titles, only has a fit of roughly 50%.
The researchers show that the lack of availability is partly caused by licensing windows, which makes it hard for legal video streaming services to compete with piracy.
“We show that licensing windows impose significant restrictions on the content that can be included in SVoD catalogs, which hampers the ability of content distributors to offer catalogs that cater to the preferences of pirates,” they write.
However, even if more content became available, piracy wouldn’t magically disappear. In the experiment, subscribers were offered free access to a video on demand service. In the real world, they would have to pay, which presents another barrier.
In this study, the pirate households were willing to pay at most $3.25 USD per month to access a service with a library as large as Netflix’s in the United States. That’s not enough.
This leads the researchers to the grim conclusion that video on demand services such as Netflix can’t significantly lower piracy rates. They could make a dent if they increase their content libraries while lowering the price at the same time, but that’s not going to happen.
“Together, our results show that, as a stand-alone strategy, using legal SVoD to curtail piracy will require, at the minimum, offering content much earlier and at much lower prices than those currently offered in the marketplace, changes that are likely to reduce industry revenue and that may damage overall incentives to produce new content while, at the same time, curbing only a small share of piracy,” the researchers conclude.
While Hollywood maintains that people can get pretty much anything they want legally, the current research shows that it’s not as simple as that. Most people are not going to pay for 22 separate subscriptions. Instead of more streaming services, it would be better to make more content available at the ones that are already out there.
The research was partially funded by the Carnegie Mellon University’s IDEA, which receives an unrestricted gift from the MPAA, so Hollywood will likely be clued in on the results.
Post Syndicated from Andrew Gregory original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/hackspace-magazine-1/
HackSpace magazine is finally here! Grab your copy of the new magazine for makers today, and try your hand at some new, exciting skills.
What is HackSpace magazine?
HackSpace magazine is the newest publication from the team behind The MagPi. Chock-full of amazing projects, tutorials, features, and maker interviews, HackSpace magazine brings together the makers of the world every month, with you — the community — providing the content.
The new magazine for the modern maker is out now! Learn more at https://hsmag.cc HackSpace magazine is the new monthly magazine for people who love to make things and those who want to learn. Grab some duct tape, fire up a microcontroller, ready a 3D printer and hack the world around you!
Inside issue 1
Fancy smoking bacon with your very own cold smoker? How about protecting your home with a mini trebuchet for your front lawn? Or maybe you’d like to learn from awesome creator Becky Stern how to get paid for making the things you love? No matter whether it’s handheld consoles, robot prosthetics, Christmas projects, or, er, duct tape — whatever your maker passion, issue 1 is guaranteed to tick your boxes!
HackSpace magazine is packed with content from every corner of the maker world: from welding to digital making, and from woodwork to wearables. And whatever you enjoy making, we want to see it! So as you read through this first issue, imagine your favourite homemade projects on our pages, then make that a reality by emailing us the details via [email protected].
Get your copy
You can grab issue 1 of HackSpace magazine right now from WHSmith, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and independent newsagents. If you live in the US, check out your local Barnes & Noble, Fry’s, or Micro Center next week. We’re also shipping to stores in Australia, Hong Kong, Canada, Singapore, Belgium and Brazil — ask your local newsagent whether they’ll be getting HackSpace magazine. Alternatively, you can get the new issue online from our store, or digitally via our Android or iOS apps. And don’t forget, as with all our publications, a free PDF of HackSpace magazine is available from release day.
We’re also offering money-saving subscriptions — find details on the the magazine website. And if you’re a subscriber of The MagPi, your free copy of HackSpace magazine is on its way, with details of a super 50% discount on subscriptions! Could this be the Christmas gift you didn’t know you wanted?
Share your makes and thoughts
Make sure to follow HackSpace magazine on Facebook and Twitter, or email the team at [email protected] to tell us about your projects and share your thoughts about issue 1. We’ve loved creating this new magazine for the maker community, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Here at Raspberry Pi, we know that getting physical with computing is often a catalyst for creativity. Building a simple circuit can open up a world of making possibilities! This ethos of tinkering and invention is also being used in the classroom to inspire a whole new generation of makers too, and here is why.
The all-important question
Physical computing provides a great opportunity for creative expression: the button press! By explaining how a button works, how to build one with a breadboard attached to computer, and how to program the button to work when it’s pressed, you can give learners young and old all the conceptual skills they need to build a thing that does something. But what do they want their button to do? Have you ever asked your students or children at home? I promise it will be one of the most mindblowing experiences you’ll have if you do.
Amy will want her button to take a photo, Charlie will want his button to play a sound, Tumi will want her button to explode TNT in Minecraft, Jack will want their button to fire confetti out of a cannon, and James Robinson will want his to trigger silly noises (doesn’t he always?)! Idea generation is the inherent gift that every child has in abundance. As educators and parents, we’re always looking to deeply engage our young people in the subject matter we’re teaching, and they are never more engaged than when they have an idea and want to implement it. Way back in 2012, I wanted my button to print geeky sayings:
A sneak peek at the finished Geek Gurl Diaries ‘Box of Geek’. I’ve been busy making this for a few weeks with some help from friends. Tutorial to make your own box coming soon, so keep checking the Geek Gurl Diaries Twitter, facebook page and channel.
What are the challenges for this approach in education?
Allowing this kind of free-form creativity and tinkering in the classroom obviously has its challenges for teachers, especially those confined to rigid lesson structures, timings, and small classrooms. The most common worry I hear from teachers is “what if they ask a question I can’t answer?” Encouraging this sort of creative thinking makes that almost an inevitability. How can you facilitate roughly 30 different projects simultaneously? The answer is by using those other computational and transferable thinking skills:
Clearly specifying a problem, surveying the tools available to solve it (including online references and external advice), and then applying them to solve the problem is a hugely important skill, and this is a great opportunity to teach it.
When we train teachers at Picademy, we group attendees around themes that have come out of the idea generation session. Together they collaborate on an achievable shared goal. One will often sketch something on a whiteboard, decomposing the problem into smaller parts; then the group will divide up the tasks. Each will look online or in books for tutorials to help them with their step. I’ve seen this behaviour in student groups too, and it’s very easy to facilitate. You don’t need to be the resident expert on every project that students want to work on.
The key is knowing where to guide students to find the answers they need. Curating online videos, blogs, tutorials, and articles in advance gives you the freedom and confidence to concentrate on what matters: the learning. We have a number of physical computing projects that use buttons, linked to our curriculum for learners to combine inputs and outputs to solve a problem. The WhooPi cushion and GPIO music box are two of my favourites.
The rise of the global maker movement, I think, is in response to abstract concepts and disciplines. Children are taught lots of concepts in isolation that aren’t always relevant to their lives or immediate environment. Digital making provides a unique and exciting way of bridging different subject areas, allowing for cross-curricular participation. I’m not suggesting that educators should throw away all their schemes of work and leave the full direction of the computing curriculum to students. However, there’s huge value in exposing learners to the possibilities for creativity in computing. Creative freedom and expression guide learning, better preparing young people for the workplace of tomorrow.
So…what do you want your button to do?
Learn more about today’s subject, and read further articles regarding computer science in education, in Hello World magazine issue 1.
Post Syndicated from Roderick Bauer original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/what-were-thankful-for/
All of us at Backblaze hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that you can enjoy it with family and friends. We asked everyone at Backblaze to express what they are thankful for. Here are their responses.
Aside from friends, family, hobbies, health, etc. I’m thankful for my home. It’s not much, but it’s mine, and allows me to indulge in everything listed above. Or not, if I so choose. And coffee.
I’m thankful for my wife Jen, and my other friends. I’m thankful that I like my coworkers and can call them friends too. I’m thankful for my health. I’m thankful that I was born into a middle class family in the US and that I have been very, very lucky because of that.
Besides the most important things which are being thankful for my family, my health and my friends, I am very thankful for Backblaze. This is the first job I’ve ever had where I truly feel like I have a great work/life balance. With having 3 kids ages 8, 6 and 4, a husband that works crazy hours and my tennis career on the rise (kidding but I am on 4 teams) it’s really nice to feel like I have balance in my life. So cheers to Backblaze – where a girl can have it all!
I am thankful to work at a high-tech company that recognizes the contributions of engineers in their 40s and 50s.
I am thankful for the music, the songs I’m singing. Thankful for all the joy they’re bringing. Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty? What would life be? Without a song or a dance what are we? So I say thank you for the music. For giving it to me!
I’m thankful that I don’t look anything like the portrait my son draws of me…seriously.
I am thankful to work for a company that puts its people and product ahead of profits.
I am thankful that even in the middle of disasters, turmoil, and violence, there are always people who commit amazing acts of generosity, courage, and kindness that restore my faith in mankind.
I am thankful for the current state of modern inexpensive broadband networking that allows me to stay in touch with friends and family that are far away, allows Backblaze to exist and pay my salary so I can live comfortably, and allows me to watch cat videos for free. The internet makes this an amazing time to be alive.
Other than being thankful for family & good health, I’m quite thankful through the years I’ve avoided losing any of my 12+TB photo archive. 20 years of photoshoots, family photos and cell phone photos kept safe through changing storage media (floppy drives, flopticals, ZIP, JAZ, DVD-RAM, CD, DVD and hard drives), not to mention various technology/software solutions. It’s a data minefield out there, especially in the long run with changing media formats.
I am thankful for non-profit organizations and their volunteers, such as IMAlive. Possibly the greatest gift you can give someone is empowerment, and an opportunity for them to recognize their own resilience and strength.
I am thankful for my loving family, friends who make me laugh, a cool company to work for, talented co-workers who make me a better engineer, and beautiful Fall days in Wisconsin!
I am thankful for new friends and working for a company that allows us to be ourselves.
I’m thankful for my dog as I always find a reason to smile at him everyday. Yes, he still smells from his skunkin’ last week and he tracks mud in my house, but he came from the San Quentin puppy-prisoner program and I’m thankful I found him and that he found me! My vet is thankful as well.
I’m thankful that my colleagues are also my friends outside of the office and that the rain season has started in California.
I’m thankful for family, friends, and beer. Mostly for family and friends, but beer is really nice too!
There are so many amazing blessings that make up my daily life that I thank God for, so here I go – my basic needs of food, water and shelter, my husband and 2 daughters and the rest of the family (here and abroad) — their love, support, health, and safety, waking up to a new day every day, friends, music, my job, funny things, hugs and more hugs (who does not like hugs?).
I am thankful to be blessed with a close-knit extended family, and for everything they do for my new, growing family. With a toddler and a second child on the way, it helps having so many extra sets of hands around to help with the kids!
I’m thankful for family and friends, the opportunities my parents gave me by moving the U.S., and that all of us together at Backblaze have built a place to be proud of.
Aside for being thankful for family and friends, I am also thankful I live in a place with such natural beauty. Being so close to mountains and the ocean, and everything in between, is something that I don’t take for granted!
I’m thankful for my wonderful wife, family, friends, and co-workers. I’m thankful for having a happy and healthy son, and the chance to watch him grow on a daily basis.
I’m thankful for my amazing new wife and that she’s as much of a nerd as I am.
I am thankful for my funny, strong-willed, happy daughter, my awesome husband, my family, and amazing friends. I am also thankful for the USA and all the opportunities that come with living here. Finally, I am thankful for Backblaze, a truly great place to work and for all of my co-workers/friends here.
I am thankful that I do not need to hunt and gather everyday to put food on the table but at the same time I feel that I don’t appreciate the food the sits before me as much as I should. So I use Thanksgiving to think about the people and the animals that put food on my family’s table.
I am thankful for my cat, Catnip. She’s been with me for 18 years and seen me through so many ups and downs. She’s been along my side through two long-term relationships, several moves, and one marriage. I know we don’t have much time together and feel blessed every day she’s here.
I am thankful for imperfection and misshapen candies. The imperceptible romance of sunsets through bus windows. The dream that family, friends, co-workers, and strangers are connected by love. I am thankful to my ancestors for enduring so much hardship so that I could be here enjoying Bay Area burritos.
Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/uk-government-publishes-advice-on-illicit-streaming-devices-171120/
Previously accessible only via a desktop browser, streaming is now available on a wide range of devices, from tablets and phones through to dedicated set-top box. These, collectively, are now being branded Illicit Streaming Devices (ISD) by the entertainment industries.
It’s terminology the UK government’s Intellectual Property Office has adopted this morning. In a new public advisory, the IPO notes that illicit streaming is the watching of content without the copyright owner’s permission using a variety of devices.
“Illicit streaming devices are physical boxes that are connected to your TV or USB sticks that plug into the TV such as adapted Amazon Fire sticks and so called ‘Kodi’ boxes or Android TV boxes,” the IPO reports.
“These devices are legal when used to watch legitimate, free to air, content. They become illegal once they are adapted to stream illicit content, for example TV programmes, films and subscription sports channels without paying the appropriate subscriptions.”
The IPO notes that streaming devices usually need to be loaded with special software add-ons in order to view copyright-infringing content. However, there are now dedicated apps available to view movies and TV shows which can be loaded straight on to smartphones and tablets.
But how can people know if the device they have is an ISD or not? According to the IPO it’s all down to common sense. If people usually charge for the content you’re getting for free, it’s illegal.
“If you are watching television programmes, films or sporting events where you would normally be paying to view them and you have not paid, you are likely to be using an illicit streaming device (ISD) or app. This could include a film recently released in the cinema, a sporting event that is being broadcast by BT Sport or a television programme, like Game of Thrones, that is only available on Sky,” the IPO says.
In an effort to familiarize the public with some of the terminology used by ISD sellers on eBay, Amazon or Gumtree, for example, the IPO then wanders into a bit of a minefield that really needs much greater clarification.
First up, the government states that ISDs are often described online as being “Fully loaded”, which is a colloquial term for a device with addons already installed. Although they won’t all be infringing, it’s very often the case that the majority are intended to be, so no problems here.
However, the IPO then says that people should keep an eye out for the term ‘jail broken’, which many readers will understand to be the process some hardware devices, such as Apple products, are put through in order for third-party software to be run on them. On occasion, some ISD sellers do put this term on Android devices, for example, but it’s incorrect, in a tiny minority, and of course misleading.
The IPO also warns people against devices marketed as “Plug and Play” but again this is a dual-use term and shouldn’t put consumers off a purchase without a proper investigation. A search on eBay this morning for that exact term didn’t yield any ISDs at all, only games consoles that can be plugged in and played with a minimum of fuss.
“Subscription Gift”, on the other hand, almost certainly references an illicit IPTV or satellite card-sharing subscription and is rarely used for anything else. 100% illegal, no doubt.
The government continues by giving reasons why people should avoid ISDs, not least since their use deprives the content industries of valuable revenue.
“[The creative industries] provide employment for more than 1.9 million people and contributes £84.1 billion to our economy. Using illicit streaming devices is illegal,” the IPO writes.
“If you are not paying for this content you are depriving industry of the revenue it needs to fund the next generation of TV programmes, films and sporting events we all enjoy. Instead it provides funds for the organized criminals who sell or adapt these illicit devices.”
Then, in keeping with the danger-based narrative employed by the entertainment industries’ recently, the government also warns that ISDs can have a negative effect on child welfare, not to mention on physical safety in the home.
“These devices often lack parental controls. Using them could expose children or young people to explicit or age inappropriate content,” the IPO warns.
“Another important reason for consumers to avoid purchasing these streaming devices is from an electrical safety point of view. Where devices and their power cables have been tested, some have failed EU safety standards and have the potential to present a real danger to the public, causing a fire in your home or premises.”
While there can be no doubt whatsoever that failing EU electrical standards in any way is unacceptable for any device, the recent headlines stating that “Kodi Boxes Can Kill Their Owners” are sensational at best and don’t present the full picture.
As reported this weekend, simply not having a recognized branding on such devices means that they fail electrical standards, with non-genuine phone chargers presenting a greater risk around the UK.
Finally, the government offers some advice for people who either want to get off the ISD gravy train or ensure that others don’t benefit from it.
“These devices can be used legally by removing the software. If you are unsure get advice to help you use the device legally. If you wish to watch content that’s only available via subscription, such as sports, you should approach the relevant provider to find out about legal ways to watch,” the IPO advises.
“Get it Right from a Genuine Site helps you get the music, TV, films, games, books, newspapers, magazines and sport that you love from genuine services.”
And, if the public thinks that people selling such devices deserve a visit from the authorities, people are asked to report them to the Crimestoppers charity via an anonymous hotline.
The government’s guidance is exactly what one might expect, given that the advisory is likely to have been strongly assisted by companies including the Federation Against Copyright Theft, Premier League, and Sky, who have taken the lead in this area during the past year or so.
The big question is, however, whether many people using these devices really believe that obtaining subscription TV, movies, and sports for next to free is 100% legal. If there are people out there they must be in the minority but at least the government itself is now putting them on the right path.
Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/top-10-torrent-site-torrentdownloads-blocked-by-chrome-and-firefox-171107/
Content availability is rich and the majority of the main movie, TV show, game and software releases appear on them within minutes, offering speedy and convenient downloads. Nevertheless, things don’t always go as smoothly as people might like.
Over the past couple of days that became evident to visitors of TorrentDownloads, one of the Internet’s most popular torrent sites.
Instead of viewing the rather comprehensive torrent index that made the Top 10 Most Popular Torrent Site lists in 2016 and 2017, visitors receive a warning.
“Attackers on torrentdownloads.me may trick you into doing something dangerous like installing software or revealing your personal information (for example, passwords, phone numbers or credit cards),” Chrome users are warned.
“Google Safe Browsing recently detected phishing on torrentdownloads.me. Phishing sites pretend to be other websites to trick you.”
People using Firefox also receive a similar warning.
“This web page at torrentdownloads.me has been reported as a deceptive site and has been blocked based on your security preferences,” the browser warns.
“Deceptive sites are designed to trick you into doing something dangerous, like installing software, or revealing your personal information, like passwords, phone numbers or credit cards.”
A deeper check on Google’s malware advisory service echoes the same information, noting that the site contains “harmful content” that may “trick visitors into sharing personal info or downloading software.” Checks carried out with MalwareBytes reveal that service blocking the domain too.
TorrentFreak spoke with the operator of TorrentDownloads who told us that the warnings had been triggered by a rogue advertiser which was immediately removed from the site.
“We have already requested a review with Google Webmaster after we removed an old affiliates advertiser and changed the links on the site,” he explained.
“In Google Webmaster they state that the request will be processed within 72 Hours, so I think it will be reviewed today when 72 hours are completed.”
This statement suggests that the site itself wasn’t the direct culprit, but ads hosted elsewhere. That being said, these kinds of warnings look very scary to visitors and sites have to take responsibility, so completely expelling the bad player from the platform was the correct choice. Nevertheless, people shouldn’t be too surprised at the appearance of suspect ads.
In the past, torrent and streaming sites could display ads from top-tier providers with few problems. However, in recent years, the so-called “follow the money” anti-piracy tactic has forced the majority away from pirate sites, meaning they now have to do business with ad networks that may not always be as tidy as one might hope.
While these warnings are the very last thing the sites in question want (they’re hardly good for increasing visitor numbers), they’re a gift to entertainment industry groups.
At the same time as the industries are forcing decent ads away, these alerts provide a great opportunity to warn users about the potential problems left behind as a result. A loose analogy might be deliberately cutting off beer supply to an unlicensed bar then warning people not to go there because the homebrew sucks. It some cases it can be true, but it’s a problem only being exacerbated by industry tactics.
It’s worth noting that no warnings are received by visitors to TorrentDownloads using Android devices, meaning that desktop users were probably the only people at risk. In any event, it’s expected that the warnings will disappear during the next day, so the immediate problems will be over. As far as TF is informed, the offending ads were removed days ago.
That appears to be backed up by checks carried out on a number of other malware scanning services. Norton, Opera, SiteAdvisor, Spamhaus, Yandex and ESET all declare the site to be clean.
Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/the-evil-within-2-used-denuvo-then-dumped-it-before-launch-171013/
At the end of September we reported on a nightmare scenario for videogame anti-tamper technology Denuvo.
With cracking groups chipping away at the system for the past few months, progressing in leaps and bounds, the race to the bottom was almost complete. After aiming to hold off pirates for the first few lucrative weeks and months after launch, the Denuvo-protected Total War: Warhammer 2 fell to pirates in a matter of hours.
In the less than two weeks that have passed since, things haven’t improved much. By most measurements, in fact, the situation appears to have gotten worse.
On Wednesday, action role-playing game Middle Earth: Shadow of War was cracked a day after launch. While this didn’t beat the record set by Warhammer 2, the scene was given an unexpected gift.
Instead of the crack appearing courtesy of scene groups STEAMPUNKS or CPY, which has largely been the tradition thus far this year, old favorite CODEX stepped up to the mark with their own efforts. This means there are now close to half a dozen entities with the ability to defeat Denuvo, which isn’t a good look for the anti-piracy outfit.
Needless to say, this development was met with absolute glee by pirates, who forgave the additional day taken to crack the game in order to welcome CODEX into the anti-Denuvo club. But while this is bad news for the anti-tamper technology, there could be a worse enemy crossing the horizon – no confidence.
This Tuesday, DSO Gaming reported that it had received a review copy of Bethesda’s then-upcoming survival horror game, The Evil Within 2. The site, which is often a reliable source for Denuvo-related news, confirmed that the code was indeed protected by Denuvo.
“Another upcoming title that will be using Denuvo is The Evil Within 2,” the site reported. “Bethesda has provided us with a review code for The Evil Within 2. As such, we can confirm that Denuvo is present in it.”
As you read this, October 13, 2017, The Evil Within 2 is enjoying its official worldwide launch. Early yesterday afternoon, however, the title leaked early onto the Internet, courtesy of cracking group CODEX.
At first view, it looked like CODEX had cracked Denuvo before the game’s official launch but the reality was somewhat different after the dust had settled. For reasons best known to developer Bethesda, Denuvo was completely absent from the title. As shown by the title’s NFO (information) file, the only protection present was that provided by Steam.
This raises a number of scenarios, none of them good for Denuvo.
One possibility is that all along Bethesda never intended to use Denuvo on the final release. Exactly why we’ll likely never know, but the theory doesn’t really gel with them including it in the review code reviewed by DSO Gaming earlier this week.
The other proposition is that Bethesda witnessed the fiasco around Denuvo’s ‘protection’ in recent days and decided not to invest in something that wasn’t going to provide value for money.
Of course, these theories are going to be pretty difficult to confirm. Denuvo are a pretty confident bunch when things are going their way but they go suspiciously quiet when the tide is turning. Equally, developers tend to keep quiet about their anti-piracy strategies too.
The bottom line though is that if the protection really works and turns in valuable cash, why wouldn’t Bethesda use it as they have done on previous titles including Doom and Prey?
With that question apparently answering itself at the moment, all eyes now turn to Denuvo. Although it has a history of being one of the most successful anti-piracy systems overall, it has taken a massive battering in recent times. Will it recover? Only time will tell but at the moment things couldn’t get much worse.
Post Syndicated from Yev original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/spooky-halloween-video-contest/
Think you can create a really spooky Halloween video?
We’re giving out $100 Visa gift cards just in time for the holidays. Want a chance to win? You’ll need to make a spooky 30-second Halloween-themed video. We had a lot of fun with this the last time we did it a few years back so we’re doing it again this year.
Here’s How to Enter
- Prepare a short, 30 seconds or less, video recreating your favorite horror movie scene using your computer or hard drive as the victim — or make something original!
- Insert the following image at the end of the video (right-click and save as):
- Upload your video to YouTube
- Post a link to your video on the Backblaze Facebook wall or on Twitter with the hashtag #Backblaze so we can see it and enter it into the contest. Or, link to it in the comments below!
- Share your video with friends
Q: How many people can be in the video?
A: However many you need in order to recreate the scene!
Q: Can I make it longer than 30 seconds?
A: Maybe 32 seconds, but that’s it. If you want to make a longer “director’s cut,” we’d love to see it, but the contest video should be close to 30 seconds. Please keep it short and spooky.
Q: Can I record it on an iPhone, Android, iPad, Camera, etc?
A: You can use whatever device you wish to record your video.
Q: Can I submit multiple videos?
A: If you have multiple favorite scenes, make a vignette! But please submit only one video.
Q: How many winners will there be?
A: We will select up to three winners total.
- To upload the video to YouTube, you must have a valid YouTube account and comply with all YouTube rules for age, content, copyright, etc.
- To post a link to your video on the Backblaze Facebook wall, you must use a valid Facebook account and comply with all Facebook rules for age, content, copyrights, etc.
- We reserve the right to remove and/or not consider as a valid entry, any videos which we deem inappropriate. We reserve the exclusive right to determine what is inappropriate.
- Backblaze reserves the right to use your video for promotional purposes.
- The contest will end on October 29, 2017 at 11:59:59 PM Pacific Daylight Time. The winners (up to three) will be selected by Backblaze and will be announced on October 31, 2017.
- We will be giving away gift cards to the top winners. The prize will be mailed to the winner in a timely manner.
- Please keep the content of the post PG rated — no cursing or extreme gore/violence.
- By submitting a video you agree to all of these rules.
Need an example?
Lasers! Cookies! Raspberry Pi! We’re buzzing with excitement about sharing our latest YouTube video with you, which comes directly from the kitchen of maker Estefannie Explains It All!
Uploaded by Raspberry Pi on 2017-09-18.
Estefannie Explains It All + Raspberry Pi
When Estefannie visited Pi Towers earlier this year, we introduced her to the Raspberry Pi Digital Curriculum and the free resources on our website. We’d already chatted to her via email about the idea of creating a collab video for the Raspberry Pi channel. Once she’d met members of the Raspberry Pi Foundation team and listened to them wax lyrical about the work we do here, she was even more keen to collaborate with us.
Ahhhh!!! I still can’t believe I got to hang out and make stuff at the @Raspberry_Pi towers!! Thank you thank you!!
Estefannie returned to the US filled with inspiration for a video for our channel, and we’re so pleased with how awesome her final result is. The video is a super addition to our Raspberry Pi YouTube channel, it shows what our resources can help you achieve, and it’s great fun. You might also have noticed that the project fits in perfectly with this season’s Pioneers challenge. A win all around!
So yeah, we’re really chuffed about this video, and we hope you all like it too!
Estefannie’s Laser Cookies guide
For those of you wanting to try your hand at building your own Cookie Jar Laser Surveillance Security System, Estefannie has provided a complete guide to talk you through it. Here she goes:
First off, you’ll need:
- 10 lasers
- 10 photoresistors
- 10 capacitors
- 1 Raspberry Pi Zero W
- 1 buzzer
- 1 Raspberry Pi Camera Module
- 12 ft PVC pipes + 4 corners
- 1 acrylic panel
- 1 battery pack
- 8 zip ties
- tons of cookies
I used the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Laser trip wire and the Tweeting Babbage resources to get one laser working and to set up the camera and Twitter API. This took me less than an hour, and it was easy, breezy, beautiful, Raspberry Pi.
I soldered ten lasers in parallel and connected ten photoresistors to their own GPIO pins. I didn’t wire them up in series because of sensitivity reasons and to make debugging easier.
Building the frame took a few tries: I actually started with a wood frame, then tried a clear case, and finally realized the best and cleaner solution would be pipes. All the wires go inside the pipes and come out in a small window on the top to wire up to the Zero W.
Using pipes also made the build cheaper, since they were about $3 for 12 ft. Wiring inside the pipes was tricky, and to finish the circuit, I soldered some of the wires after they were already in the pipes.
I tried glueing the lasers to the frame, but the lasers melted the glue and became decalibrated. Next I tried tape, and then I found picture mounting putty. The putty worked perfectly — it was easy to mold a putty base for the lasers and to calibrate and re-calibrate them if needed. Moreover, the lasers stayed in place no matter how hot they got.
Although the lasers were not very strong, I still strained my eyes after long hours of calibrating — hence the sunglasses! Working indoors with lasers, sunglasses, and code was weird. But now I can say I’ve done that…in my kitchen.
Using all the knowledge I have shared, this project should take a couple of hours. The code you need lives on my GitHub!
Estefannie on YouTube
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Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/kim-dotcom-wants-k-im-to-trigger-a-copyright-revolution-170831/
For many people Kim Dotcom is synonymous with Megaupload, the file-sharing giant that was taken down by the U.S. Government early 2012.
While Megaupload is no more, the New Zealand Internet entrepreneur is working on a new file-sharing site. Initially dubbed Megaupload 2, the new service will be called K.im, and it will be quite different from its predecessor.
This week Dotcom, who’s officially the chief “evangelist” of the service, showed a demo to a few thousand people revealing more about what it’s going to offer.
K.im is not a central hosting service, quite the contrary. It will allow users to upload content and distribute it to dozens of other services, including Dropbox, Google, Reddit, Storj, and even torrent sites.
The files are distributed across the Internet where they can be accessed freely. However, there is a catch. The uploaders set a price for each download and people who want a copy can only unlock it through the K.im app or browser addon, after they’ve paid.
K.im, paired with Bitcache, is basically a micropayment solution. It allows creators to charge the public for everything they upload. Every download is tied to a Bitcoin transaction, turning files into their own “stores.”
Kim Dotcom tells TorrentFreak that he sees the service as a copyright revolution. It should be a win-win solution for independent creators, rightsholders, and people who are used to pirating stuff.
“I’m working for both sides. For the copyright holders and also for the people who what to pay for content but have been geo-blocked and then are forced to download for free,” Dotcom says.
Like any other site that allows user uploaded content, K.im can also be used by pirates who want to charge a small fee for spreading infringing content. This is something Dotcom is aware of, but he has a solution in mind.
Much like YouTube, which allows rightsholders to “monetize” videos that use their work, K.im will provide an option to claim pirated content. Rightsholders can then change the price and all revenue will go to them.
So, if someone uploads a pirated copy of the Game of Thrones season finale through K.im, HBO can claim that file, charge an appropriate fee, and profit from it. The uploader, meanwhile, maintains his privacy.
“It is the holy grail of copyright enforcement. It is my gift to Hollywood, the movie studios, and everyone else,” Dotcom says.
Dotcom believes that piracy is in large part caused by an availability problem. People can often not find the content they’re looking for so it’s K.im’s goal to distribute files as widely as possible. This includes several torrent sites, which are currently featured in the demo.
Interestingly, it will be hard to upload content to sites such as YTS, EZTV, KickassTorrents, and RARBG, as they’ve been shut down or don’t allow user uploads. However, Dotcom stresses that the names are just examples, and that they are still working on partnering with various sites.
Whether torrent sites will be eager to cooperate has yet to be seen. It’s possible that the encrypted files, which can’t be opened without paying, will be seen as “spam” by traditional torrent sites.
Also, from a user perspective, one has to wonder how many people are willing to pay for something if they set out to pirate it. After all, there will always be plenty of free options for those who refuse to or can’t pay.
Dotcom, however, is convinced that K.im can create a “copyright revolution.” He stresses that site owners and uploaders can greatly benefit from it as they receive affiliate fees, even after a pirated file is claimed by a rightsholder.
In addition, he says it will revolutionize copyright enforcement, as copyright holders can monetize the work of pirates. That is, if they are willing to work with the service.
“Rightsholders can turn piracy traffic into revenue and users can access the content on any platform. Since every file is a store, it doesn’t matter where it ends up,” Dotcom says.
Dotcom does have a very valid point here. Many people have simply grown used to pirating because it’s much more convenient than using a dozen different services. In Dotcom’s vision, people can just use one site to access everything.
The ideas don’t stop at sharing files either. In the future, Dotcom also wants to use the micropayment option to offer YouTubers and media organizations to accept payments from the public, BBC notes.
There’s still a long way to go before K.im and Bitcache go public though. The expected launch date is not final yet, but the services are expected to go live in mid-to-late 2018.
Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/mpaa-revenue-stabilizes-chris-dodd-earns-3-5-million170813/
Protecting the interests of Hollywood, the MPAA has been heavily involved in numerous anti-piracy efforts around the world in recent years.
Through its involvement in the shutdowns of Popcorn Time, YIFY, isoHunt, Hotfile, Megaupload and several other platforms, the MPAA has worked hard to target piracy around the globe.
Perhaps just as importantly, the group lobbies lawmakers globally while managing anti-piracy campaigns both in and outside the US, including the Creative Content UK program.
All this work doesn’t come for free, obviously, so the MPAA relies on six major movie studios for financial support. After its revenues plummeted a few years ago, they have steadily recovered and according to its latest tax filing, the MPAA’s total income is now over $72 million.
The IRS filing, covering the fiscal year 2015, reveals that the movie studios contributed $65 million, the same as a year earlier. Overall revenue has stabilized as well, after a few years of modest growth.
Going over the numbers, we see that salaries make up a large chunk of the expenses. Former Senator Chris Dodd, the MPAA’s Chairman and CEO, is the highest paid employee with a total income of more than $3.5 million, including a $250,000 bonus.
It was recently announced that Dodd will leave the MPAA next month. He will be replaced by Charles Rivkin, another political heavyweight. Rivkin previously served as Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs in the Obama administration.
In addition to Dodd, there are two other employees who made over a million in 2015, Global General Counsel Steve Fabrizio and Diane Strahan, the MPAA’s Chief Operating Officer.
Looking at some of the other expenses we see that the MPAA’s lobbying budget remained stable at $4.2 million. Another $4.4 million went to various grants, while legal costs totaled $7.2 million that year.
More than two million dollars worth of legal expenses were paid to the US law firm Jenner & Block, which represented the movie studios in various court cases. In addition, the MPAA paid more than $800,000 to the UK law firm Wiggin, which assisted the group in local site-blocking efforts.
Finally, it’s worth looking at the various gifts and grants the MPAA hands out. As reported last year, the group handsomely contributes to various research projects. This includes a recurring million dollar grant for Carnegie Mellon’s ‘Initiative for Digital Entertainment Analytics’ (IDEA), which researches various piracy related topics.
IDEA co-director Rahul Telang previously informed us that the gift is used to hire researchers and pay for research materials. It is not tied to a particular project.
We also see $70,000+ in donations for both the Democratic and Republican Attorneys General associations. The purpose of the grants is listed as “general support.” Interestingly, just recently over a dozen Attorneys General released a public service announcement warning the public to stay away from pirate sites.
These type of donations and grants are nothing new and are a regular part of business across many industries. Still, they are worth keeping in mind.
It will be interesting to see which direction the MPAA takes in the years to come. Under Chris Dodd it has booked a few notable successes, but there is still a long way to go before the piracy situation is somewhat under control.
MPAA’s full form 990 was published in Guidestar recently and a copy is available here (pdf).
Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/bulkyiptv-operator-was-arrested-for-fraud-money-laundering-170724/
For many years, video-focused Internet piracy was all about obtaining pre-recorded content such as movies and TV shows. Now, however, the rise of streaming is enabling a massive uptake of live ‘pirate’ programming.
At the forefront of this movement are web streaming portals, dedicated Kodi add-ons, and premium IPTV services. The latter, which can rival official services, tend to offer a better quality service but with a price tag attached. This has resulted in a whole new market for people seeking to generate revenue from piracy.
One of those outfits was UK-based BulkyIPTV, but as first reported here on TF, last week the entire operation was shut down after police arrested its operator.
“Hi all. Today I was arrested. Everything has been shut down,” its operator confirmed Wednesday.
“They took everything – phone, laptop, PC and cash, as well as other stuff to gather evidence against me. I’m sorry it has come to this but i’m looking at a stretch inside.”
Soon after the news was made public, many people on Facebook speculated that the arrest never happened and that BulkyIPTV’s operator had conjured up a story in order to “do a runner” with his customers’ subscription money.
However, a source close to the situation insisted that an arrest had been made in the Derby area of the UK in connection with live TV piracy, a fact we reported in our article.
For a few days things went silent, but in a joint statement with the Federation Against Copyright Theft, Derbyshire Police have now confirmed that they executed a warrant at a Derby property last week.
“The warrant took place on Tuesday (18th July) as part of ongoing work to stop the use of the illegal set top boxes, which are tampered with to enable them to offer a range of premium subscription services such as Sky TV and BT Sport without paying for them,” the police statement reads.
While the police don’t specifically mention BulkyIPTV in their press release, everything points to the operator of the service being the person who was targeted last week.
BulkyGifts.co.uk, a site connected to BulkyIPTV that sold a product which enabled people to access cable and satellite programming cheaply, was initially registered to the address that police targeted on Tuesday in Grenfell Avenue, Sunny Hill. The name of the person who registered the domain is also a perfect match with Electoral Roll records and social media profiles across numerous sites.
Police confirmed that a 29-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of fraud, money laundering, and copyright offenses. Electronic equipment was seized along with a “large amount” of cash.
In a statement, Kieron Sharp, CEO of the Federation Against Copyright Theft, reminded sellers and buyers of these services that their actions are illegal.
“This collaboration between Derbyshire police and FACT is another step forward in disrupting the sale of illegal streaming devices,” Sharp said.
“People may think there is nothing wrong with having one of these devices and streaming premium pay-for channels for free, such as live sports. However, this is illegal and you would be breaking the law.”
As highlighted in our opinion piece last week, some service providers appear to be playing fast and loose with their security. If that trend continues, expect FACT and the police to keep taking these services down.