Archive for 2012/03/16
Copyright math might not be something you’ve lent much thought to before, but in this talk Rob Reid—founder of Rhapsody—tries to explain the silly numbers that are used to justify SOPA and PIPA. He’s very funny, and his talk is very interesting. Turns out your iPod might be worth more than you thought.
Google fighting a war against a huge number of bad actors—from websites selling counterfeit goods and fraudulent tickets to underground international operations trying to spread malware and spywarePosted: 2012/03/16 in Blocking, Education / Awareness, Enforcement, Filtering, Google, Network Security, Online advertising
Strategy very similar to that of the entertainment industry fighting piracy
With billions of ads submitted to Google every year, we use a combination of sophisticated technology and manual review to detect and remove these sorts of ads. We spend millions of dollars building technical architecture and advanced machine learning models to fight this battle. These systems are designed to detect and remove ads for malicious download sites that contain malware or a virus before these ads could appear on Google. Our automated systems also scan and review landing pages—the websites that people are taken to once they click—as well as advertiser accounts. When potentially objectionable ads are flagged by our automated systems, our policy specialists review the ads, sites and accounts in detail and take action.
The numbers show we’re having success. In 2011, advertisers submitted billions of ads to Google, and of those, we disabled more than 130 million ads. And our systems continue to improve—in fact, in 2011 we reduced the percentage of bad ads by more than 50% compared with 2010. That means that our methods are working. We’re also catching the vast majority of these scam ads before they ever appear on Google or on any of our partner networks. For example, in 2011, we shut down approximately 150,000 accounts for attempting to advertise counterfeit goods, and more than 95% of these accounts were discovered through our own detection efforts and risk models.
Google already banned 800,000 advertisers
“Our industries do something that no one else can do,” the Motion Picture Association of America’s Fritz Attaway said at the Association of American Publishers annual meeting. “We create content that people want to have”Posted: 2012/03/16 in Education / Awareness
Apple and publishing houses Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group, Macmillan and Harper Collins are accused of acting together to fix the prices of ebooks and forcing Amazon to play with their ballPosted: 2012/03/16 in Education / Awareness, Public Policy
Travelling to the US this summer? Take your Android tablet or Windows laptop with you and you may be able to grab a movie or two on USB stick for the flight home.
The oddly named Digiboo this week began rolling out kiosks at US airports which allow travellers to buy or rent one or two films which are copied onto a USB Flash drive.
The kiosks are equipped with USB 3.0 connections for fast file transfer – it’ll take a minute to copy one of them – but you’ll have to bring your own drive. USB 2.0 drives will take longer to save the content.
Rentals cost $4 (£2.50), or you can buy movies for $15 (£9.50) a pop.
- The stage play “Breivik meets Wilders” is a dialogue about moral and ideology;
- Holman has read Breivik’s manifesto and was very impressed by what was written;
- According to Breivik moral has been replaced by cultural Marxism which has led to the political correctness we find ourselves in today;
- Holman: “I’ve always regretted the fact that Theo (van Gogh) has been murdered by such a stupid idiot as Mohammed Bouyeri. Now we have this (intelligent) killer and he has murdered children. I’m sorry but I find that incredibly fascinating. Here you have someone who is more or less thinking like me. I can relate to Breivik. And I’m not embarrassed about that. And yet he has made a totally different decision.”
- Holman: “Breivik is saying: ‘It’s too late. We’ve been poisoned. The political correct thinking has been implemented too strongly.’ He is providing very clear examples which also startled me. It’s everywhere. In works of art, the press, comedy, everywhere! If we do not act soon we’ll really have lost. Because the muslims are using two weapons: population growth and immigration. Breivik is saying that there can be no ‘moderate’ Islam. I too believe that there are other muslims, like you used to have fascists who would treat people on candy.”
- Holman: “Does the manifesto represent the writings of a crazy person? No, it’s the work of a Political Science student who would have received an A at the University of Tilburg. But a B+ in Amsterdam because of all the criticism: too many quotes, good use of source material, too much of his own opinion. And yes, a bit of tampering with original texts. But he wouldn’t have received a C because of a lack of coherence regarding his own views. And that makes this utterly fascinating. I predict that the Norwegians are not yet finished with all this, if Breivik’s analysis is correct, and I do not doubt that. Much like we are not finished in dealing with this and neither is France.”
Much more (Dutch language interview):
Maybe they’ve just grown too accustomed to getting content for free. What do you think?
US market research company Nielsen questioned tablet owners on both sides of the Atlantic about their content purchases. In almost all categories of digital stuff, Yanks bought more than their British counterparts did.
A powerful all-party group of MPs will examine how IP policy is made in the UK in a new formal enquiryPosted: 2012/03/16 in Copyright, Education / Awareness, Legislation, Public Policy
John Whittingdale, chairman of the Select Committee on Culture Media and Sport, will lead the group, with Pete Wishart vice-chairing, under The All Party-Parliamentary Group on IP umbrella (APIP).
Ministers were surprised to discover that the government now advocated “the widest possible exceptions to copyright within the existing EU framework” and that “there is a need for a wider set of exceptions at EU level”.
In addition, a clutch of other “innovations” were quietly introduced bearing either the government imprimatur or as consultation “recommendations”. Copyright businesses ranging from games to music generally don’t like compulsory licensing – it removes their ability to compete and set prices for their work. What they want is access to markets.
UK IP policy now marches to a very different drum: the fashionable academic thinking is that IP is an impediment to modernity, and must be hacked away wherever possible. This meets with approval from academic theorists (for whom weakening IP is another death blow to capitalism) and bureaucrats (who are elevated by such schemes). These are two groups who (coincidentally) have spent their lives avoiding markets and the private sector, and their antipathy to it is deep. But it’s hard to find support shared elsewhere. There is no reason to elevate one set of prejudices at the expense of another.
The IPO’s private policy-making has, in effect, been an undemocratic coup.
One economic sector that does benefit from taking creators’ rights out of markets are advertising-supported American web companies – the instigators of the current round of IP thinking. Whether APIP really wants to run across this political minefield – or has the time to – remains to be seen.
What type of evidence were they looking for? It wasn’t ‘loose-knit’ enough?
Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.
But “this is more than just a data center,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted. According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”
U.S. and European regulators are investigating Google’s bypass of user privacy settings in Apple’s Web browser, The Wall Street Journal reportsPosted: 2012/03/16 in Education / Awareness, Google, Privacy / Data Protection, Public Policy
Peer-to-peer services will be the most affected here, and materials downloaded using a VPN, downloaded from an obscure torrent site, or downloaded from media portals will likely be unaffected.