Lots of news as always.
This one is more so I don’t forget where it is at, as I plan on covering this in the future. Compete CEO: ISPs Sell Clickstreams For $5 A Month David Cancel, the CEO of Compete Inc. reveals that ISPs happily sell your clickstream data — and that it’s a big business. They don’t sell your name — just your clicks — but the clicks are tied to you as a specific user (User 1, User 2, etc.). How much you ask? About 40 cents a month per user (per customer)… and the Compete CEO estimates that there are 10-12 big buyers of this data. In other words, your ISP is probably making about $5 a month ($60 a year) off your clickstreams. And they aren’t the only ones, ever wonder how some of these sites are making money…
DOD blocking YouTube, others As many organizations are doing nowadays, this social stuff should be taken care of from home, not from a school or work computer, the DOD is blocking Youtube, Myspace and others.
Microsoft Claims Open-Source Technology Violates 235 of Its Patents Microsoft is using the threat of patent violations by the free and open-source software community to try to drive enterprise customers to SUSE Enterprise Linux and to further muddy the waters around the next version of the upcoming GNU General Public License.
Microsoft’s (Beta!) VoIP Device Blitz You can?t buy them yet, but if you are an enterprise IT exec who is kicking the tires on VOIP telephony offerings you might at least want to take a gander at the wide range of Microsoft-centric IP voice devices ? phones, headsets, videocam monitors ? being informally unveiled Monday at the Windows Hardware Engineering conference in Los Angeles.
Second Life Key Metrics – April 2007 Another batch of Second Life key metrics were released by Linden Labs this week; I’m struck by how different this Second Life report is from a recent ComScore report about Second Life population.
Battle of the botnets Criminal gangs are fighting over your computers, no longer do they just want a small slice of the money to be made online, they want it all, and they want their botnets to rule.
Help Key: The Essential Guide to Piracy Piracy is an action sport. The ability to infringe copyright and steal valuable work induces a rush like no other. Whether you steal music, movies, books, applications, or whatever, it feels like breaking the law and it saves our wallets and purses from becoming empty.
Using new software tools the RIAA has released a new top 25 list for Universities around the nation, the top 25 in Piracy. According to the RIAA, they have sent out over 14,500 infringement notices during the 2006-2007 school year, nearly triple the number sent during the previous year. But, this could be because of the better tools, and not because three times as many people are downloading music. Now, this list is just notices sent, they aren’t measuring exactly how many songs are being downloaded, etc, just the total number of infringement notices they have sent to the Universities.
Purdue, on the other hand (my not-so-proud alma mater for today), seems to be taking the “don’t worry, be happy” approach to sitting pretty at the number two spot. The school almost never even notifies the students of copyright infringement, or much of anything, in my experience. Purdue spokesman Steve Tally told the Associated Press, “In a sense, the (complaint) letter is asking us to pursue an investigation and as the service provider we don’t see that as our role.” This attitude expresses either extreme pompousness on Purdue’s part or extreme ignorance. Is that not the whole reason why the RIAA cannot pursue potential infringers individually? The students are currently allowed to hide behind the ISP in this case, the university with the understanding that the ISP will investigate infringement accusations. If Purdue and any other schools who express this attitude don’t feel the need to investigate, then they put themselves at risk of being sued by the RIAA.
Without further ado, the list:
Ohio University – 1,287
Purdue University – 1,068
University of Nebraska at Lincoln – 1,002
University of Tennessee at Knoxville – 959
University of South Carolina – 914
University of Massachusetts at Amherst – 897
Michigan State University – 753
Howard University – 572
North Carolina State University – 550
University of Wisconsin at Madison – 513
University of South Florida – 490
Syracuse University – 488
Northern Illinois University – 487
University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire – 473
Boston University – 470
Northern Michigan University – 457
Kent State University – 424
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor – 400
University of Texas at Austin – 371
North Dakota State University – 360
Indiana University – 353
Western Kentucky University – 353
Seton Hall University – 338
Arizona State University – 336
Marshall University – 331 Source: Forget party schools: The RIAA lists the top piracy schools in the US
It’s good to see one of our local universities in the top 25 again, but this is the wrong list to be on. If ANY of these Universities would like to talk about hardware that can easily detect and block file sharing programs, email me at webmaster at tipsdr.com and I can put you in contact with a vendor who will let you try one of their devices out. This device will stop it without any latency because it does not go inline with your routers, it just needs to see all of the traffic through a span port on your switch to be able to block it.
Under federal law, universities that receive complaints about students illegally distributing copyrighted songs generally must act to stop repeat offenders or else the schools can be sued. The entertainment industry typically can identify a student only by his or her numerical Internet address and must rely on the school to correlate that information with its own records to trace a person’s identity. Source: Music industry cracks down on colleges
This makes Purdue’s stand seem ill advised, as they do not normally notify offenders that have received a complaint from the RIAA, they say it is too much trouble to find them. They also say, our students aren’t repeat offenders, I wonder how they know that, but they don’t know which users are doing it. Curious. Maybe all of the students there just know better after their first download and stop doing it, but, wouldn’t that mean they would stop receiving complaints as well? I would like to hear more from them on how it is too much trouble to track, but they know their students are not repeat offenders.
Last week at the Digital Home Developers Conference Brad Hunt, the MPAA’s executive vice president and chief technology officer, said that piracy is the inevitable outcome of our inability to provide a simple, inter-compatible and non-intrusive DRM solution. Consumers will pirate content if it’s easier, especially if it’s easier sharing it in their home, this is a proven fact, make it hard for consumers and they will move to the easiest option, downloading from the internet and using pirated copies.
“At a time when entertainment devices such as high-definition DVD players, media center PCs, IPTV set top boxes and digital media adapters are being introduced in the marketplace with increasing frequency, it is imperative that controls be in place to curb illegal duplication of copyrighted content,” Hunt said.
Hunt also recited a now familiar statistic.
“I think it is really important to realize that virtually all of the major [movie] studios earn most of their income from content enjoyed in the home,” he said. “In 2005, theater revenue made up only 15.7 percent of total studio profits, while home video entertainment was around 47.1 percent.” Source: Yahoo
I doubt they will ever make a good, non intrusive DRM solution, but hopefully they will be able to make all of them interact so we have less troubles over all. Of course not all of piracy is caused by DRM problems, some I would say is because they wait so long to release DVD’s, etc, if people want it now, they will try to get it now, and if the only solution is piracy, well, it doesn’t make it right, but it will make more people inclined to do it.
Today Microsoft announced the Microsoft Software Protection Platform, which are new technologies to help Microsoft fight piracy, that will arrive in Windows Vista and Windows Server, Longhorn, my nickname in college. j/k The technology includes improvements in how they validate software, activate software and how the software acts when tampering or hacking is detected.
PressPass: What is the scope of the piracy problem around the world for the software industry?
Hartje: Piracy is one of the most significant problems facing the software industry globally. According to a report published by the Business Software Alliance a leading software industry forum 35 percent of all software installed worldwide during 2005 was pirated or unlicensed. That represents US$35 billion of industry losses in 2005 alone. While larger companies can still operate in the black, this piracy rate has a significant impact on the thousands of smaller organizations, from software publishers to software and PC resellers, that depend on the health of the software ecosystem to survive.
The only assumption that is wrong with this is that everyone who installes pirated software would buy it if they didn’t have an illegal copy. No way is this even close to being true. When I was younger and could not afford software, it didn’t bother me to try out stuff that I wouldn’t be able to buy anyway, and I’m sure most people are the same way. Now that I am older I buy everything I want to use, because I can afford it. What Microsoft and these other companies need to watch are the ones who install illegal software on systems that they sell, and are making a profit on pirated software. I’m not saying they should over look the normal user, but saying that all software piracy cost the industry 35 billion is crazy.
One of the things the Software Protection Platform enables is enhancements to the genuine experience in Windows Vista, thereby differentiating it from the non-genuine experience. Customers that use genuine Windows Vista product should expect, and will get, an enhanced set of features that will not work on non-genuine or unlicensed versions of Windows Vista. Customers using genuine and licensed copies of Windows Vista will have access to Windows Aero and Windows ReadyBoost features, as well as full functionality of Windows Defender and extra optional updates from Windows Update. Computer systems that do not pass validation will not have access to these features, although they will still have access to critical security updates. Aero offers Microsoft’s best-designed, highest-performing desktop experience and is available in Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate. ReadyBoost lets users use a removable flash memory device to improve system performance without opening the computer to install additional memory. Both are key features that a user of non-genuine software will quickly realize are not running. Windows Defender helps protect a user’s PC against pop-ups, and security threats caused by spyware and other malware.
At least they will still allow users to get the critical patches not matter what, those users that are not patched hurt everyone, not just themselves, as they can become part of a botnet, or help spread viruses, and lord knows what else.
Ed Bott of the Microsoft Report weighs in here, he has documented many, many problems with Windows Genuine Advantage, the precursor to these new technologies.
My head practically exploded when I read this sentence describing the new, improved punishment regimen: “Windows Vista will have a reduced functionality mode but one that is enhanced.” Enhanced reduced functionality? Orwell would be proud.
The most chilling part of SPP is its new code to detect tampering. As Lindeman explained to me, “If the Software Protection Platform determines that the core binaries of your system have been hacked with, you will get a notification that operating system has been tampered with. Reinstallation is the remedy.” And the clock starts ticking immediately. When an anti-tampering warning first appears, you have three days to reinstall or otherwise fix your copy of Windows Vista or shift into reduced functionality mode.
That last part is pretty scary, three days? What is someone’s machine is hacked, Microsoft is going to protect them by going into reduced functionality mode. Sounds like the volume licensing is really going to be a pain in the butt, what is the reason everyone should upgrade to Vista, isn’t it supposed to make everyone’s lives easier and not just line Microsoft’s pocket?
He reports in another post about WGA validation problems with Windows XP and volume license keys, which are used by pirates when they can get them because they didn’t require validation.
This week, the WGA Validation Problems forum is awash in reports from customers in corporations and at universities that volume license keys (VLKs) are suddenly being reported as blocked.
The problem was the result of an issue on the Microsoft server side, and it is under investigation
If you are looking for security related info, you should visit Faill.com, a social bookmarking site that is all about security and security related info.
In its continuing efforts to stop piracy, Microsoft has filed 20 new lawsuits in 17 states, including the manufacture and distribution of pirated software and/or engaging in hard disk loading, the practice of loading unlicensed software on a computer to sell to consumers. The consumer usually has no knowledge that they are getting unlicensed software until some method uncovers it, like Windows Genuine Advantage.
The lawsuits were filed against Cyber Solutions and ComputerME.net of Ohio; Sumner Transatlantic of Connecticut; Byte Me Computers of Oregon; JFG Tek Computers of New Jersey; and Computers 4 Less, EComp, HecsPC.com, Silver Eagle Computers and The Wholesale Computer, all of Florida.
Additionally, suits were filed against Atlantatechnology, Dalsand Computers and GForce Computer Sales and Services of Georgia; America’s Computers & Wireless of Kansas; Gatecomusa.com and Unet Computer of New York; Computers and Laptops Fixture, ITQ Computers/One-Line, Millennium Communications, and Computers Unlimited, all of Texas.
In addition to the suit, Microsoft also released details of a forensic analysis of counterfeited versions of Windows XP across 17 states. The study found that risks exist for consumers in using counterfeited software. One in three discs could not be installed on a computer, and 43 percent contained code not originally part of Microsoft Windows. Source: Betanews
Meaning lots of this pirated software is coming with extra software, such as rootkits, adware, etc, and those computers are probably part of a botnet as soon as they boot up. Scary stuff, especially if you have no idea what is or what could happen.