The Pirate Party banned from promoting The Pirate Bay

Pirate BayThe political arm so to speak of the Pirate Bay one of the most famous of file sharing links sites has been banned by a Dutch court from having links to the Pirate Bay site on theirs as well as being ordered to remove a proxy/VPN service (a story I covered last week) and instructions on how to set this up on your PC to allow you to circumvent any ISP blocks to The Pirate Bay.

“The Netherlands’ Pirate Party has been ordered to stop publicising ways to circumvent blocks to The Pirate Bay.

The ruling by a court in the Hague follows a complaint by the anti-piracy group Brein.

It had said that the political party was helping users overcome a previous ruling that had ordered two of the country’s biggest internet service providers to prohibit access to TPB.”

At this point in time, the courts instruction on the proxy and instruction has not been complied with as the service is still up and running.


Read the full article at BBC Technology News HERE

Permalink to File sharers move to VPNs to beat bans on The Pirate Bay in UK

The “New” Bing, the search engine gets updates

BingMicrosoft yesterday announced the next raft of updates for their ever growing in user base Bing search engine (approx. 15% of the search market ), the updates should start to be available to users in the USA from June 2012 and then other countries at a later date.

“With the new version of Bing, rolling out over the coming weeks and broadly available in the U.S. in early June, people can easily get advice and recommendations from friends and experts with the new social sidebar. They can also view useful, action-oriented information via the new snapshot feature. And they can find what they’re looking for faster, with more relevant results and a refreshed user interface. All of this is presented in a new, three-column design that focuses on helping users take the leap from finding information to making quick, informed decisions”

I have to agree with the below comment and it is one comment I get a lot on web forums, is to why is it way too hard at times to search for just simple things, well  there are generally many factors to this, not adding enough core words to your search query or using operators like “my search” around your key word/s or using advanced operators like “my search” filetype:pdf. These search operators if you type yourself up a list of them to print out and keep by your PC will become second nature over time. 

“More than two-thirds of consumers use search to accomplish tasks, according to a Microsoft user survey. Yet 60 percent wonder whether they have found the best information available for what they’re trying to do, and 52 percent find themselves entering multiple queries and visiting lots of sites for searches that shouldn’t be so ha

However if Bing is to become more intelligent in its search and offer you various options as listed below in both images and below quoted text, then your searches should become  much more tailored, with Bing narrowing the search down and with the option of asking a friend or colleague in your social media circle, such as Facebook.


“The new features in Bing are designed to help people complete tasks combining the best information from the Web, rich data organized in a better way, and the input of friends and experts.

  • Improved Web Results: Consumers can perform traditional Web searches faster, with more relevant results using the new, cleaner user interface.

  • Snapshot: Users can quickly complete tasks by viewing useful information related to their searches and compiled by Bing as a single “snapshot” – all in one place in a separate column.

  • Sidebar: Consumers can take action based on the recommendations of friends and experts in the sidebar – displayed in a third column, separate from main Web results page.”


Bing is progressing nicely in my opinion and not just because I am a Microsoft MVP (see logo button in right side panel) but it has gone down a different track in searching unlike other search engines that just give you way too much of what you don’t need, which is why I love cluster type search engines (Yippy for one).

I just hate it these days for instance when I need to search for a applications .exe file and all I get is a million and one Hijackthis logs ahhhhhhhh! so being able to use either search operators as I mentioned earlier to weed out the data you don’t need or if the revamp of Bing can help in this goal I will be a happy internet user.

Do post in comments your pet hates about searching on the internet these days as I like to know I’m not the only grumpy one out there.


So watch out for the updates to Bing in June.


Please read the full press release at Microsoft News Center HERE

Facebook enters the “app” market

FacebookFacebook have announced their entrance into the “app” (application) marketplace, the apps that are going to be on the “App Center” will all have a connection to the user using Facebook compatible apps via their mobile device (iOS and Android).


“Today, we’re announcing the App Center, a new place for people to find social apps. The App Center gives developers an additional way to grow their apps and creates opportunities for more types of apps to be successful.

In the coming weeks, people will be able to access the App Center on the web and in the iOS and Android Facebook apps. All canvas, mobile and web apps that follow the guidelines can be listed. All developers should start preparing today to make sure their app is included for the launch.

A place to find great apps
For the over 900 million people that use Facebook, the App Center will become the new, central place to find great apps like Draw Something, Pinterest, Spotify, Battle Pirates, Viddy, and Bubble Witch Saga.

Everything has an app detail page, which helps people see what makes an app unique and lets them install it before going to an app.”


The App Center will be available in the coming weeks, which will allow any potential developers wishing to use this social network within their app to develop and submit it.

Read the full article at the Facebook blog HERE

Will the UK Gov meet broadband targets

164ASP21704517Reading this article today I’m reminded of a few things one is that companies like 30 seconds of fame in an article and that random think tanks are just that, random as they cannot predict the future any better then you or I.

The UK has really bad broadband by the standards I would set and this is due to us actually being a major developer of the modern internet (see Tim Berners-Lee) so its beggars belief that we are so behind many other countries in regard to our internet hubs.

“A £1.1bn funding gap means the government’s targets for broadband are unlikely to be met, says a report by the London School of Economics.

The government wants 100% access to fast broadband services and 90% access to superfast services by 2015.

The report says the government should do more to ensure that underinvestment does not harm the UK economy.

A rise in broadband penetration of 10% can lead to a 0.9%-1.5% boost in GDP per capita, the report adds.

The cost of meeting the targets will be £2.4bn but funding for broadband from all public sources amounts to a total of £1.3bn, according to the LSE report, which was sponsored by customer management software company Convergys. That leaves an estimated £1.1bn gap that private investors will be expected to fill, it says.”

I have to say WHY do the taxpayer need to fund this expansion of internet and “superfast” broadband, when in the end its the ISP that will reap the rewards and our cash!? The internet companies need to step up to the plate and invest, only through investment in the infrastructure will they gain rewards. 

Read the full article at BBC Technology news HERE

File sharers move to VPNs to beat bans on The Pirate Bay in UK

Pirate BayOne of my massive interests in the tech arena is the battle between copyright holders and the warez (illegal software or media) suppliers/search services. Today some news being reported, is the increasing use of VPN (Virtual Private Networks) in sharing illegal material between users.

However VPNs are not a new thing and definitely not a new area that illegal sharers have used, however I do personally feel if the media companies like the RIAA etc. are to try and have ISPs (Internet Service Providers) ban VPNs then they are entering a very grey area as VPNs are used in industry to share secure information.

“Young people are increasingly turning to virtual private networks (VPNs) to anonymise their free sharing of music and movies, a new study has suggested.

Sweden’s Lund University indicated that there had been a 40% rise in the number of 15 to 25-year-olds using such services since 2009.

Many believe a clampdown on piracy is behind their rise in popularity.

The Pirate Bay has advised visitors to make use of VPNs. It would be illegal to do so to download pirated files.”

It will be interesting to see how this information and news pans out over the next few weeks or months and what the media industry decide to do as to be very honest, if they use the courts to force ISPs to block a specific download route, at least two or more routes will pop up, it’s a never ending spiral.

If the media companies put more effort into developing digital services that do not cost a fortune they will reduce the need for some users to resort to illegal downloads (warez).


Read the full article at BBC Technology News HERE

Motorola wins injunction against Microsoft in Germany

Xbox360Motorola have been granted an injunction to stop Microsoft not only as some headlines in the tech press state, banning the selling of the XBox360 in Germany but also Windows 7 and supplying Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player as they all have the disputed H.264 media video codec files.

“Motorola Mobility has scored another patent victory over Microsoft in Germany.

Judge Holger Kircher of the Mannheim Regional Court today awarded Motorola an injunction againstWindows 7, theXbox 360, Internet Explorer, and Windows Media Player after finding them in violation of patents related to “adaptive motion compensation” and “adaptive compression of digital video data.”

According to FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller, who was first to report on the story, the injunction would allow Motorola to ban the distribution of Microsoft’s products, as well as recall and destroy Windows 7 and Xbox 360 units that are currently on German store shelves. However, Mueller says that Motorola is facing some hurdles if it wants to enforce the bans.”

This and similar other patient disputes will rage on and on as there is the FRAND (Reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing) accord between many tech companies and the patients they hold as its in the interest of the end user. If the likes of Motorola, who are being taken over by Google at present, decide to be anal about patients that are in the public interest, companies like Microsoft do hold many many patients that could cripple their companies.

I’m all for protecting patients but you can at times go too far with law suits, so how far do you go before you think, this tech should be for the benefit of all, I would like to here your thoughts on this.


Read the full article at CNet HERE

The Apple Mac–Flashback Trojan could have netted $10k per day for it’s creators.

Mac MalwareThe Flashback Trojan which has been one of the most talked about pieces of malware which has affected Apple’s OSX  Operating System, may have for the creators of this malware, netted them $10K per day, according to a report from security and anti-virus company Symantec.

“We’ve been busy in the labs reverse engineering the various components of OSX.Flashback.K to determine the true motivation behind the malware. Let’s take a look at this Mac Trojan in more detail.

The Infection
It’s now well-known that the latest OSX.Flashback.K variant was being distributed using the Oracle Java SE Remote Java Runtime Environment Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE-2012-0507), which  was patched by Oracle in February. Unfortunately for Mac users, there was a large window of exposure since Apple’s patch for this vulnerability was not available for six weeks.

Ad-clicking Trojans are nothing new and in an analysis of W32.Xpaj.B last August a botnet measuring in the region of 25,000 infections could generate the author up to $450 per day. Considering the Flashback Trojan measures in the hundreds of thousands, this figure could sharply rise to the order of $10000 per day.”

Read the full article at Symantec Security Blog HERE

Windows Phone Apps removed from Zune

Windows PhoneThis was something that I noticed at the weekend just gone, in I wanted to download an album off Zune, and was presented with the popup message that “features have changed” and the feature that has changed is the ability of downloading Windows Phone 7 apps from the Zune software.

I first thought oh great another feature removed, but then actually stepped back and asked myself, “did I ever download a WP7 app from inside Zune”, the answer was a resounding NO, never in the past year of having my WP7 had I downloaded an app from Zune, so its not a feature I will miss.

Do read the below quote from Mazhar Mohammed and visit the full blog article linked below.

“Hi everyone. Today I want to tell you about two changes we’re making to Marketplace to help pave the way for new store features and new apps in the months ahead.

First, we’re removing the option to shop for Windows Phone apps from the Zune PC software. Second, as part of a larger Marketplace improvement effort, you’ll soon need Windows Phone 7.5 installed on your phone to buy and download new apps, or update existing ones.

As you’ll see in a moment, most of you likely won’t even notice these changes. Let me elaborate.

Focusing on phone and web

Until today you could shop for Windows Phone apps and games in three places: on your phone, on the web, and via the Zune software on your PC.

But we know—probably not a huge surprise here—that most Windows Phone owners browse and buy apps on their phones. The web Marketplace, which debuted last September on the Windows Phone website, has also become a popular place to shop, since it’s available from any Internet-connected PC or Mac.”

One thing I would say is that some of the games can be large to download via your mobile  connection and especially if you have a data cap, so either you have to connect via WiFi or as in this Q&A HERE you can still use Zune for large apps (those over 20mb).

Read the full blog post at the Windows Team Blog HERE

SkyDrive vs XXX a Comparison Chart

SkyDriveThis is a nice and interesting comparison chart, albeit produced by Microsoft so will be geared towards their product SkyDrive, but they do have to be accurate so its a good gauge of what you are getting with the various “cloud” storage services around.

SkyDrive Comparison

View Full Comparison Chart HERE 

Note: data is subject to change by the various developers