MediaDefender Laid Bare, Leaks to Continue

Over the weekend a group calling themselves MediaDefender-Defender published nine months’ worth of internal e-mails, an audio file of a recorded phone call and server data from the internal network of anti-piracy company MediaDefender, whose bread and butter is populating file-sharing networks with spoof files — files with names of popular content but irrelevant data. It is working to leverage this technique as an advertising and branding effort for clients.
For those of you who aren’t following the cat-and-mouse game between the technologists in the employ of rightsholders and computer hackers, this is the equivalent of the Pentagon Papers and Nixon’s White House tapes rolled into one. Everything from the mundane reminders to clean moldy lunches from the shared company fridge to discussions of ‘renting’ IPs from adult web sites in order to circumvent PeerGuardian blacklists is discussed in the released e-mails. Among the server data that was released is a database from MediaDefender’s effort to compromise the Gnutella network behind such P2P services as LimeWire. The e-mails are dated as recently as Sept. 10th, and MediaDefender-Defender says it will continue to release internal information from the company.
TorrentFreak reported in July that MediaDefender’s Miivi site was a likely honeypot for entrapping the IP addresses of file sharers. Its allegations were denied by the company, which said the site was just an internal test accidentally made public. But TorrentFreak has combed through the leaked e-mails and found plenty of evidence that prove the official company statements were ‘spin,’ to put it diplomatically.
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Is World of Warcraft really the most popular MMO?

Probably not, as it turns out; certainly not in the Western hemisphere, anyway. Working with publicly-known figures, veteran MMO developer Raph Koster recently made this observation on his blog:

[I]t may be possible that World of Warcraft is actually sitting around #4 or #5 in the top MMOs in North America and Europe.

This is because while Blizzard claims 8.5 million subscribers (as of January 2007) only 3.5 million are based in the West. Let’s be generous and assume the game’s recent expansion pack boosted that to 4 million– even then, WoW would be trailing far behind the top Western MMO. [digg=http://digg.com/gaming_news/Mythbusting_is_WoW_really_the_most_popular_MMO]

So which virtual world rules this region? The name will surprise you – but here is a clue: it is based in Finland, and doesn’t involve bashing Orcs in the head.
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Installing Vista on a Fujitsu P1610

P1610 013No, I haven’t tried installing Vista on Miyagi, my Fujitsu P1610, because it’s just too darn functional for me with Windows XP 2005 Tablet Edition running on it.  I was pretty sure there would be a number of drivers that haven’t been released for Vista yet and I would have an incomplete setup.  Don’t get me wrong, that 80 GB hard drive is just screaming out for a Vista partition and I’m sure I’ll have a go at it before too long, but meanwhile I have been following the Vista adventures of Jimmy Leung on his blog.  Jimmy has been blogging about what works and doesn’t on the P1610, and he’s recently posted his reasons for returning to Windows XP.  Surprisingly the brick wall Jimmy ran into with Vista is not even P1610 specific, although it’s a big problem, at least for Jimmy and me.  BTW, Jimmy points out that the BIOS update that appeared on the Fujitsu support site recently is an older version than the one he’s already running.

Wanna know how the US is 1.5 years behind Asia with cellphones?

950shCharles, a jkOTR reader, shot a me a link to this MSNBC article that’s well worth sharing. Brad Stone spent the summer in Japan where he used a Vodafone 905SH phone; don’t be surprised if you don’t recognize the model as it’s made by Sharp. Of course, hearing "Sharp" makes me think of calculators and small word processors of the past, but actually, they’re a very competent wireless manufacturer as evidenced by Brad’s insights. Some highlights for Japan’s wireless consumer:

  • 50% of the consumers have 3G connectivity
  • Phones like the 905SH can receive several digital (not analog) television channels
  • Several hours of digital television over a phone can be recorded on the phone for later playback
  • 90% of all music downloads are done on the phone, not something we know as "the iPod"
  • Phones can easily be used as electronic wallets and GPS devices

Why are we "behind"? Culture is surely a part, as are the U.S. wireless carriers themselves. Consumers here tend to be multi-device users; yes there’s likely a phone in their pocket, but there’s also a laptop or desktop involved in daily computing. Hopefully, if we’re truly 1.5 years behind, we can expect a big wireless bang in 2008 when we "catch up!" 😉 Thanks for the tip, Charles; this article was a great read.

GMail Gets RSS Clips

A few days after Yahoo announced its much vaunted Mail + RSS Reader, Google has just turned on a feature that allows you to read your favorite RSS feeds inside of GMail Jared Jacobs from GMail team blogs on the official Google blog.

Over the past few months, I’ve been working on Gmail Clips, a new feature that can help mix things up a bit. Starting this week, you can see headlines from your favorite blogs and news sites right above your Inbox. Gmail tips and relevant text ads appear from time to time as well.

I am trying to add feeds, but having no luck in searching for topics etc. If you are successful, let me know. Otherwise, we might have to catalog this as yet another premature launch from Google!

Meanwhile, the feature creep, and similarities between GYM are too much for you, then read Bubble Generation’s latest rant about Yahoo. Oh they are not alone Umair. After all Tis a Season To Copy! Anyway what is Yahoo? I asked that question a couple of days ago?

Plus, Paul K thinks that GMail is getting smarter.…”where the service automatically detects structured information in emails, like FedEx/UPS/etc tracking numbers, or addresses, and then offers to track the package, or map the address, respectively. It’s about time.”

WiMAX, how about NoMAX

Fujitsu and Intel just cannot get along on this whole WiMAX thing, and it is no surprise that the certification has been delayed by another six months. For the longest time, I have been screaming in the wind, saying there is no such thing as WiMAX, and people please stop using the moniker. Intel’s FUD machine did a good job, the so called email newsletters which are advertorials in disguise helped propagate the myth and well the rest you know. Glad to see Mike harping on that point over at The Feature. “The certification process has been pushed back at least six months — and part of the blame is being place on WiMAX’s number one supporter: Intel.” Now Mike all is good, but don’t only blame the media. Intel and any company who uses WiMAX is as much to blame. People who use Pre-WiMAX from this point forward, here is a memo: you are going to refer to your life from this point on: Pre-Death.

Cisco’s big win in India

VSNL has teamed up with Cisco Systems for its broadband network. The deal is estimated at about 500 crores which translates to about $110 million. VSNL will deploy Cisco’s Metro Ethernet products. I guess all that sucking up is finally paying off for Cisco sales team. Lots of switches and routers are being sold for this six-city rollout which can handle a million customers. Incidentally, Cisco celebrated its 10th birthday in India on October 28.

UNE-P’s first victim, ZTel

Supreme court decision that put the stake through the UNE-P, has all but taken toll on Z-Tel Technologies, a small CLEC based in Florida. The company announced that it is going to cut its head count by 150. The company has been delisted from the NASDAQ and only recently president and CEO Greg Smith and CTO Charles McDonough, quit Z-Tel to “form a new company based on an enhanced service platform that had been under development at Z-Tel’s Atlanta facility,” reports Light Reading. Z-Tel was the company that powered MCI’s local “Neighborhood” service and in the good times, the company had about 175,000 consumer and 45,000 businesses as its customers. The company is trying to transform itself from a phone company that leased lines from giants (under UNE-P model) to a facilities based IP provider. Z-Tel has just launched its VOIP service in Tampa, Fla., and Atlanta. New York, is next.