Friday, December 31, 2004

Can you recommend any good video capture/editing programs?

Friday, December 31, 2004 0

My personal favourite is Virtual Dub. It's a tiny download and you can't get any cheaper than free.

Ulead's Media Studio Pro is also very impressive, yet extremely bloated in comparison to VDub. A 30 day trial version is available to download for gratis, while to unlock the full functionality of the application you may have to remortgage your house - it costs a small fortune!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Politically incorrect Yuletide greetings - season's my ar...

Wednesday, December 29, 2004 0

Hope you all had a great Christmas and are looking forward to New Year's Eve. Personally I've become very disillusioned with the whole affair - I believe the true meaning of Christmas has been lost amidst the frantic brouhaha of present buying and face stuffing. There used to be a time, many moons ago, when Christmas meant you could expect there to be a sled-load of quality comedies, dramas, Christmas specials and movies on TV. Well what did you think I was getting at? People were celebrating Christmas way before it was hijacked by christianity. Don't look at me like that, Google it for yourselves. :p

These days all we seem to get is "The World's Greatest TV Moments You've Seen a Squillion Times Before ...Ever (there's always got to be an 'ever' in there somewhere), Cobbled Together & Voice-Overed by Some Cheapo, D-List Celeb". This year even this exercise in epic drudgery was repeated 24 hours after the big day. Where did it all go wrong? I blame Jesus. I don't know why yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if he had something to do with it. "The Simpson's Christmas Message" offered welcome sanctuary from her royal, high and mighty queeniness, but why was it only on for five measly minutes?

I don't want to finish on a sour note so here are some random words with happy connotations: mistletoe, Christmas pud, booze (and lots of it), white christmases, Slade, blow-up illuminated Homer Simpson's wearing santa suits, jinglebells. Thank you for your attention. :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

First Operation Fastlink pirate named and shamed

Tuesday, December 28, 2004 0

Last Wednesday, twenty six year old student, Jathan (did his mother have a lisp?) Desir of Iowa pleaded guilty to charges of cracking and illegally distributing copyright protected software worth up to $200,000. Desir will be sentenced on 18th March next year and could face up to 15 years behind bars if he refuses to cooperate with the Department of Justice. Typically, where these kinds of trials are concerned, that's 15 in dog years. Ultimately, the more coconspirators he fingers, and the more trade secrets he reveals, the less jail time he will serve.

Further details of the case can be found here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

MPAA turn off BitTorrent's tap

Tuesday, December 21, 2004 0

Napster transformed music piracy into a nonchalant, mainstream pastime, and was subsequently snubbed out by the RIAA. Half a decade later, BitTorrent impelled a parallel shift in the habits of the movie-watching public, making this more challenging form of piracy free-and-easy, even for consummate technophobes. This time it's the MPAA putting the boot in, and it's the tracking servers and link sites getting it in the neck rather than the client developers.

Over the last week or so the MPAA lowered the final curtain on a handful of thriving BitTorrent auxiliary sites, including the mighty Youceff Torrents. Not wanting to become embroiled in the maelstrom of judicial ping-pong, the administrators of other flourishing link communities decided to call it a day.

Suprnova.org's departure will hit the BitTorrent community the hardest, it being the undisputed torchbearer in its field. All that remains of the site at present is a farewell message and the promise that the associated forum and IRC channel could possibly-maybe remain operational, minus the naughty links. It is believed that one bystander who witnessed the lights at the SuprNova HQ being switched off for the last time ever commented, "darn".

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Share Connector disconnected

Saturday, December 18, 2004 0

Earlier in the year, copyright and law enforcement authorities pulled the plug on Share Reactor, what was then the largest and most popular eDonkey verified links resource. Soon after, www.shareconnector.com emerged to take its place, and was even considered by some P2P enthusiasts to be superior. Like its once-thought-untouchable predecessor, Share Connector attracted its fair share of undesirable attention. Several months ago the administrative team received a number of e-threats from a private copyright defense organisation called Brein. These were brushed off as trivial bluster and the Netherlands-based site continued to feed the donkey with illegal software, movies and music.

Just when the Share Connector crew thought they'd heard the last from Brein, director Tim Kuik lost patience and tattled to the FIOD-ECD (the Dutch fiscal crime investigation unit), and together they managed to tear down the site. The swoop also brought about the disbandment of the eDonkey hash-stash emporium, Releases4U; in all, eight people were arrested and eleven computers confiscated.

Kuik and Co now intend to launch legal proceedings against the operators of the two sites and their hosts. If proven guilty of facilitating the act of piracy they could be expected to fork out damages running into millions of dollars, or even face up to four years of jail-time.

 
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