ISPs have recently become very aggressive towards their customers. They’ve been blocking or altering traffic to prevent you from using specific programs or protocols. Google’s Senior Policy Director recently stated that they’re developing tools to allow people to detect ISP interference. A couple other groups have been building tools as well: The Network Neutrality Squad just released the second beta of their Network Measurement Agent. The tool currently detects spoofed packets by monitoring the round trip time of the connection; early reset packets will have lower than average RTT. If you want to go more in depth, the EFF has published a guide for using Wireshark to do the detection. We’ve even heard rumors of people building tools to tunnel a session inside of one that looks completely different.
We recently came across a new bittorrent service called Torrent Relay that features an innovative yet simple function: it allows you to download torrents to web-enabled devices like the PlayStation 3 and iPhone. Torrent Relay works by having the user surf to their site using the web-enabled device and upload a local copy or enter the url of a torrent file. The file is downloaded as normal, only all the work happens on Torrent Relay servers. It works especially well with Mininova, using torrent IDs from the site instead of the torrent’s URL. Once Torrent Relay has the completed file it sends it to the web-enabled device. It is not without a few kinks, however, as it only seems to be able to download a single file from a torrent whether or not it contains more than one, and it has a size cap of 400MB for that file. That limit means you’re probably just going to be watching television and not grabbing ISOs, albums, or movies. Far from perfect, but how else are you supposed to watch Battlestar Gallactica on your iPhone?
Last week we talked about a single rumored arrest over the OiNK torrent tracker. Since then, there’s been a confirmed report of 6 arrests. The arrests appear to be the result of users uploading pre-release music to the now defunct site. For some time, police have had access to the OiNK user records minus the passwords which are thought to be stored as a salted MD5 hash. It seems British authorities can force these individuals to reveal passwords under something called the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.
The Phoenix Mars Lander (pictured above) has found what might be a large piece of ice directly underneath it. This week the lander will scoop up a sample, melt its contents and test the various gases it releases. Twitter users can watch the mission’s progress in semi real time by following the MarsPhonix account. Lastly it looks like the official website for this mission was defaced through a SQL injection attack.
We already reported the world’s largest GPS drawing as a hoax. It has however inspired a few to look closer at the concept of position based art and others have already created authentic works. Our friends over at BoingBoing even made a little flash application to create your own “Unimpressive GPS Art“. Upon hearing of the hoax we were quick to draw up a brand new proposal for DHL using Google maps.
British authorities have reportedly begun arresting users of OiNK. Last week at least one person was arrested for seeding a single album on the now-defunct torrent index. The user was questioned by police and then released on bail.
Though it is not new for record companies to engage in civil action against users of filesharing networks, legal experts who have commented on the case are puzzled by what – if any – criminal charges can be filed against filesharing defendants. It is unknown if any further arrests have been made.
The market is flooded with new media streamers, but which one is for you? One of the cheapest and easiest options is the unambiguously titled Netflix Player. With an active account, the Netflix Player streams movies and television shows from their online library (currently around 10,000 videos). It connects to the internet via 802.11b/g WiFi or ethernet, but delivers low-quality video if your connection speed is less than 1Mbps. It costs $99 plus at least $8.95/mo for a Netflix subscription. It runs Linux so hopefully we’ll see some hacks for it soon like we did with previous Roku products. A fine device, if you want to stream movies and nothing else, but if you want to stream data from other sources, like a network, usb hard drive, or (gasp) bittorrent, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
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