Poor Microsoft just can’t keep anything secret. Today the Release Preview version of Windows 8, which will be released in the coming days, has leaked out to P2P. The build, which is labeled 8400, hit bit torrent and is spreading quickly. Numerous sites have already posted screenshots of the next version of the operating system.
The build, which is offically 8400.0.WINMAIN_WIN8RC.120518-1423_X64FRE_CLIENT_ZH-CN-HRC_CCSA_X64FRE_ZH-CN_DV5, contains 3 new Metro-style apps from Microsoft – News, Sports, and Travel – as well as built-in support for Adobe Flash. The web site Winunleaked confirmed the legitimacy of the leaked copy and also provides links if you are so inclined to try it out. I recommend extreme caution with any such download.
Windows 8 Release Preview is expected to be released in early June and will be available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. If you can’t wait another week then check your P2P client, but make sure you install it on a PC that you don’t mind experimenting with and is insulated from the rest of your network. Better yet, just wait a few days and get it directly from Microsoft.
The popular rock band Counting Crows are going BitTorrent. The band has made four songs off of their latest release available for free download in an effort to attract new fans. The album, titled Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did On Our Summer Vacation), was released last month and features15 tracks. In a departure from their past, the Crows have made this CD a collection of all cover songs.
The BitTorrent release features not only the audio files, but also liner notes, and artwork from the album. Frontman Adam Duritz, during an interview with Mashable, said “I don’t know how I didn’t think of this earlier — it’s the most obvious thing in the world since BitTorrent has such a huge global reach. It’s not just about getting music to the people who would buy it anyway — even though that is, of course, very good — the hardest thing to do is make new fans.”
Kudos to the Counting Crows for taking this route and seeing the benefits that many, or most, artists and labels seem to be clueless about. Getting their music out there for people to hear is the first step towards gaining new avenues of revenue. Some fans may elect to buy the CD’s, but even those who don’t will perhaps spend money on a concert ticket or, at the least, promote the band to other listeners.
This approach may seem like a no-brainer for established stars who already have fans looking for their material, but it is a bit tougher for the unknown artists who want to get noticed. However, this may generate the publicity to get more bands to take this approach, and there are some great success stories from those who have taken the free approach early – just ask Jonathan Coulton or the guys from OK Go.
Buffalo Technology has announced updates to its LinkStation range of NAS devices in the shape of the LinkStation Pro and LinkStation Pro Duo. Part of the new V-series, these offer additional features that will be of interest to business users.
The LinkStation Pro (LS-VL) retains the familiar LinkStation and DriveStation shape but the addition of a faster processor boosts file transfers when compared to the previous model. Aimed at the prosumer and small businesses, the LinkStation Pro can serve photos, music and video from the built-in DLNA media player. There’s also a BitTorrent client for downloading large files such as podcasts or Linux distros. Available from mid-November in 1 TB (RRP £160) and 2 TB (RRP £240) flavours.
The big brother of the Pro is the LinkStation Pro Duo (LS-WVL), offering double the storage with dual disk drives in a RAID 0/1 configuration. Although having a similar built-in software, small businesses will be interested in the RAID redundancy for protecting their data and the quick swap hard drives. (Readers are reminded that RAID is no substitute for regular backups). Available in 2 TB and 4 TB variants with list prices of £230 and £360 respectively, also from mid-November.
Where the V-series has additional benefits to business users is in the integration with ActiveDirectory, thus avoiding lengthy setup and configuration of the NAS with users and permissions.
If desired, it’s also possible to access these devices across the Internet, using either the BuffaloNAS on-line portal service or the WebAccess i app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
I’ve always been a fan of the LinkStation range so I look forward to doing a hands-on review in the not-too-distant future.
The London-based think tank Demos has concluded that illegal downloaders spend more money on music. The headline figure, based on the survey of over 1000 people between 16 and 65, is that the average spend per annum on CDs or vinyl was £75 (GBP) for file-sharers compared with only £51 for all surveyed.
The notion that illegal downloaders actually spend more money on music has always had its supporters but it’s good to see that this can now be backed up with some hard data, at least for the UK. However, there’s some much more juicy information, but remember that this is representative sample of the online population, not the whole population and not just music aficionados or games players.
69% of those questioned had used official or legal sources for music such as iTunes or YouTube. Physical media still dominates purchasing with 65% having bought CDs or vinyl against 33% who purchased downloadable music.
A third had used peer-to-peer technology or search engines to find free music but only 9% actually confessed to illegal downloading. Almost everyone knew that sharing purchased music was not “fair use” but 81% of people who had purchased their music thought that “fair use” should include the ability to move the music between different players easily.
47% would be interested in a monthly subscription service with the optimum price point being £5 per month but it would have to be simple and convenient to use.
There is only a slight male bias of 57%:43% in illegal music downloading (which is far less than I would have expected) and 46% gave “because I can” as a reason for doing it. (I think in the old days, this would’ve been known as “troughing”). Unsurprisingly, two thirds of this group also engaged in the illegal downloading of movies, games and other software.
The full “Digital Music Survey” is available to download from the Demos website and it’s a fascinating read into the state of music consumption. Recommended.
Note for readers – as far as I’m aware and I’m not a lawyer, the UK does not currently have a “fair use” provision in its copyright legislation.
We all know that BitTorrent is great way for distributing all kinds of media, and that there are a lot of legitimate uses. Sadly there is not a lot of that media that is legally shared, but have we examined why BitTorrent is as popular as ever?
On my last podcast I received a email from a person living in Australia who is beyond frustrated at being treated as a second class citizen. I think it is worth sharing his email with all of you. I will preface this with
Mate, love your podcast. It’s kept me sane everywhere from Azerbaijan to Georgia (the county, not the state) to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar and beyond.
My gripe is DRM. I am a writer, so I definitely believe people should be paid for their work. But I am also a consumer, who expects that when I buy a product it will work.
I buy a book or magazine, it will work anywhere in the world.
On DVDs and regions. I move around the world a lot. Coded regionalised DVDs are a disgrace. I can’t keep changing my region on my Mac because I get only 5 chances. I used to buy legal, original DVDs. Now I will ONLY buy pirated copies. At least they work. I now refuse on principle to ever buy a legal DVD again.
Likewise my iPod. I’ve lost three laptops in three years. Afghanistan is not a kind place for computers. But Apple has now made it impossible to restore legitimately bought music from my iPod to my new laptop. I have had to buy third party software which does not always work.
My iPhone: I had to pay an extra $100 to get that hacked in Qatar, which is a country where it is supposed to legally work. (Why the heck should a handphone be restricted these days anyway?).
I also can’t buy half the iPhone apps or iTunes progs because my credit card is Australian. Why is that?
And the prices for the pathetically tiny choice you can get on the Australian iTunes store are much higher than the US store – and that’s not because of tax or exchange rates. And why is the App store choice so much smaller?
Sorry for the rant.
Bottom line: I am treated as a criminal by these companies so much that they have actually turned me into one.
Which means they are shooting themselves in the foot, and actually losing themselves money. Great business model.
So the question that has to be asked is who is to blame for the rising utilization of BitTorrent. Is it the foreign consumer who is locked out of American Products and Services or silly DVD region code rules. Even ISP’s in foreign countries are fed up and are offering torrent seeds to there users.
I think part of the answer lays in the frustration of the above email. Folks I get these types of email’s every day. With a faltering economy you would think that media conglomerates would be looking to open up and earn dollars globally versus just the American marketplace.
Is it just me or does it seem that almost every other day we are seeing significant attacks on BitTorrent tracker sites? The music and movie industry are desperate to put the Genie back in the bottle.
Just because these industries do not know how to compete in the new high speed media distribution age, they are resorting to going after the Torrent tracker sites.
Just like a good horror flick, the second they cut of the head of one site another 3 pop up. This legal battle to kill torrent tracker sites is one they will not be able to win.
Part of the issue is media distribution rules. Imagine being in a country outside of the United States, and having to wait a year for a television series that is being talked about today on the net. Media distribution delay rules are fueling the desire for people to download media now versus waiting.
We live in a world where everyone is connected and synchronized to the same stream of information, thus people want access to content now not a year later. Iceland Torrent Site Takedown
From Scripting News
Jim Posner sends a link to a torrent of 3GB of music from the SXSW festival in Austin. All legal, non-infringing, a wonderful application of BT. I’m downloading it now, you should too.
Podcast: Play in new window
Is it not time that Apple, Microsoft, MPAA and the RIAA acknowledge that BitTorrent is good when applied legally, and incorporate BitTorrent into applications such as iTunes, Windows Media Player etc. The only way we are gonna keep the train moving forward with a rocket engine driving the new media growth in videocast, and podcasting is to give some relief to those in the trenches creating this content by incorporating BitTorrent into there applications to reduce cost as the audience grows.
The inking of several deals to distribute movies legally has taken place. Thus the industry needs to pony up to the bar and get aboard the content delivery train and make sure that as new media replaces old that you are wisely positioned to have helped continue to broker that content delivery.
It makes me irritated though that the folks who have created Juice and other applications did not step up and go the extra distance to make BitTorrent transfers in those applications seamless so that the user did not have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. [CNET]
TorrentSpy a torrent search engine who is in takedown war with the MPAA is not laying down, they are fighting back and I think they have a pretty good chance of getting the case dismissed. TorrentSpy is nothing more than a Torrent Search engine. They don’t create torrents they only track them. If you read the motion you will understand that they have some legal precedence on this one and are likening themselves to Google.
The recent Supreme Court decision handed down on Grokster may end up being their deciding factor depending on how the judge interperts the higher court ruling. The MPAA has been getting sites taken down with their broad interpertation of that same ruling. We shall see where this leads but it is a good battle. [Neowin]
I am going to be straight up, if this latest hack gets rolling their is going to be hell to pay. Imagine that your machine gets hacked and a crafty hacker installs a hidden rootkit. (Oh yeah doesn’t Sony have like a 1/2 million possible computers with a hidden rootkit installed). Lets just take it a step further not only has your machine been hacked but they load BitTorrent on it and start moving movies, audio files you name it they use your machine as seeder.
Think it can’t be done, well sadly it has and the threat is very real. Imagine then being sued by those rats over at the RIAA or the thugs at the MPAA for a crime that was committed by someone that had hacked your machine.
Almost makes you want to pull the Ethernet cable when your not at the computer doesn’t it [www.vitalsecurity.org]