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June 25th, 2014 by

Today I was met with this message on the front page of one of the trackers (p2p file sharing sites) I visit, SwePiracy:

2006 – 2014
Swepiracy has been permanently shut down due to insufficient funds, lacking interest (among members as well as staff) and most important the extreme judicial situation of today (according to host personnel, our servers were copied together with Sparvar, although we were not hosting any tracker or torrents). All the best to you who made this long lasting era possible, and thanks to all members for eight unforgettable years! /Staff

This happens occasionally in the file sharing world, and is going to happen again. It happened with Softmupparna and with Sherwoodskogen, to mention two trackers I was at. I downloaded quite a few films from SwePiracy, as it was a so-called private tracker, which means that the quality of releases are better and there are rules to ensure that downloads work efficiently. For example, hit & runs are not allowed. If you download something, you must upload it for X amount of time to give others the opportunity to download. This is  a common rule on private trackers, but is not enforced on PirateBay, an “open” tracker.

Fortunately, and purely by coincidence, I had already registered at two new trackers this week, which seems to be good or even better than SwePiracy.

John


 

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May downloads

June 5th, 2014 by

The downloads for May were not that many; I am starting to experience space problems, with thousands of DVDRs stacked in jewel cases taking up two walls in my home office. I’ve started to store the discs in plastic pockets now, which saves space, but I am also trying to limit what I download. I’ve tried that before – to concentrate on favourite actors and directors – but it’s too hard when I have such broad taste, haha!

Ambulance
Call, the
Crime Busters
Double trouble (Hill, Spencer)
Frozen ground
Go for it
The Keeper of Lost Causes, aka The Woman in the Cage
Last day on Mars
Odjuret, aka Savage
Ronja Robbersdaughter (extended)
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

John


 

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Amazon patents table

May 10th, 2014 by

One of the most important areas of policy for the pirate movement is that of patents. You know, the protection of inventions through rights and legislation. A bit like copyright, patents gives the creator/inventor rights to exploit the process or the object, and copycats can be sued. This may sound fair enough, but patens also cause damage. For example, if a medical company invents a new life-saving medicinal drug, they can patent it and thus control the distribution of it, which in turn means they can decide how much to charge for it and who can buy it. That limits the drug from being used by as many people as possible. Many will even die because they can’t get it or it’s too expense. Have you ever been to a pharmacy and the clerk asked you if you wanted a different medicine that had another name, but was cheaper, and otherwise exactly the same as the more expensive drug? That’s your advantage – the patent isn’t in effect anymore, so anyone can make that drug! Competition is good for mankind.

Patents is a huge thing in the medical business, but some patents are just idiotic, even if they are not about “important things”. Idiotic, but they should not be laughed at, because they display the problems of patents very clearly.

This time I’m talking about Amazon trying to get a patent for shooting still images against a white background, with the camera put on a table.

Is that even an invention? If the patent is not overthrown (it’s already approved), will you need to pay royalties to Amazon every time you photograph something against a white wall?

The reputable website Ars Technica sums the patent itself up like this (the highlight is mine, to emphasize what Amazon wants to have sole rights to):

The white-backdropped photo and video studio layout, which looks and sounds similar to basically every other photo studio in existence, includes: “A front light source aimed at a background, an image capture position located between the background and the front light source, an elevated platform positioned between the image capture position and the background, and at least one rear light source positioned between the elevated platform and the background.

The patent, granted in March, even describes the use of a table: “A subject can be photographed and/or filmed on the elevated platform to achieve a desired effect of a substantially seamless background where a rear edge of the elevated platform is imperceptible to an image capture device positioned at the image capture position.” (Look out yearbook pictures everywhere.)

WTF?????

Amazon now appears to have control over putting a camera on a table and using a white wall or cloth as background. Keep that in mind when you take pics of your kids, folks.

John


 

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    This blog is written by a media pirate, Long John Silver, and is published by an independent publisher to protect the identity of the pirate. If the blog is abruptly deleted, it has been killed by the host, the police or the media industry.