Following my recent rant about the state of UK copyright infringement persecution I was delighted to read at ArsTechnica that consumer organisation Which? has filed a complaint with the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. The target of the complaint is law firm Davenport Lyons, those fine caring citizens who are making a habit of targeting alleged online copyright infringers with offers of pre court settlements for several hundred pounds. Which? accuses Davenport Lyons of ‘excessive bullying’ following repeated threatening letters to innocent internet users.
Davenport Lyons have hit the news several times this year, for a range of actions against owners of open WiFi networks, alleged game pirates and even gay pornography downloading pensioners (alleged). It’s about time these legal bullies were called to answer for their ‘victories’ against those hardcore criminals, especially the single Polish mother of two who ended up with a bill of £16,000 after failing to appear in court for a civil case. Is common sense making a comeback?
So who would have thought Google would launch a web browser? Just about everyone, and the puzzle is why it took so long. Now that Google’s Chrome is here I took a few minutes to reboot and have a play. It’s a Windows only experience for now, with the promise of Mac and Linux versions to follow.
The world record attempt may have got off to a bit of a shaky start but it certainly went on to hot some impressive numbers. SpreadFirefox.com is reporting over 8 milion downloads in the first 24 hours of availability. The attempt at setting a world record is currently under review and a decision should be made in the next few days.
Firefox 3 is looking good so far and it’s now on all my computers. The only real limitation of installing the software was if Foxmarks was compatible, and it worked without issue. I no longer need session manager to save my open tabs at shutdown since Firefox does this itself. So is session manager redundant? That will have to wait until Firefox’s session restoring abilities have been proven.
In the past my browser of choice was Bon Echo, an Intel optimised build of firefox available from Beatnikpad.com. Once again thanks to the work of Mr Neil Bruce Lee we have Firefox 3 builds optimised for Intel and PPC G5, with G4 promised soon. I’m testing the Intel build at the moment, as there’s nothing wrong with a smaller footprint and more speed. And for anyone wondering, the optimised build of firefox is called Minefield, I changed the name in the screenshot to Firefox 3 Intel to make it easier to group them all together.
Firefox 3 was due to hit the download sites at 6pm UK time but it’s just appeared at mozilla.com. Download the version for your OS here or choose an OS and language here. Spreadfirefox.com appears to be down at the moment, so hopefully this won’t interfere with the world record attempt.
The new system was proposed a while back, but the American Federal Communications Commission has now adopted its new definitions of Broadband speeds. Anything under 768 Kbps is now refered to as First Generation data, with Basic Broadband covering 768 Kbps to 1.5 Mbps, and several band above this.
This is just what the UK needs, so ISP’s can be brought to task for offering connections that perform at less than promised levels. Is there much chance of this happening?
It’s been a long time coming, but it looks like the wait will be worth it. Firefox 3 final is released on Tuesday 17th June, and the Mozilla team are looking to set a new world record for the most downloads in a 24 hour period. More details and the current pledge number at SpreadFirefox.com. If you just want to know what all the fuss is about there’s a nice video at Cnet.
Update More about this release and plans for version 3.1 here
If you listen to many ISP’s recently the future of the internet is pretty bleak. ‘Selfish’ p2p users are slowing the service for everyone else, and superfast 20Mbit connections with ‘no boring download limits’ are really hamstrung by speed caps. On top of the virus, spyware and trojan threat the internet might soon just fall over under the ever increasing traffic of Youtube and the countless other video services being unleashed each day.
To get a more honest opinion read the article posted at Ars Technica a couple of days ago. It makes a pleasant change to read an informed and intelligent assessment of what is really happening to internet traffic levels. The summary is that the internet is doing quite well and coping through ongoing upgrades and improvements, but the last mile connections to our homes are in need of upgrading. Our ISP’s control this part of the chain and they don’t seem too keen to spend the money to drag us into the 21st century. When legal video streaming is looking more like the next big thing it’s not going to be a case of if we all need high speed internet, but when.
There’s a scary article at Tech.co.uk concerning the safety of online banking systems and new trojans. It appears the crooks are getting sneakier than ever to get their hands on your money. I’ve been fortunate so far having not been the victim of online fraud (and I buy a lot online), the only credit card fraud I suffered was after using my card to reserve a hotel room. When I reported the crime to my local Police station I was told I was the 21st person in my town to suffer credit card fraud in 20 days. It’s not a big town so this gives an idea of the massive scale of the problem. I never received any further information from the police so have no way of knowing if the perpetrator was caught. We in the UK can’t even report credit card fraud to the Police anymore, it’s now a problem for the Banks to deal with. If you’re worried about online security there’s some good advice at fraud.org.