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Archive for March, 2008

March of the copyright police

March 31, 2008 Leave a comment

Virgin MediaThe Register and Ars Technica have news today that Virgin Media are in talks with the British Phonographic Industry to implement a three strikes system to remove copyright infringing file sharers from Virgin Broadband. From The Register,

‘BPI enforcement agents will detect IP numbers participating in copyright-infringing peer to peer networks. They will alert the ISP, which will voluntarily send out warnings to stop or face disconnection from the net.’

So who do you challenge if (when?) the BPI get it wrong? And the bigger question is how far will this go? Music and Movies will be targeted, but what about computer software? Pirated software will no doubt meet the same response, but what about a kalyway or iatkos install image when you own a genuine install disk. Or EFI emulation software used to install Leopard on a non-Apple computer in breach of the EULA. While we would all hope for a fair and reasonable system, how much sympathy will the system have for the computer naive parent who’s children have broken the rules?

At a time when TV networks are making their content available for free from their web sites, will a warning letter be the result after downloading the latest episodes from a bittorrent site?

And perhaps the biggest question, who is paying for this.

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Categories: media, uk Tags: , , ,

This week’s wallpapers

March 31, 2008 Leave a comment

BlocksI didn’t get around to posting any wallpapers last week, but there’s a new series starting today. Bright colours and simple shapes that will liven up any iPhone or iPod Touch. As usual, one added a day.

Categories: wallpapers

Hackintosh disaster recovery part 1

March 30, 2008 2 comments

If you use a Mac, making bootable backups are easy, and definitely easier than on a Windows Computer. Using software like Carbon Copy Cloner or Superduper you can clone your Mac’s hard drive to another internal or external USB/Firewire drive. This copy is an exact image of the original drive so you can boot from it and see no difference to using the source drive. Add in smart copies that only copy the changes since the last backup and you have a fast, reliable and easy backup system. Scheduled backups even mean you don’t have to remember to backup, just check it’s working as planed.

I used this method with my Macbook and felt a lot more relaxed making big changes to the system. Updating to 10.5.2 was easily reversible when the wireless networking stopped working. Even the Leopard upgrade from Tiger was no problem when I could easily revert to Tiger if a show stopper surfaced. This ease is one of the factors that made me move my daily computer use to Mac OS, but what happens when you build your own? Read more…

Macbook 10.5.2 update, take 2

March 28, 2008 Leave a comment

Macbook BassheadTechI mentioned a while back the problems I had when updating my Macbook to 10.5.2. I could no longer see my two wireless access points, but could still connect to the old Benq 802.11b one. My Belkin pre 802.11n router was invisible and unconnectable. After much searching for a solution I restored the Macbook to 10.5.1 using the backup I always try to make before major updates. The wireless access points immediately became visible and connectable again, so the Macbook has stayed on 10.5.1 ever since. Read more…

Categories: apple, macintosh, software

Ethical Blogging, re-use and stealing

March 27, 2008 5 comments

Interesting things happen when your blog starts getting noticed by the internet masses. Some people leave comments, or ask questions, or give advice. These are all good things, as there’s nothing more rewarding than a message saying you helped someone make the right decision or solve a problem. Other people take whole articles and post them on their own sites with little or no mention of who created the content.

I noticed in my wordpress dashboard yesterday an incoming link from ipodfans.org. At first I thought this site was little more than a collection of RSS feeds, but on investigating a bit more I found only two of my posts copied completely on the site. The small news piece on my use of iJailbreak 0.6 was the first, and the second was leopard vs xp vs vista vs linux part 2, copied from here. This is not an RSS feed, since wordpress feeds do not continue past a <!–more–> tag, and that’s clearly visible. So the person who put the article on ipodfans.org copied the article from Basshead Tech and put it on that site. I wouldn’t object to this if it was made clear who the author was, but since I spent a few hours doing the testing for the article I object to the heading saying ‘Original Feed link at the end of the article, after the icons for submission to a range of content sharing sites.

Let me just say that again. Icons for submission to a range of content sharing sites. So I could click one of these icons and submit my article on Basshead Tech to Digg or Newsvine or del.icio.us? Think again. Clicking one of those icons submits the article on ipodfans.org to those sites. So the content I created could end up proving popular on a sharing site, and generating a lot of hits for ipodfans.org. Some of those readers could follow the original feed link back to the source, but when you have already read the full article is there any point?

I left a comment on the copied articles asking for a prominent creator credit or link, or for the articles to be removed. Surprisingly there has been no response, so it looks like the site is little more than a hit generator with advertising links, using other peoples content to try to make money. So how do you describe using content for financial gain without the creators consent?

Categories: site Tags: , , , , ,

New Shuttle and Cybernet PC’s

March 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Shuttle kpc 350I saw a couple of PC’s over the weekend that stood out from the crowd in different ways. First was the Shuttle KPC 350, a small form factor case with a single core 1.8Ghz Intel Celeron 430, 512MB of memory, an integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 and an 80GB hard drive. Nothing flashy or new there, but it comes with Foresight Linux OS preinstalled. A USB optical drive is necessary if you want to install Windows, but this is aimed at people who want a simple computer for internet and office tasks. Starting at $229 for the spec listed, this is currently US only.

ZPC GX-31The second machine that got my attention was the Cybernet ZPC-GX31, shown on the left. Is this what the Amiga 1200 would look like in 2008? The spec is several steps up from the Shuttle KPC, with a range of Pentium 4 and Core 2 duo/quad processors available. $699 get you a Core 2 Duo E4500 at 2.2GHz, 1Gb ram, 80Gb hard drive, CDrw/DVrom combo drive and no operating system. Not exacty cheap, but very stylish. A spec to match my hackintosh would cost $1,157 (Core 2 Quad 6600, 2Gb ram, 500Gb hard drive), which at the current exchange rate is £581. Am I the only one that thinks this would look great with an Apple monitor?

Categories: computer, linux Tags: , , , , ,

Leopard vs XP vs Vista vs Linux part 2

March 25, 2008 Leave a comment

operating systems challengeIn part 1 I looked at results from Geekbench, Photoshop and VLC to see how much of an impact the operating system has on application speed. For part 2 I used two more cross platform test, the first person shooter Doom 3 and 3D modeller and renderer Blender. Read more…