Wednesday, September 26, 2007

TECH: Amazon Opens Its DRM-Free Online Music Store

Amazon has fired the first major shot across Apple's bow with the launch of the copy-protection-free (DRM - digital rights management) Amazon MP3 service. Individual songs are supposedly cheaper than those from iTunes at 89-99 cents, and up to $9.99 an album. All tracks are encoded at 256k and can be played back unlimited times on any hardware; be it MP3 players, iPods, mobile phones, etc.

All we need is for this service to be truly international and available to everyone worldwide, and we might see Steve Jobs actually do something about the fallacy that iTunes is turning out to be. Amazon MP3 reportedly has more than 2 millions songs on offer - but whether or not they're all crap remains to be seen.


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TECH: Demonoid Shut Down By CRIA

As one of the most popular private-yet-totally-illegal Bittorrent sites out there, was always going to come under government scrutiny sooner or later. Now it seems as if the CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association) has had enough of the site's nefarious activities, and have finally ordered it to be shut down. (So thats why half of my torrents have suddenly gone into the red...)

EDIT: Just as The Pirate Bay, Torrentspy and countless other BT sites managed to stay open by moving to offshore ISPs, word is that Demonoid will be up and running again in a few days. Fear not.

EDIT 2: Guess whose back in business? (Minus Canadian "customers"), one of the most popular BitTorrent trackers has allegedly been taken offline by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA). Both the tracker and the website have been unresponsive for nearly 24 hours now.

Demonoid Shut Down by the CRIAAs of now it is still unsure what exactly happened, but the popular Dutch news site reports that the CRIA is responsible for the downtime.

TorrentFreak contacted some of the Demonoid administrators, but they are not sure what happened either. It is certainly possible that Demonoid’s Canadian ISP pulled the plug after being pressured by the CRIA. The Demonoid server is still pinging, but the ISP could have firewalled the everything after they received some serious legal threats. Deimos, the founder and the head admin of the site is unreachable and has not responded yet.

This is not the first time Demonoid suffers major downtime due to pressure from the anti-piracy lobby. Demonoid had to move its servers from The Netherlands to Canada in June after The Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN filed a subpoena against Demonoid’s ISP. BREIN had asked the ISP to take Demonoid offline and hand over the administrator’s personal details, but Demonoid relocated their servers before any harm was done.

Unfortunately, it now seems that Canada is not the “safe haven” as they expected it to be.

Demonoid tracks over a million .torrent files and is the second largest BitTorrent tracker after The Pirate Bay. The shutdown of the site and tracker is a huge blow for the BitTorrent community that lost 2 of the most popular BitTorrent trackers (TorrentBox was taken offline for US users a few hours ago) within 24 hours.

As of Tuesday, 25th September 2007, Demonoid is currently down. There were no warnings from any moderators of the site but both the main torrent page and the forum (fora) are no longer accessible. It is still possible to ping the IP address of the site and it locates itself as in Canada. As of 6:45pm on 9-25-07, SSH and SMTP services are no longer active. has since reported this is due to legal actions from the CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association) who ordered Demonoids ISP to shut down the site.


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VIDEO: Smile

One of the creepiest short CG films you're likely to ever see. Made by two college students in Israel, enjoy...

And here is the rest of it

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