Days after Toyota announced it would follow in the footsteps of other carmakers like BMW and General Motors by investing in the car-sharing game, we’re learning a bit more about what the company plans to do with its new stake in San Francisco-based Getaround. Here’s a hint: it doesn’t involve keys. [More]
Many in the music industry paint peer-to-peer file-sharers as devil’s spawn who suck the life blood out of artists. Some P2P proponents have countered that file-sharing has helped encourage the growth of many bands who would have gone unknown in the CD and cassette age. Now comes a new study that each side could point to as support. [More]
The person-to-person loan website Prosper.com has been talked about in mostly positive ways since it launched a few years ago. Mark Gimein at Slate’s The Big Money says it’s a lot less awesome than you’ve been led to believe. In fact, he says it’s just a microcosm of what happened in the real financial world: “Loans to unqualified borrowers; reliance on mathematical models that turn out to be a lot less useful than they seemed; failed hopes that high interest rates could make subprime loans profitable; sky high default rates [of 39%]—Prosper has it all.”
The Swedish gaming company Global Gaming Factory X AB has purchased The Pirate Bay for $7.7 million, and plans to transform the embattled file sharing site into a legitimate peer-to-peer service. “We would like to introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site,” the buyers said in an ambiguous statement. The Pirate Bay’s current administrators did offer up one undeniable truth to comfort the site’s fans…
When we read stories like Tanya Andersen’s and consider the countless others who have been wrongfully targeted by trade groups like the RIAA, it becomes evident that the system by which DMCA takedown notices are issued is very far from perfect. For the uninitiated, DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notices are official statements which assert that an artist’s or company’s intellectual rights have been violated (i.e. copyright infringement) and often threaten legal action against an individual. In a study conducted by the University of Washington, researchers proved that this system is seriously flawed, according to the New York Times. In one experiment, the team received takedown notices from the MPAA which accused 3 laserjet printers of downloading the latest Indiana Jones movie and Iron Man. More, inside…
Comcast is in heavy PR-spin mode this week following last week’s reports that they spoof customers’ computers to cancel peer-to-peer connections, and have been blocking corporate users from sending large attachments via Lotus Notes (that blockage was “fixed” last week, around the time this story broke). Comcast says that they don’t “block” anything but rather delay requests, and that it’s only done to improve overall performance for their customers.
Comcast uses its own computers to masquerade as those of its users in order to disrupt and throttle internet traffic—specifically the peer-to-peer kind—whenever it chooses, according to nationwide independent tests carried out by the Associated Press. A Comcast rep dances around the charge by saying that the company doesn’t “block” access to anything—but he makes no mention of throttling or disrupting connections to shape traffic, probably because if he did, he’d have to admit to it or blatantly lie.