SwiftlyTilting: usability, reusability

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How Universal Music Group likes their fake mp3s: Chopped and Screwed

In the battle against filesharers, members of the RIAA sometimes hire companies which attempt to disrupt the sharing of copyrighted material. A common tactic to discourage downloaders is to release multiple bogus copies of the media on P2P networks in an attempt to make it difficult to distinguish a good copy from a bad copy. Recently, MediaDefender — a company which provides this file spoofing service — had a large amount of its internal emails leaked by hackers. The emails are now widely available and as you can imagine make for some interesting reading.

One thing that can be gleaned from the emails is that apparently different companies have different tastes in fake mp3s. Here’s how Universal Music Group prefers to have its media processed for P2P networks:

    They want them to be more jarring mp3s.

    Obnoxious beeps they like. They like stutter drop outs. Volume changes can be added on additionally. They don’t want a hum in the background by itself, but that can be added on. They don’t want the FF-type sounds by themselves.

    They want the gain to drop and go up all the time and then beeps or glitches come in.

    He wants combined effects more than individual things. I’ll talk to y’all more about this tomorrow.

And again:

    Only use chopped and skewed audio decoys for UMG

More:

    Dev Meeting: chopped + screwed decoys

    Randy would like a meeting this afternoon starting between 230 and 300 to discuss our plans are for developing a system that would mass produce and distribute real content filled decoys where the audio/video has been manipulated to the point that it’s annoying to consume media from p2p networks

Of note “Chopped and Screwed” is also a style of hip hop music where the music has been slowed down and occasionally had certain parts of the beat repeated.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Winter 2.1.0

One thing that has been bugging me about Winter is that code must be left aligned or else MediaWiki will format it with some HTML. This made it impossible to write neat code, especially in longer programs. I finally hit upon a decent workaround and now program code is much more readable.

Before:

{{#function | formatNum ||
{{#if | {{#1}} | {{#1}} | no more }} bottle{{#if | {{#1 == 1}} | | s }}
}}

{{#for | {{#i = 99}} || {{#i >= 0}} || {{#i --}} ||
{{#bottles | @= | {{#formatNum | {{#i}} }} }}
{{#ucfirst | {{#bottles}} }} of beer on the wall, {{#bottles}} of beer.
{{#if | {{#i}} |
Take one down and pass it around, {{#formatNum| {{#i - 1}} }} |
Go to the store and buy some more, 99 bottles
}} of beer on the wall

}}

After

{{#function | formatNum ||
   {{#if | {{#1}} || {{#1}} || no more }} bottle{{#if | {{#1 == 1}} || || s}}
}}

{{#for | {{#i @= 99}} || {{#i >= 0}} || {{#i --}} ||
   {{#bottles | @= | {{#formatNum | {{#i}} }} }}
   {{#ucfirst | {{#bottles}} }} of beer on the wall, {{#bottles}} of beer.
   {{#if | {{#i}} ||
      Take one down and pass it around, {{#formatNum| {{#i - 1}} }}
   ||
      Go to the store and buy some more, 99 bottles
   }} of beer on the wall.

}}

I’ve also added features to access the various template parameter variables used on a page, as well as various other upgrades and bug fixes.

  • changed syntax so that carriage returns are ignored if followed by a space
  • added template variable access
  • added time, microtime, date, urlencode, explode, implode, request_var, template_var, to_str, to_int, show_page_text, version, wordwrap, keep_nl
  • added ^. escape char
  • added <winterprewiki> tag which allows winter to be used before mediawiki processes it
  • added addVar for external user functions to add variables
  • added WinterBeforeProcess and WinterAfterProcess hooks
  • added various information available at runtime such as user name, page name, etc
  • fixed bug with nowinter tag
  • fixed bug when using foreach with noexistent array
  • fixed bugs with & and ? operators (they’re turned into html entities)
  • fixed bug caused by pipes being returned in error messages
  • updated error messages

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