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, October 30, 2005

phpABC 2.2

This is a security upgrade. All users need to upgrade to this version as soon as possible.

Download phpABC 2.2

Downloaded 10823 times

Friday, May 27, 2005

FBI, Homeland Security target tracker site

The FBI is took a break from hunting for Osama Bin Ladin and shut down the bit torrent tracker Elite Torrents on Wednesday. The FBI press release points out the recently released film Revenge of the Sith was available for download on Elite Torrents only hours after the movie opened. The FBI stated that online file sharing is akin to stealing, and jobs could be at risk due to online “theft.” In other news, Revenge of the Sith broke multiple box office records, taking in US$303 million worldwide in the first four days the film opened.

Friday, May 13, 2005

MPAA goes after TV trackers

The MPAA struck again yesterday, this time announcing they plan to sue six bit torrent trackers which specialized in television content. However, overall availability of last night’s TV content was only slightly affected, with users being forced to find other outlets. The MPAA also touted a decrease in bit torrent network traffic since their December attacks on movie trackers, although most users actually report an increase in traffic since that time.

The file sharing community is reacting with outrage, pointing out that TV is fundamentally different from movies and music; many of the shows are already available to them via their paid television subscription or simple TV antenna.

Read more over at Slyck news.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

phpABC 2.1

Soon after I released phpABC 2.0, I realized there was a much better way of handling the multi language support. A way that would only take a few minutes to implement and wouldn’t require any language files, which basically meant a lot of work I did for 2.0 was pointless. Oh well. At least the package size is smaller; those language files doubled the size of the release, to a whopping 50K! :D

Also in 2.1 I updated the templates so they display the field names in the language ABC is using.

Unpack into a new directory.

Download phpABC 2.1

Monday, April 18, 2005

phpABC 2.0 - Multilanguage support & more

Quite a few changes in this update. Most notable is the multilanguage support. phpABC will now work if ABC is using another language besides English. English, French, and Norwegian support is include by default; if your ABC uses another language, you’ll need to upload the .lang file you use for ABC via the form, and phpABC will convert it for quicker loading.

Also included in this update is the ability to upload .torrent files so they can be added to phpABC. This is useful for adding torrents from private trackers or any .torrent that ABC is unable to download directly.

There were also some small changes and bug fixes. Unpack rar in a new directory

Download phpABC 2.0

I’ve created an actual homepage for this project, as opposed to just blog entries. phpABC Homepage

Thursday, April 7, 2005

phpABC 1.5

Another day, another update. Fixed up the cookies support so it doesn’t save anything to the server. Using cookies should now be a viable option if you do not have permission to update local files with PHP.

Download phpABC 1.5

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

phpABC v1.41 - Cookie support

With v1.41 you can now save your config settings in a browser cookie and/or on the phpABC server. Saving your settings in a cookie increases security since it will only be possible to access phpABC from your browser.

phpABC 1.41
For users of phpABC 1.32 and lower. Unpack phpABC 1.41 into a new directory.

phpABC 1.41 upgrade
For users of phpABC 1.4 . Unpack in your existing phpABC folder.

Friday, April 1, 2005

phpABC 1.4: Set ABC’s preferences remotely

Version 1.4 of phpABC supports ABC 3.0’s new “SETPARAM” and “GETPARAM” commands and uses them to recreate the preferences screen in ABC. You’ll need to have Get Parameters and Set Parameters enabled in your ABC permissions to update your preferences remotely.

Other new features include the ability to set torrent priority and a streamlined installation process. Overall quite a few files changed so install into a fresh directory for best results, though you may be able to simply overwrite your existing files. Be sure to overwrite the config file as it’s changed slightly.

Download phpABC 1.4

Sunday, March 27, 2005

phpABC 1.32

Fixes some minor problems with IE and stylesheets.

phpABC 1.32
For users of phpABC 1.2 and lower. Unpack phpABC 1.32 into a new directory.

phpABC 1.32 upgrade
For users of phpABC 1.3 and up . Unpack in your existing phpABC folder.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

phpABC 1.31

This update adds the message field to the details screen.

phpABC 1.31phpABC 1.31
For users of phpABC 1.2 and lower. Unpack phpABC 1.31 into a new directory.

phpABC 1.31 upgrade
For users of phpABC 1.3 . Unpack in your existing phpABC 1.3 folder.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

phpABC 1.3 for ABC v3.0

A new version of ABC came out the other day, and it appears the web service got a few more information fields as well as the ability to stop torrents in addition to pausing them. There was also some renaming which broke existing versions of phpABC, so a new release has been created. It works with both PHP4 and 5. You’ll want to install it in a new folder.

Download phpABC 1.3

Update: This old version gets a lot more downloads than other outdated versions; I suspect it is because the blog entry has ABC 3.0 in the name. In case you have arrived here via search engine, phpABC is at version 2.1 as of October 2005 . Find out more at the phpABC homepage.

Friday, February 18, 2005

phpABC 1.2 for php4

Download phpABC v1.2.php4 for php4 and up.

If you are running php5, it is recommended you use phpABC v1.2 instead of phpABC 1.2.php4

phpABC v1.2 Released

New update of phpABC. Includes new configuration page and also an integrated skin management system so people can easily add new layouts. Also updated the look of the default skin, adding 3D buttons and also a progress bar.

Download phpABC 1.2 | View Screenshot

If you are upgrading, it is recommended you unpack the RAR in a new directory or delete your current phpABC directory before installing.

Ideas for the future: RSS reader to finally add RSS functionality to ABC. Javascript “popup window” type interface to make phpABC even less like a web page and more like an application.

Sunday, February 6, 2005

phpABC skin update

I added a skin update if you want something a little prettier. The next update will include code changes and a skin management system to encourage people to design their own skins.

Download the skin update | Screenshot

Saturday, February 5, 2005

phpABC: A PHP web shell for the ABC Bittorrent Client

I needed a remote client to access my torrent files, and the current PHP edition, PHP4ABC, was outdated and a mess of spaghetti code. So I built a new client from scratch. It doesn’t have a pretty interface just yet but it’s easily customizable if you’re so inclined, and I’ll be sprucing it up for later versions.

Unpack the rar in your web space and read the documentation to finish installation.
Requires PHP5.

Download phpABC v1.1 | Screenshot

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

TV Execs in Denial over Bittorrent

In this month’s Wired, CBS exec David Poltrack estimates the TV networks have 10 years before Bittorrent and other P2P apps outstrip the demand for network television. If the networks are seriously working on a 10 year timetable, I think they will be in for a rude awakening.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

BitTorrent’s Dark Weekend

Last weekend was a dark one for the BitTorrent Community. Several very large tracker and index sites, including Suprnova, TorrentBits, and TvTorrents have all gone down. Other sites such as Youceff Torrents faced legal action and servers were confiscated.

Other tracker sites struggled Saturday under the load of users looking for a new file sharing home. On Friday night, TorrentBits, a private tracker with a hundred thousand active members, closed down. Rumors were rampant, ranging from a simple hardware problem to police raids. Late Saturday night a message was posted to the TorrentBits IRC channel confirming the site would be down for a while, and that there had been no raids. A day later, the site itself had a good bye message indicating it would not return. Suprnova had a similar message after being down for the weekend.

Both sites claim that factors other than the recent legal action by the MPAA were the catalyst for their closing, but it is hard to believe that the raids on other sites didn’t have at least some influence on the administrators. Fortunately other sites have picked up the slack, with both public indexes and private trackers humming at high speeds under heavy loads after hardware upgrades. The MPAA has definitely struck a blow, but time will tell how deeply they were able to cut.

Update: TvTorrents.com has moved to TvTorrents.Tv

Saturday, December 18, 2004

TorrentBits.org down

It appears the fine site TorrentBits.org is down. This was posted in their IRC channel:

Site is down and will not be up for some time. It has not been raided as many think but rather closed for reasons we dont wanna discuss. Accept it. //Staff

Friday, December 17, 2004

Wired News: Hollywood Wants BitTorrent Dead

Here’s more of the Bit Torrent lawsuit hype that’s been in the news lately, with two things worth noting:

The MPAA’s legal actions are aimed at people who operate tracker servers, not individual downloaders of BitTorrent content….

MPAA representatives said Tuesday the organization had no plans to pursue legal action against BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen.

Methinks the tracker will soon be history, and the MPAA will be back to square one.

And, up until now the MPAA wouldn’t say if they were going to sue Bram Cohen. I’m glad they didnt pursue that route because Bit Torrent has a lot of legitimate potential.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

When will TV Networks Wake Up?

I was just scanning a list of recent TV torrents and I thought to myself, when the hell at TV networks going to wake up? Downloaded TV is possibly the best thing to happen to TV ever. To serve torrents you need relatively low bandwidth, especially for older shows which people will have downloaded and can seed. Folks running servers in their basement, relying on donations are able to serve up tons of shows, why not NBC? They could even include commercials in them; though people would fast forward there would still be a chance they get watched, and with TiVO stripping commercials already it’s not like the networks aren’t used to it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Decentralized BitTorrents from Suprnova

Back in October, I wrote about the problem of centralization that I saw as the main flaw of the BitTorrent protocol. It’s obvious I wasn’t the only one who realized this problem, as Slyck.com is reporting Suprnova is planning on releasing a new breed of BitTorrent client, Exeem.

Exeem is a new file-sharing application being developed by the folks at SuprNova.org. Exeem is a decentralized BitTorrent network that basically makes everyone a Tracker…. Exeem will marry the best features of a decentralized network, the easy searchability of an indexing server and the swarming powers of the BitTorrent network into one program.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Wired News: Toe-to-Toe Over Peer-to-Peer

According to Wired News, several ‘for-pay’ peer-to-peer networks are set to launch in the near future, though the question remains whether anyone will use these services as opposed to their free brethren. It seems that these companies are a victim of the capitalist system they love so much; people are choosing the lowest price, which happens to be free.

Wired News: Toe-to-Toe Over Peer-to-Peer

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Next Generation of P2P: BitTorrent and Beyond

I recently discovered BitTorrent, and I instantly fell in love. Ridiculous download speeds and brand new content, organized around the web instead of inside the client. But I find there is one problem with BitTorrents: It’s not easy to distribute your own content. You must either run a web server, or find a web server already running the software needed to distribute a file, known as a tracker. A tracker keeps a list of who is downloading the file, so that everybody downloading the file knows who else is downloading, and without a tracker, a torrent is useless because nobody knows who else has the file.

The tracker is the one centralized part of the BitTorrent protocol. A decentralized tracker system would be the logical next step for torrents. Each peer could host their own tracker, so that anyone who cared to share the file could easily do so, even if the original tracker was down. While it may take a while for this system to be built, BitTorrent client developers in the mean time could start including trackers in their clients now to encourage more file sharing.

Try out these PHP based tracker packages.

Recomended BitTorrent clients:
ABC (yet Another Bittorrent Client)
BitTornado

Read a Bit Torrent FAQ

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