Annotated Links of Interest: September 25th 2008

Links of interest for September 24th 2008 through September 25th 2008:

  • ‘Heroes’ Causes BitTorrent Boom [TorrentFreak] – “An example of the BitTorrent traffic boost was reported yesterday, as Mininova got 10 million downloads in a single da. A record breaking figure, in part thanks to the debut of ‘Heroes’ and several other shows. Other BitTorrent sites report a similar increase in traffic. It’s Heroes that breaks all the records though. Our statistics show that, across all BitTorrent sites, the two episodes from Heroes’ season opening were downloaded well over a million times each – in just one day. The vast majority of the downloads come from outside the US (92%), where shows usually air weeks, months or even years later. The show was downloaded the most in the UK (15%), where the official season opening is scheduled for October 1st. Canada, France and Australia complete the top 5.” (Which is really interesting to compare with the US domestic TV viewership was down 25%.
  • Banned for keeps on Facebook for odd name [The Age] – “Facebook users with even slightly unusual names beware: your account can be suspended by the site’s draconian administrators without warning and your personal information held to ransom until you show them a government-issued ID. That reality was made all too clear for Sydneysider Elmo Keep this month when she tried to login to her account and was told she was banned for violating the site’s terms of use. She is the latest in a string of people to be banned from the site without any prior warning or recourse because Facebook believed they were not using their real names. … This and countless other questionable rules has led some to sound the alarm on the dangers of entrusting one’s online identity to Facebook and relying on it so heavily for social interaction.” (Run with the irony: this post has an “add to facebook” button at the end of the page!)
  • Spore copyright control relaxed [BBC NEWS | Technology] – “Video game maker Electronic Arts has loosened copyright protection for the newest release of its game Spore. Released earlier in the month, the game received a flurry of complaints about a restriction that meant the game could only be registered to three computers. That restriction has now been raised to five computers, which the company says should account for all legitimate uses. The company has also addressed the complaint that each copy of the game only allows one player to use it. ” (A step in the right direction … a small step, I should add, but it would be Spore suicide for EA not to learn from the Amazon one-star anti-DRM protest!)
  • Doh! Cartoons pulled from Russian TV [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “Pornographic, extremist and immoral – that’s how Russian prosecutors are describing popular US cartoons like The Simpsons, Family Guy and South Park. The channel that carries them has been forced to suspend broadcasts of the offending programs pending legal action. On Wednesday (local time), a meeting of a government monitoring agency could take channel 2×2 off the air.” (I wonder how long it will take before South Park is advertised with the tagline “Pornographic, extremist and immoral – Russia”?)
  • Priceless! (Microsoft Ad Campaign Made on Mac [Flickr] – “The new microsoft ad campaign includes photos in their website www.microsoft.com/presspass/windows/imageGallery.aspx made in a mac! Hilarious! A good story around this issue by Daniel Eran Dilger at this link.” (More in The Age.)
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