Torrent Anonymously with AlphaReign

December 12, 2016

Peer-to-peer file sharing gets a boost with AlphaReign, a new torrent sharing site that enables registered users to share files anonymously using Distributed Hash Table.

TorrentFreak in an article titled Alphareign: DHT Search Engine Takes Public Torrents Private says:

AlphaReign.se is a new site that allows users to find torrents gathered from BitTorrent’s ‘trackerless’ Distributed Hash Table, or DHT for short. While we have seen DHT search engines before, this one requires an account to gain access.

The biggest issue with most torrent sites is The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which prohibits the sites (if possible) and the search engines from displaying search results on the search engine result page. As content or torrent indexes on AlphaReign are accessible only to registered users, seeders and leechers are free to share files without risking themselves.

Though most files shared through torrents are copyrighted materials like movies, music, software and books, torrents are also used by people who want to share large files without being spied upon.

AlphaReign also manages to address a persistent issue faced by torrent sites:

AlphaReign with new software allows users to search the DHT network on their own devices, with help from peers. Such a system would remain online, even if the website itself goes down.

In the past, popular torrent search engines like YTS, KickAssTorrents, The Pirate Bay, Torrentz among many others have been shut down owing to pressure from law enforcement agencies. However, if AlphaReign manages to do what it claims to, torrent users are going to be the delighted.

Vishal Ingole, December  12, 2016

At Last an Academic Search, but How Much Does It Cost?

December 9, 2016

I love Google.  You love Google.  Everyone loves Google so much that it has become a verb in practically every language.  Google does present many problems, however, especially in the inclusion of paid ads in search results and Google searches are not academically credible.  Researchers love the ease of use with Google, but there a search engine does not exist that returns results that answer a simple question based on a few keywords, NLP, and citations (those are extremely important).

It is possible that a search engine designed for academia could exist, especially if it can be subject specific and allows full-text access to all results.  The biggest problem and barrier in the way of a complete academic search engine is that scholarly research is protected by copyright and most research is behind pay walls belonging to academic publishers, like Elsevier.

Elsevier is a notorious academic publisher because it provides great publication and it is also expensive to subscribe to it digitally.  The Mendeley Blog shares that Elsevier has answered the academic search engine cry: “Introducing Elsevier DataSearch.”  The Elsevier DataSearch promises to search through reputable information repositories and help researchers accelerate their work.

DataSearch is still in the infant stage and there is an open call for beta testers:

DataSearch offers a new and innovative approach.  Most search engines don’t actively involve their users in making them better; we invite you, the user, to join our User Panel and advise how we can improve the results.  We are looking for users in a variety of fields, no technical expertise is required (though welcomed).  In order to join us, visit https://datasearch.elsevier.com and click on the button marked ‘Join Our User Panel’.”

This is the right step forward for any academic publisher!  There is one thing I am worried about and that is: how much is the DataSearch engine going to cost users?  I respect copyright and the need to make a profit, but I wish there was one all-encompassing academic database that was free or had a low-cost subscription plan.

Whitney Grace, December 9, 2016

Online Searching Proves Shakespeare Ripped Off Words and Phrases

September 16, 2016

Original phrases? Bah. Neologisms? Poppycock. William Shakespeare, like Mozart, ripped off other people. Imagine that. Listening to people, noting interesting turns of phrases, and learning new words from those around him. Where was the DCMA and copyright when we really needed them?

I read “The Game Is Up: Shakespeare’s Language Not As Original As Dictionaries Think.” My first reaction was, “Do dictionaries think?” I thought dictionaries were compilations of the work of individuals who chased down the meanings of words. Who am I but a lonely recluse in rural Kentucky? I know that real journalists know much more about dictionaries than I. So think they do.

But the guts of the story is that a person working at a university ran online queries across the digitized text of early British texts. Guess what? When running a query for the phrase “It’s Greek to me”,

the academic points out that searching for it in the digital resource Early English Books Online throws up its usage in Robert Greene’s The Scottish History of James the Fourth, printed in 1598 but possibly written in 1590.

Who said Shakespeare was a wordsmithing genius? The answer, gentle reader, are those folks who compile dictionaries.

But that’s not the only rip off performed by the guy who wrote plays loved by students the world over. He stole “wild goose chase.”

The article pointed out that the Bard seems to have saddled up his imagination and actually created the phrase “to make an ass of oneself.”

The repercussions from this discovery are significant. The lively and flexible editors of the Oxford English Dictionary will hop to making the necessary changes. I will have to replace my copy of the Shorter  Oxford English Dictionary in due course. What if I learn that “wild goose chase” is not a coinage of a fellow suspected of being a closet Catholic.

Online is good for something. “Lord, what fools these mortals be.” No wonder creating a link is a violation of the law. If a recusant does not own up to the source, punishment is needed. Bad Sharkespeare.

Stephen E Arnold, September 16, 2016

Revenue Takes a Backseat to Patent Filings at IBM

September 9, 2016

The post on Slashdot titled IBM Has Been Awarded an Average of 24 Patents Per Day So Far in 2016 compares the patent development emphasis of major companies, with IBM coming out on top with 3,617 patent awards so far in 2016, according to a Quartz report. Patents are the bi-product of IBM’s focus on scientific research, as the report finds,

The company is in the middle of a painful reinvention, that sees the company shifting further away from hardware sales into cloud computing, analytics, and AI services. It’s also plugging away on a myriad of fundamental scientific research projects — many of which could revolutionize the world if they can come to fruition — which is where many of its patent applications originate. IBM accounted for about 1% of all US patents awarded in 2015.

Samsung claimed a close second (with just over 3,000 patents), and on the next rung down sits Google (with roughly 1,500 patents for the same period), Intel, Qualcomm, Microsoft, and Apple. Keep in mind though, that IBM and Samsung have been awarded more than twice as many patents as Google and the others, making it an unstoppable patent machine. You may well ask, what about revenue? They will get back to you on that score later.

Chelsea Kerwin, September 9, 2016
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph
There is a Louisville, Kentucky Hidden Web/Dark Web meet up on September 27, 2016.
Information is at this link: https://www.meetup.com/Louisville-Hidden-Dark-Web-Meetup/events/233599645/

Oracle v Google Copyright Trial in Progress

July 22, 2016

The battle between Google and Oracle over Android’s use of Java has gone to federal court, and the trial is expected to conclude in June. CBS San Francisco Bay Area reports, “Former Google CEO Testifies in Oracle-Google Copyright Trial.” The brief write-up reveals the very simple defense of Eric Schmidt, who was Google’s CEO while Android was being developed (and is now CEO of Google’s young parent company, Alphabet): “We believed our approach was appropriate and permitted,” he stated.

Java was developed back in the ‘90s by Sun Microsystems, which was bought by Oracle in 2010. Google freely admits using Java in the development of Android, but they assert it counts as fair use—the legal doctrine that allows limited use of copyrighted material if it is sufficiently transformed or repurposed. Oracle disagrees, though Schmidt maintains Sun Microsystems saw it his way back in the day. The article tells us:

“Schmidt told the jury that when Google was developing Android nine years ago, he didn’t believe the company needed a license from Sun for the APIs. “We believed our approach was appropriate and permitted,” he said.

“Under questioning from Google attorney Robert Van Nest, Schmidt said that in 2007, Sun’s chief executive officer Jonathan Schwartz knew Google was building Android with Java, never expressed disapproval and never said Google needed a license from Sun.

“In cross-examination by Oracle attorney Peter Bicks, Schmidt acknowledged that he had said in 2007 that Google was under pressure to compete with the Apple Inc.’s newly released iPhone.”

Yes it was, the kind of pressure that can erode objectivity. Did Google go beyond fair use in this case? The federal court will soon decide.

 

 

Cynthia Murrell, July 22, 2016

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

There is a Louisville, Kentucky Hidden Web/Dark
Web meet up on July 26, 2016.
Information is at this link: http://bit.ly/29tVKpx.

 

Disney and Search

November 10, 2014

I won’t bore you with the Disney InfoSeek adventure. Sigh. If you want to know how Disney is approaching Web search, read “Disney Fights Piracy With New Search Patent.” The system and method is intended to filter out content not licensed by means known to Disney. The write up’s headline suggests that a system and method in the form of a patent will “fight piracy.” Interesting notion, but I think the idea is that Disney has built or will build a system that shows only “official” content.

The notion of building a specialist Web site is an interesting idea. The reality may be that traffic will be very hard to come by. The most recent evidence is Axil Springer’s capitulation to the Google. Axil Springer owns a chunk of Qwanta. Again a good idea, but it does not deliver traffic.

If you build a search engine, who will use it? Answer: Not too many people if the data available to me are correct.

Stephen E Arnold, November 210, 2014

Getty Art: Is There a Catch?

September 24, 2014

Navigate to “100,000 Digitized Art History Materials from the Getty Research Institute Now Available in the Digital Public Library of America.” Interesting collection. Our view is that a person may want to verify that there are no fees, encumbrances, or late arriving letters from lawyers informing one of a copyright violation. It’s not that I don’t trust the Getty folks, but I think prudence is appropriate despite the warm, rah rah, cheery words in the announcement.

Stephen E Arnold, September 25, 2014

IDC Attivio Report Spotted by a Librarian

July 1, 2014

Who gets the $3,500?

News and an unwelcome surprise for me a few days ago. I am now an Amazon author. I had no idea I had attained that status.

An MLS—a law librarian, no less—spotted a report with my name and that of an IDC professional on the Amazon Web site. I took a look this morning (July 1, 2014, 7 am Eastern) and sure enough, an IDC report using my proprietary information is for sale. The price? Only $3,500. Seems fair if one is uninformed I suppose.

amazon attivio

Here’s the url http://amzn.to/1k9xhQV to the report authored by an IDC “professional” named Dave Schubmehl, a former OpenText employee. If you want to buy a $3,500 copy of the IDC version of my work, carrying the IDC professional’s name, and the IDC copyright, go now to http://amzn.to/1k9xhQV. I suppose someone at IDC will do the “oh, my goodness” thing and the report will disappear / go away like some listings in the Google index for European individuals uncomfortable with what’s online about them.

A thought: Odd. I don’t recall signing a contract with IDC for my work. But as a person within a whisker of 70 years old, I am pretty sure that the IDC have a massaged explanation. I assume that the sale of my information on Amazon is one of those actions that big companies sometimes take without operative internal checks and balances. The need for revenue has interesting effects I think.

Flashback: Pat McGovern, founder of IDC, once spoke with me about joining IDC. I elected to pass on his rather unexpected and generous offer. I was nervous about Mr. McGovern for no specific reason, his publications’ editorial approach, and his consulting operation. That was 25 years ago, maybe more.

With the dust up between Amazon and certain “real” publishers like Hachette, maybe Amazon is on the right track to cut out the traditional publishing intermediaries. So far as I know, Amazon has not intentionally violated my rights. I wonder who or what action caused a report with my name to appear in the digital WalMart.

Is Amazon comfortable with the sale of my work without my permission? Is IDC? Am I? Good questions. When one purchases information from a consulting firm,  it may be a good idea to ask these questions:

  • Who did the research?
  • Who wrote the report?
  • Who gets paid?
  • Are contracts in place?
  • Is the information filtered for advertising purposes?
  • Do consulting clients get to speak with the people who did the research and analysis?

If I were still working at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, I would be darned sure that I had my ducks in a row before selling another person’s work with a Booz, Allen logo and employee’s name on the document.

!idc header

The IDC report title page showing my colleagues’ and my work as Dave Schubmehl’s. Note the IDC logo and title. Believe it or not, IDC sent me this document even though I had no contract or guarantee of remuneration. I am trying to convince myself that IDC just forgot about a contract, payment, and my rights and those of my researchers.

Dr. William P. Sommers, my boss at Booz, Allen would probably invite the person recycling another’s work without following procedures to find his or her future elsewhere. (Translation: Get fired immediately.) That may be one small difference between certain consulting firms and pay to play companies that sell consulting services?

A New Era: Ah, times have changed. Misinformation, disinformation, and reformation seem to be more and more prevalent. But what I can do is ask questions; for example, Is IDC’s Dave Schubmehl an “expert” doing his own work? Is the Amazon listing a fluke? Is a big magazine and consulting company chasing revenues using interesting methods?

If you want free Arnold reports, just navigate to www.xenky.com/vendor-profiles. You can even look for brief profiles without charge in Beyond Search.

And if you believe you have a legitimate reason to want information about Attivio (a company awash in venture funding with its open source, proprietary code, business intelligence model), you may write me at seaky2000 at yahoo dot com.

I will — on a case by case basis — evaluate each request. If your email stating your need for an unfiltered Attivio profile makes sense to me, for free I will provide a rough draft of an ArnoldIT in-depth Attivio report. Also, if you want free search and content processing profiles, you can check out write ups like the AeroText story and 11,000 other search- and content related stories in Beyond Search or peruse the list of free profiles at www.xenky.com/vendor-profiles.

Stephen E Arnold, July 1, 2014

File Sharing Torrent Site Goes Down

May 26, 2014

I read “Largest Torrent Search Engine Torrentz.eu Taken Down by UK Anti-Piracy Police.” Torrent sites are often associated with motion picture downloads, but there are other types of files on these systems. According to the write up, Torrentz.eu pointed to files and did not host the copy protected content. I noted this passage:

Torrentz.eu acts as a search engine for torrents rather than storing the files itself, making the move unusual among police shutdowns. The site receives millions of visitors a day and is thought to be one of the largest torrent sites on the internet.

In my forthcoming Prague police and intelligence lectures I review sites and access methods that are providing some users to content making it possible to obtain copyrighted content. The step is encouraging to some copyright holders. The existence of alternative paths is likely to create opportunities for additional enforcement measures going forward.

Stephen E Arnold, May 26, 2014

Yale Online Course Catalog Update

January 20, 2014

I read “Yale Censored a Student’s Course Selection Website. So I Made an Unblockable Replacement.” The author seems to be a Yale student. Excitement will definitely ensue. Also, I am encouraged that the workaround is a Google Chrome extension. Good news for students who want to use a popular browser to respond to administrative actions. Perhaps a Googler will help out in the spring?

Here’s the passage I noted:

Banned Bluebook never stores data on any servers. It [the code] never talks to any non-Yale servers. Moreover, since my software is smarter at caching data locally than the official Yale course website, I expect that students using this extension will consume less bandwidth over time than students without it. Don’t believe me? You can read the source code. No data ever leaves Yale’s control. Trademarks, copyright infringement, and data security are non-issues. It’s 100% kosher.

Yep, kosher.

Stephen E Arnold, January 20, 2014

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