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Just a week after Pirate Bay raid, Tribler makes shutting down BitTorrent impossible


 
When police in Sweden carried out a raid on a server farm in Stockholm on December 9th, seizing servers, computers and other equipment and simultaneously knocking The Pirate Bay and several other prominent torrent trackers (including EZTV, Istole, Zoink and Torrage) offline, it was assumed that they’d struck a crippling blow to the BitTorrent ecosystem.

But before Hollywood and the music industry could celebrate comes the news that a team of Dutch researchers at Delft University of Technology have figured out how to make BitTorrent completely anonymous and remove the necessity of central servers, producing a new client—called “Tribler”—that will keep things alive, even after all torrent search engines, indexes and trackers have been pulled offline.

Tribler’s lead researcher Dr. Johan Pouwelse told Torrent Freak: “Tribler makes BitTorrent anonymous and impossible to shut down.”

“Recent events show that governments do not hesitate to block Twitter, raid websites, confiscate servers and steal domain names. The Tribler team has been working for 10 years to prepare for the age of server-less solutions and aggressive suppressors.”

After last week’s Pirate Bay raid Tribler saw a 30% increase in downloads. The tax-supported team at Delft are confident that their encrypted torrent client can make the Internet safer for downloaders:

“The Internet is turning into a privacy nightmare. There are very few initiatives that use strong encryption and onion routing to offer real privacy. Even fewer teams have the resources, the energy, technical skills and scientific know-how to take on the Big and Powerful for a few years,” Pouwelse says.

You can download Tribler here. There are versions for Windows, Mac and Linux and Tribler is completely Open Source.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Not for the squeamish: Man survives being hit by three cars
11.26.2014
07:51 am

Topics:
Current Events

Tags:
cars
accidents


 
In a scene reminiscent of the video for Thom Yorke and UNKLE’s “Rabbit in Your Headlights,” a middle-aged man survived being hit by three cars while crossing a busy road in Kunshan City in east China’s Jiangsu province.

The accident happened on October 28th, when the man, identified only as Li, tried to make his way across four lanes of traffic. Li was standing in the middle of the road when he was hit by the first vehicle. Another car plowed into Li seconds later as he lay injured on the ground.

Some passersby go to Li’s aid, and as they make phone calls to emergency services, a third car brakes and then hits Li.

Incredibly Li somehow survived this horrific accident, suffering several fractures in his leg and ribs. Authorities say he is now recovering well in hospital.

This video is not for the squeamish.
 

 
Via the Daily Telegraph.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Bland Aid: ‘Fleece the World (Let Them Know It’s Pantomime)’
11.25.2014
09:18 am

Topics:
Amusing
Current Events
Music

Tags:
Bland Aid


Who the fuck are these people?

You knew this would happen. Somewhere in the back of your mind you knew this was bound to happen, even as you hummed along to that charity single raising money and awareness about Ebola, poverty and alike, you thought someone, somewhere, would eventually get it together to put an end to all those privileged pampered pop star millionaires getting a buzz out of telling people what to do (you know who they are…). Well, you were right. Someone has done just that. And they’re called Bland Aid and their song is “Fleece the World (Let Them Know It’s Pantomime).”

Bland Aid wants you to remember:

Charity begins at home, please supply your local tramp with butties [sandwiches] and a brew this Christmas

Or, if you know any homeless people, why not show them some love this Christmas and buy them a Bob Geldof boxset?
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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‘Jesus died for somebody’s sins’: Patti Smith invited to perform at Vatican Christmas concert!
11.14.2014
10:13 am

Topics:
Belief
Current Events
Music
Punk

Tags:
Patti Smith
Pope Francis


...in excelsis deo

You have to commend Pope Francis for his good taste in music—it’s been announced that Patti Smith is slated to perform at the Vatican Christmas Concert in Rome—but you have to wonder if he’s ever heard The Patti Smith Group’s cover of “Gloria”?

You read that right, the poet/singer who shocked an entire nation nearly forty years ago singing “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine” on Saturday Night Live back in 1976 was asked to take part in the festivities at the Auditorium Conciliazione on December 13th after Pope Francis personally invited her, according to The International Business Times.

Obviously Smith, who shook hands with the Pontiff at St. Peter’s Square last April, is an odd choice of performer for the Catholic Church to make and already certain groups are up in arms about it.

The Holy See’s announcement of Smith’s participation comes as one Catholic group is trying to ban “blasphemous” Smith from playing a gig at the Basilica of San Giovanni Maggiore in Naples set for four days prior to the Vatican concert.

The entire event is set to be broadcast live on TV.

Below, Smith on SNL in 1976. I saw this as it went down on live TV when I was ten years old. It might not seem as shocking now, but back then it was absolutely inconceivable that someone would do or say something like this on television. The date was April 17, 1976 and since Smith didn’t go on until after midnight, this meant that she technically sang this on Easter Sunday!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Steve Jobs memorial dismantled for fear that it would turn Russia gay


 
This gets the eyeroll of the week award. Not as bad as when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted that there were no gay people in Iran, but still, it’s up there. There was a six-foot-tall iPhone St. Petersburg, Russia, to honor Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple who passed away of pancreatic cancer in October 2011. The current CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, came out of the closet last week in the form of an editorial for Bloomberg Businessweek in which he wrote that he is “proud to be gay.”
 

 
That was it for the memorial. The touch-screen monument was designed to emit free Wi-Fi in temperatures as low as negative-30 as well as take photos via a built-in camera. After Cook’s announcement, Maksim Dolgopolov, director of West European Financial Union, the Russian company that originally commissioned the memorial, said that it was now “gay propaganda.” In addition the fact that Edward Snowden used Apple products to leak NSA documents in 2013 also played a role in the decision to remove the monument.

Hilariously, Dolgopolov said that he would reinstall the monument if it can be modified to instruct people to use products made by Apple’s competitors.

Eyeroll.

You can watch workers removing the big black slab here:
 

 
via Vocativ
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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No, Internet, there isn’t a ‘sexy Ebola nurse’ costume for Halloween (or is there?)


 
Some troll today tweeted a shocking and, it was implied, inevitable idea for a Halloween costume: sexy Ebola nurse.  The apparent price was 45 pounds, as you can see in the image.

This offensive costume idea elicited considerable outrage on Twitter, which is understandable considering that Ebola has already killed thousands (around 5,000 as of this writing) in 2014 alone. Then there is this sobering fact from the World Health Organization: “A total of 450 health-care workers (HCWs) are known to have been infected with EVD up to the end of 23 October.” Three days ago the first known case of Ebola in New York City was confirmed.

On Twitter, user @thei100 tweeted, “Are people really trying to sell a ‘Sexy Ebola nurse’ outfit for Halloween?” to which user ‏@cfly97live responded “Unbelievable.” Perhaps @thei100 will be heartened to hear that the answer to your question appears to be no. The UK website Metro was on the case. It turns out that the sexy Ebola nurse is fake. The images were taken from a preexisting costume idea which is pretty absurd in its own right: a sexy Walter White costume. 
 

 
So it’s all good news, right? Humanity is redeemed. There is no “sexy Ebola nurse” constume. But wait! It turns out there IS a “sexy Ebola containment suit” costume, available on the brandsonsale website—it costs $59.99 per outfit.
 

 
Here’s their product description for that one:
 

As the deadly Ebola virus trickles its way through the United States, fighting its disease is no reason to compromise style. The short dress and chic gas mask will be the talk of Milan, London, Paris, and New York as the world’s fashionistas seek global solutions to hazmat couture. Ending plague isn’t the endeavor of a single woman, so be sure to check out our men’s Ebola Containment Costume for a great couple’s costume idea.

 
Long story short, if you’re hung up on the word “nurse,” then you’re in the clear. But this other costume is just about as bad, so faith in humanity—dashed.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Maybe now isn’t the best time to sell an Ebola plush toy?
10.14.2014
01:50 pm

Topics:
Current Events

Tags:
toys
Ebola

eboty3333.jpg
 
I’m not sure if this will make it on to my letter to Santa this year, it might kind of look out of place next to my requests for, you know, world peace, an end to famine and war and the Scooby-Doo DVD box set, but you never know.

The Ebola plush toy is made by GIANTmicrobes®, a company that makes… er… giant microbe toys “designed as a teaching tool to help small children learn about the importance of handwashing”

GIANTmicrobes® have been created for many other purposes. There are now over a hundred designs depicting everything from the cells of the body, to the probiotic creatures that improve health, to the philanthropic microbes that make bread and yogurt, to the aquatic amoebas and paramecium familiar to high school students, to a wide range of medical pathogens.

The Ebola plush toy (a million times the real size) costs $9.95, while a gigantic toy is $29.95 and petri dish $14.95. Ebola is described as the “T. Rex of microbes” and this toy is a “uniquely contagious gag gift” even if it does look like a giant joby.
 
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Sadly, these are all currently out of stock, but there are 150 Originals to choose from including:
 
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The Black Death (Yersinia pestis).
 
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Acidophilus (Lactobacillus acidophilus).
 
555amo555.jpg
 
Amoeba (Amoeba proteus).
 
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Bad Breath (Porphyromonas gingivalis).
 
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Bird Flu (Influenza A virus H5N1)
 
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Diarrhea (Campylobacter jejuni).
 
While GIANTmicrobes® have an educational point to their existence, I’m not sure what the point of the Ebola baby suit is (though it claims “to speak for itself”) other than reminding us of our privileged position in the Western world compared to all the thousands of babies, children, women and men dying from the disease in Africa. Or maybe it’s just supposed to be in bad taste?
 
ba45sgbshsuit.jpg
 
Now, wash your hands!
 
With thanks to Duke.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Cartoonists document Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement


Art by Luis Simoes
 
The last few days have seen no small amount of drama in Hong Kong, as disenfranchised students are calling attention to their lack of political freedoms. The students have taken up umbrellas to protect themselves from the massive amounts of tear gas the riot police have used as a means of restoring order. 

On Facebook you can find two groups dedicated to recording the scenes at the the Causeway Bay, Mong Kok, and Admiralty areas of Hong Kong. Urban Sketchers Hong Kong (USHK) and Sketcher-Kee have both been in existence for about a year, and have responded to the recent unrest with vigor. Its members have been posting sketches featuring unfriendly police, tense protesters, and poetically empty or chaotically crammed urban vistas dominated by umbrellas and the color yellow. 

At the moment the protests are in a bit of a lull, as protest leaders have met with government officials and agreed to meet for talks starting on October 10. Student leader Lester Shum has said that the protests would continue until “practical measures [have] been forged between the government and the people.”

USHK cofounder Alvin Wong emphasized to Hyperallergic‘s Laura C. Mallonee the value of documenting “the biggest pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong history,” no matter the risk. As Wong Suede of Sketcher-Kee says, “We want to use our ability to make awareness for the public, to share our observations, experiences, and thoughts via the Internet to the world. ... We hope we can support and encourage the protesters who are fighting for Hong Kong … since we are also protestors, we hope it may [achieve something] for the whole movement.”
 

Art by Rob Sketcherman
 

Art by Collins Yeung ART
 

Art by Wink Au
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Morrissey has been undergoing cancer treatment: ‘If I die, then I die’
10.07.2014
08:13 am

Topics:
Current Events
Music

Tags:
Morrissey
cancer

morrpixcc12.jpg
 
Morrissey has told El Mundo newspaper via the Morrissey-Solo message board that he has received treatment for cancer. In response to the questions, “Your fans are worried about your state of health, in recent months you have been hospitalized and have had to cancel several concerts. How are you feeling?” the 55-year-old singer wrote:

They have scraped cancerous tissues from me four times already, but who cares. If I die, then I die. And if not, then I don’t. Right now I feel good. I am aware that in recent photos I look unwell, but that is what illness does. I’m not going to worry about that, I’ll rest when I’m dead.

Over the past year, Morrissey has been troubled with health issues and has been repeatedly hospitalized. Early last year, he was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer, then in March of the same year he had double pneumonia. This was followed by respiratory failure in June and food poisoning in July 2013.

In the interview Morrissey also discussed why he supported an independent Scotland (“because I like people to rise up against regimes”) and his dislike for David and Victoria Beckham:

I can not stand David and Victoria Beckham. The tragic importance that the British media give this couple is what has made us a nation of zombies. They are nothing, but their egos are abnormally overdeveloped. Victoria never does anything, but she’s always busy, absorbed in her self-worship, like “McDonna” [author’s note: for Madonna, probably]. And her husband, well, he does not know how to speak English and his business is disgusting. He has a line of perfumes that have been previously tested on animals, as if animals are accustomed to wear cologne. Remember: if you buy his aftershave lotion you are supporting animal torture.

Read the whole interview here.
 
Via El Mundo

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Donald Trump and the serial killers
09.29.2014
09:50 am

Topics:
Amusing
Crime
Current Events

Tags:
Donald Trump


 
Donald Trump does it again…

This morning Gawker reports that “gaping mouth with hairpiece” Donald Trump was pranked on Twitter by a “loser” (in Trump-sprach) who asked the “thick-fingered vulgarian” to retweet a memorial to his dead parents:

“My parents who passed away always said you were big inspiration. Can you pls RT for their memory?” asked Phil Bradbury, who goes by Feckhead on Twitter. Trump fell for the flattery and granted Feckhead’s request, but the photo he retweeted actually showed Fred and Rosemary West, convicted of torturing, raping and killing 10 girls during the mid-‘70s.

Fred hanged himself before he could be sentenced, and Rosemary is currently incarcerated for life.

Here’s, the greatest sentence ever written about Trump:

Trump, whose fuckup was retweeted thousands of times before he deleted it, continues to serve out his own sentence of life as Donald Trump.

Standing ovation.

Trump, having been trumped BUT GOOD is naturally threatening to sue!

Here are some responses from some of the people Donald Trump thinks are “losers”:

 

 

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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