Offcloud Downloads Torrents to Google Drive and Dropbox

August 30th, 2015

offcloudlogoDownloading torrents remotely is nothing new. Most of the popular torrent clients support this functionality, but for many users it’s too much of a hassle to configure it correctly.

This is where Offcloud comes in.

The new startup offers users a wide range of tools to download and backup files from video services and file-hosters, and recently added torrent support and Google drive integration as well.

The idea is simple and straightforward. Users simply paste a torrent link into their Offcloud account and the service then downloads the files right away.

One of the main benefits to users is that they can add torrents from work, school or on the road. After the torrent is downloaded to Offcloud’s server the files can be downloaded to a local computer or synced to Google Drive, Dropbox or an FTP server.

Once the files are synced people can access or play the files directly from the cloud, since Dropbox and Google Drive support online streaming for various media formats.

Google Drive Streaming

h4uflH4

Downloading files only to Offcloud is an option as well of course, as the service has a built-in media player.

The main downside of Offcloud is that it limits the number of downloads to two torrent links per week on a free account. This should be good enough for the casual user, but paid plans are also available starting at $1.99.

TF also asked the service about its seeding policy and the company clarified that it’s not a seedbox service.

“Offcloud does not have the ambition to be a seedbox service. We are not here to help BitTorrent uploaders, but rather to provide a simple cloud-based solution to users who simply wish to leech from BitTorrent in a fast and secure manner,” Offcloud’s spokesperson says.

The company tries to main torrent etiquette by uploading and downloading an equal amount of data. And thanks to the high bandwidth capacity the overall torrent swarm speeds will increase, at least temporarily.

“We usually aim at a 1:1 ratio for the sake of the BitTorrent swarm’s quality. Furthermore, our 10-Gbit nodes are truly boosting the swarm at the moment they are active on a certain torrent,” Offcloud notes.

TF tested the service which works as advertised. The torrents start quickly and download at much higher speeds than the average home connection, and they quickly appear in the designated Dropbox account or Google Drive.

In addition to torrents the service also downloads and converts videos from a range of other sites including YouTube, Vimeo, adult sites and most popular file-hosters.

People who want to take a look can head over to Offcloud to take it for a free spin.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

The Pirate Bay Is Down…

August 29th, 2015

pirate bayThe Pirate Bay has become unreachable since a few hours.

It’s currently not clear what’s causing the problems. There might be a hardware issue, hosting problem or a software glitch, issues that have occurred many times in the site’s history.

What we do know is that the site’s domain names are not the culprit.

The Pirate Bay currently displays a CloudFlare error message across all domain names, suggesting that TPB’s servers are unresponsive.

tpbcferror

With the raid of last year still fresh in memory some fear the worst, but these concerns are unwarranted for now.

In fact, the site is still accessible via the Tor network (through http://uj3wazyk5u4hnvtk.onion/), including the popular Pirate Browser.

The Tor traffic goes through a separate server and works just fine.

TorrentFreak reached out to The Pirate Bay team for a comment on the situation and we will update this article if we hear back.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Universal: Smart Pirate Site Owners Get Round Restrictions

August 29th, 2015

per-sundinFor many years Sweden was one of the most prominent battlegrounds in the global file-sharing wars, playing host to dozens of unlicensed sites including the notorious Pirate Bay. As a result, Universal Music Sweden MD Per Sundin knows a thing or two about piracy.

A key figure in the now-famous prosecution of The Pirate Bay, Sundin was one of the site’s harshest critics and one of many desperate to bring both the platform and its operators to their knees.

But despite a herculean effort from Sundin and others, The Pirate Bay not only lived through a trial and subsequent appeals, it outlived even its own founders who each served prison sentences for their crimes. Today the site may not quite hold the status it once did, but it’s certainly a major player in the file-sharing ecosystem.

If Sundin remains bothered by the Pirate Bay’s resilience he isn’t letting it show, but it’s clear that he’s picked up plenty of experience along the way. In an interview with MBW, Sundin suggests that no matter what obstacles are put in file-sharing’s way, pirates will always adapt.

“We will see piracy in the future,” Sundin says.

“The pirate site owners will get smarter and find ways around [restrictions]. If we close down one, another will pop up. That’s a fact of life.”

This admission from Sundin is not the usual thing one hears from high-powered music executives, especially those so close to the powerful anti-piracy forces of IFPI. However, Sundin is part of a revitalized local music market that projects Sweden’s success story onto the world stage, despite massive historical piracy.

According to figures from IFPI, the Swedish music revenues bounced from a low of US$144.8 million in 2008 to US$194.2 million in 2013. During the same period, digital music revenues increased from just 8% to a huge 70%, with subscription services accounting for 94% of the digital market.

“[In] 2009, we had The Pirate Bay trial and verdict; we had the [anti-piracy] enforcement directive implemented; and we had Spotify, which launched in October 2008. It was the perfect storm,” Sundin explains.

“Thanks to that – especially Spotify, I would say – we were taken out of the dark times. We went from bad boys to something much better.”

Despite Sundin’s comments concerning the difficulty of permanently blocking or shutting down sites, he remains optimistic about confronting piracy. However, rather than relying entirely on the stick, the industry veteran now openly acknowledges that beating the pirates at their own game is a better option.

“We have to help legal services, Spotify and others, be better,” Sundin says.

Interestingly – and this has been a talking point in recent weeks – Sundin also expresses concern surrounding the prevalence of ‘exclusives’ on legitimate services, such as those recently negotiated with Apple by Black Eyed Peas and Dr Dre.

“I think the exclusivity thing is dangerous – that’s my personal opinion. Hopefully we won’t see it so much,” Sundin says.

The Universal man’s thoughts are shared by Mark Dennis, Managing Director of Sony Music Sweden.

“We have to learn from what’s happened in the past: when people haven’t been able to consume music in the way they want, they turn to piracy. We’re just not learning!”

If piracy is to be kept under control long-term then such lessons will have to be learned, but whether the message will take a long or short time to sink in is another matter. History suggests later rather than sooner, but attitudes are changing.

Nevertheless, with appetites whetted, millions of people are now eagerly anticipating tomorrow’s super-advanced version of Spotify and other services that simply haven’t been envisioned yet. But whatever arrives, innovation is definitely the key, and one gets the impression that the Swedes really get that.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Popcorn Time Blames Hollywood For Its Popularity

August 29th, 2015

popcorntLast week several users of Popcorn Time were sued in the United States and this week a Norwegian anti-piracy group threatened to go after tens of thousands of local users.

It’s clear that copyright holders aren’t happy with the app, which allows people to stream pirated movies. However, according to the software’s developers Hollywood is to blame for its overwhelming success.

In a statement sent to TF the team behind the popular Popcorn Time .io fork say that film and TV-studios should compete with their app. That is, make a globally available streaming service where all the latest blockbusters and series are available.

“People are ready to pay a fee, but a lot of them currently refuse to pay for a petty catalog with country-specific restrictions,” the Popcorn Time team notes.

“The price can also be a hurdle for some people: $20 a month is not the same in Uganda and the United States. But obviously, the most problematic issue is the complete lack of legal availability in some places.”

Hollywood is still holding on to limited releases and regional roadblocks. This is something Netflix and other VOD providers are not happy with, and neither are consumers.

“Why would people in France wait two years to see a movie that’s already being broadcasted in the US, when they both are paying almost the same amount of money?”

According to Popcorn Time these artificial limitations drive people to break towards unofficial sources.

“The Internet has brought people closer, and they start to notice that some things aren’t acceptable. And then they turn to alternatives, even if it means diving into illegality.”

The developers themselves see the Popcorn Time software as a legitimate product but they realize that some users may be breaking the law. Ironically, the reason for breaking the law is so they can watch their favorite Hollywood entertainment.

Currently, this situation mostly benefits the popularity of Popcorn Time but with the right alternative for the right price, many won’t need to turn to piracy.

“Maybe it is time to consider the will of the people and offer them a legal, complete and useful service, no matter where they were born, instead of trying to punish people for… well, for wanting the see the content artists and industries are offering.

“Currently, piracy is fulfilling the demand of the people because the industry fails at the transition into the modern age. We think it’s as simple as that,” the Popcorn Time team concludes.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Katrina Turns 10: “The Walking Dead” Came to Life…

August 29th, 2015
PK Note: So this is one of the happiest times of my life, but one where I feel a great opportunity was missed. If you search through the SBPDL archives, you'll find some of the most insightful research available on Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans and the racial history of New Orleans (hint: without its black population, New Orleans would have maybe 2 homicides a year and 3 nonfatal shootings). 

My goal is to get the Hurricane Katrina/NOLA racial history book out by November. For all those wondering how you can fight back against Black-Run America (BRA), it's simple: have kids. 

My wife has asked me simply this: with a baby PK, please consider making that $25 or greater donation (to get your signed copy of Bell Curve City), but also to help the Kersey grow by more!

I've long wanted to write a zombie/post-apocalyptic novel where the real enemy were those who dared deem the zombies a threat, with a Zombie Rights Center (ZRC) growing in power to fight the urge to kill the undead.

Civilization might be on the verge of collapse, but the ZRC stands athwart any move or legislation that would actually deem the zombies the true threat and cause of societal collapse.

A metaphor, if you will...

Zombies have rights too!

In 2009, The Nation put out a strange piece titled "Katrina's Hidden Race War."

CNN produced a glowing segment on this piece, which proves the idea of the ZRC a truth far stranger than fiction could ever provide.

Enjoy!


Katrina Turns 10: “The Walking Dead” Came to Life…

August 29th, 2015
PK Note: So this is one of the happiest times of my life, but one where I feel a great opportunity was missed. If you search through the SBPDL archives, you'll find some of the most insightful research available on Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans and the racial history of New Orleans (hint: without its black population, New Orleans would have maybe 2 homicides a year and 3 nonfatal shootings). 

My goal is to get the Hurricane Katrina/NOLA racial history book out by November. For all those wondering how you can fight back against Black-Run America (BRA), it's simple: have kids. 

My wife has asked me simply this: with a baby PK, please consider making that $25 or greater donation (to get your signed copy of Bell Curve City), but also to help the Kersey grow by more!

I've long wanted to write a zombie/post-apocalyptic novel where the real enemy were those who dared deem the zombies a threat, with a Zombie Rights Center (ZRC) growing in power to fight the urge to kill the undead.

Civilization might be on the verge of collapse, but the ZRC stands athwart any move or legislation that would actually deem the zombies the true threat and cause of societal collapse.

A metaphor, if you will...

Zombies have rights too!

In 2009, The Nation put out a strange piece titled "Katrina's Hidden Race War."

CNN produced a glowing segment on this piece, which proves the idea of the ZRC a truth far stranger than fiction could ever provide.

Enjoy!


First Netflix 4K Content Leaks to Torrent Sites

August 28th, 2015

netflixuhdWhile many average consumers can’t even play 4K content on their TV or computer, true video geeks are looking forward to every new release.

Thus far the offerings have been limited to adult content and a handful of mainstream productions. However, with the adoption of a Blu-Ray standard for Ultra High Definition video more releases will follow soon.

4K streaming releases have been available for a while already, with Netflix and Amazon being the two key vendors. These online streams are well protected against pirates.

In fact, up until this week it was believed to be impossible to break the High-Bandwidth Digital Copy Protection (HDCP) version 2.2 or higher. However, this may no longer be the case as the first 4K Netflix leak just appeared online.

The leak in question is the first episode of Breaking Bad and was released by the reputable group “iON.” The 2160p video file takes up 17.73 GB of space, which is roughly 50 times that of a traditional standard definition equivalent.

The image below shows the file being listed at a popular private tracker with just over a dozen people sharing it.

Breaking.Bad.S01E01.Pilot.2160p.NF.WEBRip.DTS.x264-iON

bb4k

The media info for the release shows that the episode has a bit rate of 41.3 Mbps and overall the video specs make it hard to play the file smoothly on the average computer.

At the time of writing the 4K leak is only available on private torrent trackers but it’s expected to eventually leak to public sites as well. It’s currently unknown if the release group broke HDCP 2.2 or if they found another way to capture the stream.

Leaked drafts of the 4K copy protection agreement between Sony and Netflix reveals that the streams are generally well-protected. They also include a watermark so that leaks can be traced back to the source.

“The watermark must contain sufficient information such that forensic analysis of unauthorized recorded video clips of the output video shall uniquely determine the account to which the output video was delivered,” the document reads.

It’s unclear whether the watermarks were included and if they were removed from the Breaking Bad video, but release groups are generally well-equipped to remove these type of markers.

Netflix informs TF that they are looking into the reported leak and the company will do its best to prevent similar breaches in the future.

“Piracy is a global problem. We, like others content providers, are actively working on ways to protect content featured on our site,” a Netflix spokesperson told us.

While 4K content is not going to be shared by the majority of online pirates, the first 4K leak from Netflix will certainly have Hollywood and the streaming service worried. Whether they can stop it has yet to be seen though.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Don’t be sorry for dead migrants

August 28th, 2015
Just outside Vienna, Austria, there is a lorry parked by the side of the road with approx 70 dead migrants in it. Police are not certain exactly how many bodies because they have decomposed and presumably turned into a sort of human soup. The smell can only be imagined. Another thing that can only be imagined is what the driver thought when he stopped to let his migrants out and discovered they had all died. Not surprisingly he did a runner and has not yet been found. He probably hasn't finished throwing up!

Human soup

Also, just off the coast of Libya two boats carrying migrants have sunk; 500 people have drowned and a couple of hundred survived. The drowned were locked in the holds below decks while the survivors, who undoubtedly paid more for the privilege, were carried above.

This all bad news, and not just for the dead wanna-be illegals. It will engender sympathy and might open doors which should remain closed.

Europe is currently being invaded by two sorts of people: "refugees" who claim they are coming because they are unsafe in their own lands, and "economic migrants" who make no bones about the fact they are coming because they will be richer here than there.

We should reject both categories. First consider the refugees. It is a fundamental principle of asylum seeking that the seeker should travel to the nearest safe place; the optimum choice being a safe place inside their own country. The UK does not neighbour any unsafe country so any refugee trying to come here would have to pass through a safe country - which is where they should stop. All applications for asylum in the UK should be refused without further consideration. By definition there can be no valid claims. 

Most economic migrants should also be refused; especially the self-selected ones who push through borders. They bring no capital, and they bring no skills we do not already have. And we do have at least five million un- or under-employed people who need jobs and could be trained to do useful work. It is senseless to import workers while we have "spare" people. Even if these pushy migrants do get jobs we will still have to support our native unemployed who will then have even less chance of getting a job.

And one suspects most of the heaving masses at Calais will never be a net asset to the country. Their mere presence imposes a cost; they occupy roads, houses, their children take school places, they and their children swell GP and dentist lists and take hospital beds. They will also take up scarce prison places because they are far more criminally inclined than the native population. In fact they are selected for criminality because they came here illegally in the first place.

That is not to say there should be no inward migration. Isolating the UK technologically and culturally from the rest of the world would be not be good. We have been isolated before, at certain times during the Middle Ages when our king had fallen out with other kings, and the quality of our architecture and art from those times is noticeably poorer than the rest of Europe. But it is not swarthy young men from the East pushing down fences who keep the UK at the cutting edge. It's Ivy Leaguers arriving on business class flights we actually need. They have capital to invest or skills to teach.

The country is bursting at the seams. There is congestion and shortage everywhere: housing, schools, medical resources, public transport. Of our (supposedly) 62 million population 8 million were born abroad. And of course many more are born of those born abroad. 

And those are only the ones we can count. Illegals are by definition difficult to count. Some say we have a much higher population. Milk consumption data can be informative. The supermarkets know how much milk the average person consumes, and they know how much milk they sell, and a total population in excess of 70 million is indicated.

Much the same is true over the pond. The usually quoted number is 12 million illegals in the USA. But in her recent book ¡Adios America! Ann Coulter calculates the true number to be between 30 and 40 million. In both the UK and USA governments really do not want the people to know the extent to which they have failed.

And talking of failed countries, consider Macedonia. They had the "Calais situation" without the benefit of twenty miles of water. They put up a fight for a few days but their border fell.

Defending the Macedonian border
 
Failing to defend the Macedonian border
 
This is what happens when you fail in the most fundamental task of a country - defending your borders. Your country gets taken by others; others who have wrecked their own countries and are now coming here to wreck ours.
 
Macedonian plan B is to ship the invaders as fast possible to the far side of their country (hence the free train rides) so they can be passed on to Western Europe.

So harden your hearts when you hear of migrant deaths on the roads or at sea. These people are invaders and deserve little sympathy. Individually they will tell you a tale of woe; collectively they will dispossess you of your homeland.

Pirate Bay Founder Released From Jail But Immediately Re-Arrested

August 28th, 2015

Back in June after a highly technical court hearing, a jury at the Appeal Court in Denmark again found Gottfrid Svartholm guilty of hacking IT company CSC.

The ruling meant that the Pirate Bay founder had no further avenues for appeal, despite continuing to protest his innocence.

However, due to how the appeals process played out, Gottfrid’s jail sentence was close to completion anyway, meaning that the Swede would be up for parole middle to late August.

Yesterday morning and after several long years Gottfrid completed his Danish prison sentence, but freedom didn’t await the Pirate Bay founder. Rather than leaving Denmark a free man, Gottfrid was immediately re-arrested by the police. The disappointment wasn’t entirely unexpected, however.

In June, Gottfrid’s mother, Kristina Svartholm, informed TorrentFreak that the Swedish Prison and Probation service had requested an arrest warrant for her son. The problem was that when Swedish authorities sent Gottfrid to Denmark after serving his earlier sentence, he hadn’t actually completed his sentence back home. Four weeks remained.

“[This was] never communicated properly to Gottfrid, neither from Sweden nor Denmark. We found out about it on our own,” Kristina informs TF.

Making matters worse, Gottfrid was only advised 48 hours before his supposed release date this week that in fact he’d remain in custody.

“Tuesday this week, two days before his release date (which was officially communicated to him only some two weeks ago) Gottfrid was informed that the Danish prosecutor had decided that he should be handed over because of the warrant,” Kristina informs TF.

Always a fighter, Gottfrid is in a Danish court this morning appealing his arrest and the decision to send him to Sweden, but news of the outcome has yet to reach Kristina. Swedish authorities previously filed a request for the remaining sentence to be served in Denmark but that was refused by the Danes.

If successful this morning Gottfrid might be able to serve the sentence in a Danish prison. Should the appeal fail, Gottfrid will be extradited back to Sweden where he is expected to serve around a month before being released.

What happens after his ultimate release will be up to Gottfrid, but he certainly won’t be returning to Denmark. The Pirate Bay founder is banned from the country for life, something that presents travel difficulties for a Scandinavian looking to visit countries elsewhere in Europe by land.

Nevetheless, plenty of other options remain open, including ones that simply require a screen and an Internet connection.

“What Gottfrid wants to do now, more than anything else, is to get back to his developmental work within IT (graphics etc),” Kristina previously told TF.

“And, of course, first of all: to sit by a keyboard again after nearly three years away from one.”

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Katrina Turns 10: Your Most Enduring Memory of Watching Black People Riot/Loot/Demand Help in Aftermath of Hurricane

August 28th, 2015
PK Note: Laptop crashed, so this one has to be done on an old desktop computer. We'll keep it simple.

The question is simple: what do you remember most about Hurricane Katrina and it's aftermath. What is the one story, the one video, or the one image that sticks out most in your mind?
A glimpse of the Day the EBT Card Runs Out

I love the city of New Orleans and believe the city teeters on the verge of Haiti yet bursting with the civility and culture only the French can cultivate.

To me, the most enduring moment of Hurricane Katrina came five years after the waters had receded and black refugees from New Orleans had helped spread crime to cities like Houston, Atlanta, and Baton Rouge: when George W. Bush admitted the low point of his presidency was being called a racist by Kanye West (not, you know, 9/11...).