Monday, August 18, 2008

New magazine-sharing site may violate copyrights

The magazine industry, already facing a decline in newsstand sales and falling ad revenue, is being besieged by a new foe: digital piracy.

A fledgling Web site called encourages people to copy and upload popular magazines that are currently on newsstands. Visitors can read high-quality digital copies of dozens of current titles, including People, Men's Health and The Economist, in their entirety.

The site, with some 16,000 registered users as of Friday, is a "flagrant" violation of copyright laws, according to legal experts — but it is run by an offshore company of specious origin, making it difficult to shut down.

"It's pretty hard to see how it's anything other than a straightforward set of copyright violations," said Jeffrey Cunard, an intellectual property lawyer with Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in Washington. "There are entire magazines with no commentary, no criticism — clearly not a case of classic fair use."

Magazines routinely make some or all of their articles available online for free, but they are in control of how much they release, as well as any advertising they sell. Although visitors to the Mygazines site would presumably see ads run in a magazine's print edition, the publisher is compensated only for authorized, audited circulation.

The Mygazines site said in a July 29 press release announcing its launch that its copies are no different from magazines shared in a doctor's office or salon.

Cunard rejected that argument because the site makes available copies of paid-for content — not the actual product.

"The first-sale doctrine says that once I buy a physical copy of something, I can do whatever I want with it — except copy it," he said.

Several magazine publishers said they are aware of the site and are considering legal action.

"We take our intellectual property seriously and are considering appropriate action on this matter," The Economist said in an e-mail statement.

Dawn Bridges, a spokeswoman for Time Warner Inc.'s Time division, said the publisher of People, Sports Illustrated and other titles is investigating its options, including ways to have the site shut down.

The industry trade group Magazine Publishers of America — which has no legal recourse because it doesn't own the copyrights — said it will support its members' efforts.

The challenge for the magazine publishers is that Mygazines's domain name is registered in the Caribbean island nation of Anguilla, which is a British overseas territory, and thus outside of the jurisdiction of U.S. copyright law.

Publishers could have recourse if the company uses servers physically in the United States. They also could sue the company in U.S. courts because content is available to Americans, but they would not be able to force Mygazines representatives to show up — nor collect any damages for any ruling made in absentia.

Repeated attempts to contact representatives of went unanswered. Registration records show the domain name is owned by "John Smith" of Salveo Ltd., based in The Valley, Anguilla. The address listed is a post office box, and the phone number rang unanswered. Registration companies require that domain buyers use their actual names and contact information, but the submitted information is rarely checked.

A representative at a London-based company called Salveo Ltd., which sells fitness and beauty products online, said the company did not own or operate the site.

It's not clear how Mygazines would make money. There are no advertisements, and users can register for free.

Nonetheless, that's irrelevant to whether the site would be liable for copyright infringement, Cunard said. Publishers can claim damage because at least a few people will read the content on instead of going out to buy a copy.

Under federal copyright law, sites like Google Inc.'s YouTube do have some protections from the actions of their users, as long as they take steps to remove content once they become aware of copyright infringement.

But that protection might not cover Mygazines, Cunard said, because the site's operators "are encouraging people to upload copyrighted material."

The U.S. Supreme Court already found Grokster, a file-sharing site, liable for intentionally inducing infringement. Mygazines's home page Friday featured plenty of copyright-protected works, and the company's tag line — "upload. share. archive." — encourages their digital reproduction.

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We're running out of IPv4 addresses. Time for IPv6. Really.

By Iljitsch van Beijnum

A little over a year ago, I wrote an article about the IPv4 address consumption with the subtitle IPv4 Address Space: 2.46 Billion Down, 1.25 Billion to Go. A week ago, we reached the magic number of 2.7 billion IPv4 addresses used. With 3.7 billion possible addresses,¹ this means we now have less than a billion unused IPv4 addresses left. There are 39 blocks of 16.78 million addresses in the IANA global pool and another 339 million addresses that have been given out by IANA to the five Regional Internet Registries, but not yet delegated to ISPs or end-users.

So, how long will a billion quench our thirst for addresses? Geoff Huston at the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre has written a script that downloads the relevant information and creates daily predictions. The current ones target 10 February 2011 as the moment that IANA will give out the last of its blocks to one of the regional registries, and 17 December 2011 as the day that the last RIR will hand out the last IPv4 address to an ISP (or end-user).

Personally, I've always thought that Geoff's model is a bit pessimistic; in order to run out of addresses in a little over three years, we'd have to increase the rate at which addresses are handed out by 30 percent each year. In 2007, the increase over 2006 was 19 percent. The year before that there was no increase to speak of.

However, we're now so close to running out that the exact figures don't really matter anymore. Regardless of whether we see our yearly IPv4 use stay flat or increase by 70 percent, the results all point in the same direction:

Yearly increase Run out date
0 percent December 2013
10 percent November 2012
20 percent April 2012
30 percent December 2011
50 percent June 2011
70 percent February 2011

In other words, unless something unexpected happens, we'll be out of IPv4 addresses at some point in the neighborhood of 2012. So when the next Olympics come around, it's very possible that some of us will have to watch them online over IPv6. (Actually the official website of the 2008 Olympics is already available over IPv6.)

If all of this inspires you to try out IPv6 on your own system, have a look at The people at SixXS run a "tunnel broker" and have developed an Automatic IPv6 Connectivity Client Utility (AICCU) that make it possible to get an IPv6 address and tunneled connectivity that works through Network Address Translators and most firewalls. Unfortunately, the AICCU utility isn't particularly easy to install and configure, so only give this a try if you're comfortable debugging network connectivity issues and running programs from the command line.

¹ IPv4 addresses are 32 bits long, which allows for 4,294.97 million unique combinations. However, the addresses starting with 0 and 127 (33.55 million in total) can't be used because those address ranges are shortcuts for the default route and localhost address. Addresses starting with 224 - 239 are multicast addresses (268.44 million) and those starting with 240 - 255 are "class E" addresses (another 268.44 million), which are reserved for future use. Unfortunately, almost all operating systems and routers block these addresses in some way, so in practice they're unusable. The three ranges of private addresses (10.x.x.x, 172.16.x.x - 172.31.x.x, and 192.168.x.x) add up to 17.89 million addresses, making for a total of 588.32 million unusable addresses.

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Western Digital working on 20,000 RPM Raptor

Author: Tim Smalley

Several industry sources have said that Western Digital is working on a 20,000 RPM Raptor hard drive.

Several industry sources have said that Western Digital is working on a 20,000 RPM Raptor hard drive.

According to several sources close to the hard drive industry, Western Digital is working on a 20,000 RPM Raptor hard drive to combat the increasing pressure from SSD manufacturers.

We have spoken to a lot of people out here in Taipei about this industry’s direction and one thing is becoming clear: SSDs are going to be affordable in the next 12 to 18 months.

Because of this, hard drive manufacturers are starting to get a little worried about what marketshare SSDs might eventually take away from them—especially where performance is more of a concern than storage capacity.

And that’s exactly what Western Digital’s Raptor line is all about.

The new drive will be very similar to the recently-released VelociRaptor, in that it’ll be a 2.5in drive with a custom 3.5in housing built around it. Details are incredibly light at this stage, given that the product is still in development, and we don’t even have a release timeframe at the moment.

However, our sources said that the drive will be ‘silent’ – that’s the last thing I would have expected from a drive with platters spinning at 20,000 RPM. Western Digital is apparently working on silencing the beast by improving the housing technology, which will now not just act as a heatsink, but also as a noise cancelling device. We’d also hope that the drive enclosure has some vibration dampening technology as well, because that’s also likely to be a problem given the high spindle speeds.

What do you think of these plans: feasible or barking mad? Discuss in the forums.

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Nvidia the first to ship OpenGL 3.0

By Justin Mann,

Nvidia the first to ship OpenGL 3.0

Almost four years after the release of its predecessor, OpenGL 3.0 is here and now has a vendor officially supporting it. Nvidia announced this week that they are the first vendor to do such with a beta driver package available that supports OpenGL 3.0 and GLSL 1.30.

The new beta drivers support a variety of new features available in the OpenGL 3.0 spec such as upgraded shading language, enhanced compression, 32-bit floating point textures, and a lot more. The drivers are available for download for both Windows XP and Vista, though Nvidia has yet to release a driver for Mac OS or Linux.

You can read more in the full press release after the jump.


Beta drivers for OpenGL 3.0 API and GLSL 1.30 shading language now available

SIGGRAPH, LOS ANGELES, CA—August 14, 2008 — Yesterday, just two days after the Khronos Group announced the new OpenGL® 3.0 standard, NVIDIA Corporation released beta drivers for the cross-platform, 3D graphics standard. The new drivers implement the OpenGL 3.0 API and the GLSL 1.30 shading language for both Windows XP and Windows Vista on selected GeForce® and Quadro® boards. With these drivers any developer can now explore the capabilities of the new OpenGL 3.0 specification. NVIDIA will be releasing production drivers for OpenGL 3.0 as a part of its regular driver development program. More information and the drivers are available free of charge at

The OpenGL specification provides software developers a broad set of programmable 3D and 2D graphics rendering, visualization, and hardware acceleration functions, allowing a program to run on a wide variety of hardware platforms. An open, vendor-neutral standard, OpenGL is the industry’s most widely used and supported programming interface and is available on major computer platforms, including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.

“OpenGL 3.0 is a significant advance for graphics standard and we’re proud that NVIDIA has played a major role in developing it,” said Barthold Lichtenbelt, Manager, Core OpenGL Software at NVIDIA and chair of the OpenGL working group at Khronos. “OpenGL 3.0 will be a first-class API on both GeForce and Quadro boards. Shipping drivers two days after this new specification is released demonstrates our strong commitment to the OpenGL developer community and our partners who rely on the standard.”

OpenGL is controlled by the Khronos Group and the new 3.0 version introduces dozens of new features to increase the functionality, flexibility, and performance of the open, cross-platform standard for 3D graphics acceleration. The new functionality includes: vertex array objects, enhanced vertex buffer objects, 32-bit floating-point textures, render and depth buffers, new texture compression schemes, sRGB frame buffers, and an upgraded shading language. More information on the OpenGL 3.0 specification is at

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Don't Ask Dell To Replace Your Broken DVD Drive Because It's Simply Not Possible

Dell told Arthur to replace his broken DVD drive himself, even after he shipped his laptop to Dell expressly so they could perform the replacement. Arthur tried unsuccessfully to remove the broken drive with the help of Dell phone jockey before returning his unit to the mothership. After weeks of waiting, Dell returned the still-broken laptop with a note explaining that they were out of DVD drives, but that when they arrived in "two or three days," they'd send one to Arthur so he could install it himself.

As for Dell, I purchased a Dell Vostro 1500 laptop last January. A few weeks ago, the CD/DVD drive stopped working. I called Dell, and spent a long time on the phone with someone who tried to instruct me how to remove the drive. I could not do it, and they sent me a DSL return box to send them the computer back.

On Friday I missed the delivery. Today, though, I stayed home to wait for it till it arrived at 2:30 PM. There was a note with the computer stating that the drive was out of stock, that it would not be in stock for 2 or three days, and that they would be sending me one. I could install it myself, according to the note. Oddly, I'd sent them the computer precisely so I wouldn't have to do that.

What on earth is going on with a company that accepts returns, doesn't fix them, and then tells you we'll send you the parts and you can fix it yourself? Is there anyone I could contact who could actually help me rather than explaining all the things they can't do for me? It seems to me they broke the contract by failing to honor the warranty, and I've wasted a great deal contacting various useless employees who seem to be reading from cue cards. I'm thinking of taking them to small claims court and filing complaints with the BBB, but I don't even know who to name, and I'd really appreciate your advice. While I really like computers, the most I ever open them up is never.

If Dell won't replace the drive, ask the higher-ups for an explanation. Alternatively, you can always pay a tech-savvy neighborhood kid with candy to help remove and replace the drive to get around Dell's apparent incompetence.

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