Thursday, December 9, 2010

Anon & Operation: Avenge Assange

Fresh from their 'victories' dealing with copyright, those rascals over at anon have carried on their righteous cause, moving on to target Paypal, Mastercard and Visa, amongst others, in retaliation for closing accounts used to accept donations for wikileaks. How's that going?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Why I quit the USPP

I write this, because I am increasingly disillusioned with the party and it's current direction, as well as the actions of certain officers (or as often, the lack thereof). It brings to a head, an issue that has been building for some time. As such, I formally submitted my letter of resignation, from the position of Legal Officer for the United States Pirate Party (USPP).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why Operation:Payback is Wrong

Early Saturday, the US, and UK Pirate Parties released an open letter to the people behind Operation:Payback (O:P). Operation:Payback was a set of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on various websites, intending to take them offline. It's an ignorant, futile, and ultimately counter-productive action that outwardly amounts to a temper-tantrum, with far-reaching consequences. Let's explore why.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Breaking the 2-Party Two-Step

In the US, Tuesday is election day. A day when people all over the country go out, and exercise democracy. In some countries, the very act of voting is seen as a triumph, something worthwhile to be attained. The US sees it as so important, that several countries have been invaded in the past century for the purposes of restoring democracy, yet the US does not have a functioning democracy itself, instead there is a pseudo-democracy, where only two parties are allowed to participate, much like in the most restrictive countries; China, Algeria, North Korea.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


There are a number of programs to check and track WiFi signals, but often they're complex or not that informative. InSSIDer was a simple program, with an easy to use interface, has that changed with version 2.0?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mathuselah's Copyright

I want you to close your eyes, and imagine something. I want you to imagine a world where there was no death from old age, and no sickness. When people could live for ever. Got that? Now, think clearly what that world would be like.

Monday, October 4, 2010

BIS to Make Consultations Handi-Capable

I'm a fairly frequent contributor to government consultations, and one of the most irritating things (apart from the whole ignoring every fact-based point you make, with footnotes) is the way some departments butcher the consultation submissions. Now though, in an email from their Web Publishing Manager, they're going to change their processes.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Christmas Creep-y Ice Cream Truck

Christmas seems to be getting earlier and earlier, as many people on consumer-oriented blog 'The Consumerist' have noted. Many stores have now got Christmas stuff out, while others are waiting for halo ween to be over, so it can go there. For some people though, Christmas itself doesn't work for their business, so they have to start early. One of those is the ice-cream industry.

Maryland Judge Says Recording Cops OK

In recent times, we've had a judiciary that seems to go out of it's way to give government agents Carte Blanche to do whatever they want, as soon as someone makes some half-hearted reference to 'national security', or 'anti-terrorism'. There's expanded wire-taps, a constitution free zone, and even the government spying on legitimate protesters. Thankfully, one judge hasn't fallen prey to domestic terrorism, and has ruled sensibly that members of the public have a right to film the police as they go about their duty.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

ACS 'Treated Like Criminals' by Westminister Council Using ACS Methods

ACS:law have become famous on the internet for their speculative invoicing approach to copyright enforcement, where using an IP address and not much else, they claim someone was infringing nd threaten them to pay-up or else. In an amusing twist, ACS:Law was treated in a similar way by Westminster Council, and ACS:law didn't like it at all.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

BETA Browser Benchmarks

Back on July 5th, I benchmarked a few browsers, to see how the new mainstream versions performed. The results came back that popular open source browser, firefox, was kinda crap, and that Chrome did well, but not quite as well as Opera. This time around, I'm testing some old browsers, for comparison, but also the new browsers, AND the betas for the big 4.

Monday, September 20, 2010

US Senators in Big Copyright's Pocket to Ban WikiLeaks

A new bill was introduced into the Senate today. Called the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, it's nothing of the sort. In reality, it's a nice, easy way to censor things from the internet if it is troubling for the government, and who does that sound like? yes, Wikileaks - although no doubt they're also thinking of that widely used platform for disseminating videos and free speech that wouldn't otherwise be made public - The Pirate Bay.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Oink Raid Costs Revealed

File-sharing is often portrayed as 'a cost' to the economy and to society, yet the criminal enforcement has similar costs, especially when they fail. A prime example is the oink case where a FOI request has found case costs of over £29,000

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

BIS = Blithering Idiots on Computers

Yay, I'm kinda famous. Myself, as in Norton P2P Consulting, was the only research organisation that submitted a response to the recent BIS consultation entitled “Online Infringement of Copyright Initial Obligations Cost Sharing” or in other words, “who is to pay for the Charlie-Foxtrot that is the Digital Economy Bill's 3-strikes system.”

Saturday, September 11, 2010

CNN's Headline Blunder

Here's proof that the big news orgs sometimes make a mistake, even basic ones. CNN, ran a story today (9/11) at 9:11pm EDT with an 'ambiguous headline and byline.

The raw text,
"6 dead, including gunman, in eastern Kentucky shooting
By the CNN Wire Staff"

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dragon*Con 2010 - Creative Commons and Podcasting

While at Dragon*Con, one of the most interesting panels was on the podcasting track, and was entitled "Creative Commons and Legal Issues" (you can see the track's schedule here). It dealt with creative commons from the point of view of media users who operate in the quasi-commercial realm of podcasting. The audio of it has now been uploaded, vai theCommandLine podcast.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bittorrents, Seeds, and Distributed Copies

Just a quick one. Had this question pop up in IRC just before.

[22:46.24] * ccd ([email protected]) has joined #bittorrent
[22:47.37] <ccd> I am about to post a 88GB torrent that will be in high demand... is there ageneral rule of thumb to calculate the minimum number of necessary seeds? i have 2 so far... and another 2 on the way...

There's an easy answer to that, based on common sense and a bare minimum of thought, and being tired (from Dragon*con - I'll get the write up done soon, I promise!) and cranky, I didn't put it very delicately.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dragon*Con 2010

I know I said I'd never go, (mainly because of the robot track but I won't go into that) but this weekend, I'll be at Dragon*Con. I'm starting off with a bang too, as I'm on a panel in the second scheduled spot of the event, at 11:30am Friday morning, as well as representing both the US Pirate Party, and to the crowd in general.

Monday, August 30, 2010

US Box Office Estimates August 27-29 2010

A close run weekend has meant that instead of the estimates, it's the actuals. Two new films have stormed to the top, while many of last weeks new releases have resorted themselves. With only $3M between 4th and twelfth places, it was a matter of taste and appeal.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

SuperSeed Testing

I dabble in research, as some might have noticed. One of the things I'm testing at present is 'superseed' or 'initial seeding' feature of many clients. To do that, I'm going to need your help.

I need peers for the swarm.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Georgia Driving

Many people think of American cars, and see the General Lee, the the Mustang from the Gone in 60 Seconds or Knight Rider's KITT. Yet the real king of the US roads, certainly in this part of the US, is the pickup truck. If only people knew how to drive one...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

US Box Office Estimates August 20-22 2010

A rash of new films coming out has put the table into a bit of a tizzy. Five new films all at once is a lot, especially when they're all semi-strong films that would ordinarally take 3rd or 4th spot on a typical weekend. As it is, fighting between themselves, they've all knocked each other down a bit, but they've given the consumer choice, which is a good thing.

Friday, August 20, 2010

How Anti-P2P lawsuit evidence is collected.

There are many people around the world that have received a letter, demanding money because of a bittorrent download. The question that is going through their heads is 'how did they track me', with perhaps "how can I prevent them?" To address this, I made a video that should explain these things.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

US Pirate Parties in the News

Over the last week, the Pirate Party concept has had some nice airtime in the US, specifically in the states of Oklahoma and Oregon. The latter has even gone national, via CNN.

Look Rush, We Struck Oil!

Almost 2 weeks ago, I showed an excerpt from a Rush Limbaugh show where he talked about how they can't find any of the oil spilt. From a single source, he went on a tirade about how the spill was overblown.

At the the top of that show, he quotes from the New York times, and follows with a little commentary of his own.
"-- that three-quarters of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon leak has already evaporated, dispersed, been captured or otherwise eliminated -- and that much of the rest is so diluted that it does not seem to pose much additional risk of harm." I told you all this on day one and certainly the first week I pointed out this is light crude, it will evaporate quickly, that it will be dispersed.

Sorry Mr Expert, but it seems you were *shock horror* Wrong Again! Who woulda thunk it? Experts are saying that the oil is on the sea bed, and at toxic levels, clearly they're not dittoheads

US Box Office Estimates August 13-15 2010

A little late this week (apologies) but it means the actuals, instead of Sunday-lunchtime estimates (but the disclaimer on the bottom will still be the same).

Ensemble films have become somewhat popular again, thanks to the Ocean films, and so it was only a matter of time before an action ensemble film was made. The Expendables is that film, and it seems to have paid off somewhat - certainly it took the top spot, and has Stallone and Schwarzenegger together in a film for the first time, with Bruce Willis (Sly and Arnie have often referenced each other in their films; Arnie's The Last Action Hero(1993) showed Sly playing Arnie's role in Terminator 2, while Demolition Man (also 1993) made references to the Schwarzenegger Presidential Library, 10 years before he became Governor of California).

Monday, August 9, 2010

US Box Office Estimates August 6-8 2010

After 3 weeks on top, Will Ferrel's comedy cop film, The Other Guys, finally wakes enough people to move Inception from the top spot. The combination of a star cast, a proven lead team, and a lack of competiton meant it was inevitable, as Inception was going to relinquish the spot soon in any case. The other new film, Step Up 3D, just didn't have the wide appeal to do it, although it did have an impressive 3D ratio, undermining stories from a week or so ago, calling it s dead-end.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rush Limbaugh - 3 Lies in 2 Minutes or Your Money Back!

I was stuck in the car yesterday, and decided to go flicking through the radio stations. One station (which I have preset as it's my local station for the Braves) had on the Rush Limbaugh show. I've heard a lot about him but never actually listened to his station raw. After 2 minutes, I had to turn it off, as I was tired of all the lies and basic errors he was passing off as 'fact'. The specific segment of the show was about the Deepwater Horizons incident, and oil. He's really living up to his (unofficial) sales patter, of Lies for Dumb People.

Monday, August 2, 2010

OFCOM Consultation Response

The consultation that is both open and closed did close for good 3 days ago, and as promised, I am posting my consultation response. If the applet doesn't work, you can also download it here.

There were many things wrong with the consultation, mostly the assumptions used were completely false. Then again, this consultation was because of the Digital Economy Act, which was based on a whole bunch of false claims and ludicrous assumptions, so it was only to be expected.

El Reg Welcomes Readers to 2007.

It's a hard life for many journalists in the tech world. An ever changing landscape, a rush to be first to report, and the need to be the first to break a story, to hit the social media, get the big hits and end up on Slashdot, can make finding stories that can draw the page-views hard. One of the weakest techniques is to take an old story, find a modern version, then just report on that modern version as if it's breaking news. If you can include some hot topics, you can clean up, Say Angelina Jolie, and Apple, and malware and P2P. Combining all four of these, The Reg has hit the bullseye.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

US Box Office Estimates July 30 - August 1 2010

For a third week in a row Inception tops the charts, while Dinner for Schmucks comes in a close second, despite having led on the Friday charts. The dominance can partly be attributed to an original story told well, as it doesn't have the discountability of films based on other media, which can be discounted by those who disliked the original source. Jolie spy-flick Salt, another original film, slips behind schmucks to round out the top 3.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

REVIEW: Innovation For the 21st Century

This review was originally scheduled for publication in May 2009 on As we decided to move away from reviews for the time being, it's being published here.

In a new feature to TorrentFreak, we're going to look at a new book, recently published by Oxford University Press. Innovation for the 21st Century, written by Rutgers law professor Michael A. Carrier, takes a look at copyright, and patent law, and mixes it with antitrust (monopoly) law. The questions is, how does it read?

Friday, July 30, 2010

OFCOM Closes Consultation Early

>As some might know, OFCOM's running a consultation on the aspects of the Digital Economy Act it's supposed to enforce. Now, in theory, it's supposed to be open until at least 5pm, but when I went to check the consultation document on another computer (so I could read both at once) I found a 404.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Yet another utorrent using idiot

Idiots are nothing new, they're probably one of the most common things out there; that doesn't mean you have to settle for their idiocy though. I like to name and shame idiots when I see them, to try and instill in others that you should start using your danged brain.

Common Sense

US Box Office Estimates July 23-25 2010

Inception holds the the top spot for another week, from Angelina Jolie's new spy thriller Salt, showing a strong retention over the previous week. Despicable continues to draw good crowds though, keeping it in a decent third place, while Nicholas Cage's Sorcerer's Apprentice starts to drop ticket sales.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ars Forgets How Torrents Work, Cites Faulty Study

If you follow tech news, you have a certain list of sites you'll keep an eye on. Personally, I always keep an eye on TorrentFreak (but then, I am their researcher, and night-time comment moderator) but there are others as well, Wired's Threat Level, Slyck, and of course, ArsTechnica.

The problem for all tech news sites is that there's a deadline game. You have to be first to break the story, so you can get it passed around the social media circles, facebook, slashdot etc. Often that means that stories, or more specifically the data that comprises the story, doesn't get the attention it should, and ArsTechnica has fallen foul of this, repeating the conclusions of a study, and not noticing some glaring errors.

Monday, July 19, 2010

US Box Office Estimates July 16-18 2010

Only one weekend at the top for Despicable Me, unseated as Sci-fi heist film Inception takes the top spot. Undergoing a marketing blitz like nothing else, it made a strong start, albeit nowhere near the directors release two years ago - the Dark Knight (although had DiCaprio died before the film came out, I'm sure it would have boosted the numbers to be comparable). The other new top film, (another) remake of Fantasia, (again) called The Sorcerer's Apprentice tried to get a jump on things with a Wednesday release. It didn't help.

Friday, July 16, 2010

20 Quadrillion Muons - Muon1 hits milestone

Muon1 logo
One of the projects I've supported for a long time, the Muon1 DPAD, has hit 20 Quadrillion particle-timesteps (pts). Thats a 2, with 16 zeros (20,000,000,000,000,000), or two million-billion. A particle timestep is simulating a particle for 0.01 nanoseconds (0.00000000001 second). I've been invovled with the project since around 2003, and as of writing this, I'm 362 overall, having done 5,867,002,100,000 pts, or 0.0293% of the total work.

Monday, July 12, 2010

US Box Office Estimates July 9-11 2010

Twilight didn't last long at the top, despite notching up an impressive 2 week total, being deposed by animated film, Despicable Me. Despicable's protagonists, Steve Carell and Russel Brand, have recently been in the top-10 with other films - Date Night, and Get Him to the Greek  - showing great consistency from those two. In fact, Date Night, which opened in early April, dropped from the top-10 the weekend of Greek's release, which likewise has now dropped out this weekend, going from 8th to 12th.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

US Box Office Estimates July 2-5 2010

Slightly different this week (and sorry for the delay). As it was possibly the biggest 'day off' holiday that cinemas would be open for (unlike Christmas and Thanksgiving), the four-day weekend figures will be covered. Where applicable, the figures for Monday as well (Friday-Monday) will be coloured red (also giving you an idea of a daily take). The holiday weekend is also why this is being done on a Wednesday, rather than the Sunday/early Monday it usually is.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Benchmarking Browsers - How Does Opera 10.60 Stack Up?

About a month ago, I did a bit of a browser comparison using my desktop and laptop. It gave some quite interesting results, showing just how far behind the two popular browsers, IE and FireFox, are behind. Chrome and Opera, on the other hand, have been making HUGE strides in speed, stability, and features, and since 10.60 has just come out, I thought I'd test it, and see how it stacks up. I also thought I'd install and throw in Safari 5, which was launched to great fanfare recently, claiming to be the fastest Does Opera 10.60 beat Chrome, or was the google-monster faster, and how did the all-seeing-Apple product fare? Find out after the jump.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Attempt at Record Bittorrent Swarm Size

A record attempt has been started invoving bittorrent, to see just how many seeds can be on one torrent. The current record for simultanious seeds on a torrent is around 124,000, set for an episode of Heroes. The attempt uses a small image file for the contents, and already has a decent number of seeds.

Hulu Announces "Hulu+", Back-Pedals on HTML5

It was going to happen sometime, and it happened today. Hulu announced their subscription service.

Despite the worries of some people though, it's not going to replace the currently free service, but will be an addition. The promo video (which wordpress won't let me post here but can be watched at this link)  talks about three main areas, accessability/devices, content, and quality.

Monday, June 28, 2010

US Box Office Estimates June 25-27 2010

 As the first half of the year finishes, it's yet again Toy Story in the lead. In ten days it's notched up an extremely impressive $225Million+ and is about to surpass Shrek. If nothing else, it certainly proves that people will pay for a movie they want to see. Newcomers Grown Ups and Knight & Day - the two major releases of the weekend - couldn't stand up to the children's favourite. K+D did especially badly considering it's headline stars, Cruise and Diaz, although that can be attributed to a complex film (a result of the deveflopment hell it was spawned in) with no clear direction in the advertising.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why VHS didn't kill the Movie Theatre

If you're a teenager or older, you'll almost certainly have first-hand experience with VCRs and video tapes. If you don't remember them, they're big things that have been replaced by DVR's, but which you could buy movies on, like with DVDs. They were in most peoples homes throughout the late 80s and the 90s. Yet they were nearly wrestled out of peoples hands around thirty years ago, because of the fear of an industry. Let's first look back at the late 70s to understand why.

In the late 70s there was a kerfuffle between Sony, and the movie studios. It concerned the BetaMax VCR Sony made (and to a lesser extent the JVC/Phillips VHS system). There were concerns that with these machines, people would undermine advertising (argument A), making the amount that could be charged for them drop, reducing funding for TV stations and networks. It would also mean that movies played on TV would have to cost more for the stations, because people will record them, and keep them, and watch them instead of, say, going to the cinema (Argument B). There were also concerns that since the recorders were mostly made outside the US, the importation of them would hurt the balance of payments (Argument C). Also, making movies is a risky business, and the government should do all it can to make it easier to be profitable (Argument D).  It was nicely summed up by Jack Valenti (head of the MPAA) in his testimony in front of Congress in 1982.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Followup on "ARGH!!! Andrew the Moron."

Back in March, there was a consultation to be made on the Joint Strategic Plan on Copyright Enforcement. I wrote a very nice response for it, and then sent a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT one by accident (hence the topic). I noticed it 4 days later, and sent an email explaining, and giving the corrected version.

The  responses are now on the web, here.

My response is not there. Either one.  A bit disappointing really. Make that VERY disappointing.

Monday, June 21, 2010

US Box Office Estimates June 18-20 2010

Another weekend, another new film at number 1. As expected, Toy Story has shot to the top, marking yet another weekend headed by a 3d film. It's also one of the strongest weekends for any film (yet again dispelling the myth about 'cams killing the industry', since one was released Saturday lunchtime) this year. It also means that in three days, Toy Story grossed more than last weeks top film (this weeks runner-up) Karate Kid has managed in ten. Even more impressive when the lack of weekend pressure on kids films (as US schools are out for summer, so attendances during the week are up) are taken into consideration.

Monday, June 14, 2010

HOTlanta, and LiverCOOL

Over the last few weeks a number of UK friends have been commenting on the hot weather in the UK. They really don't have much on the UK. A point that was made clear today as we get the first Heat Advisory for the year. The UK has NOTHING on this baby!

US Box Office Estimates June 11-13 2010

After 3 weeks on top, Shrek's finally kicked off the top spot, with the help of some martial arts and an intercontinental star. The remake of the Karate Kid showed a clean pair of heels with a clear dominance in takings. Heavily-hyped 80's TV show remake A-Team did less well, hindered in part the lack of the iconic Mr T in even a cameo role.

Monday, June 7, 2010

US Box Office Estimates June 4-6 2010

A low weekend take, as Shrek leads the tables for a third weekend, making 15 of the years 23 weekends dominated by a 3D film (marked with 3D) - there's a lesson there for Hollywood, wonder if they can understand it. It's also a weekend filled with sequels, with 4 in the top 10 (Greek is a sequel of 2008's Forgetting Sarah Marshall) - possibly why the weekend has been weak, despite four new films in the top 10.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

UK Cost-Sharing Consultation Farce, and Response

Another day, another consultation response.

This 'consultation' from the BIS focuses on the "cost sharing" aspects of the Digital Retardation Economy Act. As usual, the document will be published by the BIS in due course, but I prefer to publish it myself, ahead of time - I have no reason to hide my answers away, or bury them with 'trade secrets' because they're just plain honest facts and data. Alas, as has happened with previous consultations, the facts will be ignored in favour of projections, estimations, and allegations (or as a phrase made popular by Mark Twain put it, "Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics")

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Some Browser Benchmarks

To some people, I'm known as being a bit of a browser snob. I've been an Opera fan for many years, and one of the things I like to do, is poke a little fun at Firefox fans.

There are many claims made about Firefox, four are made right on
Meet the World’s Best Browser
With security, stability, speed and much more, Firefox is made for the way you use the Web.
If only it were true. Security and Stability I will come to later, but it's the issue of speed that will be addressed this time. I usually use a combination of Chrome and Opera.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Some Teleidoscope Fun

After a little personal misfortune, I was going through old stuff, and found a cheap plastic Teleidoscope. It used a neat little multifaceted lens, and I took some pictures of various items using my cellphone camera (an LG Vx9100) which was about the same size as the eyepiece opening.

US Box Office Estimates May 28-31 2010

4 Day weekend Special

As the US Memorial Day holiday takes place Monday, this edition covers a four day period, instead of the usual 3-day. To 'celebrate' two heavily promoted films hit the cinemas (although Sex+the City actually came out on Thursday, rather than the traditional Friday)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

US Box Office Estimates May 21-23 2010

Shrek breaks into the cinemas for it's fourth outing at the top of the charts, as usual, but not doing as well as previous films. The Ogre does manage to beat the metal man significantly, but not as much as might have been expected. Meanwhile last weeks films move down a notch, although both Iron man and robin hood make a respectable showing.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

US Box Office Estimates May 14-16 2010

Iron Man becomes the second highest grossing film of the year in just it's second weekend, passing How to Train Your Dragon in just 9 days. Newcomer films, including the much touted Robin Hood can only reduce, but not beat the man-of-metal.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

US Box Office Estimates May 7-9 2010

Released almost exactly two years after its predicessor, Iron Man 2 has stormed into an outstanding first weekend take - one of the highest on record. As a result, every other release has basically taken a step down the ladder as everyone has gone to see the man in the metal suit. Also, Dragon lost many of it's IMAX screens to Iron Man, further contributing to it's reduced take.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

US Box Office Estimates April 30-May 2 2010

A strong start for Freddie as he murdered the competition this weekend. The franchise's remake made a killing, and left the others trailing. Dragon took a dive, coming in second, while Date night shows that it REALLY loves the number 3, taking the number 3 spot for a third straight weekend.

Monday, April 26, 2010

US Box Office Estimates April 23-25 2010

Last week's eventual runner up, Dragon, regains the top spot this weekend, a rare feat, but one enabled by a weak overall weekend. Newcomers Losers and Back-Up Plan fail to make the draws to displace the Dreamworks film on it's 5th weekend. Last weeks photo-finish winner, Kick-ass, plummeted down the charts while the Carell/Fey comedy Date Night racks up all the threes, staying at third spot on it's third weekend.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

US Box Office Estimates April 16-18 2010

Another week, another top spot occupied by a  3D movie , as How to Train Your Dragon regains the top spot after 2 weeks down in 3rd, presumably as it's the only wide-release kids film this weekend. Superhero movie Kick Ass was within striking distance though, but not quite delivering the knock-out blow to come second. Meanwhile Date Night stayed strong, and morbid comedy Death at a Funeral also got a decent draw, despite being a remake of a British film released just 3 years earlier.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

US Box Office Estimates April 9-11 2010

Clash of the Titans takes the top spot for a second week, although there's stiff competition from newcomer Date Night (staring comedy 'Titans' Steve Carell and Tina Fey), and How to Train your Dragon. Tyler Perry's film moved down the order, without the staying power of the 3D films. Otherwise a fairly typical weekend, with the more recent bawdy comedy, Hot Tub, going ahead of the limited time release of Alice, now in it's 6th weekend.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

US Box Office Estimates April 2-4 2010

light change, as we go from the top5, to the top10.

Two new releases top the charts, Clash of the Titans (yet another 3D movie), and Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too?, with a third taking 4th place, behind last week's top earner, How to Train a Dragon. Alice's staying power seems to be waning, though, perhaps making the Disney decision to shorten the release time to 12 weeks appear smart in retrospect.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Political Bytes March 31 2010

Few things caught my eye, which are fairly noteworthy, but which don't need more than a few words.

  • UK Pirate Party Candidates
  • Politicians and lobbyists
  • Glenn Beck fan's towed
  • Biotech patents ruled invalid

Monday, March 29, 2010

ARGH!!! Andrew the Moron

There are days when you just want to curl up into a ball. Today is one of them. I realised, when going to check back over things, that rather than the document I believed I had submitted as part of the PRO IP act consultation, I had actually submitted a copy of my comments to the US trade representative. I made the same mistake on my short piece about the submission.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

US Box Office Estimates March 26-28, 2010

After 3 weeks at the top of the charts, Alice is finally knocked off the top by another CGI-heavy 3D film aimed at kids,  (anyone seeing a pattern?). With Avatar's 5 weeks, and Alice's 3, that makes nine of the year's 13 weekends dominated by 3D movies.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Copyright Consultation Document - US Gov

The US Government, as part of the horrible 'PRO-IP ACT' had an open consultation on how it could deal with enforcement of copyright. The specifics are spelt out on the consultation document.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

US Box Office Estimates March 19-21 2010

Apologies for the lateness, Here are the box office figures for the weekend of March 19-21, 2010.

Alice in Wonderland still continues to dominate, although it's started to drop behind Avatar for it's total gross (but Avatar's third weekend was the New Year holidays), but it's still picking up screens, increasing it's by eleven over the previous week. It wasn't a straight stampede toward the Tim Burton film, though, as both 'Diary' and Bounty Hunter put up decent figures, Diary exceeding expectations, although The Bounty Hunter hadn't performed as well as either leads previous films.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why the Truth Police Trumps Panorama's "Net Police"

Panorama just aired an 'interesting' show tonight. Entitled "Are the Net Police Coming for You?", the BBC describes the show in the following way.
A proposed new law is threatening to disconnect the millions of internet users who unlawfully download free music, films and TV. Jo Whiley looks at how broadband use at home may never be the same, and could even be cut off
Broadcast on: BBC One, 8:30pm Monday 15th March 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

US Box Office Estimates March 12-14 2010

The Weekend box office has been strong again for Alice, leaving it at the top of the box office charts for a second week. Avatar has now dropped out of the top 5, after 12 weeks, plummeting to number 7 (after another new release, 'Our Family Wedding'). Indeed, Alice is only $6Million behind where Avatar was after the same period, so another record breaking box office smash isn't to be ruled out. Meanwhile, three new entries make the top5, with respectable showings.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

US Box Office Top10 from 1990-2009

Some more data for my study, on box office figures. If you don't know what I'm talking about, read here first.
Here's the top 10 US box office film income for the years 1990 to 2009. Some of the 09 films are still playing, so that year should be taken with a pinch of salt, but at the same time, they'll only increase, not decrease.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Attack of the Porn Show

Back in September 2007, TorrentFreak ran a piece about the porn industry deciding to take on pirates. G4TV was interested, and contacted them to see if one of their writers would like to appear on their flagship program, Attack of the Show, to talk about it. All the writers for TorrentFreak, are Europe-based, and G4 is a US channel, though, and Attack of the Show is done Live (or thereabouts). So, on September 14th, I was asked if I'd take part, representing the US Pirate Party, and I said 'yes'.

The segment filmed, and aired Monday, September 17th, so there was little time to prepare. I've not been a huge follower of the porn industry, or a downloader of porn, so I had to reach out to my contacts to find out more. I was lucky, in that one acquaintance of mine from a year or two earlier, was running two porn torrent sites, and forwarded me contact details for some of their admins.

Armed with all the prep, I was told that Crawford Communications would be awaiting me, and that I would be dealing with an Anh Tran as my opponent (try looking up that name when you just get it over the phone) so that was that. Crawford's a lovely company though, very professional, especially Jim Baxter, who was my cameraman/producer. The only downside, was they didn't actually get G4 on their cable system!. I couldn't even see my opponent or the show, all I could do is hear it through a single earpiece. It also meant, I had no idea how delayed things were until after the show was done, and I got to watch it later that night.

I'm in Atlanta, they're in San Fransisco. Ahn is on set or next door - there's no delay for him. Theres roughly 1.5 seconds delay each way for me. Thanks to some snappy decisions by the Director, it's not obvious, but it becomes so at the end, when I'm talking over someone - it's not intentional, it's just hard to tell.

Anyway, tell me what you think of it in the comments.

September 17 2007 - The Loop

And if you can't see it embedded here, you'll have to go to THIS PAGE to see it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

US Box Office Estimates March 5-7, 2010

A New feature somewhat.

To go along with the study I'm doing, I've also decided to publish the weekend box office figures each Sunday. These figures are kindly provided by

Monday, March 1, 2010

Why the US film Industry is Going Bankrupt

About 2 years ago, in the January of 08, I started a little project. It was to look at the box office figures put out by the film industry, and look how p2p had impacted them. I did some initial research, which looked at US box office figures for 1996-2007.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

An ACTA Comment to the USTR

We all know about ACTA. What we don't know is what ACTA contains. The US Government calls it a National Security issue, and points to Executive order 12958. The UK government is refusing to put the treaty on the Parliamentary record. It's a den of shadows, where nothing is clear. All that there are are rumours and drafts.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Bad Patch on the Road to Recovery

Economies are like the weather – there's only a certain amount of air and water, it's how it cycles through and around that brings life. The circulation of the money brings life to the economy. Just try to see individual bills cycling around the system. However, like the weather, concentrations of it can be destructive rather than constructive. Too much heat and we have a drought, too much rain, a flood; and too much wind, well either a hurricane or a tornado - It happens (and has been the cause of at least twice as many deaths over the last 15 years, than terrorism).

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Brief History of the Oink Trial Pt1

So the oink trial is over, and Alan won.

In a larger sense, many of us won. The Oink raid and trial was, at it's essence, a show-trial, every bit a spectacle trial (or 'spectrial') as last years Pirate Bay one – if not moreso. After all, the Swedish Police didn't do the raid accompanied by TV cameras – in fact they covered up cameras – but otherwise it was similar.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I made Wikipedia!

Earlier this week, I had a slight surprise. Someone had actually created a wikipedia article about me. Great! Nice to think I was considered notable enough in the Pirate Party movement to get a page. It's a bit light on facts though, so I thought I'd add some here (since I couldn't add them to wikipedia, as that's a “conflict of Interest”

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Oink and the Technicolour Lie-coat

One of the core philosophies of reporting is that you only print what you're sure of. If you don't know, don't say. That way Libel lies.

Someone really should tell the Northern Echo (Update; see comments, it's written by the Press Association) that. Today, they ran a piece about the restarting of Alan Ellis' trial. Alan, if you didn't know, was associated with oink, the music bittorrent tracker. If you know about bittorrent, and the case in particular, it's a real head-slap moment. The majority of the piece appears to have been copied from the RIAA/BPI filings made to police, and 30 seconds research (even to past news stories covering this case) would prove the lie.

Let's look at some of the errors

Monday, January 4, 2010

Terrorism - How Not to Deal With It

Terrorism. An innocuous word to some, but it makes US government officials lose their collective minds. In an orgy of CYA (cover your ass) clusterf*cks, they manage to turn even the simplest blunders into terrorist activities.
Let's first reflect on the actual DANGERS of terrorism. As I wrote about a few months ago, there are more deaths, on average, EVERY MONTH on US roads, than in every terrorist attack targeting at least one US Citizen from 1994-2005 combined, and that over the same period, mother nature - in the form of tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, snow/ice and even plain old heat – killed twice as many over the same time period as the dreaded T-word. also breaks down air-based terrorist incidents by miles travelled, time travelled, and number of passengers involved. Their results?