Rapidshare Limiting Download Speed | Get Around the Rapidshare Throttle

The file locker Rapidshare, known for it’s fast transfer speeds even for free and anonymous accounts, seems to have tightened up it’s transfer tubes  for free users. As of today, all downloads will only deliver at the ussual >250kb/s download rate until it has reached 2MB. At this point the download will appear to stop for a few minutes and transmission speeds will drop to >30kb/s, then the downloaded file size will update after a few minutes and it will continue to download at the same depressed rate.

It’s no clear if this is a technical problem on Rapidshare’s end or if it’s an effort to increase the incentive to purchase a paid account. The ladder seems most likely as there are no service interruptions for Premium Subscription holders. This probably also an attempt to polish up their image in a time of great anxiety for file lockers. Since Rapidshare was placed the MPAA/RIAA’s most hated list, it’s administration have been doing alot to clean up their act. This latest trick would try the patience of those looking to download large files, and lead to only smaller files (like single images and documents) that are less likely to be pirated to be made available from a public link.

Get Around the Limitations

You can get around the bandwidth limitations by using a service called Grandleech. The website will give you premium access (fast download speeds) for any given file hosted on Rapidshare at no charge. Grandleech will download the file for you with thier premium account, and make it available to you for download at faster than free Rapidshare speed.

All you have to do is copy the URL of the file that you’re trying to download from Rapidshare, then head over to www.grandleech.com. Paste the copied Rapidshare URL into the form box and press the orange download button. An link will be generated for you to download the file at >300kb/s speeds again!

Anonymous Attacks Facebook (not actually)

anon atttack on fb

The hacktavist group Anonymous is said to be currently attacking Facebook. This is part of the response to the shuttering of Megaupload, the webs most popular file locker, on January 17 2012. Anonymous has been on a Denial of Service spree these last few days, causing service outages for a number of worldwide government agencies, companies and organizations that were implicated or condoned the Megaupload raids. The validity of the reports are questionable though.

So far the attack (if its actually happening) has yielded few results, Facebook was reported to be running slowly by a few twitter users. Some of the Facebook applications and games were also either slow or inaccesible. The DDoS attempt will probably be unsuccessful on a site of this size, as Facebook has numerous counter-measure to this type of harassment.

Because of the amorphous structure of Anonymous, it’s not certain that the attack is actually taking place. Some members or subgroups may be acting alone or may not have been able to drum up enough support from other members. Some anonymous mouthpieces on Twitter are claiming Facebook is under attack while others (like the one pictures below) are denying it.

anonymous attacks facebook tweet

Facebook’s connection to the Megaupload raids is not immediately clear, and some question why it is a target. The motivation is mostly to spread awareness about the harm of censorship and the ACTA bills. The anons posit that the recent pro copyright holder legislation that has been put forward around the world is not being met with enough public backlash and that they need a “wakeup call”.

Update 9:15PM EST
It looks like it was not Anonymous that caused the outage after all. Trolled indeed.



FileSonic closes filesharing | FileSonic Megaupload Alternatives

Filesonic Disable file sharing

This afternoon FileSonic, one of the most popular internet file lockers, disabled it’s file sharing functionality. That is, you will no longer be able to access files uploaded by other users or upload new files to be publicly accessed. Individuals who have uploaded files to FileSonic can still access their own files but have to be logged into their FileSonic account to do so.

This is in response the recent shutdown of Megaupload, a competing file locker, by the FBI earlier this week. FileSonic shares many of the same characteristics of Megaupload; it had lots of copyrighted material, it only complied with the DCMA regulations on the surface, and links to files that they host frequently turn up on websites that act as linked directories of copyrighted files (ie Filestube).

Many internet users are now concerned that many other file sharing utilities may also have to take feature limiting defensive moves in order to be allowed to continue to operate. Drop Box, one of the most use full and widely used methods of sharing files, is often cited as another prime target. We don’t think that it is any danger as it’s business model is far different from most of the file lockers. First of all, if a file is downloaded too many times it is removed from of Drop Box where ass on the less scrupulous file lockers it’s encouraged. Secondly, Drop Box monetizes the file uploader, not the downloader reducing the incentive of sharing copyright materials.

That said, there are many other file lockers who do share the same business model  as Megaupload and FileSonic who will certainly have to adapt in order to stay online.

FileServe has followed FileSonic in closing it’s file links to the public. There will most certainly be more casualties in the file sharing ecosystem in the near future.

You can check out our list of alternatives to FileSonic and FileServe to help you find a new file sharing resource.

Anonymous takes down Universal Music, DOJ, RIAA, MPAA and more

Anonymous responds to Megaupload takedown
In response to both the takedown of Megaupload today and the SOPA/PIPA bills that are being mulled over in the United states the hacktavist group Anonymous has responded by taking down several websites with a distributed denial of service attack. Both the Universal Music and American Department of Justice websites were taken offline by the attack.

4chan, the ‘homebase’ of anonymous is in frenzy over closure of one of “their sites” and are seeking revenge with LOIS, an open source DDoS ableing software. Some of the anons have posted a Javascript version of the tool to help the effort, it’s available on pastebin. The next plausible targets seems to be the FBI site or the RIAA website as many lasers are already “pointed” at them.

That said, even when the number of LOIC attackers is high, it still would not be enough to take down these types of high profile websites. Anynymous must have access to a bot net and/or is pooling resources with other groups to carry out and sustain such effective attacks.

Anonymous Takedown Catalogue

Updated as of 8:00PM EST January 22 2011
Most Site are now back up and running but, with fewer numbers, the attack continues on a few sites. The Brazilian arm of anonymous seems to still be hard at work. They are continuing the DDoS on a broad spectrum of websites, the hit list of 114 websites all with .br TDLs has been posted on pastebin. We’ve included some of the most notable downed sites on the list below.

lulzy anonymous takedown tweet

Megaupload Megavideo Down January 19 2011 | FBI takes down Megaupload.com

megaupload downNotorious file locker Megaupload has been taken down today as of 2:15PM, the day after SOPA was shelved. Seven individuals and two corporations- Megaupload Limited and Vestor Limited – have been charged by the FBI for piracy related crimes in the United States and New Zealand and forced to shut down Megaupload.com. This marks the largest criminal copyright cases ever in the history of the United States as the site generated $175 million in criminal proceeds and allegedly caused more than $500 million in damages to copyright holders.

In response to the closure, Anonymous has launched a distributed denial service attack on several web properties owned by those complicit in the Megaupload bust. You can check out our list of alternatives to Megaupload to help you find a new file sharing resource.

Mega-Sites Gone for Good

Along with Megaupload, Megavideo.com, the company’s sister streaming flash video site has also been taken offline. It looks like the all of the sites in the Mega ‘network’ have been taken down as a result of the Federal investigation. This has come as a bit of a surprise to many:

  • On the surface, the site seemed to have complied with DMCA regulations, and removed material when asked.
  • The site did not directly promote piracy.
  • The listed employees are nearly all non US citizens, so this required international cooperation.

The swift and relatively unannounced takedown has created a huge stir in the internet-technology sector and, more acutely, in the thriving tech startup industry. It sets an ambiguous precedent that services used to share files, where the possibility of abuse (ie sharing copyrighted material unbeknownst to the company’s administration) may be grounds for indictment. For instance Dropbox, the personal file sharing service, may have to become increase intervention and filtering to duck a similar raid in the future. The scare of this materializing was what lead to the internet wide protest against the SOPA bill yesterday.

Still it’s almost impossible to deny that Megavideo and Megaupload were rife with pirated material and that they at best took their time in complying the DMCA takedown requests. From the department of justice press release:

As alleged in the indictment, the conspirators failed to terminate accounts of users with known copyright infringement, selectively complied with their obligations to remove copyrighted materials from their servers and deliberately misrepresented to copyright holders that they had removed infringing content. For example, when notified by a rights holder that a file contained infringing content, the indictment alleges that the conspirators would disable only a single link to the file, deliberately and deceptively leaving the infringing content in place to make it seamlessly available to millions of users to access through any one of the many duplicate links available for that file.

This was often the case anecdotally, as Alex Muir put it:

Megaupload never complied with DMCA requests – I made several as part of some research and never received any response. The site charged for access to, and provided advertising around, pirated content. The site paid people (users/staff – it’s a fine line) to provide popular content.
It went to extraordinary lengths to hide the identity of its operators.

The entire 72 page long edictment is available from here.

Bring on the Fakes

There are rumours flying around twitter about new iterations of Megaupload and Megavideo. Alas, these are so far all fakes. The most popular New Megaupload is http://megavideo.bz/. The site allegedly hosts a a recent backup of the downed Megaupload but with a non functioning sketchy layout, consistant server outages. The UUID UA-6383685-1 points to number of other megaupload ripoff sites that exist only to display advertising when someone miss types the url. Here is a screenshot of the site:

the new megaupload

Use Your WordPress Site as a Pirate Bay Proxy

wordpress site to Proxy The recent SOPA/PIPA row has been making mass media headlines and bringing the censorship and copyright row to the main stream. Though SOPA/PIPA were temporarily defeated, there is no doubt that another iteration of these bills will resurface in the United States (as Maddox eloquently posits). Around the world, governments are imposing sanctions on ISP’s to block certain sites, the most frequently targeted are, of course, the pirate bay and wikileaks. Now, a group of evangelist WordPress developers from the Netherlands based Greenhost have built a plugin so that you can easily turn your blog into a proxy for these heretic sites, allowing internet users to bypass restrictions.

Enter RePress project

If you have a WordPress site that is autonomously hosted (ie it cannot be hosted on wordpress.com) then all you have to do is download the repress plugin found here, input some information about your server, input the site you want to act as a proxy for and away it goes. The site will now be available by default at http://yourblog/repost/thepiratebay.org but it can be configured to be available from a directory/URL of your choosing.

Don’t worry about going over your allotted bandwidth, the proxy will simply redirect traffic to the blocked sites with almost no expense to your host’s resources. For now the plugin is only available through the all4xs.net website but it should be available from the wordpress plugin database in the near future.

Will it Work?

The plugin was built mostly in response to the upcoming censoring of The Pirate Bay in the Netherlands. Technically it will work fine in getting around restrictions imposed by interventionist governments but they could always just block the site hosting the proxy or, in more extreme cases, persecute poeple for hosting the proxy in the first place. The more websites that do this the better as government groups don’t have the resources to scour the internet for all proxies, but just be careful if you’re in an area plagued with extremism that your site cannot be easily traced back to you.

Clik app | Clik from Kik

Clik, the new application from the Waterloo Canada Company Kik (which FSB has followed quite closely), had it’s debut yesterday at the University Waterloo. The application lets you pretty much use your Apple or Android device as a remote control/media server or more for your internet connected tv or computer screen.

Users only have to visit the Clik website which displays a QR code on the screen that smart phone users can pair with their mobile devices. The device then becomes a “super remote control” for the screen able to stream from youtube, local video files, music, play games ect. You can have more then one user controlling the screen through Clik as long as they are on the same wi-fi connection. This allows for a great party feel to the application which will be released soon for Android and iPhone devices.

The application will be officially released on the app store and market place in late January 2012. One of the most exciting things about the app is that a javascript API will be released within the next couple of months allowing developers to easily create applications for the technology.

There is substantial fanfare for this application. It’s much more users friendly and provides much more functionality then a lot of traditional media servers or set top devices. The javascript API also makes it easy for both developers and web designers to create phenominal applications quickly, as you just need to know HTML/CSS and javascript. Fred Wilson, the rockstar Venture capitalist, called it “a game changer”.

The Kik development team is made up primarily of UW graduates (or CS/ENG drop-outs with exceptional practical coding skills and eye for opportunity) so they wanted to get back to their roots for the product launch. They launch party was at the campus bar The Bomber where Kik CEO Ted Livingston made a quick intro speech and jaw dropping product demo.

The Clik application from Kik will be available soon in the apple app store and in the Android Marketplace. We’ll post links as soon as their out. In the mean time, here’s a screen shot of the Clik Airtube app.

clik airtube

Page 4 of 366 – Twitter Trend Explained

page 4 of 366The twitter keyword Page 4 of 366 is trending today and there is little explanation on twitter as to what it actually means.

Pretty much it’s just a chronicling of days in 2012 as if they were pages from a book (ie today is the 4th day of 2012, so page 4 of 366 days in 2012). The explanation seems pretty straight forward but may people were thrown off by the 366 figure rather then the much recognizable 365 number. The 366 is accurate as 2012 is a leap year so there is one extra day in February. Yesterday, the term page 3 of 366 made it to the trend board in some areas so you’ll probably see the Page N of 366 phrase a lot at least in the next few days.

9gag down | 9gag.com down by 4chan with DDoS attack December 21

The popular image posting website is going down sporadically tonight due to a 4chan led denial of service attack. The login, search registration and voting features are also failing on 9gag.com and no posts posts have been recorded since 17 hours ago. This was presumably to keep 4chan users from uploading obscene images and up-voting them to appear on the front page.

It appears that 4chan users, specifically residents of the /b/ section, are fed up with their content being re-published and shared on 9gag. The attack is also in retaliation to yesterday’s 9gag.com DDoS attack that brought down 4chan’s homepage. The image bellow, originally posted on 4chan.org, sums up their beef succinctly.

4chan ddos 9gag

Devout channers are using an open source DDoS application called Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) as well as it’s successor High Orbit Ion Cannon (HOIC) and directed their packets towards 9gag’s domain and DNS servers. The call to arms was initiated on 4chan.org/b/ and instructions were issued on pastebin.

A few 9gag users posted this in response to the attack

9gag ddos by 4chan