Category: Tech News

France: Taking anti-piracy to the next level



France wants to step up the pace of war against piracy, by adopting a new law that will make it possible to ban users from using broadband Internet for up to a period of one year.

The new law would make use of a 3-chances policy, and after you are caught downloading illegally for 3 times, you are barred form using the Internet. As simple as that. Quite a radical measure you might say, considering that till now, people were only threatened or advised not to download illegal material off the Internet.

Now, as I said, the French authorities want to literally keep you away from the content you so much want to download, whether you like it or not. And apprently, this new law seems to receive support from the French president, Nicholas Sarkozy.

Why am I blogging about this? Just take a look at who is our main ISP is. Orange. Any bells ringing yet? No? French ISP then?

Yep! Orange is a French ISP, and if this law is actually accepted in France, and if all French ISPs are to sign it, I believe this would include Orange.

Now, I’m not really sure how this would work, but is there a risk that Mauritian Internet users will be affected too?

I don’t know. I’m no law student. But if anybody can bring any clarity to this matter, your comments are most welcome.

I wonder what would happen if somebody happened to be leeching off their neighbour’s wireless connection and downloading illegal content, and the connection owner gets caught. Who goes down? The owner or the leecher?

I personally think these “repressive” ways will not end piracy. Waging war on your own customers is never great. In my opinion, offering better content, more content at affordable prices would really tempt customers away from illegal downloading. If only “download all you can” for a reasonable price ($10/month?) existed, it would be real bliss.
Cheap prices, availability of extra content and services and total freedom. I believe this would be what an average customer like me would ask for. Not much huh?

Your views?

(Original source)

{democracy:4} DOWN in Mauritius only? (Solved)


This article is now out-dated. Rapidshare is back online in Mauritius, discarding the concept of orange applying Internet Censorship. It was probably a problem with their servers, or a broken thing somewhere.

It’s back to normal now. I can access it and download normally. πŸ™‚

I don’t know since when, but it’s impossible for me, an Orange ADSL user, to access I can access though. can be pinged, can be trace-routed, albeit very slowly, but when loading in a browser, you get a “page loading” thing (progress bar starts filling) then it freezes.

I managed to get 1 download going, but it failed after 7KB downloaded, with a miserable speed of 1.5KBps, which is lame.

This can mean 2 things:

– There are issues with the Rapidshare servers and they are doing some kind of maintenance.

– Access to has been blocked by the local ISPs, or Orange.

I had a friend using Nomad’s network to try to access and launch the same download I’ve been trying to get. No result. It was blocked too.

This is not a local DNS issue since I’m using OpenDNS. Trace-route to works. If there was a blocking, the request would have stopped at the ISP, or maybe they are letting requests go through but block HTTP requests or something similar?

For now, I don’t know. I’m writing this article without having every fact, so take what you read with a pinch of salt. It might be censorship. Or it could be a simple server problem. Still, Rapidshare is unusable on Orange’s network.

Another weird issue. If you try accessing via a proxy, it works fine. This is making me seriously consider censorship. Nothing confirmed yet. It might be that Orange started blocking access to Rapidshare to prevent heavy downloading or some kind of weird reason. If you want to check, go to YouHide and use it to access

However, if there is censorship in place, there will be an all-out war between Orange and Internet users. They are violating the basic philosophy of the Internet, which is the free and unrestricted flow of information. We can accept capping, but we can’t accept being censored and restricted like that.

I agree that Rapidshare has loads of illegal content, but also, loads of totally legal content. That doesn’t mean that it should be totally blocked. This is plain unfair. If there is indeed censorship, we could send an email to rapidshare, telling them that their premium users are being denied service in Mauritius, and we demand a refund? That should get their attention! πŸ˜›

The Media Guru also wrote about this problem, so you might give his article a check.

More on this as I get updates… Nothing confirmed yet, remember this!

Ps. Sorry for the lack of articles on GeekScribes. Both Guru and myself are in exam period and will finish by end of May. So, if there are no frequent updates, you now know why. πŸ™‚

30 years of SPAM “celebrated” on 3rd May


Happy birthday to you SPAM! :/

Yes folks. SPAM will be 30 years old tomorrow (3rd May), as reported by The Register!

Junk mail has been littering our email boxes and all of the Internets for 30 long years now, annoying you with the infamous buy XYZ products, specially viagra, and the enlargement of a certain organ in the male body among many other things. In the past, cleaning the clutter was a whole new level of pain and boredom, where you thought of all particularly painful and abusive torture you could inflict on the spammers, while cleaning your inbox. Today, that task is mostly handled by spam filters.

So… to commemorate the 30 years of that monstrosity called spam, let’s see some ways to fight it, so it doesn’t make it to its 40th birthday! :/

Continue Reading »

Vbulletin 3.7.0 Gold Released


vbuleltin logo

Vbulletin has gone Gold again. This time, it is iteration 3.7.0!!! You must all have noticed the above icon often. If I guess right, it is most likely the most active and successful forums that are using Vbulletin. It is being actively developed.

In fact, what does gold mean? According to wikipedia, it is the final version of a particular product. You read it the right way, the most stable and most likely to have the least possible bugs. πŸ˜€ (that is what is most desirable).

I Have used Vbulletin in some occasions, and my advice, it is the best. As it claims to be. About three years back, I can still remember, it was the best and so is it today also. πŸ˜‰ Fully packed with the right set of features and community contributed add-ons, it is no other that an unbeatable package.

This time it has come back with more powerful and useful features.

Comparing the set of presented features with previous versions, I can say “Yes major improvements have been made”. In fact, these are the new additions (features) and the most basic ones. Customisation takes you beyond the average ones.

You might also want to take a look at vBSeo, its specialised SEO package. And this one really works. πŸ˜€

Tempted to download? πŸ˜‰ So am I, but it is a commercial package. Costing $150. But, overall comparing it with all the open source forums software and IPB (Invision Power Board), it is worth investing.

HyMini – Green Power Is In Your Hand


Be Green

How does it sounds? Technology and environment! For me, this is ‘sound’ thinking. MiniWiz, the company behind HyMini , has come forward with facilitating your life and being an environment fighter. Own your own power generator.

Continue Reading » Happy Hours – Captcha Stories


On the 17th April 2008, this was as quoted on Rapidshare News.

As every free user should have noticed, we are experimenting once again with the CAPTCHA system. The reason is that RapidShare is popular enough for people to create tools to download from RapidShare as a free user as if they were a premium user. This has a negative impact for our paying premium users, since they expect a fast download. On the other hand we are also experimenting with happy hours again. When our servers have enough spare bandwidth, we will make it easier for free users to download from RapidShare, knowing that this also makes it possible again to automatically download files with those tools. Right now the RapidShare Happy Hours will disable the download tickets and the captchas completely.

I think this is a quite good alternative. This morning itself I headed to rapidshare to rip some files off its server. The COOLΒ  little cats didn’t let me pass the captcha test. :S At this time, I found the New Rapidshare Happy Hours and I Googled It.

It is good to know that at some point, we may download without having to wait and input captchas. We don’t know what the guys at Rapidshare have in reserve for us. My advice, keep posted in their News section.

Bittorrent and P2P usage grow worldwide


Following the major discussions taking place about Orange and its capping policies, I thought this article deserved some consideration.

Well, according to Ars Technica’s report, there has been a 25% increase in Bittorrent traffic from November 2007 to March 2008, with UTorrent being the application leader. Yep! Azureus and BitComet come after! This represents a big increase. Possibly millions of new users?

Regarding P2P, the Gnutella network is faring pretty well, being the #1 network in terms of traffic. Limewire must be thanked for this position in the list, being the leader in P2P applications.

Why did I post this article? I don’t really know. I found those facts pretty interesting, and thought I might share. In Mauritius, Orange is trying to limit the use of P2P and Bittorrent via its Fair Use Policy (FUP), whereas in the world, the use of these two services are growing rapidly, probably fueled by the megabit connections available abroad.

Although many use these services for piracy, P2P and Bittorrent have many “legit” uses such as sharing open-source distributions, and making lesser-known “garage band” artists and productions available to the public.

I personally think that many people opt for a high-speed connection because they download large files and want these faster. What’s the use of a high-speed connection if it cannot be used for downloading? I doubt you will use a megabit connection for plain browsing. Well, that’s the logic Orange is applying here. 1GB capping was just ridiculous. Now with FUP, even that limit is not known. It’s just weird. Just derive your own conclusions!

Anyways, comments awaited on this. Maybe they will help me rephrase my thoughts a bit better! πŸ™‚