Technology

Suppressed Report Found Busted Pirate Site Users Were Good Consumers

Next time a pol cites studio or label guff, they should have their noses pushed in this, like a mongrel that crapped in the garden.

TorrentFreak: In fact, the study also found that Internet users treat these services as a preview, a kind of “try before you buy.”

This, the survey claims, leads pirate site users to buy more DVDs, visit the cinema more often and on average spend more than their ‘honest’ counterparts at the box office.

“The users often buy a ticket to the expensive weekend-days,” the report notes.

In the past similar studies have revealed that the same is true for music. People who pirate a lot of music buy significantly more music than those who don’t.

Obviously it would be of great interest to see the report in full, but it appears that is not going to be possible. According to an anonymous GfK source quoted by Telepolis, the findings of the study proved so unpleasant to the company that commissioned the survey that it has now been locked away “in the poison cupboard.”

Google Public DNS

Could spell trouble for OpenDNS. I’m jealous of their netblocks.

Google Public DNS is a free, global Domain Name System (DNS) resolution service, that you can use as an alternative to your current DNS provider.

To try it out:

  • Configure your network settings to use the IP addresses 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 as your DNS servers or
  • Read our configuration instructions.

If you decide to try Google Public DNS, your client programs will perform all DNS lookups using Google Public DNS.

Amazon.com Universal Wish List

In case you missed it, Amazon.com has a wonderful new tool for adding items from any website to your Amazon wish list, so you can create a central repository of Stuff You Want. All you need to do is add a bookmarklet to your browser – instructions are provided – and click on it when you see Stuff You Want. Fill in a few details in a window that will pop up and you’re good to go, or rather your friends and family are when they feel you’ve Been Good.

Unfortunately it’s not available on the laggardly Amazon.co.uk yet, but that doesn’t really have an impact on functionality. Just make sure you send people to both when you’re scumming for Stuff. :)

Micro-USB Mobiles in Europe

Obsolete before it actually happens?

Top mobile telephone suppliers have agreed to back an EU-wide harmonization of phone chargers, the European Commission said on Monday, hailing the pact as good news for consumers and the environment.

The Commission said the agreement would involve the creation of an EU norm, and that the new generation of mobile phones would use a standard micro-USB socket to ensure compatibility.

via Reuters.

Opera Unite

While I won’t assign it the “reinvention of the web” tag others are giving it quite yet, Opera Unite is something new in a space where we really don’t see truly fresh things very often. In a nutshell, it’s a mashup of “traditional” web services, peer-to-peer, and your browser; in more detail, it’s locally hosted file sharing and communications, with the following services out of the box:

  • Media Sharing / Player
  • File Sharing
  • Web Server
  • Photo Sharing
  • Messaging (“Fridge”)
  • Chat (“Lounge”)

Yes, we can install all those services on our own computers – many of us have done for years – but the social aspect makes them all much more accessible. It’s a bit clunky now, but in time – particularly if they hook up with Facebook Connect or similar – you’ll be able to find people and help people find you, and take complete control of your services.

I like this. I won’t use it right now because I couldn’t possibly move away from the browser I’ve created out of Firefox, but  when it comes out of beta I could well switch over. I like control over my data, and Unite gives it to me.