ZapShares Protects P2P Users From Copyright Infringement

ZapShares is a very interesting software based on a very simple idea. Whenever you download content through a Peer-toPeer (P2P) client like uTorrent or LimeWire, the software automatically also starts uploading the content hence distrubuting to other users without the content owner’s permission. This makes you liable for copyright infringement.

If you have ZapShares installed, it simply puts all the downloaded content into a secure vault hence making it impossible to upload/distribute to other users and saving you from potential legal problems. Well, a big assumption in this case is that you have the right to download the content in the first place because if you don’t, you are getting involved in copyright infringement right there.

ZapShares

In addition to this, ZapShares also protects you against several types of malware that creep into your system via these P2P files. It scans your system for these threats and clean them. ZapShares also makes sure that you or any other user of your computer do not accidentally start sharing content on a P2P network. Over all its a great and very useful software but will it really protect you from the copyright infringement lawsuits? I am not too sure!

[Via iLoveFreeSoftware]

FreebieGeni Is a Search Engine For Free Stuff

Love free stuff? Forget Google and check out FreebieGeni. It is a search engine exclusively indexing free giveaways found on the internet. It scans tons of websites for free stuff and lists them for you so you don’t have to spend hours on useless websites, blogs and forums trying to find freebies.

You can browse through the recently listed freebies or explore deals in around 60 different categories ranging from food and clothing to software and blogs. Still not finding what you are looking for? Use the search feature to quickly scan all the freebie listings for your specific keywords. You can even restrict the search by category.

Freebie Geni

If you are wondering how to tell if a free giveaway is really worth it, check the rating next to each deal. This user based rating system indicates how good a deal is and lets you rate deals as well. However, since there is no accountability (one person can rate a deal multiple times), one should not be too dependent on these ratings. A very good way to keep up with the site is to simply add it to your feed reader and quickly glance through the updated freebies everyday to see if there’s anything that matches your interest.

Microsoft Will Soon Discontinue Security Support For Windows XP Service Pack 2

XP users, heads up ! Microsoft is soon going to discontinue support for security updates of Windows XP service pack 2. If you’re running one of these versions after support ends, you won’t get security updates for Windows after July 13, 2010.

The security updates for users who are using Windows Vista without any service packs has already been stopped on April 13, 2010. However, Microsoft will provide the necessary security updates to XP users using service pack 3 as usual.

If you are not sure which version or service pack of Windows you are using, click the start menu button, type winver in the search box, and then press “Enter”.

It’s very clear that Microsoft want the users to upgrade to a better and current version of Windows (read Windows 7). But this decision, will surely have an impact on a lot of organizations around the world, assuming that they regularly install the latest updates from Windows.

There are still thousands of homes, offices, schools and other corporate organizations who use Windows XP regularly and stopping the security updates will leave them with no option other than to upgrade to a newer version of Windows.

On this issue, this site has put together some interesting verdicts by security experts. Here is an excerpt:

Companies choosing to not adhere to vendor support lifecycles presents a risk to a network as vulnerabilities exist that can lead to virus outbreaks, breaches in security and potential loss of data

The longer Microsoft continues to support legacy products and applications, Microsoft and its customers will suffer as they will spend effort and energy supporting legacy code instead of ultimately developing new technologies and security measures.

Do you use Windows XP and install the latest Windows updates? Are you going to upgrade to a current version of Windows? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Bing ReDesigns App For Windows Phones, Adds Turn By Turn Navigation

Bing app for Windows phones which was already pretty good just got even better. All the mobile phones that run a Windows Mobile OS got a nice redesign of the app today along with a voice based turn-by-turn navigation. The new design of the app focus on greater accessibility and displays common searches like ‘Movies’ and ‘Maps’ upfront. Besides these, users can also get a single-click access to  Maps, Directions, Local and  Favorites.

The turn-by-turn navigation feature is available for all Windows phones with a Windows Mobile version 6.x and is obviously powered by Bing Maps. Now while using the app to get directions, clicking on the ‘Navigate’ button will calculate your shortest route and guide you at each turn with voice alerts and visual arrows. You can also choose to avoid highways or tolls or simply get a list of directions.

However, the navigation feature is currently only available to users in the US. The navigation feature currently works with the following phones:

HTC FuzeHTC PureHTC HD2

HTC Tilt 2

HTC Touch Diamond 2

HTC Touch HD

HTC Touch Pro

HTC Touch Pro 2

Motorola Q9c

Samsung Jack

Samsung Omnia II

Samsung Propel

T-Mobile Dash 3G

Twitter Changes Algorithm For Trending Topics

If you were almost fed up of seeing Justin Beiber as the trending topic every day, you will find a refreshing change today. Twitter has finally tweaked their algorithm used for identifying trending topics and Justin Beiber is finally out of the league.

Instead of including topics that have been simply popular on daily basis, Twitter will trend topics that are immediately popular and that are more relevant to that particular moment. These topics will be more like “breaking news” instead of just being the “most discussed” topics. The algorithm is still a  work in progress so there might be some anomalies but it appears to give a much better picture of the Twitterverse as compared to the previous algorithm that constantly included topics like  Justin Beiber, Lady Gaga or  iPad. It will also serve as a more purposeful resource to people who often come to Twitter for news as they will get more fresh and dynamic information now.

This will also help prevent situations where a few users tweeted about a topic heavily so it could trend on Twitter. With the latest algorithm, getting a topic to trend won’t be as easy as before. Here’s an official statement from Twitter about the changed algorithm:

The new algorithm identifies topics that are immediately popular, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis, to help people discover the most breaking’ breaking news from across the world. (We had previously built in this emergent’ algorithm for all local trends, described below.) We think that trending topics which capture the hottest emerging trends and topics of discussion on Twitter are the most interesting.

TweetDeck To Launch a Browser-Based Mobile Client

TweetDeck is one of the most popular clients for using Twitter. Besides the desktop version, TweetDeck has apps for almost all major mobile platforms but they don’t think that’s good enough. TweetDeck is now working on a browser-based mobile version that will be based on the recently hyped HTML5.

This will eliminate the need for developing and maintaining separate apps for different mobile platforms and would help a small company like TweekDeck focus more on innovation and quality rather than extensive development. TweetDeck CEO Ian Dodsworth also mentioned that a browser-based client will consume less battery power than a platform native app and will provide greater accessibility.

However, as ReadWriteWeb notes, a browser-based client means there would be no interaction with local apps or the local environment. If you are running it on the iPhone, you might not be able to use all the shortcuts and touch functions that you can use on the native app. Overall, it seems like users who want a better performance will go for the browser-based client but the users who are not willing to sacrifice the unique features of the app will stick to the platform native apps.

How To Install EiskaltDC++ [Ubuntu 9.10 and Ubuntu 10.04]

EiskaltDC++ is a DC++ alternative to the old Linuxdcpp client. It has a rather nice interface and has a few more functions than Linuxdcpp.

EiskaltDC++ is a program for UNIX-like systems that uses the Direct Connect and ADC protocol. It is compatible with other DC clients, such as the original DC from Neomodus, DC++ and derivatives. EiskaltDC++ also interoperates with all common DC hub software.

To install EiskaltDC++ in Ubuntu 10.04 or Ubuntu 9.10, open terminal follow the folloeing steps:

Add the PPA with the command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tehnick/tehnick

Update the program list with the command:

sudo apt-get update

Finally, install EiskaltDC++ with the command:

For stable version:

sudo apt-get install eiskaltdcpp

For unstable version:

sudo apt-get install eiskaltdcpp-unstable

Sony Publishes Its 2009-10 Fiscal Year Financial Report; Posts Another Huge Loss

Sony has just released its financial statement for the Fiscal year ending March 31st, 2010, and things don’t look good. The company posted a loss of $439 million, down from the $1 billion loss it faced in the 2008-09 financial year. Sales of the various Sony products were down except for the PS3. Sony managed to sell 13 million PS3s compared to the 10.1 million units in the 2008-09 financial year.

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The number of PSPs sold fell from 14.4 million units to 9.9 million units. The Sony PS2 sold 7.2 million units, down by only .5 million units from the previous financial year. Quite surprising for a console whose timeis now over. The sale of games of the various consoles from Sony also fell this year. Sony sold 44.4 million PSP games, down by 5.9 million units. The sale of PS2 games saw a huge decline, going down to 35.7 million units from 2008’s 83.5 million units.

The only good news here for Sony fan boys is that the Sony PS3 has finally become profitable for the company. The profit margin will now continue to increase thanks to the shift to a 40nm Graphics card. Hopefully, the launch of PSP2 and the PlayStation Move at the E3 Expo will turn things around for the company.

Twitter Search Adds Expanding Shortened URL’s From Search Result Page

Shortened URL’s are unpredictable, you have no idea where a shortened link is going. Yes, there are browser extensions and tools like Unhid, which can reveal the actual location of shortened links, but it’s always better when such abilities are incorporated in the default application or website.

Twitter search has added a new “expand” feature which let anyone see the actual location of a shortened link right from the search result page. Every shortened link is accompanied by an “Expand” link, clicking which shows the original URL as shown in the following screenshots:

The expanded link can then be shortened back in it’s original form using the “Contract” button. Think of this as a toggle button for expanding and contracting links on Twitter search page.

Revealing the actual location of shortened links can be quite useful, when you want to judge the quality of the link by looking at the URL. If the URL is from a famous site and you trust the source, you would definitely like to pay a visit.

Otherwise, you can skip and move on with the next result or tweet. And considering the fact that Twitter search is full of spam and self promotion, expanding the shortened links was much desired.
Please note that this feature is implemented only in Twitter search and not if you perform a search at Twitter.com. Thank you Chris Pirillo for noting the feature.

Free Google Voice Invites For US Students

Google Voice is a really awesome service, which provides you with an alternative number which you can use to manage your physical phones, and also setup rules and filtering so that you are not disturbed with unwanted calls or messages. Unfortunately, Google voice is only available for US citizens and that too with an invitation.

The good news is that Google is giving away free Google Voice invites to U.S students. To request a free invite, all you need is a .edu email address – this is to ensure that you are a student.

To request a free invite, head over to this page and fill a simple application form as shown below:

The official Google blog quotes:

Google Voice is currently only available by invite, a lot of students are still listening to voicemail and sending text messages the old-fashioned way. As a recent college graduate, I can’t think of anything more painful! So starting today, we’ll be giving priority Google Voice invites to students.

If you are a U.S Student and do not have a Google Voice invitation yet, this is the right moment to request a free invite.

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