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Piracy

BitTorrent Usage Increases In Europe, Following the Pirate Bay Blockade 272

MrSeb writes "In a twist that will surprise no one except the RIAA, MPAA, BREIN, and other anti-piracy lobbies, the amount of BitTorrent traffic has stayed the same or increased in Europe following the blockade of The Pirate Bay in the UK, Netherlands, and other countries. This news comes from XS4All, one of the largest European ISPs, which has published a graph of the network traffic associated with the BitTorrent protocol — and sure enough, since the Dutch Pirate Bay blockade began in February 2012, traffic has stayed the same or increased slightly. There are probably a few reasons for this: a) The European blockades created a lot of publicity (and no publicity is bad publicity); b) TPB isn't the only torrent site out there, and many of its torrents are available elsewhere; and c) Internet denizens are a lot more savvy (proxies, VPNs, etc.) than the MPAA and co give them credit for."
Google

French Court Frowns On Autocomplete, Tells Google To Remove Searches 343

New submitter Lexx Greatrex writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica: "Google had been sued by insurance company Lyonnaise de Garantie, which was offended by search results including the word 'escroc,' meaning crook, according to a story posted Tuesday by the Courthouse News Service. 'Google had argued that it was not liable since the word, added under Google Suggest, was the result of an automatic algorithm and did not come from human thought,' the article states. 'A Paris court ruled against Google, however, pointing out that the search engine ignored requests to remove the offending word... In addition to the fine, Google must also remove the term from searches associated with Lyonnaise de Garantie.'"
Google

Google Apologizes For "Michelle Obama" Results 783

theodp writes "CNN reports that for most of the past week, when someone did a Google image search for 'Michelle Obama,' one of the first images that came up was a picture of the First Lady altered to resemble a monkey. After being hit with a firestorm of criticism over the episode, Google first banned the site that posted the photo, saying it could spread malware. Then, when the image appeared on another site, Google displayed the photo in its search results, but displayed an apologetic Google ad above it. On Wednesday morning, the racially offensive image appeared to have been removed from any Google Image searches for 'Michelle Obama.' Google officials could not immediately be reached for comment." Update — 15:38 GMT by SS: A reader pointed out that this article from the Guardian says the image was de-listed simply because it was removed from the blog where it was hosted rather than by any "deliberate" action from Google.
Security

Norton Users Worried By PIFTS.exe, Stonewalling By Symantec 685

An anonymous reader writes that "[Monday] evening, on systems with Norton Internet Protection running, users began to see a popup warning about an executable named PIFTS.exe trying to access the internet. The file was shown to be located in a non-existent folder inside the Symantec LiveUpdate folder. There were several posts about this to the Norton customer forums asking for help or information on this mysterious program. The initial thread received several thousand views and several pages of replies in a few short hours before being deleted. Several subsequent posts to the Norton forum were deleted much more quickly. These actions — whether actively covering up, or simply not well thought through — have spurred people to begin crafting conspiracy theories about the purposes of this PIFTS program. I for one am blocking the program until more information becomes available." The current top link on Google for "PIFTS.exe" links to one of these deleted questions on Norton's support boards, which sounds innocent enough: "I searched this forum but did not see PIFTS.exe. Any idea what this is?"

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