SuprNova Down

I can’t believe it. The site that I visit without fail everyday is down…and this time, probably for good.

There was news that MPAA recently is going to crack down on BitTorrent sites. Most of the time I pay little attention to this sort of news. I mean, how can you stop a website that doesn’t (technically) break any copyright rules?

Take SuprNova:- it doesn’t host any infringing files. What it does provide is a link of all new and active torrents on the site. It also provides a tracker for these torrents. MPAA (or the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) claims that anyone facilitating the infringement of copyrighted materials is as guilty as the infringing party.

This is truly a disturbing development. Does it mean that if I provide a link to say another movie BitTorrent site that I would be liable too in the eyes of MPAA, even if I did not ripped, mixed, burned or shared any illicit copies?

Anyway, I look forward to the next leap in technology when someone would develop a server-less version of BitTorrent. This version would work like any P2P software and it can use the gnutella technology to search for torrent files. Trackers would be decentralized. Upon locating the required torrent files, the program would then download using BitTorrent.

Panther

Apple’s latest update, the Mac OS X 10.3 (code-named Panther) is a great operating system and sets the bar for how computer operating systems should evolve.

Body: It was a pleasant surprise a couple of weeks ago when I received an e-mail from our friendly MacAsia Apple Centre in GE Mall announcing that they are going to have a launch event on the 24th October 2003 at 8pm. A quick check to the calendar revealed that Deepavali falls on that day. Wanting to be sure that I do not show up for an event because of a typographical error, I e-mailed them a few questions and got a prompt reply stating the following:-

1. Yes. It is a public holiday and they’re having a launch event with food and drinks
2. No. I may not buy the OS before that date no matter how much money I had spent with them

I am a big fan of Jaguar, the previous OS and had no complains about it and was anxious to try out the software. After 2 weeks of running the new OS, I am pleased to report that it is everything that I had expected and more.

Apart from the subtle but effective GUI changes (something that I look forward to in every release of new OS), my Powerbook and Powermac appeared to work faster and breezier. Now, I’ve come traditionally from a Wintel platform and this is the most perplexing “feature” of Apple Mac OS X updates- they actually make your current machine faster! To confirm this, I’ve installed Panther on my friend’s clam shell iBook (which was crawling on Mac OS X 10.1) and everything (reponsiveness, screen refresh, windows dragging, etc) was so much more faster.

I challenge Microsoft to pull this off without requiring people to buy new Intel machines every time a new Windows is released…

End of MSN Chat

Microsoft is shutting down MSN chat rooms around the world because they claim that they are unsafe for children. However, will this make the Internet a safer place?

The short answer is: NO. Taking away just one channel out of a possible unlimited channels where minors can chat does not a safer Internet make. In fact, it might even be more dangerous. The danger is if parents are lulled into a false sense of security by the move. Minors still can have access to Instant Messaging (whether MSN, Yahoo!, AOL or ICQ) or other on-line bulletin boards.

And with Microsoft being a market leader, their social responsibilities are higher. What is astounding is that Microsoft chose the easy way out (by shutting down) instead of doing something more proactive to mitigate the problem. MSN portals could and should be used by Microsoft to teach children about safe Internet surfing.

Of course, one can’t deny the financial aspect of the move as Microsoft can cut it’s MSN portal operation costs down. But in this case, they should have put people

Apple’s New 15″ Aluminum PowerBook

Apple’s new 15″ Aluminum PowerBook raises techno-lust to nearly uncontrollable levels.

The spanking new, deliciously sexy, wondrously sensual 15″ Aluminum PowerBook from Apple is just too much! I’ve been using the old Titanium 15″ for about a year and a half now and I have absolutely no major complains- with the exception of:-

1. The LCD screen had 3 to 4 dead pixels (I’ve gotten a perfect replacement second LCD display after the first one stopped working totally during the 11th month)
2. The 30GB hard disk failed (I’ve replaced the faulty hard disk myself with a 40GB one since the component was a standard)

Apart from the 2 hardware issues, the PowerBook was a dream to use. Before the announcement, I was anticipating a little too much (G5 notebook?) but I guess that something is better than nothing, huh?