“To be or not to be, that is the question.” Many of you will have heard this famous line, and those of you that haven’t have been living under a rock. Sorry, but that’s how it is. So all of you rock-dwellers listen up, because here’s a history lesson. Those of you that don’t live under a rock, skip over the next paragraph by clicking Here

I wonder how many will read this paragraph? Well first of all, the famous phrase was part of Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, and appeared in the third act, scene one. If you read it in context with the rest of the scene, it is clear that it means to live or die, all put in the confusing manner that was spoken in those days. For more information on this, check out this cool article from Phrases.org: To be, or not to be, that is the question.

So after reading through my what I had written so far, pondering over the title, and sitting in thought for awhile, I have accomplished two things: 1. I have remembered what I was planning on writing about. 2. I have a vague idea on how I will write it. First I suppose I should mention a book I read part of awhile ago titled Steal This File Sharing Book, by Wallace Wang. This book is, as you may have derived from its title, about file sharing, and, in general, stealing media. This book covers the history of media piracy from its infancy through forums, to modern day torrents (I made it to the old-school forum section). Great book, well written, and very informative. Maybe now you have an idea what I will be covering in this post?

So. Obtaining media, for that is what we shall call it, is what I will be writing about. How many of you, and this question is rhetorical, download music from various websites? Not those of you that pay for your music put your hands down. Nobody did? Well, what a surprise. Lets move on and come back to this. How many of you use programs such as Limewire, Vuze (formerly Azureus), or other P2P (Peer2Peer) services to download music? I’m guessing that quite a few of you raised your hands. Alright everyone, put your hands down. Now you may or may not realize that this is in fact illegal. Yes, I know none of you batted an eye as I said this. But all the same, it is. From concert recordings to the original .mp3 file being posted to the internet, nothing is safe, and that’s just how we like it.

Now don’t think I am condoning the piracy of music, programs, movies and videos, I’m just saying that the majority prefers it that way. When I used the example of an .mp3 file, whether the original or a copy of a song, being posted to the internet I did not exclude websites such as Rhapsody where you are allowed to play their music for a certain number of times before you are asked to purchase it. (There is an easy way around this, but I wont go in to that here). I’m sure many of you thought of download sites such as Pillage, or other websites of which I am not aware of, when I said music being posted to the internet. All of those are illegal. Plain and simple, illegal. Frostwire, Limewire, Vuze, all of those support the download and usage of copyrighted materials without the consent of their authors.

So now that I have rephrased what most of the people reading this article already know, let me move on. I’m going to say this now; I will not tell you all how to pirate media. I will, however, give brief descriptions of methods used in the hopes that protection against such methods will be created in the future. All the methods in the article are for educational purpose only, and again, I do not condone the usage or methods used to pirate media.

Torrents. The definition of a torrent from Wikipedia or Google (define:torrent) doesn’t do it justice, so I will define it myself; A torrent is a package of information used by torrent applications such as Bittorrent and Vuze to locate large files for quick transfer across the internet. Basically, a torrent is the URL to files (generally large ones and normally hosted on personal computers) that people wish to transfer across the internet. Torrents make it easy to transfer very, very large files across the internet, provided the connection to the source files stays open. That is the main downside to the use of Torrents, the very reason they are great: they rely on the computer with the source file to remain on and running, also known as seeding, the file in order for it to be downloaded. Theoretically as more and more people download torrent files, the numbers of hosts, or seeds, would grow. In theory. In practice that isn’t quite the case, but that’s a judgment call for the users, not something for me to talk about here. A prime example of the use of torrents to transfer large files would be videos, which Vuze specializes in. Through the use of Vuze it is possible to download entire series, free of charge, or shows such as Burn Notice, NCIS, and full movies such as Iron Man and Iron Man 2. A series of 12 episodes can take up anywhere between 15 to 25 GB, making a Torrent ideal for the transfer of these large files.

Music. Again, I will not tell you exactly how to obtain free music. Here is some food for thought though. Go to Pandora.com or Grooveshark.com (my two favorite places to listen to music) and listen to a song or two, or three, or four. Go ahead and listen to the music while you read my article, while you do homework, while you drive to work-whatever, but the point is this: How does the music get to you? Think about it. Do you think that Pandora or Grooveshark opens a direct connection to your speakers, and sends the data directly to your speakers from their website? Nope, that’s not it. So how does it work? Well, I don’t really know, to tell you the truth. I don’t know how the sound actually gets from the website to your speakers, but the fact remains that it does. The actual file, the information making up the music or audio file must be relayed to your computer to be played through the speakers, right? Somehow the information, the 1’s and 0’s that the computer speaks in, the information making up the song you’re listening to must get to your computer in order to be played through your speakers. So what if you wanted to capture that stream? Well you can do it in a number of ways, but the best, most sophisticated method would be to capture that information as it is being transferred from the website to your computer. Good luck, that is all I will tell you on this subject.

Streaming movies. This will be a shorter paragraph because it is basically the same thing as I mentioned in my last paragraph. When you go to YouTube and watch a movie, that movie information in the form of bits and bytes must be transferred to your computer in such a way that not only can your speakers play the appropriate sounds, but your screen display the appropriate images. You guessed right if you think that YouTube does not open a direct connection to your screen and speakers, rather, the file is transferred to your computer in such a way that I do not know how to explain it, except that it can be intercepted, recorded, and saved. All you need to do is find a way.

Books. I suppose you could call books the “written media” or whatever, but regardless of whether or not you call books media, they are still treated mostly the same way other media is, and pirated in a similar way, too. Books are in as much demand as any other media, so ways of sharing that sort of media for free has been developed. A simple Google search for the desired book will yield the results you need, so I will not explain anything here, other than .chm files are a good thing to look out for.

I hope this article was informative, and I plan to write more articles on this topic in the future.

Good day, and good night.

And it’s still alive!

Posted: July 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

Yep, I’ve decided what I’m going to write about. Or, maybe more accurately I should say that I have remembered what I was planning on writing about before I got sidetracked deciding how to write the title of my last blog post.

Now I’m guessing that a fair amount of the people that will read this have a blog in this technological day and age, so more likely than not you will know what I mean when I say it is a battle to get viewers to your blog, website, candy shop-whatever it is. And I have to agree with you, kinda. Sorta.

You may be wondering why I titled my previous post as I did, and what I may have been referring to when I wrote the title as I did. Well I was referring to my blog, not an experiment I’ve conducted in my basement. I will have to confess that I haven’t created an ingenious program to crawl the internet, posting automatically generated, plagiarized copies of popular article that are within a topic I have chosen, but all the same my blog seems to be doing well for itself.

Whenever I login (log-in, log in?) to my WordPress dashboard and check my stats, I can count on seeing around 90% of the days in the past week having over 10 views, topping out at somewhere between 20 and 25 views a day. Now this is when I’m not posting anything at all, not sending links to anyone, and in general leaving my blog alone. Interesting, isn’t it? I mean, I suppose if you look at this statistically or logically it would make sense that out of the some 6.7 billion people in the world, of which some 26-27% have internet access (source: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm) it would make sense that there would be enough people to continue visiting my website, regardless of whether or not I continue to post; there will always be more people to view my, your, and everyone’s websites. It’s interesting though that even though I have been doing nothing at all to drive traffic to my website, whether in the form of posts, comments on other blogs, and social advertising, that I would still receive views.

A great amount of the page views I am receiving these days are through Google search queries though, strangely enough, and from some of the weirdest queries also. I can’t complain, and I wont, because regardless of how the people get here, I’m glad they do and I hope they learn something.

That, my friends, should be the motto of all bloggers.

Good day and good night.

Muhahaha! It’s alive!

Posted: July 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

Well before I begin this article I’d like to cite my sources for this article:

Yahoo! Answers: How do you write your evil laugh?
Yahoo! Answers: How do you spell an evil laugh?
And even though I didn’t use this article to begin my article, its worth a read; wikiHow: How to do an evil laugh.

So yeah, besides getting to write a fun title for this post, I’m not really sure what I’m going to write about, nor am I sure how to put a lapse in time in to text in a fashion that will not take away from the profoundness of what I’m going to say, or the maturity I’m displaying in my writing.

So this will be part 1 until I think of what I will finish this article with.

So why do you blog? What do you blog about? Those are two questions I’ve asked myself every time I started a new blog. Each time out of the 16 or so times I’ve asked myself this question, I’ve always told myself that I wanted to share what I knew with someone else. Noble goals, if I do say so myelf. Too bad it’s kinda pointless.

Lets take a look back in time, shall we? I currently have 18,595 page visits on this blog, not including mine. This is over a period of 2 years and roughly 4 months, as I began this blog in January of 2008. If we break this down, that’s around 664 views per month. Now out of those 18,595 views, there are 110 comments on various posts around my blog. Not take half of those out of the equation as responses by me to other comments, and you’re down to 55 comments. 55 people decided to comment out of 18,595.

Now go back to my original question: Why do you blog? Or as it should be said, Why do I blog? Well, as I said before, I blog to share what I know with other people. Huh, interesting. Seems like all those people I’ve devoted my time to over the past two years really haven’t learned a whole lot, seeing as only 55 of those people learned enough to warrant a comment to tell me so.

This isn’t a sob-story from a guy who wants page views and comments, I’m just trying to make a point. So why do you blog? Do you, like me, want to share what you know with an attentive audience? We all think we’re the greatest thing since sliced bread. Yeah, I said it. A lot of us think we know the right way to do something-some of us even believe the best way.  Some of us are right, too. But in this day and age I personally, and I know I speak for a multitude of people, don’t want to sit and read the ramblings of someone just to decipher the answer to the question I had asked. Half an hour ago.

There’s a book called Dreaming in Code, by an author who’s name I cannot recall, who had something to say on the mindset of programmers: If they can’t find it in a minute and a half, they’ll conclude that it doesn’t exist. Now how true is that, not only to programmers, but to the multitude today? I haven’t spent more than two minutes looking for an answer to a question in quite awhile; If I can’t find the answer to my question I try a new Google query, or try something else.

My point here is this: We bloggers may be trying to reach out to a large audience, or at least someone who will listen to what we have to say, but we’re all under the illusion that somebody cares!

I can’t really tell you why I wrote this, but it’s definitely food for thought. And if you learned something, prove me wrong and tell me about it in a comment.

Posted: February 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

Hola.

A little while ago, on my new computer running Windows 7, I was having a problem. Yes, with Windows 7 I was having a problem. My problem was such that it wasn’t totally the operating system’s fault, although with some new evidence that point could be contested. My problem was that when I would type the palm of my hand or my thumb would tap the touchpad, thus moving my cursor to a new place. So for example, I would be typing like this, and then for seemingly no reason, I would start typing up at the top of the page, or in a search box, or in the middle of another sentence, all because I tapped the trackpad (touchpad). So how did I solve this problem? Well first let me explain the aforementioned evidence.

Recently one of my friends got Windows 7 and installed it on his Vista machine. A few days later, he emailed me about the same problem I had been having. He was having the same issue I had previously had. Now that’s now too surprising but here’s the kicker: he had a different mode laptop than I did, and he hadn’t been having the problem before when he was using Vista. So maybe, for some reason, Windows 7 handles the trackpad differently. Who knows?

Here’s how I solved the problem. All by a simple Google search. By the way, Google has the answer to almost everything. When in doubt, Google.

Oh, before I go on, I want to mention something. I’m a blogger, so I have a right to get sidetracked.

Think about Google. It’s a word, a noun actually, but Google is also a verb. When is the last time you’ve said “I’ll go Google it” or “Lets Google this!”? If you’re like me, it’s probably been pretty recently.  What does it take to change a noun into a verb? A better question is “What does it take to change a company name into a verb?” Nobody says “I’ll Bing it”, or at least, not seriously. Google is dominant, and will stay so as long as we say “Google” instead of “Bing” when we’re going to look something up.

But back to what I was saying. Here’s how I solved the problem. A little program called TouchFreeze came along. TouchFreeze disables the touchpad/trackpad while keys are being pressed. So while I’m typing whether or now I’ve touch the touchpad, nothing will happen. Well, as long as I don’t type with only my thumbs.

A Channeler is a program I would like to see. Yes, I channeler. What is a channeler? well in the context that I am thinking of it in, it would be a program that would channel my internet connection to one specific application. For instance, instead of my internet connection being divvied up between all my open applications that require an internet to even preform the most mundane task, this program would let me choose which programs would be allowed to use the internet. No more would Firefox be using my internet connection to refresh my email while I was playing Combat Arms, no more would Evernote be syncing my notes with their server. No more would windows be checking for updates in the background. I want a program that will do that. I want to be able to give one program all the resources [in this case, the internet connection] that it needs to do its task most quickly and efficiently.

That is what I would like to see.