How to remove MacDefender fake antivirus program

/* Posted May 20th, 2011 at 2:46am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Web    */

A new malware infection has apparently been spreading relatively rapidly among
Mac users, and it’s unclear both how pervasive the infection is and whether Apple is addressing the problem. What is known, however, is how to get rid of it.

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By manipulating Safari and its Open safe files after downloading option, rogue antivirus programs like MacDefender can automatically begin their installation process when downloaded. Screenshot taken from YouTube video.

(Credit:
Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET via Intego)

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What is it?
Most often called MacDefender, but also known as MacProtector and MacSecurity, this bit of malware is a socially engineered threat of a type that’s more familiar to Windows users. It often starts with a Web advertisement that suckers you into downloading a rogue antivirus program, which purports to protect you. In fact, once installed it engages in several malicious activities. These can include stealing your usernames and passwords; disabling your firewall and other legitimate security programs you might have installed; and pummeling you with repeated pop-ups that nag you to buy a fake upgrade (which, if you get it, just sends money to the malware’s developer).

In this particular case, MacDefender runs after you install it, and then tells you your computer is infected. To “clean” the infections, you have to register the program, which involves providing your credit card number. If you’ve happened to fall victim to this and you’ve submitted your credit card info, cancel the card immediately and verify that all recent charges are legitimate.

Related link
? How bad is the Mac malware scare? (FAQ)

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Rogue antivirus programs like MacDefender can steal your log-in information, but thats not their primary target. Screenshot taken from YouTube video.

(Credit:
Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET via Intego)

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There have also been Web-forum reports from MacDefender victims that the malware has been popping up pornographic Web sites and ads, though these reports remain unverified.

MacDefender has been targeting
Safari users, though it could easily aim for users of other browsers. Be sure you’ve changed your browser settings so that the computer doesn’t automatically install downloaded programs. You can do this in Safari by going to Preferences, then General, and uncheck the “Open ‘safe’ files after downloading” box. There is no option in
Firefox for Mac to automatically run downloaded files. Chrome 11 users not only appear to have the option, there also doesn’t seem to be a way to turn it off.

How to remove rogue antivirus programs
On any platform, rogue antivirus programs are resistant to standard program removal procedures. This means you can’t just drag one to the trash.

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Once installed, the malicious program runs a scan and warns you that your computers been infected. You cant remove the infections until you upgrade the program, though. Screenshot taken from YouTube video.

(Credit:
Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET via Intego)

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First, close the Scan window that’s opened. Then launch the Activity Monitor by going to your Applications folder, then the Utilities folder. You can also use the hot key combo of Shift+Command+U from the desktop. Manually find all processes with names that match the rogue antivirus infection. These include the aforementioned MacDefender, MacProtector, and MacSecurity, but you might be infected with a new variant that will have a similar but not identical name.

Highlight the process, then click the Quit Process button. If a pop-up appears asking if you are sure, click the Force Quit button on the left.

Next, go back to the Applications folder, and find your rogue antivirus program. Again, it will likely be called MacDefender, MacProtector, or MacSecurity. Move the program to the Trash, and then empty the Trash. It’s OK to enter your system password if prompted when emptying the Trash.

Now click the Apple Menu from the upper left of the desktop taskbar and go to System Preferences, then System, Accounts, and click Login Items. This will open a window with a list of programs that automatically start when OS X boots up. Find the rogue antivirus program in the list, MacDefender or one of its malevolent brethren, click on it and then find the Minus button at the bottom of the window. Click the Minus button, which will remove the program from startup.

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The rogue antivirus program will finally ask for your credit card information, its real target. Screenshot taken from YouTube video.

(Credit:
Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET via Intego)

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Be sure you’ve followed all these steps, otherwise the rogue antivirus program will reinstall itself the next time you reboot your computer. Also, be extremely careful about installing programs from unknown sources. It’s never a good idea, on any platform, to automatically install a program or app after downloading, unless you’re 100 percent positive it comes from a safe source.

Just as with Windows, there are numerous paid and free antivirus programs for Mac. ClamX AV, iAntiVirus Free, and Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Free are all good, reputable, and free Mac antivirus programs.

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Twitter 2.0 for BlackBerry is official

/* Posted May 19th, 2011 at 2:46pm [Comments: none]    */
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A mere two weeks after Twitter 2.0′s arrival in BlackBerry Beta Zone, it looks like the newly-refreshed client has emerged unscathed. Twitter 2.0 for Blackberry is official, and will be generally available in BlackBerry App World over the next 24 hours.

For those who weren’t on the beta train, Twitter 2.0 boasts speedier and more streamlined Twitter Search via a single screen combining the Find People, Search, and Popular Topics functions, along with Trends and Saved Searches. For BlackBerry 6 users, Universal Search on your phone now pulls results from Twitter as well. And finally, the app sports some cosmetic improvements with a sleek black-chrome color scheme and Compose Tweet button right on the global navigation bar for easy tweeting from anywhere in the app.

Check out Twitter 2.0 today in BlackBerry App World. And if you don’t see it yet, fear not, it’ll be there in a few short hours.

(Credit:
BlackBerry)

(Credit:
BlackBerry)

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Trillian 5 adds Pro features for free

/* Posted May 19th, 2011 at 2:46am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Web    */



(Credit:
Trillian)

Trillian, the popular multiple-personality IM client, recently upgraded to version 5, giving it a refreshed interface, improved social integration, and, get this, all of the Pro features from previous versions, all for free. Now every user can enjoy themes, activity history viewer, and multiple location sign-in, along with the newly developed continuous client feature, which keeps chats synced across all devices. For now, these upgrades have only hit the Windows client (download) and the now free Android app (download).
Mac, iOS, and Blackberry are all on deck.

While the idea of free is nice, as we all know, nothing ever truly comes without a cost. In this case, these new releases are ad-supported, which is not a big deal, but a cost nonetheless. Some may find the in-chat offers annoying, but overall, we found them rather inconspicuous. However, we did notice, the slyly placed offers during the Windows install, so unless you’re into bloated toolbars, be sure to opt out of the Ask and eBay add-ons.



(Credit:
Trillian)

Trillian also offers a new Pro account for $12 a year, which gets you a completely ad-free experience and access to the pretty nifty online chat storage feature. Paid account holdovers from version 4 still get the ad-free experience, but will have to upgrade to Trillian 5 Pro to get the online chat storage. Paid mobile customers get the ad-free experience and free updates, but again, no online chat storage until they upgrade to the new Pro account.

In our opinion, ads or no ads, the major improvements and new continuous client feature are well worth the move to Trillian 5 for Windows. And for the Android mobile owners, there’s not much to deliberate here–Trillian used to be $4.99 and now it’s free.

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CollabraCam controls multiple iDevice cameras–from your iPhone

/* Posted May 18th, 2011 at 2:45pm [Comments: none]    */
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You’ve probably seen some of the video masterpieces filmmakers have created using nothing more than an iPhone. Of course, most of those clips, commercials, and shorts were shot with a single camera. Impressive as the results can be, aspiring videographers would no doubt appreciate the option of multiple cameras shooting at multiple angles.

CollabraCam is a potentially game-changing app that turns your
iPhone into a multicamera control center, one that’s linked in real-time to as many as four other iOS devices. This is better seen than described, so check out this info vid:

Cool, right? What’s really amazing is that you can create your multicamera movie more or less on the fly, choosing the best shot from the available sources, putting camera operators on standby so they can frame the next angle, and editing your video in real-time.

Now for the bad news. CollabraCam requires a Wi-Fi network; it can’t create an ad-hoc one among the various iDevices. Although that seemingly limits your ability to shoot “on location,” you can use a mobile hot spot, a laptop-powered ad-hoc network, or any wireless router, as long as it has power. (An actual Internet connection isn’t necessary.)

The bigger bummer is that CollabraCam can’t record at 720p; its maximum resolution is a mere 640×480 pixels. Thus, your movies won’t be nearly as sharp as they could be. I’m assuming this is a bandwidth limitation, but I’m also hoping developer Apptopus will find a way to support HD recording.

With a price tag of just $5.99, CollabraCam could be a serious boon to filmmakers on a shoestring budget (read: all filmmakers). I’ll be checking it out the moment I can lay hands on a second camera-equipped iOS device. (Curse my cameraless
iPad 1!)

New Slacker Premium merges radio with on-demand

/* Posted May 17th, 2011 at 8:45am [Comments: none]    */
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(Credit:
Slacker Radio)

Slacker Radio, the popular streaming radio site and mobile application (iPhone | Android | Blackberry), has just launched a third tier of service, bringing yet another layer of listening options to its music-hungry users. Dubbed Slacker Premium Radio, the new tier is the first to merge the ease and unpredictability of programmed radio stations with the power of an on-demand music service. Slacker’s menu, dramatically bolstered by this new Premium offering, now appears to have something for pretty much everyone.



(Credit:
Slacker Radio)

As a Basic, first-tier user you can listen to Slacker’s standard curated and socially-programmed radio stations. Meanwhile, as a Radio Plus subscriber you can enjoy ad-free radio with unlimited skips and the ability to cache stations on a mobile device. Now, with the new Premium Radio subscription for $9.99 a month, you can get truly granular with your listening experience by picking out any song or album in the entire Slacker Radio catalog and adding it to your queue. In addition, you can access station playlists, “Top 50″ charts for every station, single-artist radio stations, and much more. Artist Pages are also a nice touch, with in-depth biographies, discographies, and other info, only available to Premium subscribers.

If you’re willing to shell out the cash, Slacker Premium Radio really is an ultimate streaming radio experience.



(Credit:
Slacker Radio)

And of course, with its powerful new Premium Radio service, Slacker has also posted an upgrade to its mobile app, which is ready for download on iOS, Android, and Blackberry devices today. This new upgrade enables all of the new features for Premium subscribers, as well as a few new features for all listeners, including the ability to create a radio experience based on several stations or several artists at a time.

Slacker Premium Radio is available for $9.99 a month either through Slacker.com or through direct carrier billing (for participating mobile carriers). But for a limited time, you can get a free subscription by visiting www.facebook.com/SlackerRadio. If streaming radio is a part of your daily life, we highly recommend at least trying it out.

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Netflix now streams on Android platform

/* Posted May 16th, 2011 at 2:45am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Web    */



(Credit:
Netflix)



(Credit:
Netflix)

Netflix, the popular movie- and TV-streaming service, has just landed on the Android platform. Already a staple for many iOS and mobile
Windows 7 users, the Netflix mobile app now lets Android owners in on the instant-streaming party. It also comes with a full browsing experience, and it enables you to manage your Instant Queue.

The Netflix Android app is now available for free download in the Android market, but only for the following supported phones: HTC’s Incredible,
Nexus One, Evo 4G, G2, and Samsung’s Nexus S. While the list does seem a bit thin, Netflix says it’s working hard to roll the app out en masse. Read about the release on the official Netflix blog.

For more details, check out Eric Mack’s post over on CNET’s gadget blog, Crave. Also, stay tuned for a more in-depth look.

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Google’s Chrome OS: Start small, then build

/* Posted May 14th, 2011 at 8:44pm [Comments: none]    */
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Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome

(Credit:
Stephen Shankland/CNET)

SAN FRANCISCO–Google expects Chrome OS to be a success. But it’s chosen its terms for success very carefully.

Google shares with many of its rivals a natural, reasonable ambition to measure success by market penetration. This week at the Google I/O conference here, the company was quick to tout that there have been 100 million activations of Android devices, that 310 different Android devices have gone on sale so far, and that Android users have downloaded 4.5 billion apps to date.

Though data-obsessed Google doubtless will count how many Chromebooks are sold, that isn’t the measurement at the top of the priority list, Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome, said in an interview.

“Our goal, our main criterion, is [that] I want really high user satisfaction amongst consumers, businesses, and schools, independent of our quantity. I want people who pick up and buy one to be very happy with their purchase,” Pichai said.

Recognizing that a Chrome OS laptop isn’t for everybody, though, the company is restricting sales to online channels only, where the people most likely to buy a Chromebook are those who are actively looking for it.

“Part of the reason it’s not in physical retail is our goal is not to push a lot of these,” Pichai said. “We want people to know what they’re buying. Online gives a check. In the physical world you might accidentally walk out with a Chromebook. I don’t want that to happen.”

The strategy makes sense, given that Chrome OS is such a departure from existing computing technology. Apple is the company that likes to talk about the “post-PC era,” but iPads and iPhones are, architecturally speaking, very similar to PCs. A touch-screen interface brings a direct physical mode of interaction, but fundamentally it’s still an operating system running software on its processor and storing data on its storage system.

Chrome OS, on the other hand, is inextricably linked to the Internet. Although a traditional operating system–an embedded version of Linux–is under the covers, the applications on the system run within its Chrome browser. They’re Web applications, using Web languages like JavaScript and Web interfaces like AppCache to store data, and WebGL to show hardware-accelerated 3D graphics. Though properly written applications will be able to run while a Chrome OS laptop is disconnected from the network, cloud computing is mandatory.

That’s probably fine for a lot of people. You can look up a recipe, check in with your Facebook friends, answer your e-mail, enter customer information into a Web form, order something from Amazon, watch YouTube videos, and plan a budget in a Google Docs spreadsheet.

Related links
? Google announces Chromebooks (video)
? Google tries to remake the laptop
? Chromebook, Netbook, iPad: Which would you rather spend $500 on?
? First Take: Samsung Series 5 Chromebook, the future of Netbooks? (hands-on video)
? Google to rebuild Chrome on secure foundation
? Google’s choice: Chrome OS or Android?

One big problem, though, is what you can’t do: run
Microsoft Office, play Portal 2, make a photo book in iPhoto. Or, perhaps more to the point for people considering a supplement to the PC they probably already have in their homes, play the wealth of games on an
iPad.

But Google plans to start small and grow. Pichai thinks Chrome OS will appeal to a lot of people, but evidently recognizing that it will take a lot of time to win over most folks, the company is aiming initial products at the enthusiasts who are predisposed to like it. From that seed, Google expects a tree to grow.

“You build a great experience, and you continually improve it. A few people get on board. As long as you delight them, they serve as messengers. Then somebody else hears about it, it breaks out, you market it,” Pichai said. “You have to earn it step by step.”

It’s a strategy that worked well for Android and Chrome. Android launched with a single phone, on a single carrier, in a single market. Chrome launched in beta on Windows only, missing many features. Both grew, and Google improved them steadily.

“What’s important is the pace at which you make progress. This is why we decided to shorten the [Chrome] release cycle to six weeks,” he said.

It’s not clear, though, how universally the strategy works. Apple’s first
iPhone began from modest beginnings–it had no support for 3G networks and no ability to run third-party applications, for starts–and grew into a tremendous success. Gmail, too, began with a small group of enthusiastic early adopters.

But sometimes an early kernel of fans isn’t enough, even with Google’s fast-iteration ethos. Google Buzz failed to catch on widely, and Google Wave was largely scrapped.

And, while Pichai asserts that the Cr-48, Google’s developer-oriented Chrome OS notebook prototype, was well received, it left reviewers underwhelmed when it initially arrived.

Pichai blamed expectations that were too high for a system Google said was not done, but that people judged as a finished product nonetheless. “We knew things were broken there. People got very upset about trackpads. Perhaps people weren’t ready for beta hardware,” Pichai said.

A large part of the Chrome OS sales pitch is that, unlike people’s PC experience, a Chromebook will get better with time as Google constantly upgrades the operating system–silently, in the background, with no user intervention. Even those initially weak trackpads in the Cr-48 got better with new software, he said.

“If tomorrow Brian makes WebGL great, suddenly Angry Birds works faster. Say you had a Cr-48 for six months. You just open your computer, and things just work faster,” Pichai said. “We keep updating Chrome. All the GPU benefits working their way though Chrome make Chrome OS faster. We’re going to offload more stuff to the GPU.”

Google has high hopes for another technology called Native Client that, if the company can convince programmers to adopt it, could endow Web applications with the speed of native ones while not compromising security. Importantly, Google plans to build Chrome itself on a Native Client foundation.

Linus Upson, vice president of engineering for the Chrome team, believes Google will start that rebuilding process later this year, beginning with one piece of Chrome, the built-in PDF reader. Pichai was more cautious.

“Linus forgets not everyone codes as fast as he does,” he said. “We have to make sure Native Client proves its way. After that we make sure we get Chrome running inside it.”

But it is on the list, in part because Google is powerfully interested in Chrome security. And Chrome OS comes with a verified boot process, an encrypted file system by default, and plug-ins that run in a restricted sandbox, Pichai points out.

“Down the line, when we talk about Chrome running inside Native Client–a double or triple sandbox–that’s what gets us excited. That’s the kind of project that gets the best engineers in the world,” Pichai said, positively glowing at the prospect.

Google’s fast-changing Chrome can cause heartburn for some Web developers who already must constantly test their sites with an expanding number of browsers. Brian Rakowski, director of product management, said Google tests new versions of the browser to keep incompatibilities from encroaching.

“We’re careful with compatibility issues,” Rakowski said. “The [Chrome] dev channel is good feedback for what’s broken, at least in bigger sites,” and Google adds new tests if it finds a site that stopped working so that incompatibility won’t go unnoticed again.

In any event, Pichai clearly won’t let up on the pace of Chrome change. The mission is to rebuild personal computing with the Internet deeply integrated, not patched on at a higher level.

“The benefits from a security standpoint, getting new APIs out, and just pushing the platform,” outweigh the problems of keeping up with Chrome. “If you don’t do this, I think the Web will fall behind the native platforms pretty quickly.”

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Top photography apps for iPhone

/* Posted May 13th, 2011 at 8:44pm [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Web    */

For the past couple of years, I have been writing the iPhone apps of the week in this space. But we’ve decided that instead of the same old app rundown, we’re going to do something a little different. Starting this week, we’re going to be putting together three apps that fulfill a specific theme. We’re going to try to introduce one or two new apps and put them alongside older classics in the category. This way, you will be able to compare new apps with older ones, and also, find out about apps in the category that you may not have seen before.

This week’s apps revolve around your
iPhone‘s camera capabilities. The first one is a popular app for snapping old-school photos, the second lets you take photos that make objects appear miniature, and the third is a newer app for chronicling gradual changes in your appearance.

Hipstamatic

Take arty outdoor shots or really anything with this full-featured retro photography app.

(Credit:
Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Hipstamatic ($1.99) is an extremely popular app that turns your iPhone’s digital camera into an old-school single-shot camera of the past to give your images that grainy, washed-out (in a good way) retro look. The interface is a bit confusing at first, but you’ll soon figure out how to switch among different types of retro film, different types of lenses, and even effects for different types of flashes. You can switch between each of the different variables with a swipe of your finger, with dramatically different results depending on the combination you choose before taking your snapshot.

We’ve reviewed image-enhancing apps here before, but Hipstamatic is the first that gives you control over which lens, film, and flash type you’re using for each shot. When you’re done taking the picture, the app lets you view your images side-by-side to see how each effect changes the result. Like many apps these days, Hipstamatic offers more lenses, film types, and flashes you can purchase from within the app, so if you like what you see in this download, there’s plenty more to play with. Overall, if you want that retro look or just like to play with your images, Hipstamatic is a great choice.

TiltShift Generator

Even a regular photo will suddenly look like a miniature toy village.

(Credit:
Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

TiltShift Generator (99 cents) images combine blur and other depth-of-field effects to make objects in your photos seem miniature (here’s a quick Google image search to give you an idea what we’re talking about). To get the miniature effect, you’ll ideally take photos from some distance, but even close-up shots can be put through TiltShift Generator with good-looking results.

TiltShift Generator does a great job of taking you through the process of creating tilt-shift images. The app automatically adds the tilt-shift effect, but you can also go through the process yourself. You start either by taking a photo with your iPhone camera or choosing an existing image from your library. From there you can adjust the blurred effect; change color saturation, brightness, and contrast with sliders; and then adjust vignetting (corner shadowing). What results is a unique image that’s very impressive, even if you have little knowledge of photography.

Overall, TiltShift Generator is an easy-to-use app that produces great-looking images with little work. If you enjoy looking at tilt-shift images and want to try making some of your own, this app is a great option.

Everyday

Once you get into the habit of taking a photo every day, you’ll begin to see the gradual changes.

(Credit:
Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Everyday ($1.99) is an app designed to make it easy to snap a photo every day to chronicle how your look changes over time. Made popular by various bloggers and other photography types, the concept is you snap a picture of yourself everyday, then after a significant amount of time (6 months? One year?), you can show a movie of gradual changes to your appearance.

With the Everyday app, most of the work is done for you. You can set up reminders so that you get a push notification to take today’s picture. After you take your first picture the app helps you set up alignment indicators so you know you’ll always have your daily shot lined up perfectly. After taking a shot a day for a significant amount of time, small appearance changes (like facial hair or hair length) are cool to look at as each day goes by in the movie. You also have the ability to set the movie speed so, for example, you could show a longer stretch of time using a faster frame rate so the movie doesn’t go on too long.

Overall, Everyday is an app with just one purpose–taking a daily shot to make an interesting photo/movie project. But with the addition of reminders, onscreen alignment indicators, and other helpful tools, the app makes it really easy to take one shot a day to make a neat project that will pay off later.

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Chrysalis brings content distribution to BitTorrent

/* Posted May 13th, 2011 at 2:44am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Web    */

BitTorrent launched its next-generation torrent client in a public beta today, offering people a unique system for not just sharing content via torrents but also for socializing the experience and turning the tool into one with deep content discovery hooks. BitTorrent 8 beta (download) contains one enormous change from the alpha that launched in March: personal content channels, which streamline the torrent creation and sharing process to allow you to share high-quality versions of your homemade videos, audio, and photos with friends.

BitTorrent 8 beta provides new ways to discover legally shared files, including from popular sources like the TED lectures.

(Credit:
BitTorrent)

As announced at CES 2011, the implementation is unique to BitTorrent, and an integral part of its push to emphasize the use of the torrent protocol for legally shared files. BitTorrent currently has more than 100 million active users spread across BitTorrent, uTorrent, and uTorrent for
Mac, BitTorrent Chief Strategist Shahi Ghanem said during an interview at BitTorrent’s San Francisco office. He also said the company holds 80 percent of the torrenting market.

The new channels feature benefits from leveraging current file-sharing link-distribution techniques as used in YouSendIt to share both the torrent program and the torrent itself. It also removes the requirement that videos be compressed before being posted to public Web sites, while providing a more controlled environment to share personal files privately. “We’re doing the inverse of cloud storage. It’s cloud storage, but it’s distributed cloud storage,” Ghanem said when explaining how BitTorrent channel users will share files in the channels they subscribe to.

To ensure that a channel retains its health, which is a way of saying that it always has a minimum number of people seeding the files, Ghanem said BitTorrent will guarantee the minimum number of active seeds. Said BitTorrent lead engineer Thomas Ramplelberg, “We expect the content to be fast-distributed and short-lived on our servers.” He also said that while the company had yet to figure out how many seeds would equal the minimum number, the current number was around seven.

How it works
Click the arrow link in the upper-right corner, just below the Options menu, to create a channel. You then customize the channel, including choosing a channel avatar that will appear in the channel bar above the main interface; add files to upload; invite others via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter to the channel; and publicly leave messages for and respond to channel subscribers.

BitTorrent 8 beta also includes a new personal channel feature for sharing personal files among a small network of friends or a large network of colleagues.

(Credit:
BitTorrent)

When you first invite somebody to the channel, the link that gets sent out detects if they have BitTorrent 8. If they don’t, the link downloads the beta and automatically subscribes them to the channel. If they do, it simply adds the channel. The channel acts as a grouping mechanism for the torrents contained within. Each file added gets its own torrent, so that subscribers don’t have to fiddle with choosing files within a torrent.

Files can be added to a channel over time, allowing channel owners to create content themes. The parent of a child on a baseball team, for example, can add new videos throughout the season, and the parents of other children on the team can be invited to download them at their convenience.

Artist-endorsed content
There are also public, legal channels for file distribution under the “Discover Content” button on the left of the interface. BitTorrent divides these two types of files into the aforementioned personal content channels, and artist-endorsed content. The artist endorsed content so far includes the TED conference videos, the Bill Gates-endorsed Khan Academy free education series, Make Magazine, ClearBits-featured media, and the music discovery tool Musicshake.

The punk-pop band Sick of Sarah also has a channel of its own, illustrating that musicians can share high-quality versions of their videos and music. The band’s latest album recently passed the 1 million torrent downloads mark, while recent legal access to the 2008 movie “The Yes Men” got it more torrent downloads on BitTorrent than it had HBO viewers.

Personal channels in BitTorrent 8 beta include commenting and social networking features.

(Credit:
BitTorrent, Inc.)

Ghanem also noted that the beta has basic monetization features built-in via a PayPal link.

Video playback is a major concern not just for browsers, which are a more generalized content delivery tool, but for BitTorrent as well. The cost of licensing codecs for streaming and playback can be steep financially and cause otherwise unnecessary bloat to a program. Ghanem said that BitTorrent has plans for a “global transcoding strategy,” and currently employs both H.264 wrapped in MKV, and MPEG4 ASP wrapped in AVI. However, he noted, “we’ll probably use our own propriety 4CC code,” eventually.

BitTorrent intends the channels to be shared among both private and public social groups, but if the channel link was accidentally posted in public the channel creator could delete the channel without affecting the locally stored files or the files already downloaded by channel subscribers.

The beta is available only in English and only for Windows computers. Also, at least during the beta phase of development, the channels feature in BitTorrent 8 will not impose file size restrictions and is free to use. Ghanem said he was unable to comment on whether the services would continue to be free of restrictions after BitTorrent 8 final was released.

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Order and Chaos online: Tap That App (Video)

/* Posted May 11th, 2011 at 8:43am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Web    */

A full-fledged MMO on the
iPhone? In this week’s Tap That App, I take a look at Order and Chaos Online, the massive online multiplayer role playing game from Gameloft. Featuring a look that very closely resembles Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, you’ll be able to create a character, choose a class, customize your look, and set off on an adventure across an enormous world.

If you’ve ever been a fan of online MMOs or just want to see what the fuss is all about, check out this week’s Tap That App.

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