Archive for May 21st, 2012

Who’s Pirating Game of Thrones, And Why?

In a few hours a new episode of Game of Thrones will appear on BitTorrent, and a few days later between 3 and 4 million people will download this unofficial release.

Statistics gathered by TorrentFreak reveal that more people are downloading the show compared to last year, when it came in as the second most downloaded TV-show of 2011. The number of weekly downloads worldwide is about equal to the estimated viewers on HBO in the U.S., but why?

One of the prime reasons for the popularity among pirates is the international delay in airing. In Australia, for example, fans of the show have to wait a week before they can see the latest episode. So it’s hardly a surprise that some people are turning to BitTorrent instead.

And indeed, if we look at the top countries where Game of Thrones is downloaded, Australia comes out on top with 10.1% of all downloads (based on one episode).

But delays are just part of the problem. The fact that the show is only available to those who pay for an HBO subscription doesn’t help either. This explains why hundreds of thousands of people from the U.S. prefer to use BitTorrent.

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Facebook to lift ban on under-13s joining social network site?

LONDON: Facebook may relax a ban on children under the age of 13 joining its site after finding that many kids, some with their parents’ permission and help, were already using it.

“There is reputable evidence that there are kids under 13 who are lying about their age to get on to Facebook,” Sunday Times quoted Simon Milner, Facebook’s head of policy in Britain as saying.

“Some seem to be doing it with their parents’ permission and help,” Milner said.

If the decision to lift the ban is implemented, a flood of new users are likely to sign up to the social network, which floated on the stock market last week for USD 105 billion last week.

The number of people with profiles – currently estimated at 900 million active users – would probably hit the iconic one billion mark, meaning that more than one in seven people in the world would be an active user of the site.

However, Milner said the decision to allow children to create profiles was still at a very early stage.

Milner said he will launch a debate about the minimum age in Britain when he appears next month at Wellington college, Berkshire.

“We have a strict under-13 rule because of legal issues in America,” he said.

“We apply the same rule all over the world. But a lot of parents are happy their kids are on it. We would like to hear from people what the answer might be.”

Supporters of the minimum age believe it helps shield children from cyberbullying and inappropriate contact with adults.

Past surveys in the UK have suggested that one in three British children has been the victim of abuse on the Internet.

The poll, commissioned by charity Beatbullying in 2009, also revealed that girls are up to four times more likely to face online bullying than boys, Daily Mail reported.

Some school bullies have even set up Facebook groups allowing dozens of people to band together to abuse classmates, it said.

Facebook has responded to criticism in the past by adding a number of safety features to the site to attempt to combat online bullying.

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Pakistan bans Twitter

Islamabad, May 20: Pakistan Sunday blocked micro-blogging website Twitter after it failed to take action on the publication of blasphemous content.
The Nation daily said the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) blocked the website.
The ministry of information technology said repeated calls made to Twitter authorities over the matter remained unanswered, Geo News reported.
In 2010, following a Lahore High Court ruling, social networking site Facebook was blocked in the country for the same reason.
Twitter has grown in popularity in the last few years and it is estimated there are six million users in Pakistan.

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