Top Stories for the Week of December 16, 2014

  • Episode 378
  • December 16, 2014
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Here are the stories we're following for the week of Tuesday December 16, 2014


The Pirate Bay has been cloned by a competitor.

The Pirate Bay was shut down, but one of its competitors, Isohunt, has cloned it.

Isohunt, a website providing access to mostly pirated material, has cloned the database of its competitor, The Pirate Bay, after it was shut down last week.

The cloned site is online and fully functioning, according to users.

The Pirate Bay, one of the world's most visited websites, has been closed since a police raid in Sweden last week.

Isohunt, which was banned in the UK last month, says it made the move in order to "save the Freedom of information on the Internet".

If The Pirate Bay returns, the cloned site will be taken down, Isohunt added.

The Pirate Bay offered an expansive list of links to pirated content including films, TV shows and music.

The Swedish police carried out a raid near Stockholm last week, seizing servers from The Pirate Bay following an investigation which had lasted "years", the force said.

While its founders have already been convicted of copyright infringement offences and some have been jailed, the site has proved difficult to close down permanently.

In 2012, The Pirate Bay changed its structure to make itself more portable and easy to clone.


A software glitch caused a bunch of Amazon products to be sold for just 1 Pence.

What do you get when a software glitch affects the software that prices your products on Amazon? The potential for all your stock to be sold for a penny, that's what.

Repricer Express automatically changes the cost of items for sale on Amazon Marketplace "to keep listings competitive 24/7 without constant attention".

The company responsible for its development have had to apologise for a software glitch that led to hundreds of items being sold for just 1p on Amazon.

The glitch affected prices for an hour on Friday and involved firms who use the Repricer Express tool.

The company's chief executive, Brendan Doherty, said he was "deeply sorry for the disruption".

Amazon said most orders were cancelled after the error was spotted.

The orders were placed on its Marketplace service, which allows third-party companies to trade on Amazon.


The umbrella is receiving a tech overhaul.

Who'd have ever guessed that the umbrella would be the next tech breakthrough?

The design of the umbrella has pretty much stayed the same for years, except for the various size changes. However, all of that may be about to change, and drastically.

Developers in China have designed something quite incredible called the Air Umbrella. It has no canopy or metal spokes. Instead, it uses air to divert the rain drops from hitting you.

It currently comes in three different sizes and the battery lasts for about 30 minutes when continuously running.

The area of protection it provides is about three and half feet in diameter. Which would be like you or someone holding a normal size umbrella.

The company recently ran a Kickstarter campaign and fully funded the project. We can expect shipment in December of next year.


Microsoft is fighting to keep their users' data private from the US government, but they're not alone in their fight.

Microsoft is fighting for user privacy against the US government, and other tech giants are standing by them.

Tech giants like Apple and Amazon, as well as media companies and civil rights advocacy groups, are standing behind Microsoft as it wages a legal battle that could have a big impact on digital privacy in the United States and abroad.

The U.S. government is trying to force Microsoft to turn over an individual customer's emails that are stored on servers in Ireland. The case relates to drugs and money laundering, but the name of the account holder's identity and nationality are not known.

Microsoft refused to hand over information, even after being issued a search warrant from the government, because the data is kept outside of the country. In July, a federal judge ruled that the company had to surrender those emails to the American government. Microsoft appealed.

Microsoft has argued that the U.S. government should respect international laws. If Microsoft ultimately has to hand over the emails based on a U.S. court order alone, it would do so without any input from the Irish government. That could be dangerous; Microsoft argues that the U.S. already has treaties in place with countries like Ireland that exist precisely for situations such as these. If it circumvents them, what would stop other countries from doing so?


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