Links for 2012-04-16

  • The Cybercrime Wave That Wasn’t – : MSFT researchers discover fundamental scientific failures in almost all data on cybercrime/spam/malware damages. ‘In numeric surveys, errors are almost always upward: since the amounts of estimated losses must be positive, there’s no limit on the upside, but zero is a hard limit on the downside. As a consequence, respondent errors — or outright lies — cannot be canceled out. Even worse, errors get amplified when researchers scale between the survey group and the overall population. [...] The cybercrime surveys we have examined exhibit exactly this pattern of enormous, unverified outliers dominating the data. In some, 90 percent of the estimate appears to come from the answers of one or two individuals. In a 2006 survey of identity theft by the FTC, two respondents gave answers that would have added $37 billion to the estimate, dwarfing that of all other respondents combined.’ my opinion: this is what happens when PR drives the surveys — numbers tend to inflate to make headlines
    (tags: fail science pr press cybercrime ms via:mark-russinovitch data surveys spam malware viruses phishing)

  • Censoring The Pirate Bay is Useless, Research Shows : ‘The assumption of BREIN and the court was that a blockade of The Pirate Bay would lower the number of infringers at [Dutch ISPs Ziggo and XS4ALL], but new research from the University of Amsterdam shows that this is not the case. [...] The claim that The Pirate Bay blockade by Ziggo and XS4ALL leads to a decrease of copyright infringement by their subscribers via BitTorrent transfers must be rejected. There is no significant effect of this measure. [...] ‘Ziggo and XS4ALL subscribers who use BitTorrent apparently found different routes other than ‘The Pirate Bay’ to share files, and remain active as seeders to upload files to others.’ Unfortunately the paper is in Dutch, however
    (tags: holland brein ziggo xs4all bittorrent piratebay piracy research data)

  • French ‘Three Strikes’ Law Slashes Piracy, But Fails to Boost Sales : Hadopi report says piracy dropped in France by between 17% and 66% during 2011, while Hadopi was in force; however the SEVN report on 2011 notes that legitimate sales of video dropped by 2.7%, ironically blaming ‘the continually high level of piracy despite counter measures adopted under the HADOPI law’ (, and the SNEP report on 2011 sales of audio indicates that the market dropped by 3.9% ( Hard not to come to a conclusion that actions against piracy do not improve sales
    (tags: france hadopi legal music piracy sales revenues sevn snep video)

  • Why the New Aesthetic isn’t about 8bit retro, the Robot Readable World, computer vision and pirates | : ‘The New Aesthetics, or at least the aspect I’m looking at, is inspired by computer vision. And computer vision is at the point now that computer graphics was at 30 years ago. The New Aesthetics isn’t concerned with retro 8bit graphics of the past, but the 8bit graphics designed for machines of the now.’ — ie, The Robot Readable World, etc. Great essay, and exciting stuff
    (tags: art design new-aesthetic retro robotics graphics computer-vision)

  • HotelClub : a decent hotel search/booking site, recommended by On The Record’s Jim Carroll ?(@jimcarrollOTR on Twitter): ‘@sineadgleeson use HotelClub – good range of hotels & prices. Or use Hotel Tonight app for real last minute stuff’
    (tags: hotels travel recommended booking)

  • Metricfire – Powerful Application Metrics Made Easy : Irish “metrics as a service” company, Python-native; they’ve just gone GA and announced their pricing plans
    (tags: python metrics service-metrics)

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