Links for 2013-12-04

  • wrk

    a modern HTTP benchmarking tool capable of generating significant load when run on a single multi-core CPU. It combines a multithreaded design with scalable event notification systems such as epoll and kqueue.  An optional LuaJIT script can perform HTTP request generation, response processing, and custom reporting.
    Written in C, ASL2 licensed.

    (tags: wrk benchmarking http performance testing lua load-testing load-generation)

  • Removing DRM Boosts Music Sales by 10%

    Based on a working paper from University of Toronto researcher Laurina Zhang

    Comparing album sales of four major labels before and after the removal of DRM reveals that digital music revenue increases by 10% when restrictions are removed. The effect goes up to 30% for long tail content, while top-selling albums show no significant jump. The findings suggest that dropping technical restrictions can benefit both artists and the major labels.
    more details: http://inside.rotman.utoronto.ca/laurinazhang/files/2013/11/laurina_zhang_jmp_nov4.pdf , “Intellectual Property Strategy and the Long Tail: Evidence from the Recorded Music Industry”, Laurina Zhang, November 4, 2013

    (tags: ip copyright drm mp3 music laurina-zhang research long-tail albums rights-management piracy)

  • 100 Years of Breed “Improvement” | Science of Dogs

    The English bulldog has come to symbolize all that is wrong with the dog fancy and not without good reason; they suffer from almost every possible disease. A 2004 survey by the Kennel Club found that they die at the median age of 6.25 years (n=180). There really is no such thing as a healthy bulldog. The bulldog’s monstrous proportions makes them virtually incapable of mating or birthing without medical intervention.
    (via Bryan)

    (tags: dogs eugenics breeding horror science genetics traits animals pets bulldog pedigree)

  • SkyJack – autonomous drone hacking

    Samy Kamkar strikes again. ‘Using a Parrot AR.Drone 2, a Raspberry Pi, a USB battery, an Alfa AWUS036H wireless transmitter, aircrack-ng, node-ar-drone, node.js, and my SkyJack software, I developed a drone that flies around, seeks the wireless signal of any other drone in the area, forcefully disconnects the wireless connection of the true owner of the target drone, then authenticates with the target drone pretending to be its owner, then feeds commands to it and all other possessed zombie drones at my will.’

    (tags: drones amazon hacking security samy-kamkar aircrack node raspberry-pi airborne-zombies)

  • Why Did 9,000 Porny Spambots Descend on This San Diego High Schooler? – Alexis C. Madrigal – The Atlantic

    Good article about emergent behaviour from networked malware: ‘The metabot, therefore, is viral. You get followed because of who follows you. This tendency explains the strange geographical cluster among San Diego high school students. Perhaps one of those kids was being followed by a really popular account (like @Interscope records, perhaps, which follows hundreds of thousands of people), and through that link, the bot stumbled into this little circle of San Diego teens. All of this activity would have remained under the radar, of course, all part of the silent non-human web. Except something went awry. For some reason, Olivia got stuck in a weird loop, and the metabot kept spawning spambots that chose to follow her over and over, relentlessly. Maybe once the metabot reached the San Diego kids, a bug kicked in. Instead of negative feedback keeping her (and everyone else) from being followed too often, we got runaway positive feedback. The bots followed her because other bots followed her. And on and on. Which is, perhaps a kind of reasoning that we can understand: It’s the core logic of fame and celebrity itself. Attention flows to Snooki because attention flowed to Snooki. Attention flows to Olivia because attention flowed to Olivia. Olivia and her friends weren’t wrong when they thought she’d become suddenly famous. Her audience just wasn’t human.’

    (tags: socialnetworking spam twitter bots fame alexis-madrigal)

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