Web

DoJ to Megaupload users who lost files: You should have known better

megaupload-seized

If you had personal files stored long-term on the now-dead Megaupload, consider them gone for good. A Department of Justice spokesperson, who asked not to be named “for security reasons,” tells us in an email that the Website “clearly warned users not to keep a sole copy of material on the site,” so there was no reason to believe these files would remain safe and accessible.

“This is still an ongoing matter, however as alleged in the indictment, the vast majority of Megaupload.com users do not have significant capabilities to store private content long-term since anything that isn’t repeatedly downloaded is automatically deleted from the system,” said the spokesperson in an email to Digital Trends. “To the extent there are users that do have copies stored on Megaupload.com, it is important to note that Mega clearly warned users not to keep a sole copy of material on the site.

“In fact,  Megaupload.com expressly informed users through its Frequently Asked Questions (‘FAQs’) and its Terms of Service that users have no proprietary interest in any of the files on Megaupload’s servers, they assume the full risk of complete loss or unavailability of their data, and that Megaupload can terminate site operations without prior notice.”

In other words: Don’t blame the US government for taking your files. User who utilized Megaupload’s cloud storage services — which, incidentally, only constituted a fraction of its visitors — should have had no reasonable belief that their files were safely stored on the website’s servers, even if the FBI hadn’t shutdown the site, seized its servers, and locked up its executives.

Like a dwindling number of other websites, Megaupload was what is known as a “cyberlocker.” It allowed users to upload large files. A link to the file was automatically generated for easy sharing. Users could then download the file via the corresponding link. Files that were not regularly downloaded were automatically deleted after a certain period of non-use, though Premium members could store files for a longer period of time, among other perks.

The difference between Megaupload and other cloud-based services, says the DoJ spokesperson, is that the site allegedly built its entire business model on distributing copyrighted content illegally.

“The indictment alleges that the Mega conspirators designed their business model on profiting from distributing content, not storing it,” said the spokesperson. “As one of the conspirators allegedly said in an email, ‘We’re not pirates, we’re just providing shipping services to pirates.’ (See paragraph kk on page 36 of the indictment.) Mega was targeted because the investigation revealed that its ownership allegedly had knowledge of the infringing content, took steps to conceal that content, and rewarded those who uploaded infringing content, among other things.”

For those of you who are interested, you can read the full 72-page indictment here: pdf.

Cars

Nvidia agrees with Tesla’s take on self-driving cars, but corrects specifics

Nvidia vice president Rob Csongor agreed with broad statements by Elon Musk at Tesla's April 22 Autonomy Investor Day. Csongor then took exception to what he termed were inaccuracies about Nvidia's self-driving car chip.
Mobile

Best iPhone 7 Plus screen protectors to shield your big, beautiful display

Cracked screens are expensive to replace. Fortunately for you, we've rounded up what's available in terms of protection for Apple's large iPhone 7 Plus. Here are the best screen protectors you can buy.
Mobile

The Best iPhone 7 battery cases to give your phone some extra juice

The iPhone 7 doesn't have terrible battery life, but you never know when you'll need to juice up on the go. To help, here are the best iPhone 7 battery cases that can keep your smartphone charged and ready for long-term use.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Social Media

How to protect yourself from GoFundMe scams before donating

Can you spot a GoFundMe scam? While the fundraising platform says scams make up less than a tenth of one percent of campaigns, some do try to take advantages of others' charity -- like a case last year that made national news.
Computing

House votes to restore net neutrality rules, but effort faces long odds

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the Save the Internet Act, a measure intended to restore net neutrality rules that were repealed in 2017 by the Federal Communications Commission.
Mobile

The FCC and White House want to bring high-speed internet to rural areas

The FCC and the White House unveiled new initiatives to bring high-speed internet to rural areas, including $20.4 billion in incentives to companies to build infrastructure. The FCC also announced ways to speed up the rollout of 5G.
Web

Search all of Craigslist at once with these great tools on web and mobile

Not finding what you need in your local area? Craigslist can be great for finding goods and services from further afield too. All you need do is learn these tips for how to search all of Craigslist at once.
Computing

Internet Explorer zero-day exploit makes files vulnerable to hacks on Windows PCs

Evidence of an Internet Explorer zero-day exploit capable of letting hackers steal files from Windows PCs was published online by a security researcher who also claims Microsoft knew of the vulnerability and opted not to patch it.
Business

Buying airline tickets too early is no longer a costly mistake, study suggests

When you book can play a big role in the cost of airline tickets -- so when is the best time to book flights? Earlier than you'd think, a new study suggests. Data from CheapAir.com suggests the window of time to buy at the best prices is…
Computing

Report says 20% of all 2018 web traffic came from bad bots

Distil Networks published its annual Bad Bot Report this week and announced that 20% of all web traffic in 2018 came from bad bots. The report had other similarly surprising findings regarding the state of bots as well.
Computing

Google Chrome will get a Reader Mode for distraction-free desktop browsing

If Google's testing of Reader Mode on the Chrome Canary desktop browser is successful, soon all Chrome users will gain access to this feature. Reader Mode strips away irrelevant content on a webpage for distraction-free browsing.
Computing

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.
Cars

Carbuying can be tiring: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.