BitTorrent traffic drops in US, jumps in EU and Asia

May 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Industry, Internet, News

In a recent report published by Sandvine, a global network hardware and software solutions company, some very interesting stats on internet usage have been revealed. According to the report, BitTorrent usage accounts for 11.3% of all internet usage during peak hours, a sharp decline from 17.3% compared to the same time period from last year.

Europe, on the other hand, has actually seen an increase over the last 18 months, almost four times as much! The total figure for BitTorrent usage during peak hours stands at 20.32%, to which eDonkey alone adds a further 9.39%, giving a total P2P internet usage of 29.71%!

Asia is a couple of steps ahead of Europe in this regard, with a total BitTorrent usage of 27.19%, with an additional 6.36% and 4.62% from the P2P streamer PPStream and file-sharing client Thunder respectively. This brings the total P2P usage of internet in Asia during peak hours to a whopping 38.17%. It’s also interesting to note from the table below that 60.67% of upstream in Asia is dedicated to file-sharing.

According to Sandvine the primary reason for such a large amount of file-sharing in Europe and Asia is due to the fact that no legal alternatives are available for the public to see the latest TV shows and movies. This is primarily due to licensing agreements in different countries.

The reason US traffic of BitTorrent is so low is because there are multiple ways to acquire TV shows and movies legally. Highlighting this fact is a figure from Netflix which amounts to 32.9% of all Downstream traffic during peak usage in the US.

As TorrentFreak says, “The challenge for the entertainment industry in the years to come is not to invent ways to stop piracy but to make it less attractive, by ensuring that consumers get timely access to the content they want independent of their location, and on demand.”

Yahoo! acquires license to Yamli’s transliteration technology

May 28, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Press Release: Yahoo! announced today that it has acquired a license to Yamli’s transliteration technology, to be integrated across a number of its products and services. This comes as part of Yahoo!’s focus on developing solutions tailored for the Middle East and North Africa region, and will allow Yahoo! Maktoob to further develop the technology and extend it to a wider audience across its network.

Yamli was founded in 2007 by Lebanese entrepreneurs Habib Haddad and Imad Jureidini, who came up with the idea of a “Smart Arabic Keyboard” that allows users to type Arabic without an Arabic keyboard or if they are not used to using one. They created a technology based on a real-time transliteration engine which converts words typed with Latin characters to their Arabic equivalent. Yahoo! Maktoob’s product is called “3arrebni” (Arabize me).

Ahmed Nassef, Vice President and Managing Director, Yahoo! Maktoob, said, “Yamli is a pioneering startup that created a clever solution for a real user need and built it on a robust technology, which remains best in class. By acquiring a license to the technology, we will be able to marry it with our capabilities to further develop it and scale it to a wider audience through deep integration with our products and across multiple platforms. When looking at opportunities, we seek innovations that we expect to add significant value to our offering, and Yamli, with its technology that brings exceptional accuracy and seamless usability, was a natural fit.”

Habib Haddad, Co-Founder of Yamli and who now runs Wamda, an enabling platform for entrepreneurs in the MENA region, said, “Yahoo! established a big success story within the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region when it acquired Maktoob, and it is great to see it continue to support and work with startups. This deal represents a milestone for Yamli, which over the years has been growing at an incredible rate. More than 3.5 billion words have been typed with Yamli to date, at a rate of 150 million words per month.”

As a first phase, “3arrebni” has launched as a standalone destination page (, and will soon be accessible through Yahoo! Maktoob’s homepage. The following months will see the product seamlessly integrated with Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Mail in Arabic, Yahoo! Search, and in areas requiring user generated input such as Yahoo! Maktoob Forums and in the comments sections of Yahoo! Maktoob’s media properties, including News.

Nassef added, “With the introduction of “3arrebni” across our products and platforms, we are enriching Arabic content online by enabling participation that brings Arabic characters to the forefront, which often times would have been done using the English language or Latin characters. We’re very excited to be bringing this service to our users, and potentially introducing this solution to a whole new audience for the first time.”

Panasonic Lumix GF5

May 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Product of the Week

Designed in sophisticated profile of ultra-compact body, the new DMC-GF5 features higher image quality even in high sensitivity. In addition to the basic features desired for the DSLR cameras including quick, accurate auto focus system, DMC-GF5 features a host of options that makes photography even more artistic yet easy – enjoyable enough for users stepped up from digital compact cameras.

Check out our review to see why the new Panasonic Lumix GF5 to see why it’s so amazing.

Samsung Series 5 Ultra Notebook Review

May 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Notebooks, Reviews, Spotlight

The market is flooded with manufacturers touting the latest and slimmest laptops. The Ultrabook seems to be the only thing on people’s minds, and every month we see a new model crop up that promises better battery life while trying to push the limits of both design and weight. The latest contender to weigh in (literally) is the Samsung Series 5 Ultra. At first glance it may look like a sleek and stylish Ultrabook, but upon closer inspection you’ll find that it barely makes the criteria.

Build quality & Design
The Series 5 sports a sleek design with no patterns or other visual treats. The top panel sports a sleek aluminum finish with a metallic Samsung logo on the side. Unfortunately, the metal seems to stop here as opening the lid you’ll find an abundance of plastic surround the screen and keyboard – the palm rest thankfully is brushed metal.

The plastic doesn’t look unsightly in any way, but feels a bit flimsy if you apply a slight bit of pressure to it. In fact, my review unit had the left side popping out, which was rather alarming.

One of the good things about the Series 5 is the abundance of ports on this unit, which is the first red flag that this isn’t a true Ultrabook. While traditional Ultrabooks often sport a minimum number of ports, there plenty of connectivity options available here. On the left side of the unit is the power connector, Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.0 ports, as well as VGA and HDMI output and a combine headphone/microphone jack. On the opposite side is an optical drive, USB 2.0 port, and 4 in 1 memory card reader. Again, the inclusion of an optical drive is a telltale sign that this isn’t a true Ultrabook.

Screen and Keyboard
The screen on the Series 5 is certainly impressive. It has a matte finish rather than a glossy one, which makes it great for use in outside conditions. While some colors and whites aren’t reproduced as accurately, it’s a small price to play for a laptop screen that you can actually see in direct sunlight.

The keyboard adopts a standard chiclet style which is the same on most other notebooks and Ultrabooks. While I still prefer a traditional keyboard layout, typing wasn’t too much of a problem as the keys were of the right size and spaced out evenly enough. Brightness, audio, Wi-fi and other settings are controlled by the function keys at the top of the keyboard, and Samsung’s on-screen software will let you know when you’ve activated a function key. I noticed that at times there was a slight delay between when a function key was pressed and being activated. One gripe I have is that the keyboard is not backlit, which is something I’ve now come to expect of most notebooks and even Ultrabooks. The other complaint is that I found the palmrest slightly uncomfortable after extended periods of use – the metal edge does leave quite an impression in your hands if you’re using this notebook for a lengthy period of time.

The spacious trackpad at the bottom is great for navigating around Windows, and also supports multi-gestures like two finger scrolling and pinch-to-zoom. It’s not clickable though, so you’ll have to tap on the trackpad or use the buttons at the bottom. While the buttons were of a decent size, I found them to be little too ‘clicky’ when used repeatedly.

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