Google and Magnets

thepiratebay.org and other torrent trackers have been taken down in an international action against piracy. I'm not going to comment on the events themselves, but what struck me as funny is as follows:

The Pirate Bay, and others, have long been using so-called magnet links - essentially just the torrent info hash in a URL, often coupled with a human-readable display name.

Now, here is the conundrum: Google are known to index the Web, and have indexed thepiratebay.org and other listings of magnet links. Google are also known to provide their cached version of content they've indexed. At least according to Swedish court, linking to means by which acquiring intellectual property is made possible, is not different from distributing IP directly.

As thepiratebay.org is down today, I did use Google to acquire content. So I think Google really, in every sense possible, are at least as enabling as TPB itself is -- of course, Google doesn't condone this behavior, so therein lies a difference.

At any rate, I wouldn't be surprised if Google started censoring out magnet links or otherwise preventing this kind of abuse of their cache. But for now it's surprisingly effective. :-)


simples3 reaches the magic 1.0 release

Good news, everyone! Today I finally got around to releasing the big one point oh for one of my libraries, simples3.

simples3 is a dead-simple interface to Amazon S3, the storage service. The API is Pythonic, aims to stick to your memory like iron filings to a strong electromagnet.

>>> bucket = simples3.S3Bucket("foo", access_key="abc", secret_key="def")
>>> bucket.put("myfile.txt", "Hello world, file!")
>>> bucket.get("myfile.txt").read()
'Hello world, file!'

Then there's the mapping like interface, which is perhaps easiest to remember:

>>> bucket["myfile.txt"] = "Hello world, file!"
>>> bucket["myfile.txt"].read()
'Hello world, file!'
>>> "myfile.txt" in bucket
True
>>> del bucket["myfile.txt"]

For a more extensive usage example, see the documentation. The project is available on Github, and simples3 1.0 is available on PyPI.


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