Isohunt to permanently shutter after settlement with MPAA

Popular BitTorrent search engine Isohunt has been slated to shutter indefinitely. After years of court battles over copyright infringement with the Motion Picture Association of America, Isohunt has agreed to settle.

Under the terms of the settlement (PDF), which was issued on Thursday, Isohunt's founder Gary Fung has seven days to shut down the site, as well as close three other sites that redirect to Isohunt -- Podtropolis, TorrentBox, and Fung has also agreed to pay $110 million in damages.

"It's sad to see my baby go. But I have fought the good fight, I … Read more

The 404 1,366: Where we got these Oreos, man (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- "South Park" misses deadline for the first time in its history.

- Bad Lip Reading kills it with "Game of Thrones" mashup.

- There's no way that Oreos are as addictive as cocaine.

- 23andme: Testing your genetics at home.

- The best part of the government reopening: Pandacam is back.… Read more

Speed up the shutdown process in OS X

When you shut down your Mac, OS X will attempt to cleanly exit programs and background services; however, under some circumstances this can take an exceptionally long time, so that the system waits for minutes before finally shutting down. Sometimes this is the system waiting for an interaction such as you saving a document, but at other times it is because background services have stopped responding and the system is waiting a predetermined amount of time before forcing them to quit.

Generally OS X should take only a few seconds to shut down, so if your system is consistently taking … Read more

Review: Fast Shutdown shuts your computer down in seconds

Fast Shutdown delivers on its promise to shut your computer down in a matter of seconds. It lets you avoid the countless prompts that usually come with rebooting or closing your computer. It isn't exactly clear how it works its magic, but it does the job and doesn't wreck your computer in the process.

There are a few add-on programs attached to this program's install, so make sure you opt out of them if you want to keep your browser's settings intact. As far as interfaces go, Fast Shutdown gives you one of the most minimalist … Read more

'SNL' laughs at the 'Gravity' of the shutdown

Oh, look, this shutdown's not a big deal, is it?

We can do without a few national parks for a while. It'll let the grass grow and the animals run wild without interruptions from humans.

And then there's NASA. Honestly, is it really necessary? Space? We've been there. We've done that.

NBC's "Saturday Night Live" isn't quite so convinced. So it wondered what would have happened had the troubling events of "Gravity" occurred during, say, the government shutdown.… Read more

How to get drunk and yell at random members of Congress

The buffoons in Congress might now be talking.

But you, I feel, are beyond all that. You want to ululate. You want to fulminate. And you want to lubricate.

There is a new site that will help you do all three.

Welcome to It's a .org because its intentions are entirely public-spirited, with equal emphasis on the "public" and the "spirit."… Read more

NASA gets Web host offer during shutdown -- from Russian pirates

When a parent dies, when disaster strikes, that's when you know who truly cares.

So in a time when its government is shut down, the American people need to know who its friends are. Thankfully, the Russians are yet again standing firm at America's side.

Not wanting to see NASA's Web site languishing without the gravity of hosting, some fine Russians have stepped forward and offered their services.

As Techdirt reports, Russia's Pirate Party has girded its buccaneering loins and come to the international rescue.

In a letter on its own, fully-functioning, Web site the pirates wrote: … Read more

Government shutdown can't shake earthquake updates

Despite a government shutdown that should mean no information on earthquakes, the US Geological Survey Web site pulled a little apparently unauthorized overtime Sunday by providing information on a Bay Area quake.

If you live in earthquake country, you know that the first place to go for information on how big a temblor was, or where it was centered, is the USGS Web site.

Tonight, when a magnitude 3.0 shock hit the San Francisco Bay Area, many people rushed to the site to find out what happened. At first, they were foiled, as the site offered nothing but a … Read more

Job board for furloughed workers springs up online

Today, in the United States of America, our government has told many of our best and brightest not to come to work. For example, almost all of NASA has been furloughed until further notice thanks to the government shutdown.

While it's quite irritating for a journalist like myself, who spends a big chunk of his time keeping track of the space agency's myriad groundbreaking projects, to suddenly find the entire Web site taken offline and all my press contacts unavailable to answer calls and e-mails, I'm sure it's creating much more anxiety for the actual furloughed NASA employees.

But just a few days after the Web sites for NASA and many other federal agencies went offline, a new site, Unfurlough.US, popped up to connect furloughed employees with part-time or freelance work to help replace that lost federal income. It's like a highly targeted TaskRabbit for public servants caught in the political crossfire.… Read more

Obama's BRAIN project gathers dust in government shutdown

Not only have federal parks, courts, NASA, and US Web sites gone dark during the current government shutdown, but the government's high-tech BRAIN mapping project also has been halted.

Led by a handful of federal agencies -- like the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the National Science Foundation -- most people working on the initiative are on a forced furlough, leaving the project to gather dust in the interim.

If the shutdown lasts for more than a few days, it could stall the project far into the future, according to Popular Science. This … Read more