Harry Potter VII is upon us, whipping up the media into a frothing frenzy. This time around, however, internet leaks threatened to spoil the surprise for millions. JK Rowling, sensing lost sales and diminished profits, encouraged readers to stay well clear of such scurrilous sites.
There is absolutely no doubt that this book will be big, indeed massive. However, this week's shenanigans raise the broader issue of content security in an age of online pilfering. A McBainsey study discovered that over 40% of company presentations are revealed to meeting attendants ahead of time. (Interestingly, the study itself was leaked onto the internet by a burned-out analyst).
Now relief may be to hand. Smear Systems, an Oakland-based startup, is offering next generation auto-redaction services across a variety of media. Their software provides a rules-based system for redacting not only documents and emails, but also corporate video and voicemails. "Our system learns with you", explains CTO Jeff Marsh, "You can even specify levels of redaction for particularly annoying individuals that you work with". The software makes keywords in text unreadable, and places white-noise, or other user-specified MP3 files over specified phrases.
The software is available for download for $1,500 at www. ***&&&!!.com.