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Wikimedia Trying P2P Video Distribution

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the spin-this-one,-mpaa dept.

Media 85

bigmammoth writes "One potential problem with campaigns and programs to increase video on Wikimedia sites is that video is many times more costly to distribute than text and images. The P2P-Next consortium has created an HTML5 streaming BitTorrent browser add-on to try and help experiment with ways to reduce the costs of video distribution. As described in a Wikimedia tech blog post, once the SwarmPlayer add-on is installed, and when using the multimedia beta, video on the site will be streamed via the hybrid HTTP / BitTorrent SwarmPlayer. For smooth playback the Swarmplayer downloads high priority pieces over HTTP while getting low priority bits from the BitTorrent swarm. The same technology is available for experimentation with any site via the standalone version of the Kaltura HTML5 Media library."

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85 comments

Great (4, Interesting)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720592)

This is good news. It'll:

a) make it a lot easier to compete with the likes of youtube.
b) be very easy to take advantage of, once integrated into CMS's.
c) make it a lot harder to argue that P2P is only something that pirates use, rather than simply modern technology.

Re:Great (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33720638)

a) Wikimedia is (allegedly [wikipedia.org]) encyclopaedic media, whilst youtube is cats. Not direct competition.
b) My outbound connection is extremely limited.
c) The people who need to be convinced fight against "websites" and "torrents", but they would have a real "Oh my God - it's full of data!" moment if they understood what they were talking about. It's all just bits. Encrypted bits even more so.

Re:Great (2, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720666)

I'm pretty sure this player can be used for more than encyclopaedic media, even for cats. As long as it's free to anyone to put on their sites, it's a competition on the Youtube business.

Also, even if we think it's absurd, people see Colour in data and that won't change soon.

Re:Great (2, Informative)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720738)

people see Colour in data

I don't even see the colours anymore. All I see SYN, SYN, ACK, ACK, FIN, ACK

Not Great Enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33720870)

It seems to me that the fundamental problem is still not being addressed. That problem is simply that the source-server feeds many destinations. While P2P can help, this doesn't change the fact that all the data still has to pass through various intermediate packet-transfer servers. I personally think THOSE servers should be recruited to help transmit video. So, in my opinion, the way it should work is something like this:
1. Source server is contacted by N clients through X intermediary servers, where X=A+B+C+...(some sequence of intermediaries).
2. Source server transmits to "A" group of intermediary servers, the "closest" ones in the network.
3. The "B" group of intermediary servers is larger than the "A" group, but these are still a much smaller group than the total number of clients. What the "A" group does is "packet duplication" specifically because of knowing its members are involved in transfer of video data. Thus do all the "B" group of intermediary servers receive enough packets, without any extra load on the source-server.
4. The "C" group of intermediary servers is larger than the "B" group; the "B" group does another level of packet-duplication, to keep all the "C" group servers fed. And the "C" group feeds the "D" group, and so on.
5. ANY server that also directly feeds clients simply does a bit more packet-duplication, in addition to keeping "downstream" intermediary servers fed with video data.

Now I'm aware that P2P tends to do something like the above, except that none of the normal Internet packet-transfer servers are involved in packet-duplication. They are, however, involved in transmitting greater numbers of packets than truly needs to be transmitted, and that is why I like this particular implementation for serving video streams.

Re:Not Great Enough (2, Interesting)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720884)

Are you thinking multicast? Because this is the real need here.

Can anyone fill us in on where is multicast on the internet right now? It seems pretty far away - even further away than IPv6.

Re:Not Great Enough (2, Informative)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721192)

IPv6 includes multicast IIRC.
IPv4 multicast is basically broken by NAT, so is unlikely to ever get used on the internet itself.

Re:Not Great Enough (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721414)

The problem with multicast is that everyone is supposed to need the same packets at the same time, like in a real time TV feed. AFAIK it doesn't work so well when each person might want to start watching a video at any given time.

Re:Not Great Enough (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721842)

The problem with multicast is that everyone is supposed to need the same packets at the same time, like in a real time TV feed. AFAIK it doesn't work so well when each person might want to start watching a video at any given time.

True, multicast isn't long tail friendly. But if a video gets linked from a Slashdot story, there will likely be enough viewers to justify starting a multicast swarm every so often. Send the first minute as unicast and the rest as a rolling multicast swarm. Then while a player is receiving the first minute over unicast, it can receive the next minute over multicast. Players on sufficiently fast connections might join multiple swarms at once to pull in the whole video more quickly.

Re:Not Great Enough (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721942)

But that requires an immense quantity of swarms (multiple per video), which means the routers will have to store huge in-memory databases to keep track of the downstream routers who need each packet stream, because unlike with unicast, the destination IPs are not contained in the packets themselves.

Re:Not Great Enough (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723910)

the routers will have to store huge in-memory databases to keep track of the downstream routers who need each packet stream

Congratulations. You've just explained why multicast was never deployed over the public IPv4 Internet even before NAT had become widespread.

Re:Not Great Enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33724134)

Multicast-user: "I'd like to use your equipment to multiply a data stream thousands or hundreds of thousands of times."
Router-operator: "Sounds good to me, bro."

I can't see why there isn't wider support for multicast on the internet.

Re:Not Great Enough (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724878)

You could also have worded it:

"Hey, instead of just sending you a packet addressed to every host, I'll send you a single meta-packet and you can figure out who needs it from there."

Multicast has advantages (less bandwidth usage), but at a cost of much beefier routers. IIRC, setting up routing of multicast traffic can be a pain.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33721456)

lrn2network.

Re:Great (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721028)

a) Wikimedia is (allegedly [wikipedia.org]) encyclopaedic media, whilst youtube is cats. Not direct competition.

No, you're confusing Wikimedia with Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia. Wikimedia Commons [wikimedia.org] is a collection of media that complements Wikipedia. Wikimedia is a non-profit organisation that runs a large number of open content wikis, and was founded by the same people as (and used to share some infrastructure with) Wikia, which is a for-profit wiki-hosting company.

An open content archive of cats doing funny things would be within the scope of Wikimedia's goals.

Re:Great (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721238)

d) What if I want to grab a video that nobody is seeding? This happens to me a lot on torrents I grab from isohunt. For example I tried to get "The Odd Couple" but it got stuck at 5% and never went any further. I imagine the problem would be even worse for unpopular encyclopedic videos.

>>>"video is many times more costly to distribute than text and images."

It doesn't have to be "many" times costlier. I routinely share 25-minute episodes of Penn&Teller with friends via email, and they are squeezed down to 10 megabytes... just double the size of some of the giant images I download from art sites... and half the size of the typical 25-minute MP3 or AAC. It all depends how you adjust the compression settings.

Re:Great (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721534)

What if I want to grab a video that nobody is seeding? This happens to me a lot on torrents I grab from isohunt. For example I tried to get "The Odd Couple" but it got stuck at 5% and never went any further. I imagine the problem would be even worse for unpopular encyclopedic videos.

HTTP will still be an option - if it can find seeds, great, if not, it'll work like today. No loss for the user.

It doesn't have to be "many" times costlier. I routinely share 25-minute episodes of Penn&Teller with friends via email, and they are squeezed down to 10 megabytes... just double the size of some of the giant images I download from art sites... and half the size of the typical 25-minute MP3 or AAC. It all depends how you adjust the compression settings.

10MB / (25min * 60sec) = 54 kbps. Well, I know that current codecs are good, but I wouldn't want to watch that.

Re:Great (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724274)

>>>I wouldn't want to watch that.

53 kb/s. No worse than when we watched videos back in the days of dialup (either 28k or 56k). The point is that videos don't have to take up a lot of space if you make them SD quality.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33729126)

It will always be seeded. The point of this technology is: if you are the first to watch the video, you are watching it streamed from the wikimedia server. If other people start watching it... they join a torrent with you in it and start getting parts of the video from you... and so on.

The idea is, as with BT itself, the more popular a video is at the moment... the bigger the swarm and with little additional load on the wikimedia servers - but it will never not be seeded.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33720720)

Don't get your hopes up. It will never see any widespread use due to requiring a browser add-on.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33721018)

A browser add-on in the only solution for the moment! At least until it doesn't become popular enough that browsers will include it natively.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33721236)

Don't get your hopes up. It will never see any widespread use due to requiring a browser add-on.

Other than Flash you mean, right? Wait, that's the solution. Quick, someone implement this using a flash object and then everyone will use this. (not really sure if I'm kidding...)

Re:Great (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721568)

Adobe® Stratus 2 enables peer assisted networking using the Real Time Media Flow Protocol (RTMFP) within the Adobe Flash® Platform. RTMFP is the evolution of media delivery and real time communication over the Internet enabling peers on the network to assist in delivery. Stratus was first introduced in 2008 as a rendezvous-only service that allowed clients to send data from client to client without passing through a server. Adobe Flash Player 10, which debuted peer assisted networking, has been adopted today by over 90% of all internet connected PCs.

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/stratus/ [adobe.com]

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33723188)

Other than Flash you mean, right?

Flash came at the right time (when the Internet was more geeky and manual installation of add-ons was a non-issue). Plus it actually offered features consumers wanted (interactivity and whatnot). This plug-in on the other hand offers features that the hoster wants (less load for them). Plus setting up a P2P client is usually a bit more involved (firewall/router setup).

How many other plug-ins have penetrated the mass market? Even things like Adblock are for niche, geek users only.

Now that the average internet user is a tech-illiterate John Doe, this doesn't stand a chance.

Google Gears (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722924)

Google Gears also started as a plugin before being swallowed by HTML5.
Video where handled by plugins before being considered by the VIDEO tag of HTML5.
3D Web also started as a plugin before WebGL emerged as a standard.
see any tendency ?

Well, if things keep that way, bittorrent P2P server offloading could be integrated into HTML5.1
could even help mitigating the /. effect, if links on the main page where modified to leverage such swarming, in addition to direct HTTP access to the /.ed server.

If enough proponents push for it (and it is really useful, so it's worth pushing for) we might start to see more widespread adotpion : Firefox, but also Chrome, Opera, Safari.
perhaps even one day IE. Eventually. In a distant future. Once they finally finish getting previous standards right....

The only shortcoming : hope that the SHA cryptographic hashing/digest algorithm used by bittorrent doesn't get cracked, or malicious users will start flooding swarms with bogus packet, trying to inject their own shock site- or vulnerability- laden data instead of the legitimate data the P2P network was supposed to offload (just like some are injecting bogus packets into eDonkey networks, as MD4 is not secure anymore).

The other short coming : having an easy access to configuration to enable/disable/throttle uploads, to avoid the outbound connections exceeding the limits of data plan. Better if it's automatic (like leveraging NetworkManager on Linux).

Re:Google Gears (1)

kiwix (1810960) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723694)

just like some are injecting bogus packets into eDonkey networks, as MD4 is not secure anymore

Do you have reference on that? I mean, the injection part, no the MD4 is broken part.

Since preimage attacks on MD4 are far from practical, you cannot inject bogus packet to infect a given file. You need to create a special file that exists in two versions: a legitimate one and a bogus one. Then you would have to get people to download you file, and now you can inject the bogus version. But I would be really surprised if someone was actually doing this: it's much easier and just as efficient to infect some file with a trojan and distibute it.

You need a really badly broken hash in order to be able to inject packets in a random file.

Re:Great (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723022)

Don't get your hopes up. It will never see any widespread use due to requiring a browser add-on.

Aha, so that's why nobody is using Flash for video.

Re:Great (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724124)

"Installing this plugin will give you great new features" is a much better argument to install it than "installing this plugin will help the owners of the web sites you're visiting to keep their costs down."

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33720742)

Moreover, we can expect popular content to be kind of cached on many computers. It's a very promising technology in order to solve the centralized streaming issues (=servers with *huge* bandwidth).
p2p streaming client would need to be integrated with domestic servers (24/24 7/7) in order to maximize the presence of cached content (all that as to be automated on the domestic network).
Very complex to manage "live" (hot removal/hot add of domestic servers), and since UPNP is raw sh**...

Another thing is the "network distance map":must favor "close" peers. I wonder what is the network cost and reliability of this discovery (traceroute/published IP maps...).

FTTH may change everything too... since people will be able to send directly huge content through their up-link to their friends at a bearable speed. And that's technically braindead...

Re:Great (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721226)

Also, it's often hard to keep a YouTube video, and I'm not always online. There's a nature film called "The Bear", for instance, that's a keeper, but it's hard to save the stream.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33732590)

Try the Firefox add-on DownloadHelper https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3006/ . Basically allows you to easily download the video of most online flash players (and some other media too).

I'm not even watching anything longer than a few minutes in Flash anymore. It's much more convenient to download and watch in VLC.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33722420)

I especially like 'c'. P2P is a great tech but has been pretty well demonized in the media (I can't imagine why). Having everyone that uses Wikipedia using it will definitely get it in the hands of more people, who might then realize that it is not evil.

I am not keen on companies forcing us to use our upload bandwidth, but wikimedia gets a free pass from me for their noble purpose (even if they are locking down the edits more now than in the past). Encyclopedic knowledge for free to the masses is definitely something worth having.

Legitimate P2P use ?~ OMG!~ (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722760)

c) make it a lot harder to argue that P2P is only something that pirates use, rather than simply modern technology.

But... but... I thought that only evil pedo-terrorist pirates are using Torrent, to siphon the hard gained profits out of the pocket of the poor record- / motion picture- industry !~

More seriously : I'm actually surprised that it took so much time until someone decided to implemented it. Leveraging P2P to offload server load for user-made and -uploaded videos (just like it's already used to offload bandwidth requirement for distributed TV - like torrentocracy - and for upgrades - like in WoW. ) just make perfectly sense.
In fact, it would be good if some kind of standard was added, perhaps to HTML5.1 allowing other browser to participate in the P2P offloading in a standardized manner.

Hi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33720616)

Six

alert(document.cookie)

Why not just use Youtube? (2, Interesting)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720628)

Why not just use Youtube to host the videos, after archiving them in a Wikimedia store?

Or is this more about control than openness? What value does hosting them at Wikimedia have over Youtube?

Youtube isn't that restrictive as long as you aren't infringing copyright..

Re:Why not just use Youtube? (4, Insightful)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720668)

Why not just use Youtube to host the videos, after archiving them in a Wikimedia store? Or is this more about control than openness? What value does hosting them at Wikimedia have over Youtube?

1) less intrusive ads
2) you would be relying on a commercial third-party, which is bad. What if Youtube suddenly decides to go pay-per-view? What if it closes?
3) you, and not Google, should get to decide what is "fair use"

Re:Why not just use Youtube? (2, Interesting)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720694)

3) you, and not Google, should get to decide what is "fair use"

Doubly important in the case of Wikipedia - whose "fair use" justification is frequently "we couldn't find an image usable under the normal interpretations of fair use, so we used this one anyhow".

If WP is abusing fair use, let's go file an IFD (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722264)

Wikipedia - whose "fair use" justification is frequently "we couldn't find an image usable under the normal interpretations of fair use, so we used this one anyhow"

As far as I can tell, all non-free media on English Wikipedia, other than WMF logos, is supposed to be an excerpt (factors 3 and 4) used in context of commentary on the image's subject (factor 1), and the subject has to be of a nature that free images cannot be produced (factor 2). Most of these are of A. a notable non-free work of authorship or B. a notable person who is dead or extraordinarily reclusive. Can you cite specific abuses of fair use on Wikipedia so that I can file an IFD?

Re:Why not just use Youtube? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723120)

3) you, and not Google, should get to decide what is "fair use"

Why, Google are the ones who will get sued, not you.

Re:Why not just use Youtube? (4, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720670)

Not being at the whims of a private company that can do what they please with the videos, including censoring?

It's not about Wikimedia having control, it's about not giving control to some company. Bittorrent puts us all in control.

Re:Why not just use Youtube? (2, Insightful)

Lazareth (1756336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720680)

That's quite naive. First of all youtube would ban a lot of media that wikimedia would not (a lot of biology media regarding human anatomy for instance...) secondly youtube is of the stance that "there's no such thing as fair use".

Re:Why not just use Youtube? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722096)

Youtube isn't that restrictive as long as you aren't infringing copyright

In the case of one of my videos that criticized the practices of The Tetris Company, it took YouTube substantially longer than the standard 10 to 14 business days specified by the DMCA to handle my counter-notice.

The bad new is (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720636)

It will make it much harder to use Wikipedia as a reference. You will want to look up something quickly and be presented with four our five possibly relevant 10-minute videocasts on the subject.

Re:The bad new is (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720674)

I hope they won't go the route of a lot of news sites and make stuff that should be text video. I hate looking at a headline that grabs my attention only to find out it's video(when it could have just as well been text). I'm not always in a position where I can watch video, so having text is much better.

Someone will put a transcript on the wiki (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722356)

It's a wiki. Someone can upload a transcript. If you're lucky, it might even be in a timed text format such as LRC or SRT that can also serve as subtitles.

Re:The bad new is (1)

kiwix (1810960) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723784)

I hope they won't go the route of a lot of news sites and make stuff that should be text video.

Wikipedia is all about collaborative editing. As long as making a collaborative video is out of reach, they will stick to text.

Re:The bad new is (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721308)

It will make it much harder to use Wikipedia as a reference. You will want to look up something quickly and be presented with four our five possibly relevant 10-minute videocasts on the subject.

Which is especially awkward if you're part of the population that only has access to dialup. Slashdot already takes nearly a minute to load on my connection and it takes nearly half an hour to download a YouTube video, I can just imagine how well WikiYouTubePedia would work.

Re:The bad new is (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722386)

Which is especially awkward if you're part of the population that only has access to dialup.

AT&T covers 97 percent of the United States. What part of what country doesn't have satellite or EDGE by now?

What about unpopular videos (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720684)

P2P is good for content which everybody wants right now but what about the situation where you have an encyclopedia full of videos and few of them are accessed by different browsers in any given day? Client side caches can't hold on to this stuff for ever. I wonder if there is any benefit from using P2P in this case.

Re:What about unpopular videos (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33720714)

This is pretty much the right idea. Say CNN mentions some hot topic, a bunch of wikinerds go update that topic, and the people who don't want to read can watch a video on it. If only one or two people are watching it, no advantage, but if thousands of people are... then the bandwidth isn't hosed in a few seconds.

I wish more software actually worked this way, the "outbound bandwidth" being consumed is not an issue because once you have it, you're not sharing it forever, just for the length of time it takes to download and play it. However it shouldn't replace conventional load balancing. It's primarily to solve "peak load" not "base load" If services start doing this for base load, they're in for a world of hurt, especially since people with mobile devices won't be able to "share" their bandwidth since they get charged thousands of dollars to do so.

Re:What about unpopular videos (3, Interesting)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720726)

Didn't you read that this is a hybrid system? If there are no seeders, everything will come over HTTP.

Jeez, people really aren't even bothering to read even the summaries now.

Re:What about unpopular videos (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720774)

No I understand that, I just question the benefit of P2P at all for the wiki. I doubt that it will have many videos popular enough to benefit from this type of distribution, and I doubt P2P would save wikimedia much bandwidth.

Re:What about unpopular videos (2, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720810)

The worst-case performance probably isn't appreciably worse than it is now, and the best-case performance is much better, so the average is probably at least a little bit better. Furthermore, getting code like this into more people's browsers can increase the accessibility of the technology for other sites. So even if it's a dead-end for Wikimedia, it's a potential boon to video sites.

Really, if it doesn't bother Wikimedia, the only ones bothered by it should be ISPs and content creators who want to be takedown-happy.

Re:What about unpopular videos (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722452)

the average is probably at least a little bit better.

The average case can't just be "a little bit better". It has to be better enough to pay the bills of programmers and server administrators.

if it doesn't bother Wikimedia, the only ones bothered by it should be ISPs and content creators who want to be takedown-happy.

Wikipedia already has processes for deleting non-free media with dodgy fair use rationales [wikipedia.org].

Re:What about unpopular videos (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721656)

Why would they send it over HTTP, instead of having their server participate in the swarm as a seed? That seems the natural way to do it.

Network neutrality (1)

giorgist (1208992) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720708)

Isn't this a form of net neutrality, where we have high and low priority data ?

Re:Network neutrality (1)

samjam (256347) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720750)

Net neutrality often concerns me - why shouldn't I be able to play less for what I call low priority traffic and have someone else's prioritized above mine.

Re:Network neutrality (2, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720796)

I want to be clear what we mean by Net neutrality: What we mean is if you have one data type like video, you don't discriminate against one person's video in favor of another. But it's okay to discriminate across different types, so you could prioritize voice over video, and there is general agreement with Verizon and Google on that issue.

--Google CEO Eric E. Schmidt

Re:Network neutrality (2, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720758)

Network neutrality is about the ISPs treating data as equal, not about the clients or servers.

Re:Network neutrality (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721220)

The difference is that there's no payments going on, and the server is setting things as low priority, not some ISP's router. The technology has nothing to do with network neutrality.

Seeding problem (2, Interesting)

drHirudo (1830056) | more than 3 years ago | (#33720826)

This sounds nice. With the back up of HTTP server, this means the leechers will be irrelevant, when nobody else is seeding. Many people will just leech, watch and forget, without giving back seed. Because of the lack of seeds, the file hosting sites are so damn popular now. If everyone was seeding after download, then nobody would need file hosting services. Even YouTube, Vimeo and other video sites may go to this model then. (HTTP with backup of bit torrent and vice versa) cool cool cool. This gets even better for the people like me who have different Internet speed for country traffic and abroad traffic (I have 10 times faster traffic from local servers), so when torrenting from someone nearby, I will have faster speed, than downloading from the abroad server. Nice.

Re:Seeding problem (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 3 years ago | (#33725150)

They really need to build P2P into the HTTP protocol. It is the best of both worlds. When nobody is accessing a site, then a single webserver can easily cope with the load, and it serves the purpose of being the "seeder" of last resort, and also providing hashes/etc to authenticate the content. When a lot of people are hitting a site the webserver just becomes one seed of many and the swarm takes over.

Amazon S3 has an offering like this, but it is either http or torrent, not a seamless switch from one to the other based on load, since http doesn't support this. So, if you put something up on S3 and a million people download it via http, you pay for a ton of bandwidth when they could have used a torrent swarm.

It would be really nice that if a server gets slashdotted or whatever it just switches to super-seeder mode and does nothing but publish torrents/etc. The trick is keeping the whole thing low-latency for the typical case of going to the google home page - it can't take 60 seconds anytime you click on a link for the browser to figure out how to download it.

No Opera support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33720948)

It is unfortunately not available for your browser.

We don't all enjoy the speed, safety and rock solid reliability of IE6, you know...

Re:No Opera support (1)

FrostDust (1009075) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721074)

It's almost ironic, seeing as how Opera is the only mainstream* browser with a built-in Bittorrent client.

*For rather small values of mainstream

Now then... (1)

FunPika (1551249) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721032)

Lets see how the MAFIAA/Government/ISPs deal with P2P being used like this...

backups and rotation (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721066)

a obvious use for Bittorrent would be serve big backups of wikipedia as bittorrent.
but the backups of Wikipedia are not served that way, because make no sense, since at the speed that change, you will have people seeding a old version no one wants anymore.

bittorrent has not appeal for files that can change often.

just saying...

Re:backups and rotation (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721166)

Not true; Wikipedia dumps are often updated, but most of the content stays the same. You could perfectly serve a complete dump every six months, for example, and then serve via HTTP only the diffs to the last dump.

In fact, in the download section of Wikipedia they show* the usage of rsync to download only the changes between the current version and what you have on the disk, which means you could perfectly use a well seeded torrent of the dump [torrentz.com] and then sync it to the current revision using rsync.

*it seems that section is out of date, I don't know if it still works.

Multicast anyone??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33721120)

Hi guyz, have you heard of multicast?

Interesting (0)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721142)

I'm definitely interested in this and will be checking it out once I get home from school. What other possibilities does this technology hint at?

Hello NAT (1)

atisss (1661313) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721882)

How would it help if 90% of web users are behind NAT/proxy?

Who does have real IP on the desktop at all? Do I have to open inbound port directly to my browser?

I'd like to keep all P2P traffic on my router, so it doesn't get anywhere inside my LAN

Re:Hello NAT (1)

bigmammoth (526309) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722942)

Again its not about piracy where you need near 1:1 ratios for seeds to leaches. Its about supplementing http distribution, so its fine if 60% comes from the http it still reduces distribution costs. Its fine if only a few dozen institutions or upload nodes to donate a few mbs here and there, rather than every visitor contributing an equal amount to an upload.

Re:Hello NAT (1)

atisss (1661313) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723376)

I highly doubt that it would be 60%. Do you know single person having non-NATed computer for web browsing?

In order to create P2P distribution you need at least one side able to accept inbound connections, but NAT/proxy would forbid it.

Re:Hello NAT (1)

kiwix (1810960) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723970)

Do you know single person having non-NATed computer for web browsing?

Most of the machines I use for browsing are non-NATed. My machine at the university has a public IP. My home machine also has a public IP, because I want to be able to use it as a server, and it's easier to have a single machine than two. Even my laptop gets a public IP when I use the hotspots of my ISP [wikipedia.org].

it will not work (1)

allo (1728082) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721940)

how long do you have a wikipedia video open? most videos are between 10 and 30 seconds. this is not enough to even find enough peers. and then you should seed at least twice the bytes you downloaded ... this will not work.
and you would need to view videos at times when other people are viewing these videos, too.

Re:it will not work (1)

bigmammoth (526309) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722832)

it spawn a separate process that stays open and seeding as long as your computer is on and you don't close the application. It has a small indicator in the lower right of your browser and a system tray icon. If you want to 'turn it off' you can disable uploading which is recommend over complete removal since you can still help reduce server load by using the extension even if you upload nothing.

Swarmplayer 2.0's origin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33724442)

For those wondering where Swarmplayer 2.0 came from, I believe it is from Tribler's SwarmPlayer:
http://www.tribler.org/trac/wiki/SwarmPlayer

Back in 2006 (1)

geighaus (670864) | more than 3 years ago | (#33725400)

I wrote my master thesis [tml.tkk.fi] on a similar solution. I made a Python-based standalone implementation of the protocol and a simulator for it with everything happening on a single local machine. No nodes or no internet traffic. Kind of lame, but hey I got my degree :) Never bothered to do a proper implementation suitable for the real world use, as I got bored to tears by the time the thesis was done. Glad to see this something like this happening for real.

Just great (1)

paxcoder (1222556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33730232)

There goes another one of my ideas. Of course #bittorrent isn't logged. I should really start a darned blog :-(

why not use metalink? (1)

ant_tmwx (239616) | more than 3 years ago | (#33731456)

it would be cool if they could use metalink [metalinker.org], an internet standard for describing files offered in hybrid ftp/http/p2p content distribution systems, already used by a lot of open source projects.

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