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BitTorrent Turns 10

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the many-happy-seeds-of-the-day dept.

The Internet 203

ktetch-pirate writes "On this day, 10 years ago, Bram Cohen released the first bittorrent client to the public. Most P2P protocols have had a rapid rise and then a drop-off as the subsequent 'best thing' has come out, but after 10 years, nothing has bested bittorrent, and it still remains king of the P2P castle. Just when will it be replaced?"

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Pretty much never? (3, Interesting)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642206)

"Just when will it be replaced?"

Never? Going distributed is THE way of stopping people from shutting you down. So far only the tracker is fixed (and there are stuff in place to discover clients by seeing the others who you're connected to). So I'd say this is here to stay.

Re:Pretty much never? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642312)

Plus there have always been constant improvements. Client, server and protocol wise. When i think back to the Suprnova days...
A tracker outage and you were stuck with your peers you had that moment, if all would leave you had no chance of down- or uploading. Nowadays you dont need trackers anymore. Back then port setting and forwarding was complicated, upnp fixed that and clients are more noob friendly.
Nowadays it seems like the most logical conclusion, back then it was sensational. I wouldnt be suprised if Steam and Akamai follow Actiblitz and deliver there Content also via BT or a similar Protocol... i always wondered why Octoshape Grid did not catch on.

Re:Pretty much never? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642352)

It's actually the easiest way to be discovered and shut down, it's just that the vast majority of content owners don't care to sue individual torrenters.

Re:Pretty much never? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642538)

It's actually the easiest way to be discovered and shut down, it's just that the vast majority of content owners don't care to sue individual torrenters.

Yes. A co-worker just got a DMCA Notice of Claim of Copyright Infringement from his ISP.

Evidentiary Information:
Notice ID: XXX-XXXXXXX
Asset: Game of Thrones
Protocol: BitTorrent
IP Address: XX.XX.XX.XXX
DNS: xxxx.comcast.net
File Name: [ www.TorrentDay.com ] - Game.of.Thrones.S01E07.HDTV.XviD-ASAP
File Size: 583687464
Timestamp: 18 Jun 2011 23:28:33 GMT
Last Seen Date: 19 Jun 2011 01:29:44 GMT
Torrent Info Hash: c90aa2194a43de3b05bf12fe3120589b29bc90ca|583687464
Username:
Port ID: 57004

Re:Pretty much never? (1)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642578)

Comcast, why am I not surprised?

Re:Pretty much never? (2, Insightful)

The Dawn Of Time (2115350) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642608)

Shocking, Comcast follow the law and serve the notices. They should be on the side of the little guy who just needs to watch Game of Thrones for free or he might be bored! The ignominy!

Re:Pretty much never? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36643182)

These wise-ass remarks aren't funny, and they sure as hell aren't funny. Nevermind that the biggest complaint over them is the accuracy, and the tendency to support legislation that promotes a hunt-now-ask-later method of dealing with pirates, or the accused. Your attempt to pin it down solely on those who are PO'd about being busted, and in such a way that assumes anyone who complains is like that, is intellectually dishonest bullshit.

Re:Pretty much never? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642740)

That's why, along with other precautions, I never seed (to reduce infringement counts) or use trackers (to reduce likelihood of being caught). I've also never torrented a recently-released song or a movie. TV series are especially spied on. I'm always amazed at the idiocy of the people who seed, e.g., The Expendables--immediately after it comes out. How stupid is that? They're cutting into studio profits right when the most sales take place. Worst timing ever.

Re:Pretty much never? (5, Interesting)

mrogers (85392) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642356)

Going distributed is THE way of stopping people from shutting you down.

But ironically, what BitTorrent got right (and it pains me to admit this, because I'm a big fan of pure P2P solutions) was centralising the hard parts - search and peer location - and distributing the easy part - content distribution.

Another area where BitTorrent struck the right balance between pure P2P and pure centralisation was in content curation. Gnutella made it incredibly easy to share a file, but the result was a ton of low-quality, badly-labelled, nearly-identical files. BitTorrent made it just hard enough that only a few, relatively dedicated people would create torrents, and everyone else would just redistribute them. I don't think that was a conscious design decision, but it happened to hit the sweet spot.

Re:Pretty much never? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642442)

On the other hand Gnutella was (I say was, because it's dead now - when Limewire died people didn't switch, they left) a much easier and user-friendlier source for music than Bittorrent (or the internet as a whole) currently is. Just type in the name and artist, pick a good one from the list, and almost always you got a good file in a short while.
Now, you have to hunt for music everywhere. Many sites ask you to register (even some illegal ones ask for money) or have only mainstream music, require you to download the entire album at 1 kB/s, are hard to find, offer only drm'ed music or bad quality, and so on. All of them have a terrible user experience compared to the old way.
I wonder when a good music sharing solution will pop up again.

Re:Pretty much never? (5, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642588)

We're in the silver age of music piracy. The golden age was Napster: everyone had their mp3's in folders instead of managed by applications like iTunes and everything was shared by everyone by default. You could find the most obscure songs. To me it was like a preview of what the internet always promised: a huge library where you could access any data (in this case music) that was out there. A little glimpse of the internet's true potential.

Re:Pretty much never? (0)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642692)

Nah, we're in the golden age. In the time of Napster, you got low-bitrate MP3s often lacking metadata. Now, you can get FLACs with scanned artwork.

Re:Pretty much never? (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642744)

I think the legal balance is just as important. The fact that "BitTorrent" isn't one service or one network but that each site offer their files individually and the Ubuntu torrent has nothing to do with those on The Pirate Bay. That detached the technology and those building the tools from the shadier uses of it. Oh, they've rattled their sables a bit but never really had an legal grounds to shut BitTorrent itself down, unlike Napster, Grokster, Limewire and so many others.

And despite the best efforts to shut down torrent sites, many of them still operate very much in the open. The fact that The Pirate Bay has been all over the media and is in the top 100 most popular sites on the web means they've walked a very fine line and come down on the right side - at least for now. You didn't have to look that very hard in the past either to find it, but it was not that obvious to everyone and their dog.

I think something like TPB model is there to stay, if necessary they'll just move it to be a TOR onion site, still centralized but anonymous. Not the content itself as that'd be sloooow, just the site itself. For the moment that is simply not necessary, but there's now other ways should the public torrent sites lose while still keeping the things that made it a success.

Re:Pretty much never? (4, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642458)

Nowadays there is such thing as "trackerless torrents". No idea how it works, but it works. A while ago I tried to download some torrent, but the single listed tracker in the .torrent was down. Nevertheless soon the download started, like magic :-) And once one peer was found, many more followed quickly thanks to peer exchange.

BT has in a way been replaced several times already. The protocol from 10 years ago has evolved a lot (will the original BT client even be able to handle to current torrents?), with additions like peer exchange, DHT, magnet links and encryption. The idea behind BT is brilliant and simple, and as such will always live on. It solved most if not all problems from the original P2P protocols: the P2P issue itself (too many downloaders on a single peer), disappearing peers (now you have more than one - download will continue from other peers), and overall download speed. The protocol was found to have some problems itself, most notably the centralised tracker, which is also solved now. The problems that remain are the finding of content, for that there is still no solution to the current centralised databases (aka "torrent sites"), and longevity of the content: as soon as the last seeder stops seeding, the file is lost from the network.

And on top of it, it's not owned by a single for-profit organisation like Napster or LimeWire. When that company goes out of business, the protocol is out, and something new is needed. BT will live long I think. It's an open and free protocol, allowing for it to evolve and have people add features to it. There is no "single point of failure" - by design.

Re:Pretty much never? (5, Informative)

klapaucjusz (1167407) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642498)

Nowadays there is such thing as "trackerless torrents". No idea how it works, but it works.

It uses a technique known as a Kademlia Distributed Hash Table [wikipedia.org] (DHT). It's a rather tricky algorithm, which turns out to work beautifully for this particular application.

--jch

Re:Pretty much never? (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642972)

The problems that remain are the finding of content, for that there is still no solution to the current centralised databases (aka "torrent sites")

That works beautifully with Kad for ed2k so I've always wondered why nobody has implemented that on top of the DHT in Bittorrent.

and longevity of the content: as soon as the last seeder stops seeding, the file is lost from the network.

Well every block of the file has to be on a hard drive *somewhere*. If people don't keep it around then the bits are gone.
I like Freenet's approach: Every user donates a chunk of disk (like 2GB) for anonymous encrypted storage.

Re:Pretty much never? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642530)

Admited, It's hard not to agree.

But there are still ways to improve it, it's not the end of the road yet.

Combining multicast support which is certainly be bettter and more widely supported than it's today is. The reason is looming and it's HD-IPTV. Unicast HD-IPTV is a bandwith consumptive hog and the only practical way is to use multicast for it. That forces many organisations which did not previously bother configuring it reconsider and this will open doors to other applications using it too.

Think of it. You could advertise with SAP torrent feeds and individual chunks what you have in addition just to submit chunks over it.

Re:Pretty much never? (5, Insightful)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 3 years ago | (#36643172)

Combining multicast support which is certainly be bettter and more widely supported than it's today is. The reason is looming and it's HD-IPTV. Unicast HD-IPTV is a bandwith consumptive hog and the only practical way is to use multicast for it. That forces many organisations which did not previously bother configuring it reconsider and this will open doors to other applications using it too.

I strongly doubt that. Consider that AT&T uses multicast for their U-Verse service. The problem is that they provide no way to create your own multicast streams. They have no interest in allowing other applications to use it. Why would they? The multicast gives their service a serious cost advantage compared to other live streaming services. Because it is generally viewed as a separate TV service, most proposed net-neutrality regulations would not require them to open it up.

To the best of my knowledge there is no real standards for negotiating multi-cast between autonomous systems. Even if there were, the fact that the packets can multiply inside a network (when they reach a router with subscribers on more than one of the connected (sub)networks) makes setting up peering agreements difficult.

Transit agreements between ISPs generally assume that one packet sent in results in one packet leaving the network, or being delivered to a machine inside the network. With multicast between distinct autonomous systems, that one packet in could result in 100 packets being delivered to in network machines, and potentially one packet to each connected network. How should that be counted for billing?

If each resulting packet is counted, that would require network changes to track how many in-network machines it was delivered to. If it were counted as just the one packet for this network, plus one more packet for each connected peer or transit provider it reached, the required changes would be much smaller.

However in either case that would be really unfair to the sender of the packet, who has no way of knowing how many times an individual packet would be counted. It would also be rough on intermediate networks who may try to track usage and switch packets between multiple transit providers such as to minimize costs. They would only know that they sent one packet of some specific size to a given transit provider who may count it as many more packets.

The whole thing is very awkward. After all despite those issues, ISPs could benefit from the same number of users with the same style of usage resulting in many fewer total packets needing to be sent through the oversubscribed links from the core networks to last mile.

Even the tracker isn't centralized. (1)

satuon (1822492) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642630)

I would argue that even the sites and the tracker aren't centralized in the sense that there is no single torrent site/tracker - there are many, and nothing prevents anyone from creating a new one. In smaller countries, there are local torrent sites which only the people of that country use and know about. I doubt anyone is going to go after them. When people say that torrent sites are centralized they think about the highly visible targets like pirate bay or isohunt which everyone knows.

Re:Pretty much never? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642866)


Never?... So I'd say this is here to stay.

Seriously? Never? So you're saying people will still be using bittorent in 100 years? Of course they won't. The ideas behind it yes, but all technology has a lifespan. Nobody uses celluloid film anymore, it was replaced by plastics long ago. The plastic film is slowly going digital. Film itself might one day become as unavailable as a horse buggy, though not for the foreseeable future. Those are all technologies that lasted for decades, in a (relative to computing) a slowly changing industry. To say that bittorent will last "forever" is ridiculous.

I'm sure you're correct that some form of distributed information dispersal system will always be in existence, just like a centralised one will always be in existence. But those are very generalised concepts. In a very real sense, the "sneakernet" distribution scheme of the 80s of copying a game, or tape from your friend is also a distributed rather than centralised system. De-centralisation has been around for a long time. The only difference is that it's only relatively recently that it's scaled up, and gone beyond the model where it occurs between friends, and towards a system where it happens between complete strangers.

 

When... (5, Insightful)

smileygladhands (1909508) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642218)

It will be replaced when our ISP monopolies makes it so difficult to use bittorrent, another way must be created. Destruction brings creation.

Sneakernet (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642268)

And with numerous ISPs capping home users' monthly transfer in the double digit or even single digit GB, "another way" is likely to involve sneakernet.

Re:Sneakernet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642294)

With legal services like YouTube, Hulu (for the USA anyway), iTunes and Netflix, those ISPs will soon find themselves at the short end of lawsuits everywhere for anti-competitive behaviors.

It's not normal to pay expensive services and that in more than a decade no upgrade has been done to their infrastructures and any lawyer will be able to see right through their lies, if they're not already affected by these changes. Netflix and iTunes aren't exactly nerd-oriented services.

Re:Sneakernet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642396)

We'll probably start seeing bandwidth-cap exclusions for legitimate traffic-heavy providers. Everything else that's not recognized (incl. encrypted communications) will be capped.

Re:Sneakernet (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642718)

In this case, 'legitimate' means 'Has either business ties with a major ISP, or the money to pay them for the deal.' Netflix is legitimate, but Small Town Studio trying to distribute their low-budget independent movie is not.

Re:Sneakernet (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642932)

It's not normal to pay expensive services and that in more than a decade no upgrade has been done to their infrastructures

Are there really non-dialup ISPs that are as slow in 2011 as they were in 2001? Cox cable sure is faster than it was 10 years ago...

Re:Sneakernet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642296)

Data caps? What third world country do you live in?

Re:Sneakernet (1)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642592)

United states.

Re:Sneakernet (2)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642462)

sneakernet

I still want to see some kind of interface between mass storage devices, wireless and content, enabling WLAN content parties. You rock up, your device sees everyone else at the event and starts sharing, perhaps intelligently based on your preferences, Maybe smartphones hold the answer to this, but they may not offer lots of storage. However this could work on a small scale. You could just turn up to the pub and your device would sort out the rest. It could share your own content and look after the security. Could even base it on bittorrent for max efficiency. That would be very cool. Someone make it happen.

Wi-Fi NAS (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642520)

I still want to see some kind of interface between mass storage devices, wireless and content

I believe it's called a NAS [wikipedia.org] (not necessarily that Nas [wikipedia.org] ). Wi-Fi NAS exists [linuxfordevices.com] .

Re:Sneakernet (1)

qpqp (1969898) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642596)

I believe, you want something like a Napster combined server/client for LAN that forms an ad-hoc mesh with other clients.

Re:Sneakernet (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642628)

I don't know of anything pre-rolled(or, more importantly, enjoying critical mass); but it doesn't strike me as a terribly difficult problem(aside from the critical mass bit).

While the use case is comparatively rare, bittorrent clients will happily enough interact with other nodes on the same LAN. With DHT, you wouldn't even need a tracker(though it wouldn't be rocket surgery to configure the router serving the LAN to have a little captive portal page where people on the LAN could upload .torrents for the benefit of others on the LAN who don't have them(and thus don't participate in the DHT). As long as DHCP is provided, pretty much any vaguely contemporary OS/BT client configuration would Just Work. To avoid spilling onto public internet, and attracting the wrath of the ISP or the Copy Cops, you could either simply not have a WAN connection, or have one; but not route the BT traffic(or shape it to lowest priority, to allow fresh material to come into the local swarm; but not swamp other things).

There are really two main issues:

1. Critical mass: Unless this sort of thing is relatively common, it'd be little more than a cute trick, arranged well ahead of time, for your local LUG or LAN-party or whatever.

2. What client hardware to use: In one sense, this is easy. If it has wifi or ethernet(or even bluetooth/zigbee/IrDA/PPP-over-RS-232 if you are feeling perverse) and can run a bittorrent client, it will work. However, compared to almost anybody's internet connections, LAN transfers will be Fast, but the inconvenience of going out to use bittorrent will be sufficient that it won't be worth it unless everybody brings a bunch of stuff with them, and a bunch more space for the stuff they want. Nothing stops a cellphone user or somebody with a 320GB(total, much of it already used) laptop from taking part; but it'll be the guy who shows up and plugs in his 6-bay NAS, with the (almost always Linux) firmware hacked to include a BT client that will really keep things running...

Re:Sneakernet (1)

klapaucjusz (1167407) | more than 3 years ago | (#36643030)

With DHT, you wouldn't even need a tracker

Actually, you don't even need the DHT. Most BitTorrent clients implement "local network discovery", a protocol extension that allows them to automatically and quickly discover peers participating in the same swarm on the local LAN segment. It's usually disabled by default, for obvious privacy reasons, so you'll want to hunt for the features in your preferences dialog.

--jch

File size range (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642222)

Once the pirates discovered BitTorrent, I seem to remember that there was a shift from pirating 3-6 MB singles on Kazaa, Gnutella, and the like to pirating 50-100 MB albums. Has BitTorrent since become better at transferring small files, or is it still suited only for large transfers?

Re:File size range (3, Informative)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642236)

Bit torrent can do large or small files with equal ease. It's just the distributed method of seeding really shines with large files.

Re:File size range (1)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642354)

But to be fair, small trackerless torrents can take disproportionally long to download since it takes a fixed amount of time to get peers from the DHT.

RAR files (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642868)

Bit torrent can do large or small files with equal ease. [...]

Yup: just ask all the folks that distribute things, via BT, as a bunch of RAR files.

People, RAR may be useful in part of the workflow process, but at the end of the day the final distribution should be just the final format.

http://torrentfreak.com/unpack-rar-archives-before-you-release-a-torrent/

Re:File size range (2)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642270)

Unless the files are zipped into an archive, a lot of clients will let you choose which particular files you download from the torrent and skip all of the other ones.

Re:File size range (2)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642284)

By the way, when you're starting to download a torrent that consists many files, you can select only the ones you want. You don't have to download the big stuff if you don't want to.
There's nothing in Bittorrent that discriminates against small files.

Re:File size range (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642510)

However, users who don't know how it works will often stuff all those files into a an archive before creating a torrent (usually something stupid like .rar), which firstly is useless as the files are already in compressed formats, and secondly removes any control over file selection.

Re:File size range (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642286)

once you've decided to download the torrent, why do you just want this one single instead of the entire discography in flac and mp3? you can always choose which files from a torrent to download anyway.

Re:File size range (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642358)

once you've decided to download the torrent, why do you just want this one single instead of the entire discography in flac and mp3?

Because I want to be able to download other things during the same month without having to pay prohibitive overages.

Re:File size range (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642364)

It works just fine for small files; the problem is that doing so craps up the bittorrent software's window with a bunch of different torrents. Something like the eMule Kad protocol is better suited to handling lots of small files from a user's point of view.

Re:File size range (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642960)

Has BitTorrent since become better at transferring small files, or is it still suited only for large transfers?

Whatever issue you're having, I'm not seeing it [btjunkie.org] .

Unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642234)

It will be replaced when bandwidth is effectively unlimited and big content has replaced their business model with one that allows people to download things legally.
So, never?

Re:Unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642586)

But "big content" (oh, populism... you are endlessly entertainingly retarded) does allow people to download things legally, although you have to pay... maybe you meant when big content willingly subsidizes your entertainment desires?

Re:Unlikely (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642778)

You are mostly right, though there is still one area that I think you might want to concede: Staged releases. Pirates like to get things fast, preferably fast enough to see them at the same time as their friends. While you can legally download films now, you can't do it right away - first it's cinema time, and then blu-ray and online. If you live outside of the first release country it's a lot worse, as by the time you can see the film it's already last-months fad and you've heard all the spoilers and missed out the chance to complain about how much it sucks. If the studios are to have any hope of removing the non-financial motivation for piracy, they are going to have to drop the practice of region-stageing releases and just let every country see it at the same time.

Re:Unlikely (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642594)

Erh... the conditions you describe are met. I have virtually endless bandwidth and big content is selling its content online for less than a buck.

Re:Unlikely (2)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642708)

A buck per track is still too much. If the prices for audio files are so high, I'd rather pirate in the short-term and, in the long term, save up money and buy CDs for a couple of dollars more so that I get the physical artifact (looks nice on my shelves, serves as a backup).

Re:Unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642992)

Bt will be replaced when people can share files or content between each other easily without files to used to share them....

Wait, it is already happening! Never mind..

Share ratio requirements (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642250)

BitTorrent might not be replaced until tracker operators learn what an average is. A lot of private trackers require their users to keep their share ratios at or near 100%. But it's mathematically impossible for everybody to have a share ratio greater than 100%. Share ratio is upload divided by download, but across a whole swarm, the sum of upload will equal the sum of download, making the average share ratio 100%. One can't seed unless there's a downloader on the same swarm. So what are people who get in on the tail end of a swarm, where no downloader shows up for days at a time, supposed to do to keep their share ratios up to the tracker's standard?

Re:Share ratio requirements (2)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642276)

Most trackers only require a ratio of 0.8 or 0.7 for that reason.

However I've never had a problem seeding myself into the positive.

Re:Share ratio requirements (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642340)

However I've never had a problem seeding myself into the positive.

If you are among the last to download a given file, how many weeks does it typically take you to seed to 1.0?

Re:Share ratio requirements (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642384)

Tracker Seeding ratio is usually measured as a total across all files, not individual files. Trying to get 1.0 on all files is a bit silly.

However most files I download reach 1.5 within the hour.

An overseeded first file (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36643032)

Tracker Seeding ratio is usually measured as a total across all files, not individual files.

True, but if the first file you download at a given tracker is overseeded, then your total across all files will stay low as most downloaders will get their blocks from someone else.

Re:Share ratio requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642502)

you don't.

to boost your ratio just find a fresh ~1 gig porn video and get it, leave it seeded for a week or two and you will hit 2-300% seed, people love porn

Re:Share ratio requirements (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642748)

Yeah, sometimes if I'm amongst the last to download a big torrent, I don't even bother to seed it because I'm not really needed - I'd rather my uploading be focused on the rare/unpopular stuff and/or the torrents I make.

Re:Share ratio requirements (2)

Tynin (634655) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642290)

I think this is actually intentional. Most of the private trackers I use that use ratios and penalize you for going below a certain percentage, also include the option to pay them some mount monthly/yearly for premium access where your ratio is overlooked.

Re:Share ratio requirements (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642306)

keeping logs of who shared what or how much is stupid. if you want such systems there's plenty of ratio aware solutions for doing it and plenty of direct connect hubs which have minimum share requirementst too - but such systems are always bustable. also, requiring 100% ratios just means people will keep creating shadow users and upload to themselfs, that's stupid too.

Re:Share ratio requirements (1)

ktetch-pirate (1850548) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642316)

Actually, it's worse. Remember, the initial seeder doesn't download, so that's at least one upload without a download. So while the average across the torrent is 1:1, in reality, the peers/users on it will be less than 1, with the initial seeder removed. Also, can we stop calling them 'private trackers' - there's NOTHING private about them. They're LESS private than public/open trackers. They're Registration Required trackers, or Reg-wall trackers.

Re:Share ratio requirements (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642336)

They're Registration Required trackers, or Reg-wall trackers.

I was referring more to invite-wall trackers.

Re:Share ratio requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642380)

"..with the initial seeder removed...", but he is not removed, and he will download something that someone else initially uploaded

Re:Share ratio requirements (1)

ktetch-pirate (1850548) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642434)

Maybe, maybe not. A lot of RR trackers are scene based. If you've got access to a scene dump to make the torrent in the first place, you don't then need to use the torrents to get more stuff also available on the dump.Besides which, it eats into your e-peen 'ratio'

Re:Share ratio requirements (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36643050)

A lot of RR trackers are scene based.

Which is another part of the problem. I'd even be willing to make my own original works available for upload, but a lot of the ratio trackers don't want them because "the scene" only cares about ten major distributors.

Re:Share ratio requirements (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642326)

Sites with ratios generally have some sort of stimulus program that keeps the credits plentiful. Underground-Gamer for instance has golden torrent weekends, where the most desirable torrents on the site are free leech and 2x upload credit for seeders.

Re:Share ratio requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642386)

several private trackers i use (running on gazelle) offer freeleech specials on some torrents that still count towards upload

Re:Share ratio requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642486)

The more abundant the seeders, the less strict the upload requirements. My favored private torrent site has a 0.45 ratio before you get banned + bonus points for seeding old titles + free leech titles + occasional global free leech + half off full blurays. Why? Because they realize there's so many there with 100 Mbit seedboxes that having a higher ratio is both unnecessary and very difficult for the rest to maintain. That one is invite only though, fight club rules so I'm ACing. "Public" but reg-required sites often keep a higher ratio because people can leech, get banned and sign up all over again. But you can e.g. go to cheggit.net for more porn than you'd ever need and a 0.65 ratio for example.

Re:Share ratio requirements (4, Informative)

limaxray (1292094) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642518)

You are correct - seeding torrents is like a P2P pyramid scheme and the people on the bottom are left holding the bag.

The thing is, this situation is a rare occurrence for most users, and most will be able to seed greater than 1 most of the time. In my experience, the number of torrents you can comfortably seed greater than 1 dwarfs those that you can't. While I have found torrents on private trackers to be typically very well seeded, often to the point of saturation, I've never had a problem maintaining a positive ratio and I usually don't seed more than a day or two.

Re:Share ratio requirements (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642940)

The thing is, this situation is a rare occurrence for most users, and most will be able to seed greater than 1 most of the time.

You are failing at the exact math that you are replying to. For every person greater than 1.00, there is at least one person less than 1.00. This makes it impossible for most users to be over 1.00 most of the time.

Re:Share ratio requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642634)

You are forgetting that there is one surefire way to boost your ratio: upload new torrents to the site. Another way is to look up the most popular torrents and begin seeding those. This is bit trickier as you need to download the file(s) first, which in turn may eat your ratio.

If it's not on NFOrce then forget it (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36643076)

You are forgetting that there is one surefire way to boost your ratio: upload new torrents to the site.

And get banned from the tracker because the torrents are something other than warez-scene releases. Why does Google have over 4,000 results for "if it's not on NFOrce then forget it" [google.com] ?

Another way is to look up the most popular torrents and begin seeding those. This is bit trickier as you need to download the file(s) first, which in turn may eat your ratio.

Not to mention the ISP's cap.

Re:Share ratio requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642788)

On most of the invite-only trackers I've seen, there's credits to be earned on seeding even if no one actually downloads what you're seeding. You then trade those credits to apply to your ratio. This is how I've 'uploaded' 13 gigs on a book torrent site where the avg file size is around 500k.

Notice something about Bram Cohen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642260)

He hasn't appeared to age in the past 10 years... or ever? We've already pointed out the similarity between his look and the Highlander as played by Adrian Paul. Is it possible Cohen, possibly under another name, sold his immortal life story?

Re:Notice something about Bram Cohen? (2)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642482)

Prince of Darkness: "So what do you want in return for your soul?"

Cohen:"An efficient peer-to-peer file sharing protocol that can't be killed by RIAA/MPAA. Oh wait, eternal youth too."

it already is almost dead due to ISP's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642280)

Due to traffic shaping by the majority of internet providers bit torrent has been depreciated in value significantly especially if you want fast downloads. With http download services such as megaupload, filesonic etc... I regularly max out my 25Mbps connection while downloading... I've NEVER maxed out my download capacity using bit torrent in about 3 years now.

Re:it already is almost dead due to ISP's (0)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642308)

Yeah, that's my experience as well.

Re:it already is almost dead due to ISP's (1)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642324)

You seem to be living in the wrong country, or using the wrong ISPs. I've lived in different cities in Sweden for the past decade, and I've never had any problem getting maximum download speeds on a decently seeded torrent, whether that has been a lowly 200KB/s or 1MB/s.

Re:it already is almost dead due to ISP's (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642650)

You seem to be living in the wrong country, or using the wrong ISPs...

Well that applies to Canada, the US, and most of Central and South America then. The only countries that don't are in Asia, and a couple in Europe.

Re:it already is almost dead due to ISP's (4, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642728)

It's more than a couple countries in Europe. I live in a small town in Romania, for years already we have fiber to the door and 1 Mbps down on torrents with no throttling. Of course, when I go to Finland several times a year for work, things get even better, but even the European backwoods is better than what you get in most US metropolitan areas.

Re:it already is almost dead due to ISP's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642798)

the US

Enable protocol encryption. On Comcast I routinely max out 2MB/s (15Mb).

Re:it already is almost dead due to ISP's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642332)

The "majority"? Hardly. Just because it's happening to you doesn't mean it's happening to everybody else too.

It already is almost dead due to stupid users (1)

ktetch-pirate (1850548) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642394)

It's my experience (from 6+ years of doing frontline support, plus a few years as a p2p researcher) that most people have bad settings for their clients. They 'tweak' them to try and make things better, but in reality only make things worse.

In my experience it's that plus slow seeders. (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642614)

There is sometimes a "keepalive" seeder for a torrent, but that seeder won't give more than a few K per second. I guess it's better than nothing, but it's really frustrating.

All in all, most things work quite well. Especially anything that is moderately popular.

Don't expect you'll be able to download everything at max speed though. Sometimes there just aren't enough other people offering it.

Re:it already is almost dead due to ISP's (1)

Sinthet (2081954) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642406)

Just the opposite happens for me actually. I'm supposed to have 3 mb/s Internet, generally, the most I get via http tends to be 250kb/s, while bitorrent tends to hover around 300/330 for torrents with a good seed/peer ratio. No idea as to why this is, but in my experience, properly configured torrents tend to download faster than direct http transfers.

Re:it already is almost dead due to ISP's (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642642)

most http servers limit how fast they will send you data, try downloading from several sources and you should be able to max out your connection

Re:it already is almost dead due to ISP's (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642958)

As a networker, I understand why that can happen - but only under conditions of very high RTT. Very high. Unless you're getting pings on the order of a second or so, that shouldn't happen.

Could be replaced by anonymous network (2)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642376)

The one thing that could replace BitTorrent as the major filesharing protocol would be a protocol that is more anonymous and harder to track, in case people would get more privacy-conscious in the future (yeah, right). Even then it would probably be something evolved from BitTorrent, like OneSwarm.

Already replaced by anonymous network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642782)

You're right, and that's why this question is pointless. BT is already several generations behind what's used in Japan, which incorporate a lot more emphasis on anonymity, decentralization, and encryption.

If only everyone else would migrate, then BT would be deprecated. Winny, Share, Perfect Dark,... the evolution continues.

Anyone remember the Bittorent test from July 2002? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642378)

Anyone remember a Bittorent test mentioned here on Slashdot back in July 2002? The one where we got free porn? bl_0028_04.mpeg and gg_0003_full.mpeg

I hope the concept is never replaced... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642620)

Distributed distribution is the way to go, anonymously as well as privately. Encrypted of course is best, along with Tor network or the like functionality. So, freedom comes with the ability to share without the notion of big brother looking and controlling the content. I hope BT and the notion of P2P never goes away, ever. Just improved over time, empowering the little guy to be able to compete, have a level playing field.

Re:I hope the concept is never replaced... (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36643136)

Tor network

Don't they store anonymous other users' data in encrypted format on your hard drive?

10 years & still only 1 broswer supports it, O (2)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642632)

BitTorrent still doesn't seem remotely mainstream still. I know with Opera you can basically treat a torrent almost like any other download. I'm not sure why other browsers never took this approach. I know for the e-l33t around here you all want a separate client, but for those that just want to download the occasional torrent the browser seems like the logical place to support ahhh...."downloading" of a file. I don't know....

Re:10 years & still only 1 broswer supports it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642796)

Maaaybe, it is because doing it inside a browser is just so stupid?

Re:10 years & still only 1 broswer supports it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642898)


I'm not sure why other browsers never took this approach.

I'd say because bittorent content is stil mostly pirated content, or niche content like a Linux distribution. Browsers support FTP, and even the archaic gopher because both of those have offered large amounts of non-pirated content since they began. It's a bit of a chicken and egg scenario.

I think I do agree with you though that Firefox and Chrome should both add some native form of bittorent support. There's enough legit content that exists to make this entirely justifiable.

Bt is fantastic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642858)

Without it, I would have nver discovered Brazilian tranny porn. Or indeed, that it's possible for a woman with big tits to have a bigger cock than most slashdotters.

When (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642904)

"Just when will it be replaced?"
When P3P comes along, of course

The following hand gesture is dedicated to Cox... (1, Insightful)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642920)

I'm not too pleased with Cox's 200GB cap that amounts to only a few percent of what my 15mbps down/2mbps up is theoretically capable of.

Re:The following hand gesture is dedicated to Cox. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36643020)

Then either move, complain to the FCC/BBB and also post every day on the day about how you hate Cox in your mouth/business. I found that moving where Verizon is if needed solves the problems, at least until FIOS is limited as well (maybe it already is, I moved away to get away from big ticket lifestyle/broadband) after finding that broadband isn't all that it is cracked up to be (neither is dialup)).

Re:The following hand gesture is dedicated to Cox. (2)

odirex (1958302) | more than 3 years ago | (#36643102)

Bro, your ISP is named "c**ks", didn't you think for a minute a company with that name might f*** you?

Re:The following hand gesture is dedicated to Cox. (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36643158)

I'm not too pleased with Cox's 200GB cap

Cox has a cap? Since when? (I recently d/l'ed much more than 200GB in a month and they didn't slow me down or charge me extra.)

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