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Ask Slashdot: Do You Move Legal Data With Torrents?

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the i-seed-randomly-generated-text-files dept.

The Internet 302

An anonymous reader writes "We've recently seen a number of interesting projects come from bittorrent.com, including Sync and SoShare. I sometimes use torrents to move several GB of data, especially when pushing large bundles to multiple destinations. It's mostly a hodgepodge of open source tools, though. Apart from anecdotes and info from bittorrent.com, details are thin on the ground (e.g. the Blizzard Downloader). I have two questions for the Slashdot community. 1) Do you use BitTorrent to move data? If so, how? i.e. What kind of data and what's the implementation? 2) If you've looked at torrent clients/tools, what's missing in the open source ecosystem that would make it more useful for moving around large blobs of data?"

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302 comments

I use it for linux distributions (5, Interesting)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year ago | (#43541183)

The entire point of swarm topology is to move data to a lot of places at the same time. If you just need to get data from A to B without sharing it with anyone else, rsync it.

Re:I use it for linux distributions (0)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year ago | (#43541277)

rsync? I'd use SCP myself, it's a whole lot more secure and the data goes encrypted. That way you won't accidentally share it with anybody while it's in transit.

Re:I use it for linux distributions (4, Interesting)

corychristison (951993) | about a year ago | (#43541347)

To be fair, rsync + ssh is equally secure as scp. I actually think rsync uses scp in that situation (please correct me if I am wrong).

The advantage I see rsync having is it is useful for automated (backups) of a large collection of files vs gzipping and copying via scp.

Although git also does a great job of that with concurrent revisioning built in.

It all boils back down to using the right tool for the job.

Re:I use it for linux distributions (-1, Troll)

asshole felcher (2655639) | about a year ago | (#43541449)

I've been into dogs since I was 9 Years old, it started with masturbating My Sisters' German shepherd, I found it really excited Me, and the dog enjoyed it as well, I had frequent contact with him, as well as other dogs belonging to her neighbors and friends. From then on, I was hooked, tho I didn't know anyone who did this and thought I was the only one!! I also picked up strays and had sex with them, mostly masturbating them, but around the age of 16 I found one in an abandoned building, he got so excited he tried to mount me, I took him in my mouth and he quickly came, it made me very hot and I liked the taste.,After that I really got into this, and My dog sex activities continued as did My once a Week visits with a gay friend, I had gay tendencies but not really into guys, but dogs excited Me no end. I took a job at an animal shelter, and later at a boarding/breeding kennel and had sex with as many dogs as I could

All told, I've had sex with almost 100 dogs, about 5 were bitches, I had intercourse with 3 and the others I frigged, I had one that loved to be frigged, she would hump and cum 10 times or more each session, We did that every day for 6 Years, after she was satisfied she'd lick and nibble my scrotum and then switch to the head as I was about to cum, if I was slow She'd switch to licking my face, sometimes we frenched. At the age of 27 I proudly gave My virginity to My beautiful willing 6 Year old Bernese Mtn dog (Lace), I was devastated when just 3 Months later she was diagnosed with cancer and died during surgery, only a pet owner or another Zoophile can understand the devastation and loss of ones animal partner, I mourned for Months and still can't go into that clinic, such is the pain of being a Zoophile.

Move my legal data? (5, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#43541499)

I let my Lawyers handle that. It's what they're paid for, isn't it?

Re:I use it for linux distributions (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year ago | (#43541563)

It all boils back down to using the right tool for the job.

The wise keep as many tools in their tool box as possible. You seem to be among the wise.

rsync transfers changed PARTS of files (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#43541583)

To be fair, rsync + ssh is equally secure as scp. I actually think rsync uses scp in that situation (please correct me if I am wrong).

rsync and scp operate somewhat similarly if the file does't exist all on the destination. If an earlier version of the file exists, rsync transfers only the changes. Therefore it couldn't use scp - rsync does things that aren't possible with scp.

Since sometimes you have to use rsync because scp can't do it and I don't care to memorize redundant options, I normally use rsync even with scp would do.

Re:I use it for linux distributions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541363)

So does rsync, it uses ssh for remote xfers

Re:I use it for linux distributions (2)

Tarlus (1000874) | about a year ago | (#43541649)

Not by default, though. You have to use a flag.

Re:I use it for linux distributions (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about a year ago | (#43541587)

rsync? I'd use SCP myself, it's a whole lot more secure and the data goes encrypted.

Speaking as someone who, at any moment, only has to hit up arrow a couple times to see an "rsync .. -e ssh ..." line, I'm telling ya: it's all the same.

Re:I use it for linux distributions (4, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#43541793)

$ env |grep RSYNC
RSYNC_RSH=ssh

Worth putting right in /etc/profile so anyone who doesn't want it can disable it if they want.
It is an entirely sane default.

Re:I use it for linux distributions (0)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#43541743)

rsync will use SSH so same protections.

It also will only copy changed data which is much better for backups or archives.
scp will recopy everything no matter what.

Re:I use it for linux distributions (5, Interesting)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about a year ago | (#43541339)

While working at Fermilab on the LHC CMS data taking team, I used bittorrent to speed up re-installs of thousands of worker nodes. I was able to saturate 10Gb Ethernet links this way, and could reinstall ~5500 Linux boxes within 10-15 minutes (with only two initial OS source servers).

Yes, Bittorrent is not just for piracy.

Re:I use it for linux distributions (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541555)

I nearly jizzed in my pants reading this. Nerdgasm.

Re:I use it for linux distributions (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541661)

Broadcast / multicast would have been a better solution.

It wouldnt have saturated your pipe, and only taken 10 seconds or so (4GB image * 8 b/B / 10Gb/s * 3 for overhead).

Re:I use it for linux distributions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541857)

you're forgetting sync issues - what happens if one of the nodes looses a packet, do you stop the send and go back to that point? do you forget about that node and just keep transmitting?

Re:I use it for linux distributions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541891)

The node can just re-request a specific packet with point to point communication.

Re:I use it for linux distributions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541675)

I was one of the leechers, and yes, it worked great!
Oops, was I not supposed to say that? :) :) :) :)

But, because of the distributed nature of the torrent protocol,
all of the peers share as efficiently as they can with each other
because (eventually) all of the peers themselves become seeders.

Honestly, I can't easily see a way of doing something like that
with any of the other tools out there - rsync, scp, tar w/ ssh, etc.

Re:I use it for linux distributions (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43541883)

I was able to saturate 10Gb Ethernet links this way, and could reinstall ~5500 Linux boxes within 10-15 minutes (with only two initial OS source servers).

I love it when you talk dirty.

Could you just speak a little slower?

Re:I use it for linux distributions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541383)

Likewise.

I've gotten odd looks from my co-workers when I mention that I use bit torrent to download ISOs because it's faster. In most people's minds, bit torrent is synonymous with piracy.

Re:I use it for linux distributions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541511)

That's because they're imbeciles. Not a big surprise, though, is it?

and BSD distributions, and etc etc etc (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541503)

anytime you want to try out a new OS, you likely use bittorrent. probably Transmission

Re:I use it for linux distributions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541559)

I want to get data from A to B as fast as possible ... but B can not accept it at the rate I can send it ... so I send it to C,D,E,F,G ... and then they sync/send to B when B can catch up and A dropped offline.

Re:I use it for linux distributions (2)

DragonTHC (208439) | about a year ago | (#43542139)

That's not the entire point.

If you want to save bandwidth and still distribute your data, then crowdsource your downloads with bit torrent.

Linux, MMO games, game mods, etc. All excellent uses of bit torrent.

Absolutely (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541185)

All of my Torrents are legal data. What else would I use Bittorrent for besides Linux distros and Humble Bundle games?

Re:Absolutely (2)

kamapuaa (555446) | about a year ago | (#43541265)

Amateur electronica, generated in Garageband?

Re:Absolutely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541425)

aren't the integrated publishing options easier?

Re:Absolutely (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#43541447)

Eclipse, of course. Although I'm unsure whether the submitter meant "moving data" as using bittorrent for file transfer, not downloading.

Re:Absolutely (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#43541785)

Distributing home made erotica of course!

Re:Absolutely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43542165)

Not all home made erotica is quite legal.

Re:Absolutely (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year ago | (#43541819)

Porn?

No - Resources (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43541193)

Moving large data requires resources. In the case, of bittorent most things don't qualify because it's a distributed network, if 10 people in the office have the file and all know how t seed / use bittorent, you'd still be throttled by your bandwidth. Bittorent has however time and time again shown that it's distributed architecture can get something out to the masses very effectively.

Re:No - Resources (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year ago | (#43541539)

I don't see why Bittorrent wouldn't work for an office of 10 people; its strength is copying data over distributed networks. For an office with 10 people, assuming they're on wired Ethernet links rather than WiFi, all 10 of those links will be connecting to one or more switches, which are able to handle full 100Mb or 1Gb speeds, duplex, between the computer and the switch, simultaneously. Using BT to copy the data might be a little slower than just using scp if it were only one PC, but the total transfer time for all 10 will be less.

Re:No - Resources (2)

sourcerror (1718066) | about a year ago | (#43541677)

If the 10 people are in the same collision domain, torrenting won't make things faster. Actually it can slow things down with unneccesary collisions.

Nope. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541195)

I only use it for child porn.

(checks 'Post Anonymously' box)

Patent Trolls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541199)

Does this seem like fishing expeditions by patent trolls?

Re:Patent Trolls? (2)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year ago | (#43541323)

Does this seem like fishing expeditions by patent trolls?

No need to go fishing here.. Just find the torrent tracker and connect... Volia, you have a list of everybody who is distributing the material by IP address. It's all about tracing down the IP's and sending out the collection letters and cashing the checks from there, assuming you actually have the permission of the copyright holder to do so...

Re:Patent Trolls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541561)

Luckily, when the IP address you're using is a Romanian one, these collection letters will be totally ignored.

Re:Patent Trolls? (4, Funny)

Nocturnal Deviant (974688) | about a year ago | (#43541683)

i tend to run through a Romanian based VPN almost exclusively for work(my own personal. I wouldn't trust an outside vps with corporate information) related activity, and i can absolutely confirm what he is saying. I've been on the phone with my vpn provider before(hes an old personal friend), and he says "OH BOY MAIL TIME, now i get to have more firewood from your american lawyers" as to which we both chuckle.

Re:Patent Trolls? (2)

larry bagina (561269) | about a year ago | (#43541405)

It's a honeypot to trap people that can't tell the difference between copyrights and patents.

Nope. (2)

Rinikusu (28164) | about a year ago | (#43541201)

I mean, other than the Blizzard stuff, no, I don't use bittorrent at all unless I'm downloading movies (usually) or software (sometimes).

Rapidshare/megaupload/etc work much better for my one-off transfer needs, while I leave media distribution to the masses via Youtube, Vimeo, Bandcamp, and media collaboration to Dropbox and sneaker-usbdrive-net (especially for big projects).

Yes, I have (5, Interesting)

EkriirkE (1075937) | about a year ago | (#43541247)

Many times a person is searching for a program to do something by keyword instead of software title, and for free. Torrent sites are a common place to go for something free. I just generate a .torrent for my software(s) and upload it to a few big trackers and the others seem to pilfer it from there. Just make sure the filenames and titles are relevant. It's like SEO, but TTO: Torrent Tracker Optimization.

In a word? YES! (3, Informative)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year ago | (#43541249)

I specifically do not torrent anything that has copyright issues but I do seed a number of Linux distributions and development tools which do not prevent distribution in their licenses. Downloading anything using torrent is effectively distribution of the material too, so you had better KNOW that the license allows you to make copies and give them away.

You folks that torrent movies and stuff that is not in the public domain are crazy in my book.

Re:In a word? YES! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541521)

You folks that torrent movies and stuff that is not in the public domain are crazy in my book.

I also drink caffeine after 4pm and watch TV shows that use the r-word. Crrrrrrazy!

Re:In a word? YES! (1)

bipbop (1144919) | about a year ago | (#43542087)

Raffinate?

Move Legal Data With Torrents? (5, Funny)

MarkvW (1037596) | about a year ago | (#43541257)

Only a complete fucking moron would move legal data with torrents.

A lawyer is obligated to preserve his clients' confidences. When you store your information on somebody elses server or servers you are giving up custody and control over some of those confidences. In that situation you are entirely dependent upon the strength of your encryption.

That encryption might be good today or tomorrow, but how good will it be five years from now or ten years from now when quantum computing or the next best thing becomes available for codebreakers.

Don't risk a lawsuit from a pissed client!

Re:Move Legal Data With Torrents? (1)

godrik (1287354) | about a year ago | (#43541305)

In this context, I believe legal meant "not illegal". Or "data I own" or "data that nobody will sue my ass off for moving them around"

Re:Move Legal Data With Torrents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541357)

Plenty of things are not illegal but not lawful. To be precise it should probably be "Do you lawfully move data with torrents?"

(Your last suggestion has most merit were it not for SCO and similar scum)

Re:Move Legal Data With Torrents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43542009)

in this context, i believe "woosh!" is in order.

Re:Move Legal Data With Torrents? (1)

treajones (2883321) | about a year ago | (#43541319)

I don't think that is the Legal data they are talking about.........

Re:Move Legal Data With Torrents? (0)

Theaetetus (590071) | about a year ago | (#43541327)

Only a complete fucking moron would move legal data with torrents.

A lawyer is obligated to preserve his clients' confidences. When you store your information on somebody elses server or servers you are giving up custody and control over some of those confidences. In that situation you are entirely dependent upon the strength of your encryption.

That encryption might be good today or tomorrow, but how good will it be five years from now or ten years from now when quantum computing or the next best thing becomes available for codebreakers.

Don't risk a lawsuit from a pissed client!

Respectfully, I believe the submitter meant "legal" as opposed to "illegal" or unlicensed data under someone else's copyright - i.e. the vast majority of torrents.

Re:Move Legal Data With Torrents? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about a year ago | (#43541633)

Respectfully, I believe the submitter meant "legal" as opposed to "illegal"

Aren't you worried about getting the deaf penalty for using their network racehorses to trade TV shows containing sax and violins?

Oh.

Never mind. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Move Legal Data With Torrents? (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year ago | (#43541877)

What are they gonna do? Fire a machine gun by your ears a few minutes until you can't hear any more as a sentence? Yeah, that would have the potential to make you go deaf...

Re:Move Legal Data With Torrents? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541333)

I think topic is using the word "legal" to mean "opposite of illegal" you derp.

But maybe you already knew that and are just being pedantic. Well congrats, you reminded me why I hate lawyers.

Re:Move Legal Data With Torrents? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541409)

Okay, I saw the joke, and it was good and all, but maybe shorten it a bit. Like, take out the encryption sentence. Being concise helps!

Re:Move Legal Data With Torrents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541487)

If you're really worried about quantum, either your IT guy isn't good enough -- or you aren't good enough.

Yeah, there is quantum that will crack some forms of symmetric crypto. There's also crypto that's been designed robustly against it.

There's also forms that are provably robust against quantum computation and even oracular systems.

Pick one and use it.

If you're worried about hypothetical attacks in the future -- don't be. Seriously, it's a totally utterly disproportionately minor risk. Sure, the threat is catastrophic, but you're going to have a catastrophic fault in your other aspects a hundred times before the crypto itself breaks down.

If there's ever a quantum machine capable of eating existing RSA keys, there's going to be massive password breaches *anyway*, and there will probably be a variety of nasty people on your network before you get it patched. And quite possibly even afterwards given password reuse.

Bottom line -- the strength of encryption is nearly an irrelevant concern once you're using something strong enough. The correctness of the implementation, and your key and password management practices, you should be in terror of.

In terms of moving legal data over a torrent, I think you misunderstand the op meaning 'legal' as in 'not unlawful', vs 'of or pertaining to lawyers/courts/etc'.

But really, it's not a horrible idea assuming you know how to set up a private seed. It's a robust protocol good at piercing firewalls (not as good as skype or gotomeeting), it has rich error recovery, checksumming, the ability to prioritize specific pieces of content. As a way to collaborate remotely when dealing with large quantities of datafiles it wouldn't be bad in the face of disproportionately low bandwidth.

Of course, all this ignores that if you're storing the data anywhere at rest, it ought to have been encrypted anyway. Sooner or later the people engaged in electronic espionage are going to realize there's more profit to be made working for the private sector than the government. The targets won't be universities and comcast systems for botnets, or routine industrial espionage. It'll be the legal networks to figure out the litigation strategies and weaknesses. Courts trump economics, warfare trumps courts. If there isn't someone specializing in it now, it's just a matter of time.

Re:Move Legal Data With Torrents? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541575)

#accidentaljoke

Re:Move Legal Data With Torrents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541591)

sure,

      and my offsite tapes backup are different ?

Can you use it to move a 300 megabyte hosts file? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541263)

inquiring minds want to know.

Re:Can you use it to move a 300 megabyte hosts fil (0)

kid_wonder (21480) | about a year ago | (#43541375)

now that is humor! well done, sir

Linux ISO's mostly (4, Informative)

dlapine (131282) | about a year ago | (#43541285)

At work I need to install several different types/versions of linux OS's for testing. I always torrent the ISO as a way of "paying" for the image that I'm using.

A few years back, we did some experimenting with torrents over the Teragrid 10GBe backbone, to see how well that worked over the long haul between IL and CA. With just 2 endpoints, even on GBe, it wasn't better than a simple rsync. We did some small scale test with less than 10 cluster nodes on one side, but still not as useful as a Wide Area filesystem we were testing against. Bittorrent protocols just aren't optimized for a few nodes with a fat pipe between them.

I am interested in looking at the new Bitorrent Sync client to see how thanks for our setup. We have many users with 10's of TB's of data to push around on a weekly basis.

+1 Linux distros. Only for multiple recievers (3, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#43541645)

Same here, I download and seed Linux distros.

with just two end points, it wasn't better

For point-to-point transfer to large amounts of data, the protocol does't matter, as long as the protocol is sane. The time spent moving data bytes will be much higher than any protocol overhead. rsync is roughly optimal because it won't transfer portions of the file that the receiver already has. BitTorrent is for distributing data to many destinations.

Yep- Linux (2)

markdavis (642305) | about a year ago | (#43541289)

Just about the only time I use torrents is when downloading Linux distributions- Mageia, Fedora, CentOS, etc. Occasionally iso's for grub magic, ultimate boot CD, and such. All of that legal. And I usually leave it up at least long enough that my share ratio is 100% (1.0).

occasionally (3, Informative)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about a year ago | (#43541295)

mostly for music that's under creative commons license and the occasional Linux download.

Not anymore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541307)

Because AT&T throttles my connection any time I try.

I've never been much of a pirate. I don't remember downloading any mp3, DVD or blu ray rips. Not even in the days of edonkey, lime wire and napster.

I have always had a Linux addiction, though. I get bored and visit distro watch, and decide to burn a few discs and install them on whatever computer I have lying around not getting used.

My choice is to take the load off the distro's servers by torrenting, which downloads in a day or more. Or to download via http/FTP and get it in less than an hour.

Yes, with Sync (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541317)

Yes. Sync is being used to distribute various sized files between a large amount of machines within the private network.

World of Warcraft (1)

steamraven (2428480) | about a year ago | (#43541325)

If I remember correctly, some online games use P2P to distribute updates legally (though they might not use bittorrent).

Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541341)

The main problem with file swarm protocols is the lack of standardization.

Like if I'm creating a webcomic and I want anyone to be able to read it provided they are also sharing it with others, there's no way to simply have a "bittorrent web browser", no what we instead have are a hodgepodge set of either pile of files in a zip/rar/cbr/7z file or all the files are separate but the segments don't correlate with the files. eg If I want to read just the first 8 pages to see if it's good either I have to download the entire zip file, or I have to download those 8 files plus likely another 8 files shared in their chunk if the chunk sizes are large. Either way it's not efficient, rendering the entire use of bittorrent for comics as more of a interesting test case.

The above scenario:
a) I can not progressively read the comic due to out-of-order segmentation or archive-packing
b) I can not get the latest update to the webcomic due to the torrent hash having to change for every update
c) I can not view the content in the way it was intended since the torrent program is not a web browser.

Now replace comic with "video"
B no longer applies unless subtitles or separate audio streams become available at a later date. A and C still apply. Video unlike image files may be partially viewable if enough of the beginning data is available, but won't be seekable, and is generally not useable.
Where this can be improved is creating multiple data streams (eg files) for videos that progressively get larger, eg 160x120->320x240->640x480->1280x720->1920x1080 and only downloading the stream segments you need. This is partly done now by just going directly to the stream size they want, but what I'm talking about is downloading the tiny stream first so that you have useable data to seek the file.

Now replace comic/video with "game"
This is where the torrent protocol should shine, as games are themselves progressively loaded.
A game could send a "fileswarm request" for all the files it needs as they load, and when the game is restarted, check again that the files haven't changed. Thus removing the never-ending patch cycle of most MMORPG's and various single player games. If there's no network, then use all local files until network is restored. If the file is critical, prompt the player to go online.

Some (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43541345)

Linux distros, free movies, free games...

I tried to switch to Deluge but it couldn't handle a file with a Japanese character in its name...other than that, only things that I think many torrent clients could use is the ability to accept magnet downloads through a drop folder somehow, and searching & better sorting/filtering options for downloaded torrents.

Yes:VMs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541351)

I used torrents to move VMs (20gb) across a 1.5 mbit T1 line, after it failed to do a direct transfer the night before.

Unlike the direct file transfer, which failed during some unknown disruption, the direct transfer was simple to configure (more so than an FTP), and was done by the next day.

Democracy Now (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541359)

is a daily TV news show distributed by torrents:

http://ewheel.democracynow.org/

I download it every day.

We deploy VM images to our developers over BT (1)

carlhaagen (1021273) | about a year ago | (#43541371)

We use the OpenBitTorrent tracker and the Transmission client to deploy and acquire virtual machine hard drive images among our developers. The obvious reason is that it's much faster for our developers to help eachother out with shoveling the data around rather than the developers having to get all the data from one and the same link (read: the main server). Compare it to a person reading a novel, once, out loud, to a group of people, instead of reading it in private over and over to each and every attendee.

gittorrent (5, Interesting)

lkcl (517947) | about a year ago | (#43541379)

the one thing that would help enormously would be to have git be *truly* peer-to-peer distributed. not "yeah shure mate you can always git pull and git push, that's distributed, and you're a peer, right, so... so... git is peer-to-peer and distributed, so what are you talking about you moron??" but "at the network level, git pull and git push have a URL type that is **TRULY** peer-to-peer distributed. to illustrate what i mean, i would like to be able to do the following - with all that it implies:

git clone magnet://abcdefg0123456789/gittorrent.git

if you're familiar with magnet links, you'll know that there is *no* central location: a DHT lookup is used to find the peers.

now, what wasn't clear to the people on the git mailing list when i last looked at this, was that it is possible to use bittorrent to do git pack objects, by creating a file named after the pack object itself. and what wasn't clear to sam (the last person who tried to put git over bittorrent) was that you *MUST NOT* make use of bittorrent's "multiple file in a torrent" feature, because bittorrent divides up its data into equal-sized blocks that *do not* line up with the files that are in them, which is why when you download one file in a torrent you almost always end up with the end of its preceding file and the start of the one after it, as well.

the idea i came up with is that you create *multiple* torrents - one per git object (or git pack object). if you want to pull a tree, you create a torrent containing *one file* which is the list of objects in that tree; gittorrent would then know to map each of those objects onto yet *another* torrent (one per object), repeat until all downloading happily. gittorrent objects are of course named after the hash, so you can pretty much guarantee they'll be unique.

and, adding in a DHT (a la magnet links), you are now no longer critically dependent on something like e.g. github, or in fact any server at all.

to answer your question in a non-technical way, mr anonymous, i think you can see that i feel it would be much more useful to have development tools that use bittorrent-like protocols to share files-as-revision-controlled-data (and, if you've seen what joey hess is doing with bittorrent you'll know that that's a hell of a lot - including storing home directories in git and doing automatic distributed backups)

Re:gittorrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541469)

You lost me when you mentioned Git during a BitTorrent discussion. Is there some relevance to your little rant, or were you just aching to hork it up somewhere and figured "the Bit in BitTorrent MUST be a corruption of Git!"?

Re:gittorrent (4)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year ago | (#43541481)

Intriguing idea, but I tried subscribing to your newsletter and I keep getting the Sept. 24, 1998 edition over and over. The problem with using bittorrent for this is distributing NEW data. If the protocol could cope with a seed appending data to the torrent without having to create a whole new .torrent file, then this could be awesome. As it is, you're just changing the problem from "how do I send out new versions of files when I commit something" to "how do I send out new versions of the .torrent files every time I commit something"

I use the bittorrent protocol sync my computers (1)

runner_one (455793) | about a year ago | (#43541385)

I have three computers. Home desktop, Work Desktop, and, a laptop.
I use this [bittorrent.com] newly released piece of software to keep them all in sync. I added a server to the mix as a backup, and now all my data is on four computers. The peace of mind given by having my data automatically mirrored in four locations and the resulting lowered chances of loosing all my data enables me to sleep better at night.

Re:I use the bittorrent protocol sync my computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541835)

Ironically the site is blocked on my work PC due to it being involved with "Peer to peer" software.

Damn right (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#43541417)

Linux ISOs
VM Images
Backup Images
Home Movies
etc...

Game download (2)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year ago | (#43541427)

I got a game called War Thunder via bit torrent. What you do is download a small installer program from the publisher's website and run that. The installer automatically connects to BT seeds and peers and downloads the actual game itself.

There is no other way to get War Thunder. I suppose since they're a small publisher, their web server can't handle distributing the 13 GB game file to tens of thousands of users.

Re:Game download (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about a year ago | (#43541527)

I hate it when developers do this. Offer a torrent as your default download, sure, but put a direct download buried somewhere in your support pages.

Some people (like me) have net connections that just crap out on torrents. I can download a large file reasonably well, but the same file in a torrent will take weeks.

And some people (a majority, in some nations) have caps, and a torrent-based downloader eats into that quite a bit.

Multi site sync (2)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about a year ago | (#43541429)

I have a fairly large and growing (3.7TB) dataset that needs to be replicated nightly to a bunch of different sites. By the nature of the dataset nothing is ever removed or changed just new files added. It needs to be copied out to a half dozen locations that have as much outbound bandwidth as the primary. So a cron job sets up the torrent every night and all the remote sites pull data from the primary and reshuffle it between themselves.

These count (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541437)

http://ocremix.org

Any linux distro I download

Bibles, Officer. Lots and lots of Bibles. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541483)

Also, U.S. flag images, anthems, church prayers and sermons, videos and transcripts of presidential speeches, 4th of July military marches videos... And, lots and lots of Bibles...

NO (2)

ADRA (37398) | about a year ago | (#43541501)

Bit torrent is a good data -distribution- tool, not a data -mover-, and it would be lousy to play that role. There are at least a dozen possible open solutions for moving data from point to point, but I have no idea why you'd use a protocol/tool stack that are designed for broadcast/graph distribution to do so.

An off the top list:
      1. NFS
      2. SMB
      3. FTP
      4. SFTP/SCP/rsync
      5. HTTP/HTTPS
      6. sz/rz
      7. iscsi
      8. DFS
      9. AFS
      10. UFTP/XFTP

The question should really be what exactly do you see ad being deficient about all these protocols that deems it necessary to re-invent the wheel yet again?

Re:NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541657)

i have 4 backup services "in the cloud".
which one of your examples will work with my remote sites at the same time ?

What does THAT matter? (2)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#43541507)

Punish the technology because of how it is used? I thought we grew past that notion already.

At some point, one of the few remaining ways to get good information and news will be through these rougue channels and methods. Do we have to keep re-hashing the same ridiculous notions? How about we ban types of music based on the fact that thugs and criminals like it and glorify killing?

Re:What does THAT matter? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#43541753)

I thought we grew past that notion already.

Where have you been?

Yes indeed! (1)

briancox2 (2417470) | about a year ago | (#43541513)

Video content mostly.

And secondly, lots of Linux distributions. These serve 2 purposes. They support free culture and minimize the amount of load on the servers of those open source developers that already giving so much. And also, because I enforce encryption on everything, even if my ISP did see what I was torrenting, they'd likely find it was something legitimate. I find nothing lacking really. BitTorrent just came out with an alpha file sync program that seems to be working really well. I'm happy.

Facebook Does (4, Interesting)

terbeaux (2579575) | about a year ago | (#43541557)

Facebook deploys its 4GB binary to its 500,000 servers using a torrent client that has rack and switch affinity. Each client goes for data chunks that are already locally on a rack or switch that it is connected to. That is a crap-ton of data.

The big advantage (2)

tdelaney (458893) | about a year ago | (#43541605)

The big advantage of using BitTorrent over many other protocols for moving large amounts of data (as opposed to distributing it) is reliability - or lack of it. When you're moving large datasets, you don't want it to crap out and not be able to resume 90% in.

Sure - rsync has the ability to resume, but it requires explicit command line options. It's a terrible feeling to realise you just restarted a 10GB+ transfer instead of resuming it.

SOLR at Etsy.com? (3, Interesting)

rwhiffen (141401) | about a year ago | (#43541611)

The folks at Etsy do it to replicate SOLR:
http://codeascraft.etsy.com/2012/01/23/solr-bittorrent-index-replication/

Not sure if that's what you mean.

Install Disks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541627)

I use it for Linux Install Disks and Other Free Software, faster than downloads from many mirrors which have limits

Red vs Blue (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | about a year ago | (#43541667)

Back in the pre-YouTube days, Rooster Teeth distributed their videos using Bit Torrent to relieve their own HTTP load. I think they gave BT users the incentive of downloading earlier to encourage its use.

All data is legal (1)

zoloto (586738) | about a year ago | (#43541697)

somewhere in the world, whatever you're moving, it's legal.

no (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#43541725)

I dont have anything worthy of having to mass source it, and my 3$ a month "unlimited bandwidth" website has taken 400 gigs in a month downloads before without a sweat.

About the only thing I could think of is a linux distro, but again the only thing I am bound to cobble together is a lightweight debian mix for maintance / repair / recovery when someone brings me their computer to be fixed and winders is all trashed.

You guys are hillarious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541739)

I see so many posts about "I only use torrents for legal means because I am a upstanding law abiding citizen and would never sink as low as a terrorist or a rapist in using torrents for illegal means. I never do anything wrong ever, even be accident." blah blah blah.

Not really a fan of it. (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year ago | (#43541791)

It's a good idea for sharing, but I'm not a fan of the way it loves to hog the Internet connection, it starts connections out the ass, flooding the network and just slows everything down. I tend to use wget for pretty much everything; with a decent server, it gets by just fine with only one connection. I also like the idea of maintaining at least somewhat-accurate timestamp data whenever possible, and BitTorrent doesn't seem to have a concept of that. And also, I like to maintain my own checksum files, so BitTorrent doing that itself is extra functionality that I don't need. Not too crazy about the serious fragmentation it can cause, and many clients just do not pre-allocate disk space or even have an option. The bigger the file, the better BitTorrent works--but unfortunately that little fact kind of stops it in its tracks; a file of many gigabytes, downloaded in thousands of random pieces, is bound to end up fragmented to hell and back if its space is not pre-allocated.

However, if there is no FTP/HTTP link, I won't hesitate to use BitTorrent. I just have a tendency to download everything I get from that protocol to a different drive than its intended destination, so the final move will "defragment" it.

Moving data with torrents (1)

woboyle (1044168) | about a year ago | (#43541803)

I often download Linux DVD images and such using bittorrent. Bittorrent isn't "evil" - it is simple a means to share the load of moving large amounts of data. To make it illegal should be considered something akin to making automobiles and pickup trucks illegal - as they can move both large amounts of legitimate as well as other goods from point A to point B, and they can use many routes to get to B.

Only Legal torrents (1)

Vapula (14703) | about a year ago | (#43541807)

I use Torrent for many legal uses :
- Blizzard downloader (WoW, Starcraft2, Diablo 3)
- Humble Bundle
- Linux Distributions

But also, from time to time, some free tools, some F2P games that use BitTorrent for distribution, ...

Of course: free DVDs and OS distributions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43542129)

I've downloaded DVDs released by the artists themselves onto bittorrent (and seeded it for weeks afterwards -- like the artists also wanted), and I've downloaded many Linux distributions that way. I seem to recall also downloading some huge Unreal Tournament 3 patches using bittorrent as well.

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