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Finally Real P2P With Brains

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the single-counterexample dept.

Programming 237

dfelznic writes: "The mp3 archives of CodeCon are now availble, which is news in itself. But what makes this real interesting is that they are being distributed by BitTorrent. BitTorrent allows users to download a file from multiple different people. Instead of everyone nailing one server, users get the file from other users. Furthurnet uses a similar technology to distribute legal bootlegs of concerts. The archive is available at the BitTorrent demo downloads page. As soon as I started downloading (cable modem) at around 300k I got a request for the file and began uploading at 40k. This could be the answer to the slashdot effect;) Now, who is going to be the first to complain about the use of mp3s instead of oggs?"

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237 comments

frosty piss! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191904)

w00t! Frosty piss!

Nice. (2, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191910)

Nice idea, I have to say, but my biggest problem with file-sharing utilities is the fact that the file you're looking for isn't going to be the same with everyone. NudeCheerleader(part1).mpeg isn't going to be the same as NudeCheerleader(part1).mpeg on someone elses comp. There's not a way I know of besides implimenting CRC to prevent people from just renaming files into other things. Maybe NudeCheerleader(part1).mpeg is really GoatseLiveVideo.mpeg, just renamed.

Re:Nice. (5, Insightful)

shankark (324928) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191928)

That's true. But I think a workaround for this would be to have md5 signatures computed for each of these parts and verify them before they are downloaded. I'm not sure if this isn't being done by others already.

Re:Nice. (2, Informative)

stype (179072) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191947)

furthur does use md5's to tell concerts apart. I've seen a lot of incomplete files on other programs with the same name that get mixed up with the complete ones, but furthur makes it really hard to access files before the download is done. It doesn't really get the files in order necesarily. Its possibly the greatest piece of code made my hippies since unix.

Re:Nice. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192058)

where can i get this 'further' software? google has obvious problems locating it.

Re:Nice. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192076)

http://furthurnet.com

Re:Nice. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192091)

It is furthUr, not further, linked in the parent article: www.furthernet.com

Re:Nice. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192101)

Argghh - I meant www.furthurnet.com

Re:Nice. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192199)

LOL!

power of suggestion? or just bad drugs?

you decide.

Re:Nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191931)

This is what MD5 checksums are for.

Generally you can grab the first XX bytes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191933)

and compare them to the other files. That would suffice along with file size.

Re:Nice. (1)

dytin (517293) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191954)

The size of the file is often used to determine if two files are the same. Even if your two files are similar in size, they will not be the exact same amount of bytes, therefore size is actually a very accurate way to find if two files are the same. I believe that Morpheus used this method.

Re:Nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192109)

The problem with that method was that you could insert files of the exact same size that were different. For instance Morpheus used Morpheus itself to update itself. It would have been trivial to write a virus and then padded it until it was of the proper size. Then as long as the file was downloaded from only the infected source it would have installed the virus. Otherwise it would have corrupted the file, which would not have been desirable either (although not as dire as a virus).

A MD5 sum would have been a better way to do things... Of course none of this matters now, at least for Morpheus.

Re:Nice. (2, Interesting)

ironfroggy (262096) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191971)

I think they compare other things, such as the extra info (title, author, etc) as well as dates and file sizes. I've seen (on morpheus, gnutella, etc) many times when the same filename comes up as seperate results.

Re:Nice. (2, Interesting)

jerryasher (151512) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192002)

I believe this is what Bitzi [bitzi.com] provides (or was supposed to?) -- a way to register files and lookup various pieces of information:
With Bitzi:

* You can look up descriptions, comments, and ratings about your files - or contribute such info yourself
* Our precise digital fingerprints match info to exact files, so you can distinguish between similar files and search for the very best versions
* Future file-sharing tools can assure you of a file's contents before you begin downloading
* Infected or mislabeled files can be flagged, and so discovered or ignored before doing any harm

The Bitzi catalog is an open resource built by a community of fans, developers, and creators. To get started:

Re:Goatse (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192016)

man I been trying to remember that URL for ages... time to shock some friends with Goatse [goatse.cx] . Thanks for reminding me!

Re:Goatse (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192025)

man how can you forget a marvelous website like that ? I visit it regularly twice a day to masturbate....

Are you implying... ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192113)

Are you trying to say there is something wrong with GoatseLiveVideo??

I would much rather see that than whatever that cheerleader thing you were talking about.

Signed,
Linux User

Re:Nice. (0)

NorthDude (560769) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192116)

It's really interesting, but there's is still something which I don't get. Despite the fact that P2P is really interesting for Joe User who wish to download gigs of MP3's and x movies of all kind (X as a variable not as XXX :-) I can't find a real use for this technology yet. I mean, if I need to find valuable information, as in documentation, data, specs or anything, it won't help me at all?!? It is mainly used to share "binary files" for now, nothing prevents it from sharing "text file" like web page, xml files (if ever I would need one of any kind) or even PDF(I know, those are not text). But currently, one have to search based on files name/meta informations. Not really helpfull if I search for a websit talking about block cipher for exemple. I understand the need for real sharing of data as in information, and it includes media files as well, but there is a lack in my sense which will need to be filed. I think the world could relleay benefit from a P2P system which would allow users to share ideas, knowledge and you name it, in a much more open and accecible way then the net as we know it. I said as we know it cause it's not true that the guy at his computer down in montreal for exemple can easily acces "the mass" without having to really show the money to either "promote" is web site, paying a good connection and etc etc. P2P could solve this as a way for the information to freely ride throu wires and be publishable to everyone. Then, using a standard way of indexing those information, one could easilly browse throu it and find what ones really search for, not 275 000 sites dedicated to sale a product which I don't care and ) sites about what I want because those pages whill probably never get indexed in any major search engine.

Mod me Up, this is recursively on topic!

Nice BUT.... (1)

Dr. Weird (566938) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192142)

Gnutella/Limewire already does this... (I said nice butt... hehehehe) ~Dr. Weird

Re:Nice BUT.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192205)

The gnutella spec specifies the use of SHA, *NOT* CRC32 or MD5, as some others have recommended. Both of the latter two can be exploited to pass garbage by a check (with CRC32, you have some control over the content, even).

MD5 is *not* suitable for ensuring that two files are identical when a malicious user is involved. It *is* suitable for ensuring that a malicious user may not hand you anything that passes but pure garbage (given what we know about MD5 today).

CRC32 is totally unsuitable for any environments that could involve malicious users.

SHA is the only common hash appropriate for this sort of problem.

Re:Nice. (2)

ffatTony (63354) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192203)

NudeCheerleader(part1).mpeg isn't going to be the same as NudeCheerleader(part1).mpeg

This is where a good hashing algorithm would be great, e.g. md5 hashes to determine if different users have the same item. This seems mandatory, they'd be silly not to have something like this in place

Shinkuu (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191912)

HADOUKEN!

whoopdeedoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191913)

The latest version of BearShare does this. Of course gnutella is horribly broken and doesn't scale blah blah blah

damn 404 error (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191918)

prevented me from the glorious frosty post. so anyways: ejaculation?

Re:damn 404 error (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192136)

You have to send the user cookie. Slashdot logs AC's by a couple minutes.

I really freak em out by sending the user cookie to retrieve the reply page but then posting the comment as an A/C.

HAHAH! I bet they are still trying to figure out how I do it.

edonkey2k (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191921)

edonkey has been doing this for ages..

^^very true^^ (2, Informative)

mill5ja (139259) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191979)

They use hashes of the file to compair.

-jason m

Re:^^very true^^ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192145)

Very true? You don't seem to fully understand how long an "age" is.

Re:edonkey2k (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191983)

So has kazaa(and it's clones grokster and morpheus), peergenius, scour, and many other p2p applications. This was new 2 years ago, it shouldn't be news.

MOD PARENT UP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192122)

n/t

My experience with BitTorrent (5, Informative)

MrP- (45616) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191922)

Was at http://yourmom.dhs.org/zim/ [dhs.org] , they have Invader ZIM episodes for download. The server used to be fast, but as more people found it, downloads were averaging 0.03kbps, so they implemented BitTorrent. Now the downloads go at about 89K (i'm on 768kbit dsl, so thats good). I think this is a good idea, just wonder what happens when lots of dialup users start using it.

how is this a troll? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192034)

eh? stupid mods.

yay (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192090)

im an underrated troll

fucking moderators (not the one who modded me underratted, thanks to you)

My experience with... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192177)

"My experience with" is a code used by trolls to signal to each other that a post is a troll. Surely you remember the series of "My experience with linux" trolls.

yes, how exactly is this a troll?? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192048)

ditto: stupid mods.

Re:My experience with BitTorrent (2, Informative)

icepick (17241) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192184)

As near as I can tell, they arn't using BitTorrent, which is a shame because it's perfect for just this.

Am I missing something? (1)

duren686 (463275) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191927)

Doesn't Getright do this already?

And with filesharing, Kazaa/Grokster?

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

dytin (517293) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191988)

Getright does do multiple downloads, but they are generally from the same source, which helps speed things up, but not that much. Getright can do multiple sources, but it doesn't find the other sources automtically, you have to find them yourself. (Yeah, it has a built in Lycos FTP search for files, but that never returns any results).

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

optikSmoke (264261) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192079)

Last time I checked, Kazaa does this, but not well. It doesn't seem to be very intelligent about choosing what connections are good (and therefore should be given more of the file to download after they finish a currently-assigned chunk) and what connections are bad (and therefore should be dropped, not let to continue at 0.01K/sec!).

[ On a side note, GetRight allowed for more control over where to download from (and did allow multiple sources, last time I used it -- about a year+ ago). It fact, I used GetRight to download linux ISOs from multiple sources at once :). ]

Anyway, does this system offer *better* multi-connection filesharing (ie, more intelligent?), or does it keep slow connections, and fail to recognize that a fast connection just finished and should be given more of the file to download?

BIG NEWS! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191929)

not like this hasnt been done in morpheous for about FIFTY FUCKIN YEARS

retarded...

Re:BIG NEWS! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192210)

that's morpheus, shitforbrains!

fucktard!

Been there done that... (3, Insightful)

mo (2873) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191935)

I hate to rain on the parade but Morpheus et al. as well as the latest version of BearShare both do this, and have for some time.
When you say p2p with brains, to me it means somebody has come up with a elegant balance between centralization and search speeds.

Re:Been there done that... (2)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192022)

Ok.. I knew both of those clients would do parallel downloads, but I didn't realize they were capable of sharing 'chunks' of a file. That is, sharing a file that has not yet completely been downloaded.

Next time I run into something EDonkey doesn't have, I'll have to try out Bearshare.

Re:Been there done that... (3, Interesting)

Wintersmute (557244) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192033)

When you say p2p with brains, to me it means somebody has come up with a elegant balance between centralization and search speeds.

Ditto, Holmes. The real question is the scalability issue [darkridge.com] , and I'm not convinced that the traffic cop features implemented by Gnutella front-ends have really sorted this out.

When that's the case, that will be some p2p with brains. Right now, the networks only seem to be hanging on because the critical mass of crash-inducing traffic hasn't hit the super-peers yet [com.com] ; at least not on the permanent basis.

What would really make my evening interesting is if someone would be kind enough to contradict me.

No ogg? (-1, Offtopic)

JayAndSilentBob (517888) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191936)

Me and Silent Bob love the Ogg Vorbis format. We are strong supporters of the open source. Except this tubby bitch never says anything! But when he doies release information it's usually important shit, not useless stuff.... So I guess tubby here is more of the closed source type, but I am 100% open source. I don't leave nothing unsaid. Bong.

Re:No ogg? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191950)

your tubby friend loves the cock

Re:No ogg? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191953)

Jay and Silent Bob are the worst characters ever. Fuck Jay and Silent Bob. Fuck them up their stupid asses...

Just wanted to say that.. seemed appropriate.

Re:No ogg? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191972)

Dude, you have no idea how utterly ridiculous it is to use a Jay and Silent Bob trolling angle in such a stupid manner. The real Jay and Bob have virtually no interests outside making money (and smoking weed) and would be the last people on planet earth to support a cash-pit like open source.

Please modify your trolling gig to more properly reflect the wishes of Jay and Bob.

tx.

They should have used ogg vorbis (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191937)

instead of MP3s.

:)

(Well, he did ask, right?)

ok (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191938)

I want to be the first to complain about the use of mp3s instead of oggs...not sure what that means, but I want to be the first.

And this is new? (5, Informative)

Edgewize (262271) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191940)

Could someone explain how this is different from FastTrack [fasttrack.nu] (Kazaa), eDonkey [edonkey2000.com] , or the more reputable Swarmcast [opencola.com] ?

Peer broadcasting is hardly something to write /. about, I'd say.

Re:And this is new? (3, Interesting)

mo (2873) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191970)

They're marketing BitTorrent as a solution to web providers with bandwidth limitations. The client registers a mime-type so when you click on a BitTorrent download link it hands it to the p2p client which then downloads it from the network.
The technology is nothing spectacular, but it's nice to see a simple install method that integrates nicely into the browser.

One interesting side-effect of this implementation is that there is no searching. You only download stuff from BitTorrent if you find a link on a web page for it. However, without the requirement for searching, Freenet would be a great replacement for this role of browser-download accellerator. All you really need to do to implement this would be to provide a nice installation .exe of freenet that could parse a meta-file pointing to the freenet key of the object you wanted to download.

Re:And this is new? (1)

ccweigle (25237) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192024)

The client registers a mime-type so when you click on a BitTorrent download link it hands it to the p2p client ...

Again, edonkey already does this. Has for a while. I imagine the other mentioned programs can as well.

What makes BitTorent new is they are actually trying to get it used for a legitimate application instead of just arguing that "people could use it for something other than piracy".

Now, I don't know how long BitTorent has been around, but it appears not to be new (too many "I can download foo real fast with it" comments to think it's just out). This is possibly not their original goal and really just something to point at if a lawyer comes calling (or to try and get VCs to come calling).

Re:And this is new? (5, Informative)

PureFiction (10256) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191987)

Sure. Fast Track is decentralized file sharing network where there is no guarantee that what you ask for is what you get. They may be codecon mp3's, they may be nasty midget porn incognito.

eDonkey likewise is more of a filesharing (aka, keyword search, then dowload hits) method.

Swarmcast is the closest relative to BitTorrent, but BitTorrent avoids the FEC encoding and cryptographically secure block verification in favor of a more centrally controlled broker that uses multi source downloading at various offsets to accomplish the same task.

In short, BitTorrent is a distribution system where a central server provides content, and peers requesting that content join a mulitsource downloading group where they also share offsets of data with each other (preferably) and download from the central server when necessary.

This isnt file sharing (really), this is content distribution in a fast and effective manner using peer networking concepts.

Re:And this is new? (2, Informative)

Edgewize (262271) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192019)

OK, so it is similar to eDonkey but without the problematic public servers. And it is basically identical to Swarmcast, but less robust and potentially slower to complete a file. Both of those also support linking, though each in their own way - I believe that Swarmcast is through Java applet parameters, while eDonkey intercepts ed2k:... style links.

Just wanted to know where BitTorrent stood in the grand scheme of things.

Re:And this is new? (2)

PureFiction (10256) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192130)

Your missing the point. This is content distribution, where those "problematic public servers" are actually usefull. I.e indie bands sharing music (etree). And they server as Quality Control, you know your getting the files from a central source.

Regarding eDonkey, they provide no detailed information on how they implement multisource downloads, so it may be that they are actually very similiar. Who knows.

Lastly, swarmcast is designed for larger decentralized peer networks where no central broker is present. In that scenario FEC and cryptographically secure block transfer make sense, but its a lot of overhead for simply transferring a file. I dont see how your can say BitTorrent is potentially slower. BitTorrent will be faster, as it avoids that overhead entirely, and has a centralized broker/server to fall back on.

Re:And this is new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192118)

there is no guarantee that what you ask for is what you get. They may be codecon mp3's, they may be nasty midget porn incognito.

Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

Re:And this is new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191989)

"Peer broadcasting is hardly something to write /. about, I'd say."

It is if you're hawking your wares...

;)

first to complain about the use of mp3s... (1)

ralian (127441) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191944)

Why would these people use a closed format with possible impending royalty fees when they could use an uber-1337 open source format instead?

:-)

Free! (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191946)

You have a great product, many customers, and are delivering your product to hordes of happy
customers online....

The key to cheap file distribution is to tap the unutilized upload capacity of your customers. It's free.


Emphasis theirs.

Free to who? You? Maybe not them. Nothing is free. I like the idea, but I really don't like the way they are selling it.

yep (1)

xfs (473411) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191951)

and kazaa and morpheus (the old one) have been doing the multiple-user download for quite some time

But I want to be a leech! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191955)

I mean, really. There's *liability* when you're providing an upload. In this case, you can't grab warez without being a warez site, and you can't grab pr0n without being a pr0n site. And, when you download something with a virus in it, or that isn't what it seems to be, why you've contributed back to the community there, too. Could be a _lot_ harder to get sucker-junk out of circulation.

Th3 Fr33L04d3r

FurthurNet is for Legal File Trading Only (3, Interesting)

sambowagner (147714) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191958)

The key difference between FurthurNet and the more well known P2P apps is this: the admins of FurthurNet restrict file trading to live recordings of bands and performers who allow such trading. This, of course, follows the example of the godfather of legal, lossless, live music trading: the mighty etree.org [etree.org]

Finally... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191960)

It's kind of funny that this was brought up today; it reminds me of something that I was just discussing with a friend not too long ago.

It seems that back in the late 1800's in America (I mention this for those /.ers who don't happen to live in the U.S.) there was this saloon in the West that was kind of a run-down, ramshackle joint that was frequented by a few loyal patrons and not too many others. I think it was California, but it could have been Oregon or someplace similar -- well, the location isn't really relevant to the story but if you're really interested you might be able to dig a bit on Google to find out. Basically, while the saloon didn't go out of its way to publicize itself to out-of-towners (not much point given that it was in a fairly remote area) it managed to do a fairly steady trade despite the occasional brawl that caused property damage and the persistent requests from a particular fellow for free drinks.

More nights than not, the proprietor of the saloon would watch this drunk come wandering in through the doors, sit down, and lay a line on him about how he's trying to pull things together and how he'd just make enough to keep himself in beans and couldn't the bartender just pour him a shot or two to fuzz the edges and whatnot. And again, more nights than not, the bartender would take pity on the poor guy and pull out the whiskey.

Now, this went on for some time, and while the bartender was an easy mark even he had his limit. So one night, after the bartender already gave the fellow three shots on the house, he decides to cut the guy off.

"Look," he says, "while I'm really sorry to hear that things still aren't working out for you I don't think that I can keep giving you free drinks. I've got to make ends meet too, you know."

So the drunk says, "I don't suppose you've got anything I can do to get another drink tonight?"

The proprietor, not particularly wanting the fellow to hang around all night and certainly not expecting him to take him up on his proposition, says "Well, you see that spittoon over there? If you take a swig out of that I suppose I could give you a drink to wash it down."

No sooner did he finish his last sentence than the drunk walked over to the spittoon and hefted it off of the floor. Before the bartender could stop him, the fellow put the rim to his lips, tipped the bottom of the metal container up into the air, and began to swallow. To the bartender's dismayal, the guy continued to slowly chug the thick contents of the spittoon. When he had finally gulped the final remnants of the container, he threw it to the ground, wiped off his lips with his shirt cuff, and gagged, "So, do I get the drink?"

"You can have the bottle!" exclaimed the bartender, immediately pouring the first shot. "But tell me, why did you swallow the whole damn thing? You only needed to swig it to earn the drink."

The drunk replies: "It was all one long string."

From the oxymorons for dummies department... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191966)

There's no such thing as a "legal bootleg". A bootleg is, by definition, an illegal product. If they let you make a copy, it isn't a bootleg. If you download the source to a GPL program, would you say you've just bootlegged the program?

eDoneky dudes! (2)

Baby Duck (176251) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191969)

BitTorrent allows users to download a file from multiple different people. Instead of everyone nailing one server, users get the file from other users.

eDonkey [edonkey2000.com] does one better. Even if you only have parts of the file downloaded, you can immediately send parts of the file you do have to other users. And eDonkey has had a pretty good track record. I thought everyone and their mother knows about this, so why was this a Slashdot headline, especially when it's pretentious and untruthful?

eDonkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191994)

Now all they need is a better eName.

Re:eDoneky dudes! (2)

MrP- (45616) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192057)

Too bad there are so many dialup users on eDonkey, i rarely get over 3kbps. And the files are evil, I was downloading something, it took 6 days (6 days for 500mb on dsl? this is what i mean) .. and once it finished, it turned out to be something totally different, just named wrong. I uninstalled the eNazi after that. I decided to give it a try again yesterday, spent 4 hours trying to connect to a server, then I gave up and uninstalled it again. It as gotten worse, it used to be great.

And anyway, eDonkey is mostly for illegal stuff, theres really no way to hide that, you cant say people can trade legal music, because eDonkey is horrible for MP3s, all it has is warez and movies.

beer 2 beer wif fangs u speaka? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3191980)

never eard of it

so when was it that little silly chips own your weak astas-_____?

It is NOT a p2p Network people! (5, Informative)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191992)

It is a browser plugin (IE) that creates mini distributed networks based around a website.

So say you start downloading the latest Counterstrike patch from some server. Well you know how servers giving out the CS patch get filled up quickly.

Well if the users were running this program (plugins to IE, no restart neccisary, look if there is a {browser here} version yourself!) then when they started downloading somebody ELSE could start downloading FROM them.

No file synch issues (same file, same source) the server just re-directs future downloaders to current downloads and has the original downloaders forward the files along.

It's not a IE plugin (2, Informative)

icepick (17241) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192167)

it's a helper app. You can build it for any browser that knows how to open a helper app for certain files.

Wasn't Marc Anderseen's Company... (2, Informative)

AsbestosRush (111196) | more than 12 years ago | (#3191997)

Loudcloud working on something like this for a little while... something called "bitcasting"?

Will not help the slashdot effect (2, Offtopic)

Xenopax (238094) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192011)

Ok people, I know we all have this dream of distributed web serving, but as a web developer I feel I must explain why this will not work now:

1) Response Time

To make this work you need more than a fancy P2P network. Remember site like slashdot are database backed and update very quickly. Sure slashdot caches pages, but many things like user preferences and comments are updated way to quickly for a P2P network too distribute it.

2) Security

Yes you can encypt, but who other than a hobbist is going to put the content that represents them on several machine at once and expose themselves to someone breaking it. If someone was successful they could do things like change the slashdot homepage for those they are distributing to. You cannot be a credible source and distribute yourself like that.

3) Slashcode (yeah I know, slashdot specific)

Have any of you actually read slashcode? I'll tell you what, it is damn complicated. There is no way a simple patch is going to make a site like this distributable. The entire thing would need redesigned, which is no small job. I'd say that this would be the case for any database backed site as well.

4) Databases

Since I mentioned a few times already, I think I'll point out the flaw here. Name one database system that is able to handle and organic network of servers (ie constantly going up and down), keep all the data available, keep all the data available on a resonable connection (not behind 56k lines), give the response time you need, doesn't take up huge amounts of systems resources, and can easily be set up on one of the P2P nodes by even a reasonably competent user. Oh that's right none, and you have to have that in order to have a dynamic site on a P2P network, which is a huge portion of the web at this point.

Well, that's all I can think off right now on this, but I'm sure there are plenty of other reasons why this isn't feasible in the near future.

Cheers

Re:Will not help the slashdot effect (2)

Eloquence (144160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192040)

You make some valid points. Distributing dynamic web content is immensely difficult. There are some projects that attempt to do it, and usually, synchronization servers come into the mix at some point (data loss can be avoided by tracking server availability and assigning new servers as needed, you quickly get mathematical safety). The problems are not unsolvable, but I don't see any large corporation pushing the idea, so it will probably still take a while. Realize that this is about high load on static large files, though, where P2P makes very immediate sense.

Re:Will not help the slashdot effect (4, Insightful)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192054)

Uh.. . .

The idea was to help sites that GET linked to BY Slashdot. /. itself is not, AFAIK, having bandwidth problems.

You know, those small user pages with some cool casemod on it?

This network would allow viewers of the site to download the images from EACH OTHER instead of from the main server.

Re:Will not help the slashdot effect (2)

ryanvm (247662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192157)

The idea was to help sites that GET linked to BY Slashdot. [...] This network would allow viewers of the site to download the images from EACH OTHER instead of from the main server.

I may be incorrect, but couldn't this scenario be remedied by FreeNet? Doesn't FreeNet distribute and cache popular content all over the place?

If the Slashdotters won't support FreeNet, nobody will.

Re:Will not help the slashdot effect (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192190)

This is a drop in replacement for HTTP though, browsers can easily be made to support it with minimal work.

Re:Will not help the slashdot effect (2)

dfelznic (8812) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192081)

how many times has a slashdot story linked to a pdf on a server that got ./ed? How many dynamic pdfs do you see floating around. I got bad news for you, most of the web is not dynamic...

BitTorrent (5, Informative)

Eloquence (144160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192013)

I'm sure Bram will notice his server being slashdotted soon enough, but let me say a few words in defense of BT anyway. What makes BT different from Morpheus and BearShare is that files are sent by users to each other, while they are still downloading. This way, the downloaders themselves act as backup. It's not simple multi-source downloading, but targeted towards content-providers who want to reduce load on a central server. In its advantages and disadvantages it's similar to Multicast. Good for high load for specific files at specific times. Kernel.org should use it.

eDonkey has the same feature (with some differences in the publishing process), but is really an application of its own, very file sharing oriented, closed-source and banner-supported. Not exactly what a content provider would want users to download before they can access his files. Still, ed2k has the advantage of a large user base, and also supports ed2k:// URIs that can be used on webpages.

SwarmCast is interesting, but the company behind it mostly died, and now it is somewhat in limbo. Its Java base has made it problematic as a desktop application. The only real alternative to BT is Mojo Nation, which is currently being reworked as "MNet".

If you want to know what CodeCon is all about, check the Feature box on infoAnarchy, we had some detailed coverage.

What about Gnunet? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192036)

I'm very surprised at the little ammount of attention that GNUnet [purdue.edu] has gotten in the P2P arena. GNUnet is anonymous, distributed, encrypted, reputation based, has accounting, allows for distributed queries, and uses dynamic routing. While GNUnet is still beta software, I think it's a great anti-censorship tool. What all this means in non-buzzword speak, is that you have a tool that combines a lot of the great qualities from other similar networks (FreeNet, mojo nation, etc) and doesn't have all of the short comings. Give it a shot.

Kazaa/Morpheous/eDonkey compairisons (3, Informative)

goofy183 (451746) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192044)

There seems to be a lot of people who really haven't read the site or understand how the technology works. Yes all those P2P filesharing utilities allow you to download the same file from multiple people at once, it's not all that impressive and many of the problems such as validating matching files and such have been worked out.

This solution is different in a few very large aspects. It allows a company to keep track of who is currently downloading a file from their webserver. This information is then sent to the clients who can start the P2P poriton of the process and download segments of the file from other users, releaving the load on the companies server. In contrast to those other P2P FILE SHARING programs which share all your files not just ones you are currently downloading. A system like this makes the file server not only the original source for that file but the P2P server to find other people to download that ONE file from.

I can see where people may not want their upload bandwidth being used by others. For this reason any site implementing this feature would probably end up having to provide the file for normal download. The selling point would be a possibly faster download for users of the technology.

I would personally love to see huge sites like FilePlanet put this to use. Granted it would only be truely usefull for sites that have a constant stream of concurrent downloads for a file at any point in time but it would be much better than having to wait 2 hours in line to download a file :-P

Unreasonable requirement, unwanted feature (2)

tftp (111690) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192064)

Several people commented that this thing allows to redistribute files before you finish downloading them. But this is not a big deal simply because most of the time file is not being downloaded, it just sits on the HDD 99.9999% of its life. The gain from the early upload would be next to nothing.

Re:Unreasonable requirement, unwanted feature (1)

Account 10 (565119) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192107)

it just sits on the HDD 99.9999% of its life

However its popularity decreases rapidly throughout its life.

The demand for a file may be incredibly high during the first hour of its life, stay high for a day and then start decreasing rapidly as it becomes 'old news' and more widely available.

For example, a trailer for the new Star Wars film may take an hour to download and be in huge demand. The next day, the demand is less concentrated since it has been on television, all the hardcore fans downloaded it the second it was available, etc.
Being able to start the upload before it has downloaded takes enormous pressure off of the sites that have the complete file.

It may be an unreasonable requirement, but I'm sure it is not an unwanted feature.

Red Swoosh (2, Interesting)

metalhed77 (250273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192069)

Red Swoosh is a cool technology specifically aimed at distributign the load for things such as images on a website. The client download for IE just involves clicking install and DLing a client that's a few 100kb. After which you mirror a portion of the site. www.deviantart.com uses this, and to good effect. I'm not sure if you can mirror large files on it. It is of course centralized.

Gnutella clients already do this (2)

alanjstr (131045) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192070)

The latest BearShare and LimeWire both allow you to "swarm" gnutella downloads.

ToDo list: handle more than a dozen downloads (1)

specialized_sworks (84449) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192087)

From the BitTorret to do list....

better scaling/performance
BitTorrent currently scales well to a dozen or so simultaneous downloads. With further modifications, it can be made to scale to thousands.


A dozen or so simulataneous downloads? Dont think that is going to help prevent the slashdor effect. Though I guess that is getting tested right now!

They'll need to release Netscape plug-ins (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192192)

A dozen or so simulataneous downloads? Dont think that is going to help prevent the slashdor effect.

Slashdot linked sites that use BitTorrent technology will respond an order of magnitude faster, and that's never a bad thing. However, it might not exactly ease slashdottings until they release a Netscape plug-in for all major operating systems, as a larger than average proportion of Slashdot readers use Mozilla and non-Windows desktop environments.

Multiple different people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192099)

Thank goodness it's not multiple same people or single different people!

multiple identical different same distinct (5, Funny)

Dr. Awktagon (233360) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192121)

BitTorrent allows users to download a file from multiple different people.

Or if you're downloading the latest boy band single: multiple identical people.

Not good for asymmetrical connections? (2)

Malc (1751) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192134)

"As soon as I started downloading (cable modem) at around 300k I got a request for the file and began uploading at 40k."

I have a 1184/160kbs asymmetric (DSL) connection. This seems like a common ratio with many ISPs these days. A full speed download consumes at least a fith of my upstream bandwidth. Presumably that's due to things like TCP ACKs. Any kind of serious upstream activity squeezes things and can quickly reduce a download to half speed. I can't find the concept described very useful, especially if I'm in a rush to get something. Is there a way to throttle upstream bandwidth consumption?

Last form of fail-safe antipiracy crumbles (1)

Dunhausen (455277) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192162)

The weighty download time of acquiring 2 CD's worth of executable has literally been the only deterrent keeping a lot of Morpheus users from pirating the entire contents of their harddrive.

This represents a key-step in issuing in the new era of "freeware."

Toronto area radio station doing this (sorta) (2, Interesting)

xenyz (144138) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192168)

Mojo Radio [mojoradio.com] , a Toronto area radio station ('talk radio for guys') uses something similar to do streaming audio. They use technology from ChainCast Networks [chaincast.com] to distribute the streaming of Windows Media broadcasts. It installs a little app in your Windows machine and runs whenever you listen to the stream.

DNA Lounge (0, Offtopic)

apirkle (40268) | more than 12 years ago | (#3192179)

Interesting tidbit, CodeCon was hosted at the DNA Lounge [dnalounge.com] , the nightclub in San Francisco that was recently bought, remodeled, and reopened by JWZ [jwz.org] (also known as Jamie Zawinski), the "retired" programmer of Netscape fame.


Pics from the con [dnalounge.com] are also available on the club's website.

I'd like to hear peoples's experiences (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3192216)

I'm Bram Cohen, the author of BitTorrent. This little slashdotting seems to be going well so far from my end (over 40 downloads currently, and still going smoothly) but I'd like to hear about peoples's experiences doing the download. Here are some questions -
  • Are you getting pauses where no download is happening? If you are, please be patient, it should kick up again (or start in the first place) after a while.
  • Are you behind NAT? People behind NAT may be getting worse performance, it's a complicated issue.
  • How's your upload/download ratio? There are enough people now that you may see the phenomenon of getting about the same download rate as your upload rate - Cutting off your uploads wouldn't help with this, your peers would just get pissed off at you and stop uploading (I'm not kidding, it has tit-for-tat leech resistance.)
  • Did you run into any technical glitches? It's still fairly young software, so there may be a few little things to iron out.


So far, this looks like it's going pretty well. Any and all feedback is much appreciated, and will hopefully help make BitTorrent an even better product. Please mail me [mailto] about your experiences.
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