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Microsoft Reinvents Bittorrent

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the but-do-they-give-credit-oh-no dept.

Microsoft 373

Anon E. Muss writes "Microsoft has a new Secure Content Downloader tool that sounds an awful lot like a Bittorrent clone. It's described as a 'peer-assisted technology' where '[e]ach client downloads content by exchanging parts of the file they're interested in with other clients, in addition to downloading parts from the server.' Right now MSCD is just a time-limited preview, intended to support downloads of select Microsoft beta releases (e.g. Visual Studio 2008). If this test goes well, Microsoft will probably start using MSCD for all their large downloads. How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?"

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bllizard, wow patcher (4, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024653)

People have no problem with this and blizzard. Expect the double standard to kick in in 3.. 2.. 1..

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024793)

I'm not a Blizzard customer, but if I were, I would have a problem with it.

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (4, Informative)

secolactico (519805) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024799)

People have no problem with this and blizzard. Expect the double standard to kick in in 3.. 2.. 1..

Are you kidding? Whenever a patch came out, the chief complaint in the forums was the bittorrent downloader. Blizzard even lists alternative (third party) download sites on their patch page because of this. Besides, they didn't re-invent bittorrent. They stated from the beginning what protocol they were using.

I see nothing wrong with MS doing this just like I see nothing wrong with bittorrent.

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (2, Insightful)

jdelator (1131933) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024801)

Why is the majority of slashdot so anti-microsoft, they sound all sound like whiny 15 year olds that think they are cool since they know how install linux on their machine.

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (2, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024829)

they sound all sound like whiny 15 year olds that think they are cool since they know how install linux on their machine
Thats because thats exactly what many of em ARE. (Well, maybe a bit older than 15, but I'd be interested in statistics on how many of the people that post stuff like that even have a full time job...)

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (2, Insightful)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024943)

Well I have a full-time job, and if M$ version is as network intensive as bittorrent is I'm going to be pissed especially if we have no other options.

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (4, Insightful)

cromar (1103585) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025153)

I work 40 hours a week doing .NET programming. The reason a lot of people hear dislike Microsoft is because of their horrible track record of stifling innovation, using their monopoly to crush opposition, and consistently releasing inferior products after their announced release date is long past. And that's merely the tip of the iceberg.

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (0, Flamebait)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025311)

I work 40 hours a week doing .NET programming.

No matter what your chronological age, that has to get you whining like a 15 year old.

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20025173)

Hmm... I am 52 years old..

I have used ELF Monitor, Atom OS rom (including BASIC), BBC Basic OS rom, Arthur, RiscOS 2, 3, OS/2, Windows 1.1, 3.1, 95, 98, ME (sort of), NT, 2000, XP, Vista, Sun Solaris (several versions), Novell Netware 3.11, 4.12, 5.1, 6, 6.5 and Linux. I have managed Novell/Windows/UNIX networks (single or in combination). I have learned several languages like BASIC, LISP, COBAL, FORTH, Pascal, C, C++, Java etc.etc. I have started programming in low-level hexadecimal machine code when there was no higher language available (at least not affordable)..

I Like Linux most. It's the choice on all my systems at home...

Now - you call me childish? Hmmm... fools are everywhere I guess...

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20025209)

Actually boasting about all the programming languages you've learned and systems you've managed is pretty childish.

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (5, Funny)

nakkenakuttaja (978938) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025277)

For me personally the answer is simple: Nothing gives me more pleasure than reading serious Microsoft bashing. It's really one of the main reasons why I read Slashdot. And I'm 46 years old. Being anti-Microsoft is a universal feeling for all generations, genders, races etc. It really brings our minds and hearts together no matter if you are 15 or 46. And often saves my day and it makes me feel so good inside!

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (3, Interesting)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024843)

How is it a double standard if someone doesn't want to support Microsoft while wanting support a company they like, such as Blizzard? If MS were a better company with better practices, supported standards better and didn't abuse their monopoly position, I am sure there would be a lot more supporters on the side of Microsoft.

Me personally, I won't give any of my bandwidth to Microsoft. Let them pay for it. Now if Microsoft wanted to pay me to use my bandwidth, I would consider that option.

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (4, Informative)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025201)

"How is it a double standard if someone doesn't want to support Microsoft while wanting support a company they like, such as Blizzard?"

The definition of a double standard is to apply one standard to judge two groups differently for the same infraction because of issues external to the matter at hand. In this instance you want to condemn MS and give Blizzard a free pass because of your stance on open standards. (this seems a bit dubious, every standard Blizzard has is closed, they have sued people in the past for trying to make servers that do the same thing as battle.net and so forth, but I digress) So what you are doing is prettymuch the classic example of a double standard, judging one group differently than another for the same infraction because you dont like them for whatever reason.

I am not sure if you were being sarcastic or not by asking how applying different standards to different groups based on whether or not you liked them constitutes a double standard. If you were joking then my bad. :)

Three things about your "double standard" (0, Offtopic)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025325)

So what you are doing is prettymuch the classic example of a double standard, judging one group differently than another for the same infraction because you dont like them for whatever reason.
There are three big reasons among many others why microsoft is judged differently than businesses which are not convicted monopolists (as if that's not enough in itself).
1. Embrace.
2. Extend.
3. Extinguish.

Re:Three things about your "double standard" (4, Insightful)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025397)

And what on earth does that have to do with the issue at hand? They are coming out with their thing here, they arent "Embracing" bittorrent. It always amazed me how people will use the whole embrace extend extinguish thing when they are talking about a new MS product. Embrace, extend, and extinguish is meant to refer to a company embracing a standard they want to destroy for whatever reason. If they were extending the bittorrent protocol you would have a point.

But again, what on EARTH does any of this have to do with it being acceptable for one company to use your bandwidth when you are streaming files from them but when another does it they are 'stealing' your bandwidth or whatever?

Its like some people on here think that because MS was judged to legally be a monopoly that means they cant do things that are perfectly normal for other companies to do. I swear one day I will read on here that MS shouldnt be allowed to be registered in a phone book or something because they are a monopoly and should be held to a different standard. Utilizing a swarming protocol does not equate to abuse of monopoly powers.

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (1)

Emetophobe (878584) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024909)

If I remember correctly, Blizzard actually hired Bram Cohen to design their custom bittorrent client for updating WoW. What was your point again?

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (1)

Don Negro (1069) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025353)

Bram didn't write that or ever work for Blizzard. He worked for Valve for a while, which might be what you're thinking of.

Blizzard's downloader is based on an early version of the open-source BitTorrent client.

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (1, Insightful)

Doctor Crumb (737936) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024955)

Um, blizzard uses bittorrent, they did not embrace-and-extend their own protocol.

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20025009)

Unless you are a government organization (perhaps a state University) where by doing this you are paying for the commercial company to utilize your uploads.

A reason they shutdown all access to anything Blizzard for a few weeks around Thanksgiving a few years ago when I was going to school. The IT people saw the high outgoing bandwidth from users, usually they would just cut but they investigated. Found source, talked to local lawyers, lawyers told Blizzard that they can't be using their network(state run/taxpayer supported) to offset their bandwidth costs. (School's AUP said you can't use the network for any commercial purposes. The user web browsing was the user instigating the activity so they couldn't blame the business, and the school didn't care. If the user was running a business and was using their network connection to manage things remotely they would have a case against the user. )

Or something like that.

Some people do have a problem, people who pay for used bandwidth will have a problem unless they feel generous. As a home user (or even some business users) where they have unlimited(oh how loaded this word is) up/down usage they might not care.

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (2, Informative)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025107)

It's not a double standard for me. I think the blizzard downloader is terrible. You have a huge group of people who cant figure out how to set up their firewall to actually get the whole peer to peer thing working even when everything else is fine. That group is bound to be even larger when you go to all windows users. What percentage of the population will really be able to figure out what ports they need to be able to open on their router and how to do it? And thats assuming that the user is even allowed to modify such things.

Then Blizzard turns around and gives the patch away on FilePlanet, a site you have to pay for if you want to be able to actually download the thing directly. Paying another fee just to be able to download every time there is a patch when youve already got 15 dollars going to them every month? I always thought that was bogus.

Really, I dont care about whoever using my bandwidth for whatever (as long as its legal) but there is no way MS is going to release a downloader as bad as the blizzard downloader for their regular updates. It always surprised me that Blizzard gets away with that mess. I mean how expensive is it to actually pay for the bandwidth? I cant imagine it costs as much as all the tech support for that stupid downloader, the dollars lost in customer dissatisfaction, the R&D for the downloader, etc.

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025335)

What percentage of the population will really be able to figure out what ports they need to be able to open on their router and how to do it?

Don't worry. Microsoft will probably come out with some active tools that automatically punch the holes through for the user. And leave them open.

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (4, Informative)

schon (31600) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025183)

Others have pointed out your straw man, but nobody has pointed you to this, [penny-arcade.com] so I thought I might.

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (1)

hpavc (129350) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025237)

The issue here is that you can download a custom tuned for you serial number / customer id portion from microsoft and get the rest of the binary shared crap elsewhere.

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (1)

bealzabobs_youruncle (971430) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025345)

No double standard, Blizzard sucks for doing this as well, one of the reasons I left WoW. Additionally, Blizzard isn't re-inventing Bittorrent or possibly slipping in a proprietary format. There is quite a bit of difference.

I would also contend that Blizzard has a better security record than MS, and while not spotless, a better record in regards to customer rights and privacy.

Re:bllizard, wow patcher (4, Interesting)

NeilTheStupidHead (963719) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025361)

0... ^>^ I actually have a huge problem with Blizzard's distribution system for patches. My ISP shapes their traffic and it can take hours for a small four megabyte patch to download. If I go directly to their site and download as a standalone file: about a minute. A distributed download system is a good idea both for Blizzard as it saves them bandwidth and for most of their customers as they get their patches faster (especially when it comes to large patches), but the standard download model has to be available for those who cannot use this type of system.

How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024657)

Neutral.

Re:How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's c (5, Funny)

slughead (592713) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024711)

How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's cost?

AWESOME! They're going to pass their savings onto me, right!? ...

Re:How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's c (4, Funny)

ricree (969643) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025103)

Neutral.

I hate these filthy Neutrals, Kif. With enemies you know where they stand but with Neutrals, who knows? It sickens me.

Good for them (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024665)

This will show that p2p/torrents have a legal use.

Re:Good for them (4, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024769)

Or, more likely, Microsoft will try to spin it such that it looks like Bittorrent == evil pirates whereas MSCD == fair and honest distribution system.

MSCD BitTorrent Extensions??? (1)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024877)

Any chance MSCD has a Microsoft API? Microsoft loves those extentions. Maybe MSCD can be made to do BitTorrent too ...

Re:Good for them (2, Interesting)

Meccanica (980734) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025037)

Exactly what I thought- therefore, why not just rebrand bittorrent clients as MSCD clients? Everyone wins!

Although, the RIAA/MPAA will still claim to be losing.

A Brilliant Plan occurs to me!

1. If all or most of current bittorrent networks could be 'changed' into 'MSCD' networks

2. Upload a bunch of fake 'torrents' using the 'old' technology as a trap (a reversal of the very same technique that the RIAA types have tried using).

3. Hammer them with legal action and bad PR over attempting to obtain + distribute child pornography or something horrible like that

4. ?????

5. Profit

Re:Good for them (4, Insightful)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025143)

Well at my last job, I wasn't allowed to install BitTorrent to download Linux ISOs because the more senior admins brought the FUD and said it's the same a Napster and all the other P2P clients. I argued that it was a protocol akin to FTP and it fell on deaf ears. I'm sure they will have no issues with this since it's officially sanctioned by Microsoft. SysAdmins can be just as bad as the PHBs.

Re:Good for them (1)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025249)

Kind of like how the anti-MS crowd will come out with some spin like "Or, more likely, Microsoft will do XYZ" where XYZ is something bad every time MS puts out some kind of interesting software? Of course there is zero evidence MS is going to claim that their version is any different from bittorrent from some kind of a moral point of view, everything they have said on the subject is technical in nature. But lets not allow that to get in the way of anti-MS groupthink!

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024867)

You forgot "only when done through closed source software and controlled by a multi billion dollar corporation with strong ties to the media/entertainment industry and government agencies"

(irony) captcha= "corrupt" (/irony)

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20025085)

Nah, the majority downloading the patches have probably faked their way around Windows Genuine Advantage.

Patent (1)

bigtomrodney (993427) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024671)

Any word on them trying to patent this?

no surprise (4, Insightful)

botkiller (181386) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024675)

Microsoft, ripping off your ideas since the 80's, then repackaging them with prettier colors.

Re:no surprise (1)

Pretendstocare (816218) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024865)

Microsoft, ripping off your ideas since the 80's, then repackaging them with prettier colors.
or with less pretty colors

proprietary formats... (1)

kc2keo (694222) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025001)

They will probably make their version proprietary. If lots of people start to use this (which I doubt) then we might have problems with the formatting that program uses and the people who do use it will deal with vendor lockins, fees, and DRM.

Personally I am not really worried about it. I hope it is a financial loss for them.

--kc2keo

Re:no surprise (1)

botkiller (181386) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025047)

Wow, why was I moderated troll? I know I mentioned MS ripping things off, but I seriously doubt that that justifies listing me as a troll.

Flamebait much? (4, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024685)

Wow. This is the worst kind of pandering.

BitTorrent didn't invent P2P. And the idea is used by many other applications including games. The last article with a premise this ridiculous I've seen was the "Hotmail drops 98.88% of all attachments, MS to be broken up and fined $10 billion dollars for fraud!" article.

Seriously, what is the point of this nonsense article, just to get the groupthink all riled up?

Re:Flamebait much? (4, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024791)

Also, the comment "How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?" is ridiculous. Yes, I know Slashdot is a biased source, but when they make it that blatant I get really annoyed.

No one is forcing anyone to use this p2p technology. If you have something against it, just don't download things from Microsoft. Common sense...

Re:Flamebait much? (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024841)

If you have something against it, just don't download things from Microsoft.
Like security patches?

Re:Flamebait much? (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025087)

Yes, I guess what I was implying is don't put yourself in the situation where you have to download things - i.e. don't buy their products.

I think this is moot - who the hell is so offended by p2p technology that they refuse to use it? The only valid concern I can think of is that you don't want a server running on your computer, which all bittorrent style schemes require (I believe). Additionally, some ISPs *technically* forbid it.

Re:Flamebait much? (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025157)

at my work bittorrent basically will saturate the network depending on the popularity of the files, usable bandwidth dies, and the PCs are effectively turned into torrent bots. If that suddenly happened to every machine on the network (thinking SPx), I would be f*cking livid.

Re:Flamebait much? (2, Insightful)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025379)

At your work, each individual workstation independently downloads all the update bits-n-pieces individually?

Re:Retard much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024951)

No one is forcing anyone to use this p2p technology. If you have something against it, just don't download things from Microsoft. Common sense...

The fact that they are the only source for updates/fixes for their products makes your suggestion kind of stupid, don't you think?

Re:Retard much? (1, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025061)

No, not at all. If you don't like a product, including the distribution system for patches, DON'T BUY IT.

Common sense.

Re:Flamebait much? (2, Funny)

OmegaBlac (752432) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024817)

Seriously, what is the point of this nonsense article, just to get the groupthink all riled up?
Well it is SOP to have at least one of these articles at least once a day here. Hell, I wouldn't be able to make it through the day without the daily 2-minute Microsoft Hate.

Non-sequitur much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024857)

Even the summary makes it clear that it's not the idea of p2p but the idea of tit for tat block exchange between the peers during a single mass file download which microsoft stole ... sorry "innovated".

Re:Flamebait much? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024879)

Bittorrent may not have invented P2P, but this new Microsoft Secure Content Downloader appears to have directly copied the Bittorrent model of P2P. It has an index file with chunk hashes, a central file server (tracker) and you automatically seed to other clients in the "cloud" (swarm). The main difference (as far as I can tell from the few details they give) seems to be that the tracker also functions as a seed, something easily done with Bittorrent as well.

The point of the article is to point out that Microsoft is yet again ignoring a perfectly fine, widely accepted and used technology, choosing instead to invent their own version with no obvious benefits. Microsoft's endemic NIH syndrome harms the user by taking developer time away from fixing bugs and adding useful features, and by reducing interoperability.

Re:Flamebait much? (5, Informative)

eonlabs (921625) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025231)

Bittorrent did not come up with p2p. They did come up with swarming. The idea is if everyone downloads once and sends once, the net cost to the main server is 1 upload. Granted, it doesn't work to the theoretical limit, but it's pretty damn good at conserving bandwidth.

If bittorrent is patented... which it doesn't appear it ever can be, then this would be a problem. If Microsoft claims they invented it, that's pretty major BS, but that's it. If this stays visible as a variant of p2p file sharing, then it will hold some ground for the rest of the industry. Maybe the best thing to do is to use this to point out that p2p has solid legal uses and value.

Re:Flamebait much? (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025329)

BitTorrent didn't invent P2P, but this is basically a clone of BitTorrent - using a "secure description" of the file downloaded from a central site to verify pieces, and exchanging pieces with other users downloading the same files as you. Previous P2P software worked somewhat differently, as I recall.

Typical anti-MS /. bias (5, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024705)

How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?

Exactly how many articles has /. run on BT before? 47 thousand? And how many have had a comment like this? Zero?

Re:Typical anti-MS /. bias (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024861)

The difference between normal bit torrent clients is that the user can share or not share, and how much they share, on their end. I'd RTFA but it gives me an error right now. Is this new client for M$ something under the control of the owner of the computer? Or will M$ be determining how much of your bandwidth is going to be used to subsidize their bandwidth costs?

If as the user of the computer, I can decide to share patches/updates or NOT share them, then it's a fine and dandy addition. But if it's going to be using my bandwidth for it's own purposes regardless of my wishes, then that's just another reason to consider alternative OSes.

Re:Typical anti-MS /. bias (1)

sedmonds (94908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025243)

It seems like you have to turn it on, so you can choose not to be uploading whenever you want. You can also change the upload/download bandwidth consumed but there aren't many choices. 256Kbps/1Mmbps, 256Kbps/2Mbps, 512Kbps/512Kbps, 512Kbps/4Mbps, 1Mbps/1Mbps, 1Mbps/8Mbps, 2Mbps/2Mbps, 4Mbps/4Mbps, Unlimited.

Re:Typical anti-MS /. bias (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024901)

I don't think it's just anti-MS bias.

It's a legitimate question to ask why a multi-billion dollar international corporation can't afford to sign up with a Akamai or some other edge provider.

Using the app, you'll still be able to pull from MS's servers.

I can understand why MS would want to do this (the bottom line), but I can't see why they'd need to.

Re:Typical anti-MS /. bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024979)

Several of the ones about commercial / advertising based services have had complaints that it's leaching. This is different from free porn and Fedora releases [fedoraproject.org] in that it's not done from the good of the distributors heart. It's about fixing MS's F*#@ ups. Having said that I personally think it's a perfectly acceptable commercial arrangement as long as they list it up front and use more or less equal amounts of bandwidth per download. Why is it that whenever people criticise other companies it passes withiout comment but all MS criticism seems to get flamed?

Re:Typical anti-MS /. bias (1)

flacco (324089) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025217)

the question was: "how do you feel about subsidizing MICROSOFT's bandwidth costs?"

How do I feel? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024733)

Indifferent, that's how. Is that question at the end of the summary supposed to imply that it's ok for linux distributions and WOW to use bittorrent to lower bandwidth costs, but it's not ok for Microsoft to do the same? Ah, but of course. This being slashdot, anything Microsoft does is subject to criticism.

Grow up for fuck sake!

Microsoft porn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024739)

Geez, now the only porn will be Gates and Ballmer in thongs. Blech.

You want to know how I feel? (1)

coren2000 (788204) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024753)

How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?
I feel nice
like sugar and spice
I feel nice
like sugar and spice
so nice
so nice
I got you.

Wow! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024763)

More inaccurate and biased anti-MS groupthink from KDawson. Slashdot: News for sheep, stuff that's irrelevant.

side effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024771)

Will this make it harder for the giant ISPs to charge
Microsoft (as a content maker) directly for access to
the ISP's customers?

Old news (2, Informative)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024787)

Microsoft developed BITS 3.0 [wikipedia.org] many months ago and included it with Vista. It allows for what Microsoft calls "peer caching."

Rob

Re:Old news (2, Funny)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025071)

``It allows for what Microsoft calls "peer caching."''

Did you mean: *kaching*?

Subsidizing MS bandwidth? (5, Funny)

poptones (653660) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024795)

Aren't we already? [thepiratebay.org]

It's not Bittorrent. It's better. (5, Interesting)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024819)

MS didn't reinvent Bittorrent. They built something better: Avalanche [microsoft.com] . It's more efficient and (I know this phrase is weird to use around MS, but...) more secure. Read the research papers (they touch on BT, its advantages and disadvantages). I imagine most of this stuff is on its way into standard BT, if it hasn't been worked in already.

"How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?"

Frankly I don't give 2 shits as long as they don't patent the hell out of it (and sue existing P2P solutions). But this came out of MS Research, so I doubt that'll happen (one of the only decent groups at MS).

By the way, MS has been messing around with P2P for years. How do you think Xbox Live works? Every time a game is played multiplayer, at least one Xbox/Xbox 360 is hosting. Not a single MS server hosts a game. Question this all you want (why pay $60 a year then?) but the fact of the matter is that from a technological standpoint, it works well.

Far be it for me to disagree with Microsoft. (3, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025089)

From that article that you linked:

Peers do not need to find specific pieces in the system to complete, any subset encoded piece will suffice.

Huh?

Also, no peer becomes a bottleneck, since no block is more important than another.

In bittorrent, no block is more important than any other.

And the only bottleneck in bittorrent is when a specific block is only available from a single seed with limited bandwidth. The moment that block is uploaded to another machine the bandwidth expands.

Finally, network bandwidth is efficiently utilized since the same information does not travel multiple times over bottleneck links.

I'm not understanding that either. You need updates as to who has what. This will be changing constantly as different peers download different blocks.

One possible solution is to use a heuristic that prioritizes exchanges of "locally rarest" pieces. But such local-rarest policies often fail to identify the "globally rarest" piece when peers have a limited view of the network.

Why would you need to? All the client has to do is connect to as many peers as necessary to find each block a minimum number of times. The only time there is a problem with this is when there is only one seed with limited bandwidth.

There is no way that a "globally rarest" will appear more often in your peer group than it does globally. This seems more of a seeder issue than a swarm issue. And it has been solved with the "super-seeder" enhancements. The seeder feeds more blocks to the guy who seems to share them the fastest.

Re:Far be it for me to disagree with Microsoft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20025221)

>> Peers do not need to find specific pieces in the system to complete, any subset encoded piece will suffice.

> Huh?

If you don't even understand basic linear algebra, are you sure you should be critique work you're not familiar with created by several PhD holding researchers at one of the world's premier research institutions?

Re:Far be it for me to disagree with Microsoft. (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025391)

Yeah - subset encoding is generally used for things like Freenet or Usenet, where there's a distributed store with a risk of some pieces dropping out or not reaching the user. It looks like it does actually have some theoretical improvements over BitTorrent, but I'm not convinced they'd have enough benefit to be worth the increase in complexity and CPU usage.

Re:It's not Bittorrent. It's better. (2, Informative)

Catil (1063380) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025301)

Bram Cohen (Bittorrent inventor) commented on Avalanche on his blog [livejournal.com] two years ago and said that he thinks "the paper is complete garbarge."

However, the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] on network coding lists a lot of fields where this techology might be useful, so I guess it's not really garbage after all, but neither the holy grail of p2p.

Double standards? (4, Funny)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024839)

How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?

The same way I feel about Canonical's. Or Fedora's. Or Gentoo's. Or Blizzard's. Or Demonoid's. Or iPodNova's. Or the eDonkey network's. Or ThePirateBay's.

It's P2P, remember, the thing everyone here loves? And now there's more of it! Must be a good thing. Although I'm sure if Microsoft started handing out free chocolates and flowers, before going on to start selling Linux distributions and releasing the entire code of the Windows kernel under the BSD license, you'd find some reasons to kick up a fuss about that, as well.

Re:Double standards? (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024881)

...before going on to start selling Linux distributions and releasing the entire code of the Windows kernel under the BSD license, you'd find some reasons to kick up a fuss about that, as well.

They'd probably go and release it under the old version of the BSD license, with the advertising clause, just to keep it GPL-incompatible and prevent mixing with the Linux base.

Those bastards.

Re:Double standards? (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024899)

Now that would be hilarious. Watching some Linux fanboys, who previously claimed that Windows' code was insecure and buggy, pissing and moaning about not being able to use Windows' insecure and buggy code in Linux.

Cmon, you KNOW that'd be priceless.

Re:Double standards? (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025175)

Not really. Canonical/Fedora/Gentoo/TPB give me stuff for free, so I chip in with bandwidth. I don't like Blizzard doing that, if I'm already paying $15/mo they should at least host the thing on their own servers. Same for microsoft, if I'm paying it, they should distribute it properly instead of counting on me to do it.

Better download integrity, yes please. (3, Insightful)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024871)


Since I downloaded the last MSDN library no less than 9 times and each time got a corrupted file (yes, a 1.9GB corrupted file), I would have welcomed an official MS P2P download route - one of the more useful feature of BitTorrent on large files is that each chunk is hashed, and thus has good integrity.

Instead, there was just an MD5 checksum buried in the small print on the page, which is no help at all. The checksum validation in the install routine can detect that the archive is corrupted. Ok, it's nice to be able to tell if you got a pirate zombie MSDN library (presumably with some pages containing subtle advice on how to implement code with security holes - now we know why Windows is so insecure....) But what I really needed was a download protocol that provides for more error correction than HTTP.

Go, I say. Even if everyone disables the ability to upload, and all the data still comes from MS, it's still an improvement.

Re:Better download integrity, yes please. (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025041)

Are you by any change running on an motherboard with an nvidia chipset, using active armor(Or whatever they call the included firewall?)

Because that's the only thing I have ever seen, that could corrupt a tcp/ip download.

Re:Better download integrity, yes please. (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025227)

It is an nvidia board, but the firewall component isn't on ; I have a router running OpenWRT for that.

I have it from people inside MS (via a friend on a C# IRC channel) that this was a known problem with their download setup. I wasn't the only person in my peer group to be experiencing this problem. In the end I gave up - I'm not cutting edge enough that I care too much, MSDN from 6 months ago is usually good enough. I was just trying to scratch my geek itch - you know, the "latest version" one.

Re:Better download integrity, yes please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20025181)

HTTP is over TCP/IP, which has error correction. Sounds like a chkdsk /F /R is in order.

Re:Better download integrity, yes please. (2, Interesting)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025351)

Downloaded it onto three different drives (one of them a flash drive) mounted in two different machines, all of which are showing no signs of disk wear. Also downloaded it across two networks, one belonging to a national government infrastructure, one of them being my ISP at home.

Each file showed corruption throughout the file, each file had a different, incorrect, MD5 hash - I actually went so far as to write a "chunkhash" util to hash chunks of the file to see if I could construct a single "good" file from the 9 corrupt ones. After reviewing the output I decided it was hopeless - there just weren't enough blocks where the hashes matched on more than one copy of the file to stick it together.

Plus the actual confirmation that there was a problem through a mutual friend at MS kinda gave it away.

Microsoft are legendary innovators (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024913)

Slashdot is jealous because Microsoft invented the series of tubes in the intarwebs.

Right... (1)

DaveCBio (659840) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024921)

Because no one else ever thought or developed a protocol with distributed file transfer. If MS is doing something they must have copied it from someone.

Microsoft Reinvents Bittorrent (3, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024977)

> How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?

It's good that they are using their own protocol. That way those who have no use for anything from Microsoft will be in no danger of inadvertently doing them a favor.

IRC convo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024997)

nolhay: latests news from slashdot...
nolhay: Microsoft Reinvents Bittorrent
nolhay: ROFL
Cirindius: lolliskates!
Shoopuf: nolhay: lol no way, lemme check my RSS I gotta see this :P
nolhay: yeha
nolhay: im serious
Shoopuf: nolhay: I haven't read it yet but my guess is if they were to reinvent bittorrent it would keep personally identifiable information and logs about each peer.
nolhay: of course
nolhay: and it would only work with microsft approved torrents
nolhay: and you would have a 25 char key to enter for each torrent you want to DL
Shoopuf: nolhay: and it would come aero-skinned and use 100% of CPU and add 10 registry entries to the logon process

Secure ? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025011)

How much secure ? I smell a new vector for adware / spyware / trojan infections here....

I wonder if they'll patent this.... (0, Redundant)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025027)

Reminds me of what Disney does...

1. Steal an idea.

2. Use it.

3. Patent it (so no onelelse can use it, INCLUDING the one you stole it from!

4. Profit!

How do I feel? How do I feel? (1, Troll)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025057)

How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?


Uh, let me see:

Microsoft treats paying customers like criminals with their recent (last five years or so) policies but it does nothing to curb professional pirates

Microsoft is one of the wealthiest companies in the world.

Microsoft can easily afford the bandwidth for hosting their product downloads.

How do I feel about it? Sorry, I won't be participating. If they make their policies more customer-friendly and open up the source for Windows, or at least become more friendly to open source, sure, I'd use it to download and I'd let it seed for a bit.

When I download SuSE or Kubuntu or CentOS I let the torrent seed for at least a few days.

This makes me want to download Microsoft patches several times when I need them just so I eat up more of their bandwidth.

Re:How do I feel? How do I feel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20025347)

This makes me want to download Microsoft patches several times when I need them just so I eat up more of their bandwidth.
How old are you?

And what's wrong with this? (0, Flamebait)

gakguk (530867) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025067)

You can subsidize people looking for more porn or crap handycam rips of just released movies from theaters, but you shouldn't help fellow developers looking forward to get their hands wet with new hot technology as soon as possible, ha? What a crap way of bashing MS. I'm a consultant, helping and working for people using tools and technologies from Microsoft. I'm really excited with all the new stuff coming with VS2008 / Framework 3.5 and having already downloaded VS2008 Beta2 VPC image, I would prefer getting it from a distributed network if I knew it.

Wonderful. What If It Gets Hacked? (2, Insightful)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025101)

Just imaging a huge P2P network of Microsoft software - and if someone figures out how to pervert it with trojans, viruses, keyloggers...

With Microsoft's lousy security track record, can you imagine the gold mine this will be for anyone that wants to mass distribute malwear? Nothing like lots of machines in the wild hosting "official" Microsoft software, patches, etc.

Think it can't happen? Think again.

How *do* I feel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20025141)

I feel like reviewing the rules on my hardware firewall.

here's how I feel (5, Funny)

botkiller (181386) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025155)

"How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?""

Kinda dirty and used, but no different from how I felt after installing Vista.

Yet another innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20025203)

It has been a while since that symbolic link innovation 3(?) years ago.

Way to go M$!

W3C standard? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025253)

Is the Bittorrent protocol a W3C standard yet?

No difference here (1)

davmoo (63521) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025363)

How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?

Exactly the same way I feel about subsidizing anyone's bandwidth.

If its an open source project I have no problems with it, and do it all the time. I'm a Mandriva Club member and regularly host various forms of the Mandriva distributions on a server with a fat pipe.

If its a closed source project or something that costs money, then those companies who distribute it by leaching bandwidth from others are just that, leaches. Actually, I take that back...they aren't leaches, and I should find a new comparison. Even leaches have a use in the medical world...leaches in the bandwidth world have no use.

But will they patent it (1)

TLouden (677335) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025381)

Seeing as there is clearly no prior art, will M$ patent this 'new' technology and charge users extra to use it?

I know the song.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20025385)

Bittorrent NT , then Bittorrent Xp ....
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