Bill Bumgarner


BitTorrent article

Yahoo news has an interesting article on BitTorrent. The claim is that BitTorrent makes up 35% of the total bandwidth consumed.

The article mentions a number of bit torrent distribution sites that focus upon legal torrents. This list includes Legal Torrents, Torrentocracy, File Soup and, one of my favorites, Etree.

Of course, with the MPAA getting into the lawsuit game, BitTorrent will be in the legal spotlight. Much of the content distributed using BitTorrent includes television shows and movies. For Television, BT is playing a role almost like a global TiVo-like device. That is, many people download TV shows via BT because it is easier than trying to record said show off their local broadcast media or because the show simply isn't available in their market.

Also, BitTorrent is going to really stress the courts. In particular, "trackers" -- the central servers that effectively tracks the swarm of clients that are crossloading content (in BitTorrent, a downloader is always an uploader back into the swarm -- hence, crossloader) -- generally never have the actual content being exchanged. The tracker merely maintains checksums of the content and acts as a rendezvous point for clients.

Not only does the tracker rarely have a copy of the content being distributed, it is statistically unlikely that any one client participating in the swarm will ever upload an entire copy of the content and, certainly, will never provide a copy of the content in its entirety to another client.

In almost all cases, the upload side of the BT equation cannot be provably demonstrated to have distributed a whole copy of the work. So far, the RIAA related music lawsuits have been aimed entirely at the upload side of the equation and the charges have been aimed at # of copies distributed.

If the MPAA follows the same path, it will be interesting to read the wording of their claims and to see if anyone responds based on the technical realities of the BitTorrent implementation.

Now, I really should find time to polish and commit my changes to BitTorrent to enable 401 authentication between client and tracker.

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Cheap FireWire bridge boards?

I can easily find cheap firewire enclosures that use the Oxford 911 1394<>IDE bridge.

I don't need a case. I already have a bunch of really nice old SCSI cases. I just need bridge boards.

Yet, I can't find decent bridge boards for less than $70. At this point, I would be better off buying the crappy case mentioned above and ripping it apart.

That seems like such a total waste.

Anyone know of a good source for bridge boards? Oxford based chipset, ideally.

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