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BitTorrent targets creative pros with new file-delivery service

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:05 AM

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#2 User is offline   TomZink 

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  Posted 15 February 2013 - 11:25 AM

This is just a question, but isn't bit torrent basically a pirate operation? Though I've never done it (really), I've seen via Google searches that through torrents one can download nearly any piece of software or media (movies, songs etc.)
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#3 User is offline   Swift2 

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  Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:24 PM

No, BitTorrent is a rather amazing series of ideas. It's a cooperative file-transfer system, where everyone in a cluster of people uploads and downloads. You begin downloading from one and then from many sources and stitching the file together. Using each other's processors and connections on a cooperative basis allows you to move large files much more cheaply.
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#4 User is offline   Swift2 

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  Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:48 PM

Though it doesn't seem to use any of those things here. If you're after a secure download of a large file to a client, you don't get a "cluster" of downloaders.
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#5 User is offline   mechavez 

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  Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:12 PM

Quote

This is just a question, but isn't bit torrent basically a pirate operation? Though I've never done it (really), I've seen via Google searches that through torrents one can download nearly any piece of software or media (movies, songs etc.)


Nope, Bit Torrent is not like Pirate Bay. If you haven't used it, why offer an unsubstantiated opinion?
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#6 User is offline   stimarco 

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  Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:26 AM

BitTorrent is a "protocol", which is a fancy word for "a set of rules that computer software can agree to abide by in order to provide specific features and services".

It's like a postal service: you can send anything you like, including an illegally-duplicated music CD. You can't blame the service for the delivering the latter as it's not responsible for what you decide to send through it. (In most countries, it isn't even legal for the postal service to open up packages to see what is inside unless someone presents them with an official warrant requiring them to do so.)

BitTorrent is a *peer-to-peer* service – much like Skype –┬áthat avoids using central servers. Instead, it splits files across multiple computers who serve it to others. As those other computers download pieces of the file, they can then offer those pieces to yet more computers, and so on. The upshot of which is that you end up with a form of free, automated load-balacing effect: the more popular a particular file is, the more rapidly it will be spread around the BitTorrent network, increasing the speed with which it can be downloaded.

That BitTorrent has been historically used heavily by counterfeiters to distribute their illicit wares, but it is *also* used for *legal* distribution of software, such as GNU / Linux distributions, LibreOffice (you'll see "torrent" as one of the download options on their website), and many more.

This "SoShare" project sounds like a good idea on paper, being essentially a distributed, peer-to-peer 'cloud' service. However, it really needs to scale up into the millions of users to be viable long-term. It's not as simple as storing one copy of the data across a bunch of peers: you need a fair bit of redundancy too. You need to have duplicate copies of every piece of data stored on the system as no individual computer can be guaranteed to be online at any one time. If I need to download a chunk of data that only exists on another computer that's currently offline, I won't be able to finish the download until that computer comes back up.

If "SoShare" catches on, it might be the answer to many backup problems. It's the ultimate offsite backup capability. As everyone needs such backups, it's quite a good idea to make it a cooperative effort.
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