All entries for Thursday 30 August 2007

August 30, 2007

Bandwidth trading via BitTorrent

Writing about web page http://technology.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn12565&feedId=online-news_rss20

As part of my subscription to New Scientist, I get a free online subscription too, which I choose to manage via their RSS feeds and Google Reader.  One of the articles I saw today was an interesting modification to the BitTorrent protocol that has come out of Harvard, and is encapsulated in the Tribler program. 

The modification itself is quite interesting; taking the BitTorrent etiquette of giving back to the swarm what you download (i.e., maintaining a share ratio of 1.0), and the practice of blocking leechers (who have a share ratio far below 1.0) carried out by some private torrents, the Tribler guys have created a bandwidth credit system.  You actually trade bandwidth: uploading "earns" your bandwidth, and downloading is classed as "spending" your bandwidth.  Thus, if you don't upload, you can't download.  The creators hope that content can be distributed as fairly and efficiently as possible (cf. the ISPs' current issues with high-bandwidth applications such as video). 

Not only this, but looking briefly into the client program's features, it has collided head-on with the socially-networked world of "Web 2.0".  A recommendation system based on a "collaborative filtering algorithm" highlights torrents that you are likely to enjoy.  It also provides you with a one-stop shop for everything required to use your torrents - no more hunting the 'net for the right codec, Tribler has got it covered.  

Sounds good, but I'm not sure I'm ready to switch from Azureus yet.   Not on my PC, at least, which has enough power to cope with Azureus' memory-hogging antics, but Tribler might be worth investigating on my now-rather-underpowered G4 iBook...


One step forward, two steps back…

I'm back in Cambourne now.  The run back from Southampton was pretty good, all things considered (including the remains of an accident and spillage between the M3 and Staines on the M25...), and it's quite nice being back in my flat. 

Except my flat is a tip.  I somehow managed to get a whole car load of stuff out of Southampton having expected to be collecting basically my clothes, CDs and books, and now I've got boxes strewn around the flat again.  The lounge is a mess, with boxes full of collapsed boxes (left over from before I left because they're so big), boxes full of my stuff, and empty boxes strewn around the floor.  I bought a rug to go under my coffee table which I can't currently even unpack because of the mess.  The anal, organised part of my brain is very very unhappy.  

But there's some respite for that corner of my mind; I've completely unpacked my CDs into my new CD rack.   The "popular" music is sorted alphabetically.  Classical music is divided into ballet musical, chamber music, choral music, compilations, concerti, general orchestral music, solo music and symphonies, and each section is ordered by composer.  Then Jazz is stuck on the end; I don't have enough Jazz yet :(  The CD rack is full to overflowing, and, as with the matching DVD rack, some of my boxsets don't fit.  I hope to do my books tomorrow, and I may need to make another trip to Argos to buy another bookshelf...

All fun and games at the moment, as you can tell.  In other, more exciting news, however, I've settled on a TV and DVD/HDD recorder; I'm just waiting for DFS to contact me regarding my free credit for my sofa, and then I can get on with buying those!  The snappily-titled Panasonic TX32LXD700 and Panasonic DMREX77EBK will be mine, and then I can watch and record TV, and play Gamecube and Wii, to my heart's content.  I can't wait! :)


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