Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Hi all,
Has anyone heard of BitTorrent (BT) before? I reckon most western people are not familiar with this new technology because the name is rare on all English Internet. However, BT is very popular in China. It, simply saying, is a kind of download software. Each complete original source, say a movie, is regarded as a seed. When you want to download the movie, they must make sure those who hold the seed are on line, so that you are connected. More people on line means you get more seeds, getting download process faster. Meanwhile, you, become a new seed and take the responsibility to spread source to other down loaders automatically. Couple of months before, I used BT for downloading movies. However, recently, I find it not a good tool to use, and I don't recommend people to use it. The reason is that BT badly hurts hard disk on our PC. Ordinary downloading software put all downloaded details together and records them onto hard disk once, which means they could only hurt our PC once. However, BT record information individually as it finishes each element. So, our computer will get damaged. Another big concern is that because BT requires an open and sharing internet environment, piracy would become common, and personal copyright could be violated.


At 7:35 PM, Blogger 米栗 - Michael Miller said...

I've been thinking about how to reply to this for a few days. I've done a lot of scouting around to make sure I wasn't going to post false information that would cause someone to lose a hard drive.

As far as I know, and I've looked around a lot over the past couple of days, BitTorrent will not harm your hard drive. Well, no more than any program that accesses your hard drive frequently. I might be wrong, and if there's an article somewhere to back it up I'd be really keen on reading about poor little hard disks that died on the front lines of Korean television piracy. I suspect though that this is one of the rumors that's created or encouraged by those who don't want you to use bittorrent to pirate things.

To answer your first question, BitTorrent is immensely popular in the West. There has been a constant series of sites, which I guess I could list here but won't because University funding has enough trouble as it is without our class getting listed by some political party as uni encouraging criminals or something like that. For many, I believe, bittorrent is a way to get media that they don't have access to otherwise. Television shows whether foreign or out of print. Anime fans in particular as a way of disseminating content that they've translated and subtitled.

But BitTorrent is just a protocol, just like ftp or http. A way of distributing information, much of it legal and legitimate. The free (as in speech) operating system Linux is frequently distributed via BitTorrent. Some computer games currently use a BitTorrent like system to distribute upgrades or additional content. Those who see profit in limiting piracy will try to fight a battle on BitTorrent but it's application is much larger than that.

At 7:48 PM, Blogger Luke said...

I agree. And BitTorrent is just such a great concept: turning the old problem of traffic congestion on its head so the more cars on the road, the quicker you get to work. And thanks for trying not to get the class blacklisted!

At 7:43 PM, Blogger Spivey said...

BitTorrent is MASSIVE in the US. I learned about it a while back and was using it daily till I moved into Railway Campus were access to the requiered ports is blocked. I love that as a technology its very hard to just download and disapear, you start sharing the second you begin downloading which is great way to keep speed of downloads up and availibility to files. I cant way till we see the revision that does not need a seed list in advance being that thats been the big way of removing bit torrents is killing the search engines that display the torrent files. I use it to distribute my little collection of indy films i have made as well as help support my friend who is a programer get his progams out there to the public. Its also a lot cleaner since most of the files are good vs many popular progams right now like limewhere where the RIAA and MPAA have infested the network with junk files to try and get people to stop using the system.


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