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Slashback: Taplight, Handheld, Samba 147

Posted by timothy
from the or-do-you-want-to-argue dept.
Slashback is packed tonight with updates and clarifications on several fronts: read on below for, among other things, BitTorrent download stats after the recent Red Hat 9 release, the BSA's questionable statistical methods when it comes to calculating incentives and losses in the source-secret software world, and (can you believe?) yet another way to assemble an eerie pulsing light fixture.

Click on through for some impressive graphs ... . bramcohen writes "Since RedHat 9 got /.'ed last week there have been over ten thousand complete downloads using BitTorrent. Initial traffic got very high, transferring over a gibibit a second. All throughout the BitTorrent servers, run by volunteers using stock tools, held up just fine. Meanwhile downloads from RedHat Network, only available to subscribers, transferred at a crawl. The third Animatrix also got quite a few downloads. Thanks to everyone who left their downloaders running, and David Stutz and Eike Frost for setting things up."

If you exaggerate enough the first time, subsequent revisions sound like concessions. Russell McOrmond writes "An article in ITBusiness.ca includes references to the methodology of the BSA studies, and how it confuses Free/Libre and Open Source Software with piracy. There are some related articles talking about CAAST/BSA on my work weblog from the past."

Tap, Tap, Tap. feagle814 writes "Recently, I saw a question on Ask Slashdot that intrigued me. The person was asking for ideas relating to building your own glowing and color-changing ball. Being the kind of person to take such a general request for comments and turn it into a personal reason for living, I quickly skimmed the description on ThinkGeek and came up with these requirements for my project:

  1. It must meet the generic description of the Ambient Orb,
  2. It must cost less than $50 to make,
  3. It must be wireless, with at least a 30-foot range, and
  4. It must be controllable by home computer.

After much deliberation, I came up with the following solution. I've included pictures and instructions, as well as a recounting of my experiences."

Not just a simulation. Olmy's Jart writes "This is a followup to yesterday's article on "Samba Exploit Discovered, Fixed". Digital Defense has posted an apology to the Samba Team for posting a complete live working exploit (not even a mere "proof of concept", but a zero day rooter) on their site for this vulnerability. The exploit has been taken down, for what that's worth now. This is being reported in an article on ZDNet AU. Digital Defense now claims that this was done without the approval of their management."

Funny, CompUSA is finally selling duplicators, too. Unominous Coward writes "According to this article, the man who planned to install CD copying machines around Australia has withdrawn from the idea. Not surprisingly, this was after a lawsuit by the music industry."

Anyone who would like to buy me one is free to do so. prostoalex writes "Sharp Zaurus deal is back at Home Shopping Network. Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 is $199, but a coupon code HSN4897 knocks the price down by 15%. With standard shipping the order comes to around $173."

We need both more Korean food and more Korean electronics. Jo "directhex" Shields writes "HEXUS.net has completed its extensive messing around with GamePark's GP32 Handheld, which recieved a mention a couple of days ago on Slashdot (and recieved the usual thrashing from members too busy to read the article but not too busy to post trashy ill-informed comments about it).

It should help to clear up a few myths about what the unit is, what it tries to do, and what it succeeds at doing. Read the review, and pass mighty Slashdot Judgement."

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Slashback: Taplight, Handheld, Samba

Comments Filter:
  • Broken "Read More" Link...

    Oh, and FP.
    • by bsharitt (580506)
      At first I thought this was a story about some sort of handheld light that can run Samba, but it's just Slashback. Too bad.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @08:04PM (#5689438)
    At least, that's what the link sez.
  • by MasterD (18638) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @08:04PM (#5689439) Journal
    http://www.hsn.com/cnt/prod/default.aspx?pfid=6943 41&club_id=694341&sz=0&sf=&dept=&c at=

    We're sorry, this product has sold out and is no longer available. To find a similar item, use our search box located in the top left of your screen or browse our departments displayed on the left.

    damn, and I was going to get one this time...

  • by Faust7 (314817) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @08:06PM (#5689451) Homepage
    I know of a very simple way that takes just a small amount of skin-safe glow-in-the-dark paint.
  • sad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sixdotoh (584811) <sixdotohNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @08:08PM (#5689470) Homepage
    sad that cd duplicators are "illegal" even though this is in australia (where i happen to have been born), could this be the beginning of the end?

    hopefully this will never spread to america, even for debate.

    • Re:sad (Score:5, Insightful)

      by momovt (529379) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @08:33PM (#5689613) Homepage
      What disturbing to me is that they made him sign these statements:

      Mr Moore acknowledged: "It is not and has never been the case that [a] person has the right to make a 'back-up' copy in any digital media of [any] commercially released sound recording."

      Would this hold up in US court since there is actual written law about the right to "back-up" / "Fair-use"????

      Music Industry Piracy Investigation Unit spokesman Michael Speck said the case confirmed use of CD burners constituted a breach of copyright.

      "Any legitimate use of them is purely incidental to their main purpose which is to infringe copyright," he said.

      How can these people be considered "experts" when they make statements like this!!!
      • Re:sad (Score:4, Informative)

        by lpontiac (173839) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @09:55PM (#5689994)
        Mr Moore acknowledged: "It is not and has never been the case that [a] person has the right to make a 'back-up' copy in any digital media of [any] commercially released sound recording."

        Would this hold up in US court since there is actual written law about the right to "back-up" / "Fair-use"????

        No, it wouldn't hold up in a US court, since in the US there is actual written law about the right to backup.

        However, in Australia, which is where all this took place, you do not have the right to make personal backups, unless you receive permission from the copyright holder.

      • Re:sad (Score:3, Informative)

        by lgftsa (617184)
        That statement is true. It is a breach of copyright to make a copy(any type, including archival) of any digital media except computer programs.

        So, you are permitted to make backup(and other types - security/bugfix) copies of software CDs, but the Copyright Act of Australia (1968 & 1988) prohibits copying of audio, video, picture disk, etc media.

        See my post [slashdot.org] from a couple of days ago for the references to the Act itself.

        COPYRIGHT ACT 1968 [austlii.edu.au] See Section 47C
      • How can these people be considered "experts" when they make statements like this!!!

        I'll refrain from making snide comments about the number of exclamation marks. I'll assume that you were making backups for personal use.

        Instead, I'll make a snide comment to this effect:

        It is not that they are "experts," it is that they are "professionals." Which merely means that they get paid. Hmm....

      • "Any legitimate use of them is purely incidental to their main purpose which is to infringe copyright," he said.

        Using his logic as a basis, it would be reasonable to assume that all cars should be banned since they can be used to commit crimes. So should all airplanes, boats, bicycles, skateboards, rollerskates\blades, computers, firearms, cel phones, telephones, knives, most farming implements, fertilizer, cigarette lighters, baseball bats, hockey sticks, golf clubs, nails, hammers, duct tape, rope, and
      • Mr Moore acknowledged: "It is not and has never been the case that [a] person has the right to make a 'back-up' copy in any digital media of [any] commercially released sound recording."

        Oh, dear Ghod! I should immediately delete all my MP3s!!!

        (Note: The phrase "my MP3s" in the above sentence refer to the MP3s of the three albums that I have had some or all credit on and were each "commercially released". Didn't know I couldn't make a backup of my own stuff).

        --
        Evan "The JabberWokky" E.

    • Re:sad (Score:2, Insightful)

      by cranos (592602)
      Umm I hate to tell you this, but rather than this spreading "to" America its spreading "from" America. Ever since the US passed the DMCA RIAA clones around the world have been jumping up and down trying to get their own version installed. Once again America leads the way.
      • america may have lead the way, but thankfully we haven't taken it as far as the "clones" have yet.

        ah, i was going to make some comment about england and empire involving australia, but . . .

        • by cranos (592602)
          Umm last I checked America had actively tried to jail some one for breaching the DMCA when he didn't even live the US and hence should not have been held answerable to US law.

          And don't talk to me about empire, let's just see how the new "American Century" pans out before throwing those stones around.
          • i meant, although, apologies, i did not specifically say, that america has not prevented the sale of cd duplicators.
            • by cranos (592602)
              Neither have we, mind you define CD-Duplicators? Are you talking about the big monster boxes that do dozens at a time or are you talking about the every day burner?

              Both of which you can purchase.
      • The DMCA is the local enactment of a WIPO treaty. WIPO is a Pro-Capitalist-Globalization group affiliated with the World Trade Organization that seeks to spread Capitalist ethos worldwide. When people march in the streets decrying the WTO for enacting one-sided Pro-Capitalist, Anti-Citizen(democracy/fairtrade) treaties, The DMCA (and many others) are EXACTLY what they are against. Treaties written (literally) by Capitalists in order to entrench their 'rights' without consultation or consideration of th
    • For cryin' out loud show some backbone, show some national pride! A lot of Aussies really are decended from Pirates! [and other criminals] Why are they letting the gun-control, *IAAs, and other people push them around! Your ancestors are probably rollin'over in their graves!
    • by Talez (468021)
      The sad thing is that people make all false assumptions about copyright law based on experiences with US copyright law.

      Even if I show people the PDFs from the copyright comission they still don't believe they aren't allowed to make backups for personal use.

      If the ARIA (our version of the RIAA) wanted to crack down on burnt copies of CDs it could do so very easily since even burnt copies of legitimately purchased CDs ARE illegal in Australia.

      Sad isn't it?
  • by mesach (191869) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @08:14PM (#5689509)
    http://www.gearhed.com/wlcolor.html
  • Gibabit? (Score:5, Funny)

    by jerkychew (80913) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @08:26PM (#5689581) Homepage
    Initial traffic got very high, transferring over a gibibit a second.

    They using the Fat Albert network protocols over there?
  • I was a bit wary from the first article on the GP32, but since it already has built in support for MP3 playing and stable gameboy/NES emulation, it has just about everything I need.

    All I would have to do is write a small Palm-type program for address book, calculator, notepad and such, and it definitely earns my pocket real estate.
  • by sQuEeDeN (565589) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @08:34PM (#5689621)
    I was glad to see Digital Defense owning up to their mistake. It's a testament to the strength of a sense of courtesy in the security community. People f*ck up, but they feel bad afterwards.

    See ma, even blackhats have emotions!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @08:39PM (#5689641)
    Hello,

    Recently I've been introduced to an operating system known as Linux.

    Lured by its low cost, I replaced Windows 98 on my computer with Linux. Unfortunately the more I use it the more I fear that this "Linux" may be an insidious way for the Dark One to gain a stronger foothold here on Earth. I know this may be a shocking claim, but I have evidence to back it up!

    To begin with, Linux is based off of an older, obsolete OS called "BSD Unix". The child-indoctrinatingly-cute cartoon mascot of this OS is a devil holding a pitchfork. This OS -- and its Linux offspring -- extensively use what are unsettingly called "daemons" (which is how Pagans write "demon" -- they are notoriously poor spellers: magick, vampyre, etc.) which is a program that hides in the background, doing things without the user's notice. If you are using a computer running Linux then you probably have these "demons" on your computer, hardly something a good Christian would want! Furthermore in order to start or stop these "demons" a user must execute a command called "finger". By "fingering" a "demon" one excercises an unholy power, much the same way that the Lord of Flies controls his black minions.

    Linux contains another Satanic holdover from the "BSD Unix" OS mentioned above; to open up certain locked files one has to run a program much like the DOS prompt in Microsoft Windows and type in a secret code: "chmod 666". What other horrors lurk in this thing?

    Consider some of these other Linux commands: "sleep", "mount", "unzip", "strip" and "touch". All highly suggestive in a sexual nature. I know that our Lord cannot approve of these, and I urge them to be renamed to something appropriate to the Christian community. Interestingly "CONTROL-G" (the sixth key from the left of the keyboard) does an abort. To write files a "VI" editor is included. All these are to ensnare the unsuspecting christian who could get tempted by typing "VIVIVI" all day long.

    Fourth, Linux uses a flavor of DOS known as Bash. Bash is an acronym for "Bourne Again Shell". On the surface this would appear to be supportive of the Lord. However, remember that even Satan can quote the bible for his own purposes! While I believe Linux may be born-again, its obvious by the misspelling of "born" that its not born-again in an Christian church. Will the lies ever cease?

    Additionally, one of the main long-haired hippies involved with the GNU Free Software Foundation supports communism, contraception and abortion. He has consistently supported 60's counter-cultural "values", and his web site even advocates government support of contraception. He also wears fake halos, and has quips about his made-up church that relates to his free software. I find such blasphemy to be extremely unsettling.

    One must also remember that the creator of Linux, a college student named Linux Torvaldis, comes from Finland. I'm sure all the followers of Christ are aware of the heritical nature of the Finnish: from necrophilia to human sacrifice, Finnish culture is awash in sin. I find little reason to believe anything good and holy could arise from this evil land.

    Finally, let us remember that there is an alternative to using the Satan-powered Linux. I think history has shown us that Microsoft is quite holy. I'm told that its founder, William Gates is a strong supporter of our Lord and I encourage my fellow Christians to buy only his products to help keep the Devil at bay.

    I wish I had more time to expound upon my findings. Unfortunately a family of Jews has moved in across the street and I must go speak to them of Jesus Christ before they are condemned to eternal hellfire.

    Please investigate this as you see fit and I'm sure you'll reach the same conclusions that I have.
    • That's the best post I've seen in days!!! Such a wonderful parody!

      I just have a nit to pick. Really, it is more with the original author than with you. Daemon actually means something closer to a guardian angel.

      I still haven't figured out if Palay was serious or not. I know plenty of people who would write something like that and they would be totaly serious about the whole thing.
  • To be fair... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cutriss (262920) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @08:41PM (#5689652) Homepage
    and recieved the usual thrashing from members too busy to read the article but not too busy to post trashy ill-informed comments about it

    It also received its fair share of unfair support by people who had never tried it, but 'Oooh'ed and 'Aaah'ed over it because of the theoretical possibilities of the thing. Hell...there's not been a public release of a GBA emulator for the thing yet, and in the last article, edrugtrader got modded through the roof because he claimed to have one that *did* play GBA games, though there's absolutely no proof of this.

    SmartMedia has been out of the public spotlight for quite some time now, and if memory serves, limitations in the standard prevent it from ever going beyond 128 MB in size. Furthermore, its very thin and flimsy, thus easily broken or lost.

    The size and layout does lend itself to the idea of running GameBoy/GBC/GBA emulation, but from what I've read (on the pages of the emulator authors themselves), the emulation isn't even up to par yet...most games run at about 50% framerate. Forget SNES emulation...even if the unit gets fast enough, you're lacking in the buttons department.

    No Afterburner or backlighting kit is available for it yet. Furthermore, it's not compatible with GB/GBC/GBA 3rd party accessories, so no lighting options exist unless someone creates a side-lighting kit. In the last article, someone did mention it, but provided no links, and I can't turn up anything.

    Finally, I just really have to point out that it's designed to run *downloaded* ROM images, DivX movies, and MP3s. Yes, you can run homebrewed ROMs, DivX rips of your own DVDs, and MP3 rips of your own CDs, but do you *really* think that's the point? Ignore the movies and the music for the time being - It's a *game console*. It's designed for games. More specifically, it's designed for *emulated* games. There's only a tiny handful of actual 1st/2nd/3rd-party Korean software support for the unit excepting the emulation community...and though there have been some good releases in the homebrew ROM community, you're kidding yourself if everyone's talking about how this thing can run GBA games, even though there's not even a GBA emulator out yet.

    I think the reviews from sites like Hexus and GamersHell are a total farce. Rating this thing so highly because it *could* stomp the hell out of the GBA is like giving the SiS Xabre a 10/10 because, with enough driver improvements, it *could* beat the GeForceFX, two years down the road...
    • by mmol_6453 (231450)
      Which means they're not likely to get pissed off when people mod it.

      You're going to see overclocking, Linux game ports, probably a project for a gcc backend.

      Someone's going to hack on a wireless adapter, and get it to run Opera.

      When the manufacturers are supportive, or when they don't have billions of dollars, there's all sorts of things you can do.
    • Re:To be fair... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by winter@ES (17304)
      Good points. There is a back-lit version coming out real soon though.

      Back-lit GP32 [gbax.com] Back-lit GP32 in action. [gbax.com]

      The lack of buttons sucks (especially for SNES emulation - the GBA gets around this though), but other than that this is a neat unit, especially considering all the dev tools available for it. Fast processor (much faster than GBA anyhow), beautiful large screen, more memory, better sound, USB port, re-writeable content storage, wireless option, and now backlit... At the price, I'm not sure what the

      • Re:To be fair... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by stratjakt (596332)
        what there's not to like

        It's relatively cheaply built? Seriously, I handled one at the local import shop and, well, you get what you pay for.

        The D-pad and buttons are at once stiff and cheap-feeling, you constantly feel like they're going to fall off in your hand. They're also inaccurate and unresponsive. It's not nearly as well designed as, well, any other handheld I've used. It's not 'fun' to play. It's like replacing your fancy dual-shock 2 PS2 controller for one of the $5 aftermarket pieces of
        • Re:To be fair... (Score:3, Informative)

          by Cpt_Kirks (37296)
          You know, I tried to use reason to counter a lot of silly arguments the other day here, but fuck it.

          You are full of shit. No two ways about it.

          It's relatively cheaply built? Seriously, I handled one at the local import shop and, well, you get what you pay for.

          You either have never touched a GP32 or are just a liar.

          The D-pad and buttons are at once stiff and cheap-feeling, you constantly feel like they're going to fall off in your hand. They're also inaccurate and unresponsive.

          The controls are MILE
        • GB/NES goes about 50%

          Have you A) actually tried it recently, or B) did you just make that figure up?

          Answer: B) - Gameboy/NES emulation runs at full speed on the GP32.

      • I didn't even mention GBAx because it's hard to give any creedence to a review hosted by a site that sells what it reviews.

        I'll definitely say that the hardware is intriguing and powerful...but I question the motives of the manufacturer and of those who review it on the basis of it being a "GBA-killer".

        I would probably really appreciate this thing as an MP3 player more than anything, since it's solid-state...but I would prefer a storage medium that isn't as limited as SmartMedia. MMC cards have capacities
      • At the price, I'm not sure what there's not to like :-)

        How about the dearth of native commercial games?

      • Re:To be fair... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Cutriss (262920)
        Oh...and to expand on my MP3 comment...considering the parts/tech that was used in this thing, and its price, these guys are in the wrong business. Microsoft and Clarion never got the AutoPC to take off because they priced it *way* out of the market ($1000 on original release, IIRC), and it had very limited functionality, even with an open SDK. The GP32 is made for under $150, and could *easily* be remounted in a metal casing with a redesigned front-end and stuck in a dash. It'd be a *fabulous* base-unit fo
    • erm... there are a few GBA emulators. Go to Http://emultaion.net/gba/ [emultaion.net] to find:

      - Boycott Advance [bannister.org]
      - Visual Boy Advance [emuscene.com]
      - PlayBoy Advance [squirrelsw.com]

      I have tried the first to and VBA runs better for me, but you'lll have to try them yourself I suppose.

  • Never mind... (Score:5, Informative)

    by tringstad (168599) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @09:01PM (#5689754)
    ...that the creators [ambientdevices.com] of the Ambient Orb provided their own schematics, notes, and suppliers [ambientdevices.com] for anyone interested in rolling their own.

    http://www.ambientdevices.com/developer/

    -Tommy

  • by throwaway18 (521472) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @09:09PM (#5689782) Journal
    Those of you who are interested in the development of peer to peer systems such as bittorrent may be interested in the Codecon conference [codecon.org] which took place last month. There were some very interesting panels [codecon.info].

    Bram Cohen the author of bittorrent is also the main codecon organisner. The audio recording of the talks and panels [12.241.210.70] at codecon can be downloaded with bittorrent. It maxed my downstream at 50KB/sec, someone else reported 200KB/s down.

  • by GlobalEcho (26240) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @09:10PM (#5689784)
    From the TapLight website:

    So you're either revved up about building one of these for yourself or you're just reading on because you've nothing better to do. I can understand that.

    It's not that I have nothing better to do. It's that I do have something better to do. Two kids, two jobs, a bunch of homework to grade, and a bicycle that isn't fixing itself.

    This allows me to fantasize about having the time to make one of those beauties!
  • Under $50?? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Myriad (89793) <myriad@@@thebsod...com> on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @09:39PM (#5689904) Homepage
    From the Make-an-Orb-Clone-For-Under-$50 site:

    TX433 module $6.02
    RX433 module $6.02
    Shipping (Qkits) $9.17
    2 Red LEDs $1.20
    2 Green LEDs $2.76
    2 Blue LEDs $2.60
    Shipping (SuperbrightLEDs) $5.00
    PIC16F84A $5.63
    Shipping (Digikey) $6.00
    Total $44.00
    Note: Things like the Taplight, the PIC programmer, the circuit board, and the miscellaneous electronic parts have been omitted because they would have brought the total above $50

    "Omitted because the would have brought the total above $50"?? Can I do that with my taxes? You know, I only made $nnnn this year... because any more would nock me into the next tax bracket! :)

    Blockwars [blockwars.com]: a multiplayer, head to head game similar to Tetris

    • Well at least I was honest about it.
      • Yep. And you could have gotten rid of the 555s and some of the stuff that supported them if you used all the clocks on your pic. I think I posted some code for this sort of thing in the original forum, which supports 8-bit color, pulsing, etc. Of course, the taplight, subds etc still bring you over 50 bucks.
    • by stratjakt (596332) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @09:47PM (#5689952) Journal
      Taplight = 5 bucks or so

      PIC Programmer = hmm 30-50 bucks for a DIY kit

      Circuit board = home etched? protoboard? breadboard? lets say 10 bucks

      Miscellaneous electronic parts = all the resistors, capacitors, 555 timer IC, d-sub connectors that I saw used... Oh, lets say another 10 bucks (although if you dont buy that crap in bulk it'd easily cost more).

      Fudging the numbers to get on slashdot = priceless.
    • Actually you can get free samples of that PIC from Microchip [microchip.com] sure you can only get 5, and you can only do it once, but for a hobby project it's easy enough. And yes, the shipping is free too. So that will knock almost $12 bucks off the price. That should make up for the other stuff, excepting the programmer, which is reusable, and therefore you can amortize the cost over various hobby projects ;-)

      -Spyky
    • Convieniently, you left out the rest of the sentence and more than half of the point. What he actually said was:

      "Things like the Taplight, the PIC programmer, the circuit board, and the miscellaneous electronic parts have been omitted because they would have brought the total above $50 (and most tinkerers such as myself have these things on hand already)."

      Basically, he wanted to spend less than $50, and he did.
    • Note also that $24 of the $44 was _SHIPPING_.
      The TX/RX modules should be available via a local distributor, though perhaps at a higher price (They seem to be made by Velleman: http://www.velleman.be/Product.asp?lan=1&id=18729 , who lists Fry's and Marvac as distributors in California). Super-bright LEDs might have good prices on the LEDs, but if you only need the 6, it's probably not such a good deal counting the $5 in shippping. PIC's should also be available locally, saving the other $6. The Tapli
  • by Michael.Forman (169981) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @09:45PM (#5689941) Homepage Journal

    Every once in a while, I'm really motivated by a Slashdot post, and explore the problem further with some quick and light research and writing. By the time I've finished, most readers and moderators have long since left the post for fresher news and I'm left with a relatively small audience. In the spirit of Slashback I thought I could reincarnate those old posts for a second viewing.

    While risking my Karma for something that could be seen as off topic, I do think it adds value to Slashdot and really doesn't fit anywhere else.

    Ecosystem and Economy: In response to the standard environmentalist-versus-economist arguments that were flying about in a previous Slashdot post [slashdot.org] in reference to a Daily Telegraph article [telegraph.co.uk], I sought out a fresh viewpoint [michael-forman.com] based on reductionism and the conservation of energy.

    Social Network Theory: A Slashdot post [slashdot.org] led to a Register article [theregister.co.uk], which was steeped in an unusual amount conspiracy theory. Suggesting that Google was gamed by a group of A-list bloggers, perhaps it is all simply just a result of social networks [michael-forman.com]. This is a new topic to me, so if you know anything about social network theory, I'd love it if someone could take me to school.

    First-Generation TiVo: In a discussion [slashdot.org] concerning second-generation TiVos I thought I'd whip up a quick script [michael-forman.com] that would allow people to see what I'm currently watching as proof that my house wields the mighty sword of TiVo modding.

    Mystery Treasure: I also put a not-so-well hidden page on my site to see if anyone would gravitate towards it, but it as of yet remains undiscovered. Hint: MSIE users will not get far. Consider it pay back for not doing PNG transparency [petitiononline.com]. :P

    Michael.
  • by mcrbids (148650) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @09:49PM (#5689960) Journal
    I've yet to see an actual answer to these questions:

    1) Let's say I have a 500 MB file that gets slashdotted, and 10,000 people want to download it. Normally, that would be 500*10,000 MB or 5,000,000 MB (which is a !!@# of alot of bandwidth) of network capacity. Given an "ideal" scene, what would an expected bandwidth usage be if I ran a BitTorrent tracker and a see file? Could this conceivably be done on a T1, since the clients are (in theory) providing most of the upload bandwidth?

    2) How much overhead does Bit Torrent add to connections that aren't all that busy? If 1 guy downloads that 500 MB file, how much more bandwidth would he use because of the BitTorrent protocol stuff?

    I've yet to find a decent answer to these two questions anywhere.

    -Ben
    • by v1 (525388) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @10:53PM (#5690241) Homepage Journal
      I looked at the specs for Bittorrent (thanks to the author who provides full specs!) and from that and what I saw when downloading Animatrix, it's easy to see what happens.

      The system is designed to talk with other peers trying to download the same torrent file, and checks around to establish a list of best (fastest) providers. He's got a lot of nice adjustments in the protocol to favor swapping of parts too, which is a nice touch. (I'll give you block 25 if you give me block 18)

      If the mesh has enough people that have already downloaded some blocks, (should happen almost immediately?) then the host basically does nothing besides help hook new downloaders into the mesh. This is why the host doesn't get /.'d at the start. (I'm assuming each BT client tries to download segments in random order)

      As for the client's view of things... I was quite impressed with Bittorrent's ability to saturate my line as soon as it got moving. (it took a couple minutes to get its bearings in the mesh before it started) Once it was on its feet, it had my 768kbit line doing a solid 80+k/sec download. Very nice.

      NOTE, there is a penalty. Iirc, Bittorrent forms up to 20 connections (download) at a time. This effect was very apparent in that two other file transfers that I had going at the time got the rug pulled out from under them. Instead of my "three" downloads getting an even split at say 25,25,25 k/sec, it was more like 80,3,2 k/sec. Bittorrent's use of many pipes, combined with the network and OS "sharing" the bandwidth between the pipes (instead of the applications) caused some nasty starvation on my other non-BT downloads.

      Overall, I like it. I wish more big things were available via BT. I left Animatrix up for about six hours after it completed, and the mesh was only drawing between 0-4 k/sec from me during that time. Surely a fair trade! The author has a paypal link at his site, think about tossing him a couple bucks and lets see this evolve even farther.
      • I was quite impressed with Bittorrent's ability to saturate my line as soon as it got moving.

        I'm currently squeezing between 120-150KB down now, almost enough to saturate my 1.5/128 Comcast line. Odd though, the Windows client I am using (bittorrent-3.2.1.exe linked from Sourceforge) shows 25KB upload which is roughly twice my 128kbit CM upload cap..
    • 1) Let's say I have a 500 MB file that gets slashdotted, and 10,000 people want to download it... Could this conceivably be done on a T1, since the clients are (in theory) providing most of the upload bandwidth?

      I'm not any sort of expert of bittorrent, but I do understand how it functions. First note that bittorrent works best when you have a large number of downloaders. If you are the only downloader then you are limited to the tracker's upload speed.

      In *theory* you could host the file on dialup. Of cou
    • 1 - Yes, that's pretty much the point, and that's just about how much this BitTorrent download of RedHat 9 carried. One of the anime BitTorrent sites shipped about 1.3TB in the last 24 hours alone. The root system has to ship out the entire set at least once (obviously :-) and the tracker has to keep track of who's connected now and occasionally tell them where to get chunks they want, but the only time it's shipping out actual data is if there are chunks that people want that aren't available from people
  • 404 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DarkZero (516460) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @09:52PM (#5689974)
    The link to the /. article about the third Animatrix short is a 404 [slashdot.org].
    • Re:404 (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Hmm, I wonder why that is. I was trying to find the link from a post labelled "I hate the quicktime player," but it's no longer there. Anyone know what's up (or have that link)?
  • by rrsipov (648218) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @10:36PM (#5690170)
    Unfortunaly, the BSA results are flawed in more ways that the one mentioned in the article. For instance how many of the users who are being listed as pirtates, actually are, but simply would make due without either: a) the pirated software (zero economic gain for piracy reduction) or b) the computer system, useing someone elses (net economic loss). Also what are the economic gains being contributed by people who are using pirated software and who otherwise would, by doing something less productive, or having less money to do other productive things, contributing to the economy. I'm sure others could find many other issues; like what would the price reduction in the pirated software that would convience 10% of pirates to pay.

    I'm not saying piracy is "right", although it often is treated as typical theft; that is if I steal a car from a car dealership, not only did I not pay for the car, no one else can buy that particular car. With software piracy you aren't paying, but you don't take away the ablity of someone else to pay, because you don't destroy, or physically make unavailable the original. Again this doesn't mean it isn't wrong, just that it is different, and needs to be discussed with those differences in mind.
    • Not to mention, how many students start off pirating software and later in life buy lots of stuff from familiar companies at work and at home. If all they can "pirate" are RedHat ISOs, they just might get hooked into Linux, OpenOffice and Mozilla and not buy anything besides ports of dated games. BSA members like Microsoft should also consider how cutting back on piracy will cause people to switch from MSOffice to cheaper products and later convince their wealthier friends to switch as well. Hmmm... Doesn
    • After all he's got a monopoly, so 97% of computer parts should also sell a copy of windows too. If they don't buy windows, then someone is pirating. Logic sounds simple enough [cocky, but simple! Gotta love monopoly logic.] Of course, they don't believe it enough to stop hassling dealers that sell you an OEM windows with your cpu, now do they!

      I do agree we should stop talking about cracks and keygens. If we stop talking about how to pirate, then people will economically be forced to look at Linux! Th

  • I tried to use BitTorrent for RH9 ... I never saw more than 20K and usually was stuck down around 5K. I gave up ... I'd have happily left it running to serve back up, but it wasn't worth waiting. Someone on my company's VPN mirrored it so I slurped from there.

    Is there a way to tell BitTorrent to serve existing files? I'm still willing to serve it up for awhile.

    As for the colored ball that is getting so popular, I think I'll build one to monitor my ever fluctuating network connection (my ISP is wireless) j
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Is there a way to tell BitTorrent to serve existing files? I'm still willing to serve it up for awhile.

      Yup. Start the BT client again, and when it asks you where to save to, point to the stuff you already got elsewhere. Bang, you're part of the solution...
    • Is there a way to tell BitTorrent to serve existing files? I'm still willing to serve it up for awhile.
      Put the downloaded files in the same format as the .ISO in the download directory (current directory on unixen, not sure about windows) and run the download on the torrent. It'll run a checksum, then start the upload.
  • New (Score:2, Funny)

    by Dodger73 (654030)
    Initial traffic got very high, transferring over a gibibit a second.

    Neat... and how much exactly is a gibibit?


    Who needs a sig anyway?
    • kilo = 10 ^ 3 = 1,000
      mega = 10 ^ 6 = 1,000,000
      giga = 10 ^ 9 = 1,000,000,000
      tera = 10 ^ 12 = 1,000,000,000,000

      kibi = 2 ^ 10 = 1,024
      mebi = 2 ^ 20 = 1,048,576
      gibi = 2 ^ 30 = 1,073,741,824
      tebi = 2 ^ 40 = 1,099,511,627,776
      regards,

      Johan Veenstra
    • Neat... and how much exactly is a gibibit?

      The sequence originally went:

      Kilobit = 1024 bits
      Megabit = 1024 kilobits (1,048,576 bits)
      Gigabit = 1024 megabits (1,073,741,824 bits)

      In 1998, the International Electrotechnical Commission proposed [techtarget.com] changing these amounts to "kibi", "mebi" and "gibi", short for "kilo-binary", etc. They were worried about the confusion that could result from "kilo", "mega" and "giga"'s existing use as the SI prefixes for one thousand, one million and one trillion times larger.

    • by schon (31600)
      how much exactly is a gibibit?

      Isn't a gibibit the long form of "gib" - you know, in Quake, what corpses turn into when you shoot them.

      Hmm.. could also be the sound made by a hair-lipped frog.

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