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Exeem "Successor" to Suprnova Announced 608

After the demise of Suprnova, hype has risen over Exeem, the supposed heir apparent to the popular BitTorrent index. Today on Novastream, Sloncek announced it officially, but to me his announcement raised more questions than it did answers. Since the official exeem.com website still isn't up, I've got a few notes below. Thanks to several users on irc.suprnova.org, and Sloncek himself for answering my questions.

First, Exeem really isn't an extension of Suprnova as the hype might have you believe: the connection between the two seems more marketing than anything else. Sloncek has been hired to promote their product as the heir apparent to his popular website, but his involvement really seems to be almost entirely PR. It'll work obviously: my headline on this story mentions Suprnova, and so will hundreds of websites around the world in the coming days. "Yet another p2p app" would not create anywhere near the waves that "Successor to Suprnova Announced" will. I hope that people judge exeem by its own merits and not by its (clever) marketing.

Second, Exeem is pretty much what was rumored earlier: a blending of the tracker, the BitTorrent client, and decentralized indexing. It's Windows only. It's in beta now, and will be out at some indeterminate date in the future. It also has a rating and commenting system which appears to be somewhat rudimentary. It's unclear to me if the rating system will be as useless as other attempts, and I think this is the critical thing: Suprnova succeeded because the content available on it was verified and trustworthy. Suprnova was as much the work of a few dozen editors as it was a list of torrent URLs. So far no other p2p system has achieved that level of accuracy. Exeem supports magnet sites which is a start, but not exactly p2p either. And did I mention that it's adware?

Third, there's a mystery company. Someone is paying Sloncek. He won't say who, but there's a history in the p2p world of secretive development. Since Exeem is to be adware, someday it will have a billing address, which means the legal issues faced by predecessors like Napster and Kazaa will be forthcoming, which is of course why we have a mystery company that Sloncek won't talk about in the first place. We definitely haven't heard the last of this.

Personally I was hoping for more: source code and cross platform compatibility never hurts. These are the things that made BitTorrent a huge success. I guess I was hoping for a new protocol instead of just another Kazaa. I guess I was hoping for a monumental leap, and instead Exeem to be a more incremental step. I'm sure we'll learn more in the coming weeks.

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Exeem "Successor" to Suprnova Announced

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  • by Tet ( 2721 ) <slashdot@astradyn[ ]o.uk ['e.c' in gap]> on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:41PM (#11223903) Homepage Journal
    I can't help but wonder if BitTorrent is the application that finally pushes people towards Freenet [sourceforge.net]. That would appear to be the obvious way of decentralizing it, without requiring platform specific software, and providing anonymity for both producers and consumers in the process.
    • I love Freenet, but no offense to it, but it can't handle the sort of traffic that a tracker does atm.
      • by Entropius ( 188861 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @09:17PM (#11224159)
        The suggestion is to use freenet to distribute torrents, not to actually serve as a tracker. It can do that, surely, since torrents are tiny and one-shot downloads. This makes the MPAA's whack-a-mole game more difficult, since they have to go after each individual tracker rather than any centralized site hosting torrents (pointers to trackers).
        • by ion++ ( 134665 ) on Friday December 31, 2004 @07:06AM (#11226689)
          Why not just use usenet to distribute the Torrent trackers? On usenet one can post anonymously, and they are automatically distributed to other usenet servers.
    • by user9918277462 ( 834092 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:49PM (#11223974) Journal
      Unfortunately Freenet is an incredibly inefficient method of data transfer. Remember it was designed with security and anonymity as top priorities, performance comes as a distant third.

      I was hoping for a more innovative p2p app, perhaps combining the advantages of VPN-type systems like WASTE or DirectConnect with the swarming efficiency of BitTorrent. Such a system would truly take the world by storm.

      At the same time it seemed obvious that Exeem wouldn't be such a system. From rumors circulating after the start of the closed beta (not a good sign to begin with) it became apparent that Exeem was just another closed-source proprietary network. It's really unfortunate but not at all surprising.
    • by gremlins ( 588904 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:49PM (#11223975)
      I don't see why freenet is such a great way to serve up torrents. When you run the torrents they can still find you the only diffrence between this and how something like emule works is you have to use freenet. Might as well just have the clients also host the torrent and you just search the client.
      • I tried freenet a couple years ago as a bit of an experiment, but the transfer speeds I was experiencing were akin to dialup... On a 300baud modem.

        Seriously, it was painful to use. I think I had it installed for a couple days before I announced it as a "failed experiment" and erased it.

        Maybe it has improved now, but it would take far faster speeds, and a self-contained native windows client with built-in browser before I'd be interested in trying it again.

        • When I tried it, speed was not too bad. Latency was a big problem, but still faster than the likes of emule. But as you are using a web browser and browsing what looks like web sites, you expect something a lot faster.
    • by jr87 ( 653146 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:50PM (#11223985) Homepage
      their are several problems with freenet...#1 it's slow as hell (at least when I tried it) #2 it has become a haven for kiddie pr0n #3 you become a node holding said kiddie pr0n because you have no control over what you cache.... I think freenet is a good thing overall...but I cannot justify being a node on freenet because I do not feel right helping traffic kiddie pr0n... now if a mass exodus occured that marginalized these people I would feel better...but atm their is a helluva lot of kiddie pr0n on their...
      • by Ziviyr ( 95582 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:59PM (#11224048) Homepage
        If theres that much of that there, and you've been looking at it, you've been extending it's cache time.

        If you want it to have respectable content, use it to browse respectable content. (and inject respectable content if you can)
        • A lot of kiddie porn has relative innocuous names. I lost track of the number of pre-teen pics I ended up downloading from Kazaa back in the day while trying to download pics of entirely legal "teens" (most of them are probably in their early twenties and just look young.) Mind you, I deleted it all immediately, so don't send me email asking for it :P It can be hard to tell the difference before you have the file.
          • A lot of kiddie porn has relative innocuous names.

            Conversely, almost every other file (it seems) on gnutella seems to have sex keywords attached to their names. Some including "preteen rape anal schoolgirl bestiality child", etc. Even files that are neither images nor video files.
            • I think that stuff is done by the child porn distributors to act like radar chaff, if you see preteen incest rape tagged on 10% of everything on the network when it's unrelated, the .1% that really is will be harder to find.
      • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @09:10PM (#11224115)
        Perhaps you would use freenet to acquire just the .torrent files themselves. Isn't that what suprnova.org was - just a centralized directory to lots of torrent "tracker" servers?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        And yet you have no problem trafficking in pirated copyrighted material or prostituting your freeipods referral URL. How ironic.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:58PM (#11224034)
      With all due respect to the Freenet team, they have done a lot of good work, but the network isn't designed for things like bittorrent. What you need is a low-latency network like TOR or i2p. With that said, anonymous Bittorrent already exists, its available to work on the i2p anonymous network. Just go to the i2p website, , install the software and then click on this: There are already bittorrent trackers on the i2p network. Why this hasn't been on slashdot is beyond me.
    • by complete loony ( 663508 ) <{Jeremy.Lakeman} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:58PM (#11224039)
      IF, you could create a freenet that only hosts torrents, and not the files themselves, had searching for torrents (which they don't have), and then somehow tracks the downloads totally anonymously, then yeah sure why not.
      Somehow I don't think it will happen, currently freenet doesn't have indexing / searching of contents, you need to find a link to the content through other means. Isn't that all that a torrent actually is? a link and identifier to the content and the tracker?
      I don't want to host contents of unknown origin, I shouldn't need to keep a node running 24/7 in order to find and download the occasional file, and I don't want to wait in a queue of 1000 leachers to get what I want.
    • One notices that some people have started to post trackers on usenet; alt.binaries.torrents
  • by Vengie ( 533896 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:41PM (#11223906)
    I really need to be able to mod slashdot errors...

    -1 Annoying!
    -1 Obvious! *sigh*
  • Why would I care? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alcimedes ( 398213 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:43PM (#11223916)
    So it's Windows only and adware. This is nothing like Suprnova.

    The parent article is a Troll.
    • I care (Score:5, Insightful)

      by theantix ( 466036 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:54PM (#11224008) Journal
      I cared before, and now I know I don't need to care any more. So to me, this news story was useful, even though like you I no longer care.
    • by EnronHaliburton2004 ( 815366 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @09:47PM (#11224346) Homepage Journal
      So it's Windows only and adware. This is nothing like Suprnova.

      But it's amazingly like the suprnova.COM and .NET scammers
    • Re:Why would I care? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @11:51PM (#11225082)
      And what was so great about suprnova? They are just an empty brand. Hell, they weren't even a tracker. What a scam they were running. People would find or start their own trackers, seed, and then give the suprnova people a link to the torrent while the suprnova people shoved 10 ads in your face.

      I expect more people to be using eMule and bitorrent index sites to be hosted overseas while this exeed app dies the death of the empty branded hype with no substance that it is. Its just some company that saw the writing on the wall and paid off the suprnova kiddies to promote it. Big deal. Bittorrent if far from dead. The "russian" suprnova is up and works fine and at least the loki people are putting up some kind of fight so the technology isnt just considered illegal outright.
  • ironic (Score:5, Funny)

    by cRueLio ( 679516 ) <cruelio@msn. c o m> on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:43PM (#11223919) Homepage Journal
    you can already find cracked copies of the latest version on *gasp* bittorrent sites :)
  • I dont understand (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Agret ( 752467 ) <alias.zero2097@gma i l . c om> on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:44PM (#11223932) Homepage Journal
    what makes this better than other peer2peer programs like limewire or bearshare or mldonkey. If you remove the tracker/website approach then all the stuff out there becomes unverified and you lose the appeal of using BitTorrent.
    • You don't lose the appeal of BitTorrent. The tracker/website approach the SN uses was the downside. The thing that truly makes BT great is the way that it shares, not in how the trackers are shared :P
  • eXeem beta. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Eeknay ( 766740 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:45PM (#11223942)
    If you know where to look, there's a closed beta of eXeem avaliable - however, it needs a beta key in order to join the network - and it can't be a random key, i.e. it's assigned by the Suprnova team. At the time of writing, the version I have is 0.16, and does NOT include any adverts of some sort, although yes Sloncek did confirm this earlier this evening.

    The basic user interface is friendly, and it's basically a "compact" version of Kazaa (you have to use it to really understand).

    As for the release date, it "won't be this week, or next week, but very very soon". It'll be an open beta, to chink out all the bugs.
    • Forgot to mention, eXeem will also use magnet-type links; think eDonkey/eMile, but with a exeem:// forfront instead. Instead of posting a torrent to a website, you can post a verified link that downloads the correct file.
  • ... from the remaining BitTorrent tracking sites. Now all the kiddies can go download Exeem and the MPAA/RIAA/ can cook Exeem over the coals of the SuprNova fire while the rest of us keep using the many other tried and true tracking sites. I doubt Exeem will be around very long if they're advertising themselves as the new Suprnova.
  • by Morganth ( 137341 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:47PM (#11223958) Journal
    Shouldn't these developers take a look at some of the research in this area?

    Tangler [nyu.edu], FreeHaven [freehaven.net], and Publius [nyu.edu] come to mind.
  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:49PM (#11223977) Homepage Journal
    No thanks ..

    But at least they are upfront about it.
  • by jamienk ( 62492 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:50PM (#11223981)
    "In Europe, he would have been a just lawyer, an original philosopher, a bold psychologist, an influential teacher. In Russia today, he could only be a novelist."

    In some alternate universe, suprnova would have been the next indispensable web site, the next Google, the next platform for innovation, the next great leap forward for human knowledge. But in today's world, it's nothing more than hype for some new bullshit adware.
  • It'll work (Score:3, Insightful)

    by realdpk ( 116490 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:51PM (#11223988) Homepage Journal
    "It'll work obviously: my headline on this story mentions Suprnova, and so will hundreds of websites around the world in the coming days."

    Yep. You couldn't have chosen another title for the article that wouldn't have worked for them. Nope. Had to go with that one. And then complain that it's just a marketing scheme. Yep. I'm feeling really sorry for you for being duped here!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:52PM (#11223995)
    Bittorrent has some interesting methods of making sure all parts of a file are available (sharing rarest parts first, for example), but I've been unable to find a complete list of how a file is shared.

    There are some things I think would be interesting additions, such as sharing a the rarest part to users with the quickest turnaround time (determine how long it takes to download the file and then immediately upload it, and choose the person with the shortest time). Of course, that might already be the case, but I haven't been able to find out.
  • Ethics (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BossMC ( 696762 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:53PM (#11224002) Homepage
    This is probably really offtopic, but that's OK because I have bad karma anyways, and no one is going to see this.

    I am a student in university, and I don't have much money to my name, so I don't buy DVDs, music CDs, and so on. What do I do instead? Simple: I download them for free off of the internet. Now I get to watch movies and listen to music without spending money. I relate it to taking donuts out of a dumpster being Tim Hortons after hours.

    I don't even consider things like "freedom" or "ethics," or anything for that matter. I enjoy getting something for nothing. I like it when things are one click away.

    I know that it makes some people very sad to hear this, but that's Ok with me. I am a good friend and human being, and I feel really bad about the disaster in Asia. I just don't care to pay fucking money for a movie.

    Thanks for listening.
    • Re:Ethics (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Fragglebabe ( 820889 )
      I'm a student as well, and i often find that I cannot spend money on movies and music because I can't make ends meet. I completely understand why you download things, and i often download music and movies and tv programs myself. But i did just want to present a slightly different view of uni students.

      I feel guilty that i download things. And, in general, i only use it as a stopgap while i earn more money, and as a trial to see if it is worth spending my hard-earned cash on the dvd or cd or whatever. I do
  • Interview MP3 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Z303 ( 724462 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:55PM (#11224013) Homepage Journal
    Link to a torrent [torrentspy.com] of interview as an MP3.
  • One of these days, everything will be on Google and firms will get paid by he number of cycles run in their apps, from a pool of moneys levied by bandwithtax - yuck.

  • The whole interview is also available as a 9MB MP3 from the Suprnova site (there's a minute or so of music first). That's a direct download of the MP3 itself, not a torrents, so I won't post a clickable link to avoid Slashdotting the site. Anyone got a mirror?
  • beta screen shots (Score:5, Informative)

    by typhoonius ( 611834 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:59PM (#11224052)
  • about p2p, but after ITunes came on the scene, I'd just rather pay my $.99/song and not have to screwaround with crappy adware or god-knows-what-else.
    • Yes, the iTunes Music Store is an excellent option for music. But currently there's no good way of downloading TV shows or movies legally. We need something along the lines of an iVideo Store. The ability to download individual TV episodes for $1 or $2 would be great.

      I, for example, want to get Stargate Atlantis legally without paying an extra $30 per month to get a "good" cable TV package. I don't want all the other crap, just this one program. But like audio CDs, the problem with the existing system is t
  • The only good "advantage" bit torrent has over the edonkey protocol is that it is centralized and therefore content can be moderated. Also, because people generally seed/share very few torrents at a time (in comparison to other p2p programs) its generally much faster. This is the only reason it is faster, if edonkey users only shared the latest releases it would be just as fast. And to boot, couldnt be taken down as easily as something like suprnova.

    emule already has a rating system, and there are plenty o
  • A) Not platform independent.
    B) The verb "hired" was used in conjunction with "Sloncek"
    C) Closed beta, key based access, potential for ads

    This is so stupid. Will someone please start up a competitor on Sourceforge? Or at least implement this tech in freenet or something. The idea isn't all that far out, *I* even thought of it [slashdot.org] last summer in my own slightly sucky way.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 30, 2004 @09:26PM (#11224210)

    I've seen /.'ers suggesting freenet as possible {il,}legal content distribution method. I'd like to disagree with this methodology.

    There is already a working way to have anonymous BitTorrent - using Onion Routing [eff.org] protocol. It's great for privacy concerned netizens and if more people set up Tor Servers, Tor would gain critical mass needed to support both tracker AND data connections for BT.

    Most of torrent clients supports Tor out-of-the-box, as tor is nothing but socks proxy for your programs. Torifying [noreply.org] various applications is really a snap and there is a detailed guide [sourceforge.net] on how to make Azureus BT client [sourceforge.net] work flawlessly with Tor (see section 2.2 Totally Anonymous BitTorrent).

    Currently, the only concern for the Tor authors is the fact, that the Tor network may not be able to handle the amounts of traffic, bittorent is able to generate.
    However, if each one of you would set up a server with couple of kbps spare bandwidth, the tor network would immediately start scaling up.

    Since BT relies on multiple (slow) transmissions occuring at the same time to create the "torrent effect", even if all the transmissions pick different routes trough tor network (taking slight performance hit), the overall performance of BT would remain unchanged.

    There is also a very important aspect of tor. It allows you to create hidden services. Basically they are accesible via bogus URLs (like LKbalkbsflKflasbd.onion). The anonymity of the server is assured. More about hidden services at this address [eff.org].

    So, before you let the *oids start reinventing the wheel (and charge an arm and a leg for it), do your bloody homework and use what's already there :)

    PS. tor is free software.

  • by mcknation ( 217793 ) * <nocarrier@gm a i l .com> on Thursday December 30, 2004 @09:31PM (#11224243) Homepage

    But it won't work without a key. It can't join the network. Gives you a chance to check it out the interface spyware/adware free I guess. I don't think I'll be using it. I too was looking for a larger leap...not so much of a baby step.

  • This is why things like Microsoft Virtual Machine was created (acquired). The other day my G/F was at my place getting some music off allofmp3.com when she couldnt find a song she wanted. She started to download Kazaa when I stopped her and fired up a Windows 2000 virtual machine for her to download in. I guess I dont mind if its got adware or spyware as long as I can sandbox it.
  • I listened to the interview, and one thing came across stronger than anything else:

    He sold out.

    And I bet the "mystery company" is Sharman Networks.


    Anyway, you can download it here [], though it doesn't seem to work without the key.
    • actually, i reckon the company behind it is called 'Swarm Systems Inc'...
      - Becuase the whois on exeem.org shows "Registrant Email:contact@exeem.com"
      - Because i cant find any info about them on the web.
      - Because 'swarm' is a term used in the BT protocol/community...

      Im guessing whoever is behind all this bought all the main domain names and are keeping quite until the launch.

      Registrant ID:GODA-08316761
      Registrant Name:Systems Inc. Swarm
      Registrant Organization:Swarm Systems Inc.
      Registrant Stree
  • by dshaw858 ( 828072 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @09:36PM (#11224273) Homepage Journal
    I honestly don't think this [the exeem client] is totally necessary, depending on the outcome of the Lokitorrent legal case. Exeem seems as if it will make .torrent files much harder to find, which in turn creates problems. The http section of the web is a lot easier to navigate than an adware-filled, bulky client.

    Of course, even if it is legal for sites on the web to host the .torrent files, they are so easily tracked by anyone who cares! If Exeem could possibly get a better degree of anonymity, then it could perhaps boost p2p to an unbeatable level- forcing the MPAA and RIAA to actually work with the file sharers, rather than attack them.

    Lastly, and on a bit of an off-topic note, if one is sharing only one part of a file, but not the full thing (or if the file being shares is obfuscated, but easily returnable), can they be prosecuted of illegal copyright violations? Is every single part of a film copyrighted individually? I've always wondered, so pegging it to the end of this post seemed as good a time as any to ask.

    - dshaw
  • Corporatization (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Muttonhead ( 109583 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @09:41PM (#11224302)
    So the suprnova's of the world are being corporatized by "secret companies." The question comes down to, will it work? Does anybody care about napster.com since it was corporatized?
    • Re:Corporatization (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rxmd ( 205533 )
      Does anybody care about napster.com since it was corporatized?
      Napster was a company right from the start. Someone had to be running the Napster servers. The fact that they had no business model worth speaking of and that they were later bought out doesn't change their initial commercial nature.
  • EXEEM SUCKS (READ) (Score:5, Informative)

    by Space_Soldier ( 628825 ) <not4_u@hotmail.com> on Thursday December 30, 2004 @10:45PM (#11224706)
    eXeem is a piece of shit. Not only that it will have adaware and spyware, it is also a "lock-in". You will only be able to use it on SuprNova. They have modified the torrent file. It is missing a lot of dictionaries ("key -> value"), and dictionaries that should have been subdictionaries start directly in the file. For example "files" is not in "info" it starts with it directly. This torrent changes were unnecessary. Also, the "announce" and "announce-list" are missing. eXeem has a hardcoded url of a tracker of all the peers on eXeem. The original seeder of a torrent acts as a tracker (so SuprNova won't have to host torrents), but eXeem is in no way decentralized because of the tracker that keeps in contact all the eXeem users (it does not care about torrents, just eXeem users). So, all you have to do is to kill the main server, and all the users of exeem will be disconnected (this happened when suprnova died). THIS IS WORSE THAN THE WAY TORRENTS ACT NOW. EXEEM IS HYPE AND A WAY TO MAKE MONEY. IT SUCKS! I think the best way to decentralized BitTorrent, is to have trackers that are decentralized IRC server style. If you people want something decentralized and a little bit of BitTorrent, get G2 (Gnutella2) and add BitTorrent's tit-for-tat to it.
  • by Anita Coney ( 648748 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @10:53PM (#11224773) Homepage
    ... is create a SuprNova styled website filled with completely legal torrents. For example, drivers, game demos and updates, Linux and other open source distributions, public domain stuff, share/freeware, etc. We have to let politicians know that p2p has practical legal uses.

  • sold out ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eyegee88 ( 826176 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @10:55PM (#11224781)
    So, the "mighty" owner of suprnova closed his website.
    Very nice.

    He advocates this new technology.

    Who said the MPAA/RIAA did not stuff him some "funds" to provide the people some nice software
    (ie: adware) that cleanly informs those nice
    associations with the ip address of every peer/seeder. Think about it.

    who did say the new software does not harvest ip
    addresses and nicely hands em over to some place
    accessible to the MPAA/RIAA ?

    I do not know about you, but I am convinced some
    donated funds from MPAA/RIAA could change the mind
    of any site owner to join the " side"

    just 0.02 euro

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell