Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

BitTorrent Creator Dismisses M$ P2P Project

Filed under
Microsoft
Software

Yesterday, BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen called Microsoft Research's attempt to create its own version of the person-to-person application "vaporware" and "complete garbage."

In Cohen's blog, he said Microsoft Corp.'s boast that the new P2P protocol, codenamed Avalanche, would fix transfer rate problems and disconnections was unfounded.

Cohen added that since the Microsoft experiments were done via "simulations," the results were flawed-the tests do not take varying transfer rates into consideration, nor the limitations of all the users' computers.

"Particularly worrisome for their proposed scheme is disk access," Bram said in his blog. "If the size of the file being transferred is greater than the size of memory, their entire system could easily get bogged down doing disk seeks and reads, since it needs to do constant recombinations of the entire file to build the pieces to be sent over the wire."

Despite the criticism, Avalanche still seems to be holding its own in the word-of-mouth department. While the Microsoft P2P protocol has a few different elements than BitTorrent, the premise remains the same: If someone needs to transfer a huge file, such as a video or a form of software, to many people, a server usually cannot handle the workload. Instead, the file "swarms" across the Web, and can be downloaded in bits and pieces from many destinations, each containing small pieces of the entire file.

The main problem with this system is that downloading a file can take a long time, because at the end of the process, users usually have to wait to find and download a last bit of information, called the "rarest bit." Sometimes waiting for the rarest bit can take 12 hours or more, depending on the popularity and size of the downloading file in question.

Microsoft, much to Cohen's disapproval, says it's found a way to avoid the waiting game by recoding all of the pieces of a file so that each one shared is a linear combination of the pieces. After a user has downloaded a few of these, the user can generate new combinations from the pieces and send those on to other peers.

At that point, instead of having to wait for more important pieces of the puzzle, any piece can be used to complete the entire picture. And, since the same information will no longer have to travel back and forth, overall network traffic will decrease as well. In fact, Avalanche researchers said this new transfer method made download times 20 to 30 percent faster.

Keeping in mind that this research is just that-research-David Card, an analyst at JupiterResearch of Jupitermedia Corp., said it's hard not to wonder why Microsoft would want to create its own P2P services, especially as Microsoft is actively involved in regaining and maintaining the trust of entertainment companies by taking an active role in digital rights management.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

Security Leftovers

GeckoLinux 421 Plasma and SUSE Hack Week

  • GeckoLinux 421 Plasma review - It ain't no dragon
    I heard a lot of good praise about this little distro. My inbox is flooded with requests to take it for a spin, so I decided, hey, so many people are asking. Let us. The thing is, openSUSE derivatives are far and few in between, but the potential and the appeal are definitely there. Something like CentOS on steroids, the way Stella did once, the same noble way Fuduntu tried to emancipate Fedora. Take a somewhat somber distro and pimpify it into submission. GeckoLinux is based on openSUSE Leap, and I chose the Plasma Static edition. There's also a Rolling version, based on Tumbleweed, but that one never worked for me. The test box for this review is Lenovo G50. But wait! Dedoimedo, did you not recently write in your second rejection report that GeckoLinux had failed to boot? Indeed I did. But the combo of yet another firmware update on the laptop and a fresh new download fixed it, allowing for a DVD boot. Somewhat like the painful but successful Fedora exercise back in the day. Tough start, but let's see what gives.
  • La Mapería
    It is Hack Week at SUSE, and I am working on La Mapería (the map store), a little program to generate beautiful printed maps from OpenStreetMap data.
  • HackWeek XIV @SUSE: Tuesday

From Vista 10 to Linux Mint

  • Microsoft Scared into Changes, 5 Reasons to Ditch
    Following a small claims court judgment against them, Microsoft announced they would be making declining their Windows 10 upgrade easier. Why not just switch to Linux as Daniel Robinson highlighted five reasons you should. My Linux Rig spoke to Christine Hall of FOSS Force about her "Linux rig" today and Bryan Lunduke had some thoughts on Canonical's collaboration myth. Dedoimedo reviewed GeckoLinux 421 and Gary Newell tested Peppermint 7 on his new Lenovo Ideapad.
  • After Multi-Month Tone Deaf Shitshow, Microsoft Finally Lets Users Control Obnoxious Windows 10 Upgrade
    Microsoft's decision to offer Windows 10 as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 made sense on its surface. It was a nice freebie for users happy to upgrade, and an effective way to herd customers on older Windows iterations onto the latest platform to help consolidate support expense. But Microsoft's upgrade in practice has seen no shortage of criticism from users annoyed by a total lack of control over the update, and Microsoft's violent tone deafness in response to the complaints. For example a Reddit post from an anti-poaching organization made the rounds earlier this year after the 17 GB automatic Windows 10 update resulted in huge per megabyte charges from their satellite broadband ISP. Microsoft's response to these complaints? Ignore them. As complaints grew, Microsoft finally provided a way to fully disable the forced upgrade, but made sure it involved forcing users to modify the registry, something Microsoft knew full well less technical users wouldn't be comfortable attempting to hurdle. [...] Things have been escalating ever since, often to comedic effect. But this week things changed somewhat with the news that Microsoft has struck a $10,000 settlement with a California woman who sued the company after an ill-timed Windows 10 upgrade brought her office computers to a crawl. The woman took Microsoft to court after support failed to help resolve the issue, a spokesman saying Microsoft halted its appeal of the ruling "to avoid the expense of further litigation."
  • Microsoft pays $10,000 to unwilling Windows 10 updater
  • The Linux Setup - Christine Hall, FOSS Force
    On my main desktop, I use Linux Mint 17.1, Rebecca. My main laptop, a 64-bit machine, is running Mint 17.2 Rafaela. The laptop got updated from Rebecca so I could write a review, but the desktop never got upgraded because it’s a 32-bit machine and would require another download, which I haven’t had the time to do. I have another laptop running Bodhi, which might be my favorite distro, but I can be more productive with Mint.
  • Linux Mint 18 Finally Arrives — Download Cinnamon and MATE Edition ISO Files Here
    The wait for the summer’s hottest Linux distro is over and you can finally download the release version of Linux Mint 18 “Sarah”. Often called the best Linux distribution for desktop PCs, Mint 18 comes loaded with new features and Linux 4.4 LTS Kernel.