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

Why Do People Contribute to Open Source Projects?

Open source development is the future of software. It’s great for users like you and me because open source software is usually free (not always) and often safer to use because malicious code is less likely to be implemented. But what compels developers to contribute code for free? After all, writing code requires time, effort, and expertise. And while it’s true that open source developers can make money, it’s certainly easier through proprietary channels. Read more

Simple Photo Manipulation in GNU/Linux with Fotoxx

Image manipulation in GNU/Linux has always been associated with The Gimp. However, most users will find Gimp vastly oversized for their needs. Fotoxx is a neat, simple and yet very advanced photo manipulation software that is definitely worth installing and playing with.

OpthalmicDocs Releases Open Source Files for Portable Retinal Scanning Technology

We hear enough about how so many third world diseases are preventable, but people just lack the resources; preventable diseases can too easily become severely crippling, or even deadly, due to the condition of poverty. We also hear enough good stories about people who are using their medical and technical knowledge to change this fact. Dr. Sheng Chiong Hong is one such person. Traveling in Kenya, Neapl, and Malaysia exposed him directly to eye care issues, and he was determined to do something about preventable conditions that lead to blindness when undiagnosed and untreated. Read more

Android automotive system features three displays

Mitsubishi’s “FlexConnect.IVI” automotive system runs Android on a TI Jacinto 6 SoC, and drives IVI, HUD, and cluster displays simultaneously. The trouble with most in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems is that they’re mounted in the center of the dashboard, and therefore not ideally located for the driver. Yet the display also needs to be accessible from the front seat passenger. Mitsubishi Electric’s FlexConnect.IVI system follows the trend of integrating IVI screens with a separate GUI instrument cluster, and also adds a third GUI heads-up display (HUD) display projected against the windshield for greater driver safety. Read more