FIOS, BitTorrent and Traffic Shaping

September 4, 2007

I’ve been known to consume the occasional torrent (always something blatantly legal, of course), and being a good BitTorrent user, I maintain a reasonable seed ratio.

Lately I’ve been running into slow seeding on my FIOS line. Worse, I’ve had inordinate slowdowns on the rest of my traffic while seeding. Recently, this has clamped down so tightly that while seeding I’ve had trouble even sending mail on another workstation. It was looking fairly clear that Verizon was clamping down the BitTorrent traffic shaping on FIOS.

Today I ran across this article, and decided to give it a try.

I run Azureus, and just by changing my encryption setting from “plain” to RC4, and enabling the “Lazy Bitfield” option, my seeding speeds jumped by an order of magnitude — and I can send email at the same time.

If you’re running BitTorrent over FIOS, you might want to give this a try…

Automating Bittorrent in Media Center

February 19, 2007

TorrentFreak has a sneak peak of Aufero, a new (and apparently open source) project to nicely integrate bittorrents into Vista Media Center, including managing media, and creating automatically downloading wishlists, etc.

Sounds nice (or it would if I was running Vista MC, anyway), but even though the author appears to be giving quite a bit of thought to solving them, I think there are some huge challenges ahead for anybody that wants to build that kind of wishlist technology today.

There is a really severe lack of standardization in how most video torrents are labeled and classified — often times, the title isn’t even spelled correctly, let alone anything else.

Maybe standardizing on URLs to services like IMDB would help that (at least for movies), but then there’s all the other stuff –

What’s the video format? I don’t wanna watch iPod encoded video on a large flatscreen display.

What was the source? Keep your cammed, telesync’d, r5line’d stuff to yourself, please. Likewise, if there was an HD source available I don’t want to see some letterboxed SD episode of whatever.

Got subtitles? In English? What format?

One disc or two?

…and the list goes on. Beggars and bittorrenters can be choosers, but today pretty much only by actually reading the post that accompanies the torrent — or sometimes even the comments.

Or that’s what I hear, anyway. Not that I’d know anything from personal experience or anything, etc…

iPod Movie Torrents

November 7, 2005

The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) is reporting that someone now has up a Torrent site for iPod-specific video content.

Podtropolis is the first bit torrent tracker that offers content specifically tailored for the iPod. The site boasts “…loads of high quality content for your iPod including movies, television programs, music videos and of course music. All video is encoded in iPod compatible formats (H.264, MP4, M4V) so you do not need to bother with conversion.”

Yeep. My guess is that Steve Jobs and the “enforcement team” are loading up the assault ‘copters right now…

Global Frequency Pilot on BitTorrent

June 13, 2005

We’ll file this as another installment in “The Best Television You’ll Never See”.

As the story goes, last year a WB pilot was shot for Global Frequency (the great Warren Ellis comic).  For whatever reason, the WB in its exceedingly finite wisdom decided not to go ahead with producing it as a show, no doubt because they had so many other great things going on.


What’s Global Frequency?  Well, imagine the X-Files has world-class sex with Alias, and produces a mutant offspring with a taste for crank that lives 20 minutes in the future…

Read more

Shooting The Messenger – MPAA, BitTorrent and Star Wars

May 22, 2005

To no one’s great surprise, a copy of the new Star Wars episode managed to make it onto the P2P networks a few hours before the movie was officially released in theaters.

Also no surprise, the MPAA appears to have decided to blame this on BitTorrent technology (the copy first showed up as a BitTorrent tracker), rather than on individual wrong-doers for leaking or spreading the copy.

“There is no better example of how theft dims the magic of the movies for everyone than this report today regarding BitTorrent providing users with illegal copies of Revenge of the Sith. The unfortunate fact is this type of theft happens on a regular basis on peer to peer networks all over the world,” MPAA President and CEO Dan Glickman said in a press release.

Which makes you wonder if the MPAA thinks that BitTorrent is a nefarious evil genius working in an underground laboratory somewhere rather than just one of a bazillion protocals used to move stuff from point A to point B around the ‘net.

This is rather like blaming the US Postal Service for people mailing various illicit or dangerous white powders.

It appears that the distribution didn’t inordinately cut into the weekend box-office of the new film.

MPAA Sues TV Torrent Sites

May 13, 2005

Just in time to target nasty file-sharers who are looking to download a missed season finale or two, ZDNet reports that the MPAA has apparently filed suit against 6 more TV Torrent sites.

The latest round of suits retains a focus on BitTorrent technology, which has been widely used online to distribute movies and films.

The suits are focused on the sites that serve as traffic directors for BitTorrent swaps, rather than on individual computer users uploading and downloading content. The MPAA also has sued individuals, but has not said how many people have been targeted.

I wonder if they’ll ever figure out that they’re missing a wonderful opportunity to embrace this technology, reduce distribution costs, and sell advertising targeted at an entirely new demographic…