Mar. 1st, 2014

boutell: (shave)
I am hanging out in a college student union building. I can't play starcraft on the shitty wifi. Why would I want to bother? Good question, but I'm kinda pleased by the reason. It turns out that the wifi in this building blocks BitTorrent, and starcraft uses BitTorrent to distribute files.

That, of course, means that outside of a student union building, there's a lot more pressure to ensure that BitTorrent works, which makes it less likely it'll be heavy-handedly blocked by ISPs, etc.

For those who have always been a little fuzzy on it: BitTorrent is a way of downloading files in which your computer also participates in streaming those files out to other users. It's all done with cryptographic hashes that ensure you're getting the real thing. As soon as you get the first piece, you're sharing it out to other people who don't have that particular piece yet. And the pieces are delivered in a random order, so that you don't have a problem with nobody hanging around to serve the "last" piece. Very much peer-to-peer.

Used an awful lot to distribute TV shows and movies without payin', which I don't hold with, although I am tempted when a show is perversely unavailable by any legitimate means. TAKE MY MONEY!

September 2014

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