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Author Topic: BitTorrent Inc. earns $15-20 mn; makes uTorrent Ad-supported to "keep lights on"  (Read 2642 times)
nosh
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« on: August 13, 2012, 03:38:04 AM »

Forum Announcement
http://forum.utorrent.com/viewtopic.php?id=123040

Quote
“You are all very familiar with how we have paid the bills so far. These new changes mark our next step towards finding that difficult balance between keeping our lights on and providing a positive user experience,” they explain.

The sponsored torrents will appear in a highly visible spot on top of the list of downloads and will be used to promote content from advertisers. They can’t be “turned off,” but users have the option to click away individual ads.


uTorrent Becomes Ad-Supported to Rake in Millions | TorrentFreak
https://torrentfreak.com/...-rake-in-millions-120810/

Quote
However, a person close to the company told TorrentFreak that even without the uTorrent ads the company is doing very well. Current annual revenue is estimated at somewhere between $15 and $20 million and the company is backed by millions in venture capital.

I expect the company will benefit financially from the move, even though their savvier users will boycott the later versions or switch clients.

« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 03:51:45 AM by nosh » Logged
Renegade
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 07:32:47 AM »

You have to respect transparency. It is sorely lacking in many companies. *coughGooglefined$22.5millionforlyingcough*
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40hz
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 08:04:04 AM »

Of course now that BitTorrent will be making serious money, they've just painted a great big target on their backs. Especially since anybody that has a grudge with torrents in general (i.e. RIA, MPAA, et al) now has a nice juicy bone to toss to their attorneys and bounty hunters.

Wonder too if this shifts the grounds for a legal argument about them 'aiding and abetting for financial gain.' Not that any real laws actually need be broken - or even apply. Look at what happened to Dotcom.  Sick

Should be interesting...

I expect them to first get sued - and then work out one of those cozy Nook/Microsoft deals within a year.

 Cool
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2012, 10:02:27 AM »

Of course now that BitTorrent will be making serious money, they've just painted a great big target on their backs. Especially since anybody that has a grudge with torrents in general (i.e. RIA, MPAA, et al) now has a nice juicy bone to toss to their attorneys and bounty hunters.

Wonder too if this shifts the grounds for a legal argument about them 'aiding and abetting for financial gain.' Not that any real laws actually need be broken - or even apply. Look at what happened to Dotcom.  Sick

Should be interesting...

I expect them to first get sued - and then work out one of those cozy Nook/Microsoft deals within a year.

 Cool
Sounds about right.  Hey!  Why don't we get a head start and create the next p2p protocol?  A DC special.  let's call it...dc++...oh wait...

torrent is good stuff, but it can be improved.  my suggestions:
--ability to add/remove files and folders from an existing torrent that is being shared live already.
--ability to add/block users on a per torrent basis

You add those abilities to the torrent thing and you'll have one badass file sharing system.  We've already seen private torrent sites, so it is possible to have public and private torrents.  But you can't modify torrent files once they are shared.  It would be cool to be able to share a whole folder, or add files to a torrent as you go along.  Like, let's say there's a torrent for all the Wikipedia data and you download it.  But then next month there is more wikipedia data...instead having to download the whole thing again, it would be cool if the old torrent added the new stuff in it and everyone got updated.
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wraith808
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2012, 10:07:32 AM »

Of course now that BitTorrent will be making serious money, they've just painted a great big target on their backs. Especially since anybody that has a grudge with torrents in general (i.e. RIA, MPAA, et al) now has a nice juicy bone to toss to their attorneys and bounty hunters.

Weren't they already making serious money in legitimate uses of the product, i.e. World of Warcraft?  Or did none of that include them?  And considering how high profile some of the users of the technology are, and because of the fact that it is a transport, I don't think it will be as easy to do to them what was done to Dotcom.
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2012, 08:19:33 PM »

^@Wraith - I stand corrected. Apparently they already have such cozy arrangements in place with several TV and motion picture studios. Hard to believe something that makes that much sense business-wise actually came to pass.

Live and learn huh? embarassed

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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2012, 01:47:08 PM »

Update:
uTorrent Makes Ads Optional Following User ‘Revolt’
http://torrentfreak.com/u...owing-user-revolt-120815/
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2012, 02:21:56 PM »

You just gotta like those revolting users.  cheesy
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f0dder
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2012, 02:59:54 PM »

--ability to add/remove files and folders from an existing torrent that is being shared live already.
Not possible without major protocol changes - and I'm not sure it could be done in a nice way, tbh. There's both performance and security concerns here. One of the nice things about torrents is that the torrents are identified by a cryptographic hash of all the included files (well, technically, blocks) which makes it hard to fake data for a given torrent. And IMHO, the protocol doesn't really need to deal with this anyway, it could be used to deliver changesets instead (but yes, you'd need to grab a new .torrent for the changesets).

--ability to add/block users on a per torrent basis
You can ban IPs with the existing system, isn't that good enough? The torrent protocol doesn't have a concept of 'users', and that's a good thing IMHO.
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superboyac
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2012, 03:24:08 PM »

--ability to add/remove files and folders from an existing torrent that is being shared live already.
Not possible without major protocol changes - and I'm not sure it could be done in a nice way, tbh. There's both performance and security concerns here. One of the nice things about torrents is that the torrents are identified by a cryptographic hash of all the included files (well, technically, blocks) which makes it hard to fake data for a given torrent. And IMHO, the protocol doesn't really need to deal with this anyway, it could be used to deliver changesets instead (but yes, you'd need to grab a new .torrent for the changesets).

--ability to add/block users on a per torrent basis
You can ban IPs with the existing system, isn't that good enough? The torrent protocol doesn't have a concept of 'users', and that's a good thing IMHO.

I wasn't really trying to discuss it on a technical level, just a conceptual one.  I'm saying the torrent system is really good regarding a couple of characteristics and adding a couple of features to it would push it to the next level.  Whether or not the protocol can do it is not an issue.  Then a new protocol can be created.  Nothing is really that impossible, and nothing I described is really out of this world.  People are already trying to do it, look at Retroshare:
http://retroshare.sourceforge.net/
It doesn't work that smoothly, but it totally has the right idea.

Torrent isn't the only option or foundation to build on here.  That's just an example.  There's also DC++ which has its own advantages/disadvantages.  First, it's really great for sharing files with a private group...think irc crossed with emule.  it could use more flexible options for user management and per-user sharing permissions.  Retroshare is trying to do all this, it's just klunky right now.

Here, I'll just post a recent thing I sent to a friend of mine:
Quote
Napster:
Napster was great because a centralized server indexed the files of all the users.  The central server didn't store any of the actual files, only the index.  The files were still on other people's computers.  I'm not sure why it was illegal because only the index was under Napster's control, but whatever.  The important feature to take away from Napster is it's indexing.  The index of shared files is stored on the central server...keep this in mind.  Also, the speed at which you can download is restricted by the upload speed of the user you are getting the file from.  Most residential upload speeds are very slow (usually around 20-30 kBps).  The good part of Napster is that you can easily search for ALL the files and the interface was clean and easy to use.  The bad part is that the upload speeds can vary wildly and is usually going to be far slower than what your max download speed is.  Also, things can appear to be available but they really are not, which is frustrating.  This is what I call "reliability".  For file sharing, you want to reliably know if something is available or not, and actually, you also want to know how fast you can get it.  if something is very slow, for all practical purposes it might as well not be available.  If I am downloading a 700MB movie to watch tonight, I don't want it to take two days to download, that is not practical.

kazaa/emule/edonkey/gnutella:
These are all like Napster.  I don't have too much more to say about it.

torrent:
torrent is brilliant because everything is decentralized.  The whole downloading/uploading mechanism is randomly spread out amongst all the users for the files.  So the great benefit here is the reliability.  It is super reliable because you know how many seeds/peers there are.  So psychologically, the end user knows when to expect the file and how easy it is to get.  The more users, the faster you get it.  hardly any issues with broken connections or anything like that.  this is also a limitation, however.  Popularity dictates how fast you get your files.  This is good for public networks like torrent, but it's not good for the type of private (small group) sharing that I'm talking about.  This is also NOT like private torrents, which also have thousands of users.  We're talking just a handful of users, maybe one or two even.  So we don't want speed and availability limited by popularity.
The other difficulty with torrent is that it's hard to dynamically share, say, this entire folder on your hard drive.  Let's say I have a folder where I keep all my movies ("C:\movies\").  You can't just share that in torrent.  You have to make a tracker for each individual movie, etc.  So that's not convenient for something like this.  So there are some great things about torrent to consider, but also some impractical things.

newsgroups (usenet):
Ah!  Newsgroups!  My absolute favorite.  newsgroups are the best at reliability.  If you see something in a newsgroup, you will ALWAYS get it and it will ALWAYS download at the maximum speed your internet connection can handle.  It doesn't matter how popular it is, or how many users are currently downloading it.  None of that is an issue, and it's beautiful.  As far as speed and reliability goes, none of these protocols will top newsgroups.  So what's the problem?  It doesn't really work for private file sharing.  It's very public, and it's sort of quirky.  Again, like torrent, you can't just share a folder easily.  Uploading stuff to newsgroups is a bit of a process (you have to split all the files up, make the proper subject headings, etc.).  So I'm not sure what to learn from newsgroups other than we'd like our speed and reliability to mimic it.

dc++:
This is another favorite of mine.  This one is pretty ideal for what I'm talking about.  You can share entire folders very easily.  It's very similar to napster except for one thing: the indexing.  unlike Napster, the files are not indexed on a central server.  The indexing takes place at the end-user's computer.  For example, if user 1 want to download a file from user 2, user 1 must first download user 2's INDEX.  Then, you can download the file.  So eventually, user 1's computer will have a bunch of index files from all the users he's gotten files from.  It's a cool model and it works really well.  There is one issue in that it's not a secure or encrypted connection.  Fortunately, the newer cousin ADC offers DC++ with a secure connection.  Unfortunately, ADC is difficult to setup and is not widely used or developed right now.  I had and continue to have very high hopes for ADC.

ftp:
ftp and all it's flavor (sftp, ftps, etc.) is the easiest way to access your own private files.  It sucks though.  It's slow, it's totally unreliable.  Connections always break off, you always feel like something might go wrong while downloading a huge multi-gigabyte file.  There's no indexing.  It's ok for managing your html files, but for large scale file sharing it really sucks.  There's nothing to really learn from ftp, it's old hat.  Actually there is one thing which I'll get to later, multi-user support.  With ftp, using the permissions, you can control what each individual has access to.  You can't do that with these other p2p software, but that's a great feature to have.

VPN:
vpn is bullshit.  Too hard to set up easily.  Everything that currently exists is very "corporate".  Usually, you need an IT person managing it.  it's complicated to understand.  If it works well, it's totally bad ass.  It's also much more than just file sharing, so there are complexities that I don't even understand about it.  To me, using vpn for this sort of thing is like making a mountain out of a mole hill.  However, maybe there are some elements that we can learn from.

irc:
This is an interesting one.  Overall, a little too geeky to be considered easy.  It sort of like a mixture between newsgroups and dc++.  It's organized like newsgroups: there are channels and hubs.  DC++ doesn't have channels, but it has hubs.  It's more of a chatroom than DC++, which also has chat but is more focused on file-sharing.  No really good ways to easily set up folders to share.  Everything is done using commands, so that's inconvenient.
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wraith808
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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2012, 03:53:13 PM »

Truthfully, I like when a developer knows what they want to do and sticks with it, not adding features to try to make it the be all and end all.  BitTorrent isn't meant for certain types of things- it's meant for a large distributed network that allows people to download largish bits of data by the packet from distributed sources with redundant backup, along with the ability to feed this.  It's not perfect... but it does it well.  The other things- that's why we have other ways of doing things.  Focus on making it better within its space is the recipe for success here... not trying to shoehorn it into other spaces IMO.
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« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2012, 03:56:56 PM »

Truthfully, I like when a developer knows what they want to do and sticks with it, not adding features to try to make it the be all and end all.  BitTorrent isn't meant for certain types of things- it's meant for a large distributed network that allows people to download largish bits of data by the packet from distributed sources with redundant backup, along with the ability to feed this.  It's not perfect... but it does it well.  The other things- that's why we have other ways of doing things.  Focus on making it better within its space is the recipe for success here... not trying to shoehorn it into other spaces IMO.
I'm puzzled that we are being hung up on the labels here.  I don't think the goal is to shoehorn anything.  If bittorrent doesn't do the requested features, we can look for something that will.  If nothing does, perhaps that's an indication that a new protocol or a new idea can be created.  I mean, that's how bittorrent got started!  It's not like they were saying "Well, ftp just can't deal with decentralized file bits, stop trying to shoehorn it to get it to do that."  They looked around, saw nothing that could do it, so they created a brand new thing to do it.  innovation.
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wraith808
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« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2012, 05:13:43 PM »

^ I get what you mean, but I think the reaction that you're getting is towards the idea of including these things into bittorrent, i.e.

torrent is good stuff, but it can be improved.  my suggestions:
--ability to add/remove files and folders from an existing torrent that is being shared live already.
--ability to add/block users on a per torrent basis

You add those abilities to the torrent thing and you'll have one badass file sharing system.

So the replies have been more towards adding these things to torrents, which is sort of homogenizing what torrents are away from what they are currently to make it something less concise.  Now saying something new (X) should be created with decentralized distribution but having these features would be cool... but when people start trying to build on something existing to take it away from what it currently is meant for to add features you end up with sort of a Frankenstein monster... it's happened before, and I'm sure it will happen again.
* wraith808 shrugs
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« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2012, 05:50:25 PM »

^ I get what you mean, but I think the reaction that you're getting is towards the idea of including these things into bittorrent, i.e.

torrent is good stuff, but it can be improved.  my suggestions:
--ability to add/remove files and folders from an existing torrent that is being shared live already.
--ability to add/block users on a per torrent basis

You add those abilities to the torrent thing and you'll have one badass file sharing system.

So the replies have been more towards adding these things to torrents, which is sort of homogenizing what torrents are away from what they are currently to make it something less concise.  Now saying something new (X) should be created with decentralized distribution but having these features would be cool... but when people start trying to build on something existing to take it away from what it currently is meant for to add features you end up with sort of a Frankenstein monster... it's happened before, and I'm sure it will happen again.
* wraith808 shrugs
That's true.  And that's fine!  I don't mind the frankenstein monster, I'm a fan!

Seriously though, I'm all for trying out all the options until something works.  If you can add to an existing technology, great!  If not, try a new one!  Don't stop until the goal is accomplished.  i want to push the progress made the last decade with torrents, to a more flexible and powerful system.  Somebody's going to do it and it will be great.
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f0dder
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« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2012, 02:49:15 PM »

Your points about newsgroups isn't really true. There's a fair amount of overhead because of the protocol and encoding (though it helps a lot if yEnc is used), there's a lot less overhead in torrents. You only get "maximum download speed" if you pay for access to one of the (let's be realistic here) warez-oriented news servers, and retention is usually pretty bad.

DC++ is pretty much just a sucky-in-different-ways FTP, and did anybody use it for anything but warez?

FTP (and FTPS) do suck, being an old and broken protocol, but slow? Connections breaking? Not really, no. Perhaps if you're talking about public-access hacked warez dumps, but not a properly set up server. SFTP is actually SSH and pretty different to FTP/FTPS - please don't confuse the two.

BitTorrent works very well for what it is designed for, and I'd hate seeing somebody trying to frankenstein it into something it isn't suited for. Also, I don't really see the point for your two desired features - sounds like what you probably want is a multi-sourced ftp client combined with warez ftp dumps that are synchronized "however".
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« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2012, 07:41:56 PM »

Your points about newsgroups isn't really true. There's a fair amount of overhead because of the protocol and encoding (though it helps a lot if yEnc is used), there's a lot less overhead in torrents. You only get "maximum download speed" if you pay for access to one of the (let's be realistic here) warez-oriented news servers, and retention is usually pretty bad.

DC++ is pretty much just a sucky-in-different-ways FTP, and did anybody use it for anything but warez?

FTP (and FTPS) do suck, being an old and broken protocol, but slow? Connections breaking? Not really, no. Perhaps if you're talking about public-access hacked warez dumps, but not a properly set up server. SFTP is actually SSH and pretty different to FTP/FTPS - please don't confuse the two.

BitTorrent works very well for what it is designed for, and I'd hate seeing somebody trying to frankenstein it into something it isn't suited for. Also, I don't really see the point for your two desired features - sounds like what you probably want is a multi-sourced ftp client combined with warez ftp dumps that are synchronized "however".
I'll ignore all the judgmental overtones in this one...

Your comments lack a whole lot of facts.  Regarding usenet, you don't need to get a warez server to get max speed.  You get whatever your connection can handle.  If you can't that means it is being limited or blocked.  That's not a problem with usenet, that's an isp issue or whoever the server is issue.

I still don't understand why you guys are so afraid of someone "frankensteining" or whatever the torrent protocol.  I don't get it.  It's just a tool, you can use any which way it works.  Yes, I also hate to see someone use a chainsaw to commit ghastly crimes...but so what?  Why is this such an issue?  Are you saying we should stop trying to improve on torrent or chainsaws?  I don't get it.  Just seems like a bunch of judgmental stuff and nonsense fear.

And furthermore, all of these tools are primarily used for warez.  so what?  It's just a data transferring mechanism.  People will always use whatever is best and convenient.  If it's being used for warez, it's probably because its really effective at transferring data.  So why do you keep mentioning that?  Would it make you feel better if most of the warez stuff was occurring over bbs or ftp?

I can assure you, whatever the next evolution of file transferring protocols is, it will also be primarily used for warez.  People will always be sharing files as long as computers are around, and they are going to naturally use the easiest thing for it.  Nobody is going to say, "Well, I should use ftp because torrents are being used predominantly for warez"  It makes no sense.
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« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2012, 09:42:00 PM »

I still don't understand why you guys are so afraid of someone "frankensteining" or whatever the torrent protocol.  I don't get it.  It's just a tool, you can use any which way it works.  Yes, I also hate to see someone use a chainsaw to commit ghastly crimes...but so what?  Why is this such an issue?  Are you saying we should stop trying to improve on torrent or chainsaws?  I don't get it.  Just seems like a bunch of judgmental stuff and nonsense fear.

Take a look at Java and what has become of it.  There are a myriad of other examples.  As people start to repurpose something, it inevitably becomes instead of the sum of its parts, the difference of its parts.  For better or worse, its better if there is a driving force, vision, and purpose.  Software designed by committee without these things inevitably becomes crap.

And we're not talking about stifling innovation nor inhibiting improvements.  We're talking about purpose.  In the end, a chainsaw is a chainsaw.  It's not a hammer, and it's not a screwdriver.  And if you start trying to make it those things it was not meant to be, you end up with a tool that useful for nothing.
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« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2012, 11:03:00 PM »

I still don't understand why you guys are so afraid of someone "frankensteining" or whatever the torrent protocol.  I don't get it.  It's just a tool, you can use any which way it works.  Yes, I also hate to see someone use a chainsaw to commit ghastly crimes...but so what?  Why is this such an issue?  Are you saying we should stop trying to improve on torrent or chainsaws?  I don't get it.  Just seems like a bunch of judgmental stuff and nonsense fear.

Take a look at Java and what has become of it.  There are a myriad of other examples.  As people start to repurpose something, it inevitably becomes instead of the sum of its parts, the difference of its parts.  For better or worse, its better if there is a driving force, vision, and purpose.  Software designed by committee without these things inevitably becomes crap.

And we're not talking about stifling innovation nor inhibiting improvements.  We're talking about purpose.  In the end, a chainsaw is a chainsaw.  It's not a hammer, and it's not a screwdriver.  And if you start trying to make it those things it was not meant to be, you end up with a tool that useful for nothing.
I see.  Maybe it's a technical thing I don't get.  I'm the type where I'll use a chainsaw as a hammer and I won't think twice about it.  Ends justify the means?   Grin not always of course...
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« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2012, 02:21:14 AM »

Regarding usenet, you don't need to get a warez server to get max speed.  You get whatever your connection can handle.  If you can't that means it is being limited or blocked.  That's not a problem with usenet, that's an isp issue or whoever the server is issue.
My experience with Danish ISPs is that they either don't offer usenet access, or have stable & fast text-only servers, and not-so-polished binary servers. Which is just fine, because usenet binaries really is mostly used for warez these days.

If this wasn't the general picture, there wouldn't be a market for the paid usenet services. And, let's face it, those are heavily targeted at warez users.

And on top of that, there's the protocol issue - so even if you pay for usenet access and are able to max out your linespeed, it'll take longer time than grabbing a file via torrents with same line usage. Plus, you don't get the reliability of the torrent protocol (the usenet workaround is to re-download broken files, or download even more data for .par2 files).

I don't particularly mind warez, there's both good and bad parts to it - but let's not kid ourselves with what the various protocols are used for.

Take a look at Java and what has become of it.  There are a myriad of other examples.  As people start to repurpose something, it inevitably becomes instead of the sum of its parts, the difference of its parts.  For better or worse, its better if there is a driving force, vision, and purpose.  Software designed by committee without these things inevitably becomes crap.
Amen!
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