Archive for March, 2008

BitTorrent Busts Comcast BitTorrent Busting

Posted in Uncategorized on March 30, 2008 by magicmafia

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Unhappy that Comcast is busting BitTorrents, BitTorrent has decided to bust this BitTorrent busting.

On Friday, as reported by TorrentFreak, a quartet of BitTorrent developers – including three staffers at BitTorrent Inc. – proposed a new extension to the popular P2P protocol that would circumvent Comcast’s self-described “reasonable network management.”

Last May, an independent researcher named Robb Topolski revealed that the big-name American ISP is preventing users from “seeding” BitTorrents and other P2P files. When one machine finishes downloading a file and promptly attempts to upload that file to another machine, Comcast sends out a duped “reset flag” that breaks this peer-to-peer connection.

The proposed BitTorrent extension would use encryption, or “obfuscation,” to keep Comcast from pulling this trick. “The goal is to prevent internet service providers and other network administrators from blocking or disrupting BitTorrent traffic connections,” the proposal reads.

Will Comcast come back with a new system that works around this workaround? We wouldn’t be surprised. The company continues to insist that its BitTorrent busting is merely an effort to “manage” its network, arguing that such “management” is well within the rules laid down by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

“We have a responsibility to provide all of our customers with a good Internet experience and we use the latest technologies to manage our network so that they can continue to enjoy these applications,” the company once told us.

But don’t let Comcast fool you. The BitTorrent community should do everything it can to bust Comcast’s BitTorrent busting. And so should the FCC.

Just last week, in a new filing with the FCC, Comcast said that it only “manages” P2P uploads – and that it only “manages” uploads “when the customer is not simultaneously downloading.”

This has led some to wonder why Comcast has received such harsh criticism for its behavior. “Who cares if Comcast prevents P2P uploads?” these voices say. “Users can still download whatever they want.” But clearly, these voices don’t understand BitTorrent.

For one thing, if Comcast prevents its users from uploading files, that prevents all sorts of other people from downloading. “In a peer to peer network, for every single byte being uploaded, there is someone immediately downloading that byte. If Comcast stops or delays an upload, then somebody else’s download is also stopped or delayed,” Topolski says. “If every ISP immediately decided to block P2P uploads, then all P2P downloads immediately stop.”

But that’s the small point here. If Comcast prevents its users from uploading, it also throttles the downloads of those very users. “BitTorrent communities often require a byte-for-a-byte exchange to ensure that its members give at least as much as they take,” Topolski continues. “A download may take 10 minutes to complete, but it takes 60 minutes to ‘pay back’ those bytes because of the slower upload speeds provided by most ISPs.

“By cutting off connections once they have finished downloading, Comcast is preventing these community members from maintaining a fair ‘1:1 ratio’ standing in these communities. Because these community members have not yet ‘paid back’ the bytes that they previously downloaded, they cannot start any new downloads.”

What’s more, Topolski insists, Comcast isn’t telling the truth when it says that it only interferes with uploads when users aren’t simultaneously downloading. “Comcast starts interfering as soon as any of your downloads switches to an upload mode,” he explains. “It doesn’t wait until all your downloads are done.

So, let’s say you’re downloading two files: File A and File B. Once File A has finished downloading, Comcast will immediately prevent it from being uploaded – even if File B is still downloading.

Yes, some will say that Comcast has a right to manage its network, to keep traffic flowing smoothly. But that doesn’t mean it has no choice but to bag BitTorrents.

“The question is what does management mean?” Topolski says. “Does it mean not selling more accounts than you’re able to supply with your available bandwidth? That’s definitely a form of management.”

You could also argue that Comcast is a business, that it has to make money. Fine. But at the very least, it should tell its customers what’s what.

When Robb Topolski first told the world that Comcast was bagging BitTorrents, the company vehemently denied the allegation. A good eight months passed before it admitted to “delaying” P2P traffic – and even this was half a confession.

Here’s hoping that new BitTorrent extension arrives tout de suite. ®

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Danny Bonaduce Gets Slapped Video

Posted in Uncategorized on March 26, 2008 by magicmafia

Some old dude picks a fight with Danny Bonaduce in a gym and ends tossing the first punch/slap. Pretty damned funny:

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.break.com posted with vodpod

Who Would Have Thought…

Posted in Uncategorized on March 25, 2008 by magicmafia

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My New Favorite Commercial

Posted in Uncategorized on March 17, 2008 by magicmafia

Why can’t the USA put out more commercials like this? I’d never fast-forward my DVR!

FISM 2008 Cancelled

Posted in Magic on March 5, 2008 by magicmafia

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D’OH!

If you were hoping to attend FISM 2008 in beautiful Bulgaria, you’re shit out of luck. It’s been canceled due to “financial strains.” In case you can’t read the small print:

Dear All,

Due to unforeseen circumstances, restricted organizational capacity and unexpected financial strains, jeopardizing the initial budget, it is with great regret that the FISM European Executive Board has to inform you that the FISM European Championships of Magic, planned to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria, from 6 to 9 November 2008, have to be cancelled.

The first European Championships of Magic are postponed to a later date, to be announced as soon as possible.

Best regards.

FISM
European Executive Board

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Andre Ciocca
Interim President

Hey! Why not hold it in one of the cheapest cities, in the world to save on budget expenses: I’m thinking Mastic, New York!

Har Har Harlan

Posted in Magic on March 3, 2008 by magicmafia

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Man loses pants and teeth during bar heist…

FREMONT — A “magician” who lost both his pants and his teeth during a chase from a register heist early Thursday morning apparently couldn’t make the register he stole disappear.

Daniel Dean Harlan, 43, of Santa Monica, Calif., was charged with breaking and entering, vandalism and safe cracking after a 2:20 a.m. incident at Legendz bar on Fifth Street, Fremont police said.

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According to Legendz co-owner Misty Lee, Harlan “couldn’t open the cash drawer, so he stole the whole thing.” The destroyed register contained $241.

Harlan left the then-closed bar with the register heading into the parking lot, where he smashed the machine against the pavement, spilling the money.

Several people saw Harlan looking for something in the vicinity and asked if they could help, Lee said. Once they realized what Harlan had done, they notified Legendz employees, and a chase ensued.

Two people were chasing after him outside the bar when his pants dropped below his knees, causing him to fall face first onto the ground.

“He completely landed on his face. It was very obvious that he lost his teeth,” Lee said.

Police quickly arrived and caught the disoriented suspect, who exclaimed, “Don’t rob me!” toward the police, Lee said.

She recognized the suspect as a regular, especially on weekends. The bar co-owner believed Harlan spent some time in Las Vegas prior to coming to Fremont, where his parents live.

Harlan also had been performing magic tricks for the bar customers during the night. His friend who was with him fell asleep in a van outside the bar after being kicked out for being disruptive.

He was treated at Memorial Hospital before being taken to the Sandusky County Jail. His bond was set at $10,000.

Lee said the funny thing was, he waited until the end of a busy night when people are leaving.

According to Harlan:

“I am taking full responsibility for my actions. We are currently taking legal actions to resolve it. I was so intoxicated that I have no memory of it at all. I have no recollection of what happed that night. Anyone who knows me knows that I was a very hard drinker. I am currently going to AA and in rehab for my drinking. I am getting support for my addiction from my family and friends who truly care about me. I don’t deny what I did was dumb and I have a lot to overcome.“

TOTH to anonymous and iTricks for the heads-up.