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A leaked build of Windows 10 has revealed that Microsoft may be about to utilize BitTorrent-style tech to deliver updates to its new OS. Deep in the settings is an option to receive updates from multiple sources including Microsoft, local computers and those "on the Internet." Could this be BitTorrent or their own 'Avalanche' system? There once was a time when one could simply throw a disc â€“ floppy or otherwise â€“ into a machine and enjoy software functionality right off the bat. Those days have long gone. Massive complexity, online connectivity and associated cloud features have given way to a culture of almost continual updates with some component or other requiring a â€˜fixâ€™ or performance-based software upgrade on an annoyingly regular basis. While huge technology companies have plenty of bandwidth at their disposal, shifting data around doesnâ€™t come free. It is relatively cheap, granted, but those bits and bytes soon cause the dollars to mount up. Much â€˜betterâ€™ then, is to try and offload some of that load onto consumers. It could be that with its upcoming Windows 10, Microsoft is mulling doing just that. Deep in the settings of a leaked build spotted by Neowin, the company has introduced settings which give users the option of where to obtain updates and apps for their new operating system. DOWNLOAD APPS AND OS UPDATES FROM MULTIPLE SOURCES TO GET THEM MORE QUICKLY Of course, this is where distributed BitTorrent-like systems come into their own, with each user helping to share the load of shifting around data and providing excellent speeds, without any single entity (in this case Microsoft) footing the lionâ€™s share of the bills. If Microsoft did choose BitTorrent, they would be in excellent company. Half a decade ago it was revealed that Twitter had implemented the protocol and in the same year Facebook confirmed deploying its own servers with technology. â€œItâ€™s â€˜superduperâ€™ fast and it allows us to alleviate a lot of scaling concerns weâ€™ve had in the past, where it took forever to get code to the webservers before you could even boot it up and run it,â€ the company said at the time. But even though Facebook is still having fun with torrent technology to this day, it seems likely that Microsoft has its own, more proprietary tricks up its sleeve. More than a decade ago with BitTorrent in its infancy, Microsoft also began looking at developing P2P distribution. Researcher Christos Gkantsidis published his paper Network Coding for Large Scale Content Distribution which begins with a now very familiar concept. â€œWe propose a new scheme for content distribution of large files that is based on network coding. With network coding, each node of the distribution network is able to generate and transmit encoded blocks of information. The randomization introduced by the coding process eases the scheduling of block propagation, and, thus, makes the distribution more efficient,â€ the paperâ€™s abstract reads. In 2006, Microsoft published Anatomy of a P2P Content Distribution System with Network Coding but by then the existence of a Microsoft equivalent to BitTorrent was public knowledge â€“ Project Avalanche had been born. Named after traditional avalanches that start small but gain massive momentum as more snow (or peers) get involved, Avalanche claimed it would improve on BitTorrent in a number of ways. At the time, however, BitTorrentâ€™s Bram Cohen criticized the project technically and concluded that it amounted to vaporware. But today in 2015, almost ten years on, things have definitely changed. Although there is no confirmation that Avalanche (or the Microsoft Secure Content Downloader as it was once described) is behind the Windows 10 update process option, thereâ€™s little doubt that Microsoft will have sharpened its tools. In addition, Microsoft owns patents (1,2) which describe DRM-protected P2P distribution systems which could potentially help to keep any P2P Windows 10 update system secure, a requirement predicted by Avalanche years before. â€œThe Avalanche model includes strong security to ensure content providers are uniquely identifiable, and to prevent unauthorized parties from offering content for download. The project also ensures content downloaded to each client machine is exactly the same as the content shared by the content provider,â€ Microsoft said. Only time will tell if Microsoft takes the distributed update route for its eventual release of Windows 10, and whether avalanches or torrents cascade into (and out of) homes worldwide as a result. https://torrentfreak.com/bittorrent-style-updates-revealed-in-leaked-windows-10-150316/
Andrus Ansip, Europe's Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, wants to abolish geoblocking. Restricting user access to content based on their location, which Netflix, YouTube and others do, is discrimination, he says. "I want to pay â€“ but I am not allowed to. I lose out, they lose out," Ansip notes. Due to complicated licensing agreements Netflix is only available in a few dozen countries, all of which have a different content library. The same is true for many other media services such as BBC iPlayer, Amazon Instant Video, and even YouTube. These regional blockades are a thorn in the side of Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market in the European Commission. In a speech this week he explained why these roadblocks should be abolished. â€œFar too often, consumers find themselves redirected to a national website, or blocked. I know this from my own experience. You probably do as well,â€ Ansip said. â€œThis is one of many barriers that needs to be removed so that everyone can enjoy the best Europe has to offer online. It is a serious and common barrier, as well as extremely frustrating,â€ he added. The Commissioner is targeting an issue that lies at the core of the movie and TV industries, who license content per location. Ansip specifically mentions BBCâ€™s iPlayer, but other services including YouTube, Amazon and Netflix have the same restrictions. The geoblocking restrictions are demanded by content creators, who want to sell the streaming rights on a regional basis. To enforce these licenses, users from outside of the designated countries are blocked. The Commissioner believes that this is an outdated concept which he likens to discrimination. If people want to pay for content, they should be able to, irregardless of where they live. â€œIn the offline world, this would be called discrimination. In the online world, it happens every day,â€ Ansip noted. â€œI want to pay â€“ but I am not allowed to. I lose out, they lose out.â€ â€œHow can this be a good thing? We put up with the situation because there is not much alternative. Now it is time to do something about it,â€ he added. The artificial restrictions are not a market issue according to the Commissioner, but a matter of rights. These rights should be enjoyed equally and not just by the happy few who happen to live in a â€˜licensedâ€™ country. â€œThere should be no exceptions. Everyone should be treated the same. This is a key principle that underpins everything we want to achieve,â€ Ansip said. The EU is currently discussing how copyright legislation in Europe should beoverhauled and the Vice-President for the Digital Single Market hopes that measures against geoblocking will be part of the new rules. http://torrentfreak.com/eu-commissioner-wants-to-abolish-netflix-geoblocking-150227/
Sometimes there are images that don't need a caption(Wang Rong) There will be a special level of hell for the people who brought the world Gangnam Style and What Does The Fox Say, and they will be joined by the makers of a new music video set to annoy us all for weeks to come. Chinese singer Wang Rong's music video for new single Chick Chick was posted back in October but has recently exploded in popularity, racking up over 5 million hits on YouTube and going viral online. Animated chickens, women dressed as chickens, scantily clad men in farmyard animal masks â€“ all of them dancing. Bizarre doesn't quite do the video justice and it really needs to be seen to be believed. You can watch the video below: The lyrics have yet to be translated but considering the song is mostly made up with chicken squarks there probably isn't much point. For what it's worth, here's the video's YouTube description translated into nonsensical English. Erm. Gangnam Style, from South Korean K-Pop star Psy took the world by storm in 2012. It has to date been watched well over 2 billion times and is by far the most watched video on YouTube, beating second place by close to a factor of two. What Does The Fox Say? By Ylvis was last year's viral hit, and has since racked up over 460 million views.
Ubisoft is "taking about it," but such a game likely wouldn't be the same as the '80s action movie satire. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon turned out to be a delightful surprise last year, using the core of the very solid Far Cry 3 as the basis for a standalone spinoff game that was free to do something very different--satirize '80s action movies. Something similar could happen with Far Cry 4, but if it does, Ubisoft would like for it "to be surprising." Asked about the possibility of creating another Blood Dragon-style spinoff, Far Cry 4 creative director Alex Hutchinson had an encouraging answer for Red Bull: "We're talking about itâ€¦ you never know." Blood Dragon, a $15 download-only game released five months after Far Cry 3, sold quite well--within two months it had reached 500,000 sales. (A physical version was later released.) Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said at the time Blood Dragon had also spurred on sales of Far Cry 3 proper, and considering sales of most games taper off not along after launch, that no doubt made the publisher very happy. If Ubisoft decides it does want to offer a standalone spinoff again, it might not offer precisely the same kind of over-the-top, neon-infused style as Blood Dragon. "The goal would be to be surprising, so it wouldn't be another Blood Dragon," Hutchinson said, "but hopefully something equally as odd and left field.â€ Far Cry 4 launches next month, on November 18, for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, andPC. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post