Sunday, April 27
The problem with downloading stuff from a filesharing network is that you don't know what you'll get. The episode of Buffy that I downloaded using BitTorrent proved to be a dud - after I'd dragged all 433MB back to my PC over my sorry excuse for broadband. One episode of Jungle Guu was plagued with video glitches. One episode of Azumanga Daioh dropped out with a minute or so to go.
In case anyone is listening: I'd pay to be able to download these files directly from the source. That's pay as in actual money.
You'd have to get the price right, though. A DVD box set of Buffy runs about $120, or around $5 per episode (Australian prices). A download would have to be cheaper than that, and if quality is significantly below DVD standard, it would have to be significantly cheaper.
Sunday, April 20
Steven den Beste has an interesting analysis of just why the French are such weasels.
One thing that it fails to take into account is that the French have always been weasels - or at least for the past thousand years or so. Charlemagne doesn't seem to have been a weasel, but then again, he wasn't French.
Irregardless of which, you should read it, and this piece by Guy Milliere titled France is Almost Finished as well.
Saturday, April 19
Australia is a nice place to live as long as you don't want to use the Net.
As I've mentioned, I have lately been watching quite a bit of Anime that I've downloaded using BitTorrent. The way I do it is this:
1. I log in to my web server in the U.S. (I pay about $80 per month for a server including 100GB of uploads and unlimited downloads.) I use the Linux BitTorrent client to download the file I want. And of course I leave the window open for others to download the file in turn - though I tend to limit the upload rate because otherwise I'd hit my monthly usage limit within a day or so.
If I exceed my monthly usage limit I have to pay an extra dollar or so per gigabyte.
2. I wait until 1 A.M., and then download the files from my web server to my home where I can actually watch them. Why do I have to wait until 1 A.M.? Because my ADSL connection, for which I pay $190 per month, only includes 2.5GB of "peak" downloads, where peak is 8 A.M. to 1 A.M. weekdays.
If I exceed my usage limit I have to pay an extra $150 per gigabyte.
No, I'm not kidding.
Off-peak, which applies on weekends and from 1 A.M. to 8 A.M. weekdays (and costs me an extra $30 per month) is free - but if I download more than 10GB in a month, my connection is throttled down to about one fifth of normal speed. It doesn't get reset each month, either - you don't get 10GB first before being throttled. If you download more than 10GB in a month, you start the next month pre-throttled.
Recently, a download I'd left to run overnight took longer than expected and ran into peak time, putting me 200MB over my monthly limit. That cost me $30 - about the price of a DVD here. If it wasn't for off-peak times, downloading a single episode would cost as much as a whole DVD.
Why don't I find a better ISP? Well, until very recently, there wasn't one. The deal I just described was about the best you could find in Australia. Now, though, a company called Comindico has started offering unlimited downloads on ADSL through a number of resellers. If they are any good (it's too early to tell yet) this is going to shake up the Australian broadband market big time.
Fingers crossed, because there a few industries that need a kick in the pants more than the ISPs in Australia.
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