Simon Morris

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About Simon Morris

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    BitTorrent Product Manager
  1. Features list is still a bit of a moving target in the details, although the general objectives are set. RSS improvements are definitely in. We should have things clearer within a few days. I'll try to provide more specifics when we have firm commitments.
  2. Its likely to remain alpha for a few more weeks yet - there's lots of work to do across the board - beta will come when we're feature-complete and just trying to iron out the bugs. We're not close to that just yet.
  3. uTorrent Falcon – some clarifications on uTorrent 2.1 directions: As features being added are starting to become visible within our community of testers, its time to talk about them a little. First the (rather obvious) disclaimer: being "alpha" clients they are NOT YET FEATURE-COMPLETE, especially the user interface, so there isn't much to look at that's pretty yet. They also MAY BE PRONE TO INSTABILITY, so install at your own risk. If you're at all concerned about it then you should probably hold off at least until the beta version is available. That said, we're really very grateful indeed for all your enthusiasm and commitment in helping us get these new improvements off the ground. The uTorrent 2.1 alpha and the uTorrent client currently codenamed "Falcon" are early experimental versions of clients that we expect to merge and release to beta during Q1 2010. In what we're collectively calling the uTorrent Falcon project, we are working on advances in the following areas: (1) Streaming A significant part of the uTorrent Falcon project is make the clients capable of streaming the most popular media file formats distributed using BitTorrent technology. This means you should be able to use a media-player of your choice to start playback of stream-able file formats only a short time after you initiate a download, without having to wait for hundreds of MB to finish downloading. Our hope is to transform getting media using uTorrent from a "load-wait-watch-tomorrow" to more of a "point-click-watch" experience. (2) Access-Anywhere A second important part of uTorrent Falcon is the introduction of zero-configuration and ultra-secure remote web-access to your client from any computer or smartphone with a browser. This optional service turns your uTorrent client into a connected resource that you can download to, get files from or share access to from anywhere. Our concept of security in this case goes beyond simple HTTPS and includes end-to-end encryption starting in the browser and terminating only at the client. Although we use proxy servers to punch through firewalls, we treat our own servers as essentially untrusted so that your private data remains reliably private. (3) DNA BitTorrent DNA is a free content delivery service run by BitTorrent for content publishers. It enables publishers to distribute files using the BitTorrent protocol supported by bandwidth from their own servers, and to collect stats on files they distributed using BitTorrent DNA. The uTorrent Falcon client will include the optional capability for users to download DNA torrents. We are also working on other improvements including: - Several UI improvements to make the client's current and future functionality more generally accessible - Optional file security features - Optional browser-integration features - Better ability for torrent sites to promote content or search within the client -…as well as many small feature enhancements and further stability, UI and speed optimizations
  4. one additional point - this IS intended as something ultimately for the entire uT base - obviously we don't want to pay YouTube-sized bandwidth bills, but we're pretty confident that the infrastructure-less (or at least infrastructure-lite) model will be effective both in terms of user experience and economics
  5. @Lord Alderaan, Ultima, everyone... Initially, we're aiming at 3 things with Falcon - (1) a super-secure mechanism for connecting users with their uT clients wherever those clients are sitting; by super-secure, we're aiming for a web app that has essentially zero information held by the infra - there should be no issue of "trust" as the infra will not be party to anything private. (2) a method to improve accessibility to your files - we're interested in the opera-unite stuff, but we envision something lighter weight and focused around accessibility to files rather than a web server and web app framework - also, we don't have to compete with alternate browsers to perform the functions. (3) we're interested in finding a way to get more uT clients out there in the world - for example by enabling more seamless "sending" of files (aka publishing, sharing) which may bundle a "minified" version of the uT client as a helper app.
  6. @ moogly, re: flags next to the language selector - its hard to choose the right flag for English (Stars & Stripes or Union Jack), Spanish (ES / MX / AR / CO / CL / etc.) - we started out by having a flag in the design but took it out to reduce complexity in the decision of which flag to show; re: the meebo crowd-sourced translations - we're really interested in moving this direction in future, although we wanted to bootstrap the system with a few good translations so we haven't opened this up yet for website translations
  7. A comment from BitTorrent on UTP: Firon posted already about UTP: ****** uTP, the micro transport protocol. This UDP-based reliable transport is designed to minimize latency, but still maximize bandwidth when the latency is not excessive. We use this for communication between peers instead of TCP, if both sides support it. In addition, we use information from this transport, if active, to control the transfer rate of TCP connections. This means uTorrent, when using uTP, should not kill your net connection - even if you do not set any rate limits. ****** Just to re-iterate and offer a few more details (there's some pretty wild press reports popping up): Firon described uTP completely accurately. uTP is the result of a couple of years of work to try to make a Bittorrent protocol that works better on the internet. The switch to uTP is at this point purely experimental, but the design objective (counter to some reports in the press) is actually to offer better congestion control than TCP offers, but maintain the same level of performance (speed). Better congestion control is good for everyone – for users (VOIP, Gamers etc.) as well as for ISPs. Same performance is what users have come to expect from their BitTorrent application – unless we can offer the same performance, then people will switch to a different BitTorrent client. (In reality we may be able to offer faster speeds too in many circumstances, but this is a byproduct and not the main objective.) uTP is our UDP-based implementation of the BitTorrent protocol. Normally BitTorrent is implemented on top of TCP which is the standard congestion control mechanism for the internet. It so happens that the congestion control mechanism inside TCP is quite crude and problematic. It only detects congestion on the internet once "packet loss" has occurred – i.e. once the user has lost data and (probably) noticed there is a problem. The problems of TCP are fairly well known in technical circles, but it doesn't get fixed as TCP is one of those protocols that is implemented in every OS, client and server, on the internet. Co-ordinating a giant upgrade is a very long process. Because BitTorrent publishes the world's most popular BitTorrent clients AND because these clients are talking mostly to each other (not to web servers), then we have an opportunity to detect end-to-end congestion and implement a protocol that can detect problems very quickly and throttle back accordingly so that BitTorrent doesn't slow down the internet connection and Gamers and VOIP users don't notice any problems. This is our objective. This is great news for users of the internet and even for ISPs as it should mean that people make far more efficient use of internet bandwidth, but don't over-use it to destruction. If uTP is successful, then internet congestion due to BitTorrent protocol could become a thing of the past. Of course there are many other applications that use the internet and they may also cause congestion, but we can only control what we do. Having said that, given that some press reports suggest that BitTorrent traffic constitutes half of all traffic on the internet, our technology might have a profound impact. We're trying to do our bit to be responsible citizens on the internet. While uTP is for now a proprietary BitTorrent protocol, we are also co-chairing an IETF group to address these issues. Hopefully that will lead to solutions that can be standardized and broadly adopted in due course. Simon Morris VP Product Management BitTorrent, Inc.