Tag Archives: p2p

What BitTorrent can teach you about highway traffic control

highway vehicle headlightsThe guys at the RIAA may loathe BitTorrent with an unholy passion, but researchers at the University of California have found another use for the peer-to-peer protocols that could win it a lot more fans. In a nutshell, you fit cars with wireless modems and make them into a peer-to-peer network that works to reduce traffic jams:

Their Autonet plan would center around ad hoc networks of vehicles and roadside monitoring posts supported by 802.11 technology (the prototype uses 11b). The vehicles would essentially be the “clients” in such a system and feature graphical user interfaces to pass along information to drivers.

The caveat at the moment is that not enough roads have the monitoring infrastructure available to make the system work all the way from the big highways to the small streets. But given the proliferation of monitoring technology, not to mention the continuing (if now more muted) promises of municipal wi-fi networks, that can’t be far off. [via SlashDot; image by IM SNOT REAL]

Of course, what might make even more sense would be investing in the public transport networks so there was less traffic in the first place…

On the internet, no one knows you’re a p2p packet

Tangled web of power cablesThe net neutrality debate rolls on, with little easy access to untainted fact for us, the end-users. While the record industry understandably wants peer-to-peer file-sharing brought to an end because it’s chewing the hell out of their previously lucrative business-model, ISPs have a different argument – they say it’s choking the net to beyond capacity.

Of course, they’re not willing to show us their calculations by way of proof, and all the other reports into the matter seem to come with the tang of dishonesty or the smell of FUD and vested interests. Perhaps they’re telling the truth, and traffic-shaping really is a necessity … but I’m fond of documentary evidence, myself. [image by jef safi]

Perhaps improving the infrastructure would be a better long-term plan, if the web really is running at capacity. But we can pretty much rest assured that those plans to deliver broadband over power lines aren’t going to bear any fruit