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Redswoosh has launched a free service for webmasters with bandwidth problems: Files or pages can be linked (or "swooshed", as they would say) and then downloaded via P2P. Downloads are managed by a small client application that is at least for now only available for Windows. But Mac and Linux users don't need to worry - they are redirected to the original web hosted file.

Redswoosh has a long history: The company was founded by Travis Kalanick who also founded Scour.net - one of the first Napster competitors with video support. Redswoosh courted corporate clients for quite some time, but now wants to open up to bloggers, podcasters and advertisers, who's cash is supposed to support the free service.

I'll do a test of the system during the next few days - for now you can go and check it out yourself.

(via Techcrunch.com)

11/17 2008 | 04:29 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
I've been saying for a while now that Akamai missed out on a huge opportunity after they acquired Red Swoosh for 19 million dollars in 2007. There was a chance to expand the CDN market towards user generated content hosted on blogs and social networks, but Akamai instead just decided to ... do nothing, I guess.

At least that's what the company did with Red Swoosh's domain name Redswoosh.com. Akamai apparently somehow forgot to renew it, and now it's in the hand of god knows whom, hosting a generic ad-laden landing page.

To be fair, Redswoosh.com wasn't Red Swoosh's primary domain name, which instead was Redswoosh.net. That domain is now forwarding to a subsection of Akamai's site that deals with he company's "Netsession Interface", which presumably is just another name for the Red Swoosh client.

07/11 2006 | 09:01 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
I spent some time this weekend testing the new Redswoosh 2.0 service. First the basics: Redswoosh is a P2P service that allows webmasters to distribute files with the help of their users. It's based on a small client application that, at least for now, is Windows-only.

Downloads are coordinated with the help of Redswoosh's servers instead of a local tracker server - so you don't have to set up anything on your web server. That's especially helpful for people with budget web hosting accounts, since many of them don't allow setting up Bittorrent trackers.
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Redswoosh apparently decided to get one of those framed C&D notices some free publicity by offering Microsoft beta software via P2P. From their blog:

"Starting Wednesday, August 2nd (Microsoft) will be charging $1.50 to those who wish to download and test Microsoft Office 2007 Beta 2. It appears that the demand for MS's Office Beta was much larger than the MS budget for bandwidth had anticipated and they've had to resort to charging their beta users for the download.

We at swoosh, with infinite generosity, offer up this FREE swooshed link to Office 2007 Beta2 to rid Microsoft of delivery costs while accelerating the download to users."


Somehow I doubt this will be online for too long.

01/01 2007 | 08:20 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Is it too late of yet another look back at 2006? Not according to VH1, those folks are still busy reviewing the 80ies. Anyway, here's a quick list of the most popular stories of 2006:

1. Allofmp3 is giving away entire catalogue

2. 60 percent of P2P video downloads are porn

3. Allofmp3 vows to continue despite tougher copyright laws

4. Azureus 3.0 and Zudeo: Some first impressions

5. Germany: P2P lawsuits cost taxpayers millions

6. Allpeers review

7. Rob Lord: Songbird will be more disruptive than Firefox

8. TIOTI: The next step for Bittorrent TV downloading

9. Online Music Recorder: A free replacement for Allofmp3.com?

10. Snocap starts selling MP3s through web widgets

P2P Blog started in early summer 2006, and the first few months were admittedly a little slow, so this list might not be the best indicator for what was really important in the P2P space in 2006. But it's still always nice to take a look back.

Oh, and while we're at it ... here's the list of most requested search engine key phrases that led folks to P2P Blog:

1. relakks
2. allpeers review
3. azureus 3.0
4. redswoosh p2p
5. doubletwist ventures
6. zudeo
7. p2p blog
8. p2p
9. relakks review
10. music for masses

Okay, enough lists and charts. 2006 was an exciting year to start P2P Blog, and I think 2007 will have a lot to offer as well. So stay tuned, and happy new year!

11/20 2007 | 06:46 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Has Mark Cuban been dancing with the stars a little too much lately? Cuban just published an "open letter to Comcast and Every cable/Telco" on his blog in which he demands that said telcos block P2P traffic. Because, you know, the tubes are clogged. Says Cuban:

"As a consumer, I want my internet experience to be as fast as possible. The last thing I want slowing my internet service down are P2P freeloaders. Thats right, P2P content distributors are nothing more than freeloaders. The only person/organization that benefits from P2P usage are those that are trying to distribute content and want to distribute it on someone else's bandwidth dime."

His proposed solution: Block P2P traffic for everyone - and then charge some extra fees to the few subscribers who can't go without their Joost, Bittorrent or Skype:

"P2P is probably the least efficient means of distributing content in the last mile. Comcast, Time Warner, etc should charge a premium to those users who want to act as a seed and relay for P2P traffic. After all, that is why P2P is used, right ? For content distributors to avoid significant bandwidth and hosting charges. That makes it commercial traffic far more often than not. So make them pay commercial rates."


Yes, this is the same Mark Cuban who used to be an early investor in Redswoosh and who bankrolled the EFF's defense of Grokster. At least I think he is. Maybe ABC replaced him with a double that dances better but talks more trash? In which case I'd suggest that the new Mark Cuban goes back and reads up on his own blog about the magnificent future the old Mark Cuban used to foresee for the P2P space. Back in 2005 he wrote:

"The ability for emergency relief workers to distribute videos of instructions on how to deal with a situation will be an invaluable application. In a car wreck and need instructions on how to apply a bandage or worse? Over the next 10 years 911 will be able to distribute a video with instructions to you and those around you and talk you through it. P2P is the most bandwidth effective distribution solution."

Unless, of course, your ISP decided to block it. But that would of course be your fault. You should have just gotten a premium bandwidth plan before you got into that car accident, you freeloader!

04/27 2007 | 01:41 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
It's been only a couple of weeks since word got out about a new Firefox Bittorrent extension called Foxtorrent. Yesterday Red Swoosh released the Fox into the wild, announcing both Mac and Linux support and version 1.0 on the same day.

foxtorrent

I've been testing Foxtorrent 1.0 for a couple of hours now on both Windows and OS X - and I have somewhat mixed feelings about it. A well-done Firefox Bittorrent extension clearly has potential, and the fact that Red Swoosh is now owned by Akamai makes this even more interesting for the whole P2P space. I just wish they hadn't rushed to release this so soon.

First of all, Foxtorrent really is easy to install and requires zero configuration to run. That's a welcome change from most P2P programs. It's also surprisingly easy on the eye for a browser extension. No busy toolbar, no sidebar that takes over valuable screen space. Instead it just waits in the background until you click on a Torrent link.

Foxtorrent then displays the download status right within the browser. Not as detailed as Azureus, but enough to get the job done. And there is a little surprise: A stream button. Red Swoosh extended the Bittorrent protocol with a progressive downloading capability that makes it possible to start watching a movie before it downloaded completely. Or at least that's the idea. I never could get anything to stream. Instead the DivX web player Red Swoosh recommends just stalled.

Unfortunately that wasn't the only problem I encountered. The windows version of Foxtorrent has some major memory leaks that require regular restarts.

Foxtorrent also has problems downloading content from some websites, a problem that can be attributed to the architecture of the software. Every torrent file gets downloaded via a Red Swoosh server, which makes it possible to download the content both through the regular Bittorrent protocol and the Red Swoosh P2P protocol.

Update: I've been told that the Redswoosh server actually never touches the Torrent files. Foxtorrent just uses the link prefix "edn.redswoosh.net" to trigger the internal client, which then uses the traditional Bittorrent protocol to download the content.

Unfortunately this doesn't yet work for Torrents that hosted on SSL-secured servers - which essentially means that Foxtorrent users can't download anything from Bittorrent.com.

This wouldn't be that bad if people just could download that content with another Bittorrent client of their choice. But Foxtorrent does something really odd: It overwrites every Torrent file you download with HTML code, effectively making it unusable and establishing itself as the only working Bittorrent solution on your system.

Now I don't think Red Swoosh did this on purpose, even though it seems to be right out of the rulebook for the Balkanization of Bittorrent. It's probably just a bug. But it's a biggie - and not something that should have made its way into a version 1.0.



09/11 2006 | 08:35 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
150 posts isn't really anything to brag about - but since I'll be going to Europe this week and posts will be light during the next two weeks I thought it would be a good time to look back at some of the stories of the last couple of months. Think of it as a "best of", if you will.

AT&T & Co. rally consumers against net neutrality - I just got a phone call by a nice lady that tried to persuade me that net neutrality is bad. Because there is an internet price increase coming really really soon, and Google wants me to pay for it.

AllofMP3: IFPI's favoured enemy
- Of course every mention of Allofmp3.com in the press is driving more customers to the site. So why would the music industry help Allofmp3 with their advertising? Because the Russian website will have to shut down this fall, and IFPI is just waiting to claim this as their victory. Update: Obviously it didn't shut down just yet. More about that later.

German P2P users don't care about lawsuits - A few weeks ago German law enforcement officials launched a massive strike against Edonkey / Emule users. 130 residencies were raided, and a total of 3500 users are under investigation. The average German P2P user couldn't care less, apparently.

Peerthings: Siemens tries to compete with Skype - Siemens demonstrated a SIP-based Skype alternative called "Peerthings" at the last CeBIT.

Redswoosh review - Redswoosh is a P2P service that allows webmasters to distribute files with the help of their users.

P2P Currency Exchange
- First there was MP3 swapping. Then people started to trade CDs and DVDs. What's next? How about exchanging some of that spare money from your last vacation?

Former Limewire programmer starts new P2P venture - first product combines SIP with file sharing and social networking
- Adam Fisk used to be a senior software engineer at Limewire until Jaunuary 2004. Now he has started blogging - and in turn dropping hints on what he's up to now.

Swedish Pirate Party launches VPN service, calls it "World's First Commercial Darknet" - The Swedish pirates seem to have learned their first lesson in politics: It's all about the spin. Today the Pirate Party announced the launch of the "World's First Commercial Darknet" through a Swedish company called Relakks.

Allpeers review
- Allpeers is a Firefox plugin that enables private sharing with groups and individuals.

Allofmp3 vows to continue despite tougher copyright laws - A few weeks ago I proclaimed that Allofmp3.com would give up it's current business model by September 1st. Turns out I was wrong - for now, at least. But things are changing in Russia, at least when it comes to the letter of the law. Russia toughened it's copyright law back in 2004, but a few key amendments were delayed to take effect today.

04/17 2007 | 01:02 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Speaking of Red Swoosh: Akamai did get some new opportunities when they bought the P2P company, but they also got themselves a potential conflict with some open source Bittorrent developers.

Red Swoosh has been working on a browser-based Bittorrent client called Foxtorrent. Turns out there is already another Foxtorrent project out there that is working on a Firefox frontend for Azureus. A few days ago the Foxtorrent members wrote an open email to the Red Swoosh folks:

"Gentlepeople: Please change the name of your software to something else. The name FoxTorrent is already taken. "

Doesn't sound too threatening, does it? Which is why I think Akamai should be good sports about it too - and just drop the disputed name. After all, there are plenty of other names still available. Akamaitorrent would be an obvious choice, but it's a little too long if you ask me.

But what about Akatorrent? Sounds cool, hasn't been used - and it even offers some opportunities for word plays, as in:

"We use an efficient content delivery technology (aka torrent)."

04/29 2009 | 01:07 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
The Distributed Computing Industry Association (DCIA) is having it's fourth annual P2P Media Summit in Los Angeles on the 4th of May, and readers of this blog will recognize quite a few names scheduled for speaking. Attendants will hear from Littleshoot's Adam Fisk, RedSwoosh founder Travis Kalanick and BigChampagne's Eric Garland, amongst others.

Personally, I'm really looking forward to the lunch-time keynote, which will be held by Ron Berry, who is the E-Commerce Advisor of the Isle of Man and as such deeply involved in the talks about a possible P2P flatrate solution.

DCIA events have been kind of intimate gatherings in the past, featuring lots of well-known faces, but the organization apparently decided that it's time for some flesh blood and came up with some interesting discount rates. Regular tickets cost about 400 bucks, but students only have to pay $75, and a total $150 if they also want to attend Digital Hollywood Spring. Under-employed P2P enthusiasts are charged $99, and unfunded start-ups get in for $250. Can't attend at all? There's also a webcast-only ticket for a mere $39.

You should get in touch with the DCIA (+1-410-476-7964 or e-mail sari (atsign) dcia.info) if you want any of the discounted rates. I'll definitely be there, so feel free to say hi.

04/26 2007 | 03:54 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Red Swoosh just released version 1.0 of their browser-based Bittorrent client Foxtorrent, which is available for Windows, Mac and Linux-based Firefox users on their new website Foxtorrent.com. There's also source code for the project available at Google Code.

Word about Foxtorrent first got out in March when an early beta version found its way on the web. Foxtorrent has been in a closed beta test since then.

Now the folks at Red Swoosh felt it was time to get the Fox out there. From the new Foxtorrent blog:

"This release represents a complete, functional, usable 1.0 product and marks our official entry into the BitTorrent world."

Remarkable about Foxtorrent is the fact that Red Swoosh is now owned by Akamai - a connection I've written before about here.

Update: Check here for a complete Foxtorrent 1.0 review.

04/16 2007 | 02:35 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Akamai's Red Swoosh deal continues to make waves. Om sees it as a sign for P2P becoming a mature technology that is starting to find its way into almost everything from VOIP to video delivery.

One detail that I find interesting is that Red Swoosh lately has been working on their own browser-based Bittorrent client called Foxtorrent, which merges the Bittorrent protocol with the Red Swoosh P2P Content Delivery Network.

Why is this relevant? Red Swoosh used to cater to the very same audience as Akamai, simply offering a different type of technology for pretty much the same goal: Moving lots of bits for big web platforms.

The Silicon Valley-based startup has been spending lots of energy shifting focus lately though. Red Swoosh founder Travis Kalanick had some blunt words to say about the reasons for this shift twelve months ago:

"For a start-up, rigidity is a death-knell. Especially for Swoosh. . . . we started our company 4 years too early. . . only now is the market catching up to our ideas and technology. Thatís potentially 4 years of rigidity built into my company. We need renewal as bad as any large tech company thatís gotten used to business as usual.

Re-launch your company. Rewrite your core client software; rewrite your backend systems, re-think and redesign your website and customer touch-points. Renew your thinking. Renew your inspiration. Renew your creativity. Breathe life into your company. Innovate your routine. Rebrand. Refocus. Regenerate."


What followed was a beta launch of Red Swoosh 2.0, offering P2P content delivery technology to end users without big pockets. This relaunch was clearly geared towards bloggers, video podcasters and other creative folks in the field of user generated content. And with that, the business model started to shift from licensing deals to advertising.

Red Swoosh 2.0 hasn't really gotten too much traction so far. The technology clearly has it's advantages to Bittorrent, especially if you don't want to deal with the hassles of setting up your own Tracker server. But it's hard to convince people to install yet antoher piece of software just to get some free content.

This is where Foxtorrent comes in. A solid Bittorrent implementation for Firefox could help the Redswoosh team to gain some significant traction - and in turn push their own technology as a copy and paste P2P solution for bloggers and podcasters.

Now how does Akamai fit into this picture? To be honest, we don't know yet. The recent press release seems to focus on Red Swoosh's established business:

"Red Swoosh's technology is designed to empower content publishers and distributors to manage and monetize large-file distribution to edge devices, such as set top boxes and personal computers."


To me the key seems to be that edge devices are run by end users who are increasingly becoming content producers as well. Akamai could profit off of this by getting a whole new customer base, and potentially a new revenue model as well. Or they could just see Red Swoosh as a way to save some bucks while moving the same old bits for the same old platforms.

01/01 2008 | 02:00 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
I know, I know, you probably can't stand the idea of more 2007 retrospectives anymore, which is why 'll make this one short and painless. Here are the top 5 stories published on this blog in 2007 in terms of page views, complete with a few updates to see what's going on now ...

Foxtorrent: First review of Akamai's new Firefox Bittorrent extension
Akamai subsidiary RedSwoosh published their own Firefox Bittorrent plug-in back in April 2007. Promising, and definitely interesting from a business perspective, but we're all still waiting for version 2.0.

IFPI wants ISPs to block The Pirate Bay, filter P2P traffic
This one was an Xmas gift from the IFPI - and internet users all over Europe are now wondering why no one ever bothers to actually read their wish lists ...

Allofmp3.com changes name to escape shutdown I predicted back in April that Allofmp3 wouldn't be affected much by a shutdown because they were already working on new sites. And guess what happened when they eventually got shut down in July?

France wants to track file sharers - users fight back with civil disobedience.
Vive la France! Even though it looks like the counter-revolution is winning ground lately.

Porn industry bands together against Bittorrent Maybe this is going to be the first big lawsuit campaign of 08?

11/24 2009 | 03:07 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
For years, the Pirate Bay was the place to go to if you wanted to share movies, music or other digital goods. Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde, who resigned from his job as the site's spokesperson earlier this year, now has his eyes set on a different kind of loot: Sunde is one of the founders of the Swedish start-up Kvittar that promises to keep track of all of your purchases and offer a kind of online locker for receipts. From Kvittar's website:

"Receipts exist almost everywhere digitally today. By tradition they are still printed on paper, which we account for is illogical. Kvittar solves this illogical fact. If you pay with card you can get your receipt secure, encrypted and digitally with the service Kvittar, making them searchable."

The site doesn't offer that many details yet, but apparently consumers would connect their credit or debit cards to Kvittar, thereby giving the company access to their purchase data. Kvittar then saves this data and makes it available online. Here's a quick promo video from Kvittar's website:

Kvittar Intro from Joakim Fors on Vimeo.


The company plans to offer private accounts for 5 Euros per year and business accounts for 10 Euros per year and credit card. Business accounts apparently offer the ability to export the data and use it for accounting purposes.

Kvittar isn't exactly the only company thinking about solutions like this. In fact, another P2P pioneer just recently helped to launch a similar start-up: Scour.net co-founder and Redswoosh founder Travis Kalanick invested in Expensify, a company that also offers expense tracking through credit card data.