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I also finally finished dowloading a 5G torrent of the new Battlestar Galactica series, and subjected myself to a marathon while attempting to analyze the thing. I’m not totally confident in my analyses of what it’s trying to say, other than the superficial “robots with monotheistic religion bad, human civilians neutral, human soldiers and the Greek pantheon good, m’kay.”
Aside from political interpretations (torture is OK because they [who you can tell because they all look alike] are “evil killing machines”), I think it’s interesting that without being able to download a torrent of the series (which the enternaitnment industry has said it wishes to make illegal) I wouldn’t care, wouldn’t have spent 15 hours of my life watching their show, and wouldn’t blog about it. And as a result, the series wouldn’t get the free publicity, which means fewer fans, which means lower “associated junk” revenues (DVDs, merchandizing, etc.). So, as long as superficial analysis is in the cards, you can roughly translate this as “free == good”.
On a more technical note, I’m not familiar with bittorrent’s technical decisions, other than the fact it uses rar for it’s compression/archive format and can thus hold multiple files in a single torrent, but I do have a complaint. I’m not sure if this complaint is valid against all torrents, the specific torrent I downloaded, or the client I use, but it is still a complaint.
Whatever the cause, the fact that you really can’t do anything with the stuff that has been downloaded until the entire torrent is done sucks. Basically, even though it’s dumping multiple gigs of data on my disk, none of it is usable until the whole thing is done — even if the torrent’s contents are stream-capable (like most video or plain text files are). So it took me about a week of on/off downloading (fortunately gnome-bt has a stop button, but I was unwilling to try quitting the app to see if it can pick things up that way) to get the series, and I had to wait until all 5GB had been transfered before I could watch any of the stuff that was in it.
My other complaint is a trivial/asthetic one: It’d be nice if gnome-bt looked like the Nautilus file-transfer dialog and got rid of the upload and events tabs (IMO, it should automatically aim for a 1:1 ratio of upload to download, and while the “events” tab may be useful for debugging, it isn’t very useful for users — the extra prefs can be hidden).