[Smaug] Zero tolerance for P2P?

CERisE...mass consumer of bazooka gum cerise at littlegreenmen.armory.com
Sun, 12 May 2002 14:56:03 -0700 (PDT)


On Sun, 12 May 2002, Josh Neal wrote:

> First, let me apologize for this statement. I was trying to be
>humorous, and it wasn't an appropriate comment to make.

  No worries, you filth-ridden scoundrel ; )

> >    I don't know, Josh.  Someone attempting to claim that a protocol
> > obviously involving a definite server and a definite client as
> > peer-to-peer sounds more bongworthy to me.  It sounds like his feeble
> > attempt at a defense eliminates the term server-client because a client
> > can also be a server.
>
> Hmmm. I don't see is as a feeble defense, though. Yes, during a given
> transaction, there's definitely a client-server relationship, but this
> doesn't prevent a role reversal later -- or in parallel. It's this ease
> of sharing files without a centralized server that qualifies Windows
> File Sharing as Peer-to-Peer, since any workstation can do this.
>
> Any other definition of Peer-to-Peer/P2P is nothing more than Marketing
> hot-air.

   I never knew I was such a fan of marketing until you and Rick showed
up...
   The point being that it involves a separate process.  True P2P software
handles both sides of the transaction internally.  Win file sharing
handles one side.  It just so happens that you can run it the reverse
route as well.  There is a definite server and a definite client for each
case.

> >    Obviously, the point of the letter is that UCSC feels its bandwidth is
> > in scarcity.  For all we know, it may well be the case.  They have the
> > right to administer their network as they see fit.
>
> Absolutely. I've been in their position before: I was the Network
> Manager at Franklin and Marshall College for most of 1993 and 1994. We
> had ~2500 students and staff, with ~1500 Macs between them. We were
> running a 10meg Ethernet backbone, with drops to LocalTalk zones in each
> building. (Sadly, I didn't design the network, but I got stuck with
> managing it.)

> Our management headaches (beyond the bandwidth hogging of AppleTalk
> itself) were ad-hoc student file servers. Under MacOS 7, *any* Mac could
> be a file server at the click of a single button, and a large number of
> students used this, along with an app called Broadcast -- an early
> Instant Messaging tool.

> By itself, this was a fine thing, until some yahoo started sharing his
> copies of Word, Photoshop, Mathematica, etc. There went the (limited)
> bandwidth that we had.
>
> I ended up having to play administrative fascist, and write scripts to
> spider their was across the network grabbing file listings in order to
> make sure that no one was doing Bad Things. Having to haul offenders in
> for violating the AUP was Not Fun.

   Why do I get the feeling that Word.hqx became Hot_Monkey_Sex.hqx?  ; )
   Let's say that I'm an art student and I do this nice 30 second film
presentation in raw, uncompressed video.  That could be equally as much of
a bandwidth hog.  Does that mean it's wrong to share it?
   It's going to be impossible to figure out if HMS.zip is really
Word_CD_Ripped_by_l33t_haxor.zip.  Especially when admins are whining
about how much work they have to do...
   It's a different case going after programs whose sole intentions are to
snag rather significant files + relaying requests around.
   I suppose the only true solution is to annihilate all sharing
altogether.  That of course is impossible.

> It's worth pointing out to the university that they've missed a
> loophole that you could drive a truck through. I don't buy the freedom
> of speech/use argument -- damn it, if you want to suck down MP3s, spend
>
> Hmmmm. There are only two ways to handle a saturated network: add
> bandwidth (at some expense) or stop the traffic. I have difficulty
> believing that MP3/warez trading is proper use of an academic network,
> so I'd probably quote the AUP while I'm switching off ports.
> the $50 a month and get DSL at home.

   But, I don't use it to suck down illegal mp3s...I use it to download my
friend's music which he freely distributes.
   Until the RIAA's dream comes true of finding someway to enforce
licensing on mp3s, you aren't going to be able to tell the difference.  As
a net admin, it seems like your only option is to disable all file sharing
(and therefore any access), or deal with it.  Partial restriction just
makes people work a little harder to get what they want.  8)

> HA. This is a use of "well defined" that I'm not familiar with. (I know
> a number of the Samba Core team, and have heard them rant at length
> about SMB/CIFS horrors.)

   By "well defined' I meant that for each transaction there is a well
defined server and a well defined client with no space for ambiguity.
   One of my housemates recently whined at me about the one windows box in
the house saying "Look at me!  I have shared folders!" over the network
quite frequently.

> I keep thinking of this wonderful picture of Dan Quayle from '89 or so,
> holding a Soviet RPG-7 captured from leftist rebels
> $LATIN-AMERICAN-BANANA-REPUBLIC. The pose is supposed to be one of
> courageous American victory, I guess, at least it would be if Dan
> weren't holding the RPG _backwards_, so that it's pointed _at him_.

   Good ol' Quayle.  I'm not sure who was better for the comics.  Quayle
or Clinton...

-Phil/CERisE