It’s been a long time since I wrote anything about Bittorrent, mainly because I rarely use BT these days, as there are far too many direct download sites out there offering the same content for half the bandwidth and none of the fear of getting busted. But still, there is the occasional thing I can only download via a Bittorrent client, so I thought I’d offer a bit of advice as to which torrent file you should download from a website.
You see, if you use a torrent search engine like Mininova, it’s possible to get multiple hits for the same thing. If you’re searching for the latest episode of True Blood, for example, you could get hits from multiple trackers. So which one do you choose?
At first glance, you might think that choosing the one with the largest swarm (total number of seeders and leechers) is the best call. Unfortunately, this is incorrect. What you want is the torrent with the highest ratio of seeders to leechers. Because there are fewer leechers in this swarm, the seeders have more bandwidth to offer in this scenario than they do in one where there are thousands of people in the swarm.
Kendall Harmon reports that the first motion for the Church of England to recognize the Anglican Church of North America has picked up six Church of England bishops and at 121 sponsors. According to the London Times, this will “guarantee it a place on the next Synod agenda in February”.
Interesting times. I doubt this will go anywhere, but you never know.
I normally hate recommending software like this, but…
Last week, I wanted to see a highlight reel of game 7 of this year’s Stanley Cup finals. I went to nhl.com and looked, but their video library is difficult (impossible?) to search. I then went to YouTube, thinking that someone might have uploaded their own copy. But lo and behold, the NHL has an official YouTube channel, and I was able to see the highlight reel in glorious 720p video!
I really wanted to keep a copy of the video, but there was a problem: most of the “download YouTube video” sites (like keepvid) allow you to save the FLV (standard quality) or MP4 (high quality) videos, but not the HD versions. I found a couple of bookmarklets that supposedly let you save the 720p versions, but I couldn’t get them to work.
Frustrated, I saw a link to some software called Youtube Downloader HD, which promised to download any version of the video available on the site. I downloaded and installed it… and it just works!
All you’ve gotta do is a) select the version of the video you want, b) paste the video’s URL into the app, then c) click “Start”. It’s that simple, folks!
Youtube Downloader HD is for Windows systems only and is freeware. Snag it from this site.
Atlanta peeps might enjoy this mildly amusing “review” of the Murder Kroger. If you don’t know what the “Murder Kroger” is, you won’t get the joke:
At the intersection of Ponce de Leon Avenue and Ponce de Leon Place is a grocery store that residents of Atlanta affectionately call Murder Kroger. To the best of my knowledge, the grocery store has never been the site of a murder.
Holy crap! For years I thought all the kings and queens of the world were ugly inbreds… but then I saw Queen Rania of Jordan!
Born on August 31, 1970, Rania al Yassin got a degree from American University in Cairo in 1991. She worked for Citibank and Apple Computer before marrying Abdullah bin Al-Hussein, King Of Jordan, on June 10, 1993. She has pushed for more rights for women and children in the Middle East, especially when it comes to updating schools and attempting to end the practice of honor killings. She’s also really into technology, having her own YouTube channel and Twitter page.
In 2005, Forbes magazine ranked her the 81st most powerful woman in the world, and in that same year Harpers & Queen magazine called her the third most beautiful woman in the world. I can’t say I’d argue there!
La Roux is a British electropop synth duo consisting of writer and producer Ben Langmaid and singer and synth player Elly Jackson (daughter of Trudie Goodwin, the actress who played “Sergeant June Ackland” on the illustrious and long-running British police drama The Bill).
After struggling for a time, La Roux have suddenly become one of the hottest bands in the UK; their last two singles, “In For The Kill” and “Bulletproof” hit #2 and #1 on the British charts respectively.
If you liked Blancmange, Human League, Yazoo or Heaven 17, you’ll love La Roux! And for a limited time (jeez – do I sound like a shill or what?) you can download two free tracks from their website!
Just go to their site and look for the “free download” link at the bottom of the page. You’ll need to sign up for their email newsletter to get the tracks; it’s probably best to use a throwaway address for this, but be aware that the link to the free tracks will be sent to that address. Also, I dunno if it matters, but when the signup form asked for my country, I put “United Kingdom” (I was worried about possible “sorry, you can’t download this” licensing issues).
Give La Roux a try… they’re one of the best new bands out there!