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The Mystery Of The Puny AppleTV Hard Drive
Cringely thinks there's a secret Apple p2p network afoot
by Karl Bode 01:36PM Friday Feb 16 2007
Bob Cringley offers his conspiracy theory on why AppleTV, Apple's upcoming media center, comes replete with beefy 802.11n and 100Mbps ethernet connectivity, yet sports a painfully paltry 40 gig hard-drive. His theory is that AppleTV is being secretly designed to operate as a node on an iTunes peer-to-peer video network. "If the Apple TV is plugged in it is turned on. Did you notice that? That means the hard drive will have at least the capability of running 24/7. Now envision a BitTorrent-like file distribution system that is controlled primarily by iTunes, rather than by you or me. A centrally controlled P2P system is VERY powerful because it allows for the pre-positioning of content."

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Ahrenl

join:2004-10-26
North Andover, MA

Borg?

Damnit, I've been assimilated...

I think the 802.11n independent network is a ridiculous idea. Maybe in metro areas it would sort of work. But for 99.99% of the country it wouldn't, so what's the point.

Can you imagine how pissed the ISPs will be if apple TV is constantly using your bandwidth when you aren't. Imagine those 0.1% of bit torrent users becoming 60%, thanks to apple TV. Can you say melt down?

nixen
Rockin' the Boxen
Premium
join:2002-10-04
Alexandria, VA

Re: Borg?

said by Ahrenl:

Damnit, I've been assimilated...

I think the 802.11n independent network is a ridiculous idea. Maybe in metro areas it would sort of work. But for 99.99% of the country it wouldn't, so what's the point.
And, in that 99.99% percent of the country where that won't work, how many subscribers are on real HSI?

said by Ahrenl:

Can you imagine how pissed the ISPs will be if apple TV is constantly using your bandwidth when you aren't.
Only if they can't figure out a way to either profit from it or to limit it.

said by Ahrenl:

Imagine those 0.1% of bit torrent users becoming 60%, thanks to apple TV. Can you say melt down?
You seriously think 60% of torrent users will switch to AppleTV??

-tom
--
"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficial. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding." -Louis D Brandeis
Ahrenl

join:2004-10-26
North Andover, MA

Re: Borg?

A3.) No, only .1% of current users are torrent users. When apple tv has reached the saturation point, all of those users will suddenly be using the same amount of bandwidth as those torrent users b/c of their apple TV boxes constantly streaming data (per the article.)

A2.) Well that's they current complaint now, that they can't possibly profitably build infrastructure to support that kind of load.

A1.) Umm, I would say most. You don't need to actually live IN a city to have decent broadband. I'm talking standard suburban here..

nixen
Rockin' the Boxen
Premium
join:2002-10-04
Alexandria, VA

Re: Borg?

said by Ahrenl:

A3.) No, only .1% of current users are torrent users. When apple tv has reached the saturation point, all of those users will suddenly be using the same amount of bandwidth as those torrent users b/c of their apple TV boxes constantly streaming data (per the article.)
Ah... You really expect AppleTV to sew up 60% of the market??

said by Ahrenl:

A2.) Well that's they current complaint now, that they can't possibly profitably build infrastructure to support that kind of load.
Yet, in spite of it all, they are still building new infrastructure (at least according to a few recent articles linked off of DSLR).

said by Ahrenl:

A1.) Umm, I would say most. You don't need to actually live IN a city to have decent broadband. I'm talking standard suburban here..
The 802.11n would be a supplementary network, not the sole network. The P2P component would likely use it as a "preferred route" when the medium was available, but would otherwise just use the connectivity directly through the ISP.

-tom

P.S. Interesting use of the inverted, non-quoting response method.
--
"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficial. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding." -Louis D Brandeis

inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK

great another network dictating how I consume content

sorry, try again.....or wait dont try, just make it compatible with BT.

Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

2 recommendations

Envision...

If the Apple TV is plugged in it is turned on. Did you notice that? That means the hard drive will have at least the capability of running 24/7. Now envision a BitTorrent-like file distribution system that is controlled primarily by iTunes, rather than by you or me.

Now envision my firewall dropping packets from applications I don't didn't give permission to use my bandwidth at their discretion.

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Re: Envision...

And, envision those cable customers who get The Call, and have "only" been surfing and using email.

If true, Jobs has a bigger job ahead than getting the RIAA/MPAA to drop DRM. He's going to have to get cable ISPs to embrace P2P and continuous uploading. How cold will Hell have to get before that happens?
--
Toolmaster of La Grange.
For "Pompous Jackass", see 419381
extreme100
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Coloma, MI

1 recommendation

Re: Envision...

And Eddie won't be too happy with iSteve using his telco's pipes for free either.
--
Meet Bill and Karolyn at www.theslowskys.com

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

Re: Envision...

Funny. Eddie is just a blowhard Texas good ole boy and everyone knows it. ATT has yet to frown upon a customer daring to actually (gasp!) USE his connection. They even explicitly allow servers.

Your boy Brian, on the other hand, has been a card carrying asshole to his customers when it comes to pipe use.
--
Toolmaster of La Grange.
For "Pompous Jackass", see 419381

imrf
Premium
join:2002-06-06
Utica, MI
said by RadioDoc:

He's going to have to get cable ISPs to embrace P2P and continuous uploading.
He's going to have to get telco ISPs to embrace uploading as well. They don't like their pipes being used either.

HiVolt
Premium
join:2000-12-28
Toronto, ON
kudos:21
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·TekSavvy Cable

Not a chance

quote:
Say Disney releases Cars 1.5 -- a direct-to-DVD release expected to sell millions of copies in its first few days. There is no way iTunes could even hope to participate in a launch like that simply because there isn't enough bandwidth at a good price -- or any price. Even BitTorrent would have troubles handling a small part of such a launch until enough seeds were populated and running. But what if the movie was effectively pre-seeded -- loaded over a few days on a distribution tree of thousands of Apple TV boxes which could then deliver the movie locally at high speed if purchased. Or if not purchased the seeded copies could still work together to serve other Apple TVs on the same ISP subnet.
No way. Not with more and more ISP's imposing caps on their users, some invisible (Comcast Cable) and some who charge per GB of over usage (Bell Sympatico DSL) for example.

And then there's the shady companies (Rogers Cable) who throttle P2P traffic. Who's to say they wouldn't throttle the iTunes P2P service?

I think he's totally wrong about this.
--
GO LEAFS GO!

dadkins
Can you do Blu?
Premium,MVM
join:2003-09-26
Hercules, CA
kudos:18

1 recommendation

Uhm...

Zudeo?
Joost"
Guba?
(Insert already working video service here)______________?

With Zudeo. I get HD videos(downloaded).
With Joost, it's streamed videos.
With Guba, it's streamed or downloaded... or both!

So, what does this "service" have to offer that is any better than what is already happening?
--
Think outside the Fox... Opera

Now_U_Know

@dsl.bell.ca

1 recommendation

Re: Uhm...

Because we all know that anything Apple Inc. "squeezes" out, is worth more than it's weight in gold.

dadkins
Can you do Blu?
Premium,MVM
join:2003-09-26
Hercules, CA
kudos:18

Re: Uhm...

said by Now_U_Know :

Because we all know that anything Apple Inc. "squeezes" out, is worth more than it's weight in gold.
You'd think, huh? LOL!
--
Think outside the Fox... Opera

kba4

join:2001-10-23
Canton, OH
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

cool idea

users should be reimbursed for bandwidth used if this is the case. unless US broadband suddenly becomes reality, the puny sub-1Mbps uploads we have are going to be noticeably affected by something like this. imagine all the clueless users who don't use the ATV *that* often, let alone purchase anything for it more than maybe 5-10 times a year... the rest of the time they notice now their internet speeds are much lower, slower to react, and perhaps more important, they're being used by apple to sell a product. BT media hubs are a good idea, but as with the intent of BT, it should be free and involve no DRM.

if all this is true, then apple is really exploiting a good technology and lots of consumers to rake in more money.
--
illegal wars, prisoners with no trials, and state controlled media. welcome to the land of the free!

rchandra
Stargate Universe fan
Premium
join:2000-11-09
14225-2105

Re: cool idea

I personally wouldn't be likely to spend $300 or so for something I'm only going to use 5-10 times per year.

Your "reimbursement" is lower product cost due to lower cost of delivery (no need (for Apple) to rent fat pipes from one or more ISPs/IAPs to distribute the product/content).

I'd have to agree, the asymmetry of speeds is kind of silly, especially in the case of technologies (products?) like FIOS. Sidebar: sure, the IAPs all advertise about speedy READING of emails with pictures, sound, and video...what they fail to tell you is the (relatively) large amount of time it will take to SEND them because the upstream pipe is relatively puny.
--
English is a difficult enough language to interpret correctly when its rules are followed, let alone when a writer chooses not to follow those rules.


Jeopardy! replies REALLY suck!

xerxes3642

join:2006-02-24
Saint Charles, MO

Of Course,

The trend is heading that way. At some point noone will be allowed to "own" any media. Movies and tv will be streamed to you so that you can't make copies. Buy up dvd's now.
radam

join:2004-02-13
Fairfax Station, VA

iTV

This discussion is moot since AppleTV only supports 720p. Who wants 720p when 1080i is the industry standard.

cbrigante2
Cubs 20??
Premium
join:2002-11-22
North Aurora, IL

Re: iTV

said by radam:

This discussion is moot since AppleTV only supports 720p. Who wants 720p when 1080i is the industry standard.
Actually, this discussion is moot since the author of the article is throwing this idea out as a conspiracy theory. Let me know if any of this device uploading ever comes to pass.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
Although this has absolutely nothing to do with this P2P crackpot theory, I'd take 720p over 1080i any day of the week.

imrf
Premium
join:2002-06-06
Utica, MI
said by radam:

when 1080i is the industry standard.
What industry are you talking about? There has been no such standard resolution for HD, ever.

dadkins
Can you do Blu?
Premium,MVM
join:2003-09-26
Hercules, CA
kudos:18
said by radam:

This discussion is moot since AppleTV only supports 720p. Who wants 720p when 1080i is the industry standard.
1080p is HD. anything less is... not!
--
Think outside the Fox... Opera
dlewis23

join:2005-04-18
Boca Raton, FL
said by radam:

This discussion is moot since AppleTV only supports 720p. Who wants 720p when 1080i is the industry standard.
incase you didnt know 720p and 1080i are just about the exact same thing, you cant tell the difference, there is no difference in resolution because 1080i is interlaced.

and there is no industry standard.

RideRed
Vista needs a popup blocker for Vista
Premium
join:2005-06-18
USA

It doesn't need a big HD

It's designed to be paired with a Mac (via iTunes) which has much larger storage capacity just like iPods are. It's not meant to be a totally stand alone device although it could be.

It's little more than an Apple version of Media Center Extender.

Michieru2
zzz zzz zzz
Premium
join:2005-01-28
Miami, FL

.

There is no need for a conspiracy theory, simply monitoring the network through ettercap and see if the AppleTV does indeed act as a node by sending traffic to unknown destinations.

Look at your cable and dsl light's for the average joe. If your computer is off and the only thing on is your AppleTV and the lights blink for long period's at a time and by that I mean more than a minute then his conspiracy theory could possibly hold true.

But only ettercap will really tell what's going on. Also it would make sense to include a bigger hard drive so the device can have higher capacity to store video making more nodes available for each movie download.
--
The only limits we have are the one's we set ourselves.

concerned

@rr.com

I think, Apple TV = an IPTV box

What if the iTunes store starts selling subscriptions to IPTV channels.... you just stream them to the Apple TV. You'd have little reason to store them (unless you were looking for DVR functionality) if they were being streamed.

Apple could sell subscriptions to a range of channels for package prices or individual channels ala carte.

Skip the video side of cable, just use the data side and get video services from Apple.

With MPEG4 streams the data rate could easily be low enough for most broadband users to get it with good quality. With the 40GB drive you could even store 10-20 hours of video like a DVR without to much trouble.

GilbertMark
Premium
join:2001-05-02
Gilbert, AZ

Hmm

It could be a Cylon device like that one they found on the bridge of the Galactica last season.

Hey Bob, you can take your tin foil hat off now!

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

Apple p2p

Cringley has to be kidding. Just how long DO you think it would take to fill a 40GB drive with movies? I have a hunch the size of the hard drive has more to do with cooling than what Cringley insinuates.

When your heart palpitates every time you find a new hi-tech, widely hyped, "must have" gadget -- it is time to remember the words of Phineas T. Barnum, the famous scoundrel -cum - ringmaster in the world.

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

Before I buy a miniature television set for my pocket, I want to learn everything I can about the battery, battery life and who can repair it because I don't think Apple support is very good any more - even if you live where Apple is wildly popular and a "Genius Bar" is nearby. .

IPod is the #2 seller at Amazon.
--
Mac: No windows, No gates, Apple inside