Raspberry Pi becomes a Torrent box

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If you’re making a media server out of a Raspberry Pi, why not add an interface to the biggest torrent sites on the Internet? That’s what [Alan] did when he wanted an automated media downloader that can stream movies and TV shows to any device.

[Alan]‘s torrent box is basically a web app running on a Raspberry Pi. By accessing the Pi from the browser of a desktop or mobile device, he can search a collection of torrent sites and download just about everything to the Pi with a touch of a button. Once the files are downloaded, the Pi is able to move them to any directory, either locally or on a network, or just serve them up on a TV with a media player.

While we’re not endorsing  file sharing, we can’t think of a simpler way to set up a seedbox that draws a minuscule amount of power. It’s a great addition to any media server, and a great way to get the latest season of <<Linux Distribution>> streaming to your TV.

Ubuntu 9.10 beta now available

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The latest version of the world’s most popular Linux distribution is now available. Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala continues the six-month development cycle of this free OS. We’ve used Ubuntu since 2005 and, after a short adjustment period, never looked back at those other operating systems.

Never used Linux? This distribution is for you but we recommend waiting until the release makes it out of beta to the stable version on October 29th.

Comfortable with Linux and want to get your feet wet? The Hack a Day team is calling on all of you to test, report, and improve upon this community driven project. Get yourself a copy of the beta (we recommend using the torrents) and start reporting bugs. You can help fix them by joining the bug squad, or use your coding skills to become a developer.

Pirate bay verdict: Guilty

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As you’ve undoubtedly seen on every other website in the universe, the verdict is in. The four defendants from the Pirate Bay have been found guilty of copyright infringement and sentenced to 1 year in prison and some pretty large fines. This could be a pretty important case since it deals with the blurry area between supplying material and supplying a means to get material. Though the verdict is obviously bad for the individuals, the site seems to be thriving from the media exposure. They’ve stated that the site will stay up. We’ve been watching this since it began, and now we’re curious what this means for the rest of the file sharing world.

Android app scans barcodes, downloads torrents

AndroidAndMe is running a bounty program for Android applications. Users can request a specific application and pledge money to be awarded to the developer who delivers the functional app. [Alec Holmes] just fulfilled the first request by creating Torrent Droid. You can use the app to scan media barcodes and then download the related torrent. It uses the phone’s camera to capture the product’s UPC barcode (similar to Compare Everywhere‘s price lookup) and then searches major torrent sites like The Pirate Bay to find a copy that can be downloaded. After getting the .torrent file, the app can submit it to uTorrent‘s web interface for remote downloading. The app will be released later this month and you can see a screenshot tour of it on Alec’s blog. It’s doubtful that an application like this would ever clear Apple’s App Store approval process.

[via TorrentFreak]

Using Bittorrent on Amazon EC2

Bittorrent is a great distribution method for large files, but its heavy bandwidth usage can be disruptive to both work and home networks. [Brett O'Connor] has decided to push all of his torrenting activity into the cloud. Amazon’s EC2 service lets you run any number of Amazon Machine Images (AMI, virtual machines) on top of their hardware. You pay for processing time and data transferred. [Brett] put together a guide for building your own seedbox on the service. First, you set up the Security Group, the firewall for the machine. Next, you specify what AMI you want to use. In this example, it’s a community build of Ubuntu. Once you have your SSH keypair, you can start the instance and install Apache, PHP, and MySQL. TorrentFlux is the web frontend for bittorrent in this case. It manages all the torrents and you just need to click download when you want to grab the completed file.

Even if you don’t plan on setting up a seedbox, the post is a straightforward example of how-to get started with EC2. He’s not sure what the cost will be; the current estimate is ~$30/mo.

[via Waxy]

[photo: nrkbeta]

Should you get a seedbox for your bittorrent needs?


Torrentfreak offers up a few reasons why you should get a seedbox if you’re a bittorrent user who likes to share a lot of files. A seedbox is a dedicated private server used exclusively for torrent transfers. [sharky] discusses a few pros and makes a few claims that we think might be a little overblown. Although the seedbox will speed up your downloads and allow you to bypass ISP limits on your bandwith, we’re a little leery of the claims that the seedbox is completely safe and secure, or that it’ll protect you from getting sued by the RIAA or MPAA. As pointed out in the comments, paying for a dedicated hosting service and paying for cable is no different. Of course, the seedbox also costs money, so you’ll have to weigh whether you’d rather have speed or risk getting throttled by your ISP. Torrentfreak does list a few hosting solutions that may be reasonably priced.

[photo: nrkbeta]

Pirate Bay hits the road, angles for encryption


Piratbyrån and their hearties from The Pirate Bay are on a pan-European summer journey that will end at the Manifesta art biennial in Italy, but in the meantime they’ve been hard at work lobbying for total network encryption, a system that would protect users of a network (say, a P2P network) from deep packet inspection and other forms of activity analysis.

The system by which this will be achieved is called IPETEE, and it works by replacing the basic operating system network stack and doing all encryption and decryption itself. More details can be found in the IPETEE technical proposal.

Ars Technica pointed out numerous holes in the scheme, noting that most torrent apps already have encryption options. IPETEE applies to more than just torrents, though, so the larger problem is that encrypted packet still need source and destination IP addresses, meaning that one of the most crucial things you’d want to keep private (your destination site) is still accessible.

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