Entire Season of Simpsons in One 4GB File

Most Shared Shows: Number of files shared during the week ending Jan.
16. Source: Big Champagne

The New York Times has a timely article about the increasing popularity
of recording, swapping and downloading TV shows. Apparently, this activity
is illegal. Who knew? Much of the article deals with BitTorrent, which seems to be some kind
of hacker’s Napster…

by Bram Cohen, a 29-year-old programmer in Bellevue, Wash., BitTorrent
breaks files hundreds or thousands of times
bigger than a song file into small pieces to speed its path to the Internet
and then to your computer. On the kind of peer-to-peer site that gave
the music industry night sweats, an episode of "Desperate Housewives" that
some fan copied and posted on the Internet can take hours to download;
on BitTorrent, it arrives in minutes. BitTorrent may sound like some
obscure techno-trickery, but more than 20 million people have already
downloaded the application. Each week dozens of shows are shared by hundreds
of thousands of people. "The Simpsons," "Family Guy" and "Friends" top
the most-popular list, but even "SpongeBob SquarePants," "Trading
Spaces" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" landed in
the Top 20 for the week ending Jan. 16, according to Big Champagne, which
measures file-sharing activity.

Strange, it took US 12 hours to download the latest
episode of "Desperate Housewives," which we just got through watching
on the laptop snuggled under the down comforter with Norma Yvonne, who
has become a big fan, of Desperate Housewives and the down comforter.
Maybe we need to update our software our upgrade our internet connection.
Of course, we are only previewing the program for inclusion in our American
Culture class at BU. Each week, we have been snipping a few scenes, and
writing exercises exploring the language and cultural themes, like attitudes
towards infidelity, suburban morality between Red States and Blue States
(where does the story take place, anyway?), socioeconomic
stratification on Wisteria Lane, teenage slang and dating habits, pharmacalogical
treatment of psychological disorders, the list goes one and on. Of course,
some weeks we get caught up in a half-hour discussion of "Can anybody
really be as dumb as Susan?" The students love it, and we feel it really
does capture the cultural pulse of the nation in a way NPR can only dream

from the New York Times

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