torrent


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torrent

a fast, voluminous, or violent stream of water or other liquid
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

torrent

This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

BitTorrent

A popular protocol for sharing large files over the Internet, developed by Bram Cohen in 2001 and available for all major platforms. There is no centralized server. Each BitTorrent user becomes a source for another user who wants the same file. The BitTorrent client balances the load on the user's computer because downloading is faster than uploading.

Widely used to transfer pirated movies and software, BitTorrent and other file sharing systems accounted for more than half of Internet traffic around the turn of the century. After movie streaming from Netflix, YouTube and other legal sources became popular, BitTorrent traffic dropped dramatically.

Torrents
A torrent was originally a file of meta-data on a BitTorrent server that keeps track of where all the files are. In practice, torrent refers to any file transferred via BitTorrent, and large files are broken into smaller ones.

File sharing systems have been architected in different ways as outlined in the following illustrations. See peer-to-peer network, Napster and KaZaA.


BitTorrent Leechers and Seeds
A "seed" is a BitTorrent client that has the file. A "leecher" is a BitTorrent client downloading, who then becomes a seed for someone else. However, a "leech" is a user who exits the program immediately after downloading to prevent being a seed. For more information, visit www.bittorrent.com.










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References in classic literature ?
We could see the streams which fed the torrent we had followed issuing from under the greenish ramparts of glaciers; but two or three of these, instead of flowing over the precipices, sank down into the rock and sprang in big jets out of holes in the mid-face of the walls.
Valparaiso -- Portillo Pass -- Sagacity of Mules -- Mountain- torrents -- Mines, how discovered -- Proofs of the gradual Elevation of the Cordillera -- Effect of Snow on Rocks -- Geological Structure of the two main Ranges, their distinct Origin and Upheaval -- Great Subsidence -- Red Snow -- Winds -- Pinnacles of Snow -- Dry and clear Atmosphere -- Electricity -- Pampas -- Zoology of the opposite Side of the Andes -- Locusts -- Great Bugs -- Mendoza -- Uspallata Pass -- Silicified Trees buried as they grew -- Incas Bridge -- Badness of the Passes exaggerated -- Cumbre -- Casuchas -- Valparaiso.
The locomotive, its great funnel emitting a weird light, with its sharp bell, and its cow-catcher extended like a spur, mingled its shrieks and bellowings with the noise of torrents and cascades, and twined its smoke among the branches of the gigantic pines.
The spirits of Sophia were too much dissipated by concern to enable her to stop the torrent of her maid.
Some moments after, the two funnels of the frigate vomited torrents of black smoke, and the bridge quaked under the trembling of the boilers.
I say splashed, for the storm water was sweeping the sand down the hill in a muddy torrent. There in the darkness a man blundered into me and sent me reeling back.
Beneath him, the Rocky Mountains seemed to open all their secret recesses: deep, solemn valleys; treasured lakes; dreary passes; rugged defiles, and foaming torrents; while beyond their savage precincts, the eye was lost in an almost immeasurable landscape; stretching on every side into dim and hazy distance, like the expanse of a summer's sea.
Soldiers were being swept beneath the boiling torrent, never to rise.
Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents' beds, unerringly I rush!
One night there was a dreadful storm; it thundered and lightened and the rain streamed down in torrents. It was fearful!
One evening a fearful tempest arose, it thundered and lightened, and the rain poured down from the sky in torrents: besides, it was as dark as pitch.
All kinds of aquatic birds--pelicans, wild-duck, kingfishers, and the rest--were seen in numerous flocks hovering about the borders of the pools and torrents.