Are you one of the millions of people who watched the live video stream on CNN’s website of Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20? If you are, then it’s very likely that your computer and your bandwidth was probably used without your direct knowledge to send that video to other people who were watching it.
According to a story on Windows Secrets, CNN has started using a P2P app called “Octoshape Grid Delivery”. Apparently, the first time you try to watch a live video feed the flash player informs you that the Octoshape Grid Delivery add on for Adobe’s flash player is required in order to get the feed.
The truth of the matter is that you don’t need Octoshape to watch those feeds. On the lower right corner of the playback window are links for using the normal Adobe flash player or Windows Media Player to watch the feed. They’re just saying it’s “required” because they want as many people as possible to get with the Octoshape program.
Essentially CNN end up using your bandwidth for it’s purposes (without paying you for it I might add!). As you might expect, this plays havoc with your available bandwidth. Octoshape grabs any where from 320 to as much as 600 kilobits per second of your upstream bandwidth. This can make a major dent in your total available bandwidth and I don’t doubt that it’d slow a lot of other connections down in the process.
This is bad enough for a single user setup but then there’s the growing number of people that are connecting two or more computers to their router. On one machine somebody’s looking over some websites for ideas for their next Orlando vacations and then on another machine using the same connection somebody starts watching one of those Octoshape aware CNN things and the 1st person suddenly might think about taking a vacation or at least a nap while their pages load.
What’s really sneaky about it is that the fact that it’s going to take over a big chunk of your pc’s resources and internet bandwidth isn’t made clear up front. Instead it’s written in legalese and hidden in the license agreement (you know, the one’s that hardly anyone reads on account of how convoluted they are.) and you don’t get to see it until after you have to click yes or no to install it.
There’s a lot more on the Windows Secrets site and it’s very much well worth reading. Suffice it to say that in MY opinion, if you get a dialog box asking if you want to install Octoshape, Click NO just as fast as you can.
[tags]octoshape grid delivery, octoshape flash, flash add on, cnn, p2p, evil p2p, deceptive license, bandwidth, bandwidth hog, just say no[/tags]