Japan’s earthquake didn’t even slow BitTorrent use

By Nate Anderson

Not even the worst earthquake in its recorded history can keep Japan’s file-swapping community down. Last month, a team at Northwestern University near Chicago used its own BitTorrent monitoring tools to watch the number of BitTorrent peers exchanging data during the week before the earthquake and the week of the earthquake. They were largely identical, with one exception.

"The exception can be seen in the 24-hour period immediately following the earthquake, which occurred at 2:46pm local time on Friday, March 11th. As the graph shows, the number of BitTorrent peers found online differed by as much as 25 percent in this period compared to the previous week at the same time. Surprisingly, we still see a large number of peers online and activity returns to normal on Saturday morning."


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