All posts by 400944ml

The BitTorrent protocol

The platform uses the Bittorrent protocol, which has been created by Bram Cohen in April 2001 (Wikipedia, 2014).

The figure 1 provides a brief example of how it works: each shared file is divided in small elements that are downloadable by using a torrent client (each colored dot in figure 1 represents an element of the file). First, the big server is the only one that has the file; the big server is the only “seed” and the people that download elements are the “peers” (pic 1). Then people that downloaded some elements become “seeds” for these downloaded elements (pic 2) and they are also still “peers” (they still download from the big server (pic 3)). And so on until all the “peers” downloaded all the elements of the file they wanted (pic 8). Thus there is not only one source for a specific file, but instead all downloaders become a source, which allows a faster download than if there is only one unique provider. Continue reading The BitTorrent protocol

BlaBlaCar or how to travel for cheap

BlaBlaCarTable 1 shows the prices we would have paid for the following one-way trips if we made them a few years age. However nowadays, it is possible to do the same trips for much cheaper prices (table 1). Why? Because since 2006 there is a new company called BlaBlaCar that allows traveling at very low costs, by using the empty seats in the cars of people, who are doing the same trip with their car. In exchange of taking passengers, the driver gets paid to cover the travel costs.

table1BlaBlaCar is present in 12 European countries and it is continuing to expand. The company has a 100% growth rate/y over the last 4 years, more than 1 million passengers travelling by using this company every month, the estimated costs savings are about €100 millions every year for all the drivers that are registered on their website. By founding the company, Frédéric MAZZELLA did not only seek for profit; one of his main concerns was to find a way to reduce pollution. Thanks to BlaBlaCar, the average occupancy rate of the cars that belong to the members of BlaBlaCar is around 3 vs 1,6 for the European average level. In consequence, it reduced the CO2 emissions by 700 000 tons.

Continue reading BlaBlaCar or how to travel for cheap



Ever heard about Criteo? No? Maybe the reason for that is because it is mainly involved in B to B deals. However the expertise of this company is very present in your everyday life and you help the developing their product almost every time you go on the internet. But before going into details lets quickly go through its overview; Criteo is a French company that has been founded by three engineers in 2005. Today it is listed on the NASDAQ and made 444M€ revenues in 2013, it has more than 700 employees and more than 4000 collaborators. It operates in more than 37 different countries and has offices in 15 different countries.

What made the success of the company at its beginning is the algorithm they developed; this algorithm is able to track consumers’ habits on the Internet. So, what is the difference with any other matchmaker? It is different in the fact that tracking is not the finality of Criteo; indeed, once it has collected enough data concerning your habits, Criteo uses them to make a forecast of your next probable purchase intentions. Continue reading Criteo