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With Xmas fast approaching, one almost expects the unexpected. It would not come as a shock, for example, if a clip of a dancing cat were to be the most viewed video on YouTube this month, or for that matter one of some rather pathetic Harry Potter puppets, or even Britney Spears singing. Indeed, all of these clips feature in the top five, with millions of downloads. Yet none of them are at number one, this honour is currently reserved for a video of the Ubuntu Linux distribution being downloaded.

Yes, you read that right. And no, there is no catch. The computer doing the download does not explode, Tux the penguin does not start singing half way through, and there are no naked ladies involved. It is, pure and simple, just a video of Ubuntu being downloaded using the UseNeXT client. What's more, as I write this, it has been viewed almost 4 million times in December! The High School Musical blooper real can only claim 1.7 million views this month, Ubuntu Linux being downloaded hits 3.98 million.

So just what exactly is going on?

The blame would appear to lay with the UseNeXT download client itself, or rather the people behind it who have offered a $1000 prize to the person who can make a YouTube video showing the fastest download of the distro using the client. Under the banner Usenet Download World Record the guantlet would appear to have been well and truly taken up.

Apparently, the video must contain the following steps:

  1. Opening of the UseNeXT client
  2. Search for "ubuntu"
  3. Click on one of the first results in the size range 700 - 900 MB
  4. Click on download wizard
  5. Zoom on download size in the download wizard (download size is smaller because PAR files are not counted here)
  6. Zoom on download button and click on start download in download wizard
  7. Zoom on download speed in the status bar
  8. Click on wizard in the icon bar
  9. Zoom on progress bar in the download list
  10. Steps 7 and 9 can be repeated as often as you want during download
  11. As soon as download has finished, zoom on the progress bar to show the unpacking procedure
  12. Double click on download to show the downloaded file in Explorer

The current record, for the record, stands at 634Mb in just 66 seconds which is actually 34 seconds to download and 32 seconds to uncompress.

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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