- Winny is a Japanese peer-to-peer file-sharing program which claims to be loosely inspired by the design principles behind the Freenet network, which makes user identities untraceable
- While Freenet was implemented in Java, Winny was implemented as a Windows C++ application
- The software takes its name from WinMX, where the M and the X are each advanced one letter in the Latin alphabet, to N and Y
- According to a 2006 report by the Recording Industry Association of Japan, more than three million people had tried Winny
- Like Freenet, each client functions as a node
- Initially, a search returns few results, but one can set up "clusters" based on certain keywords, and over time, one's client will learn the best route to obtain the information sought
- The software was developed by Isamu Kaneko, who was a research assistant in graduate course of computer engineering at the University of Tokyo in Japan
- He was also once a researcher at the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute
- Kaneko originally anonymously announced his intent of developing the software on the Download Software board of the popular 2channel (2ch for short) Japanese bulletin board site
- Since 2ch users often refer to anonymous users by their post numbers, Kaneko came to be known as "Mr
- 47" ("47-Shi", or 47氏 in Japanese), or just "47"
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