Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.
Author: Joshua Allen Posted: 9/19/2000; 9:56:39 PM Topic: Asking Tim Msg #: 21527 (In response to 21523) Prev/Next: 21526 / 21528
Is P2P usually used to mean decentralized computing or used to mean person-to-person collaboration? Regarding the first, you may be interested in http://www.gridforum.org. Last meeting was at MS campus, but you might be surprised at who is participating.
Napster uses centralized directory and is fairly simple. Gnutella is an attempt at more distributed directory, but both platforms lack vision (and ignore many years of research). It has, for a few years, been possible now to build a system that:
- allows users to associate together voluntarily and create a "cloud" where data can be stored and retrieved and messages passed.
- allows users to be admitted "citizenship" to the cloud based on trust of existing citizens, but allows users to operate completely anonymously and with complete deniability if they wished.
- stores no complete copy of any data on any machine -- at least m nodes of the cloud would be needed to retrieve any piece of information (including directory), so the cloud could never be examined by siezing a few machines.
- replicates minimal pieces of data dynamically so that the whole cloud would always exist as people joined and left the cloud (as long as a certain minimum number of citizens were always online).
A moderately smart person with knowledge of crypto and network graph spanning algorithms should be able to design such a system. Someone just has to want to spend the time...
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