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RE: [decentralization] p2p working group/standards

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  • Jeffrey Kay
    Hello, Clay -- ... Excellent formula. I think that your point indicating that some amount of control is lost with empowerment and vice versa is correct, but
    Message 1 of 55 , Feb 13, 2001
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      Hello, Clay --

      > -----Original Message-----

      > > While those of us who use P2P technology see it as empowering, many
      > > enterprises see it as subversive.
      > We are right about empowerment, and they are right about subversion,
      > because
      > ___1___
      > Empowerment = Control

      Excellent formula. I think that your point indicating that some amount of
      control is lost with empowerment and vice versa is correct, but not
      complete. It doesn't mean that all control is bad and that all empowerment
      is good. Internet numbering is a good example (albeit a little low level)
      -- a certain amount of control over the IP addressing scheme on the Internet
      has created a system where virtually any computers can interact with each
      other. We become unempowered to number and arrange our computers in a
      network of our choice, yet the control of the numbering system provides a
      greater good. A little "managed peer" could go a long way in the
      enterprise, if approached correctly, empowering users while managing the
      situation. Subversion doesn't have to be the rule in P2P -- it just is
      because enterprises haven't been enlightened. I feel strongly that not all
      enterprise IT managers are prison wardens; rather, many are just
      conservative types who need to be educated and enabled.

      > > By pulling together a working group to explore the P2P issues more
      > > specifically and begin to educate the market, we'll have a better
      > > chance of introducing this technology into the enterprise.
      > While there has been and will continue to be lots of industry adoption
      > of things like Groove and Data Synapse, there is also another axis
      > into the enterprise: the back door. Instant Messaging was the first
      > business communications application brought into the enterprise one
      > user at a time, but it won't be the last.
      > The historic consensus is that you can do whatever you like with your
      > own computer, but creating a network address requires deployment of
      > some powerful juju. Now that ICQ and Napster have upended that, by
      > giving ordinary users the ability to create permanent, human readable
      > network addresses in 5 minutes, without requiring them to ask for
      > either help or permission, we may be in a situation analogous to the
      > arrival of the PC, where the entrprises were the last ones to come to
      > the party.

      So far there really hasn't been as widespread an industry adoption of
      anything except Napster. Those of us who are geeks presume that everyone
      has jumped on the bandwagon because we have, but it really isn't true. The
      exception to this is Instant Messaging, and AOL has really brought that
      steadily along. Groove hasn't really become the rage yet -- they sure are
      working on it, though. Napster created a stir in the market, but with the
      limited content distribution (MP3s, I mean), it hasn't found any business
      application. AIMster looks interesting.

      I agree with your analogy to the PC era, where enterprises took a while to
      move to them, away from the minis and mainframes. But PCs didn't just find
      their way easily into the enterprise, like free software can. So the
      appearance of subversion is greater when freeware can be downloaded and used
      by anyone. And it gets worse when that software subverts network entities
      designed to protect the enterprise. Don't get me wrong here -- I'm not
      coming down in favor of the highly restrictive firewalls and technology that
      prevents P2P technology from working. I just think that there is a better
      way to resolve these issues -- rather than create an arms race, it would be
      better to work with the community to make our technologies complement each

      > > As Ben Franklin said -- if we don't hang together, we'll all hang
      > > separately.
      > And I think it was either Sun Yat-Sen or Billy the Kid who said "A
      > false sense of consensus creates arbitrary constraints on the range of
      > available options."
      > We are some contentious motherfuckers. Hanging together would make
      > sense if there was some pure thing to gravitate towards, but I still
      > swing between wanting to make Dave Winer Pope of User Empowerment and
      > wanting to have him killed, so I think its a bit early to be hanging
      > together.

      As a contentious motherfucker myself, I relish the opportunity to stick it
      to those who would oppress us. However, I believe that cooperation works
      better in this case. One of the more obvious issues with P2P is the
      handling of firewalls. One way of handling them is to subvert them. The
      other is to develop strategies in cooperation with the firewall developers
      for managing the traffic through them. I believe that it is just this sort
      of thing that is the reason for us P2P developers to begin gravitating
      towards each other. Initially, I don't think there is _anything_ to
      standardize. It's too early, too impure. But I do think that there is an
      amount of education that we can give each other and, importantly, give to
      those that would like to use our technology and products. And maybe in the
      process we'll find out that we actually do have some things in common. I'm
      willing to take a chance that a collective of entities (enterprises,
      individuals, etc.) brought together in the form of a P2P working group might
      have a reasonable shot at achieving that goal.

      So my thought is that hanging together might be as simple as having a forum
      to regularly discuss issues regarding P2P, create some technical reports
      (not standards -- reports to create awareness), and develop partnerships.
      I'm not particularly in favor of constraints and false consensus is of no
      use to any of us. However, as a group we can command attention in the
      industry and really open the floor for discussion rather than cause
      enterprises to rally against us. In effect, this can seriously legitimize
      our efforts and create momentum in the market. It's not too early to start
      hanging together -- it's actually just the right time. Now that we command
      attention in the market, we promote our technology and our cause by
      collaborating under a united banner.

      Regards --

      jeffrey kay <jkay@...>
      chief technology officer, engenia software, inc.
      "first get your facts, then you can distort them at your leisure" -- mark
      "golf is an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle"
      -- sports illustrated
      "if A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y plus Z. X is
      work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut." -- albert einstein
    • Ben Houston
      ... Probably going to SHA-1 isn t too big of a problem. I ll bring it up with those that I know. Interestingly, there are ways to add file hashes within the
      Message 55 of 55 , Feb 20, 2001
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        Justin Chapweske said:
        > ... switch to SHA-1.
        > The biggest group that I havn't yet talked to about this is the Gnutella
        > guys, but I'm sure they'd be into it as well. Any Gnutellians on the
        > list?

        Probably going to SHA-1 isn't too big of a problem. I'll bring it up with
        those that I know. Interestingly, there are ways to add file hashes within
        the existing protocol specifications - it should even be backwards

        -ben houston
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