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Foundation for Decentralization Research

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  • lgonze@panix.com
    http://decentralize.org/ What s the difference between this and the Brandon Wiley Foundation for Brandon Wiley-ness?
    Message 1 of 14 , Feb 25, 2003
      http://decentralize.org/

      What's the difference between this and the Brandon Wiley
      Foundation for Brandon Wiley-ness?
    • Eric Hopper
      ... I was at CodeCon when Brandon talked about this. The intent is that there will be other projects that will appear under the umbrella of this foundation
      Message 2 of 14 , Feb 25, 2003
        On Tue, Feb 25, 2003 at 09:56:10AM -0500, lgonze@... wrote:
        >
        > http://decentralize.org/
        >
        > What's the difference between this and the Brandon Wiley
        > Foundation for Brandon Wiley-ness?

        I was at CodeCon when Brandon talked about this. The intent is that
        there will be other projects that will appear under the umbrella of this
        foundation that won't be ones that Brandon has a direct stake in.

        I believe that website may have been hacked together on a laptop at
        CodeCon when Brandon wasn't working on getting live streaming of the
        proceedings to work. So, judging it so harshly so soon is a bit unfair.

        Have fun (if at all possible),
        --
        "It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.
        It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --- Thomas Jefferson
        "Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." -- Mark Twain
        -- Eric Hopper (eric-yahoo@... http://www.omnifarious.org/~hopper) --
      • Lucas Gonze
        Here s my guess on what FDR means. There is a relatively small subset of hackers who do something analogous to pure research. These are distinct from hackers
        Message 3 of 14 , Feb 25, 2003
          Here's my guess on what FDR means.

          There is a relatively small subset of hackers who do something analogous
          to pure research. These are distinct from hackers who work on useful open
          source projects like Tomcat, as well as from hackers who do cracking.
          I'm gonna call these people research hackers, even though it sounds
          pompous.

          The p2p-hacker folks are often in this subset. They're working on
          problems which have interestingness. The results are unlikely to be
          useful software for quite a while. I'd include mnet and tristero here,
          but not musicbrainz or bitzi. That's not to say that mnet or tristero
          won't get there eventually, but that the founders will long since have
          gotten bored and moved on. In general, if the final results have sexy
          graphics then it's not research hacking.

          Research hacking is dangerous. It's done for non-commercial reasons but
          isn't flagged as academic work, so convincing a judge that it's serious
          intellectual work is dicey.

          Imagine that Alluvium gets the maker sued. If the maker is Ed Felton and
          the results are published as PDF in a peer-reviewed journal, the judge is
          likely to say that you can't sue scientists for doing science. If the
          maker is Brandon Wiley and the results are published as HTML on his blog,
          the judge is more likely to say that he's an antisocial element.

          If DeCSS was done by Ronald Rivest instead of juvenile delinquents, there
          would never have been a case. But if the delinquents are affiliated with
          the Foundation for Decentralization Research, they're a tougher target.
          It's a non-profit, they're doing research, and the RIAA can find better
          victims elsewhere.

          - Lucas
        • brandon@blanu.net
          ... I m not sure where you re going with this question, so I don t know how to answer. To start with the Brandon Wiley Foundation would give give all of the
          Message 4 of 14 , Feb 25, 2003
            > http://decentralize.org/
            >
            > What's the difference between this and the Brandon Wiley
            > Foundation for Brandon Wiley-ness?

            I'm not sure where you're going with this question, so I don't know how
            to answer. To start with the Brandon Wiley Foundation would give give
            all of the money to myself, Brandon Wiley. The Foundation for
            Decentralization Research is a non-profit corporation, so as a member of
            the board of directors I don't receive any money. I can technically get
            a reasonable salary as President, but we've decided not to pay officers.

            I'm on both the board of directors and the President because, as a small
            organization which I just founded three months ago, I have to do all of
            the work to get things started.

            This question is like asking how is the EFF different from the John
            Gilmore Foundation.
          • brandon@blanu.net
            ... I think you might be mistakenly thinking of Alluvium as a personal project of mine. Alluvium is an FDR project which I graciously donated a lot of coding
            Message 5 of 14 , Feb 25, 2003
              > I was at CodeCon when Brandon talked about this. The intent is that
              > there will be other projects that will appear under the umbrella of this
              > foundation that won't be ones that Brandon has a direct stake in.

              I think you might be mistakenly thinking of Alluvium as a personal
              project of mine. Alluvium is an FDR project which I graciously donated a
              lot of coding time to. Other people donated art, hosting, and testing.

              FDR is going to be working with other non-profits such as Creative
              Commons, MusicBrainz, and existing Internet radio stations on the future
              of Alluvium.

              I think I made it clear in my talk (which admittedly is not up on the
              net yet) that I attended CodeCon as a representative of FDR. They own
              all the code, all it is of course GPLed.
            • brandon@blanu.net
              ... The goal of FDR is to solve real world problems with peer-to-peer technology. It is not, for instance, a vehicle to fund the cool hacking projects that my
              Message 6 of 14 , Feb 25, 2003
                > Here's my guess on what FDR means.
                >
                > There is a relatively small subset of hackers who do something analogous
                > to pure research. These are distinct from hackers who work on useful open
                > source projects like Tomcat,
                ...
                > The p2p-hacker folks are often in this subset. They're working on
                > problems which have interestingness. The results are unlikely to be
                > useful software for quite a while.

                The goal of FDR is to solve real world problems with peer-to-peer
                technology. It is not, for instance, a vehicle to fund the cool hacking
                projects that my friends and I do such as Mnet and Tristero. The p2p
                hacker community works on cool projects because they like to and they
                need no assistance.

                Alluvium was presented at CodeCon as an example of the sort of work
                which we're going to be doing. Alluvium is a pragmatic application
                reusing existing technologies for the purpose of allowing Internet radio
                stations to operate with significantly reduced bandwidth costs and
                processing overhead. The CodeCon demo of this technology was very
                successful as a number of existing Internet radio stations have
                expressed interest in testing Alluvium as a possible replacement for
                icecast.

                I will of course continue to engage in my cool hacking projects in my
                free time, entirely separate from FDR. I will also continue to donate
                time and code to FDR until it's self-sufficient without my assistance.
              • Eric Mathew Hopper
                ... You probably did, and I was so interested in Alluvium itself that the details of creation, ownership and sponsorship slipped by me.  I do recall you
                Message 7 of 14 , Feb 25, 2003
                  On Tue, Feb 25, 2003 at 11:59:17PM -0600, brandon@... wrote:
                  > I think you might be mistakenly thinking of Alluvium as a personal
                  > project of mine. Alluvium is an FDR project which I graciously
                  > donated a lot of coding time to. Other people donated art, hosting,
                  > and testing.
                  >
                  > FDR is going to be working with other non-profits such as Creative
                  > Commons, MusicBrainz, and existing Internet radio stations on the
                  > future of Alluvium.
                  >
                  > I think I made it clear in my talk (which admittedly is not up on the
                  > net yet) that I attended CodeCon as a representative of FDR. They own
                  > all the code, all it is of course GPLed.

                  You probably did, and I was so interested in Alluvium itself that the
                  details of creation, ownership and sponsorship slipped by me.  I do
                  recall you asking for a tiny donation from everybody simply so you could
                  demonstrate public support, and thus get non-profit status. Sadly, I
                  should've cornered you and insisted you accept money from me for FDR.
                  Now I'll have all the pain of snail mailing it. :-P

                  Lucas' idea that FDR sponsored projects would be harder to attack via
                  the legal system is probably also correct.

                  Have fun (if at all possible),
                  --
                  "It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.
                  It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --- Thomas Jefferson
                  "Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." -- Mark Twain
                  -- Eric Hopper (hopper@... http://www.omnifarious.org/~hopper) --
                • Lucas Gonze
                  ... Any other FDR projects in the works, Brandon? I m trying to get an idea of the kind of stuff planned.
                  Message 8 of 14 , Feb 26, 2003
                    On Tue, 25 Feb 2003 brandon@... wrote:
                    > FDR is going to be working with other non-profits such as Creative
                    > Commons, MusicBrainz, and existing Internet radio stations on the future
                    > of Alluvium.

                    Any other FDR projects in the works, Brandon? I'm trying to get an idea
                    of the kind of stuff planned.
                  • Lucas Gonze
                    ... Can you talk a little more about Alluvium itself, Brandon? My impression is that it accumulates data in a non-realtime way, then does a realtime feed.
                    Message 9 of 14 , Feb 26, 2003
                      Eric Hopper said:
                      > I was so interested in Alluvium itself that the
                      > details of creation, ownership and sponsorship slipped by me.

                      Can you talk a little more about Alluvium itself, Brandon?

                      My impression is that it accumulates data in a non-realtime way, then does
                      a realtime feed. It's more like Tivo than RealAudio. I think.

                      - Lucas
                    • brandon@blanu.net
                      ... PayPal is also available! There s a donation link on the front page of decentralize.org. PayPal is preferrable actually since it makes it easy to document
                      Message 10 of 14 , Feb 26, 2003
                        > demonstrate public support, and thus get non-profit status. Sadly, I
                        > should've cornered you and insisted you accept money from me for FDR.
                        > Now I'll have all the pain of snail mailing it. :-P

                        PayPal is also available! There's a donation link on the front page of
                        decentralize.org. PayPal is preferrable actually since it makes it easy
                        to document who donations come from, an important thing with
                        non-profits.
                      • brandon@blanu.net
                        ... Alluvium is designed to be a total replacement for icecast for streaming audio (and later video). It supports both live feeds and playlists. It is
                        Message 11 of 14 , Feb 26, 2003
                          > Can you talk a little more about Alluvium itself, Brandon?
                          >
                          > My impression is that it accumulates data in a non-realtime way, then does
                          > a realtime feed. It's more like Tivo than RealAudio. I think.

                          Alluvium is designed to be a total replacement for icecast for streaming
                          audio (and later video). It supports both live feeds and playlists. It
                          is icecast-compatible on the client side, but requires that you run the
                          Alluvium client software. On the server, all you need is a plain HTTP
                          server.

                          The question of whether it is "really" streaming is one that comes up a
                          lot. It's even covered partially in our FAQ. It's certainly closer to
                          streaming than file-sharing, but it is unclear if the courts would
                          consider is streaming since no legal definition of the difference
                          between streaming and downloading has been set forth, although a
                          difference is assumed in various pieces of legislation.

                          Icecast and Alluvium both use HTTP for their file transfers. Icecast is
                          one long HTTP stream with breaks inserted (the details of how this
                          is done depend on if it's icecast or shoutcast) whereas Alluvium uses
                          one HTTP request per content file since files can be on multiple
                          servers. Alluvium downloads the content from multiple servers
                          simultaneously (including other Alluvium clients tuned into the same
                          stream) by using HTTP Byte-Range headers. This is similar in effect to
                          having each client relay an icecast stream to more clients, reducing the
                          number of clients that need to talk directly to the icecast server. By
                          doing content relaying per content file instead of per stream, however,
                          gives several benefits. For instance, you can have the server distribute
                          a hash of each file, ensuring that the integrity of the content is
                          preserved through the relays. Additionally, relay servers can be chosen
                          on a per-file basis, easily taking into account churn among the
                          listeners.

                          Overall, it has somewhat similar properties to icecast where every
                          listener is also a relay server. It differs from other projects that use
                          this model by doing things on the file level instead of the stream
                          level. This new model has all of the useful properties of the old model
                          with the addition of some new beneficial properties in terms of speed
                          and flexibility.
                        • brandon@blanu.net
                          ... The FDR agenda for 2003 is based around Alluvium, but there are many possible subprojects we might undertake. Most of these involve getting people to use
                          Message 12 of 14 , Feb 26, 2003
                            > > FDR is going to be working with other non-profits such as Creative
                            > > Commons, MusicBrainz, and existing Internet radio stations on the future
                            > > of Alluvium.
                            >
                            > Any other FDR projects in the works, Brandon? I'm trying to get an idea
                            > of the kind of stuff planned.

                            The FDR agenda for 2003 is based around Alluvium, but there are many
                            possible subprojects we might undertake. Most of these involve getting
                            people to use it, adapting it to the needs of individual organizations,
                            improving the server-side broadcasting tools, and integrating with other
                            existing tools. As I mentioned briefly before, we have already made
                            tentative plans with Creative Commons, MusicBrainz, and a number of
                            Internet radio stations for collaborative projects. These collaborations
                            will of course be mentioned on the website once we get the details
                            worked out.

                            The 2004 agenda is still very open. It will depend largely on how much
                            community support and interest we can generate in 2003. So far we have a
                            possible collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin to work on
                            distributed metadata searching for a multi-university multimedia
                            learning record storage system.

                            The number and nature of projects that we sponsor and endorse will of
                            course be directly related to the amount of support we receive in terms
                            of donations of funds, code, and time.
                          • Serguei Osokine
                            Thanks to Lucas and his pointer to this article - Check this out: http://www.scs.cs.nyu.edu/coral/docs/coral-iptps03.pdf - and never mind clusters and latency
                            Message 13 of 14 , Feb 27, 2003
                              Thanks to Lucas and his pointer to this article -

                              Check this out:

                              http://www.scs.cs.nyu.edu/coral/docs/coral-iptps03.pdf

                              - and never mind clusters and latency minimization that
                              these guys are talking about.

                              Their DSHT (distributed sloppy hash table) seems
                              to be the third major breakthrough in the P2P area in
                              the past few years, the first two being Gnutella and DHTs.

                              If it works as planned, it might finally allow to
                              build the really scalable search-by-hash file exchange
                              systems, because it solves the popular content key storage
                              problem by very simply and elegantly distributing the "Oops
                              - I did it again" key storage load across multiple (make it
                              *massively* multiple) nodes.

                              I have a feeling that in a few years the file exchange
                              sytem without DSHT will be considered crippled - no one's
                              gonna use it (again, if I'm right about the usability of the
                              approach proposed by these guys).

                              Best wishes -
                              Oso.
                            • Lucas Gonze
                              I m struck by is the way Alluvium clusters with Tornado, MusicBrainz, Bitzi, Magnet, THEX, etc, all of it done with complete respect for the architecture of
                              Message 14 of 14 , Feb 28, 2003
                                I'm struck by is the way Alluvium clusters with Tornado, MusicBrainz,
                                Bitzi, Magnet, THEX, etc, all of it done with complete respect for the
                                architecture of the web, but none of it done by the W3C.
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