Yeah, you might argue that some bad actors took advantage of the tech and turned it into the endless of darkness. But I think, the fundamental reason here is simply lack of creativity.
You give people a protocol that is really good at distributing (large) files, guess how they going to use it? The cheapest use cases comes on top, of course. Make something both productive and beneficial is hard man!
(Not sure if this is a copyright sensitve question but curious)
My understanding is that many people consider piracy illegal in the "corporations paid to make it illegal because it threatened their business model" sense
That said.... Gnutella/Gnutella2, eDonkey2000, and others were objectively crappy designs, but still worked very well at one use case: distributing rare files. The thing is, if you have a stable high-speed mirror, the files aren't rare anymore. Hence the only files that are rare are the illegal ones, or ones that can't find a mirror to host them. There's just not much point to P2P. Sometimes there's good reason to distribute illegal files, like getting past state censorship. But the whole world isn't going to adopt a wonky solution for a rare use-case. Hence P2P has not & will not take off.
I don't know where you live, but in the EU we tend to take the net neutrality seriously, and that does not happen.
The largest BitTorrent tracker in the country was shut down by authorities for obvious reasons: Linux ISOs were far from the most popular uploads shared there.
Our ISP monopoly (which was owned by someone very close to the Supreme Leader's family) immediately saw a significant drop in traffic, and (according to hearsay, I had no way to check this) clients started leaving off in droves as they had no use for a fast internet connection anymore. 'Foreign' torrent trackers and video streaming were not very practical because of bad connectivity back then.
So the tracker was restored less than a week later and worked fine for about a decade after that.
Corruption finally worked for the good of the community.
Thankfully not all local cable ISPs are like this, but that's what was available. And I don't think they can do this for much longer due to proliferation of cloud backups, teleconferencing, desktop/game streaming, etc.
A given channel has only so much bandwidth. In DSL and the like, you can pick which part is dedicated to up, and which to down because you only have one pair of wires to work with.
So your link gives you say, 100 Mbps. You can split that 50/50, but then your competition can go with a 90/10 split, and look, their downloads are much faster!
With people replacing more and more laptop and desktop usage the platforms are Android and iOS. On both of these you essentially have to pay to release software, on top of that people more frequently have to pay for traffic, which oftentimes is in some for of ISP NAT, which might mean no or only certain incoming connections.
I think these platforms are the biggest inhibitor for P2P and actually also new technologies, because they are extremely constrained in what you can do compared to a typical desktop OS/environment.
It seems like we still have decentralized systems but now call them fediverse, distributed, decentralized, federated, ipfs, web 3.0, etc..
It might have been interesting if he'd looked at searches for those terms as well.
Because at some point you need to deal with trolls/spammers at the gates
These days a much larger fraction of computing devices are on battery, on expensive networks like cellular, and can't really tolerate being part of a DHT. Increasing use of NAT/Masquerading makes a harder (and a support nightmare) to accept incoming packets from new peers.
One solution to this is to add a "superpeer" to a router distribution like OpenWRT, or sell the "plug/wallwart" to help. That way a cheap (under $100) computer could build reputation with it's peers, accept incoming packets form new peers, provide some storage, and keep up with DHT maintenance. Then low power and/or expensive network peers could just check their "home" superpeer and get what they need quickly with minimal bandwidth and power.
> One solution to this is to add a "superpeer" to a router distribution like OpenWRT, or sell the "plug/wallwart" to help. That way a cheap (under $100) computer could build reputation with it's peers, accept incoming packets form new peers, provide some storage, and keep up with DHT maintenance.
...and do what exactly ? Don't have CPU power to do much, dont have storage to serve anything.
Also the same problems of "how do I exactly connect thru NAT" home router in same way, some of them might have IPv6 directly, but most are still behind some carrier grade NAT just like the phones are.
But I do like idea of evolving router a bit. Stuff like home automation should ideally just talk to MQTT queue on a router and then user is free to either install automation using it somewhere on the network, connect directly from phone, install container on the router running HomeAssistant or something, or pay some cloud service to ingest the MQTT stream and give them nice UI for it.
My new $140 router had 8 cores (4xA76 + 4xA55), 8GB ram, 32GB eMMC storage, and 2x2.5gb+gbe ports.
Even has a SD slot for more storage. My thinking is more along the lines of what can't it do. The low hanging fruit would be to replace maps.google.com (with p2p shared openstreemmaps or similar), drive.google.com/dropbox.com, chat/blog/twitter/instagram/snapchat/facebook and similar low hanging fruit. If you need more storage a 256GB sd card is $25 to $40. I believe the default storage for most google accounts is 17GB.
With a healthy P2P ecosystem you could leverage your peers, things like FileCoin could let you supplement your storage from any provider, and not depend on any single provider.
Running SHA256 on files, even reed-solomon, keeping track of your DHT peers, running IPFS or similar, even mastodon (once implemented in Go or Rust) shouldn't make newish hardware work hard.
Being in the router avoids the NAT issue, and if this kind of thing gets any traction. Anything outside the router will need working IPv6 (like Comcast in the USA), an accommodation from the router with port forwarding, or one of the various NAT traversal protocols like ICE, TURN, or STUN.
There’s still a big complexity/skill/cost jump from “I toot from my iPhone” to “I run a mastodon instance for my company” though. Some of that can be addressed by managed hosting. It’s probably preferable to have a “super peer” though. In my mind, a superpeer runs the same software as a peer, but does more work because it can. It should be easier to maintain than a full server. I’m taking about the difference between:
A) manage a mastodon node, with its own redis, PostgreSQL, web server, object storage, etc
B) run BitTorrent in the background on your gaming PC to seed the latest cut of the niche documentary you’re working on
There’s a lot of interesting self-hosting projects happening, but they tend to focus on helping you run kubernetes or a similar container orchestrator. That’s still way more complex than an executable.
I think we need things to get a bit more opinionated again…
Ideally things become easy enough that people can depend less on FAANG and do more with services that are distributed. Hopefully the software can get to the point where your server helps when it can, but if it's down other servers would help out. I just bought a $120 ($140 with case) router, 8 cores, 8GB ram, 32GB storage, GigE + 2x2.5gbe. I've love to dedicate it for messaging, filesharing, mastodon, photo storage/viewing/sharing, etc and even have it exchange services with others so that message/photos/whatever can be shared even if it goes down. Hopefully it gets there, pretty amazing resources are available cheap these days. I'd happily trade 2/3rd of my resources for other peers ... if they did the same for me.
For people still using actual computers with real internet connections and ports p2p is still as big, and as useful, as ever. It's just that the relative percentage of online users with actual internet connections has shrunk. The absolute number of people with real computers and connections has not shrunk.
In the end I think the internet would actually be a significantly better place security-wise for p2p if IPs weren't directly routable by default, and NAT with all its limitations gives you mostly that.
Unless you're behind CGNAT, your NAT IP can often be used to find your neighborhood with public information. With private information (a legal challenge for example) you can find the exact subscriber/house.
Yes, and that's all you share, so when the NAT is shared with other people (like other students on a campus for instance, or other customers of your phone mobile phone carrier) the amount of info that can be collected is much lower than if you have a public IP address for your computer.
> Unless you're behind CGNAT
Did you read what I wrote above, when I said: “at least when we're talking about a NAT you share with other people, not just your ISP box's NAT”.
> (and often your local address too, but that's less important).
Here you're mixing up the hole-punching part with the signaling protocol (ICE, which have had this issue in the past, before browsers switched to mDNS instead of private IP addresses in ICE candidates).
How do "plug and play" consumer devices that receive an incoming call / connection work behind the typical home NAT router? I have an OOMA VOIP phone service which is plugged into my home router with no ports forwarded. It has no trouble receiving an incoming call.
Does it simply open an outgoing connection and hold it open indefinitely?
Ability to trade for fiat currency proved to be a mixed blessing at best, and a downfall at worst, of this approach. When a system is so lucrative as a vehicle for ponzi schemes, it inevitably gets hijacked, and becomes unable to serve its declared purpose.
I think the term has just faded from the hype cycle.
The application concept is difficult to explain so I have started calling it an operating system as the application is getting larger.
You can use WebRTC in the browser, or the Go implementation https://github.com/keroserene/snowflake