Monday, January 03, 2011

We Can Hope

Mike Loukides:

The return of P2P

P2P has been rumbling in the background ever since Napster appeared. Recently, the rumblings have been getting louder. Many factors are coming together to drive a search for a new architectural model: the inability of our current provider paradigm to supply the kind of network we'll need in the next decade, frustration with Facebook's "Oops, we made a mistake" privacy policies, and even WikiLeaks. Whether we're talking about Bob Frankston's Ambient Connectivity, the architecture of Diaspora, Tor onion routing, or even rebuilding the Internet's client services from the ground up on a peer-to-peer basis, the themes are the same: centralization of servers and network infrastructure are single points of control and single points of failure. And the solution is almost always some form of peer-to-peer architecture. The Internet routes around damage -- and in the coming years, we'll see the Internet repair itself. The time for P2P has finally come.

Actually, this is a pretty safe prediction. Centralized and decentralized services will swing back and forth in hype and popularity for a long time to come. We're hitting one extreme right about now.

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