Post-Napster Peer-to-Peer:

  • Post-Napster Peer-to-Peer:
    Wired News today has a couple of reports (article one article two) from the O’Reilly Peer-to-Peer Conference being held in San Francisco. Translating geek into English, Peer-to-Peer is a type of computer networking that allows file sharing between any two computers on a network, where typically information only flows between client computers and servers, like web servers. Napster is a type of peer-to-peer network where users exchange mp3 files directly–the server is only used to establish those relationships, serving as a kind of directory. The power of such a schema is that it decentralizes the power to distribute and share information, especially if you can obviate the need for a centralized directory–arguably Napster’s greatest weakness. Several alternatives to Napster have been created, like Gnutella and Freenet, although each has it’s own problems. This conference is evidence of the interest in this type of network due to the potential it has to help erode the broadcaster-audience relationship that still persists.

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