Isn’t the web distributed now? No really, let me illustrate– ever IM your friend that is near you “Hey, wanna see a cool video? check out this URL”? Then they download the same video you just downloaded from the original server even though it might be a long way away, rather than from your machine. This is slow, expensive, wasteful, and well, dumb.
What if, with no browser or server config other than maybe downloading a plug-in:
- all bigger files come from the folks near you or the original server, whatever is faster?
- What if the website gets to keep download counts, and keep their website up-to-date.
- Website gets get reduced bandwidth bills, and get superstar user satisfaction because of faster speed than YouTube
- Web users, even in remote countries, get that “I am sitting on a gig-e network in palo alto” feel.
- Less money goes to monopoly phone companies.
Is a real problem? Yes:
- Internet Archive servers 2million people each day. Egyptians and Japanese are two of our most popular user communities.
- They download the same files over and over. There is someone with the file that is closer to them than us.
- the 20gigabits/sec of bandwidth costs us a fortune.
- others want to serve video, but don’t because of the cost.
- others host on youtube, or amazon, or archive.org but would rather not.
Would be great, right? What it takes:
- A browser plug-in, and eventually get the browsers to do it natively.
- When a user clicks, the browser starts downloading from a site (the site then gets the download credit)
- Website serves unique hash for the file and the length of the file in the header and then serves the file as normal (archive.org and other sites do this already)
- Browser looks up the hashcode in a “trackerless p2p” system, I think bittorrent can be used for this.
- If others have it via p2p, then it gets it from those users as well, so it is not slower than getting it from the website
- After the browser downloads it, they offer it to others via p2p.
What do we get?
- Less expense for web site owners operators, but keeps them in control and in the loop
- Faster and less expensive for users
- More sites taking control of their own stuff (don’t need to give your files to remote organizations)
- Being far from the server is not as much of a penalty
Who can help?
- people that can help debug the idea (and maybe it is already done…)
- browser plug-in programmers
- p2p super distributed trackerless hashcode knowledgable folks
- the Internet Archive will seed all of its files for this system.
- we need enthusiasm, a cool logo/mascot, and coffee.
Please comment on this post as a first round to see if we can debug the idea and get critical mass.