Bill Bumgarner


Followup on World's Most Annoying P2P

A couple of people pontificated on my original post that I didn't get the point that the author was trying to make.

I most assuredly did get the point. I'm fully aware of the T-Shirt love-in that was the result of the DeCSS obfuscated code product and I thought it was both quite cool and quite effectively made the point it was trying to make.

Neat. Made a bit of a media splash and the response was generally 'wow, they are trying to claim that that is rocket science protection technology?'. And it created a bunch of geek shirt / political activist combo paraphernalia.

But DeCSS is a different beast than P2P. CSS is a standard that an entire industry adopted. DeCSS effectively made that standard available to markets that could not otherwise consume CSS protected media.

P2P is not a standard. It is not a locked up technology that "BigCo" is trying to keep in their control.

P2P already has a very lively and open community that "BigCo" is trying to squash. The campaign is on to try and convince lawmakers and the public that P2P technology is Ÿber-evil nastiness that will destroy the world.

If you want to ensure that P2P technologies remain open and available, the best way to do that is to ensure that it is as easy as possible for relatively novice developers to toss together their own custom P2P solutions at whim.

Some random pile of obfuscated code makes a cute point, but it does not provide a building block for developers to perpetuate new protocols and solutions.

I would rather see the obviously talented developers of that particular script turn out a 1 pager bit of Python code that reads like pseudo-code for creating a simple P2P solution. Make the point that it is incredibly bloody easy to build a P2P solutions at whim using existing technologies and protocols.

From that, there will hopefully be lots of developers, admins and, even, users that put together their own custom little P2P solution for their own purposes. For example, given a clearly written version of TinyP2P, I would turn around a custom little script that I could drop on various family computers to sync photos around of the various kids in the family.

That kind of activity will very effectively demonstrate that P2P is here to stay. The more solutions available-- the more developers whip off custom P2P solutions for their own personal needs-- the harder it is to claim that P2P is a universally evil technology that must be squashed.

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Stupid Dock Trick

Another obvious trick that I just didn't know about. If you cmd-click on a Dock icon, the item it represents is selected in a Finder window.

I never needed that before and discovered it at random. Now that I know about it, I'm finding myself using it regularly.

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