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Author Topic: Decentralization of Internet Access  (Read 4168 times)

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Alex Libman

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Decentralization of Internet Access
« on: May 16, 2008, 12:09:31 PM »

Good luck, Kalmia, but to someone like me this seems like a crusade whose time has passed.  I never listen even to live satellite radio, much less analog radio.  My time is too valuable to sit through minute-long commercials, not be able to fast-forward, etc.  Maybe I'm just a bit ahead of my time, but in a decade or so most people will feel the same way.  Besides, broadcast radio probably isn't the most effective means of underground communication - signals are easy to jam, there's no encryption, you'll need to rely on a different technology to take calls, etc.

Mobile communication standards like GPRS and WiFi are becoming ever more universal, and because compression and error-correction is typically built into digital transport protocols they can work in circumstances where analog radio would only give you static.

We need to fight this battle on two fronts:

(1) Decentralization of Internet ACCESS - means you're not dependent on one company to connect you to the Internet.  (And especially not a Fortune-500 company that is already in bed with the government.)  Neighborhoods can set up their own local HotSpots (like the BBS`es of yesteryear), so even if the rest of the world goes off-line people in this particular neighborhood can still communicate with each-other, and access services hosted within the neighborhood, like mirrors of important eBooks, radio archives, etc.  Then those HotSpots would need an independent way of communicating with each-other in a decentralized mesh (like FidoNet-like networks of yesteryear, but of course much better).  With every person investing a couple hundred dollars into a special router (more if you live in the boondocks), or one person in the neighborhood investing a couple thousand dollars and his time with everyone else having normal wireless equipment, a second Internet can be created, with all of the infrastructure owned entirely by the individuals participating in it.

(2) Decentralization of Internet CONTENT - on the Internet, use services that can be trusted in an emergency, and always look for ways to proliferate data.  Take this forum for example (and let's pretend we occasionally use it to discuss something serious) - if its server goes down or can't be accessed then it's gone.  If someone was to write a script that exports the content of this forum, perhaps shadowing it to a Usenet group, the content of this forum could be preserved on thousands of servers world-wide.  Even exporting an offline XML/ZIP extract (like QWK of yesteryear) and distributing it via P2P networks would mean a forum can never be taken down without somebody else putting it right back up again.  And, needless to say, trusting mega-corp sites like YouTube to house our content is a big no-no, P2P networks should be used instead.  With a right multimedia-optimized protocol and browser plug-in, it would be just as fast and convenient.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2008, 12:17:43 PM by Alex Libman »
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Alex Libman

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Re: Decentralization of Internet Access
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2008, 01:45:14 PM »

Um, I originally posted the above message on the Pirate Radio thread, but Ian got pissed at me poopooing analog radio and used his Godlike powers to smack my post outta there.  :lol:
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Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith)

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Re: Decentralization of Internet Access
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2008, 07:15:18 PM »

Bit Torrent Baby
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kalmia

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Re: Decentralization of Internet Access
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2008, 07:19:59 PM »

I think traditional ways of transmitting radio programs will become less important in the future, but they are still very popular now.  Many people would still hear it on traditional analog frequencies.

I am pretty annoyed by what is available on the radio here now.  That is why I had thought about doing this.

How many of us here avoid TV news completely or almost completely?  There are still many who do watch it.

I think we need to start more media that is in competition with the old media. Many of us will have to start small.  The people who do this will gain experience to move into bigger media eventually.  Maybe some could eventually start their own outlets too.

Alex Libman 15

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Re: Decentralization of Internet Access
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2009, 11:25:35 AM »

Decentralized Internet / WiFi mesh / "own the last mile" connectivity concepts mentioned on the Sep 29th show, and it looks like I&M didn't RTFM up on those yet...


(Yeah, I go around bumping old threads when they become relevant again.  It's my new thing.  Deal with it.)
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mikehz

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Re: Decentralization of Internet Access
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2009, 01:10:43 AM »

This sounds to me like packet radio, which has long been used by Amateur radio operators for linking computers via radio, replacing the wires with the airwaves.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packet_radio
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Alex Libman 15

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Re: Decentralization of Internet Access
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2009, 01:14:53 AM »

Yeah, in the sense that miniature golf is still golf.  :lol:
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TimeLady Victorious

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Re: Decentralization of Internet Access
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2009, 02:22:24 PM »

How about setting up a hamgate? You'd need some strange computer equipment and a ham radio, but with a hamgate one could help others access the Internet and let others access the Internet and a private network at a speed varying from 9600 baud to 1 mbps.

That's a good way towards decentralization.

edit: pretty much what mikehz said
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Alex Libman 15

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Re: Decentralization of Internet Access
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2009, 04:27:00 PM »

It's definitely beneficial to discuss the merits of various technologies, but in the end those decisions will be made by the free market.

There are many competing technologies and methodologies out there.  It would be well-known that Free Staters are generally interested in decentralization and proliferation of Internet access.  (My "Free State LandOwner Registry" idea could be helpful for this as well.)  Whenever someone comes up with a solution for this in your neighborhood, whether free or paid - great.  When there's more than one you have non-exclusive competition (i.e. someone can have multiple ISP's, which is a great idea for routing redundancy).  Over time, the better ideas and organizational structures would win out.
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