[kwlug-disc] Callout to CS majors/Other technically savvy klwug listers.

Doug Moen doug at moens.org
Thu Feb 7 20:37:43 EST 2019


Setting up a decentralized digital content marketplace is on my TODO
list for this year. I want a way for users to create and share content,
and find and access other user-created content, in conjunction with my
open source project Curv, which allows you to design 3D models for 3D
printing. This hypothetical network of shared content could be called
"CurvNet".
Creating a payment system isn't part of my plan, though, since it could
incentivize users to put their content behind a paywall, and prevent
share/reuse/remix open source/open culture behaviour. It's the
difference between thingiverse.com (a free/open site for
uploading/downloading 3D digital models, with no payment model) and
shapeways.com (you upload your models then charge people to get 3D
printed copies of your models. It's theoretically possible to offer
your models for free download, but in practice nobody does). Ted
Nelson's project Xanadu promised a way to pay authors while
incentivizing sharing/reuse/remix, because in his system, the more
people reuse/remix your content, the more you get paid. That would be
ideal, but I'm not aware that anybody knows how to actually implement
this on today's internet.
The centralized model (eg, how github works) has the advantage of being
well known, it's obvious how to set it up. The problem is that I don't
want to pay for the servers needed to keep the CurvNet running,
especially if it the project takes off and becomes really popular.
Creating a business model that pays for the servers to keep running is
also problematic. It's either advertising (collecting people's personal
information and reselling it), or you pay for an account, which creates
a large barrier to entry. Plus it's centralized, so if the CurvNet
server shuts down, then everybody loses.
I'd prefer a decentralized model. But where are the servers where the
content is stored; who pays for those servers? How do you find content
on the network related to your interests? How much friction is involved
in publishing content to the network?
Do you need to install an application on your laptop/desktop/tablet in
order to start using the application, or is it as easy as visiting a URL
and have the content browser/content editor application immediately
start running in your browser? Installing an application creates
friction, but then it provides an answer to where you store your
personal content: on your laptop/desktop/tablet's local storage. Having
the application run in a web browser, and storing your personal content
on the cloud, reduces friction, and lets you access your content from
any device. But as I asked early, where are the cloud servers and how
are they paid for?
LBRY uses blockchain. That's a red flag:
https://www.wired.com/story/theres-no-good-reason-to-trust-blockchain-technology/The author, Bruce Schneier, is an expert in the field of security and
trust who is worth listening to, and his arguments are good. Any
blockchain based solution should address the points that Schneier makes.
Anyway, that is my starting point. I will look at LBRY and see if there
are any new answers to my questions.
Also, I would definitely attend a KWLUG talk that provided new answers
to these questions.
Doug Moen.

On Thu, Feb 7, 2019, at 10:31 AM, Chamunks wrote:
> Hey KWLUG,
> 
> My company, LBRY, just finished a beta draft introducing its
> technology. We're looking for feedback from the best and brightest.> 
> [You can check it out at https://lbry.tech/spec]
> (https://lbry.tech/spec). The intended audience is computer scientists
> and/or professional software engineers.> 
> Any thoughts you have at all would mean a lot to me and our entire
> team. Is it interesting? Does it make sense to you?> 
> P.S. You're welcome to share the link with others, but we're looking
>      to avoid posts to any public forums (for now). I may contact you
>      again in a few weeks when we're ready for a more public campaign.> _________________________________________________
> kwlug-disc mailing list
> kwlug-disc at kwlug.org
> http://kwlug.org/mailman/listinfo/kwlug-disc_kwlug.org

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