Decentralize the web with Diaspora

Further comments will be on my web site http://semanticc.blogspot.com/
Everyone should read this write up here:-
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/diaspora_project_building_the_anti-facebook.php
Quote 1.: "Still, the concepts behind Diaspora, while the sort of thing tech geeks will eat up, may be harder to grasp for the everyday Facebook user who is still trying to figure out how post a link or video to their Wall. Distributed, decentralized, open-source what?"
And Quote 2.: "For example, a photo uploaded to Flickr could automatically be turned into a Twitter post using the caption and link."

And then go back to the begining of these comments where team members, with time, actually answer questions.
Raphael Sofaer Quote 3. "We certainly plan on interfacing with Status.net, and implementing activitystreams and other standards."

Helpful also to read the outline specification as given to Luis Villa, link here:-
http://joindiaspora.com/2010/04/30/a-response-to-mr-villa.html
Datastores Quote 4.:"2. A datastore and corresponding interface that can store all of your stuff in one place. MongoDB is what we are looking at for V1, but the redundancy of TahoeFS is intriguing(as well as serving a slightly different purpose)."

More info on the team can be found here, with links:-
http://socialite.posterous.com/tag/dangrippi
New York University's Courant Institute (New York University Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences) link:-
http://cims.nyu.edu/

@Jamie Curierre
I think that people know that this is timely. They look at the team and see that they are at a particular point in their lives were they could give up internships and devote the energy it seems only the young have to this project.
Everyone knows that in terms of giving up internships it is win-win as this will always stand them in good stead.

In the UK many graduates (but not software grads) have to do internships that are not paid for some months, sometimes years. And for software grads it can just be luck of the draw if you are able to consolidate on your passions. There is no process of apprenticeship which is what an internship really is.
But if you ask your grandparents (they may have to think about their parents) they will tell you about apprenticeship.
Once upon a time their were guilds and guilds would make awards to sponsor projects. (This still exists to a small extent in the UK.) The guilds, of course, had halls, that is where the community would meet, discuss, vote?
Now this is the internet and we are all meeting here. It is very interesting. A slightly random discussion with an unseen audience, but a discussion none the less.

@Christina Brentwood
a) Does "decentralized" mean on all the time. No it doesn't, that couldn't possibly work. Play around with some torrent software to see how it works, there are plenty of forums if you don't have a friend who can help/show you.
But also note Quote 1. The intention is to offer a paid for service as well, which would avoid local setup.
b) Beyond donations, is this a non-profit organization? I see no formal, legal structure behind this. But the gang are all attached to NYU Courant and all universities have pretty explicit rules covering student activity, projects and so forth. At the moment their names are attached to NYU, this is significant.
However that is safeguard from the negative, on the positive side they should setup some legal struture to carry this forward. Many teams relly on dual licensing and have a separate commercial operation (an LLC of some sort).
Myself I would like to see the reintroduction of small partnerships, but I don't know how that might look in the US landscape. We have no control over this anyway, unless they are generous enough to offer us shares (they almost certainly wont, but who knows?)
c) Export email. If they come to that functionality, yes. Ownership of data. Not sure what you mean. Who really does own data on FB? I'm unclear. There are issues of the intersection between copyright and privacy and fair use. What ever those issues are, they will be far clearer and more tightly defined in your favour in the context of diaspora.
d) Yes, it must do.
e) Asking and aswering good questions always helps.

@Craig Paul and @Tony who replies: 'Diaspora is latin'. I think you need to look this up a bit more. Diaspora is Greek. This is explained on the web site. It refers to the sowing of seeds. It has been used to describe the dispersal of peoples, for the last two thousand years the Jewish people, and latterly by Asian and other communities as well. There is an Asian diaspora, but exactly how the term is used in the modern context I am less sure about, for instance is it used by US Asians or Asians in, say, France? And do only the Indian community use it or both Indian and Pakistani. Do African communities use it? There is no reason not to.

@Mike Diliberto makes the point about mobile phones as servers. Symbian already allows a server to run, Nokia have encouraged this in experiments. Not sure about other providers.

@William Ward makes an early point about the talk that inspired this. His point illustrates how data privacy is a difficult issue, mainly what nefarious activity might it hide? You have to count on this happening since computers amplify data usage in the same way that cars amplify legs. What to do?
He also makes a point about networking which I find creates an interesting picture of the centralised internet and ancilliary services having formed from the structure of the network.

@H. Elwood Gilliland III This is the sort of message I would take a punt on and give a call back when time is right. At least stories can be instructive.

Last point is about javascript. Someone made some points about this. It is true that javascript is an integrate language wot work with in detail. But it reminded me that there are non-blocking js servers - well nodejs, this could be significant to the overall design, as that is a way of getting back js to multiple nodes without thread blocking. em, interesting ...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"In the UK many graduates (but not software grads) have to do internships that are not paid for some months, sometimes years."

This is just wrong.

Maybe a very very small number do but I have never heard of it, despite graduating in the last 4 years. None of my contemporaries worked for free nor any other graduates from different year groups I have kept in touch with.

semanticC said...

I think you are right, I only know a couple of grads, but as it happens they both have done internships in completely separate areas. I think for very little money though, not for free. But I thought I had heard stories of grads doing voluntary work (implication for free) while looking for better. Am I wrong?

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