Distributed Computing

From: White, Ryan (ryan@dvelco.com)
Date: Thu Jul 27 2000 - 12:25:22 MDT

I'm not saying that I think the approach to the 'Napster situation' is
ideal, but I think all of this controversy is great. This isn't going to
force myself or anyone I know to stop trading music or other information,
'copyrighted' or not, via the Internet. There's no stopping that now. But
what I think it will do is give more momentum to the development of
decentralized information storage and exchange systems, and better metrics
for automating replication, migration, and maintenance of information
integrity within them. I am really interested to see what kinds of systems
and protocols emerge to support (more universal) 'nomadic data access' and
'task mobility.'

Y'all have thoughts on the 'ubiquitous computing environment' paradigm?
This is being approached in different ways by different institutions, but I
was reading DARPA's 'Ubicomp' proposal,
( http://www.darpa.mil/ito/Solicitations/CBD_00-45.html )
The Ubiquitous Computing Initiative (Ubicomp) will address issues in
providing a new computing environment in which the users' physical spaces
become embedded with computing functionality, as the present-day computer

and pondering the potential impacts of its application, in conjunction with
'distributed computing', on the Internet / global level, and it really got
my gears spinning. Is this the next step? How far off, from there, is a
'sentient' Internet? ;) Does the idea of living and working inside of a
fully interactive computer (say, your house in 2020) unsettle you? Isn't
this in a way conducive to the emergence of a transparent society (reference
to the MAS [mutually assured surveillance] discussion a few months ago)? If
your house is a node on a global, distributed computing network, and one of
it's directives is to identify patterns in your behaviors/intentions as its
resident in order to preemptively feed you information it thinks you will
want, doesn't that imply that information about you is going to be 'out
there', potentially everywhere? Yeah, okay, encrypt it. Encrypt
everything! But who/what holds your encryption keys in an environment
designed for constant interaction to automate the 'tediosities' of your
life, including your decisions, when everybody is actually using the same
great, big computer?



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