From: Josh Cohen (joshco@Exchange.Microsoft.com)
Date: Thu Apr 13 2000 - 15:50:52 PDT
Of course, another simple/quick/exponential growth
is our friend HTTP, which many "real protocols gurus"
love to hate...
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Burd, Greg [mailto:email@example.com]
> Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2000 3:15 PM
> To: 'Adam Rifkin -4K '; FoRK@XeNT.com
> Subject: RE: Happy one-month anniversary, Gnutella.
> You bring up a very good point. "simple = quick adoption"
> seems to be the
> rule in network protocol design (and other areas of CS). I
> think this is
> another prime example of a tricky tradeoff for our industry
> business needs/technology needs, etc.). So this presents a
> nifty challenge
> to the *enlightened* crew out there. Come up with a way to
> make the Right
> Thing(tm) also the Adopted/Defacto Thing(tm). Maybe even try
> it out in the
> specific case of a replacement for Gnutella's protocol.
> The results are in, people get the net. What they don't get
> is effective
> use of the net. Which is what I believe fuels the
> So what is the answer? How do the *enlightened* network savy
> engineers out
> there help elevate the adverage protocol designer such that
> they end up with
> an enlightened and elegent design? Where is the object-oriented-like
> design/implementation enhancement for protocol designers?
> Did that make any sense? FYI, most of you don't know me.
> Rohit and I go
> way back (in Internet time at least) to 1992's NeXTWorld Expo
> #1 (it was in
> 1992, right?). We co-authored "Get My Mail Dammit", a
> NeXTSTEP application
> designed to deliver email to/from users of NeXT Computers who only had
> access to the Internet via a dial-up/login account at a
> university. And it
> worked like a champ... in 1993 terms. I still laugh at Rohit
> for having
> missed the HTTP/HTML or Web revolution by a fraction of an
> inch with his
> EBook.app project. Almost, Rohit, almost.
> Any flames to /dev/null, any donations to my PayPal account
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Adam Rifkin -4K
> To: FoRK@XeNT.com
> Sent: 4/13/2000 5:49 PM
> Subject: Happy one-month anniversary, Gnutella.
> A friend forwarded me this link which reminds me that we're at the
> one-month anniversary of the launch of Gnutella:
> It's unfortunate that the zdnet article chooses to linger on
> the kiddie
> porn aspect of gnutella use rather than how stupid the protocol really
> is ("Star ping" a friend called it). Let us never forget in the
> protocol game that simple = quick adoption, especially when the
> applications that use the protocol have pronounced network effects.
> > Gnutella ignites porn, pirate worries
> > The program's near-perfect anonymity strikes at the very
> heart of the
> > Internet's most troubling issues.
> > By Bob Sullivan, MSNBC
> > April 13, 2000 5:16 AM PT
> > It could undermine the influence of every search engine and
> every Web
> > portal. it's the biggest thorn yet in the side of record companies
> > worried about the spread of pirated music on the Net. And it's the
> > easiest way yet to trade pornography, even illegal child porn, over
> > Internet. For a piece of software that lived for less than
> 24 hours on
> > its home page, Gnutella has created quite a stir.
> > It's the stuff of classic Internet lore. A team of programmers from
> > inside America Online (NYSE: AOL) released Gnutella on a Web page
> > 14. The program is at its core a simple way of trading files,
> > pirated copyrighted material, without requiring participants to
> > with any central computer. This means that, unlike its
> > cousin Napster, it's virtually impossible to stop.
> > That was too much for America Online to bear, and barely 24 hours
> > the site was posted, it was removed. Gnutella, the company said, was
> > unauthorized project, created by programmers -- led by
> Winamp creator
> > Justin Frankel -- who came to AOL when the company acquired Nullsoft
> > June of last year. It disavowed the project and stopped development.
> > But the genie was out of the bottle. Nathan Moinvaziri was one of a
> > hundred Net users who had downloaded the program. He set up a Web
> > posted the software, and soon it had been reverse
> engineered. "I saw
> > something there that no one else had done," he said. "It caught my
> > And it has captured the imagination of programmers around the
> > Now, dozens of developers are continuing the Gnutella project in a
> > Linux-like collaborative effort. At the same time, the program's
> > near-perfect anonymity strikes at the very heart of the Internet's
> > troubling issues.
> > Will this encourage child porn?
> > Gnutella users can either connect to the larger "Gnutella" Net or
> > their own virtual private networks. And those networks can form
> > spontaneously and disappear without a trace. That makes them the
> > place for anonymous, untraceable file transfers. Pedophiles have
> > discovered this, according to a private investigator who
> calls himself
> > "RedOne."
> > "Sure, pedophilia is traded in other ways, but it's just a matter of
> > time before people are caught ... (Gnutella) is a place
> where it could
> > flourish. It can't be stopped," the source said.
> > During one recent 15-minute session, the former pornography
> > said he found 140 instances of child porn. These private Gnutella
> > networks are announced in obscure newsgroups or shared quietly among
> > small groups, the source said. "I'm seeing people running two
> > one for their public stuff and another for their 'good'
> stuff." Other
> > rooms are being created to swap stolen credit-card numbers
> and pirated
> > software, he said.
> > Even on the main Gnutella Net, it's obvious many users aren't there
> > to hear music. One feature of the program is that users can watch
> > searches scour the network in real time. Searches for terms like
> > "groupsex," "porn movies," even "young naked," "pre teen" and "teen
> > are almost as common as searches for pirated music.
> > "You can see what people are searching for," said Ian Hall-Beyer,
> > founder of the definitive Gnutella Web site,
> wego.gnutella.com. "But I
> > don't know if they're actually finding it." The anonymity Gnutella
> > provides may unfortunately promote such behavior, but the good
> > the bad, he said: "The whole decentralized aspect of it ...
> There's no
> > censorship at all.
> > "If you get a bunch of people who want to share information about
> > overturning the Chinese government, they can do that, and there's
> > nothing the government can do about it."
> > Perfect anonymity is a key strength of Gnutella over Napster because
> > government agency can watch what you search for, and no marketing
> > department can log your hits and target ads at you.
> > "When you send a query to the Gnutella Net, there is not much in it
> > can link that query to you," brags Moinvaziri on his Web site.
> > Gnutella developers acknowledge that anonymity has a dark side,
> > the software can be used to trade illegal pornography, but
> say that's
> > inevitable consequence of an uncensored medium.
> > "Child porn is out there, and people do want to exchange it," said
> > Kan, a Gnutella developer who also helps run
> www.gnutella.wego.com. He
> > says he hasn't seen any child porn activity, but if it's happening,
> > not surprised. He claims that half of all Web searches in any format
> > involve pornography.
> > "It's really unfortunate. But the Net is just a reflection
> of reality.
> > To us it's all just information, whether it's child porn or fiscal
> > reports."
> > More pirated music?
> > But Gnutella's main attraction is still free music, and
> there's plenty
> > of it. At midday Wednesday, over 140,000 files of all kinds
> were there
> > for the taking, shared by over 1,000 users. A search for "Beatles"
> > uncovered 331 songs there for the taking within a few seconds. It's
> > those kind of search results that landed Napster's programmers in
> > Record companies fear revenues from music sales will be
> devastated by
> > the easy availability of free music.
> > The Recording Industry Association of America sued Napster in early
> > December, seeking up to $100,000 in damages for each
> > song exchanged using the software. If the trade group wins heavy
> > damages, it could put Napster, with its 18 employees in San Mateo,
> > Calif., out of business.
> > Napster's lawyers have in turn employed the "Xerox defense" -- much
> > Xerox isn't liable for illegal photocopying done with Xerox copies,
> > lawyers for the software firm are arguing individual
> lawbreakers, and
> > not programmers, should be held liable. Further, when Napster is
> > notified of specific users who are trading copyrighted material, it
> > boots them off the system.
> > Gnutella doesn't even have that option, since there is no
> "system" to
> > boot people off of. As long as there are two users with Gnutella
> > software, there will be a Gnutella network. To stop it, record
> > will have to prosecute individual Net users.
> > "Napster has a centralized point where it can be shut down or
> > Hall-Beyer said. According to his Web site, the Gnutella program is
> > designed to withstand a nuclear war or a frontal attack from record
> > company lawyers: "It's very fault tolerant."
> > In fact, says Kan, the fault is with the music industry, which was
> > simply caught off-guard by the rise of digital music.
> > "Today, the record companies are saying MP3s are the biggest evil.
> > Tomorrow theyUre going to say they're the greatest thing when they
> > figure them out," he said.
> > "This really is the format of the future."
> > A search engine revolution
> > Gnutella has created a stir in part because of its Jimmy Dean-like
> > premature death, and because of the cachet that any free
> music program
> > can provide. But to developers, the program's real impact
> will be much
> > more subtle and long-term.
> > Gnutella is a new kind of network architecture that enables
> > searches of vast libraries. That stands in stark contrast to Web
> > crawlers used by search sites like Excite, Lycos and AltaVista. At
> > sites, automated computers called "bots" search the Web one
> site at a
> > time, indexing the information at each location. It can
> take weeks or
> > months for a site to crawl the entire Web and add new Web sites.
> > Gnutella's peer-to-peer network, compared by one developer to a game
> > telephone, allows real-time searching of computers connected to the
> > Internet. It also means virtually no dead links.
> > "This is really going to replace those stupid Web bots," Kan said.
> > "There's going to be some technology that does real-time
> searching --
> > hope it's this. Their solution is obviously antiquated."
> .sig double play!
> Gnutella can withstand a band of hungry lawyers. How many realtime
> search technologies can claim that? Not Napster, that's for
> sure. Just
> to emphasize how revolutionary this is: hungry lawyers are
> probably more
> destructive than nuclear weapons. There are a few things that will
> prevent Gnutella from being stopped by lawyers, FBI, etc. First,
> Gnutella is nothing but a protocol. It's just freely-accessible
> information. There is no company to sue. No one entity is really
> responsible for Gnutella. Second, Gnutella is not there to
> promote the
> piracy of music. It's mainly for sharing recipes and naked pictures of
> your girlfriend. The important thing is that Gnutella will be here
> tomorrow. It's reliable, it's sharing terabytes of data, and it is
> absolutely unstoppable.
> -- The Gnutella FAQ, http://www.gnutella.wego.com
> Throughout human history, we have been dependent on machines
> to survive.
> Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.
> -- Morpheus, The Matrix
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Apr 13 2000 - 16:05:51 PDT