US government funding P2P development
New Scientist has an interesting article on a P2P project being funded by the US government that may one day compete with the web itself.
IRIS is being designed specifically to solve these problems. Its three design criteria are to guarantee: • that as long as there is no physical break in the network the target file will always be found; • that adding more information to the network will not affect its performance; • that machines can be added and removed from the network without any noticeable adverse affects.
According to the article, the research team is also developing mechanisms to prevent censorship, and isn't worried about the possible negative impact of piracy and anonymous publishing; those aren't technical issues.
Though I have doubts that such a system will supplant the web anytime soon, it's at least nice to see government funding going towards something worthwhile. P2P networks already make up a huge chunk of the internet's total traffic, and they're only going to get more popular.