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posted by cmn32480 on Sunday July 05 2015, @08:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the i-wonder-if-they-run-rehash dept.

Stumbled upon this (disclaimer, I'm not affiliated and don't hold any special interest):

Aether is an app you install to your computer to connect to Aether network. This network is made of different boards (forums) where people post and discuss things. On the surface, it's fairly similar to Slashdot, Metafilter, Reddit, or any other community site on the Internet.

The different thing about Aether is that it doesn't have a server somewhere. The only thing the app does is that it finds and connects to other people using Aether. In other words, it's a distributed, peer-to-peer network.

This makes it impossible to censor, and renders its users anonymous. It's useful for people concerned about privacy, or pretty much anyone who doesn't want to be watched and catalogued for every word they write on the Internet (so, pretty much everybody).

It's also temporary. Whatever you post disappears after six months. It's designed to be an ephemeral space, and it's focused on now, rather than the past. Other people can still keep copies of what you wrote, but it won't last forever in the network itself. They also won't know who you are.

Community moderated, distributed and anonymous. Almost to good to be true, but... how do you know it is actually _gewg that's posting?


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  • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Monday July 06 2015, @08:43AM

    by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Monday July 06 2015, @08:43AM (#205519) Homepage Journal

    This was something I was seriously investigating for SN. I ran an experiment if it would be possible to spool the database into INN (netnews server), and proved that the basic idea was sound, but there were enough edge cases to prove that using INN wasn't practical for two way communication. What I want to see for SN is it to be able to continue if we ever go down, and my intent now is to implement NNTP in perl, and allow downstream servers to pull from use via NNTP XFER. As such, it could even be spooled into USENET itself, with "from USENET" posts coming in as AC.

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  • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Monday July 06 2015, @09:02AM

    by TheRaven (270) on Monday July 06 2015, @09:02AM (#205524) Journal
    I played with something similar about 10 years ago. Integrating with INN was a non-starter, but the NNTP protocol is pretty simple. A server that can speak to it, require authentication, and provide an NNTP interface to a web forum was quite easy to put together.
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    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Monday July 06 2015, @09:12AM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Monday July 06 2015, @09:12AM (#205526) Homepage Journal

      I got somewhat farther than you I guess; my plan was to set the soylentnews.* hiearchery to have the Moderated flag on it, and use a mail-gateway to manage posts. THe problem is there was no way to hook into INN's authetication code to make it validate against the SN database, and then automatically generate a mail header that validated a user to a post. The two systems were so far disconnected to each other that I couldn't figure out a decent way of doing it without a massive hack. Plus INN sucks to run.

      I've looked at implementing NNTP, the problem are the article control numbers; NNTP *really* wants to its own system of managing it, and that means mapping tables to keep everything sane. Maybe I'll hack up NNTP code for the 14.07/08 rehash release though. The pain part will be handling STARTTLS in perl. I'm already cringing thinking about it.

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    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Monday July 06 2015, @11:30AM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Monday July 06 2015, @11:30AM (#205566) Homepage Journal

      Actually, after thinking about this again, its going to have to use INN if we want to spool onto USENET and get posts, or else I need to re-implement a mail-to-post gateway from scratch. I'm reading some of my old code from when I last experimented with this to see what I can do ...

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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @03:21PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @03:21PM (#205660)

        Maybe a better solution than an integrated NNTP gateway would be an HTTP API that allows access to all the features also available with the user interface (but nothing else). This would then allow to write interfaces to other systems like NNTP without messing with Rehash internals, possibly even by third parties who wouldn't want to dive into Rehash itself. This would also have the advantage that once that API is available, any such development and deployment can go on independent of Rehash development/deployment, so e.g. an update of the NNTP gateway would not affect the main site.

        Anyway, if you post to Usenet, make sure that the posts follow Usenet conventions (especially: no HTML; HTML is not appreciated on Usenet).