Shaine L. Mata

Yesterday, I spent some time learning a bit more about Beaker Browser. It is supposed to offer a decentralized solution using the DAT protocol. I think I understand it a little better. My main concern was how to access your files from multiple computers. As it turns out, it is not built for that for security reasons. The alternative is to be able to back up your content and port it to another device when needed. I do not recall the details. However, that is the gist.

This led me to discover Namecoin and Zeronet. Namecoin solves the DNS problem. However, from what I saw, you pretty much have to download the entire blockchain. This is cute for now. However, in 20 or 30 years time when the blockchain is in the Terabytes, it will be a monster. This is a problem I see for blockchain in general, that the immutability requires you to have all of it and it continues to grow indefinitely. At some point only institutions with network storage will be able to host the blockchain, making it centralized again. While storage has become cheaper over the years, data is still a beast to manage and transfer in large volumes.

Zeronet makes it easier than Beaker Browser to have multiple instances of your decentralized presence. There is a JSON file with your certificate that is your identity within the ecosystem. In my opinion, it would be quite acceptable to operate Zeronet without a domain name. I do find Zeronet more enticing. The management seems easier. I could see having raspberry pi hosts "subscribe" to one's content to ensure that there are hosts seeding one's work.

I got this idea from the way that network radio users are using Zello. They create a different account for each device. In this way, they can all stay logged in all the time. The accounts all connect to the same Zello channels, more or less. So, I could see having multiple Zeronet accounts on different devices to ensure that there is at least one host seeding. That's a problem that IPFS also has, seeding.

My other issue with IPFS and the like is one of distribution. How do you get other people to view your content so that it can be distributed, thus decentralized? One problem with IPFS is that once you change anything in a folder, it creates a new hash. I have not had good success with IPNS. I'm going through a lot of options to find what is easy to manage yet difficult to censor.

There are audio posts on my blog that have disappeared thanks to the changing nature of the Internet. I suspect this also includes photos and videos. Visiting the Wayback Machine, I see that there is no archive of what I have lost. I'll have to transfer what I can salvage to IPFS. Then, I'll have to guard the content carefully. On the one hand, that stuff is baggage. On the other hand, it would remind me of things. I say that knowing full well that I rarely ever look at old blog posts. I just write and move on.