28 April 2005

Coral can cache you...

You've seen it-- some doofus gets his "I caught a snake in my toilet" link Slashdotted and by the time YOU see the link, the damned thing's 404. But what if there was a way for everyone to help out and prevent this?

Enter Coral... From Wikipedia: Coral is an open source, peer-to-peer content distribution network designed to mirror web content. Coral is designed to use the bandwidth of volunteers to reduce the load on websites and other providers of web content.

One of Coral's key goals is to avoid ever creating hot spots that might dissuade volunteers from running the software for fear of load spikes. It achieves this through a novel indexing abstraction called a distributed sloppy hash table (DSHT), and it creates self-organizing clusters of nodes that fetch information from each other to avoid communicating with more distant or heavily-loaded servers.

Case in point: I sent my "cats lying around my office" timelapse to my "cool" list I'm on (where most of my "cool" comes from these days, unfortunately) and a guy I never met wrote me this:

Monty, those are great! And the flash slideshow is slick, too. Did you put that together yourself? I'd like to post this for further distribution, but I don't want to hammer your site and bandwidth. I'm attempting to pull it through the Coral open cache. If that completes successfully, then I will post Coralized links, which look like:


No word on if it works. In fact, don't bother, I just checked and it doesn't. Apparently, a few people have to hammer it before it gets Coralized? Still, the IDEA is a good one.

Brian (the guy who wrote me) also tells me he posted my cat thing to DE.LICIO.US, a "cool" bookmark aggregator. From the site:

del.icio.us is a social bookmarks manager. It allows you to easily add web pages you like to your personal collection of links, to categorize those sites with keywords, and to share your collection not only among your own browsers and machines, but also with others.

Once you've registered for the service, you add a simple bookmarklet to your browser. When you find a web page you'd like to add to your list, you simply select the del.icio.us bookmarklet, and you'll be asked for information about the page. You can add descriptive terms to group similar links together and add notes for yourself or for others.

Check that site out! Amazing? This leads me to ask... are we headed towards intelligent, self-aware and self-organizing information???

Which leads me to a small tangent: The other day someone asked me to contribute something to a time capsule they were going to bury in their front yard. My suggestion: "Are we there yet???" Apart from this comment being sublime (when taken in the context of the time capsule), it is also exactly the way I feel about technology. Are we there yet??????

Really, a hundred years ago nobody had any idea that the Airbus A380 would take off weighing 464 tons and that you could fly from London to New York paying what back then was the equivalent of about $10 or something. But to us, even though the next hundred years will bring some pretty amazing advancements, I think this entry will feel shorter, in many ways, because basically, we've already visualized everything, but we're really just working out the bugs. Like this Coral thing... and yes, phone calls will be free, we will be able to interact with holograms, our cars will drive themselves, space will feel "next door," entertainment will become visceral and more interactive than we can imagine, medical advances will give us new heads or brains if we want them, infinite lifespans, and yes, yes, yes, we know it's all coming... but are we there yet?

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the future is closer than I think.


Blogger Lee H. said...

That's very cool abut the caching thing.. I've known about de.licio.us for some time but I never visited because I just don't care what strangers find interesting. I find I have so little in common with "most people" that those "what's cool right now" kinda sites rarely do anything for me.

8:37 PM, April 28, 2005  
Blogger CatsFive said...

Yeah. It is a big compendium. My impression of the place is that the "flavour of the month" thing has died down and only the heard-core linkers are on it, now. Case in point: Kevin Smith's blog, adn something called Western Project. BRILLIANT. I'll post this as its own blog entry.

9:57 PM, April 28, 2005  
Blogger CW Crisman said...

You know what? The future is just that; the future. Which is why I like 60's furniture and architecture... that future was way cooler.


8:19 AM, May 02, 2005  

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