Does the Internet need saving? The proliferation of viruses, spam, and music-industry lawyers suggests that it does. But many suggested solutions to these (and other) online problems tend towards the top-down. Wired has come up with an only-partially tongue-in-cheek list of ways of making life better for the still-growing numbers of people getting online. They're not all winning ideas, but enough of them are sufficient compelling that somebody is going to make a fortune/be seen as a hero/both implementing them...
Some tasty examples:
4 Appoint Larry Lessig to the Supreme Court Is he a Democrat or a Republican? Who cares! Laws governing information flow are the new affirmative action, abortion, and gun control rolled into one.(Via Future Salon blog)
17 Let a thousand Wi-Fis bloom Open spectrum is the new open source.
19 Make privacy a personal asset Canada has it already: a law that prevents firms from consolidating all customer information after a merger.
32 Build friend-of-a-friend filters Think of it as Friendster for your inbox. Everyone on our list can email everyone on yours, but outsiders have to fill out those annoying SpamCop forms.
33 Create a P2P email program We directly trade MP3 files, instant messages, and now phone calls without the bother of backend servers. So why not email messages?
42 Replace servers with P2P Too many network services - domain names, Web servers, email - rely on the old client-server model, which is vulnerable to attack.
97 Celebrate diversity With nearly every computer on the planet running Windows, Outlook, and Explorer, it's too easy for a single virus to spread everywhere.
I found this blog on Antipixel (www.antipixel.com)
"33 Create a P2P email program
We directly trade MP3 files, instant messages, and now phone calls without the bother of backend servers. So why not email messages?"
Well, in a sense, email was historically P2P. The SMTP protocol doesn't have to be implemented client-server style, in fact, it's quite easy to run an MTA on your own computer. In fact, just pick up any copy of linux, and usually sendmail is installed by default.
The client-server model has only proliferated because PC's are unreliable. I wouldn't want my mail to bounce because the computer was down. In addition, spam is becoming a huge problem with email, and if we implemented a P2P system, it would be nearly impossible to ensure that people are filtering spam. Most ISP's are encouraging their customers to send all mail through their servers, so that it can be checked for spam.
"42 Replace servers with P2P Too many network services - domain names, Web servers, email - rely on the old client-server model, which is vulnerable to attack."
I'd have to say that p2p is even more vulnerable than a client-server model. At least with a client-server model, you have someone who knows what they're doing administering it. This lack of control is inherent in most p2p systems. Just look at the number of viruses you can get by using Kazaa. I wouldn't want something like DNS to rely on such a weak system.