i guess it’s going to be a self-referential kind of day. cnet has a ‘special report’ [sillily subtitled ‘the napster wilfire’] on the nascent grassroots piracy movement that napster has encouraged:

“So far, the file-sharing software program and others like it have been used primarily to download digital music. However, as the Net overcomes today’s size and speed barriers, these technologies could be used to trade everything from full-length movies to computer operating systems–basically, anything that can take a digital form.”

“Already transcending music, Napster’s wildfire popularity is forcing whole industries to reconsider their business models. Companies are realizing that the last shelter for the digital economy may be imaginative strategies that make use of widespread file-sharing rather than fight it, just as most content companies abandoned online subscriptions for free Web sites years ago.”

the increasing drive towards fully-distributed, anonymized, peer-to-peer computing ( hinted at with gnutella and freenet ) and the effects that these technologies will have on business models interests me. of course, if the protocols aren’t designed with security in mind there could be bumps in the adoption curve:

“Gnutella is gaining popularity quickly and has already been featured in several mass media outlets. As it stands now it provides an almost ideal environment for the spread of self-replicating malicious agents
with the additional bonus of providing anonymous control. With full source available, parties previously unable to craft a worm of their own now have a robust framework to build on.”

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