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Internet Interaction and File Sharing May Explode With AllPeers

The news is everywhere. There is a hot new Firefox Extension that may take the Internet by storm for Firefox users. AllPeers Firefox Extension may just revolutionize social interaction on the web, so says Tech Crunch and many others including Slashdot.

AllPeers is a simple, persistent buddy list in the browser. Initially, interaction with those buddies will be limited to discovering and sharing files – If you choose to, you can share any file on your network with one or more of your friends. They will be able to see what files you choose to share (even getting an RSS feed of new files you include), and with a single click download it to their own hard drive.

AllPeers will work even when the sharer is offline – AllPeers is a bittorent client, and will allow files to be pulled from multiple sources. When downloading, the file may be grabbed partially or fully from others you have shared it with (or who shared it with you). So a user just clicks on a file, and waits for it to eventually download.

With AllPeers, I can share photos and home movies with my parents, songs (and anything else) with friends, and also access the files that they choose to share.

Tech Crunch – AllPeers is the Firefox Killer App

There is a lot of debate over this being another motivation for the music industry to round up their lawyers, but it is also being really embraced by a lot of people as the social networking possible in the future of the Internet. You can find AllPeers’ response on their blog:

First of all, there are many types of P2P software that allow the transfer of media files between machines. The most obvious are instant messaging clients, which increasingly enable users to send files directly without passing through a server (Skype was a trailblazer in this respect). I’ve never seen anyone suggest that this software is a potential target for legal action, and with good reason. P2P itself is basic enabling technology without which the internet would be very much poorer.

More recently, the United States Supreme Court ruled in MGM vs. Grokster that a company cannot be held accountable for potential copyright infringement committed by its users, upholding the earlier Betamax Decision (which otherwise would have resulted in the banning of the VCR, to the media industry’s great detriment). They did rule that a company can be sued for “actively inducing? its users to infringe on others’ copyrights. This is a vital distinction, as a number of companies based their business model directly on profiting from the illegal copying of commercial media files. While I don’t agree with the way that media companies have thus far reacted to the digital revolution, I think it is reprehensible for a company to try to make money in this way, so I support the Grokster decision wholeheartedly. We don’t and never will base our business model on encouraging copyright infringement on the part of our users. In fact, we hope in the future to contribute actively to developing innovative new ways for consumers to acquire digital content legally, and at a fair price, without succumbing to the oppressive restrictions inherent in today’s DRM technology.

The idea of creating groups of online friends and sharing information is very exciting, but still, how would you use this professionally or at least “seriously” compared to kids playing around? One really good example of how beneficial AllPeers could be comes from In Lieu of Lunch – Sharing Files with AllPeers:

Previously, you have been able to store files in a central location, perhaps on a server, then other users could access that server to pick up the files. Since this system works a little differently, everyone who has a copy of that file can offer up a part of the file, even if the original sharer is off line.

For those teachers who do not have access to university storage space and want to share images, documents, even sound files with a community of users, this application holds a great deal of potential. A few scenarios might include the storage of images from a field trip that students and parents can then use for writing up reports about that they saw. You could then invite students in other classrooms around the school or around the world to participate in the sharing of images.

A teacher could also post a mp3 sound files of a student performance or Science Fair entries. The question arises; why not simply e-mail the items? Sure, you could but the issue is storage for future users, people new to the team, parents new to the school, and students who are without e-mail addresses. There is a great deal of potential.

There is a lot of excitement over this new Firefox extension and it hasn’t even been released yet! Another similar Firefox extension, Firepuddle permits downloading of Bit Torrents through Firefox, though it is also still under development.

This is not the first such project by AllPeers. Check out AllPeers Photo Sharing from Softpedia as an example of their previous work, probably stepping stones towards the full-fledged version of AllPeers.

You can track the progress of AllPeers through their AllPeers Blog. Here are some links to what other people are saying about this new Firefox extension, and if you are using it, let me know how it works for you and why you use it. I’d love to know!

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen

One Comment

  1. Posted January 13, 2006 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I’m actually more excited about FirePuddle because I’m more inclined to download movies, and the huge files make bittorrent the best way to go about it in my opinion.

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Whilst not wanting to take anything away from the product (see below), it is a trend that has caught us out, on and off over the years. Vapour-ware is still alive and well. Viral marketing is also part of this process, and I note that several, potentially influential, sites have now been attracted to comment on it. This includes TechCrunch and Lorelle on wordpress (yep – you influential girrrlll!) I gather it has already been slashdotted (twice!) and repeatedly Dugg as well. Not bad for a concept that – as fare as I know – hasn’t even reached beta testing […]

  2. […] influential, sites have now been attracted to comment on it. This includes TechCrunch and Lorelle on wordpress (yep – you influential […]

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