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A wifi pocket disk
By Dave Winer on Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 3:46 PM.

A picture named tryHarder.jpgI read an article recently that said that we're seeing more identity theft because people are walking around with unprotected disks in their pockets that can be accessed over wifi. Millions of people are walking around with these pocket wifi disks. And the bad guys, having figured this out, are setting up listening posts, in second floor offices, cabs or just walking around on foot with a computer in knapsack. They make it look like free wifi, and the disk, set up to automatically connect to wifi, starts broadcasting passwords to email accounts, often unprotected, through these wifi endpoints. Which of course are paying close attention.  #

These pocket wifi disks are called iPhones. :-) #

And then I read a piece on Fred Wilson's blog, about the new laws being rushed through Congress that would basically give the entertainment industry control over the DNS. I commented that even if they pass the laws, new networks would be quickly established that would allow peer to peer sharing of movies and music. They'd be even more powerful than the ones they replace. Because getting to completely start over is every technology's dream. Having shut off DNS as a way to advertise the presence of pirated content, we'd have to find new ways of doing it. And what we come up with now, forty years later, has to be better. Or else something is wrong with technology. :-) #

Okay so here's an idea of how the new system could work, theoretically. #

I love PBS documentaries. So I stay up and record a new episode of Frontline, and put it on my pocket wifi disk and then walk down to Times Square and hang out for an hour or so. Or I just sit in the Starbucks in Grand Central Station. You get the idea. Somewhere where there are enough people to be sure of my wifi signal being seen by other members of the new file sharing network.  #

Then of course they move around doing their thing, each willing to serve up segments of large video or audio files. Eventually you'd get the full Frontline episode if you wanted it.  #

It might be fun. And if the MPAA or RIAA wanted to stop it they'd have to hire an army of thought police and deploy them everywhere people congregate. I don't doubt they've thought of doing that, and maybe they will be able to. But in the meantime... #

PS: Or maybe instead of pushing around the content, we just exchange pointers to the content. That would more closely resemble a replacement of the DNS. #

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