Tag Archives: p2p

This is what disruption of online dating looks like?

202. Girl
Be on the lookout, distruption could be around the corner

Elisa of queekd.com recently challenging me about my thoughts on online dating, especially after watching my TedXManchester talk about the same subject.
I concluded that the dating industry needed a serious kick up the backside and the only way this is going to happen is if you change the model. I then mentioned what P2P protocols did to media sharing. Instead of centralisation, you can have a more decentralised and even a distributed approach to online dating.

Easily said, but what do I mean?

I was trying to find examples of what I meant but it’s very difficult googling for them as they get lost in a sea of other stuff, some of it very weird.

There was a period when a whole bunch of sites with domain names like…

youshoulddatejo.com, smartandhandsomeian.com and samwantstodateyou.com etc… (not real sites of course) Were the rage for a short while, they would pop up now and then. These people without knowing it could have changed the dating field. They all seemed to contain similar elements and it wouldn’t take long for someone or myself to modify microformat hresume into a hDating microformat (I’m not going to talk about Microdata or RDF/A as its outside the scope of this post, but yes to both). semantically rich data published on the web as way to bring a distribution model to online dating.

Steven Pemberton @ TWAB2010
Why you should have a website

I am always reminded of Steven Pemberton‘s XTech 2008 talk, Why you should have a Web Site.

The nice man from the BBC filmed it and put it online. “Provocative and contentious” said one reviewer, who later said “I should never have doubted Steven Pemberton” and “Steven Pemberton was right”. Another said “The crowd completely disagreed. In hindsight he could not have been more correct.” and “grows more relevant with each passing year”. Text of the talk here.

Steven was talking about the advantages of machine-readable Web Pages and his point knocks right at door of the walled gardens of the social networks. Swap social networks of facebook, instagram, etc for Match.com, EHarmony, OkCupid, etc’s walled gardens… and you got the same problem and same solutions?

Online dating has taken all its bad habits from social networks and to be fair most of the social networks have learned from online dating in the same way. I once talked about dataportability in online dating and to be fair everybody laughed.

But imagine if profiles were part of the public internet? When I mean public, I mean not hidden away behind a walled garden (hidden/private web). Because really what are you paying for, if you are paying at all?

I can hear you panic or even laugh… Here’s questions which might be crossing your mind

Friend of a Friend project (FOAF)
Think FoaF for dating
  • I don’t want my profile to be public!
    This is fine, I understand some rather not be so open about their status. It doesn’t have to be connected with the rest of your online profiles by the way (this is down to you)
    It doesn’t necessarily need your name or even a public photo of you (there are many ways to verify someone without such information, think about what PGP, GPGP Escrow services, Ebay, Airbnb, etc do). Also like FoaF you can even hash or encrypt parts to avoid spam, catfishers, stalkers, etc. Maybe hide parts of your dating identity till its required. Theres endless possibilities, which I haven’t even explored.
  • How do I message or email someone, and what happens if things go south?
    South meaning, things start breaking up or you want to stop them messaging you. This is a partly solved problem. There no need to have you’re real email address. Services can step in and provide emails or instant messaging solutions which expire or forward on transparency. It could also be done with a standard protocol and encrypted for further privacy. Off the Record already does this, for goodness sake lets not build new protocols (badly or jokey) to do already solved stuff! (Yes this is what most dating sites are doing now)
  • How do I trust what I am seeing or reading?
    The same is true of most dating sites now, how do you know the picture isn’t a catfish, they really are the body shape they say or show? How do you know the picture isn’t 10 years ago? All the dating site/service is really offering you is access to single people (not that is always true of course)
    This is where the idea of a blockchain for online dating could come in quite useful, to verify with reputation, but if you don’t trust the technology. You can opt for something else… or even build your own! You only have to look at the people who have hacked OkCupid (Amy Webb and Chris McKinlay’s). Imagine what they could do if not restricted to the wall garden and the systems they could write for the rest of us.
  • But its easier to pay the money and sit safely within the closed garden?
    Safely…? Total illusions. But yes its easier, but you are limited by how much you are willing to pay. The open way you can have access to many more profiles, better ways to filter them and theoretically better solutions which you can share with friends.
    This way also puts more emphasis on you to do work, but I can imagine systems and services like wordpress, medium, squarespace, etc doing the heavy lifting for you.
  • How would I search?
    You don’t think some startup will jump into this arena? If not one of the big search giants?! The beauty is if you feel one is better than the other, you can easily switch. No rubbish claims, which can’t be verified. Just imagine when gocompare/money supermarket get involved to show you the best sites to find what you seek. Or imagine crowd sourcing this all.
  • But dating site x’s algorithm is great
    Don’t worry there will be multiple services jumping over each other for your money, data or other things to prove they are the one you should use. Some will be highly manual, some will be heavily automated. Currently there is no urgency to fix, innovate or try something different. Its not all bad news for dating services, they can run their magic algorithms on the public data set.
  • But my dating service offers X, Y and Z.
    Thats nice but have you thought how effective X, Y and Z actually are? Are they a distraction or actually making dating life better? Regardless… there is the perfect opportunity to have a ecosystems of services blossom and offer unique services on top of the open, machine readable profile network.
Future of Fabrication
Distributed models are sustainable?

Think about the way search engines innovated on the structured data and offered better matches as a result. The important part is, if you don’t like what a certain service is doing  or how they treat you, you can just move elsewhere without the fear of loosing access to that person still.

Interestingly OkCupid allows you to make your profile public (very few do), so you could see it without logging in. For example, https://www2.okcupid.com/profile/beach-s?cf=regular. I have considered making my profile public before but theres not quite enough benefit to me currently. OkCupid use it as a marketing tool and there’s little you can do once you view it. Its clear OkCupid was setup to break some of the legacy behind online dating but when they sold to the Match group, that drive to change things changed focus.

Me with Canvas
Ownership?

What I’m suggesting is similar but on your terms. There are other advantages such as having access to the biggest market of daters, personalised choice, better tools than one dating site can/want to create, bespoke advice and guidance from people who really give crap. This could issue in a new era in the art of match making!

But it doesn’t stop there, oh I’ve just scratched the surface. I feel a lot of the endemic corruption in online dating is due the centralised model.

Imagine if you could aggregate that profile into the legacy dating services. Almost a IFTTT recipe or Atomkeep? to update parts of your legacy profile on a schedule or manual push.

You could allow tinder to use one photo, OkCupid to upload 4-6 photos and a deeper description, Match.com only my photos marked professional and the deeper description.

What I’m talking about is Vender relationship management applied directly on to online dating, putting the users in control.

All is possible if you rethink the current setup. unfortunately the controlling companies (MATCH group currently own 27% plus of the online dating market and they own, OkCupid, POF, Tinder and many more) have zero interest in changing much. On top of that daters seem quite lazy and less interested in working for dates?

As you can imagine, there isn’t much in this area but I did find fermat. Its a p2p matching platform. I have yet to really look and see if its doing things how I would imagine

Data & stats from Plex Mediaserver

A while ago I wrote about having so much bandwidth from hyperoptic gigabit broadband, means I can now share my media collection with friends.

Its great but its interesting looking at the data my friends are generating through their use of my sever. But it’s not all super smooth, mainly due to my poor single core AMD Sempron 2800 processor doing transcoding on the fly. The biggest problem is the Xbox Plex client, which we discovered doesn’t support x.264 at all, meaning transcoding the whole thing is the only way to view anything. My poor CPU maxes out at 100% during the whole thing. This seems to be a massive bug bear for many people out there… I dread to think what happens with H.265 encoded media.

I installed PlexPy a while ago and decided it was time to have a look.

plexpy Screenshot from 2016-04-042

The Chromecast isn’t anywhere as bad but still triggers transcoding, but to be fair I’ve not really played with the settings but I think theres a way to force the chromecast to play directly (Directstream). Some Smart TVs seem quite happy to take the direct stream putting absolutely no strain on my CPU.

plexpy Screenshot from 2016-04-041

Because of the strain on my CPU, I’m considering changing my CPU to something better. I mean even a quad core or six core processor would be ideal.

Although part of me is thinking maybe I should block all client which require transcoding, or maybe just block the Xbox Plex client. This doesn’t seem to be a problem with the Sony Playstation, from first tests. But I also wonder about DTS, MKV and h.265?

plexpy Screenshot from 2016-04-045

I mean its not like its heavily used anyway. Sure my one friend will like that (smile). The Chromecast is far and away the biggest client and we tried the Xbox 360 once just to see if it was any better (which it wasn’t)

plexpy Screenshot from 2016-04-044

The other stats generated are quite interesting to look at…
For example when most of my friends watch my media by hour of the day and which day.

plexpy Screenshot from 2016-04-043

Theres much more interesting stats but of course privacy of my friends is the up most importance. Maybe I should craft a EULA (End User Licence Agreement)?

Its really interesting to think about the ethics of data when you are the provider.

Peer to peer live streaming the next battlefield

From Torrentfreak

So as we near the 10th anniversary of BitTorrent its inventor Bram Cohen is finalizing a new protocol, this time aimed at P2P-live streaming. Although P2P-live streaming is not something new per se, Cohen thinks that his implementation will set itself apart from competitors with both its efficiency and extremely low latency.

“Doing live properly is a hard problem, and while I could have a working thing relatively quickly, I’m doing everything the ‘right’ way,” Bram Cohen told TorrentFreak last year when he announced his plans. He further explained that the BitTorrent protocol had to be redone to make it compatible with live streams, “including ditching TCP and using congestion control algorithms different from the ones we’ve made for UTP”

In the months that followed Cohen figured out most of this complex puzzle and the technology is now mature enough to show to the public.

The demo he shows is, well…ummm… underwhelming to say the least. But to be fair if 10 years ago someone said look this is BitTorrent watching it go. You’d also be scratching your head thinking is that all?

There’s no doubt streaming is due a massive. A lot of the rights owners think they can beat P2P downloads with the experience of streaming. They might even be right.

Streaming is certainly the next battlefield. Theres already some high profile projects in this area including P2PNext, but anything remotely like Bittorrent for P2P streaming could be huge. Talking to some of the engineers at work in BBC R&D, anything which can even the field between the costs per person of traditional broadcast and ip delivery could be truly paradigm shaping.

Is this it? I don’t think so, at least not yet.

VPN tunnel your way to safe ground with Hamachi

Hamachi on windows

What is Hamachi?

Hamachi is a UDP-based virtual private networking system. Its peers utilize the help of a 3rd node called mediation server to locate each other and to boot strap the connection between themselves. The connection itself is direct and once it's established no traffic flows through our servers.

Hamachi is not just truly peer-to-peer, it is verifiably secure peer-to-peer.

Believe it or not, but we are able to successfully mediate p2p connections in roughly 97% of all cases we dealt with so far (few tens of thousands as of early March). This includes peers sitting behind different firewalls and/or broadband routers (aka NAT devices).

Oh my goodness, if you have not tried out Hamachi and want access to your home network from elsewhere. You need to try it out! I heard it about it ages ago but dismissed it because I didnt really see the need. Well that was before I learned about how insecure Wifi can be. So during hearing this week's Security Now podcast

I spent a hour checking out Hamachi. At the moment it runs on Windows and Linux but after verison 1.0 (there currently 0.99) it will be developed for the Mac too. I dont see why you cant run the Linux version on a Mac command line but I'm sure there is a reason. So anyhow once you got it installed you can follow the Wizard which is a little too simple but good for those not deeply into networking, its easy to escape at anytime.
Once your setup its just a matter of making a new network or joining another one. You can easily make one and the the security is then all hanged off your stupidly impossible to crack password. GRC recommends some 63 character password string which can be generated here at the High security password generator. I actually went for a stupid 96 ASCII character password with all types of characters. I'll switch it down to 63 because Hamachi uses a 256bit AES crypto for authentication. After setting the password and name of the network you can go to another machine and do the same but this time hit join and enter the same details.

Before you know it your on a new type of network. Actually a 5.x.x.x IP address. I didnt even know you could actually have one of those for a network, I always thought 10.x.x.x was the lowest things went. Ok so once you got two machines on the same p2p network your away. I was able to tunnel out of my work network and on my own computer at home and launch VNC and access the net and machines attached to the same physical network. Everything is accessable and the speed is amazing. Oh yeah by the way, I only had to open one port on Smoothwall for it to work, most firewalls and NAT environments can be traversed without opening ports and port forwarding according to the Hamachi creators. I did nothing to the work network, like Skype it just worked. Crazy but true. I also tried using Hamachi with some of the sniffing tools out there and glad to say it works perfectly. All traffic is secured and even insecure connections like POP3 retrivial can not be discovered as it all looks like normal web traffic. Honestly I cant wait for version 1.0 of Hamachi. Its solved so many of my problems its untrue.

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Listening to the next net generation

The teen demographic uses the Web constantly and in very sophisticated ways. They don't want to pay for very much, but if you can find something they will pay for (like ring tones), they tend to spend a lot. Safa Rashtchy, managing director of Piper Jaffray, interviewed five seventeen- and eighteen-year-olds about their relationships with technology.

Oh my goodness you have to hear the end of this podcast enclosure, what Teens want – starts at 15:20 mins and lasts about 8mins. Cant wait to hear the whole thing on IT Conversations really soon.

Generally the thoughts is free is good and there's some thoughts about spyware and advertising. Someone did mention paying artist of the music via iTunes but generally there was no thoughts beyond free download. Although you can listen to it and shake your head in shame, I dont. I use to think exactly the same way. Now at least I'm a little more aware of the issues and the cultural shifts. I'm sure the teenagers on stage will alter there views a little over time. But honestly its refreshing to hear the younger generation talk frankly about there habits.

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Tape it off the Internet, no really do!

Thanks to a comment by Duncan in my kill TV post a while ago, I've now checked out Tape it off the internet.com. Although its not actually a web 2.0 application or social tool yet. Its got a lot of potential as idea at least.

They seem to have a lot of the simple things right, for example there is a post about why recommendations could be important when you drop off the schedule. There right, when you drop off, you end up relying much more on friends recommendations and what people and things around you say. So for example me and sarah have become big fans of Firefly and Serenity, browncoats some would say. The reason I engaged with Firefly and the movie serenity was a couple of things. My friend doug, a lot of blogs about the treatment Firefly got from Fox and what tipped the balance a Wired article. I was recommended Lost by my buddy Waheed and Prision Break from Tom but another way I gage interesting shows is by torrents which have lots of downloaders times by the time it was published. Some Torrent sites make this easy to sort by, others dont. It would be nice to have a webapi for these things sometimes.

But back to tape it off the internet, another thing which made me shake my head in agreement is the friends x episode tracker. Its best explained in the post.

Let us take the problem outlined below, that of different friends of yours not all being on the same episode of a show, making conversation about said show… delicate to say the least, lest you drop a clanger of a spoiler.

Seriously this happens all the time, i usually have to ask what episode someone is on before talking about it. Lost is a nightmare right now because a ton of people are on the UK series which I believe is coming to the end of series 1 soon. A couple of friends have seen the whole series 1 but not started on 2, and then about 3 people I know are fully up with ep5 of series 2.

So guys behind the idea, when's the vaporware going into Permanent BETA with a Open API, tagging and tons of Ajax? hehe…

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Should we kill TV but keep the shows?

So I was almost done with my RSS aggregator for the night when I read Jon's entry titled I Watch Shows, Not Tv. As I was reading through, I was in total agreement with Jon. Some choice quotes which made me laugh.

The medium had become totally uninteresting to me. Reality Tv was everywhere, sitcoms sucked, and ads were worse.

Enter Bittorrent, Hd rips, and RSS. Ever since I set up my system, not only do I watched more shows, but I watch a LOT of shows. I probably have at least 10 shows I watch weekly without missing a beat. But not only do I get to watch them at my own convenience

The only television I watch is the television I watch. That makes sense, I swear. When I’m done with a show. That’s it. I don’t flip to the next channel to see what else is on. I finish and move onto another project. Just sitting in front of your Tv leads to watching Hugh Hefner’s Whores jumping around pretending they have enough content to constitute television. I’d rather sit down catch 42 minutes of Lost or 28 minutes of Curb and be happy.

Totally! I have a very simlar setup to Jon, xbox media centre and all. And he's so right, me and Sarah watch a lot of shows including Lost series 2, Prison Break, Daily Show, etc, etc. When I was in hospital recently, the lovely nurse asked if I wanted the TV on, and without thinking I replied “No, I don't watch TV.” Bang just like that without thinking about it, then I realised what I just said. Honestly me and Sarah turn on the TV for the BBC news 10min update at about 8am in the morning then we turn off and listen to the slashdot review podcast if there is time. When we get back in the evening, we may turn on Channel4 news for 1 hour and maybe once in a while leave it on and watch grand designs or something like that afterwards. But usually we turn off have dinner together and maybe put on a show or listen to a podcast while we catch up with news, emails, etc. Even with the daily show on more4 every day now, Sarah's not interested because shes use to timeshifting it. She does'nt like the idea of turning on the daily show at 8:30pm every day and sitting in front of the TV.
Hey and why would we? With TV RSS we can store them and watch a whole load together with friends on a weekend or watch it the week after if we choose to.

Moving on, I read the related link and found the tons of comments mainly in agreement.

But I say all this and I know something doesnt quite fit.
I've heard about studies in the BBC which went down this route of the show being more important that the channel and TV its self. But these studies say when that is the case, people look for brands they can trust. Channels are a odd thing, if you live in the UK, you may think of BBC one as generally massmarket but higher class than ITV (my view not the BBC's view), BBC two more documentary's and nature programmes but still some comedies and mass market contnet. BBC Three, for people 35 and younger, somewhat like BBC two but with lots of comedies and reality tv. BBC four, highbrow documentary's and some news.
People use these types of thoughts to decide what channel they should wait on or check out. Remove the channel and people try and cling on to many other things like brand to tell them more about the programmes and there expected audience.

So although I'm with you Jon, I need to err on the side of caution because people need to make money without killing the distribution method (as they do now). Itunes video is a good move away from tv and towards shows and programmes.

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To the person(s) who put prisonbreak.s1.ep1 inside of lost.s2.ep1

To the person(s) who put prison break.season 1.ep 1 inside of the lost season 2.ep1 torrent today and yesterday. I was, (lets say it gently) slightly pissed off. This is the kind of thing you see on old school p2p networks like Kazaa not on Bit Torrent.

This is the first time I've ever downloaded something which was labled something else on bit torrent, maybe this is a growing trend? Has anyone else experienced this? I noticed the torrent in question has been removed from the piratebay. But I had already almost uploaded 3 times the contents of the torrent without knowing by the time I had got home today. So sorry to everyone else who was also duked. But to add aditional insult, I also downloaded Prison Break ep1 too, so I ended up with two of the same file. You can tell I was very very pissed off. At least Tom's recommendation for Prison break was a good enough choice to finally calm me down. Certainly no Oz, but interesting none the less. I'm just waiting for Fox to ruin it with some 24 type government propaganda.

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