However, most of these implementations are vulnerable to a simple but subtle bug: They have no way of distinguishing one DHT network from another. Although each application's DHT network or networks start off separate, if, by chance or deliberate action a node from a different but compatiable DHT is introduced, the 'self healing' property of DHTs will ensure that, sooner or later, the two networks become merged into a single DHT.
This is not a problem for single-purpose DHT implementations such as those used by BitTorrent or Overnet, since they generally establish a single DHT with all compatiable clients participating in any case. Nor is this a problem for networks designed with heterogenous applications in mind, such as CSpace. However, this still leaves a number of DHT libraries that don't fall into either of these categories.
If DHTs from two distinct applications using compatiable implementations become merged, the outcome ... smtp2web, a simple service that accepts mail for an address (or your entire domain), and sends it via HTTP POST to a URL you specify. If you're running in a restricted environment such as App Engine, this means you can now receive email. Even if you're not, this is a lot simpler to use than writing your own SMTP server (or adding custom handlers to most existing servers).
Someone's already blogged about it, too.
Posted by Nick Johnson | Filed under booksLast night, having finally found my Cybook again, I downloaded Cory Doctorow's latest novel, Little Brother. Like all his other works, it's available for free download under a creative commons license, and like all his other books, it's excellent.
Unlike his other books, Little Brother is scary. Not scary in a "something's creeping up behind you" sort of way, but scary in a "completely plausible, yet utterly terrifying" way. The book is set in the (very) near future, and is focused around some of the most surveiled people in society - no, not prison inmates, high-school children. Imagine George Orwell's 1984, only a lot more immediate. Though disturbing enough to begin with, describing as it does worrying yet (alas) completely plausible intrusions in the name of 'security', everything takes a turn for the worse when a terrorist attack sends security paranoia into overdrive.
This is not a light hearted, "fun" novel. Though I don't live in the US, what happens there in the name of the "war on terror" affects me and everyone else. Starting as it did from a plausible and worryingly immediate beginning, the plot developments followed the same pattern, making it hard ...