Will Waste Push File-Sharing Further Underground?
from the or-is-it-just-a-waste-of-time dept
People definitely seem to have very mixed opinions on Waste, the Justin Frankel/Nullsoft program that was only available for a few hours before AOL yanked it and told everyone they needed to delete their copies. Most of the early press reports on the subject didn’t really understand what it was, and assumed it was just a new file sharing system to compete with Kazaa or even the various Gnutella clients (Frankel also created Gnutella). This MIT Technology Review article is the first one I’ve seen that tries to understand what the program is really designed for – encrypted collaboration within small groups – and see where it might lead. Since the source code was released under GPL, no matter how hard AOL tries, they’re not going to bring it back under wraps. However, it will be interesting to see if people take the code and do anything interesting with it. The majority opinion that I’ve heard is that it’s an interesting base to start from – but needs a lot of work to build a useful application on top of it. While it is possible that it will be used for encrypted “hidden” file sharing, there is much more to this application than that – and that’s way too narrow a way to look at it.