shanen writes "A story from the NYTimes about metering internet traffic caught my eye. I thought the exchange of information over the Internet was supposed to be a good thing? Couldn't we use technology more constructively? For example, if there is too much network traffic for video and radio channels, why don't we offset with the increased use of P2P technologies like BitTorrent? Why don't we use wireless networks to reduce the traffic on the wired infrastructure? Such technologies often have highly desirable properties. For example, BitTorrent is excellent for rapidly increasing the availability of popular files while automatically balancing the network traffic, since the faster and closer connections will automatically wind up being favored. Instead, we have an increasing trend for anti-technology technologies and twisted narrow economic solutions such as those discussed in the NYTimes article, and attempts to restrict the disruptive communications technologies. You may remember how FM radio was delayed for years; part of the security requirements of a major company includes anti-P2P software, as well as locking down the wireless communications extremely tightly — but there are still gaps for the bad guys, while the main victims are the legitimate users of these technologies. Can you think of other examples? Do you have constructive solutions?"
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