'On the General Architecture of the Peer Web' is an excellent essay by #AralBalkan of Ind.ie, laying out a brief history of the social impacts of computers and networks with a minimum of geek jargon, and some ideas for what the future of digital network technology could hold for us:
Although it doesn't affect the main thrust of his argument, I don't agree with Aral that the web was always centralized. There are still, here and there, remnants of the pre-Geocities tradition on personal homepages hosted on the person's own desktop computer in their home or office. The changes to the ISP business that made this increasingly impractical - and set the stage for the #DataFarming business - are documented by #JohnWalker in 'The Digital Imprimatur'
"With no possibility of migrating to IPv6 in time to solve the address space crunch, the industry resigned itself to soldiering on with IPv4, adopting the following increasingly clever means of conserving the limited address space. Each of these, however, had the unintended consequence of transforming the pure peer relationship originally envisioned for the Internet into “publisher” and “consumer” classes, and increasing the anonymity of Internet access."
- John Walker
@strypey we now have commoditised OpenStack hosting... that similarly allows people to decentralise without having to rewrite their deployment tools....
@lightweight could I run #OpenStack on a consumer-grade desktop computer in my home / office (in my case, the same place)? If I did, could people connect to it over a consumer-grade internet connection? If not, the decentralization enabled by OpenStack is an improvement on the corporate #DataFarms, but still centralized around commercial #DataCentres, compared to the distributed early 90s web 1.0 architecture John Walker describes.
@strypey if you have a static IP, then yes.
@lightweight can OpenStack work with #DynamicDNS? If so, you might not even need a static IP. But you would need an ISP that provides sufficient upload bandwidth for a server to work effectively, and one that doesn't ban the use of servers on their consumer-grade connections and require a much more expensive server-grade connection for that. You're in a better position to know than me these days, but I'm not aware of any ISPs in Aotearoa offering that. This is a big part of what needs to change.
@strypey Pretty much all fibre connections offer a static IP (possibly at a small additional monthly cost - I pay an extra $5/month I think with Vodafone). That's also true of cable modem services (like Vodafone's misleadingly named FibreX plans)... Don't think most ADSL plans have static IPs. Not sure if DynamicDNS is acceptable for OpenStack... I'd expect it would work but probably isn't overly robust.
You might get an IPv6 if you asked but I'd read it to mean IPv4. Eg 2degrees page doesn't specify https://help.2degreesmobile.co.nz/app/answers/detail/a_id/65/~/am-i-able-to-get-a-static-ip-with-my-home-broadband-connection%3F
I feel like ISPs generally don't try to block consumers running services. Dynamic DNS can be done. ToS may not *support* use of servers, but realistically that's just so they don't have to *support* it; NZ ISPs have all IMO moved towards reducing what they need to support as it's the highest cost of service. (Power companies provide power, but if they had to support appliances, they'd be charging much more.)
@xurizaemon @lightweight I haven't looked into it for a while, but when I was chief tech and bottlewasher at Oblong in Welly, trying to set up in-house hosting for activist services was one of my more ambitious goals. From what I remember, the net connection we used explicitly banned us from running servers on it (plus our bandwidth was capped), and we never achieved it.
@xurizaemon @lightweight from memory, every time I've done a speed test on a standard home-or-garden net connection, the upload bandwidth has been a tiny fraction of the download bandwidth. Am I wrong in thinking these would need to be at (or close to) parity to run a server used by more than a tiny handful of people at a time?
@strypey As far as I know, you can happily use IPv6 for OpenStack implementations... thus allowing peer-to-peer without NAT obfuscation...
In the early 1990's I had an ISP who encouraged people to run their own websites and I did so. Static pages was all I did, and if I remember correctly, that was all that I could have done.
The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!