Accompanied by fear, excitement, distrust, and optimism, the term “peer-to-peer” has abruptly shoved its way to the centre stage of computing. A good litmus test: Mention Napster, and everyone in the know seems to have an opinion on this file-sharing network.
While Peer-to-Peer : Harnessing the Power of Disruptive Technologies is mostly about the technical promise of the technology, the authors (including David Anderson of SETI@Home) also discuss its exciting social promise, in particular the possibilities for collaboration. By following their thoughts and research, you can learn the state of the field today, and where it might go in the future.
To make it more digestible, the book is divided into three parts with the first part showcasing the collected wisdom of several thinkers in the computer industry. Part II examines important systems that are currently in operation or under development, while the last part explores the problems, purposes, and promises of the technology.
For those interested in understanding the history, details, and implications of the peer-computing revolution, Peer-To-Peer is an indispensable read.
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