internet

P2P Lending: the next killer web-application?

The new kid on the block, which must have a number of banks wondering, is money lending sites--- otherwise known as peer-to-peer lending. These sites put people who want to borrow money in touch with people who have money to lend. These sites score the borrowers using the traditional credit scoring techniques and this is used to indicate the risk to the lenders who might lend money.

In the end the borrower gets the money they want a loan at a good rate and the borrower gets a good rate of return: often much better than a bank.

Probing the network

When you are connected to a wireless network or are in the office and need to diagnose a problem there are various techniques and tools to probe the network. First of all it is possible to determine from the mac address, the manufacturer of the network card in a machine. The first three bytes of the mac address is known as the OUI: the IEEE keeps a searchable public database of these. A mac address for a machine can be found using ARP.

Freenet: a new generation of Peer-to-Peer

The creaters of Freenet--- the control free content network--- describe their new algorthm at Chaos communication congress. This avoids the use of central servers or super-peers:

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DRM and the Open Rights Group

The internet has had a long history of digital rights. Organisations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation have helped keep digital freedom over the years, helping to make the internet what it is today. The latest fight in the digital frontier is Digital-Rights management. It is worth listening to Cory Doctorow's speech from OSCON Europe 2005. Anyone who is interested in music, home-cinema or other products of the entertainment industry: beware!

He also mentions a relatively new UK group: The Open Rights Group that aims to raise awareness of digital rights issues.