Daily Archives: June 15, 2016

Decentralized Web Summit pt.6: Lightening Talks

June 9 was the second day of the conference. For more info:

See part 1
See part 2
See part 3
See part 4
See part 5

Lightening Talks were 5 minute introductions to various concepts, products and service being discussed or showcased at the conference. Most, if not all of the lightening talks were followed up with a workshop after so more people could understand the concept and technology behind the product or service.

The first round was 45 minutes late, because a number of the speakers just didn’t show up. This would never happen at a librarian conference and the audience didn’t know what was going on. I went and talked to my friend and found out. I thought it was really unprofessional for the speakers to bail, but it could be part of the decentralized culture.

Brian Warner talked about Tahoe-LAFS. They also have a GitHub site. LAFS stands for least authority file store. It uses other computers (friends, family, etc) for storage. Information is encrypted before it leaves your system. A ‘hash’ was included in the discussion. It has a feature/functionality called ‘magic folders’, which is a two way sync like DropBox. There is a web interface and it is written in Python. You have to make your own arrangements with storage providers directly.

Stefan Thomas (@justmoon) talked about his site, Interledger. Money is the first social network. Interledger is a protocol. It is a way to record money transactions because you don’t want to duplicate transactions. This is called a managing ledger. Their goal is to make it cheap, instant, global (imagine buying something with Euros when the price is in American dollars), scalable. Bitcoin was distributed and is a good start. Bitcoin is open source so you can make changes to the code. IP allows people to communicate with others on different networks. You can’t, however send an email to SnapChat. There are two basic functions: addressing and fragmentation.

Interledger addresses. It uses decimal amounts and has protocols that are part of a stack. They are in the process of writing plugins for different ledgers (e.g. PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay and others).

Natalie Meyers is from the Center for Open Science (COS). She talked about the mission of COS, which is to preserve the data used for scientific experiments so that the experiments can be replicated.

She talked about metascience and the infrastructure COS is working on. They have an Open Science Framework which allows scientists to pass information through tools they are already using. This will be used to investigate how software and operating systems influenced project data. part of their mission is to collaborate in order to promote openness.

Making behaviors visible promotes adoption.

She also discussed better stewardship of scientific data.

Juan Benet: IPFS – he mentioned a ‘merkle’ in his talk about the Interplanetary File System. IPFS has versioning of datastructures. IPFS tells you how to name and move info.

Arkady Kukarkin talked about his company, MediaChain. It is an open and universal media library, decentralized database that provides a unique content ID. Anyone can participate.

There is image recognition so that two versions/instances of the same image have the same content ID and can be discussed as the same. They preserve the raw metadata with ingestion (uploading). People who own images/artworks can amend or retract records, but not edit.There is a log that shows the history of the record. It has similar qualities to Shazam, which tells you the artist of the song when you are listening.

This is a concept about which I am really excited. I want to participate so I can mark my artwork as mine and don’t have to deal with the IG “I forgot where I found this image” issue again.

Other Notes:

Cloudfleet is your own personal data center and some great sounding features.


    • Cloudfleet
    • MediaChain
    • MediaChain on Facebook (page is in Polish or Russian)
    • Center for Open Science (COS)
    • Open Science Framework (part of COS)
    • Cryptographic hash function, a derivation of data used to authenticate message integrity
    • Fragment identifier, in computer hypertext, a string of characters that refers to a subordinate resource
    • Hash function, a derivation of data, notably seen in cryptographic hash functions
    • Hash table, a data structure
    • hash (Unix), an operating system command
    • slack.mediachain.com
    • github.com/mediachain
    • Ethereum is a public blockchain platform with programmable transaction functionality.[1][2] It provides a decentralized virtual machine that can execute peer-to-peer contracts using a cryptocurrency called Ether. (Wikipedia)
    • The block chain is a public ledger that records bitcoin transactions. A novel solution accomplishes this without any trusted central authority: maintenance of the block chain is performed by a network of communicating nodes running bitcoin software.[15] Transactions of the form payer X sends Y bitcoins to payee Z are broadcast to this network using readily available software applications. Network nodes can validate transactions, add them to their copy of the ledger, and then broadcast these ledger additions to other nodes.[11]:ch. 8 The block chain is a distributed database – to achieve independent verification of the chain of ownership of any and every bitcoin (amount), each network node stores its own copy of the block chain. Approximately six times per hour, a new group of accepted transactions, a block, is created, added to the block chain, and quickly published to all nodes. This allows bitcoin software to determine when a particular bitcoin amount has been spent, which is necessary in order to prevent double-spending in an environment without central oversight. Whereas a conventional ledger records the transfers of actual bills or promissory notes that exist apart from it, the block chain is the only place that bitcoins can be said to exist in the form of unspent outputs of transactions.[11]:ch. 5 (Wikipedia)
    • InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is a content-addressable, peer-to-peer hypermedia distribution protocol. Nodes in the IPFS network form a distributed file system. IPFS is an open source project developed by Protocol Labs with help from the open source community.[1] It was initially designed by Juan Benet.[2] (Wikipedia)
    • Cory Doctorow’s presentation
      Tim Berners-Lee’s Solid project
      Twitter hashtag #DWebSummit