An idea for cloud solution

I will start by saying that my level of coding knowledge is completely ignorant +.00001. I haven’t done anything in 30 years and that was in Basic. But the last show mentioned some of the limitations of the cloud and that relying on a cooperation, or such, can prove unreliable (ala Ubuntu one).

So, the idea: what about a crowd cloud? Croud?? A method to use something in the line of Bitsync/torrent to store files on a community of devices. Off the top of my (pointy) head, I can see things to overcome.

  • A minimum amount of devices would need to be ascertained.
  • Security: Encryption may be insufficient. Perhaps a key?
  • There would need to be a redundancy that the files would need to be duplicated on several devices so that one could be sure to have access in case a device somewhere is unavailable.
  • Is it possible to break up a file? What I was thinking of, for example, a file with the info 12345. Could a file be broken up into segments so that 1 goes to one device, 2 goes to another, and so on? I was thinking of this so that the only way to assemble the files would be that would to be to have the key. That way no one would see a file named “shoebox” on their device and find Jono’s tax information.

Has this been considered before? What would be the challenges? The impossibilities? Am I full of poultry feces? :slight_smile:
Anyone want to hire me for ideas? They are all good, just ask my wife!

People have considered this before (for example, me, in 2006). It’s doable, and there are even implementations of it out there if you want to try it and get some friends together into a small group. There are issues with it: let’s say you and I and 3 others get together to form a group: what happens if I try and back up my whole media collection to our little cloud? Are you going to give me that much disc space? What if I want to get a file back from our group backup and it’s 3am and none of the four of you have your machines turned on?

The technology to do all this is reasonably-well-understood and can be used; the social impacts of such a “crowd cloud” are harder to work with. We know how to break up a file into pieces such that you can reconstruct the file given some but not all of the pieces; we know how to encrypt data so the person storing it can’t read it. What we don’t know is how to build such a system so that it will work all the time without requiring someone to understand all the intricate tehnical details.

I think the major challenge for me would be “why?”.

Why would I want to backup my data and have it scattered across a bunch of other people’s machines. While it may be technically doable, I just understand why anyone would want this. I think psychologically most people want all their stuff in a defined place.

Also, “foul feces”?

So, it would require someone to manage it? Then we are back to the issue raised in the show about the possibility of non-support or complete shutdown.

I was thinking of a community in the 1000’s would be needed to distribute the load. But then, if everyone has 2TB of data to be saved, then it would be the same problem all over again. On a small scale, I know a guy that buys pogoplugs, gives them to his friends so he can backup his system to their computers. Or at least, that’s what he hopes to do.

The principle I was thinking of was opened sourced cloud storage, not relying on a cooperation. Do you store anything off site?

I produce enough of my own. I get thank you cards from the local sewage plant operators for giving meaning to their lives.

I do, but I am not sure if the same people who mistrust a company are also going to trust a bunch of randoms on the Internet that there data is scattered across. If that thing gets hacked, you are screwed.

How true, but that is true with any company too.

In my mind it was just a thought of something that could be open sourced and, in the fantasy that this thought turned out to be, decentralized. Actually, Microsoft Windows inspired my thoughts. (should have know that was a bad start :smile:) I thought of how windows stores data on a hard drive. It always makes me think of old time farmers, walking in their fields, scattering their seed by hand. So, why not do that with data in a ‘cloud’?

There’s something that’s essentially what you’re talking about called Storj that recently got funding.

Here’s some relevant links:

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