[Freedombox-discuss] What Do You want to use the FreedomBox for?

Jay Sulzberger jays at panix.com
Sat May 26 02:50:04 UTC 2012

On Fri, 25 May 2012, Joshua Spodek <joshuaspodek at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Thanks for asking. I find it interesting to see everyone's different
> goals. I think my needs overlap with typical non-geek users wanting to
> avoid faceless corporations owning my private data.
> * Diaspora
> * Skype replacement
> * Host my own email, blog, photographs
> * Seamless backups to friends' Freedomboxes

Suppose we have two people in front of home computers connected
to the Net via Time Warner Cable in Manhattan.  We assume further
that the two people are in their own houses, and that they own
their computers, ordinary sense of "own a computer".

If the two people are Unix sysadmins, then they can arrange to
easily move files from one box to the other.  Say they have set
up a system so that with the push of one button, and the
indication of a file on their computer, the file gets sent to the
other computer.  Such an arrangement would serve, I claim, as a
foundation for what we want.

I think today the main obstacle for non-Unix-sysadmins to running
such a file transfer utility is setting up the "home router",
that is, the router behind the Time Warner "cable modem".  If
there were no router in the way, then it is not hard to set up a
system which could be used by two non-Unix-Sysadmins.  (Not hard
as long as we have some method for getting the Grand Net facing
address of one box to the other.  And if we allow dependence on a
third party then whatismyip.com serves; if we wish to avoid third
party dependence at this level, likely we will have to set
something up on the router; and there are other methods too.)

The home router is today usually:

1. a box separate from the home computer

2. with a difficult to understand method of programming, that is,
the ridiculous "web based" fill in the incomprehensible form,

3. which form is non-standard

These three things are, I think, mainly what makes direct
connection over the Net so hard for most people.  Thus we must
repair these deficiencies:

1. whether the box is grossly physically separate from the home
computer, its setting up to allow direct comunication with the
other box cannot require more than putting the name of the owner
of the other box; likely we should have the router be contained
in a joint "home computer router" thingie

2. no "web form" which asks such questions as "What is the IP
address of your nameserver?" or requests "Enter fibroblast count
E4 and Dunning-Kruger osteoclast rate, EUMED units (not ISO
units!), for your six top friends."

3. the button is standard, the same for every proto Freedom Box^W^W^Wstandard box

ad Skype: last I checked, about five years ago, Gnome Net Meeting
was just fine.  The question of connection to the PSTN I ignore.

ad email: Yes.

ad convenient storage: Yes.

ad difficulties of defense and authentication: I hope to write
this year something on this.


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