I KNEW ALLPEERS had finally released to the masses because two requests for connection landed in my email box. Those emails came from music listeners and they offered up their top-down tracks for the weekend. Since they had installed AllPeers into Firefox, there was no need to send me megabytes of music. I fired up Firefox, added their user names to my contact list and before I opened another tab, their tracks were waiting in my download folder.
This was a legal transaction, since the music came directly from the artists. However, AllPeers will absolutely become a thorn in the side of the RIAA since the tool offers a Napster-easy way for DC++ to meet Bittorrent in a browser-simple style. If you know those tools already, you won't find much unique about AllPeers. You download the plug-in and it creates a peer-to-peer connection between your Firefox browser and the AllPeers server. AllPeers sets up peer-to-peer to the Firefox browswer of the friend you nominate. AllPeers does not deliver peer-to-peer directly between Firefox windows.
After nearly a week of twiddling with AllPeers, I think it's easier than setting up different persmissions for folder sharing. I think it's less impressive than Bittorrent but for the unitiated, AllPeers does the business. You can set up your private podcasts, offer up porn for named subscribers, shift company documents out the side of your browser session, co-ordinate final production runs of Irish ID cards to oppressed migrants from the solace of your internet cafe, and distribute password-protected manuals with no revealing electronic footprints. If you're bothered by the government tracking every move of your web browser, you should start trickling password-protected materials to trusted colleagues through a peer-to-peer system like AllPeers.
However, unlike some other file-sharing programs, AllPeers has an unfinished edge to it. You cannot see the size of documents earmarked for your download. When you opt to share files with others, you cannot tell if they've downloaded them.
I don't think I will install AllPeers on my main authoring laptop because AllPeers keeps a Firefox process running even after all windows have been closed. On my five-year old Inspiron, this single process conspires to use more than 80% of my available CPU cycles for nearly 15 seconds at a time. I'm sure part of that usage comes from a leaky memory and an old hard drive that needs to be scratch formatted.
If I cleaned off the hard drive, I don't know if I'd reinstall AllPeers even though someone asks to join my circle of AllPeers friends every day.
Think topgold and when looking for my public face.
Haydn Shaughnessy -- "European Web 2.0 All Peers"
Juan Gomez -- "GHD: Filesharing for all"