You say you want a revolution? Meet Kast.

By Jon Newton 5/23/03

With the arrival of Kast, described by its creator, Jason Rohrer, as the first konspire2b-based app, "powerful organizations lost the advantage that they had been holding onto for hundreds of years" and for the first time, people can distribute, "high-quality content to a massive audience without expending large amounts of time, money, or other resources".

Kast is a p2p filesharing system being developed in C++ and, thus, "compiles natively for five major platforms".

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In 4 Beta with a new beta scheduled for the next week or so, it's from HardenedCriminal software and with it, promise Jason, you merely:

  1. Subscribe to channels that match your interests
  2. Go to bed
  3. Wake up in the morning to the files that have arrived on your subscribed channels
  4. Feel certain that the files are legit, thanks to konspire2b's heavy-duty, automatic, digital signatures
  5. Unsubscribe from channels that disappoint you
  6. Build trust for a channel owner's tastes over time (owners are completely responsible for what goes out on their channels)
  7. Spend the time you used to spend searching doing other less frustrating things (see 8 for a suggestion)
  8. Start a channel to broadcast your own files

What, then, is konspire2b?

"Konspire2b was started a year ago as a research project," Jason - a PhD student at the University of California, Santa Cruz - told

"I was looking into new applications of peer-to-peer networking ideas. There was a need for one person to send a file out to a subscriber base, and I wanted to use p2p for this purpose. Unfortunately, existing p2p systems couldn't support this application because they are based on a 'search and retrieve' model. By reversing the existing p2p model, we came up with k2b: instead of sending requests into the network in search of a file, the sender pushes announcements into the network in search of potential receivers.

"Essentially, k2b is 'Gnutella run backwards'."

Jason continued that a few years ago, he worked on a Java-based p2p project called 'konspire' which saw several releases but ultimately never took off.

"The final release was konspire 1.0," he says. "konspire2b is a completely different project, though the name 'konspire' still fits it. The '2' indicates that it's the second konspire project, and the 'b' indicates its focus on broadcasting. The name essentially means 'konspire version 2 b.'

"A lot of people seem to run '2b' together and think that it's a pun on 'to be' ('to be or not to be,' etc.), but that really was not the intention."

Several other developers have started working on pieces of the k2b project, says Jason, adding, "For example, Shayne White is improving the Cocoa kastLauncher App for Mac OS X."

You say you want a revolution .... ?

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Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.


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