Bitcoin has been in the news, everywhere. If you’re even remotely interested in technology, your attention should be squarely pointed at Bitcoin or cryptocurrency in general. It has the potential to revolutionize our payment system while simultaneously bringing the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street together on an issue. That is, if our intent is to move to a better, cheaper, faster system and take the control away from central banks.
Just a quick note on a late Tuesday evening: Firefox 3.6 Beta 3 dropped. Go ahead and grab your preferred build from the beta download page or a simple click on Help > Check for Updates… should work. Feel free to check out the release notes. However, for the real details, peruse over 80 changes since Beta 2.
What is Usenet?
Usenet is a distributed message service that allows users to post and read items by other users. Typically, an end-user subscribes to a single Usenet server – either provided by their ISP, or subscribed through a premium service such as NewsDemon. That server provides a single point of entry for the user, but receives and distributes messages with other Usenet servers in a mesh network. A mesh network is similar to the infamous P2P networking, with the added ability of data being able to flow through multiple hops to reach a destination. Thinking about air travel, P2P is like taking only a direct flight whereas mesh is similar to using layovers to reach your destination.
Usenet has evolved since its introduction in 1980, now serving a purpose far more vast than it’s original intended purpose of ASCII communication. With the popularization of binary-to-ASCII conversion (such as uuencoding), it became practical to post files on the text-only messaging system. However, there are size limits on Usenet messages, so large files may be split among thousands of messages or more.
Dropbox (review, bonus 250MB, or [ad#CJ-DropboxPro-TextLink]) and ZumoDrive both offer an amazing cloud-based file synchronization service, yet their features do not completely overlap. Until the services have closer feature parity, there are different reasons to use each. For me, one the the biggest features of Dropbox is the availability on Linux, which ZumoDrive does not offer. On the other hand, ZumoDrive has a client for iPhone, which Dropbox does not yet have. If I want truly want to access my files on any platform, I have to use both services.
Aside from these feature differences, using two services allows me to escape the lock-in of a single provider. If either company experiences a service interruption, I can rely on the other in the meantime, giving me a mirroring-like setup.