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use macosx hints as file system
Authored by: SOX on Jan 25, '07 10:12:13AM

Here's a link to a MacFuse Plug in that lets you use mac osxhints as a storage system. It treates the comments section here as an unlimited length write-once memory. It encodes your data and writes it redundanly to Mac Osxhints, Slashdot and several other bullitenboards that allow user comments. From your point of view it just looks like an ordinary filesystem that mounts on your desktop, but behind the scenes its storing data out on the web, taking care of the uder logins, comment field lengths and other local restrictions.

It also supports a stealth mode. In this mode instead of writing dense hexidecimal strings to the comment fields which the web admins will notice and eventually start blocking, it can also yous a markovian english sentince generator that spits out semi-readable if gibberish sentences themed to a topic area for the bulliten board. The message is cleverly encoded in the word tokens chosen by the markov chain. At each position in the sentence there are severla 4096 possible words it can emiit each representing a bit string. the stored data can be uniquely invererted by the makov sentence generator.

If you scan many of the comments in the macosx hints for the last few months you will see it is already in use.



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use macosx hints as file system
Authored by: SOX on Jan 25, '07 10:41:33AM

Cool! I just checked the website and downloaded the latest version. They've made some improvements. In stealthmode it can now use simple misspellings and gramtical errors in real sentences to encode the data making it virtually impssible to filder out. They also added a mulit-threaded socket system so it can be downloading or uploading data on as many simultaenous connections the server will allow. By using a P2P posting mechanism they even bypass per-IP address throttles many servers impose. And finally, it seems to target forums with really long numbers of posts where the conversation thread has dwindled to just two posters (presumably arguing over dragons or world of warcraft or their nerdly powers and of no interest to anyone else) to aid in keeping down it's notciablity from sysadmins.

I ran a quick perlscript on MacOSX hints forums to look for suspect MacFuse posts and the results are pretty amazing. Starting 4 months ago I see hardly any but the number of them is doubling every week. I'd say in about 2 months its going to start to be a sizable fraction of the normal posts. and if nothing changes, in 6 months it will dominate the regular posts 16 to 1. I imagine the servers will probably start to smoke long before that actually happens since I doubt they could handle 16 times the capacity.

The good news is that they also added several other forums to their growing list of web depositories. One of the is Wiki Pedia. The nice thing about this is that by using a raid-like errorcorrecting encodings and distributed storage not only does the speed of resonse improve but it makes it robust against deletion since the forums won't syncronously delete all of the messages at the same time. The new module looks for deletions and corruptions, then immediately rewrite the missing raid volumes under a newly created username. All transparently to you.

Isn't this great! free storage on the web. There's no downside.



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use macosx hints as file system
Authored by: SOX on Jan 25, '07 03:16:06PM

Just messin' with your head Rob :-)


I thought the little allegory here would promote some discussion of social responsiblity in the use of things like GmailFS and other tragedies of the commons.



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use macosx hints as file system
Authored by: justicart on Jan 25, '07 09:23:28PM

That's funny.



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