Got big popular content, but tiny bandwidth? Coralize your links.

Via the p2p-hackers list, Michael J. Freedman writes:
We'd like to publicly announce the availability of CoralCDN, an open peer-to-peer content distribution network, beta-deployed on PlanetLab since March 2004:


To take advantage of CoralCDN, a content publisher, user, or some third party posting to a high-traffic portal, simply appends .nyud.net:8090 to the hostname in a URL. For example:

http://news.google.com/ --> http://news.google.com.nyud.net:8090/

Through DNS redirection, oblivious clients with unmodified web browsers are transparently redirected to nearby Coral web caches. These caches cooperate to transfer data from nearby peers whenever possible, minimizing the load on the origin web server and possibly reducing client latency. In fact, such servers should see near to a single request per web object to initialize the cooperative cache.

More info is in Freedman's post to the list and at the Coral website.

I think this will be big: a free, distributed hashtable-based global caching proxy network for any web content. It could cure the Slashdot effect; it could end the bandwidth worries of small operators with popular rich-media content. And it's got pretty maps of the deployed system.

Dem Party 527 Group Calls for Federal Ministry of Truth

America Coming Together (ACT) is a "527" political slush fund, one of the loophole demon spawn of the McCain-Feingold campaign speech quotas. ACT works to "elect Democrats up and down the ticket this November."

But they also want to set up the Federal Communications Commission as a sort of Ministry of Truth that would review and approve campaign ads before they run. On their site for hosting a satirical Will Ferrell campaign ad, White House West, they urge visitors to sign a petition:

STOP THE FRAUD: Stop airing fraud. Allow democracy to work.

Americans must be able to trust the facts in political ads. Every voter has the right to truthful advertising. Free speech is no defense to massive, purposeful fraud.

You, the FCC, have an obligation to ensure that broadcast stations around the country do not transmit misleading, deceptive and fraudulent advertising.

We, the undersigned American citizens, demand that you require proof of fact before airing political advertisements. Laws must change to protect our democracy.

You'd think a group backed by George "Open Society" Soros would have a better idea of what free speech means. If they take issue with a few numbers in Bush's campaign commercials, they should dispute the ads with more speech. Whining that a federal agency should exercise prior restraint over all political speech is pathetic -- and working to give any agency that power is dangerous.

And consider the irony of ACT exercising their First Amendment-protected right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances -- to ask for a curtailment of First Amendment-protected rights of freedom of speech and the press. What's next? An armed insurrection to revoke the right to keep and bear arms?

Econometrics indicate a Bush victory

NYTimes: Questions for Ray C. Fair: Bush Landslide (in Theory)!
As a professor of economics at Yale, you are known for creating an econometric equation that has predicted presidential elections with relative accuracy.

My latest prediction shows that Bush will receive 57.5 percent of the two-party votes.

The polls are suggesting a much closer race.

Polls are notoriously flaky this far ahead of the election, and there is a limit to how much you want to trust polls.

Why should we trust your equation, which seems unusually reductive?

It has done well historically. The average mistake of the equation is about 2.5 percentage points.

The really funny part of this interview is how the interviewer practically pleads with Fair to soften or change or qualify his prediction to boost the prospects for a desired result: a Kerry victory. Of course, that completely misses the point of objective scholarship -- or for that matter, objective journalism.


California company announces first cloned pets. Born in Austin, they're named "Tabouli" and "Baba Ganoush", clones of a cat named "Tahini". A San Franciscan is incensed, naturally.

"Here, cloney cloney cloney. Here, cloney cloney."