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Twister: The Fully Decentralized P2P Microblogging Platform 169

New submitter miguelfreitas writes "I'd like to offer for discussion with Slashdot readers this new proposal: twister is the fully decentralized P2P microblogging platform leveraging from the free software implementations of Bitcoin and BitTorrent protocols. This is not being pushed by any company or organization, it is the work of a single Brazilian researcher (me). The idea is to provide a scalable platform for censor-resistant public posting together with private messaging with end-to-end encryption. The basic concepts are described in FAQ while more in-depth technical details are available from the white paper. The twister network is running already: the client can be compiled for Linux, Mac, and Android. 2500 usernames were registered in the first 6 days."
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Twister: The Fully Decentralized P2P Microblogging Platform

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  • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:39PM (#45888389) Homepage Journal

    Tech bubble anyone?

    From the twister FAQ []:

    The architecture is designed so that other users can’t know if you are online or not, what your IP address is, or which users’ posts you might be reading.


    Q: How do you make money out of this? A: I don't.

    I like your definition of "Tech bubble" - we can use it as a label to beat down or promote all sorts of extreme views on the internets.

    Do you have a newsletter I can subscribe to?

  • Re:Registered? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Clyde Machine ( 1851570 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:41PM (#45888413) Homepage
    The software is built off the blockchain model of the Bitcoin protocol. A key pair is recognized in the blockchain as being associated with a specific username, and it's there for all nodes to agree upon.
  • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:53PM (#45888561) Homepage Journal

    How do you register a username in a fully decentralized environment?

    In like manner of BitCoin registering a transaction in a fully decentralized way.

    1) You make the claim to a username with a set of encryption keys.

    2) The daemons accept the transaction and insert it into the block chain.

    From then on, the only person who can claim to be that username must present credentials based on the encryption keys. Keep those safe, and no one cal masquerade as you on the system.

  • by miguelfreitas ( 3488261 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:09PM (#45888697)
    It is only about 100 bytes per user registration, plus a fixed overhead of about 50MB per year. Should be pretty manageable for any low-end desktop.
  • Re:well... (Score:4, Informative)

    by miguelfreitas ( 3488261 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:12PM (#45888723)
    APK is already available from download page [].
  • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:28PM (#45888887) Homepage Journal

    The blockchain will soon grow disproportionally large. Right now it's probably managable, but you know what? I'm not downloading tens of gigabytes of blockchain just for the plessure of reading lols on decentralized blogs.

    Nice idea though...

    Apropos of nothing, where are you getting this meme?

    I only ask because it doesn't happen to be true [], yet it's an oft-repeated meme that everyone seems to put forth as the BitCoin "killer" flaw.

    tl;dr Here's the relevant passage from that link:

    It is not required for most fully validating nodes to store the entire chain. [...] the size of the unspent output set is less than 100MiB, which is small enough to easily fit in RAM for even quite old computers.

    If one wanted to kill an idea, if one wanted to wage a propaganda war on an extreme viewpoint or tool, here is one way to do it.

    • 1) Assume people know the basics of the system, but not the details.
    • 2) Construct a "problem" consistent with the basic knowledge
    • 3) Loudly advertize that "problem" and let others pick up and repeat it

    It certainly seems plausible given the basics. Every transaction will add to the blockchain, and we process a whopping-big number of financial transactions every day! The blockchain will soon become unmanageable, and BitCoin will fail!

    I've seen this in other arenas, including politics. Al Gore invented the internet [] for instance. He didn't, he never said that he did, but he did say something vaguely similar. It certainly seems plausible that this is what he did say, and boy what a gaff! It makes him look sooooo silly!

    We should promote our own agenda this way - the UK spam filter, for instance. What right risible meme can we invent that is close enough to reality that people would find it plausible, repeat it, and use it to label the filter as badly conceived?

    Let's use the the same techniques our opponents use. Human psychology, for the win.

  • by gyepi ( 891047 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:48PM (#45889161) Homepage
    As it is explained in the FAQ, the blockchain is not used for distributing user's messages. Only user registration and authentication is based on the Bitcoin protocol. The blockchain only grows in proportion with the number of registered users, with a few hundred bytes per user. Even with a widespread adoption that is still a quite managable size we are talking about.
  • by AdamHaun ( 43173 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:48PM (#45889163) Journal

    Mmm... social networking and telecommunications on a decentralised network with no way of inserting advertising

    Actually, it does. From the FAQ []:

    Can I mine Bitcoins with twister?

    Not exactly. The same mechanism used in Bitcoin for mining is also used in twister but for a different purpose, ensuring the order in which user registrations took place (the nickname belongs to whoever registered it first). twister network must incentive users to mine, so block chain may keep advancing. However, unlike Bitcoin, there is no monetary value involved. The twister incentive is: whoever finds the hash collision to validate a new block of transactions will be awarded with the right to send a promoted message. Promoted messages have a certain probability of being displayed by twister client.

    Promoted messages? Am I going to be flooded with SPAM?

    No, I hope not. I don’t like promoted message any more than you do, but I believe that a fair balance between the allowed volume of promoted messages will not upset the users while providing a good incentive for people to run the twister infrastructure.
    Currently there is a maximum of one promoted message to be shown every 8 hours for every client, but the exact policy to be used is meant to be decided by the community.
    The mechanism is actually quite democratic. Anyone can start generating blocks to send promoted messages, so this is effectively an advertising mechanism reaching the entire population of twister users. While an entrepreneur may invest in a mining rig to announce his product, a non-profit organization may ask his supporters to use their own personal computers to increase the probability of spreading their message.

  • Re:Good point! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @02:09PM (#45889459)

    "I'm going to forward it to Miguel and the people over at the Twister forum (unless you'd like to do it - I'll hold off for a couple of hours in case you do)."

    Then perhaps you'd like to post this as well:

    Twister will never see widespread adoption if users have to compile it for their platform. Unless and until pre-compiled binaries are available, most people will avoid it like the plague.

  • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @02:36PM (#45889855)

    But that's 100MB per million users, it all adds up.

    FYI, twitter has 883 million users.. that's a lot of 100 bytes. 88 gigs worth of them.

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court