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Look, Ma! No Web Browser! No WWW, Either... (or Why We Use IPFS)

Video download link



Intel hub
To expose corruption we're going to become a lot more difficult to censor



Summary: An explanation of why Techrights is moving (to the extent possible given the inertia or network effect of the World Wide Web) to decentralised protocols and clutter-free minimalism

BACK in November we explained why we had transitioned to IPFS -- to the degree possible (given that many people aren't familiar with it) -- and shared this manual for ipfs as a command line tool (there are also graphical user interfaces for it, but at a lower level things are really quite simple and neat).



As many readers are aware, on a daily basis we issue a text-only bulletin for articles and Daily Links of the prior day. Generation of these bulletins was made automatic for the first time last night (3AM GMT) and the objects get added to IPFS a short time after that, along with IRC logs. Everything in this site can be read as plain text (except videos and images, for obvious reasons) and it can be retrieved without a Web browser; all that's needed is an Internet connection. This way, as we've been explaining all along, censoring the stuff we publish is virtually impossible or at least infeasible in practice. The more people join the IPFS network, the more censorship-resistant we shall become.

"The more people join the IPFS network, the more censorship-resistant we shall become."The above video shows how the Kate editor (of KDE, a desktop environment for GNU/Linux and BSDs for the most part) is used to read the site without a Web browser or how a Palm-sized Raspberry Pi is used to access similar stuff without the World Wide Web, either. All IRC logs, articles, and Daily Links are available in this fashion, with a daily update cycle (we might improve that frequency over time).

IPFS large logo



The Internet and the World Wide Web are not the same thing. You can use and access many things on the Internet without HTTP or HTTPS (an extra transport layer for encryption). When I first got an Internet connection at home (about 25 years ago) I didn't even use a Web browser; I used IRC instead (and still use that same protocol at present; it's our main collaboration tool). When Netscape became mainstream and even before MSIE took over (because of Microsoft's illegal behaviour) bloat started to become a major problem; JavaScript was only the start of it. We need to trim things down on the Net and IPFS is one method for attaining that. In 2020 a lot of the 'fattening' of the Web and much of the growing complexity is the fault of Google et al (there's also DRM, requiring proprietary software in a browser, due to W3C takeover by GAFAM, Netflix, and Hollywood).

"IPFS uses a great deal of encryption between nodes (by default)."Those of us who want a more censorship-resistant Internet which is also robust/resilient in the face of purely technical downtimes (such as server maintenance) are constantly exploring decentralised protocols, decoupled from any single central server/service. Having things presented in a simpler and lighter format means archiving is simpler, sharing is a lot faster, and there's virtually no spying. IPFS uses a great deal of encryption between nodes (by default).

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