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Locutus Preview Released 260

Posted by michael
from the borg-nanoprobes dept.
An anonymous reader writes "FreeNet's Ian Clarke has released the preview version of his latest P2P endeavor Locutus. Aimed at the corporate world, Locutus adds encryption to the mix - new for a P2P client - to secure files traded across the network as well as the ability to scan within text files to improve search results. Locutus Lite is the free version for those who are more concerned with trading movies and tunes. Locutus Enterprise is the pay version that Clarke hopes to lure corporations to shell out money for (for secure trading of research and other documents). Those interested in trying the preview can download it here."
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Locutus Preview Released

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  • by macshune (628296) on Monday February 10, 2003 @02:17AM (#5268942) Journal
    it's called e-mail with PGP.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Surely the best way for trading research would be with E-bay?
    • Whoever posted this comment clearly didn't visit either of the links in the article, whoever modded this up should be ashamed of themselves.

      It shall be left as an exercise for the reader (who can actually be bothered to follow hyperlinks) to see why.

    • Actually, no. E-mail with PGP wastes a lot of disk space in the enterprise that a P2P client won't - with a P2P client, you can just email everyone in a distribution list a path to a WP or other large doc and let those who might have a use for it look themselves. As a matter of fact, this is exactly what I need to solve a problem I'm having...
  • Locutus (Score:3, Funny)

    by trotski (592530) on Monday February 10, 2003 @02:18AM (#5268952)
    This is Locutus of P2P You will be assimilated, resistance is futile!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 10, 2003 @02:19AM (#5268955)
    Seriously, why would anyone buy another application when they already have http and ftp sites, e-mail, etc? Most "research" isn't widely in demand enough to warrant the distribution model of p2p.
    • Wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sanity (1431) on Monday February 10, 2003 @03:38AM (#5269189) Homepage Journal
      Think about it - how much time do most information workers spend looking for information? Some estimate about two hours per day, and over 80% of information in the Enterprise is located on user's hard disks - not on web or ftp sites.

      This is the market Locutus is going after.

    • by interiot (50685) on Monday February 10, 2003 @04:19AM (#5269273) Homepage
      At our site, we specifically have a separate system set up for spreading large files to our sites around the world. It only holds files for three days to emphasize its use as a transport agent and keep disk space down. If a department constantly uses a lot of disk space, sure, they should spend the money to get a proper ftp site. But if you send files only sporadically, and sometimes very large files, this can be good.

      Also, it'd be nice to cut down on internet charges by using a local copy of the nightly builds if they're available, so something self-organizing like this would be nice.

  • Good plan (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 10, 2003 @02:22AM (#5268968)
    That's the way to guarantee real-world corporate interest, all right - name it after a lame geeky Star Trek reference.

    And not even old series Star Trek that some of the upper management might at least feel nostalgia for.
  • Now the "movie stealers" can swap pirate movies without anybody finding out! I bet the big movie companies will have a look into this. . .
    • Re:This is great! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by anubi (640541)
      Encrypted or not, they will just set traps.

      They will bait you to their site, and when you go onto their site to retrieve some file they say they have and attempt to download it, they will log where their server is sending it to.

      And a letter from their legal counsel will go out in the next day's mail.

      Sorry to rain on parade..but I do not think encryption is going to do much to help mask P2P filesharing itself... but it will help a lot in the sense that if you snared some file from someone's P2P server but did not know how to unlock it, you just get a file of something you can not use at all - it may as well be digitized interstation FM hiss for all you know. Or it might be configured so that if you do not know the access codes, you won't be able to get the remote server to send the file.

      • That wouldn't work. By letting you download their own copyrighted material, they have authorized you to use it. Also, the question of who is actually making the copy, the downloader or the downloadee has yet to be decided in court. If it goes to the downloadee, then no sort of baiting tricks will work legally, as they would be the ones doing the copying, not you.
  • Microsoft.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by anubi (640541) on Monday February 10, 2003 @02:26AM (#5268982) Journal
    I think this is one of the things that peeve me so much about their "improvements"... from the Locutus site mentioned...

    The application is only 400k in size, but many users will notice that the download is over 20MB. This is because Locutus relies on Microsoft's .NET framework, and if a user doesn't have .NET they will automatically download a version of the installer that does.

    Damm!

    Locutus does look nifty though in that the files can be shared encrypted.. I take it that one must pass muster to even look at the filenames though.. otherwise what difference is it from sharing files already encrypted with pgp or similar...

    • by Forgotten (225254) on Monday February 10, 2003 @02:28AM (#5268994)
      Well, that explains the name.
      • by Jugalator (259273) on Monday February 10, 2003 @05:51AM (#5269481) Journal
        Actually, the Borg could have a far worse destiny than being controlled by Bill Gates. Read on... :-)

        The Microsoft Borg

        (Picard) "Mr. LaForge, have you had any success with your attempts at finding a weakness in the Borg? And Mr. Data, have you been able to access their command pathways?"

        (Geordi)"Yes, Captain. In fact, we found the answer by searching through our archives on late Twentieth-century computing technology." (Geordi presses a key, and a logo appears on the computer screen.)

        (Riker looks puzzled.) "What the hell is 'Microsoft'?" (Data turns to answer.) "Allow me to explain. We will send this program, for some reason called 'Windows', through the Borg command pathways. Once inside their root command unit,it will begin consuming system resources at an unstoppable rate."

        (Picard) "But the Borg have the ability to adapt. Won't they alter their processing systems to increase their storage capacity?"

        (Data) "Yes, Captain. But when 'Windows' detects this, it creates a new version of itself known as an 'upgrade'. The use of resources increases exponentially with each iteration. The Borg will not be able to adapt quickly enough. Eventually all of their processing ability will be taken over and none will be available for their normal operational functions."

        (Picard) "Excellent work. This is even better than that 'unsolvable geometric shape' idea." .. . . 15 Minutes Later . . .

        (Data) "Captain, We have successfully installed the 'Windows' in the command unit and as expected it immediately consumed 85% of all resources. We however have not received any confirmation of the expected 'upgrade'."

        (Geordi) "Our scanners have picked up an increase in Borg storage and CPU capacity to compensate, but we still have no indication of an 'upgrade' to compensate for their increase."

        (Picard) "Data, scan the history banks again and determine if there is something we have missed."

        (Data) "Sir, I believe there is a reason for the failure in the 'upgrade'. Apparently the Borg have circumvented that part of the plan by not sending in their registration cards.

        (Riker) "Captain we have no choice. Requesting permission to begin emergency escape sequence 3F . . ."

        (Geordi, excited) "Wait, Captain I just detected their CPU capacity has suddenly dropped to 0% !"

        (Picard) "Data, what do your scanners show?"

        (Data) "Apparently the Borg have found the internal 'Windows' module named 'Solitaire' and it has used up all the CPU capacity."

        (Picard) "Let's wait and see how long this 'solitaire' can reduce their functionality." .. . . Two Hours Pass . . .

        (Riker) "Geordi, what's the status of the Borg?"

        (Geordi) "As expected the Borg are attempting to re-engineer to compensate for increased CPU and storage demands, but each time they successfully increase resources I have set up our closest deep space monitor beacon to transmit more 'Windows' modules from something called the 'Microsoft fun-pack'.

        (Picard) "How much time will that buy us?"

        (Data) "Current Borg solution rates allow me to predict an interest time span of 6 more hours."

        (Geordi) "Captain, another vessel has entered our sector."

        (Picard) "Identify."

        (Data) "It appears to have markings very similar to the 'Microsoft' logo."

        (Over the speakers) "THIS IS ADMIRAL BILL GATES OF THE MICROSOFT FLAGSHIP 'MONOPOLY'. WE HAVE POSITIVE CONFIRMATION OF UNREGISTERED SOFTWARE IN THIS SECTOR. SURREDER ALL ASSETS AND WE CAN AVOID ANY TROUBLE. YOU HAVE 10 SECONDS."

        (Data) "The alien ship has just opened its forward hatches and released thousands of humanoid shaped objects."

        (Picard) "Magnify forward viewer on the alien craft."

        (Riker) "Good God, Captain! Those are humans floating straight toward the Borg ship with no life support suits! How can they survive the tortures of deep space?!"

        (Data) "I don't believe that those are humans,sir. If you will look closer I believe you will see that they are carrying something recognized by Twenty-first Century man as doe skin leather briefcases, and they are wearing Armani suits."

        (Riker and Picard together, horrified) "Lawyers!!"

        (Geordi) "It can't be. All the Lawyers were rounded up and sent hurtling into the sun in 2017 during the Great Awakening."

        (Data) "True, but apparently some must have survived."

        (Riker) "They have surrounded the Borg ship and are covering it with all types of papers."

        (Data) "I believe that is known in ancient vernacular as 'red tape'. It often proves fatal."

        (Riker) "They're tearing the Borg to pieces!"

        (Picard) "Turn off the monitors. I can't stand to watch, not even the Borg deserve that.

  • by Velocity4 (183357) <felixsargent@attELIOTbi.com minus poet> on Monday February 10, 2003 @02:26AM (#5268984)
    Hey, If it's on slashdot, think how many geeks will be using it. And what do geeks have? Yes, they have it all. Warez, Mp3s, and.. yes, that too.

    I'm checking it out. Are you?

    +No spyware, woohoo! I would like it if it could hack into the kazaa network thought.
  • by dupper (470576) <adamlouis@gmail.com> on Monday February 10, 2003 @02:27AM (#5268986) Journal
    Q Who?

    (Score:-1, Trekkie/Obscure)

  • by oingoboingo (179159) on Monday February 10, 2003 @02:28AM (#5268990)
    Locutus Enterprise is the pay version that Clarke hopes to lure corporations to shell out money for (for secure trading of research and other documents).

    Maybe I'm missing a point somewhere here...what's wrong with centralised file/document servers, or groupware like Notes, GroupWise or Exchange for sharing documents and research within a company? Why P2P? Will we look back at these stories in a couple of years and think the same way about them as we now do with stories about 'Java applications storming the desktop', 'Push applications redefining the way we work on the net', or 'Debian releases new version before 2025'?
    • by Sanity (1431) on Monday February 10, 2003 @03:46AM (#5269207) Homepage Journal
      what's wrong with centralised file/document servers?
      How much of the average knowledge worker's output gets uploaded to centralized file servers or websites? Over 80% of a corporation's data still resides on their employee's desktop computers - and as was demonstrated by Napster, P2P is very good indeed when it comes to searching desktop PCs.
      Will we look back at these stories in a couple of years and think the same way about them as we now do with stories about...
      ...or 'Web to revolutionize the way we look for information' - hmmmm, perhaps some buzzwords do live up to the hype.
      • What's wrong with the file-sharing capabilities built in to most OSs? I mean, yes, most organizations use MS, which means that file-sharing is most likely very weak and full of holes, but there's nothing to say that this new product is necessarily more secure on an MS platform, and when configured properly and put behind a firewall/VPN, there's no reason why traditional file-sharing shouldn't prove adequate enough to prevent looking elsewhere. It also has a number of advantages, such as integration with the filesystem, thus allowing traversal of the distributed file store with any tool that understands the OS's filesystem API.
        • What's wrong with the file-sharing capabilities built in to most OSs?
          Imagine you have 10,000 desktop PCs in your company, and you want to find a document about "freenet" and "locutus". You know that it is on someone's shared drive, but how do you find out where it is?

          That is the problem that Locutus solves.

  • by $$$$$exyGal (638164) on Monday February 10, 2003 @02:29AM (#5268995) Homepage Journal
    The application is only 400k in size, but many users will notice that the download is over 20MB. This is because Locutus relies on Microsoft's .NET framework, and if a user doesn't have .NET they will automatically download a version of the installer that does.

    For some reason, that paragraph really cracked me up...

    --naked [slashdot.org]

    • Re:Another 20MB. (Score:5, Informative)

      by gutier (129597) on Monday February 10, 2003 @02:47AM (#5269051)
      I for one am extremely happy with the .NET framework. It is a comprehensive box of functionality that all .NET applications can make use of. Many useful applications I've written in .NET have been under 200K in size. Comparable programs I've written in Linux are all over 200K in size. This is after having to deal with the incredible mash of libraries that simply don't work well together. Why? Well, how about the amazing number of reimplementations of method pointers, having to deal with C++ libraries and C libraries and woes arising thereof, exceptions in some libraries and return codes in others, all different kinds of naming conventions and the bazillion mappings of this over that.

      I've found that programming in .NET is actually a lot like programming in Python (a nice language and a clean, integrated box of functionality, and NOT like Perl/CPAN with for all the same Linux-related reasons again ... ). Given .NET's intended domain (which is Windows software running on Windows), it is very well done.

      Let's give up the religious dogma, emotional outbursts and reactivity, and evaluate it objectively. Objective evaluation of a complete situation is what they really tried to teach you in college.
      • Re:Another 20MB. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Forgotten (225254) on Monday February 10, 2003 @03:19AM (#5269130)
        Well, there's always another level to a complete appraisal. Many people object to .Net because promulgating it furthers goals of Microsoft's which they object to. That's a perfectly reasonably objection, and by that yardstick your observation that it works well for some purposes is largely irrelevant.
        Don't assume that mere dogma underlies every opinion opposed to yours.
        • Re:Another 20MB. (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Reziac (43301)
          Actually, my first thought was "and if I install this .NET framework, what might it break??" My next was "will it only work on the XP box?" About that point, I began losing interest in the product.

      • Teach in College? You mean practices like not re-inventing the wheel? We have enough runtimes on hand now. Loading something from MS seems to only please the MS faithful. Windows software on Windows? You mean like Ford gasoline in a Ford Car? Or GE electricity surging into a GE microwave? Or... Your decry is hardly objective. Save me the cup of kool aid...
      • Err, I'm certainly not bahing .NET, I haven't playied with it enough to really form an opinion. However, your argument doesn't hold water. Of course your applications are smaller in .NET. You're making almost exclusive use of shared libraries. I can do the same in Linux, as far as a mash of libraries not working well together, that's unsupported FUD. The size of a program is not a good indicator by itself, static or shared libraries, and the skill of the coder involved play a large role, as I'm sure other factors (which aren't coming to me at four in the morning) do as well.


        You're right though, .NET in it's intended domain is well done. But of course it would be. It's not religous dogma, it's fact. MS bullied around Java until they could rip it off and implement it on their systems ala C# and .NET. Even not being a Windows guy, I'm willing to admint that C# is great it's well integrated in the environment, but let's face facts... it's Java. It's typical MS business practice, break a third party tool until they can entrench users in using the MS version. It works, it's immoral, but it works.

      • Comparable programs I've written in Linux are all over 200K in size.

        This application I'm developing in Gtk# to deploy on Linux must be a dream, then?

        Why do you feel the need to put down Linux when you talk about the strengths of .NET? Has it ever occurred to you that thousands of people are writing C# programs on Linux already using Mono, with the additional stability and estabilshed development environment provided therein (emacs, vim)?
  • by Mr Foot (596500)
    The commercial version of Locutus, Locutus Enterprise, will enforce "military grade" encryption over all files shared.

  • by Xpilot (117961) on Monday February 10, 2003 @02:34AM (#5269007) Homepage
    Didn't Locutus try to destroy Enterprise? And Enterprise tried to destroy Locutus too. Hrmmm... Sleep Data, sleep...
  • so in essence.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zogger (617870)
    ....so in essence the good part is, this is an easy to set up secure WAN with restricted users and groups.

    The bad part could be you have to be "microsoft dot netted".

    hmmmmm
  • FAQ (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mdog (25508) on Monday February 10, 2003 @02:38AM (#5269024) Homepage
    (Site slashdotted)

    1 General
    1.1 What is Locutus?
    Locutus is a .Net application that will allow you to search for files on your hard disk and on other people's shared folders on your LAN, and on the Internet as a whole.
    1.2 Why is Locutus a 20MB download?
    In fact, Locutus itself is only about 400k in size, however it relies on Microsoft's .NET framework. Not everyone has a version of Windows which includes .NET, and so if you try to download Locutus and don't have .NET you will automatically download a version of the installer which includes it. The next time you upgrade Locutus, or any other .NET software, you will find that the download is much smaller. You can find out whether you have .NET by visiting the Downloads page.
    1.25 Why is slashdot so fucking retarded?
    It's because people aren't aware that the editors are facist morons. Read ths signature for this post and find out more.
    1.3 I've installed it - now what?
    When you run Locutus, you should see a discrete search box at the bottom right of your screen. You can enter search terms into this box, and Locutus will search your computer, along with the shared directories of other Locutus users on your LAN. The more of your co-workers that use Locutus, the more useful it will be, so email them now and direct them to http://locut.us/!
    1.4 What is the difference between Locutus and other P2P applications?
    There are a number of important differences:

    * Detailed file analysis
    Most P2P applications just search on the basis of a filename or superficial data about the files being searched. Locutus will scan documents in their entirity, extracting significant keywords - using technology similar to that used by web search engines.
    * Scalable and efficient search algorithm
    Locutus employs a sophisticated decentralized search algorithm which can rapidly search tens or hundreds of thousands of computers in a very short space of time, and without any reliance on inefficient "broadcast" searches, or fragile "ultrapeers". This effeciency dramatically reduces Locutus' bandwidth requirements relative to more conventional P2P applications.
    * Strong security model
    With most P2P apps, you are either sharing a file or you are not - and often you can accidentally end up sharing files that you didn't intend to share. Locutus allows finer control over who can search which folders on your computer, and in the upcoming Enterprise release, will enforce this security using military-grade encryption.

    1.5 What is the difference between Locutus and a web Search Engine?
    Web search engines only search information publicly available on the Internet, and they do so in a totally centralized manner. Locutus can search the hard-disks of desktop PCs (within constraints defined by the PC's user) in a completely decentralized manner. Locutus doesn't require that a server be set up - you just download, install, and you can start using it immediately!
    2 Using Locutus
    2.1 Does Locutus allow others to see my private files?
    No! Locutus will only allow others to search for files in shared directories on your computer, or files that you have deliberately placed in the Locutus shared folder on your desktop.
    2.2 Will Locutus slow down my computer?
    While the built-in Windows indexing service is well-known for slowing down the user's computer, Locutus is much more careful about its resource usage. Initially Locutus does need to create an index of your hard-disk, however once this is done, Locutus is careful only to reindex files when necessary (ie. when they change, or when a new file is created). In practice, Locutus doesn't have any negative effect on system performance once the initial indexing is complete - you won't even know its there.
    3 Microsoft's .Net
    3.1 What is .Net and why does Locutus need it? .Net is, at its core, an attempt to standardize the way that software applications communicate with the underlying Operating System. .Net was developed by Microsoft, and at the time of writing is only available for Windows, however .Net has been embraced by some in the Linux community who are working on Open Source versions of .Net such as Mono. Once finished, these will allow Locutus to run on non-Microsoft operating systems.
    3.2 I heard that .Net can compromise your privacy - is this true?
    There was some controversy over a Microsoft product called "Passport" which Microsoft marketed under the .Net banner - however Passport is not required by Locutus, and is not included in the Locutus installer.

    We value our privacy, and respect yours. We would never ask you to install anything that we wouldn't install on our own computers.
    4 Business Model
    4.1 Many P2P applications include Spyware - what about Locutus?
    No, Locutus does not include any advertising, nor will it install any third-party advertising or data-collection software.
    4.2 If not advertising, what is your business model?
    We plan to give Locutus Prototype and Locutus Lite (available late January 2003) for free. Those who require enhanced security or other features will have the opportunity to purchase Locutus Enterprise when it is released in March 2003.
    4.3 Who do I contact if I am interested in a business relationship with Cematics LLC?
    Cematics is a young and flexible company, and are always on the look-out for new collaboration opportunities. If you are interested in a business relationship with Cematics LLC, please email our business development group at bizdev@locut.us.
    4.4 Will Locutus be released as Open Source software?
    While we are big fans of Open Source software, we do not feel that there is a viable business model for us that would allow us to release Locutus as Open Source. We will, however, be developing ways that third-party software developers can write software which integrates with Locutus.
    Index

    1 General
    1.1 What is Locutus?
    1.2 Why is Locutus a 20MB download?
    1.3 I've installed it - now what?
    1.4 What is the difference between Locutus and other P2P applications?
    1.5 What is the difference between Locutus and a web Search Engine?

    2 Using Locutus
    2.1 Does Locutus allow others to see my private files?
    2.2 Will Locutus slow down my computer?

    3 Microsoft's .Net
    3.1 What is .Net and why does Locutus need it?
    3.2 I heard that .Net can compromise your privacy - is this true?

    4 Business Model
    4.1 Many P2P applications include Spyware - what about Locutus?
    4.2 If not advertising, what is your business model?
    4.3 Who do I contact if I am interested in a business relationship with Cematics LLC?
    4.4 Will Locutus be released as Open Source software?
    Copyright © 2003 Cematics, LLC
    • Is there anything more lame then a person who complains about slashdot?
    • Re:FAQ (Score:3, Insightful)

      Mod parent down.

      My take on Locutus:

      Maybe some of their algorithmic innovations are valuable, but as for the whole model, I really don't see a necessity for it. Encrypted P2P might be nice, I suppose. But it seems like secure web servers have been providing the same functionality for years.

      Chemfinder [chemfinder.com] has a nice model they've been using for sharing of research. Most of the information there, from my understanding, is submitted and reviewed for entry into the database. Complete with subscription options.


      On another note...
      A couple things I like about Slashdot: a) Users generally engage in intelligent discussion without calling the content of the entire site "so fucking retarded."

      b) The editing is actually quite good. Much better than kuro5hin.org, from what I can tell at least. You can actually find interesting, well written articles, as well as read responses from a wide variety of professional, political, and social cross-sections.

      c) Slashdot is a user moderated news site. As it is well recognized that nobody really wants to hear about Pepsi's new flavor when reading about Oracle security problems, comments focusing on Pepsi's new flavor under articles concerning Oracle security problems are modded down. Likewise, articles for the sole purpose of bitching and moaning about unrelated topics are also modded down when they are included under articles concerning Oracle security problems. Following that logic, the parent and this reply should be modded down. So somebody fucking do it.

  • Trademark... (Score:5, Informative)

    by po8 (187055) on Monday February 10, 2003 @02:45AM (#5269043)

    I hope Ian has gotten permission to use the name Locutus, which is, no surprise, a trademark of Paramount. Info below.

    (BTW, why does Slashdot not allow <pre> tags but allow text-only postings and the obvious <tt>...<br> thing? What a pain.)

    Word Mark LOCUTUS
    Goods and Services IC 028. US 022.
    G & S: toys; namely, action figures and accessories therefor, poseable figures, dolls.
    FIRST USE: 19930600.
    FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19930600
    Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
    Serial Number 74462053
    Filing Date November 12, 1993
    Published for Opposition August 23, 1994
    Registration Number 1862622
    Registration Date November 15, 1994
    Owner (REGISTRANT) PARAMOUNT PICTURES CORPORATION
    CORPORATION DELAWARE
    5555 Melrose Avenue Los Angeles CALIFORNIA 900383197
    Type of Mark TRADEMARK
    Register PRINCIPAL
    Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR).
    Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

    • Re:Trademark... (Score:5, Informative)

      by MisterFancypants (615129) on Monday February 10, 2003 @03:00AM (#5269083)
      Goods and Services IC 028. US 022. G & S: toys; namely, action figures and accessories therefor, poseable figures, dolls.

      I don't think this software qualifies as a toy, action figure, poseable figure or a doll. You do understand how trademarks work, don't you?

      • Re:Trademark... (Score:3, Informative)

        by po8 (187055)

        The way I understand it, as with copyright, a trademark need not be registered to be protected. Registering a trademark for the name Locutus in connection with action figures is likely to establish Paramount's right to the name in other contexts. With an obviously invented name like "Locutus", the onus may be on the defendant in an infringement suit. Keep in mind that the Lanham Act is quite broad: the "dilution" argument may provide a basis for a successful suit in this situation.

        Besides, remember the golden rule of lawsuits: if you are Ian, and you are sued by Paramount, you lose, because Paramount can afford to fight the suit forever out of pocket change and run you bankrupt before justice is done. Much better to pick a name that is either clearly conventional or clearly unique, to avoid trouble from the beginning.

        • Re:Trademark... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ortholattice (175065) on Monday February 10, 2003 @05:09AM (#5269393)
          With an obviously invented name like "Locutus"...

          It is a Latin word. I believe "locutus" is the perfect participle of the Latin loqui ("to speak"), so it would mean "having spoken". So for the Star Trek character, it is suggests a spokesman for the Borg. For the "Locutus" software product, which I don't think is a "a toy, action figure, poseable figure or a doll," it might be suggestive of a source of information.

  • P2P for Linux... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doomrat (615771) on Monday February 10, 2003 @02:53AM (#5269065) Homepage
    When are they going to release a good P2P program for Linux? Not that gnutella crud, I'm talking about something like KaZaA that even people stuck on 56K can use well. I'm fed up with wine & KaZaA lite dying every 5 seconds.
    • There are a few P2P clients. Most, IMHO aren't that great. However my ISP traffic shapes most of the P2P networks, so don't take my opinion too much to heart.

      There are a few gnutella clients (qtella springs to mind).

      There is also giFT [sourceforge.net]. giFT use to access the KaZaA network, however they went and changed everything, so now giFT accesses their own OpenFT network. Theoretically anyone can write a client to access the openft network, but they strongly urge/require you to use the giFT daemon, which IMHO seems reasonable enough. Clients (eg giFT-curs [sourceforge.net]) connect to the daemon through a simple protocol, and the giFT daemon does the network talking.

      The advantages are two-fold. Anyone can write a client in their own pretty GUI style, and not have to worry about poluting the network with bad packets. And two, and this is currently theoretical, the giFT daemon can be moddified to support other P2P networks, so there is no reason why the giFT daemon couldn't, for example, connect to both OpenFT and gnuetlla.

      As for bandwidth issues, I'm afraid due to the nature of P2P networks, bandwidth will always be an issue. Networks like napster were ok because they had a central server which coordianted everything, it was also what allowed it to be brought down.

    • Try one of the Linux clients on the eDonkey network. I prefer eDonkey to Kazaa even when I'm running Windows.
    • http://dc.ketelhot.de/ [ketelhot.de]

      Granted, DC is harder to use than KaZaA, but it's better.
  • Is this a joke? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ThoreauHD (213527) on Monday February 10, 2003 @03:04AM (#5269093)
    Running "secure" proprietary software on a windows box. Where have I heard that before. No man. Put the pipe down and walk away.

    These people don't seem to learn.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 10, 2003 @03:07AM (#5269097)
    I think the first p2p client with an encryption feature was filetopia.

    www.filetopia.com
  • by tandr (108948) on Monday February 10, 2003 @03:12AM (#5269109)
    ... for application that supposed to be in background??? I read it as not only Java has memory footprint problems, but .NET based ones too. :(
  • Download...click

    "You appear to be using Windows NT 4 without .Net. Unfortunately we do not support Windows NT 4 at this time, although we are working hard to expand the range of supported Operating Systems"

    .net, eh? Swell...and I was so encouraged to see the site using PHP.
  • by blumpy (84889) on Monday February 10, 2003 @03:18AM (#5269123)
    >Locutus differs from most other P2P networks on several levels, most prominently its focus on security....The application is only 400k in size, but many users will notice that the download is over 20MB. This is because Locutus relies on Microsoft's .NET framework, and if a user doesn't have .NET they will automatically download a version of the installer that does.

    Hmm... focus on security, yet uses .NET? I don't understand....

  • freenet? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Valpis (6866)
    And if compared to freenet, any benefits?
    • Well, you can search. And files won't disappear from the network unless reuploaded every day.

      Unfortunately, it lacks the real killer feature of FreeNet: routing the actual data through the P2P network just like the queries.

      This means the Man can still get you by setting up honeypots. What use is a secure channel if your peer is malicious?

    • And if compared to freenet, any benefits?

      yes. 30% more bloat.
    • And if compared to freenet, any benefits?

      Read the FAQ.

  • Windows only...and requires .net - now tell us again why it didn't use the MS Borg icon? Seems more like it at least deserved the kneepads icon.
  • by MoThugz (560556) on Monday February 10, 2003 @03:34AM (#5269177) Homepage
    it's like shared folders on a windows network... but get this... it's *encrypted*!!! Therefore making it suitable for me to use in my Department of Homeland Security office... Cool huh?

    Furthermore, it uses *encryption*... meaning it is illegal for export outside the great US of A... thus those bad terrorists can't get it... naaa... naaa... naaa... naaa... naaaaaaaa!
  • by torpor (458)
    ... dibs, for example, uses it:

    http://freshmeat.net/projects/dibs/ [freshmeat.net]
  • by miffo.swe (547642) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (molbdeh.leinad)> on Monday February 10, 2003 @03:43AM (#5269200) Homepage Journal
    What use is it when it doesnt run on anything but windows? Many scientists run linux and other stuff nowadays so its pretty insane doing a client that doesnt run on anything but windows.

    I detest using anything that isnt cross platform friendly. When the next OS comes i dont want to stand there with my corporate pants down.

    Why is it so hard making applications truly cross plattform? Technology?

    You already know the answer, the removal of the applications barrier is the biggest threat to Microsoft today. .net is an effort at keeping that barrier onto the future. I say good luck to Miguel when MS dicides it has enough desciples to boot on .net.
    • by SealBeater (143912) on Monday February 10, 2003 @05:21AM (#5269419) Homepage
      From the FAQ:

      3.2 I am a Linux/Mac user, is there is version of Locutus for me? .Net was developed by Microsoft, and at the time of writing is only available for Windows, however .Net has been embraced by some in the Linux community who are working on Open Source versions of .Net such as Mono. Once finished, these will allow Locutus to run on non-Microsoft operating systems (we are Linux geeks too - so we won't waste any time once Mono comes of age).
      • Well my belief is that MS lets Miquel have his fun until enough userbase is established on windows and then just screw him over so bad he wont sit for a year. Mono is not something i support because it is controlled by MS wich spells bad considering how well previous teaming with them have been for others. They have a bad habit of screwing every partner over and i cant imagine why they would stop at Mono, do you?

        Until MS goes out and develops their own linux client i think they are just happy that someone is working for them for free getting them some good PR to the cross platform pitch (wich i think is bs la grande). When thats over, boot!

      • In other words: We hope to encourage adoption of .NET using our application.

        No, thanks.

        Sheesh, who'd've thought Ian Clarke would be a Microsoft whore?
  • by zcat_NZ (267672) <zcat@wired.net.nz> on Monday February 10, 2003 @05:33AM (#5269444) Homepage
    Joy oh joy..

    Under the new "PATRIOT II" legislation, using encryption while comitting a crime will result in a prison sentence of 5 to 10 years. They don't mention if it has to be a 'serious' crime, so I guess copyright violation qualifies.

    This could get interesting.

  • Groove (Score:5, Informative)

    by rbeattie (43187) <russ@russellbeattie.com> on Monday February 10, 2003 @05:51AM (#5269482) Homepage
    150+ posts and no one's mentioned Groove? Do you people live in a frigin' vacuum?

    Groove [groove.net] is a company founded by Ray Ozzie, the creator of Lotus Notes. The Groove Workspace is a hyper-secure P2P application made for business and government use. It has several "tools" that you can use within the application like chat, file-sharing, calendaring, custom forms, etc. All communication between the P2P clients is encrypted as well as the files themselves. Once you import a file into Groove to be shared, it's encrypted automatically.

    The general theory behind the application is that you can't rely on the wires to be secure, ever. So all the data and communication between peers is encrypted automatically without any user intervention needed.

    The reason you should think this app is cool is because it's an easy way to set up super-secure filesharing between peers whether on a local network or across the internet. It's not open file sharing like Gnutella, but it's more like having a virtual secure file server just for you and the peers you invite into your workspace.

    The reason you should hate this app is because not only is Groove in bed with Microsoft (M$ has invested millions and only runs on Windows) but this app is also being used by the new Office of Information Awareness, i.e. Big Brother.

    -Russ

  • The application is only 400k in size, but many users will notice that the download is over 20MB. This is because Locutus relies on Microsoft's .NET framework...

    Thanks anyway, Ian. If you could disembowel the bloated .NET (.NOT?) framework dependency, you would find a much warmer reception here.

    --K.
  • Encrypted P2P ... (Score:2, Informative)

    by nirnaeth (117870)

    Has been around for a while now. Ceck out filetopia [filetopia.com]. Although Locutus does look useful for searching corporate lans and such.

  • So... He just released the 0.3 preview now and it is due to be released in March...? Sounds like maybe he should have dedicated a bit more time for this, for making a decent product with loads of testing.
  • If someone was trying to sell me Locutus, I'd say "no thanks". It attempts to use technology to solve what is essentially a workflow issue.

    The problem is not new - everyone keeps their work on their PC instead of using the central storage. Or if they use the central storatge, they keep it in their home directory. Locutus would just enable and promote this behavior.

    If the data is on a workstation, admins can't back it up (or at least, shouldn't be backing it up - that's not workstations are for in most environments). They can't manage it, it's not version-controlled, it's not indexed, others can't use it, etc.

    People who need Locutus need either a better technical architecture or better management.

  • "In Locutus Prototype this is somewhat involved so please bear with us - it will be much easier in Locutus Lite (which will use UPNP to automatically configure your NAT)."

    Yeah, like anyone trusts UPNP... Additionally, how would it "automatically" configure my hardware firewall? It can't. This clearly assumes a software situation (most likely scenario, I'll give you, but still.) Better off, it should have just said "open these ports..."

    On top of that, this line isn't encouraging "We have a strong committment to supporting diverse operating systems with Locutus, however at the time of writing .NET is only available for Windows."

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