aku-aku: v.. To move a tall, flat bottomed object (such as a bookshelf) by swiveling it alternatively on its corners in a "walking" fashion. [After the book by Thor Heyerdahl theorising the statues of Easter Island were moved in this fashion.] source: LangMaker.com. Aku Aku also has another meaning to the islanders: a spiritual guide.
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Posted by dav at 2003 May 29 02:07 PM
File under: Geek

Today a new peer to peer application was announced: WASTE (my mirror).

WASTE is a software product and protocol that enables secure distributed communication for small (on the order of 10-50 nodes) trusted groups of users.

WASTE is designed to enable small companies and small teams within larger companies to easily communicate and collaborate in a secure and efficient fashion, independent of physical network topology.

First off, I -love- the name choice. At first I thought perhaps they unwittingly made a reference to Thomas Pynchon's Crying of Lot 49, one of my all time favorite books, but when I saw their icon choice I knew it was an intentional reference. In the book the name is thought to be an acronym standing for We Await Silent Trystero Empire and the symbol for Trystero is a muted trumpet. This icon seems to lack the mute, however. Here's a quote from the book (lifted from a /. post)

"Last night, she might have wondered what undergrounds apart from the couple she knew of communicated by WASTE system. By sunrise she could legitimately ask what undergrounds didn't....[H]ere were God knew how many citizens, deliberately choosing not to communicate by U.S. Mail. It was not an act of treason, nor possibly even of defiance. But it was a calculated withdrawal, from the life of the Republic, from its machinery. Whatever else was being denied them out of hate, indifference to the power of their vote, loopholes, simple ignorance, this withdrawal was their own, unpublicized, private. Since they could not have withdrawn into a vacuum (could they?), there had to exist the separate, silent, unsuspected world."

After installing I set up my first trusted private network with some other folks from irc. The documentation and GUI interface are a little clunky (but completely usable). We managed to get public encryption keys exchanged and all got connected without too many problems, although the lack of clear documentation caused some confusion as to how things were working.

I think this is an exciting (although not unexpected) development. The answer to the problem of being able to participate in file sharing networks and not worry about the RIAA or MPAA freaking out on you is to limit the networks to more or less your existing real world network of friends. This brings file sharing back to the level of things that were better tolerated like tape trading, but with the efficiency of the Internet. This was a pretty obvious solution, and this implementation is a great start. It offers decent cryptography that makes adding someone to the network not difficult, but not trivial either, so the network trust level is decent. It doesn't have swarming downloads (ala bittorrent) but the best thing about WASTE is that it is open source so this will undoubtedly be added later.

I can see other directions this can go. It could be the killer app that brings FOAF-like structure (along with crypto) to the masses. If the ability to manage connections to multiple WASTE networks is added it could become a major part of your daily network interface routine. A serious alternative network within the Internet. I just wish it weren't written in C++, hacking C++ makes me a bit nasueous after yummy years of Java.

Imagine something that is friendster + waste + foaf + weighted vectors + hop control. You have multiple trusted p2p network. One for work where you can share internal files with co-workers. One for group of friends A, another for friends group B. In each network you can share only the files you have specified for that group. Additionally you might allow one degree of spearation friends from people in group A to see you group A shared files, except for Alice in group A because she links to anyone and you don't trust her friend network as much. For your group B friends you allow sharing up to three degrees of separation (perhaps because group B only sees less sensitive material).


Holy crap that was fast.

1) Nullsoft seems to have pulled WASTE off their website (perhaps AOL freaked out again?). I changed the link in the post to go to a mirror of the front page.
2) Someone has ported waste to linux (this morning it was only for FreeBSD, Mac OS X and Windows)


I had downloaded the windows binary, here it is: WASTE for Windows. I imagine the original WASTE site will be mirrored all over the web in moments...

Posted by: Dav on May 29, 2003 02:38 PM

Here's a post on /. relevant to setting it up on linux. Linux Port configuration.

I think the post is saying basically to create the necessary default.pr* files on a windows machine and copy them over.

I've compiled it but I haven't tried to get it running on linux yet.

Doesn't it feel like in the last 4-5 months the Net has gotten exciting again? It feels like the mid 90's.

Posted by: Dav on May 29, 2003 05:17 PM

I have the UNIX source and Windows exe at my web site

Posted by: Lance on May 29, 2003 06:43 PM

from kiwi_uk, p2p links for the windows binary.

magnet link:

(see Shareaza)

eDonkey link:

Posted by: Dav on May 30, 2003 10:49 AM

Well, Nullsoft has replaced the orignal WASTE release site with a notice which states:
An unauthorized copy of Nullsoft's copyrighted software was briefly posted on this website on or about Wednesday May 28, 2003. The software was identified as "WASTE" (the "Software") and includes the files "waste-setup.exe", "waste-source.zip", "waste-source.tar.gz" and any additional files contained in these files.

Nullsoft is the exclusive owner of all right, title and interest in the Software. The posting of the Software on this website was not authorized by Nullsoft.

If you downloaded or otherwise obtained a copy of the Software, you acquired no lawful rights to the Software and must destroy any and all copies of the Software, including by deleting it from your computer. Any license that you may believe you acquired with the Software is void, revoked and terminated.

Any reproduction, distribution, display or other use of the Software by you is unauthorized and an infringement of Nullsoft's copyright in the Software as well as a potential violation of other laws.

Therefore I have removed my copies of WASTE and any links to my copies above won't work.

Posted by: Dav Coleman on May 30, 2003 06:47 PM

wich notice?
I did'nt see any notice

Posted by: Lxocram on June 2, 2003 04:58 PM

Yeh.. I saw this and knew I needed the program. Fuck you aol.

Posted by: Downer on June 4, 2003 05:59 AM

We should all burn this program to 10,000 cdroms and snail mail them to AOL every day.

Posted by: Downer on June 4, 2003 06:00 AM

From the NY Times:

June 2, 2003

File-Sharing Program Slips Out of AOL Offices

AOL Time Warner is trying to stop the spread of new software released by its Nullsoft division, whose founder and lead programmer, Justin Frankel, is known for leaking his work onto the Internet and causing headaches for his employer.

full article:

Posted by: sean@cheesebikini.com on June 4, 2003 08:46 AM

I have put up a small mirror site for waste using a mirror kit. You can check it out at

The software was originally released under GPL, so AOL can't modify the licence whatever they say.

Posted by: Water on June 5, 2003 03:38 AM

This is great but I am having one @#$@%&* of a time getting it up and running. Can someone that is not associated with the evil empires give me a hand?

Posted by: zerxez on June 7, 2003 11:18 AM

There is a waste forum at http://www.str8dog.com/?f=32

Posted by: throwaway18 on June 18, 2003 03:43 AM

Someone at Nullsoft is definitely a Pynchon fan. Check out the bios on the WinAmp website - "prolly"? It's, like, Darryl-Louise in Vineland!

Posted by: wanda tinasky on August 12, 2003 12:09 PM

Hey folks,
Like one user said, this software was released under GPL so AOL is f&&cked. We need to seriously spread this, it's going to take over Grokster and Kazaa. Now I just need to find a private network to join. Anyone have an IP for me?
email me at thedeeman@hotmail.com, let's get going.

Posted by: Dan on October 14, 2003 08:38 PM

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