Solid

A decentralized web by Tim Berners Lee, creator of the WWW

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#4 Product of the WeekSeptember 30, 2018
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Solid is a platform, built using the existing web. It gives every user a choice about where data is stored, which specific people and groups can access select elements, and which apps you use.

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Reviews

Daniel
Alec Dickinson
Dinah Gridley
 +6 reviews
  • Roy Leon
    Roy LeonDeveloping. People. Organizations. Ideas
    Pros: 

    Independent ID mechanics will reduce the power of politicians while increasing the public (common) good. well, hopefully

    Cons: 

    It's becoming too late

    TBL is the genius who started it, I am more than willing to hear his solutions, join the team!

    Roy Leon has used this product for one month.

Discussion

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Cedric Amaya@cedricamaya · maker · open sourcerer · coffee lover
I thought Pied Piper was already working on the decentralized web? 🤔
Ryan HooverPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
From @timberners_lee's blog post announcement: "I’ve always believed the web is for everyone. That's why I and others fight fiercely to protect it. The changes we’ve managed to bring have created a better and more connected world. But for all the good we’ve achieved, the web has evolved into an engine of inequity and division; swayed by powerful forces who use it for their own agendas. Today, I believe we’ve reached a critical tipping point, and that powerful change for the better is possible - and necessary." It's been nearly a decade since the Bitcoin whitepaper was published and while we've seen crypto and blockchain tech mature, it hasn't (imho) fundamentally changed the way most makers build software and the end user experience for most (...yet?). As governments impart more restrictions (looking at you, GDPR) and consumers become increasingly distrustful of data-collecting big co's, there's a growing opportunity to build something new that could fundamentally change the web. It will be super interesting to see what Tim, who has a unique background and network for something like this, does here. 🤔
Owen Far@owenfar1 · Master the Internet
@timberners_lee @rrhoover What if your POD get destroyed, corrupted, damaged, or stolen? I hope there'll be a way to back up that data, same way as we can easily currently do on servers. This really needs to show benefits and performance over what we currently have to be considered close to replacing the current Internet structure. We need to remember that the apps we find and use today on the Internet aren't all about accessing user data. I still think with some mindful steps towards user protection we can reach the same goals on what we currently have. Doesn't necessarily mean we need to adopt new infrastructures to have something that could fundamentally change the Web.
Arnav Bansal
Arnav Bansal@itsarnavb · Just messing about, at the moment.
@timberners_lee @rrhoover @owenfar1 What if your pod is maintained over multiple devices that you own—a pod swarm? Your data could stay in multiple locations that you either own, or have privileges over. What if this pods concept begins to ship alongside browsers, the way web3/ethereum stuff ships on Brave and Opera? The point is, it's too early to tell. The pod implementation they've provided is just a simple prototype. We're having discussions about how this could look over at the gitter group right now.
Owen Far@owenfar1 · Master the Internet
@timberners_lee @rrhoover @itsarnavb It's really interesting, the concept and the idea. In the end, I'm happy to see that we have people like Tim fighting for user rights and data privacy! Really excited were everything will head in the next decade.
Kwame Som-Pimpong
Kwame Som-Pimpong@kwamesompimpong · Consultant at Deloitte
@timberners_lee @rrhoover Am I off base in seeing this and Blockstack as being in direct competition?
Mickael Coenca
Mickael Coenca@mcoenca · software engineer
@timberners_lee @rrhoover Was confused by your comment. Maybe I'm wrong, but I believe this project is not using blockchain technology 😱At least there is no mention of it I could find in solid's description and specs...
Tom
Tom@hellotom · Web Gardner
How does it work? What's it do? Are there kittens? 🐾
Gautham Santhosh
Gautham Santhosh@gauthamzzz · Anna Assistant, Passerine, MLJobsList
please explain what this is 😢 I dont want to be the one who doesn't understand what is the new internet. This website is garbage
Arnav Bansal
Arnav Bansal@itsarnavb · Just messing about, at the moment.
@gauthamzzz Sure. It's a set of standards, the goal of which is to have user data stored with users. Along with this comes other advantages: different apps can share the same data (as long as they agree on the underlying standards). I'm currently writing about this: Imagine you use a task planning app (a todo list or calendar). In the early days of computing, your personal computer stored this data. As people began using multiple computers, and added smartphones to their lives, the "your data stays with you" model died, to be replaced by "Your data is in one or more massive data centers around the world, and is managed by a centralized app developer". Solid attempts to flip this, but without losing the benefits of device portability that the transition to cloud based apps brought. Your data is stored on your pod. *You bring your own pod. Everyone brings their own pod.* You can host your own pod, or have a pod hosted for you by a provider. The format itself allows for heavy linking between the data. You can allow applications to read and write your data as you see fit. Going back to the task planning app: your tasks are now stored on your pod. All your devices can access them, and you can switch between task applications as you see fit, with all of them using the same underlying data. Disclaimer: I'm pretty new to this myself. I stayed awake last night reading about this.
Shakks
Shakks@shakks · Founder @ tradeplan.io
@gauthamzzz @itsarnavb Like a personal server which saves all your data in simple terms
Jozef Vaclavik
Jozef Vaclavik@jozefvaclavik · CEO
@gauthamzzz @itsarnavb Basically what Diaspora has been doing for social network for years. Except this is more universal. https://diasporafoundation.org https://joindiaspora.com
James Villarrubia
James Villarrubia@james_mtc · Co-Founder of Mt. Cleverest
How does this deal with the core issue of information spread/entropy? Once I give access to my pod, that person HAS my data. I have a copy and so do they. Wouldn't this lead to the same information cross-platform crap that has been plaguing facebook? If I have POD components A,B,C,D... issued to three companies (A,B), (C), (D). What is to stop them from selling that data to each other? Now they've all got (A,B,C,D) and I'm getting creepy ads all over again?
Michael Hughes
Michael Hughes@mehughes124 · Marketing and Product
@james_mtc Clearly not. Read the documentation. Access to a pod has restrictions the user dictates. Data spread/entropy still occurs. Not to be rude, but the entire point of the internet is to facilitate sharing data. Some bad actors within the ecosystem may very well copy down your data if you share it with them, but that is inherent to all information sharing. But, the crucial difference here is that any actor within this system that seeks to profit off systematically off of gathered data can be outed as abusing agreements with users, unless the users of said service have expressly given their consent for their data to be used in that way. Giving consent is a crucial psychological and technological distinction from the current "Facebook is free" paradigm. For example: Imagine building a Netflix-esque service that integrates with Solid. You could have a full-pricetier and a subsidized tier. The full-price is your standard Netflix except it collects 0 data about you, knows nothing about you except your WebID. Then the subsidized tier, you provide a given subset of your data, which allows them to target you. This is essentially the Hulu model, except in this case not only do you KNOW exactly what data they have, you can easily see the market value of that data (as it is reflected in the subsidized cost of the service). If this thing takes off, this is essentially breaking down the established moats that Google and Facebook have on the internet ad market. You could actually see Google still existing in this system, so long as they started paying users some dividend for the profit Google extracts from your information. (A side note: what this protocol also does, interestingly, is separates user interaction from user data in a very clear line. That is to say, a developer obviously will know how a user interacts with their service, and that data is clearly the developer's right to own and control that information. What they don't necessarily have the right for, though, is to 1-to-1 match up that user interaction to specific users.) It's really, really fascinating. I might have some of the details here inaccurate as well. Just read about this.