The technology news may be filled with talk of pirates, copyright and file swapping, but there are other variations on the whole network sharing paradigm which don’t get the same amount of sensationalist press. One example is the continued popularity of IRC, a communications channel which is heavily used by geeks to discuss special topics such as programming, and startup business life.
Another new example is the PirateBox, an open source software powered communications server built into a self contained and self-powered tin box of your choice. Sure the name is a little provocative, but the idea behind the box is to turn any ‘dead’ space into an area where people can log on and anonymously chat and exchange images, video and other documents.
The system works by embedding a WiFi router and a small Linux computer with a USB hard drive. The thing can be either mains or battery powered for ultimate portability, and they’re even exploring the option of solar power. Anyone can build the box using the free plans available on the site.