Then, one bright spark had the idea of automating the local file-transfer process. ‘Cause who wanted to batch up their viewings, when they could be getting the latest eps hours after screening, without having to wait for John-Bob Smith to rock up from Springvale with the latest ep of Lost. This bright spark, in one anonymous post on a Lost fan-site thread full of aussies bitching about being spoilered, pointed out how easy it would be to establish a public dead-drop file-transfer system. All it required was a friendly host computer with plenty of storage, a webserver and an open wifi connection, or even simpler, just a $20 bluetooth doongle. The post signed off with two mutated symbols – one a incorporating the Wifi logo, the other the Bluetooth logo. And within a few weeks, keen eyes detected these symbols graffiti’ed at various public places around the Melbourne CBD. And people fired up their smartphones and laptops and started leaving what they downloaded the night before on their way to Uni or Work, and grabbing fresh content on their way home. Then someone left a document with a URL for a bulletin-board at all the deaddrops, with advice on how to post anonymously to it, so people wouldn’t have to double up on their downloads.
That’s from my unfinished, untitled novel-in-progress written for NaNoWriMo in 2007. I couldn’t even bare to look at it again until a few months ago. I summoned my courage, paged through it and decided it wasn’t horrible. Sent it to lizbt for a second opinion. She told me to finish it. That was originally the plan for my holiday in Cairns, except I ended up writing about Zero History instead. Still, I’m hoping to have enough time and mental space (my brain keeps clogging up with ideas that say execute-or-die) to finish the first draft finally this Summer. And what is giving me a kick-in-pants to do just that? Reading this today:
‘Dead Drops’ is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space. I am ‘injecting’ USB flash drives into walls, buildings and curbs accessable to anybody in public space. You are invited to go to these places (so far 5 in NYC) to drop or find files on a dead drop. Plug your laptop to a wall, house or pole to share your files and date. Each dead drop contains a readme.txt file explaining the project.