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Author Topic: Idea for file hosting and proxy services  (Read 4976 times)
satoshi
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March 15, 2010, 07:16:56 PM
 #1

When you want to upload an image to embed in a forum post, there are services like imageshack, but because they're free, they limit the number of views.  It's a minuscule amount of bandwidth cost, but they can't just give it away for free, there has to be something in it for them.  It would be nice to be able to pay for the bandwidth and avoid the limits, but conventional payments are too inconvenient for such a minor thing.

It's worse if you want to upload a file for others to download.  There are services like rapidshare, but they require the downloaders to go through extra steps and delays to make them look at advertising or encourage upgrading to a paid subscription, and they limit it to 10 or so downloads.

It would be nice if we made some free PHP code for an image and file hosting service that charges Bitcoins.  Anyone with some extra bandwidth quota could throw it on their webserver and run it.  Users could finally pay the minor fee to cover bandwidth cost and avoid the limits and hassles.  Ideally, it should be MIT license or public domain.

Services like this would be great for anonymous users, who have trouble paying for things.
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March 16, 2010, 10:17:55 AM
 #2

Good idea.

I'll eventually be setting up a 'one hop', SSL, http, login protected proxy service (similar to the 1st Psiphon project) and accepting bitcoins as payment.

I'm UK based so it will be good for using BBC iplayer etc. Smiley I will be giving bitcoin users priority service, as well as users from 'restricted' countries.

I doubt I'll have the spare bandwidth for a file hosting service though, maybe.

I was a very early Bitcoin adopter - I mined and sold over 12,500+ BTC before they reached just a few cents! I bought a slice of a rather famous Pizza!? and donated 500 BTC to the first Bitcoin Faucet. Got a bit lost along the way... logged out 2010... logged back in 2013... I did 'find' around 25 BTC (in old wallets and sites), which is better than none! <> BBR - CBX - CURE - DASHEMCGAP - GRC - LTC - MINT - NMC - NuBits - PPC - SLM - START - XPM - <> This is not investment advice! <>
satoshi
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March 16, 2010, 08:17:34 PM
 #3

That's a great idea.  There's a thriving business in those services, but I've always thought the standard payment methods are at odds with privacy minded customers.

Would you consider making your software freely available so anyone could easily set one up?  I know for competitive reasons the inclination is to keep it to yourself, but it could get an order of magnitude more use if anyone could give proxy access to their country just by putting the software on a server.

I wonder if there are other kinds of web application servers where we would only have to tack on the payment mechanism to an already existing system?
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March 18, 2010, 12:22:04 PM
 #4

There are a ton of Python options for web frameworks.  I'm in the process of learning CherryPy, and I'm new to web development, so it's slow going.  Looks like they have an example for basic uploading.  Something in PHP would probably be best for the community though.  Are there any Python people here?
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March 18, 2010, 02:36:50 PM
 #5

Yes. Any built proxy implementation would be open source and automated bitcoin payments would be great.

I will post the psiphon info. and links because the project has just moved from v1 to v2 and the implementations are very different.

Psiphon is a free 'circumvention' tool and should remain so. However, I've run a private and personally updated / secured 1.6 version and do accept 'token' donations from some of my users.

"Psiphon is a web proxy designed to help Internet users securely bypass the content-filtering systems used to censor the internet. Psiphon was developed by the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto.

License: GNU General Public License
Source code: http://psiphon.ca/download/psiphon-src-1.6.tar.gz

http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Psiphon

http://psiphon.ca/

https://launchpad.net/psiphon

Psiphon is a user-friendly, simple to administer, web-based proxy application. It allows users in regions with unrestricted Internet access to provide access to denied content to their friends, family, and associates in regions with restricted access.

Please contact the project leader if you're interested in helping us take Psiphon forward.

NOTE: The Psiphon 1.x and 2.x series are essentially different products with different architectures. Psiphon 1.x is a light-weight web proxy designed to run on a home PC (MS Windows-based) with no central management component. With Psiphon 1.x, a user asks a friend to run a proxy and can then access blocked sites via his or her friend's Internet connection. The Psiphon 1.x source code is available here: https://code.launchpad.net/~psiphon-inc/psiphon/psiphon-1.6.

The new project is Psiphon 2.x, a centrally managed web proxy system deployed by Psiphon Inc. to provide censorship circumvention services."


Great source code here in reference to designing and building our own separate bitcoin style implementation. I'd grab the 1.6.tar.gz for your reference satoshi, before it becomes to 'historical'. It's also not that easy to compile the 1.6 version on Linux anymore.

The 1.6 Win32 version has now been removed from the original project website. I actually run my existing proxy service on a windows box, with additional security. I have the msi and documentation if anyone can't find it elsewhere or would like it for reference etc. I keep it up-to-date and secure from the following sources;

SSL - http://www.slproweb.com/products/Win32OpenSSL.html

Visual C++ 2008 Redistributables for msvcpXX.dll and msvcrXX.dll

http://www.sqlite.org/download.html

Precompiled Binaries For Windows for sqlite3.dll


Java and some flash support is always an issue though !

I would be happy to work on and share contributions for a 'bitcoin' proxy software, but have limited time and developer experience myself. Maybe you should contact the psiphon developers for a separate v1.6 style implementation yourself satoshi ?

I understand that the Tor project is also looking for a payment / incentive system for it's server operators. Smiley

Could you change the thread title to "Re: Idea for file hosting and proxy services". Thanks.

Regards,

BitcoinFX

I was a very early Bitcoin adopter - I mined and sold over 12,500+ BTC before they reached just a few cents! I bought a slice of a rather famous Pizza!? and donated 500 BTC to the first Bitcoin Faucet. Got a bit lost along the way... logged out 2010... logged back in 2013... I did 'find' around 25 BTC (in old wallets and sites), which is better than none! <> BBR - CBX - CURE - DASHEMCGAP - GRC - LTC - MINT - NMC - NuBits - PPC - SLM - START - XPM - <> This is not investment advice! <>
satoshi
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March 24, 2010, 06:01:57 PM
 #6

Title changed.

It helps that we have someone with actual experience running a proxy service.  Do you think Psiphon is the best one currently?  (sometimes the one you run was the best when you started but you found better ones later)
satoshi
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March 24, 2010, 06:02:55 PM
 #7

Mihalism Multi Host is a popular open source PHP file hosting server.

It's geared toward image hosting, but I think by increasing the file size limit and liberalising the allowed file extensions, it could just as easily be used for general file upload hosting.  They need the limits to keep it reasonable as a free service, but if we bolt on a Bitcoin payment mechanism, the limits could be relaxed.

It doesn't have a bunch of client side scripting or anti-embedding junk to rip out.  It generates standard links that work normally.

There's a turnover churn in these free hosting sites.  Small sites can give free image hosting, but once one starts getting popular, it gets too swamped with moochers using them for free bandwidth.  Any site that gets well known has to become more aggressively pay-naggy to cover bandwidth costs.  It's a perfect example of a service where the needed price point is in the no-man's-land between just a little too expensive to be free, but too cheap for most users to take the trouble of a conventional payment.  It's in the gap between 0 and 19.95.  The best they can do is try to maybe get 1 out of 1000 users to pay 9.95, but that has 999/1000 users treated like freeloaders.  It can't really be advertising supported because the images are embedded in other sites and downloaded without going to the hosting site.

An example of a site running the software:
http://www.imagez.ws/

Forum:
http://www.mihalism.net/

Download:
http://code.google.com/p/mihalismmh/

What do you think?  If I made a Bitcoin payment integration for this, would anyone be interested in running it?  It might be the first fully automated service available to buy with Bitcoins.  The advantage it could offer over the free services is general file upload hosting of large files without making downloading users go to the upload site and jump through hoops.  It would give a normal link directly to the file.
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March 25, 2010, 06:20:45 PM
 #8

Title changed.

It helps that we have someone with actual experience running a proxy service.  Do you think Psiphon is the best one currently?  (sometimes the one you run was the best when you started but you found better ones later)

All proxy services and software solutions have advantages and disadvantages for both the operator and it users.

The 1st version of Psiphon is very easy to install and implement. Users are only known to the operator via a registered email address, access passwords can be changed on demand and logging is enabled for any 'problem' usage. User accounts can also be deleted.

I update the above mentioned .dll's etc. to keep it running as fast and securely as possible.

Users receive the https address to connect to, they then accept the self signed SSL cert. (which can be changed) This gives them the login page where they enter the username and password and begin browsing.

The https address defaults to https :// xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:443/random_sub_domain I use DynDNS.com updater, so that my IP is protected and so that I can provide any 'blocked' users with a new 'random' domain. i.e. https://random.ath.cx:443/random_sub_domain

This means that my service doesn't even operate on a TLD and I can change the address whenever I like.

This has advantages over something like Tor, because it just looks like a secure browser connection to a random service. The main problem with Tor, for say users in China is that Tor is easily identifiable as Tor. In many respects a Psiphon type proxy is much more Private and Secure.

I use an Untangle Gateway and OpenDNS with some advanced blocking to control 'unwanted' content access.

I was a very early Bitcoin adopter - I mined and sold over 12,500+ BTC before they reached just a few cents! I bought a slice of a rather famous Pizza!? and donated 500 BTC to the first Bitcoin Faucet. Got a bit lost along the way... logged out 2010... logged back in 2013... I did 'find' around 25 BTC (in old wallets and sites), which is better than none! <> BBR - CBX - CURE - DASHEMCGAP - GRC - LTC - MINT - NMC - NuBits - PPC - SLM - START - XPM - <> This is not investment advice! <>
BitcoinFX
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March 25, 2010, 06:48:56 PM
 #9


...

What do you think?  If I made a Bitcoin payment integration for this, would anyone be interested in running it?  It might be the first fully automated service available to buy with Bitcoins.  The advantage it could offer over the free services is general file upload hosting of large files without making downloading users go to the upload site and jump through hoops.  It would give a normal link directly to the file.

I'm looking to upgrade both my proxy hosting machine and service provider. ( lots of Chinese users will want to access google .com soon for their gmail accounts ! etc. ) I will be expanding the payment methods to accept Bitcoins. Grin

The new provider also has 2x split static IP capabilities. I'd imagine I might have enough bandwidth to launch the service, I'm not sure about maintaining it though, if the service was to become very popular. My bandwidth is unlimited though and it is a 'business' account.

It would have to be a non TLD with maybe a domain forward. DynDNS.com springs to mind again. How about something like: bitcoin-file-hosting.doesntexist.org Cheesy

Some file hosting services also pay users to download others content. It would be cool if users could offset their subscription by downloading others content and receiving some bitcoins back in return. This would give the subscription a higher 'value' and also promote its usage. However, it would be much more complex to build / operate and downloading would have to be limited per. user account and IP etc.

I was a very early Bitcoin adopter - I mined and sold over 12,500+ BTC before they reached just a few cents! I bought a slice of a rather famous Pizza!? and donated 500 BTC to the first Bitcoin Faucet. Got a bit lost along the way... logged out 2010... logged back in 2013... I did 'find' around 25 BTC (in old wallets and sites), which is better than none! <> BBR - CBX - CURE - DASHEMCGAP - GRC - LTC - MINT - NMC - NuBits - PPC - SLM - START - XPM - <> This is not investment advice! <>
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March 29, 2010, 11:56:40 PM
 #10

I use DynDNS.com updater, so that my IP is protected
usually these services just forward your DynDNS name to your real ip.
nothing is protected or hidden here.

just type "ping DynDNS adress" in any windows console and you get the ip.

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March 30, 2010, 05:37:19 PM
 #11

I use DynDNS.com updater, so that my IP is protected
usually these services just forward your DynDNS name to your real ip.
nothing is protected or hidden here.

just type "ping DynDNS adress" in any windows console and you get the ip.

Indeed SmokeTM you are correct.

I'm not worried about that. I just enjoy the ability to change the domain address. I'm also able to change my 'static' IP Smiley

Different usages and requirements for the proxy and / or hosting service of course. Wink

I was a very early Bitcoin adopter - I mined and sold over 12,500+ BTC before they reached just a few cents! I bought a slice of a rather famous Pizza!? and donated 500 BTC to the first Bitcoin Faucet. Got a bit lost along the way... logged out 2010... logged back in 2013... I did 'find' around 25 BTC (in old wallets and sites), which is better than none! <> BBR - CBX - CURE - DASHEMCGAP - GRC - LTC - MINT - NMC - NuBits - PPC - SLM - START - XPM - <> This is not investment advice! <>
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April 04, 2010, 11:37:39 AM
 #12

For those of you with the appropriate technical know how, you could probably make a very successful Usenet business by focusing on accepting bitcoins. People like to use Usenet, but they don't like to link their finances to their Usenet activity. Usenet providers sell customized Usenet solutions to businesses who want to provide Usenet to their customers without having to get into the complex business of Usenet administration.

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October 11, 2012, 03:20:28 AM
 #13

When you want to upload an image to embed in a forum post, there are services like imageshack, but because they're free, they limit the number of views.  It's a minuscule amount of bandwidth cost, but they can't just give it away for free, there has to be something in it for them.  It would be nice to be able to pay for the bandwidth and avoid the limits, but conventional payments are too inconvenient for such a minor thing.

It's worse if you want to upload a file for others to download.  There are services like rapidshare, but they require the downloaders to go through extra steps and delays to make them look at advertising or encourage upgrading to a paid subscription, and they limit it to 10 or so downloads.

It would be nice if we made some free PHP code for an image and file hosting service that charges Bitcoins.  Anyone with some extra bandwidth quota could throw it on their webserver and run it.  Users could finally pay the minor fee to cover bandwidth cost and avoid the limits and hassles.  Ideally, it should be MIT license or public domain.

Is there such a fileshareing service for bitcoins up and running now?

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October 11, 2012, 03:26:46 AM
 #14

somewhat relevant: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=77989.0

(i hadn't seen this thread of satoshi's when i created the above thread)
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