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Consumers support online content by selling computation time to content producers
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In the beginning, Tim Berners-Lee created the Internet. Content was static, pages were simple, and it was good. Then came Javascript and the animated gif. Before long, web surfers were inundated with garish advertisements for herbal supplements and online degree courses. With the advent of ad-blocking browser extensions, however, users were once again allowed to browse the web without distraction. Consequently, online publishers lost a major revenue stream. In response, many publishers developed countermeasures in the form of scripts that withheld content until adblocking extensions were disabled. This evolutionary struggle continues today, and it will undoubtedly culminate in some sort of steady-state equilibrium as content distributors hone in on the minimally invasive method from extracting revenue from their consumers.

I propose that we generate a more civilized revenue generation mechanism than advertisement saturation. Consumers should be able to sell computing time to publishers in exchange for online content. In this scheme, the consumer's browser is configured to use leftover CPU cycles to solve problems in the background while the user is working on some other task. The solutions of these problems are cached by the browser in fungible units. When a consumer requests a document from a publisher, the publisher will first respond by attempting to deliver an advertisement. If the publisher detects that the ad has been blocked, then a unit of computation is requested from the consumer. The consumer then sends a solution, and if it is verified by the publisher, the user is none-the-wiser and is allowed to browse without distraction. If the consumer refuses to do this, then he gets hit by an adblock-message.

All of this would require the establishment of a third party that accepts a problem from a client, distributes it to a web consumer, buys the solution to the problem from a publisher, and then sells the solution back to the original client. It would also require some method to make "problems" (i.e., computationally complex tasks) to be made fungible and their solutions easily verifiable.

Cuit_au_Four, Oct 28 2016

Gomez Peer Client http://www.gomezpeerzone.com/
Example service that lets anyone rent out his computer for monetary compensation. [Cuit_au_Four, Oct 28 2016]

Cointent https://medium.com/...3381788d#.63xdrwjqj
Third party that does what I'm proposing, without the distributed computing part. Basically, my idea is merging Gomez with Cointent to create one monolithic service that the typical user can just download and install without hassle. [Cuit_au_Four, Oct 28 2016]


       Processor speed for societial stratification. Already happened.
wjt, Oct 28 2016

       hmmmmm... is there enough demand for CPU cycles to do this? right now Amazon cloud has like 2/3 share. I *imagine* that is like less than 1% of the internet. Not to say that particle physicists couldn't come up with some use for all those cycles, it is just that I do not think their budget, as compared with all internet advertising, is that big. It could be some sort of gourmet linux browser option though, supporting funded science with CPU cycles.
beanangel, Oct 28 2016

       Another three iterations of Micro$hit's so-called "operating system" and there'll be no "spare" MIPS left anywhere on consumer-grade machines ...
8th of 7, Oct 28 2016

       // hmmmmm... is there enough demand for CPU cycles to do this?   

       I don't know. I used to run the Gomez Peer Client overnight on the computer in my Grad Studies lab and I made about $100 after a couple years (and no one was the wiser, heh). It was only processing about 10% of the time, I reckon.
Cuit_au_Four, Oct 30 2016


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