I had dinner with Steve Crocker last night. I met him before through David Isenberg, but since he is the Security and Stability Advisory Committee Liaison to the ICANN board, I am getting a chance to hang out with him more these days. Among other things, he's well known for being the author of RFC 1.

His explained the software that his company Shinkuro produced and I tried it today. It solves a BUNCH of needs that I had. It's basically a very cryptographically robust, cross-platform collaboration tool. It allows you to create groups and share folders of files, has a shared chat space (like IRC) and allows you to share your desktop screen with other members of the group (yes, across platforms). The shared files are transfered in the background and edits to files are sent as diffs which can be accepted into the original by the recipient. There is also standard IM with your buddy list. The great thing is that all of the traffic is encrypted. 256 bit AES and 2048 bit RSA keys. Each message is encrypted with a unique key, and the key is transmitted under the RSA key. This is very important since I know for a fact that people sniff IM and other traffic at many of the conferences and public places.

The folder in the groups is really nifty. You drop files into a folder and you can see who has received the files and see any changes that are waiting for you. This seems so much more organized than the tons of attachments and updates I receive before board meetings and conference calls.

It seems similar to Groove in some ways, but is more lightweight and most importantly cross-platform. (Mac, Windows, Linux.)

You can download it at www.shinkuro.com and for now it's free. If you register it, you will get all of the features. My id is jito!shinkuro.com if you want to invite me to be your friend or into a group. As I've said before, I think email is dead and I'm always looking for things like this that help me survive the post-email era.

11 Comments

Is there a Joiito group yet? :)

I'll start one now.

Joi, Thanks for sharing some of the very interesting people and programs you come in contact with.

Also, liked your quote this months issue of Wired. Very true.

Chomper. Thanks. I didn't see the quote in Wired, what was the context and the quote?

HOLY crap, synchronicity smacks me in the face yet again. I actually participated in the fielding of shinkuro AT the Joint Warfighter Interoperability Demonstrations. I harassed them about their product on behalf of TLA that shall remain nameless. :-) pictures here.

oh, more JWID pics here. Thought you might want some context as to what it "looked" like at JWID. oh also, completely unrelated, but Joi, your site is the 5th google result for Doraemon. that is just sickening.

Hey Joi,
I'm trying to find it on Wired's website, but it was a quote from you blog I believe, I can't remember what the context was though. I will go home and look for the issue. It's the current one on newstands right now.

Jon,

One of the primary contributors to e-mail choke is the fact that people use this asynchronous, store-and-forward mechanism to share documents, presentations and spreadsheets as bulky attachments - often getting into unproductive, multiple revisions and iterations. We have come up with InstaColl - a free tool that helps users cut down on this problem - it is now available completely free for use at http://www.instacoll.com. InstaColl cuts down on e-mail choke by seamlessly converting popular Microsoft Office applications - Word, Excel, PowerPoint - from static, standalone applications to rich, interactive platforms. InstaColl appears as a simple, embedded button in your Microsoft Office application menu bar and with one click, users can choose to share the specific document that they are working on with friends and colleagues securely in real-time.



InstaColl is also built on a data-centric model. Unlike crude screen-sharing solutions, Instacoll allows you to share documents, spreadsheets and presentations with your friends and collaborate at the data level ensuring higher security and minimal delays. Our model also ensures that all users can save a local copy of the shared document at the end of the collaboration session - cutting down on the need for one person e-mailing the collaboration artifact to other users offline.



You need to be on a Windows PC with Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office to fully leverage InstaColl. You can check if your system meets InstaColl requirements here - http://www.instacoll.com/support_can_you_InstaColl.htm.



I hope you will take a look at InstaColl...

Thank you for your time - we appreciate it.

Warm Regards,

Sumanth R,
Chief Executive Officer,
InstaColl

Shinkuro: it looks very similar to colloquia, a virtual learning environment:

http://www.colloquia.net/

It is open source now. The educational "tool" could be replaced/extended with any number of other tools.

eh ?? RFC-1 was authored by steve crocker imho !!

/pd, isn't that what I wrote?

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