Dumpster Drive: file-sharing application that recycles digital files

[Video Link] Justin Blinder says:

Dumpster Drive is a file-sharing application that recycles digital files. Using dumpster diving as a model for recirculating unwanted objects, Dumpster Drive allows others to dig through files that you delete on your computer in a passive file-sharing network. Instead of simply erasing data from your computer, the software allows users to extend the lifecycle of their unwanted files and pass them on to others.
For more information about the project, and to download the software visit Dumpster Drive


  1. “Dumpster Drive allows others to dig through files that you delete on your computer in a passive file-sharing network.”

    …that’s going to generally require a pretty impressive sales job. (viz Shangri-la)

  2. Mmmmm… no. Generally when I delete a file I have a damn good reason for wanting it gone.

  3. 100% of the time, I place items in the Trash because I want to free up space on my Mac (and do not want to see or deal with them ever again). Placing those items in a virtual “dumpster” would defeat that purpose completely. I get the concept, but it would not work for me.

  4. This, like actual dumpster diving, seems like a good way to catch something if you’re not careful.

  5. re getting the point: um it’s clearly, obviously, unmistakeably a joke and you might consider that you are humour-impaired. It’s like when I was a grad student, late for submitting grades for my course, and an office-mate told me he had some grades left over from his course that I could use.

  6. I laughed out loud at “To share your trash with others…” and I hope this is tongue in cheek, but if so, why actually develop it?

  7. Folks that don’t understand this have probably never hoarded old data because “someone else might want a copy of it someday”. :)

  8. Their “only one can download” system reminds me of a story back when Napster was new. Someone downloaded a song, only to notice the person he downloaded from starting to download the same song from him. When asked he claimed he did so because he wanted the song back.

    Thinking about this now, i wonder if this illustrates a mental difference between those that grew up before the computer and those after.

    That is, those that grew up before are unable to separate the physical container (book, photo, LP/CD/cassette, VHS/DVD) from the content (text, image, audio, video). As such, they can not properly grasp the difference between a rivalous/physical object and a non-rivalous/digital one.

  9. I think there’s might be a subset of files that would qualify for this type of thing.

    Some unfinished projects would be better off recycled by other creators than just deleted.

    Probably there would be some requirements:
    The works should contain minimal personal information.
    The author would need to give away copyrights or releases so these unwanted works can be legally reused.

  10. No thanks. The Plague got in trouble when Joey hacked into the Gibson and copied his garbage file.

  11. Well, I wouldn’t say it’s a “joke”. It looks like he actually built the software, so obviously he believed enough in the concept to see it through to completion. I just think it’s a security/privacy/copyright danger zone.

  12. It’s about making us rethink just what a file is. It’s asking us if there is still room for unwanted “trash” to live a second life.

    Do you care where things come from that surround you everyday? Does it mean something to you that by taking a coffee table off the street you extended it’s usefulness beyond the dump?

    Why not extend that mentality to computer files? After all they are increasingly taking the place of material objects. A Boing Boing reader doesn’t need to be caught up on concepts like DRM, digital licensing and so on. I think it is useful to reconceptualize how we view files.

  13. it’s definitely not a joke. i think justin intended it to be a bit of an art piece, but it could serve a purpose in some instances. Sharing promotes creativity and can inspire others. I could see throwing unfinished design or music projects in here. Someone might find a diamond in the rough. when did boingboing readers become so close minded? Maybe he should have designed a steampunk GUI for it and it would have went over better.

  14. Excellent for specific a R&D companies intranet or any other intranet application. I’m not to sure about internet applicability though, a lot of people consider their trash of any kind very private; that’s why stalkers, gumshoes, and reporters go through physical trash.

  15. The only thing I’d delete that other people might like is porn. The only thing I’d download that other people deleted is also porn. I’m not sure if I’m altruistic enough to consume bandwidth uploading my unwanted porn for the benefit of others and I’m good enough with a search engine to find my own without rummaging through other people’s random deleted files.

  16. Nope, not a joke, seems real by all accounts. An interesting concept, but a completely useless application! :)

  17. this resembles the ‘hack me’ idea i conceived of a while back where users enter their e-mail or social networking login credentials on to a public domain to allow others to hack into their account(s)- only this is a little stupider! why didn’t i think of dumpster drive?

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