Since it seems that the “arXiv on your hard drive” is dead I’ve been thinking a bit about if there is a better way to achieve the goal of distributing archives of the arXiv.
One thing I liked about the “arXiv on your hard drive” was that it used BitTorrent. This could alleviate some of the bandwidth pain associated with distributing the arXiv widely. But of course, one of the problems with using Torrents to distribute the arXiv is that, well, the arXiv changes daily! One solution to this is to update the torrent periodically, but in these go-go times this seems wrong. It seems to me that what we need is a BitTorrent-like protocol for collections that periodically get updated. A seeder could then update its collection and propagate only these new results to other hosts. Does anyone know if such a technology exists? A quick scan didn’t locate anything.
Of course then one would have to convince the arXiv folks to go along with this, but it would seem to me that the bandwidth costs for them could be made really fairly minimal.