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  1. A node with responsibility for coordinating multiple actors.
  2. A node dictating the actions of other nodes.
  3. A canonical source of information, where the validity of the information derives from the coercive powers of the provider.

An authority is used in networks whose shape is fixed by their developers. A hotspot performs a similar function, but without coercive powers, within a cloud network. Authorities are used to structure networks that are distributed but not decentralized.

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Richard Koman Richard Koman's Weblog
Supreme Court Decides Unanimously Against Grokster
Updating as we go. Supremes have ruled 9-0 in favor of the studios in MGM v Grokster. But does the decision have wider import? Is it a death knell for tech? It's starting to look like the answer is no. (Jun 27, 2005)

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