Web-Based Web Browser
I heard a news headline on the radio this morning about how some people in China are finding ways to circumvent the governments attempts to restrict internet access. I got to thinking about the possibility of a Web-based Web browser. After doing a search, I was quickly reminded that just about 99.99% of any software ideas anybody comes up with, somebody else has already written or pondered about.
The way it would work is that you would have a server that has no filtering/restrictions that exists outside of the restricted network but is not blocked by the restricted network. A computer from within the restricted network would then tunnel its requests through the server. It’s a pretty simple concept really. And, the advantages are more than just access to restricted sites. If the server is setup to be anonymous, you can provide truely unmonitored (private) Web searches.
A browser toolbar that tunnels the page requests through another server seems to be the most elegant design, but the problem with that is that you would have to be able to install software (i.e. the toolbar) on the computer that you are using.
Another approach would be to put the brower into full-screen mode and then actually emulate the browser buttons, address bar, bookmarks, etc. This could actually turn into an interesting service offering. With this model, I can envision the emergence of an ultra-thin Web browser that has no functionality besides connecting you to a Web-based Web browser which renders its own browser interface (using flash or something) along with the content that it displays.