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The Swarm

Is it sharing or stealing? Entertainment moguls may not be able to stop Napster and Gnutella Fred Vogelstein 06/12/2000 U.S. News & World Report

The moment he laid eyes on it, Gene Kan, 23, knew he had stumbled across something big--really big. Hundreds of music tracks were coming up on his computer screen. A program called Gnutella had connected him to thousands of individual computers around the world, and now he and everyone on this spontaneously created network could search one another's files for songs.

"I realized that this wasn't about swapping MP3s [music files] but a cool new technology." It was the basis of a New Age search engine--one that wouldn't just search for music on people's computers but would hunt down anything anyone wanted to anonymously share with the outside world,”

Intel Chairman Andy Grove and Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, the man who developed the first Web browser, think file sharing is an important trend. "The idea of file sharing is the most important development on the Web since the browser," says Andreesen. One of the problems with the recent evolution of the Internet is that it has become too centralized, he says. "It's all up to something in the middle to determine what you see. Gnutella's technology blows that up. It mirrors the original architecture of the Internet."

File-Swapping Networks and related sites:

§ Napster: (First to get big PR though www.bigredh.com and others where around earlier)
§ Gnutella: http://gnutella.wego.com
§ FreeNet:
§ Filetopia:
§ iMesh:
§ Scour:
§ CuteMX:
§ Riffshare:
§ Spinfrenzy:
§ Gigabeat:
§ Gnarly:
§ MyPlay:
§ Wrapster:

See also Viewpoint
The Digital Reckoning Listen up. The music industry is being "kidnapstered," and it's fighting mad Karl Taro Greenfeld 05/22/2000 Time Magazine Time Inc. 56

Almost any news search will bring up many listings. Most of the file-sharing sites above are linking into PR references.

FreeNet hompages at http://freenet.sourceforge.net

Freenet is a peer-to-peer network designed to allow the distribution of information over the Internet in an efficient manner, without fear of censorship. Freenet is completely decentralized, meaning that there is no person, computer, or organisation in control of Freenet or essential to its operation. This means that Freenet cannot be attacked like centralized peer-to-peer systems such as Napster. Freenet also employs intelligent routing and caching meaning that it learns to route requests more efficiently, automatically mirrors popular data, makes network flooding almost impossible, and moves data to where it is in greatest demand. All of this makes it much more efficient and scalable than systems such as Gnutella.

The original Freenet design was created by Ian Clarke as his final year project in a degree in Artificial Intelligence and Computer science at Edinburgh University, Scotland. The project was completed in June 1999 when Ian made it available on the Internet in the hope that others would see the potential in the design and use it to make Freenet a reality. The software can now be downloaded.

The FreeNet publicity pages contain a number of articles on the evolution of Freenet

April 16, 2000: Freshmeat This may no longer be available hard copy attached.
Client As Server: The New Model
An interesting article discussing distributed systems and how systems like Freenet are actually in a similar spirit to the original Internet.

Cybiko</b> – Toy or Prophesy?
For an on going update on the changing tech environment see one of the more useful e-mail discussion letters found at http://www.compaq.com/rcfoc/ and click-through to the recent issue dated 05/08/2000 on “Changing Our Internet Rules” - Yet Again. An earlier letter speculated on www.Cybiko.com and now new toys are emerging for the summer and fall

A recent new clip included: “Now imagine the same scene, but in this version there is hardly a sound. Children carry low-cost, high-tech devices capable of beaming voice and text messages wirelessly to fellow students packing similar devices. By speaking directly into the devices or tapping tiny keyboards or writing with styluses on touch screens, they dispatch and receive juvenile jokes, jabs and gossip over radio waves.”

IndraNet Technologies

IndraNetTM networks are self-managing and evolving. They are based on a new approach to telecommunications and artificial intelligence. They suggest a possible breakaway evolution based self-managing and evolving systems. For a functionality overview refer:
For further detail on concepts see:
For their scenario of applications see:
For IndraNet issues relating to Telecommunications and Network Technology and how the IndraNet system will differ with related patent discussion see


This new entrant recently came to our attention. Worth looking at the investing partners alone. Graviton combines proprietary technologies in wireless communication, micro-electrical sensors, and object-oriented data management solutions to enable distributed, self-organizing, device-to-device communication networks. graviton sensor networks can measure “anything at anytime”.

In the 21st Century, sensors will play an increasingly important role in the network economy as “trillions” of devices are interconnected in distributed wireless networks. By cost-effective management of data traffic from these networks, graviton’s custom solutions and services will provide dramatic benefits to home and industrial users.

This book is the best management guide to complexity theory I have ever seen. It is well worth the read. It has been out of print and only recently relisted. Buy it at www.amazon.com

Navigating Complexity: The Essential Guide to Complexity in Business and Management
by Arthur Battram Navigating Complexity

An excellent source for further reading, including Reciever Based Communications (Fly-by-Wire) and autopoiesis which applies to all living systems and suggests approaches beyond receiver and sender based communications.

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