The News Ė 12/12/00
P2P For Peteís Sake
A couple of recent developments illustrate
how the P2P fervor is finding its way into mainstream applications.
Real Networks announced their new media
streaming scheme, and itís beginning to look a lot like Napster. RealSystem
iQ does away with the idea of a central server serving media streams.
Rather, a network operator can configure peer servers that can share the
load. If one area of the network gets overloaded, less-busy servers can
step in to service the load. This makes a self-healing media distribution
network a reality.
Under tremendous pressure from Microsoftís
MediaPlayer, Real Networks still claims 160 million users and 72 percent of
the media files on the Net.
In other P2P news, two of the Netís killer
apps are united in Aimster, a combination of instant messaging and file
sharing (a la Napster). Now, not only can you chat about the latest music,
you can share it with your buddy list. Unlike Napster, there is no central
server, and thus very little way to stop this file sharing. Created by the
improbably named Johnny Deep (who is an equally improbable 43 years old), Aimster
was released this summer, has 73 million users already, and has not escaped
the notice of the record industry. However, since the file sharing is
limited to buddy lists, it could be argued that Aimster just facilitates
the kind of music sharing that happens when you lend your CD to your friend
who then tapes it.
(Real Networks story)
Wireless Growth MDA
You canít let a day go by without reading
another rosy prediction of wireless growth from a pundit or industry flack.
To help you with your minimum daily requirement, hereís a chart and a
couple of quotes:
Lucent claims that by 2005, 50% of wireless
traffic will be from data. Motorola asserts that by 2004, more people will
be accessing the Internet from a wireless device than a wired one. In the
U.S., thereíll be 96 million wireless users by 2005.
How Fast is Fast Enough?
I love my cable modem. Despite my
misgivings about cable company service, Iíve had very few problems with it.
And itís fast, up to 1Mbps. But if things go right, by late next year, I
could be trading it in for access thatís 40 times faster.
Called Ultraband and developed by Advent
Networks, this new technology runs over hybrid fiber coaxial networks.
Unlike my cable modem, which shares bandwidth with other users in my area,
Ultraband uses switched Ethernet over cable, creating virtual channels for
each user that delivery 40Mbps. This means you get guaranteed performance
that is more than 700 times as fast as a 56Kbps modem.
Now to put 40Mbps into perspective, your
office network probably only runs at 10Mbps, and your office Internet access
is probably only 1Mbps. Plus, you share these resources with everyone in
your office. Howíd you like to have 4 times that performance dedicated to
your use along?
While youíre pondering that, consider this:
The cable network is capable of speeds up to 1Gbps.