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The News – 03/06/01

A Web Server the Size of a Match Head

Researchers have been outdoing one another in creating the smallest possible Web servers. A graduate student at the University of Massachusetts has created one the size of a match head. The most extraordinary thing about this achievement: He did it in 1999. Ages ago.

Today, a company called Thalia is already allied with appliance manufacturer Sunbeam to automate your morning routine via networking. Sunbeam plans an alarm clock that can start the Mr Coffee machine 10 minutes before you get up and turn off your electric blanket before you get out of bed. If you reset your alarm time, the clock communicates with the other appliances to coordinate your morning. Since Sunbeam also owns Coleman, I shudder to think of the possibilities of campsite automation.

The news here is that however silly we may think appliances on the Net may be, they’re coming, along with clothes that compute. Many manufacturers are part of the Universal Plug and Play effort led by Microsoft. Many others are signing up with Sun’s Jini effort. Cisco is pioneering the networked home of the future.

Bottom line? Computing will disappear into the environment, just like the electric motor did. Kevin Kelly describes the turn of the century Sears Home Electric Motor, with attachments that mashed the potatoes and did the wash. The motor was an expensive, precious commodity, and so it needed to do multiple chores to make itself worthwhile, much like the PC of today. But nowadays, I’ll be you can’t count all the electric motors in your house (don’t forget the clocks). So it will be with computing. Your fridge will reorder milk. Your medicine cabinet will refill your prescription. Your house will know when nobody’s home and reset the temperature accordingly. And all this will be commonplace to our kids or our grandkids.

Businesses need to realize that pervasive computing will change a lot of the rules, just like the miniaturization of the electric motor revolutionized the washboard-making and clockmaking industries. Is your industry in the way of this wave?

Ipic Computer

New Domain Suffixes Delayed

ICANN, the organization responsible for Internet domain names, has announced that the seven new gTLDs (generic Top Level Domains) will not be ready to go by July as previously hoped. There’s plenty of finger pointing, with ICANN blaming the dot bomb phenomenon for weakening the finances of potential registrars, and registrars blaming ICANN’s legal inexperience. ICANN says, however, the gTLDs will be online by the end of the year at the latest.

RegistryPro, which has rights to the .pro gTLD, is now likely to launch sometime between July and September in phases. The .pro domain is limited to professionals such as lawyers, doctors, and accountants (but not Internet strategy consulting professionals!). However, RegistryPro’s planned phased release is a bit worrisome: They will allow individuals and companies that own a particular trademark to have first crack at signing up the corresponding domain name.

There’s always been contention regarding trademarks and domain names. In the last SNS, we talked about the flap about eReferree, which is just one example of the muddy trademark picture. By giving trademark owners first crack, RegistryPro is equating trademarks with domain names, something the US legal system has yet to do unequivocably.

So owners of professional businesses need to be on the ball and watch for the opening of this important domain registry.

Afilias LLC, which has the .info gTLD, may open for business by May. The .info gTLD is not restricted like the .pro domain, and so we can expect a land rush mentality as speculators try to stake claims on names to later sell for a profit.

The approved new gTLDs are:





Air-transport industry

Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques SC, (SITA)






National Cooperative Business Association, (NCBA)


Unrestricted use

Afilias, LLC



Museum Domain Management Association, (MDMA)


For registration by individuals

Global Name Registry, LTD


Accountants, lawyers, and physicians

RegistryPro, LTD


Shameless Promotion Department

The StratVantage TrendSpot has hit the big time. Well, OK, not the big time. It's just the first time another site has cited it as an authority. Nonetheless all of us here at StratVantage Central are pretty pumped. It just goes to prove my favorite maxim: "An expert is just some jerk from out of town." Check out Softroad to see the citation.

Briefly Noted

  • Shameless Self-Promotion Dept.: StratVantage has launched a new service, CTOMentor™, designed to allow Chief Technology Officers and other technical leaders to get rid of the Guilt Stack, that pile of magazines you’ll get around to reading someday.

    CTOMentor is a subscription advisory service tailored to customers’ industry and personal information needs. Four times a year CTOMentor provides a four-hour briefing for subscribers and their staffs on the most important emerging technology trends that could affect their businesses. As part of the service, subscribers also get a weekly email newsletter, Just the Right Stuff™, containing links to the Top 10 Must Read articles needed to stay current. These and other CTOMentor services will let you Burn Your Inbox™.

    As part of its launch, CTOMentor is offering a two-part white paper on peer-to-peer technology: Peer-to-Peer Computing and Business Networks: More Than Meets the Ear. Part 1, What is P2P?, is available for free on the CTOMentor Web site. Part 2, How Are Businesses Using P2P?, is available for $50.

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About The Author

Announcing CTOMentor, a New Service from StratVantage

Can’t Get Enough of ME?

In the unlikely event that you want more of my opinions, I’ve started a Weblog. It’s the fashionable thing for pundits to do, and I’m doing it too. A Weblog is a datestamped collection of somewhat random thoughts and ideas assembled on a Web page. If you’d like to subject the world to your thoughts, as I do, you can create your own Weblog. You need to have a Web site that allows you FTP access, and the free software from This allows you to right click on a Web page and append your pithy thoughts to your Weblog.

I’ve dubbed my Weblog entries “Stratlets”, and they are available at Let me know what you think.

Also check out the TrendSpot for ranking of the latest emerging trends.

In Memoriam

Gerald M. Ellsworth

March 14, 1928 - July 5, 2003

In Memoriam

Jane C. Ellsworth

July 20, 1928 - July 20, 2003