the new new thing....

From: Strata Rose Chalup (
Date: Mon Apr 02 2001 - 11:18:31 PDT

Startup Touts Service to Make Web More

                By Eric Lai

                SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A San Francisco start-up announced
                on Monday a new interactivity-enhancing service that will allow
                publishers to continually update their sites with real-time
                while consuming a minimum of network bandwidth.

                Bang Networks says its service will allow Web publishers to
                update things like sports scores, stock prices, or auction bid
prices, without forcing an entire Web
                page to be ''reloaded'' by the Internet user.

                The service is reminiscent of another once-promising Internet
technology called ``push'' that emerged
                four years ago amid similar claims by proponents that it would
enhance interactivity on Web sites. Push
                fizzled out soon afterward, as users complained of information
overload while companies blamed push
                broadcasts for slowing down other network traffic to crawl.

                Bang executives say they have solved most of the technical
problems associated with push.

                ``Push was infamous because it would bring down networks by
clogging them,'' said Tim Tuttle, a
                co-founder and chief technical officer for Bang. ``We reduce
network traffic.''

                Bang, along with Silicon Valley, Calif.-based Fine Ground
Networks, which is offering a similar
                service, are both betting that Web sites will be attracted by
the ability to provide increased interaction
                between Web site and user, a long-time goal of most Web
publishers that has yet to be realized, while
                saving them money.

                ``This is really interesting and innovative, and really expands
the possibilities for providing rapidly
                changing information,'' said Peter Christy, an analyst at
Internet market research firm Jupiter

                Backed by technology heavyweights, including Netscape
Communications co-founder Marc
                Andreessen and MIT technology guru Nicholas Negroponte, Bang has
already signed up Web site
                operators like Dow Jones (, CBS
                (, and Excite Inc.
(, to test or use its content delivery

                Bang was conceived by Tuttle and other computer scientists at
the Massachusetts Institute of
                Technology (news - web sites) two years ago.

                Today's typical Web page is heavy on graphics and pictures, with
hundreds of individual elements that
                could take up hundreds of kilobytes of data.

                But a user who presses ``Reload'' on his Web browser in order to
obtain the most-up-to-date stock
                price or sports score theoretically would not need to download
the entire Web page again, but only the
                tiny amount of data that has changed.

                Bang enables this, by keeping a live but dormant connection to
all of the users of a particular Web site.
                Whenever the Web publisher updates the Web page, it also sends
the updates to Bang's nationwide
                US network of router hardware. These routers then send invisible
updates of the Web page to each
                live user, without forcing him or her to ``reload'' it.

                Items that Web publishers want updated, such as a scoreboard, a
stock price ticker, even a rotating
                banner advertisement -- only need to have their ``tags''
slightly modified to work with Bang.

                ``We think Bang has the potential to save us a lot of
bandwidth,'' said Dan Leichtenschlag, chief
                technology officer for CBS (NasdaqNM:SPLN -
news), the popular sports news
                Web site.

                CBS SportsLine is testing the Bang service for live updating of
sports scores. Its current system, which
                relies on a Java-programmed platform that experts have said can
occasionally be susceptible to
                hiccups, also swallows up massive amounts of bandwidth around
920 megabits per second during the
                peak of the NCAA (news - web sites) basketball tournament
``March Madness (news - web sites)''
                last month, said Leichtenschlag.

                Bang's service does not conflict with caching services like
Akamai Technologies Inc.
                (NasdaqNM:AKAM - news) which accelerate download speeds for Web
sites, and could even be
                used in conjunction, Tuttle said.

                Prices of the Bang service start at around $2,000 per month,
rising with the more Web page items that
                a Web publisher wishes to continually refresh.

Strata Rose Chalup [KF6NBZ]                      strata "@"
VirtualNet Consulting                  
 ** Project Management & Architecture for ISP/ASP Systems Integration **

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