Re: [CNET] Aimster nears 1 million users

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From: Ian Andrew Bell (
Date: Tue Sep 05 2000 - 11:54:24 PDT

At 01:36 PM 01/09/00 -0500, Adam Rifkin wrote:
> > LOS ANGELES--Aimster, a new Napster-like program that piggybacks on
> > America Online's Instant Messaging service and could be the biggest
> > nightmare to date for studios trying to stop film and music swapping
> > online, said it has held initial talks with Intel to forge ties.
>Why would a company leak this to the press? Doesn't this potentially
>sabotage any such talks?

Pretty ham-handed. They must be raising cash. Intel = Credibility.

> > Intel sees the programs as creating strong demand for greater
> > computing power that in the long run could bolster sales of personal
> > computers that run on its microprocessors.
>I really don't follow the logic here. Napster and Gnutella require no
>CPU power at all. Sure, we need tons more hard drive space than we used
>to, but Intel isn't in the storage business, are they? Sure, we need
>more bandwidth baby, but Intel's not in that business either. Perhaps
>more database usage too, but Intel isn't there either. So how does p2p
>require more compute power?

The only way I can figure is that while the downloading of MP3s doesn't
exponentially increase CPU usage and drive people to upgrade their
processors, the compression/decompression involved with playing, recording,
and reproducing music on their PCs does.

In order to make that technology more prevalent, you need to make the
social networks for the exchange of that music more accessible. Hence
funding what are basically social engineering (or a few months ago, "viral
marketing") projects like AIMster.

>But AOL can shut down Aimster's access to AIM, right?

To their credit, it doesn't seem to me like AOL could shut 'em
down. Doesn't AIMster (I've never been curious enough to download it) just
use some sort of hacked-up open AOL channel to allow file sharers to
register with one another and then the peer-to-peer file xfer to send the

That would truly be a coup if they had circumvented the benevolence of AOL.


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