Internet Story: 17 May 1999
Is there life out there? Probably, but who knows! Now is your chance to help in the search for intelligent life in the universe. The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has just setup what could be the world's largest experiment in cooperative computing: SETI@Home. SETI has gathered so much data from their large radio telescope at Arecibo in Puerto Rico that it will take years to analyze. Enter all those idle computers connected to the Net. Most of the time your computer sit relatively idle when you are surfing the net (and most other times). This "spare" capacity can now be put to some use in helping SETI to analyze all that data. You can download software for a variety of machines and it will not only analyze their data and post it back to them but display some very interesting graphs of what it's doing.
Freeserve Hosting According to a press release by Californian company Netopia, Freeserve is about to launch a "free web hosting" service aimed at personal and small business users. The partnership with Netopia will allow users to very quickly create a site from Netopia's Virtual Office software. This software is a template containing common business features that most businesses can adapt to their own ends. Freeserve will also host your own domain name (you still need to pay the registration fees). So far I can find little news of this in any UK media, though CNN has picked it up.
Hushmail Here's an interesting idea spun off from all the free web-based email sites. Hushmail is a secure (1024 bit key) email service. Sounds good, but it's not quite as good as it sounds! In order to take advantage of this encryption all users need to be Hushmail users - it doesn't allow the sending of encrypted mail outside its own system. I can't quite think of much use for this service as the only place that the mail will be encrypted is on the servers at Hushmail. Not much use unless you're expecting MI6 to break in. In which case, no doubt, Hushmail will just hand over the keys. Note: it also requires a Java enabled browser.
Iraqi News Online If you really want to see the "truth" according to Saddam's eldest son, Uday, then look no further than the 1st Iraqi newspaper to go online: Al-Zawra.
VoiceMail to Email A new service just launched by VStream allows you to call into a telephone number and have the message you leave delivered as email. Sounds good. The downside? It's a US phone number :-(
New Netscape A new version of Netscape Communicator was released this weekend. Version 4.6 now sports 56bit Encryption rather than 40bit, Real Networks G2 player and a raft of bug fixes. The real major release of Netscape (version 5.0) will not be seen until the end of this year. It will be a total rebuild of the browser using technology developed at the open-source spin-off Mozilla.Org.
Andrew Stringer, © Pendle.Net Ltd, 1999
Permanent Address: http://www.pendle.net/News/Inet19990517-1.htm