00 |  ng_zz  Blopvertz
Video Cards for Gamers

01 | Anand Tech -
GeForce FX (NV30)

02 | Anand Tech -
GeForce FX

03 | Toms Hardware -
GeForce FX

04 | Anand Tech -
ATI Radeon 9700 (R300)

05 | Anand Tech -
ATI Radeon 9800 (R350)

06 | Toms Hardware -
ATI Radeon 9800 (R350)

07 | MURC -
Matrox Parhelia-512

08 | Hard Ware Zone -
Matrox Parhelia-512

09 | GameSpot -
Matrox Parhelia-512

10 | nV News -
Matrox Parhelia-512

11 | Beyond 3D -
Matrox Parhelia-512

12 | GameSpot -
GeForce 4

13 | Anand Tech -
nVidia GeForce 4

14 | Anand Tech -
nVidia Quadro 4

15 | Toms Hardware
GeForce 4

16 | Technoyard -
GeForce4 MX440

Info / Misc

17 | Toms Hardware
nVidia GeForce 3
Technical Squiz

18 | Toms Hardware
CDRW - Back-Up Copy
Mysteries Revealed

19 | Toms Hardware
DVD - Six Burner Tests
Seven Times The Capacity

20 | Tweek 3D's -
Video Dictionary

21 | Downloads -
File Swap / Share

22 | Linux -
Version Line Up

23 | Cheaters Suck -
Some Thoughts Shared


16 | Demo Zip's
Complete Goof Off

24 | Wolfenstein
Single player

25 | Wolfenstein
Multi Player

26 | Serious Sam 2
Second Encounter


wonna swap chops - here'r yer file swap op's

 The SLYCE and DICE -
1 Morpheus -- An online hurricane swept through MusicCity, as you were denied access and told to upgrade. Here's the link you were looking for: Morpheus Preview Edition, which now uses the Gnutella network.
2 Kazaa -- The name of the leading alternative (Kazaa Media Desktop), and the alleged cause of all the trouble (Kazaa BV). Yes, it's confusing.
3 Securo -- Oops! How'd this get in here? The online-shopping security program continues to gain interest among ZDNet users.
4 Grokster -- The other big client based on the same P2P network as Kazaa.
5 Gnutella -- Yet another file-sharing client, and the progenitor of a different P2P network--the one that Morpheus switched to this week.
6 BearShare -- A commercial file-swapping client that uses a more modern version of the Gnutella network.
7 P2P -- With all the hullabaloo, some folks started back at the beginning: looking for basic info on peer-to-peer networks. Here's a little ancient history.
8 LimeWire -- This one is also Gnutella-based, and also more up-to-date than your basic Gnutella or Morpheus client.
9 Maya -- Alias Wavefront announced a free, demo version of its high-end 3-D modeling program.
10 iMesh -- Forgotten but not gone, this client is ad-supported (like many others, including Kazaa). A recent update promises a face-lift.
11 Bundled -- For the blab on bundled software read the CNET report below.
12 Spyware -- Many find their computers saddled with unwanted piggyback software that tracks their online movements and feeds them unwanted advertising. Check for unwanted "malware" running on your computer here.


Morpheus Preview Edition
Search for and exchange information with this P2P communication and file-sharing application.
Company: StreamCast Networks
Date Added:
707 KB
Windows (all)
Windows (all), Windows Media Player 6.4
Morpheus Preview Edition continues the Morpheus tradition of providing a full-featured and easy-to-use P2P application that allows users to share content across the Morpheus Users Network. This new edition of Morpheus utilizes open protocols established by the Gnutella developers, and enables users to directly communicate with each other and search for any type of digital file across the network. Users can control CPU utilization, word filters, upload limits, and file sharing. Morpheus also simultaneously transfers content files from multiple sources for fast downloads of large files, even from users with slower connection speeds.

Morpheus Preview Edition enables faster searching, displays more search results, and allows users to search the Web as well as the Morpheus Users Network from one interface. Users should be sure that their current Morpheus application is completely shut down (at the taskbar) before attempting to install this new edition.

Editor's note: This ad-supported software includes technology that will serve banner advertisments through the program interface.
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KaZaA Media Desktop
Search for media files through this popular peer-to-peer network.
Company: Sharman Networks Ltd

Version: v1.5
Date Added:
149 KB
Windows 95/98/NT/2000

Windows 95/98/NT/2000, Internet Explorer 4.0, Windows Media Player 6.4
The KaZaa Media Desktop is a second-generation peer-to-peer file-sharing service with which you can search and download media files from other KaZaa users. You can also organize and play/view your media files through an integrated media jukebox, publish your own work, reach an audience, and communicate with other KaZaa users. KaZaa supports audio, video, software, games, images, and documents. Version 1.5 features recommendations, faster search results, faster start-up time and an automated feature that lets people communicate with contacts.

Editor's note: This download includes additional applications that are bundled within the software's installer file, some of which may be provided by parties other than the developer of this download. These applications may deliver advertisements, collect information, overlay content or graphics on the Web site you are viewing, or modify your system settings. As with all downloads, CNET recommends that you pay close attention to the options presented to you during the installation process. Known third-party applications bundled with this download include Onflow, Webhancer, and For more information, please read CNET's report on bundled software.
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Protect yourself when you are shopping online.
Company: Idium Systems Inc.
Version: v2.01 build 16
Date Added:
9.28 MB
Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP
Requirements: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP
From the developer: "Securo is an easy, free and complete solution against hackers, fraudulent shopping sites and all online shopping risks. It provides an easy, complete solution for all online shopping risks by checking the four cornerstones of Internet shopping: Information transfer security, Privacy protection, User Opinions and Merchant Reliability. Information transfer security is checked in real time by the specially developed HtCheck scanning engine. Privacy protection is checked specifically for every shopping site you visit, disclosing its privacy policies. User opinions are provided for every site by Internet shoppers who had experienced shopping on the site. Merchant Reliability is verified via 3rd parties and includes an in depth merchant profile. The Checks are done automatically when Securo recognizes your intent of purchase, and the results are displayed before you enter your valuable information.

"Securo v2.0 features: a new user-friendly interface, a new intuitive user-manual, comprehensive security checks, easy to understand check results, as well as enhanced online help. Securo v2.0 works in the background to minimize interference to your normal Internet activities, it will automatically go into action when it is needed.

"Version 2.0 features improved visual alerts, support for Windows XP, improved stability, bug fixes and more. This download is absolutely free for individuals and nonprofit organizations.

"For commercial and government use, registration is $19.95."
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Try this P2P search tool designed to find any type of file.
Company: Grokster
Version: v1.5
Date Added:
186 KB
Windows (all)
Requirements: Windows (all), Windows Media Player 6.0, Internet Explorer
Grokster is a peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing program that allows its users to share all types of digital files through its proprietary network. Grokster's features include family and virus controls to help filter out unwanted content; detailed search capabilities; resumeable downloads; file previews using Windows Media Player; a built-in audio playlist; and more. This latest version contains unspecified bug fixes.

Editor's Note: This download includes Gator OfferCompanion, an additional application that is bundled within the software's installer file. This application may deliver advertisements, collect information, overlay content or graphics on the Web site you are viewing, or modify your system settings. As with all downloads, CNET recommends that you pay close attention to the options presented to you during the installation process. For more information, please read CNET's report on bundled software.
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GnutellaWorld Gnutella Client
Search and download all types of digital media across the Gnutella Network.
Company: GnutellaWorld
Version: v2.0
Date Added:
1.4 MB
Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP
Requirements: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP
From the developer: "Gnutella 2.0 is an open source second-generation peer-to-peer file-sharing program that lets you search and download all types of digital media across the Gnutella Network. It supports audio, video, software, games, images, and documents. The program offers user controlled upload limits, a family filter, a virus filter, a chat window, a node mapping system. Downloads are very fast and can be resumed later if a file's owner disconnects from the Gnutella Network. The program connects to Bearshare, LimeWire, Gnotella and other Gnutella clients. The user interface makes it easy to search and download files across the Gnutella Network. Gnutella 2.0 is brought to you by the Open Source Community."
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Search for and share all kinds of files including MP3s and videos with this easy-to-use Gnutella servant.
Company: Free Peers, Inc.
Version: v2.4.4
Date Added:
1.08 MB
Windows (all)
Requirements: Windows (all)
BearShare lets you search for, download, and share files with everyone on the global Gnutella peer-to-peer information network. This program works with MP3, MPEG, AVI, ASF, MOV, JPEG, GIF, and all other file types. It features full documentation (installed with the program), slick graphics, and a user interface that makes searching, downloading, and file sharing easy. It also features upload bandwidth controls, enhanced connection management, user-defined family filter controls, and improved downloading.

The program has a Community button, which instantly connects you through your browser to BearShare.Net, a thriving forum with information and resources to help you use the network.

Version 2.3.0 featured a new interface, less memory usage, column settings and visibility saved across launches, MP3 bitrate information sent and displayed in search results, and more.

Version 2.4.0 featured multi-source downloading, multiple file search, faster connection to the network, customizable window settings saved across launches, and smart downloading. This release features less CPU intensive hashing calculation, improved parsing of downloads.dat file to avoid error conditions, .ini file-configurable hashing block size, correctly decremented upload count including keep-alive cases.

Editor's note: This download includes additional applications that are bundled within the software's installer file, some of which may be provided by parties other than the developer of this download. These applications may deliver advertisements, collect information, overlay content or graphics on the Web site you are viewing, or modify your system settings. As with all downloads, CNET recommends that you pay close attention to the options presented to you during the installation process. Known third-party applications bundled with this download include, SaveNow, and For more information, please read CNET's report on bundled software.
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Is P2P plunging off the deep end?
By Lee Gomes
The Wall Street Journal Online
April 3, 2001, 5:00 PM PT

It's starting to look as if the end may be near for the "peer-to-peer" fad.

Peer-to-peer, or P2P, is a decentralized approach to computing and the Internet whose best-known incarnation is Napster, the music downloading service. Last summer, there was an explosion of interest in the new field from Silicon Valley programmers, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

Some said P2P -- a somewhat amorphous term that means different things to different people -- represented nothing less than the future of the Internet, and would soon be used for all manner of services, from Yahoo-style searching to eBay-style auctions. Millions of dollars were invested in P2P, scores of companies were founded and an ocean of ink was spent by the press to chronicle the burgeoning movement.

Overlooked in all the excitement, though, were a few problems. No one knew whether P2P really worked, at least in the way some theorists were proposing. Or whether there were many uses for it that didn't end up violating copyrights, the charge leveled against Napster. Or if there were, whether companies could make any money on them.

Now, with technology funding in a funk after the bursting of the Internet bubble, those problems suddenly don't seem so small anymore. And the P2P party, which once looked like an exception to the dot-com downturn, seems more like a wake.

Among the recent setbacks:

* InfraSearch Inc., a widely publicized Web-search company whose founders once boasted that P2P would be as big a business as the telephone, was sold last month at a fire-sale price after it was unable to raise more money. Last summer, a group of prominent investors, including Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, poured millions of dollars into InfraSearch, which quickly became the blue chip of the P2P world. But Sun Microsystems (sunw) snatched it up for $10 million--a sum that doesn't even register on the Richter scale of Silicon Valley deals -- and then promptly folded it into an existing research-and-development project.

* Another well-known P2P company, Popular Power, closed completely last month after also striking out in raising funds. "We got caught in a bad time," sighs co-founder Marc Hedlund.

* And then there are companies formerly known as peer-to-peer purveyors, which now say they no longer like the term. "We've listened to the market and repositioned ourselves," says a spokeswoman for Engenia Software. A spokesman for Groove Networks, the company founded by Lotus Notes creator Ray Ozzie, says, "We clearly rode the P2P wave, but the sooner we move the conversation beyond the technology, the better."

The mad rush
Silicon Valley watchers say sociology as much as technology is needed to explain the rapid rise and fall of the P2P fad.

"The whole P2P hoopla is emblematic of the mad rush to find the next big thing in technology," says Bill Burnham, a venture capitalist with Softbank Venture Capital. Edward Jung, a former top software architect at Microsoft Corp., said P2P boosters were trying to recreate the excitement of Napster by simply transferring Napster-style technology to other areas. But since Napster is more of a social than a technical phenomenon, "a lot of people were led down the primrose path," Jung says.

One of the difficulties in assessing the state of P2P is semantic. Most people define the term as a computing scheme in which information is stored on many PCs, reducing or eliminating the need for a central repository like a Web server. In the market, however, the phrase has come to describe at least three entirely distinct categories of technologies and companies. None of them, though, are playing out quite as well as boosters had once hoped.

The first category is Napster and the Napster clones. Purists, for starters, note that the music service is only partially P2P because it relies on a central database to show which users are sharing music files.

Napster, of course, has well-known legal problems. A new crop of Web sites, such as Lime Wire and BearShare, let users trade free music and other files by using a purely P2P software system known as Gnutella. But it remains to be seen if these companies can escape a record industry crackdown down the road, and if they do, whether they can turn themselves into profitable businesses.

There is another group of Napster-like companies calling themselves "legal Napsters" that say they are trying to heed copyright laws and charge for music swapping. But without free music, it's hard to get anyone to log on.

Flycode, a Napster-like system originally named AppleSoup and unveiled to great fanfare last July, had just a few hundred users logged on Tuesday afternoon, many of them swapping material that was either X-rated, copyrighted or both. "There has to be a value proposition to get P2P members to aggregate, and other than music, people haven't yet identified a good one," says A. Joon Yun of Palo Alto Investors, a venture-capital firm that holds a stake in Flycode.

Distributed computing
A second flavor of P2P involves what has long been called "distributed computing," a technique in which hundreds or thousands of computers work together to solve a big problem, such as cracking an encryption scheme. That can be a useful setup, but is a different job than a Napster-like scheme of passing music or other files from consumer to consumer.

Intel, ever eager to put millions of its microprocessors to good use, has been using P2P in the distributed computing sense since last summer. Tuesday, the Santa Clara, Calif., company announced plans to employ millions of PCs in a philanthropic cancer-research effort with partners that include the American Cancer Society, the National Foundation for Cancer Research and Oxford University. The effort involves having PCs in homes and offices use their idle moments to research the cancer-fighting properties of millions of molecules.

A number of companies have also been started in this part of the P2P market. But they are finding it can be slow going. Popular Power, for instance, folded. United Devices Inc. of Austin, Texas, has been around for a year but so far has just three customers -- though co-founder Ed Hubbard promises that many more are on the way, saying many companies are interested in it for biotechnology research as well as Web development work.

The final P2P category involves companies that want to use P2P to solve problems besides sharing music files, such as InfraSearch's Web searching. Most of these companies, though, aren't purely peer-to-peer; instead, they use P2P ideas combined with traditional approaches. A number of start-ups, for instance, are working on software to let people collaborate on office projects, or run programs over the Web as well as on local PCs. These companies include Groove Networks, as well as Jung's company, OpenDesign Inc.

But many of these have been labeled "P2P" for the scarcely remarkable fact that their programs will occasionally direct two computers to talk directly with each other. Executives of the companies admit they went along for the P2P ride for public relations reasons.

"P2P is going to be used very broadly, but by itself, it's not going to create new companies," says Michael Tanne, chief executive of Xdegrees Inc., a start-up using P2P ideas as part of a way to more easily locate files on the Web. "It's a technology. But the companies that will become successful are those that solve a problem."














Search for and share all kinds of files using the Gnutella network.
Company: LimeWire
Version: v2.1.3
Date Added:
3.83 MB
Windows 95/98/NT/2000
Windows 95/98/NT/2000
LimeWire is a software tool that enables peer-to-peer file sharing on the Gnutella Network. Similar to the popular Napster service, it enables the sharing, searching, and downloading of MP3 music files. LimeWire also lets users share and search for all types of computer files, including movies, pictures, games, text documents, recipes, and more. Other features include the ability to push uploads and downloads, BearShare QHD compatibility, the ability to measure the speed of remote hosts and preview files while downloading, and a chat feature.

Version 2.0.4 featured the ability to send and receive metadata queries for more precise category-specific searching, including the ability to search by ID3 fields for MP3s, and other metadata for video, news, and text files.

Version 2.1 features better search results, slower results are no longer dropped, and more.

Editor's note: This download includes additional applications that are bundled within the software's installer file, some of which may be provided by parties other than the developer of this download. These applications may deliver advertisements, collect information, overlay content or graphics on the Web site you are viewing, or modify your system settings. As with all downloads, CNET recommends that you pay close attention to the options presented to you during the installation process. Known third-party applications bundled with this download include, Cydoor, and TopText. For more information, please read CNET's report on bundled software.
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Find, download, and share MP3s, image files, and more.
Version: v3.0
Date Added:
2.64 MB
Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP
Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP, 32MB RAM
iMesh is a search tool that lets you locate and download audio, images, documents, and video files from a growing community of seven million people. The files themselves are located on the computers of other iMesh users who have agreed to share their files, and can be transferred from one desktop to another without a server in between. Downloads are very fast and can be resumed later if a file's owner disconnects from iMesh. The patent-pending iMesh technology allows you to download files from up to seven users at the same time.

iMesh offers special features such as quick downloads, the option to restrict certain search results, a player that includes playlists, a history of uploads, skin support, and much more.

Version 3.0 has been completely redesigned with a new user interface, improved search capabilities, faster download speeds, and a new chat feature.

Editor's note: This download includes additional applications that are bundled within the software's installer file, some of which may be provided by parties other than the developer of this download. These applications may deliver advertisements, collect information, overlay content or graphics on the Web site you are viewing, or modify your system settings. As with all downloads, CNET recommends that you pay close attention to the options presented to you during the installation process. Known third-party applications bundled with this download include eZula, SaveNow, and For more information, please read CNET's report on bundled software.
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Peer-to-peer exchanges, court advertisers

By Stefanie Olsen and Gwendolyn Mariano
Staff Writers, CNET
August 2, 2001, 11:10 AM PT

Peer-to-peer networks are cozying up to marketers in a bid to profit from the millions of Internet users migrating to their hubs from Napster--but can they walk the tightrope between pulling in revenues and pushing consumers away?

Several recent partnerships highlight the move toward transforming free online communities into something like the Las Vegas strip. On Wednesday, ad sales network 24/7 Media touted the commercial potential of networks that have attracted millions of youthful consumers, signing a deal to sell advertising on

Other deals, however, have instead highlighted the potential for a backlash against companies that attempt to harness the free-wheeling anarchy of file-swapping communities, efforts that also risk legal attack from record labels.

In one of the most controversial moves to date, a company called eZula has been working with file-swapping developers such as Kazaa and iMesh on a software add-on that superimposes advertising links over text on Web pages, sparking some harsh complaints.

"It can be confusing and at worst misleading," said Vergil Bushnell, a researcher at the Washington, D.C.-based Consumer Project on Technology, who says Kazaa's eZula advertising add-on placed some links to a recent search he conducted on Google.

Kazaa is among several peer-to-peer companies using advertising software, or "adware," to attempt to walk the marketing tightrope. File-sharing networks Kazaa, BearShare and Audio Galaxy Satellite are bundling third-party software into their default installations to track consumer habits online and pipe in related advertising.

Kazaa, for example, bundles about five enhancement programs in its media desktop download, including eZula, OnFlow, WebEnhancer and Cydoor Technologies--a program to deliver targeted advertising.

Free Peers Chief Executive Vincent Falco, whose company is behind BearShare, said advertising is a legitimate way for companies such as his to make a living.

"In the end, someone has to pay for bandwidth and software development," he said. "We don't want to charge the users money, so we are constantly searching for creative and sustainable ways to keep delivering the free product."

Some analysts said such networks pose unique problems for marketers, which could detract from their success as advertising platforms. Advertising analysts, for example, say that consumers who are visiting file-sharing networks are focused on specific tasks, such as downloading songs, and generally are not receptive to a promotion if unrelated.

"If you're in the middle of swapping a heavy-metal MP3 and you put in a Barry Manilow ad, it's going to be ignored," said Jim Nail, an analyst at Forrester Research.

And even if file-swapping services solve the commercial problems with advertising, they may still run afoul of copyright laws that have been used by the record labels to effectively shut down Napster. As the labels prepare to launch paid music subscription services, they're unlikely to turn a blind eye to companies like BearShare.

From the frying pan into the fire?
In an attempt to work around the advertising aversion of file-swappers, some developers are trying the subtle approach. BearShare and others use what critics call "spyware"--behind-the-scenes software that helps determine the interests of consumers to better target ads.

Kazaa and iMesh also use software that consumers download when installing their file-sharing products. Called TopText, the add-on program allows the companies to sell advertisers contextual links to popular keywords such as "real estate" or "cars." The TopText program attaches itself to the consumers' Web browser and works on all Web pages.

Its golden-highlighted links, seen by Web surfers using Internet Explorer browsers 4.0 and higher, highlight more than 7,000 keywords sold through eZula's network, the maker of TopText. A Kazaa or iMesh subscriber searching Yahoo, for example, might see a yellow link on the word "travel," which if clicked on, would take him to if that were the advertiser.

Microsoft has developed a similar technology, called Smart Tags, which is included in Office XP. However, the company decided to exclude Smart Tags from its newest operating system Windows XP because of concern that the tags give Microsoft greater control over consumers' Internet use.

Unlike Microsoft's technology, which is bundled in its browser technology, the TopText program is a plug-in application. It runs from the consumer's computer and does not manipulate another company's Web site from the server side. The links merely appear on top of the site's design, much like other linking programs such as NBCi's QuickClicks.

TopText software has prompted heated discussion on online bulletin boards and drawn criticism from people who say that it could violate intellectual property rights of company Web pages, among other things.

Bill Silverstein, a software developer from Boston, compared the program to "getting the San Francisco Chronicle and covering up the pages with your own advertising."

"I suspect there will be lawsuits over that because it's modified material. And part of the problem is that people won't realize it's advertising," he said.

Other critics of TopText say that the program is installed nefariously, neglecting to give consumers notice of what the program does or how it's used. Because consumers don't often comb through license agreements when installing software, they can easily miss notices. They also say that it can cause Web surfers a great deal of confusion if they aren't aware that it's installed.

"Kazaa makes no effort to explain what this pre-selected optional add-on (or piggyback) software does when you install it. So when people see the yellow highlighting in their Web browser, it is easy for them to assume that the site author intended it," said John Fitzpatrick, a college student from Las Vegas.

"Many people...will not realize that the optional add-ons have nothing to do with the Kazaa service and will install them simply because they want to make the most of Kazaa. It's deceptive to make it an opt-out option like this."

Consumer Project on Technology's Bushnell said that he did a search for "small business" on Google, and the top link was for the U.S. Small Business Administration. Other links on the page, however, took him to, a credit card supplier to small businesses. He also said the installation of Kazaa didn't explain if TopText was essential to the software or give a prominent choice to opt out of the program.

Kazaa's parent company Fastrack, based in the Netherlands, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Henit Vitos, a co-founder of 2-year-old eZula, said that consumers are able to opt out of receiving the software during the installation process of Kazaa and iMesh, another file-sharing partner.

"We don't want users who don't want our product. It's the same way you're going to buy an apartment or anything else. The assumption is the person needs to read the contract."

Advertising road warriors
For marketers, such contextual advertising is the final destination because it's like a road sign in the middle of the street.

"It's relevant and cost-effective for us," said Dan Martin, vice president of business development for HomeGain, which has bought keyword terms such as "home buying" through eZula.

The deals are based on a cost per click, meaning that the advertiser pays only when a consumer clicks on the link. Vitos said that the cost for a click ranges between 30 cents and $1.

Peer-to-peer networks' share in this profit is anywhere from 20 percent to 50 percent, Vitos said, adding that the company is signing deals with companies every week. This is due largely to the fact that advertisers are happy with the software and are seeing a quarter of consumers who return to related Web pages click on an ad link, she said.

"We all know that advertising today is limping. But we also know that it is effective when it's viewed as information and based on the context."

Despite such positive results, peer-to-peer networks such as Kazaa and MusicCity may have an upward battle to attract advertisers during a time when marketers are slashing budgets and competition is heating up.

Digital marketing company Avenue A, which boasts clients such as Lanc�me, Eddie Bauer and AT&T Wireless, said it buys space on 24/7 Media's network, but does not plan to allot funds for file-sharing networks because of legal issues that could arise.

"We have a policy that there are sites we will not advertise on--hate sites, pornographic sites, (or) any sites that deal with anything illegal and blatantly illegal. In the case of peer-to-peer networks, we may defer to our clients' judgments (but) our clients are big companies. They're very conservative," said Teri Franklin, spokeswoman for Seattle-based Avenue A.

DoubleClick, the Internet's largest online sales network, does not represent any file-sharing networks.

Still, 24/7 Media sees the addition of MusicCity as a boon to its service. 24/7 Media's advertising clients will be able to advertise on MusicCity's Web site as well as through MusicCity's software. 24/7 Media said it can filter ads through MusicCity's Morpheus application so that when people are listening to a song, they'll also see a banner ad or other ad format appear on their computers.

"We believe that MusicCity in a lot of ways represents a very competitive demographic. And with their technology and the peer-to-peer concepts that are happening in the industry today, we believe that they're cutting-edge, and we definitely want to be a part of the future," said Kerim Kfuri, business development manager for 24/7 Media.



Spyware" piggybacks on Napster rivals
By John Borland
Staff Writer, CNET
May 14, 2001, 12:45 PM PT

As online file traders stream to Napster alternatives, many find their computers saddled with unwanted piggyback software that tracks their online movements and feeds them unwanted advertising.

In efforts to locate revenues from their free services, companies that create popular programs, including BearShare, Audiogalaxy Satellite and iMesh, are adding outside pieces of software that have nothing to do with file trading.

Dubbed "adware," or "spyware" by their critics, these software programs run in the background even when the original file-swapping software isn't operating, popping up advertisements while people surf online, and sometimes quietly uploading information about a Web surfer's habits.

The programs have sparked a swell of protest from some people computer-savvy enough to figure out what software is running on their machines and what it is doing. But the companies defend themselves, saying there are worse alternatives and they need some revenue sources if they are to continue to offer their products for free.

"One of the issues around free software is the need to make money somehow," said Vinnie Falco, chief technical officer of FreePeers, the company that created the BearShare Gnutella software. "It's a great compromise between protecting user privacy and the ability to support free software."

File-swapping companies aren't alone in a scramble for revenues that is threatening to alienate some people online. The drive for personal information that might be valuable for advertising purposes has prompted several companies to offer software that collects this data and sometimes sends it back to the parent company. Although most of the companies doing this are relatively small, even larger companies such as RealNetworks have occasionally tried to keep surreptitious tabs on computer users' actions.

"This is all over," said Richard Smith, chief technical officer for the Privacy Foundation. "Anytime you're downloading a piece of software, you're basically trusting the company not to do anything too bad."

As file-swapping service Napster continues to decline, people are streaming to the alternative programs in record numbers, focusing a spotlight on this type of software. According to statistics kept by CNET, a software download site maintained by publisher CNET Networks, more than 6.8 million people have downloaded Audiogalaxy's software and more than 3 million have tried FreePeers' BearShare.

This represents a huge, potentially captive audience for advertisers who can somehow take advantage of these numbers. And a few are trying.

Did I order this?
The advertising software typically comes bundled with a single installation program, so there is initially no way to tell what will be installed on a person's computer.

Some of the services do flag the extra software, either in the license agreement that people are theoretically supposed to read, in a separate "readme" text file, or as part of the installation process. It's rarely entirely clear what the software does, however.

One of the most pervasive pieces of piggyback software is dubbed "SaveNow," created by a company called Distributed along with BearShare, iMesh and the Global DivX player that allows people to watch many online movies, it tracks where a person goes online and then pops up separate browser windows with targeted advertisements or special offers.

Unlike some "spyware" software, this one doesn't send information back to the company that created it. But it continuously downloads updated information about new offers and keeps a record of where a person surfs on that person's own computer. It runs continually--even when the program it came with is not operating.

Another similar program is distributed with Audiogalaxy. Created by a company called Gator, the "Offer Companion" is slowly downloaded to a person's computer after Audiogalaxy is installed and eventually starts sending information such as e-mail addresses and Web surfing habits back to It also pops up advertisements as people surf.

This is an optional feature with Audiogalaxy. People who don't want it must pay close attention when first installing the service, or the ad software will be downloaded automatically.

The advertising software has prompted some discussion on bulletin boards online and drawn criticism from people who say the extra programs are privacy violations and can hurt computer performance.

"SaveNow is buggy and tends to screw up your network connection," Manish Vij, a BearShare user and founder of Web design firm NetStudio, wrote in an e-mail to "Every time I launch a browser, SaveNow keeps trying to run and makes my network connection flaky."

People can check what kinds of software might be running in the background without their knowledge by checking the Windows Task Manager, which is started by pushing the Alt, Tab and Ctrl keys all together in Windows 95 or 98. In Windows 2000 or NT, computer users must then click the "Task Manager" button to reach the right screen. More information on other piggyback programs can be found several places online, including

Privacy experts caution that people should be aware of what they are downloading and where it is from, particularly if it is a piece of software. They say companies need to do a better job of warning their customers what will be installed on their computers.

"I think this really breeds mistrust across the industry," the Privacy Foundation's Smith said. "I think companies need to be more forthcoming."



Stephen Howard-Sarin,
Editor, ZDNet
Wednesday, March 6, 2002

It was the storm of the century, as far as downloads are concerned. MusicCity's Morpheus, the leading file-swapping network, was knocked offline last week. Those of you who tried to connect received a message telling you to upgrade to a new version of the software.

But there was no new version available! Millions rushed to the download sites, including ZDNet Downloads, to find the latest release. You downloaded (or re-downloaded) the most up-to-date Morpheus, only to find that it produced the same you-must-upgrade message. It was a vicious cycle that brought some big download sites to their knees.

SO STREAMCAST, the company that runs the Morpheus network, rushed out a preview edition of the next release, which allowed the free-for-all music swapping to continue. But then the Kazaa trouble began. StreamCast accused Kazaa BV, its former partner, of carrying out a sneak attack on Morpheus. Meanwhile, Kazaa Media Desktop, a competing file-swapping service that's not affiliated with Kazaa BV, soaked up Morpheus users as fast as it could.

Was the outage caused by an attack? Who knows. But the shutdown of Morpheus and the less-than-thrilling preview edition pushed many of you to look for alternatives. The Tech Index this week was utterly overwhelmed by people searching for a new way to swap music.



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