Bits & Bytes
PUMP UP THE JAMS--ON THE WEB
THESE DAYS, HAVING A PLAIN old Web site is not enough. Companies are now creating TV- and radio-like "networks" on the Internet a la JamTV Music Network. Run by Digital Interactive Networks and scheduled for a March launch, JamTV aims to be a music megasite. It will include information on some 1,500 alternative-rock recording artists, along with music reviews, video and audio clips--even a store where you can purchase concert memorabilia.
The Web site, www.jamtv.com, plans to broadcast more than 1,500 live concerts this year put on by JamTV partner and concert promoter Jam Productions. One novel feature is the JamCam, which lets viewers position a virtual camera with their mouse to zoom in on, say, Silverchair's drummer Ben Gillies during a live performance. Because video on the Net is still primitive, JamTV plans to distribute CD-ROMs containing video clips of concerts, interviews, and music videos that will supplement the JamTV Web site. The CDs, which will be given away at concerts, will also include software, such as Macromedia Inc.'s Shockwave, for viewing multimedia clips. JamTV also has signed up 350 affiliate radio stations that will link their Web sites to the JamTV site. The radio stations will also promote JamTV's live events on the air. So don't fret if all the U2 tickets get snapped up this spring; you might catch them on the Net instead.EDITED BY AMY CORTESEReturn to top
A WINNING COMBO FOR ONLINE ADVERTISERS?
YOYODYNE ENTERTAINMENT Inc. is marrying Web ads to games in a scheme that promises big rewards for both the players and Web- site advertisers.
The Irvington (N.Y.) company has created a small Java-based software applet called Game Ticker that Web-site operators can install on their server and offer to visiting cybernauts. When a Web surfer clicks on an icon, Game Ticker opens a small window on the surfer's desktop that contains a Java game. It might be a set of slot machine-like spinning reels, along with a sponsor's name or small ad--say, a bouncing corporate logo that says, "Drink XYZ cola." When three items match, the winning entry is registered back at the Web site. Players can leave Game Ticker running while they surf to other sites. That increases their chances of getting more eligible winning entries--and keeps ads in front of their eyes. Web sites such as Geocities and WebCrawler are looking at Game Ticker, but there are no advertisers signed up yet.By Paul M. Eng EDITED BY AMY CORTESEReturn to top
`THIN SERVERS' WITH BIG CONNECTIONS
THE COMPUTER INDUSTRY has been buzzing for the past two years about "thin clients"--stripped-down, inexpensive desktop computers that forgo much of the memory and storage typical in personal computers and rely instead on resources in a central "server" computer. Now, the server is going on a diet, too.
A new wave of proposed devices, called "thin servers," could perform many of the same jobs as full-fledged machines using simpler and less-expensive designs. For example, NetEngine from Mylex Corp. in Fremont, Calif., is a "server-on-a-card." Due out this summer, the card can be built directly into printers, hard drives, or other peripherals to give them the brains of the bigger machines. At the same time, Axis Communications of Lund, Sweden, is promoting its ThinServer technology that lets digital cameras, printers, and CD-ROMs attach directly to a network--bypassing expensive PC servers. The company's $999 NetEye camera, for instance, includes a network connector and software needed to communicate with PCs, Macs, and other devices on the network. Slim-server, anyone?By Andy Reinhardt EDITED BY AMY CORTESEReturn to top