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ZDNN: Peacemakers take on MS-AOL

Aug 03, 1999, 22:09 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Patrick Houston)

"...two technologists... Vijay Saraswat and Dave Marvit... have found themselves embarked on their own kind of diplomatic mission as co-chairs of a working group commissioned by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The group's charter: To find the 'rough consensus' toward a protocol that would allow one instant messaging service to operate with any other, and as ecumenically as different e-mail services do today.

Even before AOL and Microsoft's cat-and-mouse erupted into the banner headlines, Saraswat and Marvit knew they had a tiger by the tail. The reason, they will tell you, is that instant messaging technology isn't just about chat -- even though that much has already turned it into a proverbial 'killer app.' ...real-time chat and 'buddy lists' represents only a rudimentary implementation of the basic technology. ... 'Once the infrastructure is in place you can do a lot of stuff beyond instant messaging.' "

"...Saraswat, a computer science Ph.D. who worked at Silicon Valley's famed Xerox PARC research center for nine years before joining AT&T, foresees the day when a real-time digital communications technology will allow people to share their 'context' with other. ... 'I click and send you an instant message from my TV. When you click on TV, you not only get my message but the show I'm watching as well.' ... 'My grandmother could publish her heartbeat,' Marvit says, allowing a health care facility to monitor it -- and react to any anomalies by either calling her into the doctors office or automatically dispatching an ambulance if something more serious was indicated."

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