Press Releases

NetAlive Launches "Win-Win" Internet Software

MONTEREY, CA. -- March 4, 1997 -- NetAlive Inc. introduced at the American Electronics Association Winter Financial Conference today an Internet software program that is "win-win" for both publishers and users. With NetAlive, the computer acts as a referee so both commercial interests and users can have their needs met fairly. The goal is to increase overall usage of the Internet by making it more satisfying to all parties.

NetAlive's initial "Webcasting + Infoglut Control" function gives publishers the ability to "push" information to users with highly-targeted ads. However, NetAlive balances these features with user-empowering ones that filter-out unwanted information (Infoglut) and maintain the user's privacy. This makes NetAlive more like an interest-specific magazine than bulk mail.

NetAlive's technology lets each party post software "agents" or subroutines on the Internet to act as their representatives in electronic negotiations for information. When NetAlive runs, subroutines from commercial interests "haggle" with those of users to deliver a result that meets the needs of all parties.

NetAlive accommodates the widely divergent views people hold on the purpose of the Internet. NetAlive's user-features provide "democratic" empowerment of the user over the Internet, permitting the user to explore freely. However, NetAlive also has publisher-features that assure the publisher can make the money to pay for the content. NetAlive balances these features through computerized negotiation at "an arm's length" according to "rules of interaction" agreed-to by all parties. Over time NetAlive may lead to modes of using the Internet that duplicate the full variety found in human business, commerce, and communications.

The Web's explosive growth temporarily outstripped the technology underlying it. While early Web products were software, the Web is fast becoming important as a communications medium. As one would expect, early Web software benefited its purchaser without concern for others. This is why Web server software meets the needs of the server's owner but creates complaints about wasted time (Infoglut) and invasion of privacy amongst users. However, a communications product like NetAlive is sold to all parties to maximize the likelihood of a successful interaction. Since success is most likely if both parties win, NetAlive's loyalty is to the fairness of the communications, not to a specific party. NetAlive lets each party be responsible for themselves through its proprietary "negotiating agent" technology.

NetAlive addresses the rapidly-growing Infoglut problem. The Internet is becoming filled with "electronic junk mail" representing commercial messages blindly targeted at people who have little interest in them. One thing NetAlive does for users is filter out Infoglut while passing new information that matches the user's interests.

NetAlive provides a unique solution to "ad targeting." NetAlive users provide a private profile of their likes and dislikes. Software agents acting for publishers can access this profile for the purpose of targeting ads. However, NetAlive's "rules of interaction" prevent publishers from downloading the profile so they can be used for other purposes. Through these rules, NetAlive makes ads into information sought by the user - more like the ads in magazines than bulk mail.

NetAlive's initial "Webcasting + Infoglut Control" product surfs multiple servers simultaneously and rates "concepts" found by their newness and match to the user's stated interests. Using a "screen saver" display, it presents users with the most interesting text, pictures, and animation orchestrated for both eye appeal and utility. NetAlive also has a Graphical User Interface (GUI) that shows the user new developments on the Internet in real time and permits "research" if desired.

NetAlive carries its "win-win" features to graphics and animation as well. NetAlive can process both individual images and animation sequences present on Web sites on the basis of novelty and interest. Graphics and animation selected for display appear with the full multimedia capabilities of the underlying computer.

The NetAlive system is much faster than browsing. From a standing start, NetAlive produces results after only about 15 seconds even when connected via a modem. Thereafter, NetAlive runs autonomously, monitoring the Internet and alerting the user when necessary.

NetAlive lets any user create "electronic magazines," or smart Web pages that surf the Web and edit an electronic magazine in real time and according to their interests. If the user has access to a Web site the user can become the publisher of such a magazine just by storing the NetAlive setup on a Web page. Managers with ready access to personal Web servers can use NetAlive to organize information for their employees.

However, to many users NetAlive represents a new type of information utility ñ like a email program on steroids. When the user sets up NetAlive, they tell it what to do and when. Subsequently, NetAlive acts on their behalf, surfing, filtering, organizing, and entertaining.

NetAlive is based on a core technology that includes a design tool and development system. A patent on the core NetAlive technology will issue around May 1997 and applications are pending in 8 foreign countries.

A pre-release of the NetAlive for Windows 95 is available online at the NetAlive Web site (

NetAlive, headquartered in Redwood City, CA, was founded in 1991 by DeBenedictis and Stephen C. Johnson, both credentialed technical founders. DeBenedictis created the first "hypercube parallel computer" as a graduate student that defined the architecture of many modern supercomputers. Johnson developed the "portable C compiler" at Bell Labs which contributed to the ubiquity of the C language.

"NetAlive is a solid product ready to meet this timely opportunity," DeBenedictis said. "With NetAlive's five-year development, it offers a greater degree of internal consistency compared to an opportunistic development."

The company is located at 3000 Sand Hill Road, Building 4, Suite 170
Menlo Park, CA 94025.

Contact Information

For business issues: For technical issues:
Stephen B. Herrick, CEO
(415) 854-4400
(415) 854-4402 (FAX)
Erik P. DeBenedictis, CTO
(415) 591-1442