A company called Webaroo are selling copies of the Internet on a hard drive according to Networkworld– why? Well, they say, it will be handy for people who don’t have access to an Internet connection.
As Webaroo president Brad Husick explains:
â€œLet’s say the HTML Web is 10 billion pages — it’s actually a little less than that — but at 10K per page that’s 1 million gigabytes, also known as a petabyte. It’s going to be a long time before notebooks have million-gigabyte hard drives. So how do you get a million gigabytes down to what you need?â€?
Webaroo does it, he says, through “a server farm that is of Web scale” and a set of proprietary search algorithms that whittle the million gigabytes down to more manageable chunks that will fit on a hard drive: up to 256 megabytes for a growing menu of “Web packs” on specific topics — your favorite Web sites, city guides, news summaries, Wikipedia and the like — that make up the service’s initial offerings; and something in the neighborhood of 40 gigabytes for the full-Web version the company intends to release later this year.
Ok – so you are telling me that Webaroo are going to make a copy of this site (amongst others) and sell it to their customers? Not without my permission, they won’t and I can see lots of other website owners having similar objections. If this does become a significant issue for Webaroo, it could prove costly (to pay website owners to re-sell their information) or they could end up with an extremely cut-down Internet which will effect its usefulness.
If Webaroo somehow manage to overcome that issue, how will they overcome the immediacy issue? Most of the sites I browse, I do to get up-to-the minute information – by definition, Webaroo will be unable to offer this facility.
Then there’s the issue of the growth of the Internet – I haven’t seen recent figures but with the rampant growth in the ‘Live Web’ (the blogosphere is doubling in size every 5.5 months) this is outpacing the rate of growth of hard disks. So ultimately, Webaroo will be selling smaller and smaller chunks of the Internet (as wi-fi and WiMax become more ubiquitous).
Good luck with this venture Mr. Husick – I have a feeling you are going to need it.
UPDATE: Tom informs me in the comments that this service won’t be sold – rather Webaroo will be giving it away. I would still have an issue with a company which intended to copy my site and make money from ad revenue generated by my content.