The Irish browser story:
From Karlin Lillington’s Blog: Ok folks, here’s the scoop. I am just back from talking to one of MIT Media Lab Europe’s researchers, who both checked out the browser and talked to Adnan. He says the browser is ‘absolutely extraordinary’. He says that what Adnan has done is re-engineer the efficiency of how a browser operates, which allows it to run up to six times faster (but usually not that much faster — two to four times faster is more common). So it’s not managing bandwidth but managing the way the browser itself handles and presents information. The researcher (whom I know and will vouch for) says that instead of simply tinkering with existing code he went down to the socket layer and reworked it at the protocol level (now, many of you guys will know the significance of this better than me, I’m just reporting the conversation). He added that it is incredibly clever work and stunning that a 16 year old has done this (I am not scrimping on the superlatives because that is what was said). (NB: A conversation in a group ensued that this work perhaps suggests that because the browser market is a virtual monopoly, there’s been little incentive to improve efficiency in this way — indeed, it might be beneficial to product development to just eke out a leeeetle more efficiency now and then and advertise it as continuing innovation… but I leave that to further discussion among the well-informed).
And Adnan has indeed worked in all the existing media players AND a DVD player so you can watch a DVD while surfing. And incorporated in a voice agent that will speak web pages, for young children or for the sight-impaired. The improved efficiency angle got the notice of the few media reports done on this so far, but it’s really not what Adnan himself was emphasising — it’s the whole package, said the MIT guy.
Not surprisingly Adnan now has more than one university interested in him. And he has apparently told the numerous companies who saw the browser in action and who wanted to commercialise it that, at least for now, he has no interest in commercialising it.
I will note that the MIT researcher had a big grin on his face and it was clear he found the whole project a pleasure to talk about. He also said he’d heard about the browser before he arrived at the Young Scientist exhibition and made a beeline to see it. Adnan apparently didn’t really think it would necessarily win an award –the researcher told me it was clear that it HAD to win. So there you go. I’m sure we’ll hear a lot more about all this soon.
And yes, he has copyrighted it.