Peer-to-peer conference rescheduled

Despite being disrupted by last week's terrorist attacks in the US, a conference examining P2P technologies is back on, but for a later date

A major conference into peer-to-peer technology will take place later this year, having been postponed because of last week's terrorist attacks in America.

The O'Reilly Peer-to-Peer and Web Services Conference will now take place in Washington D.C between 5 and 8 November 2001. It had been scheduled to take place between 18 and 21 September, but was cancelled after the attacks on World Trade Centre and Pentagon.

The conference will discuss topics such as instant messaging, distributed file sharing, and distributed computing. "The conference explores the business, technical and social issues raised by the most revolutionary Internet technologies since the appearance of the Web," said O'Reilly.

P2P file sharing is one of the hottest areas of technology since the success of services such as Napster and Gnutella. Distributed computing -- where many PCs work together on a project -- has massive potential. The National Foundation for Cancer Research recently teamed up with United Devices, Oxford University and Intel to create a project that uses idle PCs to search for effective anti-cancer drugs.

Speakers at the conference will include Ian Clarke, architect and coordinator of The Freenet Project, Congressman Rick Boucher and Ray Ozzie -- founder and chief executive of Groove Networks and creator of Lotus Notes.

Those who registered for the original conference should have been able to cancel any hotel reservations without penalty. According to O'Reilly, anyone who bought a non-refundable airfare should be able to use it as future travel credit on that airline for one year from the date of purchase. Some airlines are thought to be either waiving these fees or refunding non-refundable tickets altogether.

Other conferences such as Apple's Expo 2001 and the VIA Technology Forum, were cancelled in the light of the terrorist attacks -- both out of respect for those killed or injured and because of security fears.

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