Huberman does have something to offer consumers: a scheme to hide their intentions from unscrupulous retailers. Their talk is scattered with phrases like "first-mover advantage" and "groundbreaking business model". The three were not necessarily mutually exclusive. Others, like Ashe, report mainstream companies approaching them for advice or traffic deals, but backing out because of lurking puritanism that pervades even this most progressive of industries. From the early days of photography to the latest innovations in real-time, one- to-one video conferencing, most followers of internet development will agree that sex played a huge role in the advance of new communication technology. Bernardo Huberman, a web traffic researcher at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Centre, presented his latest results to delegates at a highway traffic conference in Stuttgart this week. Even so, there is a difference between having an idea and putting it out there and making it pay.
The porn pioneers
One of the most profitable companies -Internet Entertainment Group, purveyors of Clublove.
Technical challenges like video streaming and keeping a server live in a tide of traffic weren't the only innovations early adult webmasters had. The internet offers a rich new research environment for traffic flow studies - hence the invitation to speak. Today's thriving online pornography industry has its roots in the bulletin board systems BBS that evolved separately from the internet in the s. When a lot of people access information about a particular digital camera, for example, the retailer takes note, infers a high demand and jacks up the price.