Gene Kan


Gene Kan

Gene Kan (September 6, 1976June 29, 2002) was a British-born Chinese American peer-to-peer file-sharing programmer who was among the first programmers to produce an open-source version of the file-sharing application that implemented the Gnutella protocol. Kan worked together with Spencer Kimball on the program called "gnubile" licensed under the GNU General Public License. Kan graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1997 with a major in electrical engineering and computer science.

In June 2000, he formed a distributed search engine known as InfraSearch.com. Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen was an investor in the start-up. InfraSearch was purchased by Sun Microsystems on March 6, 2001 for $12.5M USD in Sun stock options. The acquisition became part of the JXTA project at Sun. Kan joined Sun as an employee, and continued to work with the technology.

Kan was relatively well known in internet circles for a testimony he gave in July 2000 at the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on "Intellectual Property in the Digital Age". [ [http://judiciary.senate.gov/oldsite/7112000_gk.htm Senate Judiciary Committee, Statement of Gene Kan, Gnutella developer, Founder InfraSearch, Inc., 9 July 2000.] ] Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, Sony CEO Fred Ehrlich, and others also gave testimony at the hearing.

Kan had long been suffering from depression and was taking Prozac, and on June 29, 2002, he committed suicide. The cause of death was a single gun shot wound to the head. Kan was 25 years old. Prior to taking his life, Kan updated an electronic copy of his resume hosted on a University of California, Berkeley server to read "Summary: Sad example of a human being. Specializing in failure.". An independent documentary film was planned for Gene Kan after he died, but it never started shooting.

References

External links

* [http://wired-vig.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,53704,00.html Wired News: Quiet, Sad Death of Net Pioneer]
* [http://www.time.com/time/digital/reports/digital12/04.html Time.com: The digital dozen]
* [http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/3729883.htm MercuryNews.com:Life of highs and lows ends in suicide for Net visionary]
* [http://news.com.com/2100-1023-942180.html cNet News.com:Gnutella pioneer Gene Kan dies]
* [http://uk.dir.yahoo.com/Computers_and_Internet/Internet/People/Kan__Gene__1977_2002_/ Yahoo links]


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