- Gene Kan
Gene Kan (
September 6, 1976— June 29, 2002) was a British-born Chinese American peer-to-peer file-sharing programmerwho was among the first programmers to produce an open-sourceversion of the file-sharing application that implemented the Gnutella protocol. Kan worked together with Spencer Kimballon the program called "gnubile" licensed under the GNU General Public License. Kan graduated from the University of California, Berkeleyin 1997 with a major in electrical engineeringand computer science.
In June 2000, he formed a
distributed search engineknown as InfraSearch.com. Netscapeco-founder Marc Andreessenwas an investor in the start-up. InfraSearch was purchased by Sun Microsystemson March 6, 2001for $12.5M USD in Sun stock options. The acquisition became part of the JXTAproject 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 CommitteeHearing on " Intellectual Propertyin 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.] ] Metallicadrummer 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, Berkeleyserver to read "Summary: Sad example of a human being. Specializing in failure.". An independent documentary filmwas planned for Gene Kan after he died, but it never started shooting.
* [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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