Andy Warhol would have felt thoroughly at home with the Internet where the technology currently enjoying its 15 minutes of fame is so-called push technology, in other words software that enables a Web site to update client computers automatically on a narrowcasting basis according to parameters previously decided by the user. It is the basis of the widely-admired PointCast Inc news distribution system, and is at the core of what startup Marimba Inc wants to do, although in Marimba’s case, it is software rather than information that the company wants to update on a daily basis (in an era when no software product moves out of the beta test stage, it’s as well to have a means to ensure that everybody is at least using the latest beta release). But now comes Novadigm Inc, Mahwah, New Jersey, to put a potential spanner in the works. The company has just popped up to say that it has been granted a US patent for its proprietary processes used in automating the management of content and software across distributed networks. The patent covers its so-called hybrid push-pull model, which automatically adjusts content delivered based on changing user configuration needs, as well as its differencing processes for highly efficient content update – this describes the processes needed to generate unique reference information for each target end user and to ‘difference’ the model with the actual-state of the target, automatically yielding very specific updates to distributed content. Key elements of the technology protected by the patent are already employed by users of Novadigm’s Enterprise Desktop Manager software, Novadigm says, adding that the technology will also be incorporated into Internet-specific management products to be launched this quarter. It also plans to expand its licensing program to include the patented processes and technologies, which suggests it will be going after the leaders in push software for the Internet.