Saturday, February 24, 2007

What would Einstein bookmark?

If the internet was around in Einstein's time, you could probably learn a lot from his web-surfing habits and what he thought was interesting and cool.

That's the premise of this blog piece titled (cleverly enough):
How To Use To Take Over The World

Even if you already or previously have used before, read this guys little "how-to" on setting up an account. It's a very interesting and instructive use of this great social-bookmarking tool, that I, for one, don't utilize enough. The aforementioned blog has inspired me to use it more.

You can digg this story here too, if you're into that sort of bookmarking ;-)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Strange Intersection of Surveillance & DRM Technology

There was fascinating article in the NY Times about video/content recognition software - a utility typically used for video surveillance systems.

This article showcased an interesting twist on its use...Cracking Down on, and preventing Online Video Piracy (DRM) !

Essentially, this California company demonstrated its software running while viewing YouTube. One clip of an illegal movie upload, even while distorted, in black-and-white, and overdubbed from a video pirate, was immediately and correctly identified - by its exact scene.

Hearkening back to the Sony Root-Kit debacle, I shudder to think what a big media company wouldn't give to be able to distribute a root-level application to users that "watches and listens" to content to make sure it's been validated. If Vista checks up on your drivers a gazillion times a minute, it's certainly not too much to imagine it checking up on your media too.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Google + Your Cable Company = advanced services for your TV

Whether or not the 'Net can currently withstand multi-cast IPTV delivery (and Google has changed it's tune and says that it CAN, despite what we heard earlier), the thought of the marriage of Google's indexing & targeted advertising with Cable/Satellite Television could be revolutionary not for TV over the Internet, but for TV over the TV Set

It could also be to the detriment of the Internet by not supporting IPTV though! IPTV is more "net-neutral" than CATV because the cable franchises differentiate between & charge seperately for the video and data services they deliver over the same pipe. In our idealized, digital world, isn't it all the same? What if in 3-5 years (or sooner), it's not necessary to pay twice?

I know that with the depth of engineering talent in the telecosm, on Google's engineering bench, with it's world class cloud-network, and technological innovation, amazing things are possible. Before you say, "the internet wasn't designed for multi-cast TV" Remember, it wasn't designed for Streaming, VoIP, or Music downloading either. A lot of people lost a lot of money because there once was a bandwidth "glut"

Google may someday soon seek to index & monetize CATV, but the Cable companies can meter for these new advanced services as much as telecoms can for theirs. The $ is the real fear from the "Telecom Hegemony" by the Net Neutrality lobby on behalf of the end user, isn't it? They are looking out for "our" best interests, aren't they?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Google throws a Hail Mary pass to the Cable companies!

As reported in Reuters, Vincent Dureau, Google's head of TV technology, spoke at the Cable Europe Congress. Some net-neutrality die-hards will undoubtedly feel betrayed by this Machiavellian business move, but it's smart business politics for Google.

According to Google's Dureau:
"The Web infrastructure, and even Google's (infrastructure) doesn't scale. It's not going to offer the quality of service that consumers expect,"

You read that right -- A Google Exec telling the world their infrastructure can't "scale" to the bandwidth needs of "TV over the Internet" (!)The Reuters story goes on:

Google instead offered to work together with cable operators to combine its technology for searching for video and TV footage and its tailored advertising with the cable networks' high-quality delivery of shows...One cable chief executive, Duco Sickinghe from Belgian operator Telenet, said it was "the best news of the day" to hear that Google could not scale for video.

Google is bluffing, folks. They have more fiber rights than some telcos. They don't want to become a telco and there's a big difference between net neutrality in principle and in application. Network operators should be able to tweak their networks for optimum delivery and QoS (Quality of Service) (without screwing the customer for it preferably)

It's puzzling that Google is speaking for themselves and Joost...According to the CTO of Joost, its delivery system is designed to accommodate relatively lower bandwidth & bit streams. In fact he's pretty bold about the advantages of Joost's delivery mechanism vs. YouTube and Google's:

He's very clear about the economic folly of using big servers to mainline video to millions of desktops. "You can try to cut costs by allowing only crappy little images. You can limit the run times or make money selling hardware. But eventually the bandwidth bills will eat you alive. YouTube, iTunes, and the rest of them haven't got a chance. We just hope they take their time realizing it."

It's ironic that Google throwing themselves under the bus, actively seeking the partnership of the Cable Companies as an internet "white knight." Could it be more of a desperate attempt to build an alliance with them? (preemptively against Joost) It has the added benefit giving them better leverage against the traditional network operators too.(e.g. AT&T, Verizon, BT, etc)

Business is Business...but, Don't be E***, Google


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Snap your Screen Shots Now

Well, Kevin said it, and it will be done...The "Top User" list at will be no more as of tomorrow! Capture your screen shots and caches now!

Digg Top Users

oh well, I made it to #216. Part of the fun & motivation for submitting stories over time was that as you got the occasional homepage story, your rank would move up a little.

It's a popularity contest of news, but what incentive will digg give its community of volunteer users who provide that news/content?? What's the new social currency or editorial standard, by which to judge a link/FA, etc?