April 28, 2008
Volume XXI, Issue 11
P2P MEDIA SUMMIT LA Coming May 5th
Don't miss your chance to learn firsthand about the dynamic and transformative relationships now being forged among Internet service providers (ISPs) and peer-to-peer (P2P) companies, as well as promising new initiatives on the horizon with content owners.
Morning keynotes at Monday's day-long P2P MEDIA SUMMIT LA include industry leading broadband network operators and major P2P developers and distributors, such as AT&T's KK Ramakrishnan, BitTorrent's Eric Klinker, Comcast's Rich Woundy, Kontiki's Eric Armstrong, and Vuze's Gilles BianRosa.
Our conference luncheon speaker will be the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) Bob Pisano, and the afternoon sessions will be focused on the equally kinetic environment involving Hollywood and P2P interests.
Afternoon keynotes include Pando Networks' Robert Levitan, HIRO Media's Ronny Golan, TVU Networks' Dan Lofgren, LimeWire's George Searle, Unlimited Media's Memo Rhein, KlikVU's Lowell Feuer, and Motorola's John Waclawsky.
The conference will close with a very special session from Microsoft's See-Mong Tan, followed by a VIP networking cocktail reception.
Please click here to register now. Space is limited, and this event may sell-out.
Net Neutrality Concerns May Soon Fade Thanks to P2P
Excerpted from Info Tech & Telecom News Report by Christopher Petro
Concerns about network neutrality as a policy matter may fade as a new approach to dealing with peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic emerges, according to a group of academic researchers, software developers, and Internet service providers (ISPs).
The group recently completed an initial field test showing the approach may increase performance for users by as much as a factor of six while reducing costs for ISPs.
The results of the research were presented at the inaugural P2P MARKET CONFERENCE in New York City on March 14th by the P4P Working Group (P4PWG), which is sponsored by the Distributed Computing Industry Association (DCIA).
The P4PWG includes ISPs such as Verizon, AT&T, and Telefonica Group, plus major P2P software developers and service providers, including BitTorrent, Pando Networks, and Kontiki. Other members include infrastructure provider Cisco Systems and solutions providers such as GridNetworks.
"The intention of the P4PWG is to provide a win-win-win alternative to draconian network management techniques," said Marty Lafferty, CEO of the DCIA. "ISPs win by having P2P use fewer network resources. P2Ps win by having their content delivered more efficiently. Consumers win as a function of these two factors."
In addition, the approach may raise less concern over network neutrality than other proposals have caused. "If the server's just available for any application to use, using some sort of published interface, then it's clearly not a network neutrality issue," said Timothy Lee, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.
Lafferty said concerns about network neutrality are not driving the work of P4PWG. "The concentration is on working jointly and cooperatively with leading ISPs, P2P software companies, and technology researchers to ascertain appropriate and voluntary best practices."
According to Lee, network neutrality regulation might even discourage such work.
The successful field tests reported in March are not the first win for the P4PWG. AT&T spokesman Michael Balmoris said the company has been "working with researchers at Yale and Washington Universities, and the researchers saw the same promising results when they ran simulations modeled on AT&T's network."
According to Lafferty, "As one of its next steps, the P4P Working Group is exploring specific optimization to address shared last-mile carriers such as cable multiple system operators (MSOs). We believe that P4P will offer comparable, if not even more vital, benefits to cable ISPs."
MPAA & RIAA Seek to Improve Relations with ISPs
Excerpted from Content Agenda / Variety Report by William Triplett
The content industry's budding cooperative relationship with broadband service providers will continue to develop even after their current principal common interest ceases to exist, top execs said Thursday.
As part of an Institute for Policy Innovation panel addressing online piracy, leaders of Hollywood, the recording industry, and the wireless industry touted the beginnings of a long-term relationship built on a foundation of making the Internet a thriving market for licensed content and a dead-end for bootleggers.
"We're all in this together," said MPAA Chairman & CEO Dan Glickman. "We're moving toward a world where all our interests align," said RIAA Chairman & CEO Mitch Bainwol.
That alignment is the result of copyright infringement, the bane of the entertainment industry, which has also caused problems for Internet service providers (ISPs). Slowdowns and congestion in ISP pipes are due to heavy bandwidth use, much of which involves large files of unauthorized content.
But as compression technology improves and transfer speeds increase, congestion will eventually decrease - more than likely well before a solution to piracy is found. Would ISPs then still have an incentive to cooperate with content providers?
"The long-term relationship is much more complex and partner-based," Bainwol said, suggesting that congestion, while a serious issue for content generators and ISPs alike, is only one common interest.
Bainwol noted that ISPs "don't want to have dumb pipes" that move masses of traffic inefficiently. ISPs want to manage traffic better, he said, and one way will be to have "smart pipes" that will effectively know what content is moving through them. Smart pipes should therefore be able to spot and help stop unauthorized content.
Also on the panel was Steve Largent, prexy of the Wireless Assn., whose members are moving into broadband service. "We're very much interested in traffic of legitimate content," Largent said.
Cable giant Comcast and the makers of the BitTorrent P2P application recently announced an agreement to work together on improving traffic management. As part of the agreement, Comcast pledged to develop a traffic management system that would not single out particular applications.
During the panel discussion, Glickman described the agreement as "a positive first step. But where are the content providers?" Nothing in the agreement specifically addresses copyright-infringing content. Bainwol also said he would prefer that such language be included.
Report from CEO Marty Lafferty
We are very excited about the line-up for the third annual P2P MEDIA SUMMIT LA, DCIA's flagship event, coming next Monday May 5th to the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel.
I sincerely hope to see you there for what promises to be our most memorable conference to date.
Please click here to register now.
The morning begins with a special session dedicated to the P4P Working Group (P4PWG), which will explore the phenomenal efforts that this group now has underway.
Co-Chairs Doug Pasko of Verizon Communications and Laird Popkin of Pando Networks, along with P4P principal researcher Haiyong Xie of the Yale University Laboratory of Networked Systems (LANS) will discuss the strategically critical issues of network resources - reducing bandwidth usage and improving P2P throughput.
Questions that they will address include: what are the mission, objectives, history, and status of the P4PWG? What tests have been conducted to date and what have the results shown? What are the next steps for the P4PWG? How does the P4PWG plan to move from testing to standards setting and best practices? How can interested parties get involved?
The solutions development panel will investigate technology advancement - creating the commercial P2P ecosystem. Jeff Anker of Oversi, Caesar Collazo of iWatchNow, Michael King of Abacast, Jonathan Lee of ARTISTdirect, Eliot Listman of PeerApp, and Jeffrey Payne of GridNetworks will participate.
What architectural, content acceleration, caching, and other technological solutions are now in development that will optimize P2P deployment for the benefit of all participants in the distribution chain? How are content delivery networks (CDNs) exploiting P2P and what issues remain? Can P2P streaming technology help broadcasters and content providers overcome the limitations of live webcasting?
Keynoters Perry Wu of BitGravity and David Rice of Move Networks will complete our morning agenda with a look at advanced solutions for content delivery networks (CDNs).
Following the conference luncheon and early afternoon keynotes, our focus will turn to distribution strategies.
The MPAA's Fritz Attaway, Paramount Pictures' Derek Broes, TAG Strategic's Ted Cohen, MediaPass Network's Daniel Harris, Brand Asset Digital's Joey Patuleia, and RightsFlow Entertainment Group's Patrick Sullivan, will address this emerging channel from the perspective of artists and rights holders - harnessing P2P for content creators.
What has been the experience to date of professional and user-generated content (UGC) providers who have embraced P2P? What changes do they need to more effectively exploit file-sharing and related technologies? Which business models are showing the most promise? Are there innovative art forms or packaging approaches in development for the P2P distribution channel? How should P2P relate to other distribution channels?
Next, Manatt's Jeff Biederman and Patrick Sabatini will conduct a strategic session focused on the issues of rights negotiations with content providers for copyrighted works to be distributed in the P2P distribution channel.
This discussion will continue as the next panel addresses content licensing and protection. Chris Gillis of MediaDefender, Vance Ikezoye of Audible Magic, Mark Isherwood of Rightscom, Tom Patterson of DigitalContainers, Leslie Poole of Javien Digital Payment Solutions, and Reed Stager of the Digital Watermarking Alliance (DWA) will explore acquisition and accountability - affiliating with rights holders.
What are the business strategy and licensing issues that must be addressed in order to distribute copyrighted works using P2P? How can the industry ensure that the benefits of P4P and similar mechanisms are applied to authorized content distribution? What do participants at various levels of this channel need to do to gain support of rights holders? Which identification and filtering techniques (e.g., watermarking and/or fingerprinting) should be used to protect content and enhance the ecosystem?
And the last panel of the afternoon will focus on the bottom-line: P2P traffic monetization. Manatt's Bill Heberer, Ultramercial's Dana Jones, Jambo Media's Rob Manoff, Beat9.com's Jay Rifkin, Wingman Media's David Shor, and YuMe Networks' Rosanne Vathana will cover revenue generation - executing ad-supported and consumer-paid models.
What do sponsors and advertising agencies need from P2P and social networks in order to monetize the enormous traffic that they generate? How should these networks organize their inventory of advertising and sponsorship availabilities to maximize value? What is the relative worth of the different formats and relative interactivity that this channel can support? Beyond CPM and click-through payment regimes, what are other opportunities?
Again, we look forward very much to this opportunity to meet with you and together to learn from the people who are literally making history in the very fast-moving world of commercial development of P2P. You may register here. Share wisely, and take care.
Telefonica Reports International P4P Test Results
Telefonica International Wholesale Services, a leading global provider of international wholesale services, part of the Telefonica Group, this week released data from its initial field test of advanced peer-to-peer (P2P) protocols, known as P4P, on Telefonica's broadband network in Peru. The results show that the new P4P protocols increased network efficiency by shifting traffic from external to internal links and by routing the internal traffic shorter distances across the Telefonica network.
The amount of data delivered from internal versus external links increased by 268%. In addition, the data delivered across the internal Telefonica network was delivered across fewer network links, thus resulting in a reduced load on the network backbone. Specifically, with P4P protocols, the localized or "cross-metro" data delivery increased from 1% to 36%. The distance the data traveled, measured by metro hop count, decreased by 57% from 3.78 to 1.62.
Telefonica Wholesale is the first international broadband carrier to test P4P protocols in the field. The results on its network further confirm that P4P can provide significant network efficiencies for all Internet service providers (ISPs).
"We are very pleased with the positive indication of our initial P4P test results for global ISPs, with multi-domestic broadband operations, and unique requirements for optimizing internal and external traffic loading," said Emilio Sepulveda, Senior Manager, Strategy & Business Innovation, Telefonica International Wholesale Services. "We look forward to expanding our tests to involve larger operations in Europe and elsewhere as the next phase of Telefonica's participation in the P4P Working Group (P4PWG)," he added.
The technology used in the Telefonica P4P field test was based on research conducted by Haiyong Xie et al in the Laboratory of Networked Systems (LANS) at Yale University. The experimental software was initially developed by Haiyong Xie and later by LANS and Pando Networks, and tested using network data provided by Telefonica Wholesale. The protocols and specifications are being shared among other ISPs and P2P companies within the P4PWG, sponsored by the Distributed Computing Industry Association (DCIA).
The P4PWG is Co-Chaired by Laird Popkin, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Pando Networks, and Douglas Pasko, Verizon Communications Senior Technologist, and currently includes more than 60 participating companies including ISPs such as Telefonica, AT&T, and Comcast, and P2P providers such as BitTorrent, Kontiki, and Vuze.
Previous results of P4P field tests were presented March 14th in New York at the DCIA P2P MARKET CONFERENCE and released in a press announcement by Pando on April 9th.
DCIA CEO Marty Lafferty said, "Telefonica's results in its initial P4P field test further underscore the worldwide potential for dramatic improvements in P2P efficiency and quality of service (QoS) for both large and small network operators."
"The Pando engineers are thrilled to see our P4P implementation have such positive impact on an international broadband network with Telefonica", said Popkin.
"P4P is a flexible framework for ISPs and P2P companies to work jointly to improve network performance," said Haiyong Xie, Principal Researcher of P4PWG. "It is great to see the active involvement of Telefonica as the first international Tier-1 ISP in demonstrating the benefits of P4P."
The impact of these advanced P2P technologies is wide ranging. P4P makes the Internet a more scalable media distribution platform while benefiting various online media constituencies. It helps ISPs reduce network operating expenditures as well as enabling content owners to distribute longer form, higher quality content.
"Telefonica showed great industry leadership with its early involvement in the P4P Working Group and by being the first international ISP to test P4P protocols," said Robert Levitan, CEO of Pando Networks. "Pando is proud to work with companies such as Telefonica. Our work together can fulfill the vision of the Internet as the world's most robust media distribution platform."
The P4P Working Group (P4PWG) was established in July 2007 under the auspices of the Distributed Computing Industry Association (DCIA).
The P4PWG's mission is to assist Internet service providers (ISPs) and peer-to-peer (P2P) software distributors in accelerating content distribution and optimizing network resource utilization to provide the best possible performance to end-user customers.
It is co-chaired by Doug Pasko (Verizon Communications) and Laird Popkin (Pando Networks).
Active participants include Abacast, AHT International, Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Bell Labs, Bezeq International, BitTorrent, Cisco Systems, Comcast, Joost, Juniper Networks, LimeWire, Manatt, Microsoft, Nokia, Orange, Oversi, PeerApp, RawFlow, Rinera Networks, Solid State Networks, Telecom Italia, Telefonica Group, Thomson, University of Toronto, University of Washington, Velocix, VeriSign, Vuze, Yahoo, and Yale University Laboratory of Networked Systems (LANS).
There are a similar number of P4PWG observers.
ISPs Seek On-Net Relief from Bandwidth Burden
Excerpted from Telecom Markets Report by Magnus Franklin
Several operators are hoping to cut the cost of increasingly heavy Internet use by preventing broadband traffic from leaving their networks.
US regional incumbent Verizon Communications is involved in a cross-industry project aimed at reducing the impact of P2P traffic on its network, while UK operator Sky is attempting to lure users away from rival P2P-based video services and onto its own P2PTV service. Meanwhile, several micro-states are imposing restrictions on traffic leaving their home countries' networks because of the cost of carriage over expensive submarine links to other parts of the world.
Whenever traffic passes from an operator's network to the rest of the Internet, the operator incurs a cost of some sort. Where it has an agreement with another ISP or content provider directly or via an Internet exchange, the costs are low and include small fixed fees paid to the exchange and the price and maintenance of the necessary hardware. Otherwise the operator has to pay transit providers based on the volume of traffic transferred.
These types of fees make up the majority of the cost of off-net traffic. UK ISP PlusNet estimates that its peering and transit costs are £20 (€25) per Mbps per month, or 14% of its total bandwidth costs. This percentage is higher for cable operators, because their on-net bandwidth costs are likely to be lower than those of ISPs that rely primarily on incumbents' wholesale products, such as PlusNet.
File-sharing networks and online video services that use P2P technology, such as the BBC's iPlayer and NBC's Hulu, not only consume large amounts of bandwidth, but do so by setting up ad-hoc connections among users on several different ISPs' networks.
Verizon is in the latter stages of trialing a system that aims to keep as much P2P traffic on its network as possible. Under the P4P approach, an operator provides information about its network that enables P2P applications to select the most efficient peers.
Doug Pasko, who represents Verizon in the P4P Working Group (P4PWG), says a live implementation this spring cut traffic leaving the operator's network 70%, while incoming traffic dropped 53%.
The protocol also reduced the average number of "hops," or network points passed, the P2P applications used, from 5.5 to 0.89, improving the speed of the connections for the end-users.
P4P was launched by the Distributed Computing Industry Association (DCIA), Verizon, P2P application developer Pando and Yale University last year. The founding members have since been joined by operators on all five continents and developers of other popular P2P applications, says Pasko.
The protocol is cheap to implement compared with the more intrusive methods of managing P2P traffic many operators employ today, as no engineering of the networks is required. Further, the protocol is not dependent on all parties implementing it, but Pasko says both operators and P2P application providers stand to benefit, particularly as more and more firms from both sides join.
The NBC Direct video service is based on P4PWG member Pando's technology, which puts it in a prime position to exploit the P4P protocol when it is finalized.
BSkyB hopes to use on-net strategies and its wealth of TV, films, sports, and other content to entice users away from iPlayer and other rival online video services. Subscribers to BSkyB's packages with monthly download limits face no restrictions when using the company's P2P video service Sky Anytime and its streamed counterpart SkyCast, or its news and entertainment portal.
This means they can consume potentially unlimited video from Sky, while large-scale use of third-party content could lead to extra costs or suspension of service. But the cost of off-net traffic may not be the only reason BSkyB is promoting its on-net content.
Matt Yardley, a broadband analyst at telecoms research firm Analysys, says the policy could equally be about reducing churn and increasing customer loyalty by making its strong pay-TV content available to customers online.
The off-net policies of Europe's micro-states - countries with populations of up to about 1 million - are squarely aimed at cutting off-net costs. In Cyprus, the incumbent, CYTA, is limiting the international bandwidth for subscribers, including those on 50Mbps fiber connections. Customers get full speeds when using Internet services based in Cyprus, but international traffic is capped at 2Mbps.
According to CYTA, the bandwidth cap on international traffic is a result of the cost of carrying it over submarine cables to the large international transit networks on the mainland.
In Iceland, incumbent Siminn offers unlimited use of domestic content, while overseas usage is capped. For example, subscribers to its 2Mbps tariff are given 6GB of inclusive overseas usage for ISK 4,990 (€42.50), after which each megabyte costs ISK 2.50 - more than €20 per gigabyte - up to a limit of ISK 7,500 a month.
China Ties US for Most Internet Users
Excerpted from NY Times Report
By some measures, China has tied the United States as the online population leader, with its government reporting that the number of Internet users there has soared to 221 million.
The figure, reported Thursday by the Xinhua News Agency, reflects China's explosive growth in Internet use despite government efforts to block access to material considered subversive or pornographic. It was a 61% increase over the 137 million Internet users reported at the start of 2007.
But the numbers alone can be deceiving.
Nielsen Online estimates the US online population at 221 million as well, but it counts only those with home or work access, as the vast majority of US Internet users do. By contrast, one-third of Chinese Internet users surf through cybercafés.
And China's Internet penetration is still low, with 16% of people online, compared with a world average of 19%, Xinhua said. The Pew Internet and American Life Project places US online penetration at 71%.
China still lags the United States, South Korea, and other markets in online commerce and other financial measures, though e-commerce, video-sharing and other businesses are growing quickly, and companies have raised millions of dollars from investors.
''We'll see this growth continuing,'' said Duncan Clark, Chairman of BDA China, a Beijing technology company. ''Even though China might overtake the United States in total Internet population, it still lags in the size of its Internet industries, and there will be a lot more opportunities.''
Beijing promotes Internet use for business and education but operates extensive online censorship. Web surfers have been jailed for posting or e-mailing material that criticizes Communist rule or is deemed a violation of national security laws.
Most recently, Chinese web surfers have been blocked from seeing Google's YouTube and other foreign sites with videos about protests in Tibet and the security crackdown there. In March, the government said it would shut down 25 Chinese video sites and punish 32 others for violating new rules against carrying content that is deemed pornographic, violent, or a threat to national security.
The Xinhua report cited February data from the government's China Internet Network Information Center. An agency spokeswoman, who would give only her surname, Zhang, declined to give more details. She said the agency would release a report in July.
The US online population has largely stabilized, meaning that when March figures for China are released they may show that the country has already overtaken the United States.
BDA's Clark said the Chinese online population should keep growing by 18% annually, reaching 490 million by 2012 - a number larger than the entire US population.
The boom has produced Chinese success stories such as games site Tencent.com and search engine Baidu, which are competing with foreign rivals for market share.
The Internet's mushrooming popularity has been driven in part by a regulatory quirk: fixed-line phone companies are losing potential new customers to mobile phone services but are barred from getting into that market themselves. So they are trying instead to bring in new revenues by promoting low-cost broadband Internet access, which has brought high-speed service to millions of homes. Phone companies also are experimenting with Internet-based cable television.
Web businesses are looking for another boost when Beijing takes the long-anticipated step of issuing licenses for third-generation, or 3G, mobile technology to support video, web-surfing, and other services. No date has been set.
With the world's largest mobile phone market, at 520 million accounts, China has a vast potential pool of wireless Internet users.
''There will be a lot more opportunity to move online,'' Clark said.
AT&T: World Must Invest in Internet Infrastructure
Excerpted from CNET News Report by Andrew Donoghue
At a Westminster eForum on Web 2.0 this week in London, Jim Cicconi, Senior Executive Vice President of Legislative Affairs for AT&T, warned that the current systems that constitute the Internet will not be able to cope with the increasing amounts of video and user-generated content (UGC) being uploaded.
"The surge in online content is at the center of the most dramatic changes affecting the Internet today," he said. "In three years' time, 20 typical households will generate more traffic than the entire Internet today."
Cicconi, who was speaking at the event as part of a wider series of meetings with UK government officials, said that at least $55 billion worth of investment was needed in new infrastructure in the next three years in the US alone, with the figure rising to $130 billion to improve the network worldwide. "We are going to be butting up against the physical capacity of the Internet by 2010," he said.
He claimed that the "unprecedented new wave of broadband traffic" would increase 50-fold by 2015 and that AT&T is investing $19 billion to maintain its network and upgrade its backbone network.
Cicconi added that more demand for high-definition video will put an increasing strain on the Internet infrastructure. "Eight hours of video is loaded onto YouTube every minute. Everything will become HD very soon, and HD is 7-to-10 times more bandwidth-hungry than typical video today. Video will be 80% of all traffic by 2010, up from 30% today," he said.
The AT&T executive pointed out that the Internet exists, thanks to the infrastructure provided by a group of mostly private companies. "There is nothing magic or ethereal about the Internet - it is no more ethereal than the highway system. It is not created by an act of God, but upgraded and maintained by private investors," he said.
Oversi to Demonstrate at CableNET 2008
Oversi will be presenting its comprehensive, multi-service caching and content delivery platform for Internet video and P2P traffic at the upcoming CableNET demonstration at the industry's premier convention, The Cable Show '08.
The OverCache platform enables cable operators to relieve heavy network congestion, while improving customers' quality of experience (QoE), and monetizing over-the-top (OTT) video traffic.
CableNET is a technology showcase that is co-sponsored by CableLabs and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), and offers a hands-on experience with many of the most exciting content services and applications.
The Cable Show '08, NCTA's 57th Annual Convention and International Exposition, will be held May 18th-20th at The Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA.
CableNET enables attendees to see and discuss leading-edge technologies and applications. CableNET '08 also will feature the following technology demonstrations: 145 megabit-per-second download speeds, broadband wireless, interactive advertising, Internet-focused applications and services; and advanced PacketCable 2.0-based technologies.
Historically, CableNET has provided attendees a first glimpse of many nascent, leading-edge technologies and applications. Those included early views of the cable industry's Data over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) platform; high-definition televisions; two-way, OCAP-based devices, and early displays of interactive services and Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP).
The BitTorrent Guru Keeps it Legal
Excerpted from Metro - Sweden Report
Bram Cohen is the 32-year-old New York native who revolutionized the Internet in 2001 through the development of BitTorrent technology, which makes file sharing fast and efficient.
Today Cohen's company, which shares a name with the technology he developed, is a world leader in the file-sharing business.
Did the father of three anticipate the level of success enjoyed by the technology?
"My aim was to change the way people exchanged information over the Internet, but I didn't predict how big a role it was going to play," he said.
Unlike Swedish file-sharing site The Pirate Bay, Cohen has avoided any brushes with the law.
"It's completely legal to create technical solutions. The reason people get dragged into legal proceedings is that they break copyright laws, which I have never done.
"On the contrary, we can help the entertainment industry by allowing them to move their programs and films to the Internet and make older material available so people can see it when they want," said Cohen.
Javien Teams for Massively Multiplayer Online Games
Javien Digital Payment Solutions is teaming with Game Center Group (GCC), a leading provider of premium customer service for the massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) industry. As a result of its partnership with Javien, GCC can now offer Javien's Total Commerce Solution to MMOGs in need of subscription, billing, and virtual merchandise management.
The game industry's billing model is evolving - with more emphasis on micro-payments for in-game purchases in addition to monthly subscription fees. As a result, game developers need options to implement alternative payment methods including virtual tokens and special accounts such as parent-child sponsorships or prepaid wallets.
Javien's Total Commerce Solution answers the need for a range of specialized features that are critical to selling digital content. Merchants leverage Javien Micropay's patented adaptive micro-payment aggregation technology to batch transactions according to business rules to minimize transaction processing fees.
"We work with very experienced game developers and they all seem to agree that the most challenging part of their job is the development of e-commerce functionality into the game. Whether it's putting the transaction piece into the game itself, setting up different billing methods or enabling various currency conversions, our customers find it difficult to accomplish it on their own - now we can tell them they don't have to," said Jeffrey Bard, IT Manager for GCG.
"The best way to provide the support and service our customers needed for this was to partner with an expert. After an evaluation of possible e-commerce solutions, we found that Javien's technology was clearly the best - the most flexible in terms of billing options and the company's deep experience with small transactions was critical as the industry is moving toward micro-payments. We're very excited about this partnership and look forward to the success we'll have working together in such a dynamic industry."
"The games industry has become a large part of our business in a very short period of time," said Leslie Poole, Javien CEO. "We've had the good fortune of working with leaders such as K2 Networks and Garage Games. Now our partnership with Game Center Group allows us to bring the best CRM technology to our merchants so they can focus on their core business."
D-Link Partners with Veoh Networks on P2PTV
D-Link, the end-to-end networking solutions provider for consumers and businesses, and Veoh Networks, the world's most comprehensive peer-to-peer television (P2PTV) network, announced that the D-Link PC-on-TV will feature VeohTV, a free service that provides both branded and user-created video content in high-quality for full-screen environments.
Part of the MediaLounge family, D-Link PC-on-TV is a breakthrough product for the growing media player market that lets users enjoy on their TVs virtually anything they can see on their PCs, including web-based content such as videos, movies, photos, and TV programming.
D-Link PC-on-TV will ship with a link to access VeohTV directly from the television, providing a single interface to search, browse, and view thousands of videos found on the Internet. It offers programming from major media companies as well as independently produced content available on sites such as YouTube, Google Video, Veoh.com, and MySpace.
As with television, the player uses a remote control and displays PC video for a full-screen TV experience. "PC-on-TV is truly unique because it allows users to view and access virtually all of the files and programs from the PCs on their home network, streamed wirelessly to a TV in the same or another room," said Daniel Kelley, Senior Director of Marketing, D-Link Systems.
"The addition of the intuitive VeohTV application enables us to offer our customers an innovative Internet video experience on their television with a tremendous amount of programming and customization to access from the comfort of their couch."
"We're pleased to be part of the D-Link PC-on-TV package and to offer viewers another easy way to experience what Veoh has to offer on their televisions," said Joshua Metzger, SVP of Corporate Development, Veoh Networks. "By partnering with D-Link, we are broadening our ability to extend VeohTV to television sets worldwide and introduce new viewers to VeohTV's vast breadth of content and full-screen, remote-controllable viewing capabilities."
ROK's Fun Little Movies Nominated for Award
Fun Little Movies, the mobile and Internet video channel, part of ROK Entertainment Group, the mobile entertainment company, has been nominated for a 2008 Content Award. The Award, known as The Meffy, is given by the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF), in association with Nokia.
Five outstanding companies, including MTV and Orange, have been nominated for this prestigious award, with the winners to be announced at the Meffys Gala on May 8th at the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in Cannes.
"As the industry's official benchmark for measuring success and rewarding innovation, the Meffys recognize and honor the most influential mobile entertainment players from around the world," said the official announcement from MEF.
Frank Chindamo, President & Chief Creative Officer of Fun Little Movies, said, "This nomination is an honor, especially considering our competition. It shows that our video content, much like the US Presidential race, is getting funnier every day."
Chindamo, who is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California (USC) and an Instructor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), in mobile and Internet video production, continued, "Our mission is to contribute to love and to laughter by providing fun, funny, advertiser-friendly comedy to every person on Earth."
FLM's nomination comes on the heels of its 2006 and 2007 nominations for Best Video Producers at the Mobile Entertainment Magazine "ME Awards."
Internet & Technology Transform Estonia
Excerpted from St. Petersburg Times Report by James Thorner
When the Iron Curtain lifted in 1991, Estonia, an ex-Soviet republic twice the size of New Jersey, was lumbered with an antiquated economy straight out of the 1930s.
But by a happy coincidence, the country gained independence at the dawn of the Internet age. As Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves told an audience Monday at the University of South Florida's College of Business, his countrymen plunged happily into cyberspace.
Look at the former Communist basket case today: 95% of banking is done over the web. Two Internet powerhouses - the Skype online phone network and the Kazaa file-sharing system - as well as the technology behind Baidu (the Chinese search engine) were invented by savvy Estonians.
Its citizens pay their 21% national flat tax online in a matter of minutes. Though bad news to the likes of H&R Block, Estonia, with its 1.3-million population, has little labor to spare for paperwork.
"We don't want thousands of people reading tax returns," Ilves, wearing a professorial bow tie, told a crowd of about 100 during a visit to Tampa.
Ilves was raised in the United States. His parents fled the Russian occupation of the Baltic nation in 1944 and Ilves eventually went to work for Radio Free Europe, the American-run, anti-Communist broadcasting service.
He renounced his US citizenship to return to Estonia in the early 1990s and rose to become US ambassador and foreign minister. In 2006, he was elected the country's president.
On a swing through Tampa before returning to Europe, Ilves outlined his country's success in the face of its not-always-friendly Russian neighbor.
The country's economic output has risen to $20,300 per capita today from $702 per capita in 1992.
Its liberal business climate has attracted foreign investment like few other ex-Communist countries. Much of it comes from neighboring Finland. It joined the European Union (EU) in 2004, and its soldiers serve in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Ilves said EU membership is key for a tiny nation eager to tap the continent's half-billion consumers. Investors pouring across the Baltic Sea from Sweden and Finland have sparked a real estate boom.
If Ilves had any complaint, it's that his countrymen are a bit too shortsighted in their pursuit of gains.
"I'd like Estonians to calm down a bit," he said at the end of his hour-long session at USF. "We're still in this fighting mood all the time."
Live Mesh Broken Down into Bullet Points
Excerpted from Beta News Report by Nate Mook
Microsoft's just-announced Live Mesh P2P platform is a complex offering that can be difficult to understand, even to those familiar with the company's typical marketing-speak and software-plus-services buzzwords. In turn, we have broken down Live Mesh into some easily digestible bullet points.
Live Mesh's core experience for consumers has two key components: an online service that lets users register their devices, and a 2MB software client - called the Mesh Operating Environment - that links and integrates the service into Windows.
The online component, known as Live Desktop, serves as a device and was designed to mimic the appearance of a Windows desktop. Microsoft sees Live Desktop as the launch pad for online applications and sharing files and information with contacts. It was built on AJAX - not Silverlight - to ensure compatibility, but Silverlight is tied into the experience for viewing media.
To start, Live Mesh will have two primary functions: sharing files and folders between PCs in a mesh, and providing Remote Desktop functionality via web browser or the software client. The Remote Desktop feature only works with IE because it requires an ActiveX plug-in.
The software client installs into Windows and adds the Live Mesh Notifier application, which serves as a "news feed" for things happening in the mesh, and the Mesh Companion bar that integrates into Windows Explorer windows.
Currently only Windows XP and Windows Vista PCs are compatible with Live Mesh, but Microsoft expects to expand this to the Mac and Windows Mobile phones as time goes on. Users can access the Live Mesh website from Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox.
The Technology Preview will be available to around 10,000 initial users, and Microsoft expects to gradually increase that number over time. Only those in the United States can participate in the preview, and a Live ID is required. 5GB of storage space will be provided.
Eventually, Microsoft wants all devices to link up with Live Mesh. This includes phones, DVRs, video game consoles, portable media players, home media centers, and more. However, there are no concrete plans of what to support as of yet; Microsoft wants feedback before making any decisions.
At the core of Live Mesh is FeedSync, formerly known as Simple Sharing Extensions (a proprietary Microsoft technology, for which it promises not to sue those who utilize it). Microsoft has expanded the concept of feeds to support devices and data. Everything is built upon this FeedSync model.
Applications built for Live Mesh can function both online and off. Any changes made when offline will automatically sync back to the service when connected again, and P2P technology helps keep bandwidth usage at a minimum. These applications can be launched from the Live Desktop.
However, none of the developer offerings are available today. Over the next "weeks and months," Microsoft plans to start engaging the developer community and wants applications written atop the Live Mesh platform starting later this year. The file sharing and Remote Desktop applications are essentially just examples of what is possible.
Live Mesh is still in its early stages. Microsoft is soliciting feedback now so it can learn what developers and the general public likes and doesn't like. A broader beta test is currently slated for this fall, although it could happen closer to the end of the year. The company expects to be making adjustments over the next 9-to-12 months.
Although Live Mesh's current functionality overlaps with Windows Live SkyDrive and FolderShare, Microsoft will continue to provide those services for the time being. In addition, the company plans to eventually integrate other existing Windows Live services (like Hotmail, Photos, and Spaces) into Live Mesh.
Shocking: New Facts about P2P and Broadband Usage
Excerpted from GigaOM Report by Om Malik
Not a day goes by without someone bemoaning the proliferation of P2P networking, painting visions of a network apocalypse brought on by pimply-faced file sharers. And to make their case, naysayers typically present some hard-to-argue-with stats. This week, however, we came across a set of numbers that show more traditional video sources (streaming and flash video, for example) are now an increasing component of bandwidth on consumer-focused broadband networks.
Danny McPherson, CTO of Arbor Networks, which makes all sorts of network-management and traffic-shaping tools, reported on some of Arbor's research. Arbor is used by dozens of ISPs around the planet and, as a result, McPherson is privy to details about traffic flows and usage patterns across many broadband networks.
McPherson shared some interesting stats and facts about broadband usage and P2P networking usage patterns. Given that Arbor makes a living selling its technology and products to carriers, it is prudent to maintain a degree of skepticism about the numbers. That said, they are nevertheless interesting enough to share.
On fixed and mobile broadband networks where consumer services are provided (i.e., not inter-provider or typical dedicated Internet access for commercial enterprises): 10% of subscribers consume 80% of bandwidth; 0.5% of subscribers consume about 40% of total bandwidth; 80% of subscribers use less than 10% of bandwidth.
This supports the arguments made by some of the larger ISPs. In a recent interview, Comcast Cable CTO Tony Werner said his company would try and deal with the tiny number of subscribers who use most of the bandwidth by slowing down their connections during peak times.
The P2P stats are the ones that came as a complete surprise. Like you, I have read many reports that suggest P2P applications account for the majority of the traffic on high-speed networks. But McPherson's data suggests otherwise: 20% of traffic is P2P applications; during peak-load times, 70% of subscribers use HTTP while 20% are using P2P; HTTP still makes up the majority of the total traffic, of which 45% is traditional web content that includes text and images.
Streaming video and audio content from services like YouTube accounts for nearly 50% of the HTTP traffic. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone - streaming TV shows from Hulu and videos from YouTube have been on a major upswing.
Reports of Varying Rates of RST Packets among ISPs
Excerpted from Telecommunications Reports Daily Reports by Lynn Stanton
Vuze has released a report on the incidence of resets (RSTs) experienced by customers of various Internet access providers, which suggests that there may be a great variation from one provider to another.
Incidence rates were reported below 5% among European network operators and rates thought to be above 20% were reported by subscribers to several domestic networks, although numerous factors may be the cause, such as how many hops a given transaction has to traverse, the number and type of networked devices involved, and whether the file transfer takes place intra-carrier or across multiple ISPs.
In addition, AT&T has released a white paper that found a 15% to 25% incidence of RSTs - that is, one or more RSTs occur on 15% to 25% of transmission control protocol (TCP) connections, among Internet users of various providers. In addition to "local events such as network outages, attacks, or reconfigurations," the paper attributes RST incidence to "global trends in TCP usage."
The paper, based on University of Calgary research, adds, "In particular, we identify application-level web behavior as the primary contributor to the global trend in reset TCP connections. The most prevalent anomaly is the absence of the normal functional identification number (FIN) handshake for connection termination. Instead, connections are often reset by the client. We believe that particular implementations of HTTP/TCP connection management cause this global trend."
RST packets on the Internet have become a hotly debated topic in the network neutrality discussion since allegations arose last fall about certain ISPs' usage of false reset packets to curb P2P file sharing, basically by telling computers that the computer at the other end of the exchange was currently unavailable.
The Vuze report does not distinguish between legitimate and false reset packets, nor whether the perception of an interruption was caused by a downloader's ISP or that of the content uploader's or even the ISP of another intermediate user on the P2P network, but the video downloading company suggested that the wide range of reset incidence indicates some level of operator usage of resets to "throttle" Internet traffic.
AT&T's Charles Kalmanek, Vice President-Internet and Network Systems Research, noted that, "AT&T does not use 'false reset messages' to manage its network. We agree with Vuze that the use of the Vuze Plug-In to measure network traffic has numerous limitations and deficiencies, and does not demonstrate whether any particular network provides or their customers are using TCP reset messages for network management purposes."
The statistics were gathered from users who volunteered to install a Vuze software plug-in and agreed to allow Vuze to have access to the reset data gathered by the plug-in. Vuze said one million hours of data had been gathered from 8,000 users, relating to 1,200 different autonomous system numbers (ASN), which identify individual Internet protocol networks and routers. In addition to any bias from self-selection, it is possible that the ASN could misidentify the responsible provider if the bandwidth were sold to another ISP, Vuze said.
"While we cannot conclude definitively that any particular network operator is engaging in artificial or false RST packet behavior," Vuze acknowledged in the report dated April 18th, "it is possible to compare the median experience of different users operating in different ASNs."
Vuze added, "We believe that there is sufficient data to suggest that more investigation is required to determine whether these resets are happening in the ordinary course of business or whether they represent the kind of throttling practices which target specific applications and/or protocols, harming the consumer experience and stifling innovation."
Kalmanek suggested that Vuze raise the network management issues "through the DCIA and its consensus-building forums, such as the P4P Working Group (P4PWG), of which Vuze and AT&T are both members."
He added that AT&T "would appreciate reviewing in the DCIA and P4P forums the methodology that Vuze used to collect network traffic information so that we may better understand the basis for such concerns regarding TCP Reset messages and service provider network management practices."
File-Sharing Hub TPB Reaches 12 Million Peers
Excerpted from Digital Media Wire Report by Mark Hefflinger
The Pirate Bay (TPB), the notorious Sweden-based BitTorrent tracker site, has announced that it now serves more than 12 million peers, TorrentFreak reports.
Furthermore, the site said that the ratio of "seeders," or those who allow uploads from their computers, to "leechers," who only download and do not share their bandwidth, is now 50/50.
The ratio climbed from 20% seeders in 2004, to 35% in 2006, and 40% in 2007.
Coming Events of Interest
P2P MEDIA SUMMIT LA - May 5th in Los Angeles, CA. The third annual P2P MEDIA SUMMIT LA. The DCIA's flagship event featuring keynotes from industry-leading P2P and social network operators; tracks on policy, technology and marketing; panel discussions covering content distribution and solutions development; valuable workshops; networking opportunities; and more.
Digital Hollywood Spring - May 6th-8th in Los Angeles, CA. With many new sessions and feature events, DHS has become the premiere digital entertainment conference and exposition. DCIA Member companies will exhibit and speak on a number of panels.
Streaming Media East – May 20th-21st in New York, NY. SME is the place to learn what is taking place with all forms of online video business models and technology. Content owners, viral video creators, online marketers, enterprise corporations, broadcast professionals, ad agencies, educators, and others attend. The DCIA will participate in the P2P session.
Advertising 2.0 New York - June 4th-5th in New York, NY. A new kind of event being developed as a partnership of Advertising Age and Digital Hollywood. The DCIA is fully supporting this important inaugural effort and encourages DCINFO readers to plan now to attend.
P2P MEDIA SUMMIT SV - August 4th in San Jose, CA. The first-ever P2P MEDIA SUMMIT in Silicon Valley. Featuring keynotes from industry-leading P2P and social network operators; tracks on policy, technology and marketing; panel discussions covering content distribution and solutions development; valuable workshops; networking opportunities; and more.
Building Blocks 2008 - August 5th-7th in San Jose, CA. The premier event for transforming entertainment, consumer electronics, social media & web application technologies & the global communications network: TV, cable, telco, consumer electronics, mobile, broadband, search, games and the digital home.
International Broadcasting Convention - September 11th-16th in Amsterdam, Holland. IBC is committed to providing the world's best event for everyone involved in the creation, management, and delivery of content for the entertainment industry. Uniquely, the key executives and committees who control the convention are drawn from the industry, bringing with them experience and expertise in all aspects.