December 21, 2009
Volume XXIX, Issue 1
Come to Las Vegas for the P2P MEDIA SUMMIT at CES
Don't miss the day-long P2P MEDIA SUMMIT at CES on Wednesday January 6th. Please scroll down to this week's Report from the CEO for conference details or click here to register for the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and sign-up for the extraordinary P2P MEDIA SUMMIT.
Don't miss this seminal industry event being held once again at the Las Vegas Convention Center. There's no better way to get a head-start on what to expect from the forefront of online service development in the New Year.
Josh Silverman, CEO of Skype, the P2P industry's greatest financial success, will also deliver the keynote address at the Leaders in Technology Dinner (LIT) at CES on Friday January 8th.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski will be interviewed in a keynote by Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President Gary Shapiro earlier that day.
Who Changed the World of Business this Decade?
Excerpted from The Globe and Mail Report
From great heights to incredible lows, this has been such a tumultuous decade in the world of economics and commerce that it's difficult to decide just what has had the biggest impact.
But of all the mergers, bankruptcies, rises, falls, and scandals, which ones left a lasting impression and truly shaped the decade that's drawing to an end?
From the arrival of Napster in 1999, to the birth of LimeWire, Kazaa, and BitTorrent a couple of years later, this was truly The Download Decade.
The invention of the Apple iPod in 2001 and iTunes in 2003 forever changed the music industry and the way consumers acquire and consume media.
The Ten Most Influential People on the Web
Excerpted from Merinews Report
The first decade of the '00s saw incredible advancements in web technology. Online videos, shopping on the web, blogging, RSS, social networking, and web search grew by giant leaps and bounds, spearheaded by visionary leaders who worked tirelessly to make their visions tangible.
In this article, we are going to look at the top ten most influential people of the decade. These men and women might not all be household names, but all of them have had a huge impact on how we use the web today.
Bram Cohen: Bram Cohen created the P2P file-sharing program known as BitTorrent. Millions of people all over the world use BitTorrent technology to share large files, movies, music, books, etc.
Brewster Kahle: Brewster Kahle is the founder of the Internet Archive, a digital repository and archive of the World Wide Web and the knowledge it contains. The Internet Archive aims to collate and catalog any kind of digital work and make it accessible to the public.
Craig Newmark: Craig Newmark is the founder of Craigslist, the largest online classifieds site in the world. People in every country use Craigslist to advertise items for sale, connect with people in the community, or purchase anything from puppies to real estate.
Dave Winer: Dave Winer is widely recognized for his work behind the implementation of RSS, a protocol that has revolutionized the way we view content on the web.
Jeff Bezos: Jeff Bezos is the founder of Amazon.com, the largest shopping site on the web today. Amazon changed the way we shop online, making it possible for people all over the world to purchase products they hadn't been able to ever before.
Jimmy Wales: Jimmy Wales is the founder of Wikipedia, the world's largest online encyclopedia of knowledge. Wikipedia can be edited or added to by anyone and has grown at an exponential rate since its beginning in 2001.
Mark Zuckerberg and Tom Anderson: Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook and Tom Anderson, the founder of MySpace, have collectively re-imagined the web as a connected community of people, no matter where we might be located.
Meg Whitman: Under the expert leadership of Meg Whitman, eBay grew from a small online auction site to the largest marketplace in the world of both new and used goods. Consumers flock to eBay to buy anything under the sun and sellers use eBay as an easy storefront.
Sergey Brin and Larry Page: Brin and Larry Page are the co-founders of the most popular search engine on the web: Google. Originally called BackRub, Google got a humble start in 1996 and grew by gigantic leaps and bounds, expanding into maps email, images, books and even web browsers.
Tim Berners-Lee: Tim Berners-Lee is the man behind the World Wide Web. He originated the idea of sharing information freely via hyperlinks, created HTML (the basic language behind every web page) and came up with the idea of each web page having a unique address, or URL.
Report from CEO Marty Lafferty
We very much hope to see you at the upcoming P2P MEDIA SUMMIT at CES on Wednesday January 6th at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This conference promises to be our most valuable and stimulating event to date.
Delegates will gain important insights into what to expect during 2010 in the advanced online services space.
This third annual DCIA "Conference within CES" is being held in conjunction with the 2010 CES International trade show. The DCIA is an allied association of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).
A special focus of this event will be the rapidly growing use of P2P and cloud computing for the distribution of games and game updates.
DCIA Members now offer a panoply of solutions to help content delivery networks (CDNs), network operators, client applications, content providers, consumer electronics manufacturers, data center managers, and other participants in the rapidly emerging P2P & cloud computing channel distribute material and manage information at astonishingly low costs and with astoundingly high quality of service (QoS) and security.
We are very pleased that our keynotes now include Jim Kott, Co-President, Abacast; Mitchell Edwards, CFO & General Counsel, BitTorrent; Christopher Hennebery, Director of Software Distribution, Yummy Interactive; Robert Levitan, CEO, Pando Networks; Scott Tilghman and Daniel Ernst, Principals, Hudson Square Research; Mike Saxon, Senior Vice President, Harris Interactive; Nathan Lovejoy, Product Manager, LimeWire; Jin Li, Principal Researcher, Microsoft; Gilad Peleg, VP of Marketing & Business Development, Oversi; and Hemanshu Nigam, Chief Security Officer (CSO), MySpace.
Our day-long conference features keynotes from top P2P, peer-assisted, cloud computing, and social networking software distributors, panels of industry leaders, and valuable workshops. There will be a continental breakfast, conference luncheon, and VIP networking cocktail reception.
Please click here to register for both CES and the P2P MEDIA SUMMIT.
Policy Track panelists will include Derek Broes, Former SVP, Digital Entertainment, Paramount Pictures; Jim Burger, Partner, Dow Lohnes; Russell Frackman, Partner, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp; David Johnson, Of Counsel, Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro; Travis Kalanick, Founder, RedSwoosh; Steven Masur, Managing Partner, MasurLaw; Jon Potter, Former Executive Director, Digital Media Association (DiMA); and Eddie Schwartz, President, Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC).
Technology Track panelists will include Jonathan Anderson, CEO & Founder, Selfbank Mobile; Nathan Good, Chief Scientist, Good Research; David Hassoun, Founder, RealEyes Media; Vincent Hsieh, CEO, Aleric; Lawrence Low, VP of Product Management and Strategy, BayTSP; Doug Pasko, PMTS, Verizon Communications; Bruce Davis, CEO, Digimarc; and Jonathan Zuck, President, Association for Competitive Technology (ACT).
Marketing Track panelists will include Frank Bernhard, Managing Principal, OMNI Consulting; Ted Cohen, Managing Partner, TAG Strategic; Stephen Condon, Director, Market Development, AT&T Digital Media Services; Devon Ferreira, Founder & CEO, SocialNotions; Murray Galbraith, President, Cavalier Digital Media Services and Gameboyz; Colin Sebastian, Senior Vice President, Lazard Capital Markets; and Seth Shapiro, Principal, New Amsterdam Media.
Content Distribution panelists will include Melike Amjarv, Independent Producer; Ethan Applen, Director, Technology & Business Strategy, Warner Bros.; Richard Conlon, VP, New Media & Strategic Development, Broadcast Music, Inc (BMI); Max Davis, Director, DataRevenue.org; Mark Friedlander, National Director, New Media, Screen Actors Guild (SAG); Larry Kenswil, Of Counsel, Loeb & Loeb; and Nicholas Longano, Founder & CEO, Music Mogul.
Solutions Development panelists will include Dan Coffing, Founder & CEO, Mingle360; Bob DeAnna, CTO, Recursion Software; Ian Donahue, President, RedThorne Media; Norman Henderson, VP of Business Development, Asankya; Ed Pimentel, Owner, Gluegle; Neerav Shah, VP, Business Development, Verimatrix; and Barry Tishgart, VP, Internet Services, Comcast.
Consumer Protection panelists will include Robert Boback, CEO, Tiversa; Hal Bringman, Founder & President, NVPR; Tom Chernaik, Principal, DigComm; Gary Greenstein, Of Counsel, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Robert Hunter, Digital Rights Consultant, Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA); Arthur Pober, American Associate, European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA); and Chris Ullrich, Writer / Producer, The Flickcast.
Registration can be done online here or by calling 410-476-7965. For sponsor packages, please contact Karen Kaplowitz, DCIA Member Services, at 888-890-4240. Share wisely, and take care.
Rdio Makes its Debut on the Apple App Store
Excerpted from Digital Music News Report by Alexandra Osorio
Rdio has chosen the iPhone as its launchpad, a good a place as any. This week, the heavily-anticipated music start-up suddenly surfaced on the App Store, reachable only to private beta testers. That club appears quite small and restricted at the moment, and probably includes a handful of developers, executives, and backers.
If that sounds like a giant tease, it is, though Rdio - started by the founders of Kazaa and Skype - promises to deliver a streaming, cloud-based solution. The top-level description sounds a lot like Spotify, Lala, and other cloud concepts, though given the entrepreneurial pedigree, some innovative twists are probably in store.
"Rdio is like carrying a giant MP3 player in your pocket - you have unlimited and unrestricted access to all the music, and you get to select exactly the song, album, or artist you want to hear," the app description reads. That appears to include content personally uploaded into the cloud, and Rdio-provided libraries.
"And you can skip, pause, fast forward as much as you want," Rdio continues. "Build your collection and compose your playlists on Rdio.com and listen to them all on the go. Or search for just the right song when you're out and it will start playing instantly."
Akamai Launches Cloud-Based Web Application Firewall Service
Akamai Technologies, the leader in powering video, dynamic transactions, and enterprise applications online, has expanded its cloud-based suite of security capabilities with the introduction of its "Web Application Firewall" managed service. Implemented on Akamai's EdgePlatform, the world's largest distributed computing system, the service provides a scalable edge defense system for blocking web application attacks in the cloud.
Based on the open source ModSecurity Core Rule Set supported by Breach Security, the Akamai Web Application Firewall service is designed to protect against the most common and harmful types of attacks and exploitation techniques such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and other open web application security project (OWASP) top-ten attacks.
The Akamai Web Application Firewall service provides customers with a unique approach to easily and economically defend their web applications. With no hardware to manage or maintain, customers manage their own security rule set through Akamai's customer portal. Additionally, the Akamai Web Application Firewall service helps enable payment card industry (PCI) data security standard compliance.
As enterprises have increasingly migrated from the desktop to the web - relying more and more on the Internet for mission-critical data and operations - the scale and severity of attacks launched on websites and applications have continued to grow. Estimates show that cybercrime now costs businesses approximately $1 trillion a year. As research reveals, the enormity of this expense is due in large part to the fact that more than 95% of corporate web applications have severe vulnerabilities.
"While threats to network and information security will always exist, the complexity and scale of cyber-attacks is exploding, forcing enterprises to face the daunting challenge of defending an increasingly porous perimeter," said Tom Leighton, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, Akamai.
"Cloud-based security offers an innovative approach to helping organizations overcome the limitations of traditional perimeter solutions by adding a globally-distributed layer to their defenses. We believe our service is also essential for cloud computing, as infrastructure is shared across multiple customers. When leveraging shared computing resources, it is vital that your application does not become compromised by an attack directed at another enterprise."
IBM Conducts Advanced Research on Mobile P2P Networks
Excerpted from Ovum Report by Graham Titterington
IBM's Emerging Technology Services team is working on a collaborative project to understand and develop P2P technology for mobile distributed and evolving networks. Jointly funded by the US and UK militaries, the ten-year project has the potential to transform computing across a much wider range of users and applications than its immediate objectives.
At the heart of the project is a federated and distributed database called the Gaian Database, which is already available in prototype form and could, for example, be used as a privacy preserving technology by individuals for storing their personal online data.
The International Technology Alliance (ITA) project is a collaborative project that is funded on a 50:50 basis by the US and UK defense establishments and has the responsibility to provide communications networks for front-line forces involved in coalition operations. It is a ten-year project undertaking fundamental research, and all of its results are to be placed in the public domain.
Nine companies and 15 universities are participating in it, roughly half from the US and half from the UK, under IBM's leadership. While it is examining all barriers to information sharing, its primary concern is to understand how ad-hoc mobile networks evolve and function, and how they can be made secure and dependable.
It is concerned with distributed P2P networks, which are much more complex than the mobile networks used in telecommunications, where the core network is static and just the end points are mobile. Here the entire network is in a state of flux and there is no hierarchy of nodes within the network.
Although the primary objective of the project is to satisfy the needs of the US and UK armed forces, its results should be sufficiently generic to be applicable in civilian scenarios in the longer term.
The project aims to enable meaningful information sharing, and not just secure and dependable communication. Consequently, information handling is a key component. The project has adopted a far-sighted and novel approach to handling the confused and often contradictory information sources found in a battlefield. IBM has implemented a Gaian database, named after its inventor. This is a federated and distributed database in which all players in the network can maintain their own 'databases' containing their information, and where each Gaian database can seek out other Gaian databases in the network to take information from them as needed.
It seems appropriate to repurpose Sun's tagline from the 1980s and say that here "the network is the database." The technology, which has a resemblance to neural nets, determines optimum paths through the network to seek out the information it needs. Each Gaian database is a Java application that can have modest hardware requirements and could be hosted on a USB stick. A prototype version of the software is available for download from IBM's website.
While this technology is not going to be efficient for mass data-processing applications in the data center, it could be the basis for holding information needed to answer ad-hoc queries in flexible information systems of the future. One particular attraction is the possibility that it could become a cornerstone of privacy preserving technology in the online society of the future. Individuals could hold their personal information in their own Gaian database, and control who is allowed to access it.
Deluge of Data Shapes a New Era in Computing
Excerpted from New York Times Report by John Markoff
A few weeks before he was lost at sea off the California coast in January 2007, Jim Gray, a database software pioneer and a Microsoft researcher, sketched out an argument that computing was fundamentally transforming the practice of science.
Dr. Gray called the shift a "fourth paradigm." The first three paradigms were experimental, theoretical, and, more recently, computational science. He explained this paradigm as an evolving era in which an "exaflood" of observational data was threatening to overwhelm scientists. The only way to cope with it, he argued, was a new generation of scientific computing tools to manage, visualize, and analyze the data flood.
In essence, computational power created computational science, which produced the overwhelming flow of data, which now requires a computing change. It is a positive feedback loop in which the data stream becomes the data flood and sculptures a new computing landscape.
In computing circles, Dr. Gray's crusade was described as, "It's the data, stupid." It was a point of view that caused him to break ranks with the supercomputing nobility, who for decades focused on building machines that calculated at picosecond intervals.
He argued that government should instead focus on supporting cheaper clusters of computers to manage and process all this data. This is distributed computing, in which a nation full of personal computers can crunch the pools of data involved in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or protein folding.
The goal, Dr. Gray insisted, was not to have the biggest, fastest single computer, but rather "to have a world in which all of the science literature is online, all of the science data is online, and they interoperate with each other." He was instrumental in making this a reality, particularly for astronomy, for which he helped build vast databases that wove much of the world's data into interconnected repositories that have created, in effect, a worldwide telescope.
Now, as a testimony to his passion and vision, colleagues at Microsoft Research, the company's laboratory that is focused on science and computer science, have published a tribute to Dr. Gray's perspective in The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery. It is a collection of essays written by Microsoft's scientists and outside scientists, some of whose research is being financed by the software publisher.
The essays focus on research on the earth and environment, health and well-being, scientific infrastructure, and the way in which computers and networks are transforming scholarly communication. Please click here for the full report.
uTorrent 2.0 Offers Streaming Video Support
Excerpted from Softpedia Report by Lucian Parfeni
uTorrent, the most popular BitTorrent client in the world, now owned and developed by BitTorrent Inc., is getting closer to the 2.0 release, which packs some pretty big features and updates.
One feature is support for the new uTP protocol, the latest iteration of the BitTorrent protocol, which can adjust bandwidth consumption depending on network conditions. The new uTorrent 2.0 Release Candidate 1 also comes with very interesting features and support for video streaming. The official release notes for RC 1 list these updates:
-We've added UDP tracker support!
-uTP has been improved significantly over the previous alpha, with many bugs fixed and performance improvements. It's no longer hidden in Advanced settings.
-The setup dialog has been overhauled to make it much easier to use and with a built-in speed test. It's still not quite complete yet, but this will give you a good taste of what we're up to with it!
-A new transfer cap feature has been added to track bandwidth usage, along with graphs to show your usage.
But perhaps the most exciting new feature in the build is video-streaming functionality. A fresh "Stream" tab is visible in the torrents list that has a "play" button for video. Clicking on it will start "buffering" the video and, after a while, seconds or minutes, depending on your connection speed, the number of seeds and peers and so on, it will turn green indicating you can start watching the video.
This type of functionality for P2P protocols may have seemed far-fetched even a few years ago but now with streaming video widely available thanks to the likes of YouTube, most people don't have the patience to wait for a movie to download.
The technology also opens a lot of possibilities for content providers and there are even plans to take it one step further by enabling P2P live streaming, something that BitTorrent is currently working on.
mBit Infotech Rolls-Out Mobile P2P Application Service
Excerpted from Voice & Data Online Report
mBit Infotech has now rolled-out its new offering - a mobile P2P application service. The new application promises to enable consumers to use different applications like media sharing, search, and downloading from mobile phones of their peers.
In addition, the search option in the application allows users to search for ads, music / video sharing with an existing mobile content store. Another feature of the new application is that it can enable useful applications for verticals like mobile office, tourism, education, real estate, automobile, event-based marketing, and mobile advertising, among others.
Raghavendra Aggarwala, CEO, mBit Infotech, said, "Users today are highly mobile and expect to have access to information and entertainment on-the-move. An application like this will certainly enable them to download, upload, and share information with their peer group. This is going to be an extremely useful application for the ever-increasing mobile workforce and for youth."
Kontor New Media Selects RightsFlow for Licensing Services
Kontor New Media, a European market leader for digital distribution of independent music and movies, announced an agreement with RightsFlow to provide mechanical licensing and royalty payment services for Kontor's distributed labels.
Kontor New Media's label clients will be able to use RightsFlow's proprietary licensing, accounting and royalty payment technology to help manage the complex issues of copyright compliance. By offering labels this service, Kontor New Media is providing a cost-effective solution that will help reduce liability and ensure that creators are paid.
RightsFlow is one of the leading experts in mechanical licensing, simplifying how rights holders get paid. As new methods of consuming music have emerged the company has been a pioneer in solving the complex issues of copyright compliance and royalty payment. RightsFlow's proprietary FLOW technology provides a single, cost-effective channel that connects rights-holders and companies that sell or distribute music. This innovative solution ensures proper licensing, accurate accounting and timely payment of royalties, and has been widely adopted by labels, artists and global businesses.
"RightsFlow's technology and service solution helps extend Kontor New Media's effort to automate the mechanical administration process for all of our clients," said Michael Pohl, Managing Director of Kontor New Media. "We are excited about the partnership and look forward to providing our labels with these cost-effective tools to manage their royalty payments and clearances."
"We are delighted to partner with a European distribution and marketing leader like Kontor," said Patrick Sullivan, CEO, RightsFlow. "We look forward to demonstrating how RightsFlow's proven, simple service can provide a cost-effective solution for mechanical licensing compliance for Kontor New Media and its distributed labels. By utilizing our streamlined licensing and payment service, participating labels will be able to better focus on their core business of releasing great music."
Top-Ten Cloud Predictions for 2010
Appirio, a cloud solutions provider, highlights ten predictions for how cloud computing will impact enterprises in 2010. Appirio predicts that innovation from cloud ecosystems next year will remove many of the remaining barriers to enterprise adoption of cloud services. Industry analysts Gartner and IDC concur, placing cloud computing at or near the top of their own 2010 predictions.
"Customer success is the true measure of the cloud's effectiveness," said Ryan Nichols, head of cloudsourcing and cloud strategy for Appirio. "In 2009 we saw innovative enterprises such as Japan Post, Avon, and Starbucks demonstrate the business case for cloud computing. In 2010, that success will go mainstream."
Appirio's 2010 predictions include:
1. The cloud developer community will grow faster than open-source. Today's vendor-specific developer communities will be complemented by a community dedicated to the general discipline of building applications in the cloud, disrupting existing on-premise developer communities. The combination will launch a new generation of cloud developers.
2. Cloud standards won't (and shouldn't) happen. The pace of innovation is so rapid in the cloud that the emergence of truly open cloud standards won't yet be possible, except at the lowest levels of infrastructure. Traditional vendors will attempt to muddy the waters across layers and claim the standards high ground with efforts like the Open Cloud Manifesto.
3. Cloud providers tackle lock-in. Platform lock-in remains one of the major concerns keeping CIOs from building applications on PaaS. In 2010 we expect to see major initiatives from cloud providers to overcome this objection, either revolutionary (e.g., Force.com supporting other languages) or evolutionary (e.g., application migration frameworks or platform porting toolkits).
4. Cloud integration will get an enterprise poster-child. Boomi and Cast Iron have had a fantastic 2009 and we expect one will land a major enterprise customer in 2010 that replaces on-premise integration technology with a cloud-based alternative.
5. Enterprise apps get Googled. Google's investments in its cloud platform will transform Google Apps from a simple Exchange/Sharepoint replacement into a legitimate front end for enterprise applications (e.g., Google Web Toolkit, Secure Data Connector, and the Google Gadget Framework).
6. Enterprise collaboration is a feature, not a business. Salesforce Chatter and Google Wave have shown the value of real-time collaboration that is seamlessly integrated with business applications. Standalone enterprise collaboration offerings will have difficulty competing.
7. Microsoft lets Azure cannibalize a global account. Microsoft has shown that it's serious about Azure at this year's Professional Developers Conference. We predict that Azure will cannibalize Microsoft's on-premise footprint at a global account.
8. Cloud computing consolidation. With 2000+ providers, the cloud ecosystem is ripe for consolidation. Salesforce.com and Google are likely to continue with point acquisitions, but they won't be alone. Having missed the first wave of innovation in cloud computing (and lacking any other on-premise technology to acquire) we expect Oracle to buy into the industry that Larry Ellison has dismissed as water vapor. Maybe they'll finally snap up NetSuite.
9. Global Systems Integrators will do nothing more than cloud marketing. The most innovative thing we expect from Accenture next year is a replacement for its Tiger Woods ad campaign.
10. The real innovation will be in the business of cloud computing, not the technology. Cloud providers will become dramatically easier to do business with (e.g., Amazon Spot Markets) and new business models will emerge to make the cloud more consumable (e.g., cloud insurance providers, cloud security auditors, cloud brokerages).
These predictions are based on what Appirio is seeing firsthand from cloud practitioners around the globe, with a team of nearly 200 and over 2,500 customers moving more of their business to the cloud every day.
LimeWire's Plans for Working with the Music Industry
Excerpted from WebProNews Report by Chris Crum
Earlier this year, we spoke with LimeWire CEO George Searle about the music industry and the company's future, as it offers one of the most widely used file-sharing services. Now we have engaged in a Q&A with Zeeshan Zaidi, who came to LimeWire as the company's Head of Global in July, with a background as a record label executive, a musician, and a lawyer.
WebProNews (WPN): We're told the LimeWire software has been translated into Arabic and will soon be translated into Persian, while the software and website are translated into a total of 23 languages. How are languages chosen and what does this means for the global file-sharing community?
Zeeshan Zaidi (ZZ): LimeWire has over 50 million users and they are located in virtually every country on the planet. Ideally, we would love to have LimeWire's software and website available in every language so all our users could enjoy LimeWire in their native tongues. To that end, we "crowdsourced" the translation of our software, through the LimeWire Open Source Project, giving users the ability to translate the client into their own languages.
This has been a great success and we hope to continue to add languages this way. In addition, we have supplemented these efforts with professional translation, especially of the LimeWire.com website. Languages are prioritized based on the size of the total Internet population that speaks a given language, as well as the total LimeWire population of native speakers of a language that are currently using our software in English.
For example, we already had many users throughout the Middle East and North Africa using LimeWire in English, but with the addition of an Arabic translation, we can now make LimeWire accessible to entire online populations of the countries in the region - we're very excited about this. With the next release in December, we are adding Korean, Greek, Norwegian, and Persian to our list of translated languages. With each additional language, we connect more corners of the world to our network.
Sometimes our objectives when choosing languages go beyond reaching the most users - Persian is an example of this. When the Iranian post-election protest movement was gathering steam last summer, and the Iranian government was blocking the flow of coverage and information about the protests, LimeWire took action. We didn't take a stance on the elections themselves, but we are firmly committed to facilitating the free flow of information and strongly opposed to these forms of government censorship.
We featured video clips from the protests on our software's home page, and encouraged users throughout the world to download and spread the videos. However, at the time LimeWire did not have a Persian translation so we made that a priority. Coincidentally, Iranian activists have recently approached us letting us know that they want to be able to use LimeWire to share files among themselves and circumvent their government's attempts to block their communications. Again, while we are politically neutral, we will always take the side of Internet and information freedom.
WPN: We're told the latest version of the LimeWire software (5.3) improves BitTorrent performance, adds selective-downloading and file-prioritization within the torrent, and faster start-up. Can you tell us a little bit about the release and what is on tap for future releases?
ZZ: With every new release of LimeWire we add new features that are exciting to our users. We added BitTorrent functionality at the beginning of this year because there was a lot of demand for this, and we have been enhancing these capabilities with every release. So LimeWire users can now share files through the BitTorrent protocol in addition to the Gnutella network.
The adoption rate of version 5.3 has been great and we are very pleased with the results. In the next release - 5.4 - we're going to be adding additional features such as a video-player and even better BitTorrent features. It is our goal to continue to innovate on the software front and continue to provide our users with the best features.
WPN: It sounds like the LimeWire Store plays a key role in the future of LimeWire. Can you tell us about some of the plans for that?
ZZ: Many people don't realize that in addition to developing file sharing software Lime Wirealso operates a music store. LimeWire Store has over 4 million tracks available for sale a la carte or through a subscription service. All tracks are fully licensed from record labels and music publishers. Currently, the store is only available in the US. There is a tremendous opportunity in expanding the nature and breadth of the offering of LimeWire Store and rolling it out internationally.
We're working towards launching a new paid subscription music service. We plan to couple this with other ways to monetize the user experience. This plan has tremendous potential for the industry, and if successful, will put lots of money into the hands of copyright owners. LimeWire is serious about this mission: we are in talks with the entire music industry to make it happen. We've also assembled a team of talented and experienced media and technology executives so we can deliver on this vision.
WPN: You arrived at LimeWire after working with Sony BMG, Arista, and RCA overseeing online marketing and running digital business initiatives, as well as being a musician and an attorney. Can you discuss how your background influences your decisions at LimeWire?
ZZ: As we're planning the expansion of our store and the rollout of the new music service, my perspective is definitely informed by my background as an attorney, musician, and former record label executive. I care that consumers are provided with the best music search, discovery, sharing, and listening experience that takes advantage of cutting-edge technology to give our users what they want when they want it. As LimeWire prepares for the launch of our new subscription music service, these are the company's objectives and we're determined to work in conjunction with the music industry to achieve them.
WPN: A representative for LimeWire tells us file sharing is not about a battle between file sharers and the music industry, and that technology companies such as LimeWire can work with labels and publishers to build and deploy services that consumers will like. How do you see this developing?
ZZ: Although there's currently a lot of heated public debate about file sharing I do not view it as battle between file sharers and the music industry. I have no negative feelings towards the music establishment. Quite the contrary: I respect the magnitude of challenges that they are facing, because I used to tackle them myself. It's not easy to protect a revenue base derived from content when digitization is changing the way your consumers interact with and consume it.
My belief, though, is that technology companies such as LimeWire can work with record labels and publishers to build and deploy services that consumers will love. One way of accomplishing this is through rolling out the music service that I described above.
Ustream Offers Live Coverage of Hollywood Events
Excerpted from Interactive TV Today Report by Tracy Swedlow
Live Internet broadcast service provider Ustream powered live, interactive feeds of Tuesday's Golden Globes nominations and Wednesday's premier of the new James Cameron movie, Avatar.
According to the company, its live interactive stream of the "Avatar" red carpet was the result of a partnership with Twentieth Century Fox and MySpace. It included a live webcast and celebrity interviews, and allowed viewers to interact with one another through Ustream chat or through Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, or AIM.
The company's live webcast of the Golden Globe nominations ceremony was a first-ever of that event, and featured interactive/social viewing. A list of various other interactive live streaming events that Ustream powered this week is available here.
What is the Killer App for Cloud Computing?
Excerpted from Computer World Report by Chris Poelker
Unless you have had your head buried in the sand lately, you have by now heard of the term cloud computing. Cloud computing can be defined as service-based computing, where a company buys software or storage as a service (SaaS) from an internal or external provider.
A good example of cloud computing in action is e-mail from either Yahoo or Google. Instead of running your own mail servers, you simply allow your employees to use the services provided by those companies to eliminate the capital costs of doing it yourself. You may not have complete control, or get everything your heart desires in a mail solution, but the price sure is right. It will be interesting to see how long these companies can go without charging for these services.
Another SaaS cloud company is SalesForce, which provides software to manage customer relations management (CRM) and sales campaigns. Not having to build out the infrastructure for these applications internally can save big money on capital investments, and enable the people in the information technology (IT) department to focus on delivering new customer facing applications which impact the bottom line.
The desire for companies to reduce costs and focus IT on core business applications which can increase profits and shareholder value brings us to the killer apps for the cloud.
If you look at the cost factors driving IT, back-up and disaster recovery (DR) are the two biggest chunks of TCO expenses incurred.
It takes a lot of time and money to protect the growing amount of data, and with the government increasing regulatory oversight and mandating that data be kept around for years for review, costs and complexity are increasing rapidly. The desire to have someone else worry about it for you and take that monkey off your back is not only good business, it's human nature.
As an example, I just moved to a new home, and it just so happens that the previous owners had hired a lawn service. Now being a frugal guy, I had never used a professional lawn service before, so I was spending most of my summers and fall weekends either mowing the lawn or raking leaves myself. I was going to let the lawn service owner know we no longer needed his services.
In an interesting turn of events, I happened by the new house one day prior to moving in while the guys were doing the yard. I noticed that what would have taken me many hours to accomplish over the weekend, these guys were able to do at what seemed light speed to me.
Start to finish, about an hour. Looking at how wonderful everything looked when they were done, I called the owner to ask what he had been spending per year on the service. The cost ended up being just a little over what I was spending on my previous house for rakes, bags, lawnmower repairs, weed-killer, etc. Suffice to say, I no longer mow my own lawn, or rake my own leaves. It gets done by a couple of professional guys in around an hour, and now I have my weekends back!
So how does this relate to back-up and DR? Just think of all the free time you will have to focus on core applications if you no longer had to worry about back-up and DR. Just hire a cloud service provider to come in with a solution to securely and efficiently suck all your data over to their secure offsite location for a small fee per month.
You can get rid of your tapes, tape drives, back-up software, replication solution, and DR site. Now add all that up, plus the time it saves, and you can see how virtualization, continuous protection, and data de-duplication enable more cost effective cloud-based services for backup and DR. 2010 will be a huge year for the cloud!
MP3 Rocket Software Generates Artist Revenue
MP3 Rocket's latest software release adds multiple purchasing options for obtaining songs, CDs, concert tickets, ringtones, and more; and becomes the first file-sharing application to provide instant access to song lyrics.
MP3 Rocket is helping to bridge the gap between free-music file sharing and financial compensation for artists. Starting with version 5.3.5, the software also features user-experience improvements such as live chat-rooms and one-click access to song lyrics - the industry's first file-sharing client to incorporate this feature.
"There are big issues at play in this latest release," said Paschal Rousseau, an MP3 Rocket developer. "Our focus on innovation and value continues to drive our product development and the quality of our users' experience, which we believe is an industry-best. But our effort to incorporate purchasing options has tremendous potential for the music industry. It's a starting point to begin channeling revenue towards copyright owners."
The record industry has been reeling ever since Shawn Fanning created the first-of-its-kind file-sharing and download software service Napster in 1999. However, the industry's various approaches to slow consumer adoption of an expanding array of implementations of this disruptive distribution technology have been painfully unsuccessful, and file sharing continues to grow exponentially and reach unprecedented numbers.
Cisco Systems published a white paper in June 2009 that stated that, by the end of 2008, file sharing accounted for 50% of all global consumer Internet traffic. Looking forward, in Table 5 of the same report, Cisco predicts that global consumer file-sharing traffic on the Internet will continue to grow at an average of 24% each year through 2013.
"We respect the enormous challenges the music industry is facing," said Rousseau. "It's not easy to protect a revenue base coming from content when digitization is changing the fundamental ways that customers are interacting with and consuming it - just look at what's happening to newspapers."
Making money in the digital world requires new strategies that embrace how music consumers are now able to search, discover, and share, he said. "We believe that technology companies such as MP3 Rocket can collaborate with record labels and publishers to build and deploy services that this rising generation of consumers will embrace. A big step in this direction is the new purchasing features that we've just released."
When a user conducts a search for his or her favorite artist in the latest version of MP3 Rocket, the search results include a new "Downloads" column with a hyperlink entitled "More." When the link is clicked a window is generated that provides a host of new options including "Song Lyrics," "Buy This Song," "Get This CD," "Get Ringtones," and "Find Live Concerts." With one click the user is directed instantly to the purchase or content option that they've selected.
In the few days since the new functionality was released, Paschal said MP3 Rocket users have begun purchasing music and "the numbers are promising. Our users are proving that music lovers want to support the artists they listen to."
Paschal says MP3 Rocket users initiate millions of searches every month. "That's a lot of opportunities to reach music fans with the right offerings. We have a unique window available to help the music industry build a new future of file sharing that compensates rights holders while maintaining the characteristics of technology and community that make P2P so compelling to users."
Popular File-Sharing Service Will Obtain License
Excerpted from Global Times Report
One of China's most popular BitTorrent downloading websites, VeryCD, should be able to obtain an Online Audio-Visual Broadcasting License, an official at Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture, Radio, Film and TV (SCRFT) told the Global Times Monday. The application may be seen on SCRFT's website, which says VeryCD should receive its license by March 2010.
"We are working on VeryCD's application and are waiting for the response from Beijing authorities," an official of SCRFT said. "We support any website that offers file sharing through authorized channels."
The development came after the Shanghai-based website, which offers users the ability to download movies and TV programs, including foreign films, was suspended last Wednesday, raising suspicion that it was targeted by the government's crackdown on unlicensed video websites. The site was up again the following day.
The website posted an online notice December 10th saying that the problem had been technical and not due to licensing issues.
The three main BitTorrent sites in the nation, BTChina, UUbird, and ydy, which offer file sharing, were shut down for not having licenses to provide audio and video content.
Huang Yimeng, Co-Founder of VeryCD, told Beijing News earlier that the website was in the process of applying to the authorities. The one-day shutdown of VeryCD, a website that has 25,000 movies, caused panic among Internet users.
PPLive, a website that offers online video entertainment services, obtained a license last year. Its executives told the Global Times that obtaining a license is essential.
"The biggest difference between PPLive and BTChina is that we have copyright approval for all the online programs we offer," PPLive's Marketing Director Chen Zhong said.
But experts said obtaining a license will not make VeryCD immune from a future crackdown.
"If it provides audio that is against the regulation, it would be shut down anyway," Wang Sixin, Professor of Communication at the Communication University of China, told the Global Times Monday. Wang added that issuing online audio-visual broadcasting licenses could hinder the free flow of information.
"The government could track down anyone who violated the regulation through their IP addresses," he said. "It is not necessary to issue licenses to block individuals from sharing free information on the Internet."
"Only a small minority are doing bad things," he added.
The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television said more than 180 websites and companies had licenses to offer online video and audio content in 2007, First Financial Daily reported last year.
Demonoid Returns to the Web
Excerpted from Pocket Lint Report by Duncan Geere
Back in September, after suffering massive hardware issues, BitTorrent tracker Demonoid went down. But now, the site suddenly appears to be back online, accepting log-ins from registered users.
An announcement on the front page reads, "Hello! We are currently testing the newly written code. More downtime is hopefully not necessary, but might be a possibility. Welcome back, we missed you!" Perhaps as a result of the data loss, the latest torrents in the database only run to September 11th - before the site went down.
The RSS feeds for the site still aren't functioning, but users are reportedly logging in to find their share ratio almost exactly where they left it when the site went down. The little demon logo is back too, complete with a Christmas theme.
While some suspected that the original tracker actually went down due to involvement from content owners, it appears that either that was incorrect or that the site has managed to get around the issue in some way - many sites often relocate to a different country when they have difficulty with content rights-holders.
However, it may be that Demonoid, thanks to its invite-only nature, attracts a little less attention from the major music labels and film studios. We'll keep a close eye on the site and see what happens after Christmas.
Coming Events of Interest
P2P MEDIA SUMMIT at CES - January 6th in Las Vegas, NV. The DCIA's seminal industry event, featuring keynotes from top P2P, social networking, and cloud computing software companies; tracks on policy, technology, and marketing; panel discussions covering content distribution and solutions development.
2010 International CES - January 6th-10th in Las Vegas, NV. The industry's largest educational forum to help companies expand their businesses and understand new technology. Over 200 conferences and more than 300 expert speakers encompass International CES.
World's Fair Use Day - January 12th in Washington, DC. WFUD is fast approaching and Public Knowledge is happy to announce a number of exciting additions to the list of confirmed speakers. Head over to the World's Fair Use Day website to view the full schedule. And be sure to join us for a day-long celebration of fair use, creativity and remix culture!
MIDEM & MidemNet - January 23rd-27th in Cannes, France. MIDEM is where music professionals from across the industry meet face-to-face to do business, analyze trends and build partnerships. MIDEM brings together music leaders looking for concrete solutions and insights. MidemNet's renowned digital business conference program is now included free with your MIDEM registration.
Vator Splash Event - February 4th in San Francisco, CA. Vator, a leading platform for innovators and entrepreneurs to broadcast themselves, is holding its inaugural Vator Splash Competition to find 10 promising early-stage start-ups to present at this special event. Enter the competition today using the 25% discount code: VatorDCIA.
Cloud Computing Forum - February 10th online. Open source software developer Red Hat will host an online forum on open source cloud computing. The forum will include technical presentations from across the cloud computing industry, as well as discussions on current challenges and solutions offered by open source technologies.
P2P MARKET CONFERENCE - March 9th in New York, NY. Strategies to fulfill the multi-billion dollar revenue potential of the P2P and cloud computing channel for the distribution of entertainment content. Case studies of sponsorships, cross-promotion, interactive advertising, and exciting new hybrid business models.
Media Summit New York - March 10th-11th in New York, NY. MSNY is the premier international conference on media, broadband, advertising, television, cable & satellite, mobile, publishing, radio, magazines, news & print media, and marketing.