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October 4, 2010
Volume XXXII, Issue 6

BitTorrent Delivers Unique Media to Users through Two New Apps

BitTorrent, the industry-leading technology company engineering transformative new products to accelerate the discovery, distribution, and delivery of media over the Internet, this week announced two key new apps now available to BitTorrent Mainline users.

The first features "talks" from TED, the non-profit organization devoted to "ideas worth spreading." The app aggregates TED's famous 18-minute talks - from luminaries in a wide range of fields, including technology, entertainment, design, science, business, and global development - into a single app-based destination found in the new apps feature in the BitTorrent Mainline client released two weeks ago and in the current uTorrent beta. Now, it is easier than ever for users to quickly and easily discover TED's informative, educational and inspiring videos.

"We're thrilled to collaborate with BitTorrent to bring "TEDTalks" to millions of new viewers," said June Cohen, Executive Producer of TED Media. "TED's mission is to spread ideas, and BitTorrent's new apps platform will amplify our work really powerfully, reaching a large and engaged audience who may be new to TED."

The second app released this week, called "Zulu Music," was the winner of BitTorrent's uTorrent Developer Challenge launched last July.

Zulu Music allows users to easily discover and download new artists for free via the Jamendo API. The app was built on a JavaScript-based extension framework and was developed using the BT Apps SDK.

The App Developer Challenge tasked independent developers around the globe to create apps that inspire innovative uses of uTorrent and BitTorrent and enhance the product's user experience through new features and functionality. Zulu's developer, Steven Viola, will receive a $1,000 gift certificate to Amazon.com; uTorrent memorabilia; and a winner's badge for his website.

"I am thrilled to be named the App Developers Challenge winner," said Steven Viola. "The fact that the apps are JavaScript means I'm free of many of the typical barriers of app platforms. The possibilities are virtually limitless, and understanding that I can reach so many people with my app is hugely motivational. I look forward to developing many more apps in the future."

"Apps add an entirely new dimension to our popular BitTorrent and uTorrent software, and are one of our key initiatives in helping bridge the relationships between content creators and consumers," said Eric Klinker, CEO at BitTorrent. "Engaging the developer community is integral part of our vision for the future of a world where people can discover entertaining and informative content. TED and Zulu Music are prime examples of how this vision will be fulfilled today, tomorrow and into the future."

Content in the Cloud Comes to the Digital Media Conference

Don't miss Content in the Cloud: What Does the Future Hold? on October 27th at Digital Media Conference West in San Francisco, CA.

From MP3tunes to Spotify to Gaikai, cloud-based services that hold on to your content - music, games, files, etc. - and allow you to stream on demand to multiple devices are popular with consumers. Recent announcements about new market entrants and speculation that Apple and possibly Google may launch their own cloud-based services have created new questions and a lot of buzz around the concept of "music in the cloud."

How are these services developing and what more needs to be done to fully legitimize cloud-based distribution channels? What kinds of marketing and promotional tactics show the most promise for profitably exploiting these uniquely consumer-based systems? What does the future hold for cloud-based entertainment content services? Panelists will include Mick Bass, Vice President, Alliances, Ascent Media Group; David Reitman, Vice President Business Development, Gaikai; and Ty Roberts, Chief Technology Officer, Gracenote.

Republicans Nix Net Neutrality Bill 

Excerpted from Reuters Report

A temporary legislative fix to regulate broadband traffic failed to garner Republican support, killing the chance of a remedy from the Congress before the mid-term elections.

For weeks, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman floated legislation contingent on bipartisan support. He said it would be "an interim measure to protect net neutrality while Congress considers a permanent solution." The underlying idea of net neutrality is that high-speed Internet providers should not be allowed to give preferential treatment to content providers that pay for faster transmission. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took up the controversial issue over the summer but was unable to reach a consensus with phone, cable and Internet companies.

Waxman's proposal would have prevented broadband providers from blocking legal websites, but fell short of holding mobile providers to more stringent net neutrality standards. Please click here for the full story.

Report from CEO Marty Lafferty

Photo of CEO Marty LaffertyChairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) of the US House Energy and Commerce Committee acknowledged this week that his efforts to introduce a compromise net neutrality measure, have failed for now, largely due to opposition from Ranking Member Joe Barton (R-TX) and his GOP associates.

The Distributed Computing Industry Association (DCIA) is concerned that Republican lawmakers may unintentionally be exposing the Internet and the companies that rely on it to a far more serious risk from the Democrat administration by taking this stance.

The proposed bill essentially would establish a two-year term during which consumers, Internet service providers (ISPs), distributed computing software firms, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would benefit from relatively restrained provisions.

This would also provide needed time to more thoroughly examine and revise the Telecommunications Act, which is in serious need of a major overhaul for the digital age.

For their part, ISPs would have to abide by the FCC's previously articulated Internet neutrality principles under Waxman's measure, with enforcement assigned to the Commission, which would be empowered to impose fines of up to $2 million for violations. In this respect, the bill is similar to the proposal developed last month by Verizon and Google, representing balanced and practical input from the private sector into this process that would ensure continued investment and innovation in developing broadband services.

The FCC, for its part, would be prohibited from reclassifying broadband access as a telecommunications service subject to common carrier rules. The DCIA believes that this aspect of Waxman's bill is very important, and the specter of the Commission making that move absent this legislation warrants GOP reconsideration of its position.

The draft language would have supported the FCC's established net neutrality guidelines in ways that are similar to the Commission's own proposed rulemaking. But it would also have reinforced the deregulatory direction of the most recent version of the Telecommunications Act by fundamentally limiting the additional amount of regulation that the FCC could unilaterally bring to bear on the Internet.

The narrowly tailored rules that this bill would allow pale in comparison to the massive regulatory powers that the Commission could claim if its proceeds with is proposed Title II reclassification.

In announcing that the legislation would not move forward, at least for now, Congressman Waxman noted that this is a "loss for consumers," and blamed the decision largely on not having necessary Republican support. He expressed hope, however, that "cooler heads" might prevail after the November elections.

GOP Congressman Barton said, "If the majority wants to work on a solution to continue a free and open Internet, let's consider the issue deliberately, rather than punting with a halfway measure two days before the end of Congress."

Barton's opposition, for which he claimed a consensus of agreement among Republican Committee Members, was based on not wanting Congress to authorize the FCC to regulate the Internet even on an interim basis subject to the Waxman bill's narrow limitations. The question GOP lawmakers need to ask, however, is whether holding out for a longer term solution will actually lead to a more draconian outcome. "Making the ideal the enemy of the practical" may be too dangerous a course in the current circumstances.

Consumer advocacy groups, meanwhile, are renewing their calls for the FCC to act now to exert just such authority absent a Congressional mandate.

Of greatest concern is that, with the three-vote majority required to do so at the FCC, Chairman Julius Genachowski will move to impose Title II reclassification of broadband at the Commission's November 30th open meeting.

The FCC going its own way would be extremely damaging to Internet-based businesses both large and small, while passage of Waxman's interim bill - at least in the short term - would avert this potentially disastrous Commission power grab of control over the Internet.

As a practical matter, inaction of both Congress and the FCC this year would give time for the private sector, and in particular telecommunications companies and Internet-based software firms, representing key constituents that comprise the distributed computing industry, to demonstrate continued progress absent further regulation in this space.

If Republicans cannot be convinced to change their thinking and support the Waxman measure, which the DCIA believes would be the lesser of two evils in this case, then interested parties must do all that we can to ensure that the FCC does not act on November 30th, in what would be yet another end-run around Constitutional process by the Democrat administration.

We urge DCINFO readers to pay attention to this critical issue and get involved. Share wisely, and take care.

Exclusive Interview with BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker 

Excerpted from APP Market Report by Natan Edelsburg

The history of BitTorrent goes back to 2001 when Bram Cohen invented the "content delivery protocol" that is currently the "global standard for delivering popular media files over the Internet." With a BitTorrent client, users can transfer media files by "downloading pieces of a file from several different sources," while "concurrently uploading pieces of the file to other users." The more popular the file is, the faster it will download. 

As UrbanDictionary defines "torrenting," the phenomenon has become synonymous media consumers around the globe staying up-to-date with television programming and movies from the US and elsewhere, but often without authorization. BitTorrent's protocol has primarily been in the news related to copyright infringers that use the tool - until recently.

I had the chance to interview BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker, at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. BitTorrent was one of the main partners at Disrupt showcasing its new TED Talks app and their new Featured Artists Pilot Program. Listen to Klinker discuss their new products, monetization, entertainment conglomerates, and plans to explore partnering with an international broadcaster.

The company has grown 50% since January 2010 and has plans to take Gen-Y's most popular media distribution platform to the next level.

Using Distributed Computing to Model Climate Change

Excerpted from ReadWriteWeb by Audrey Watters

The search for extraterrestrial life with SETI@Home perhaps popularized the idea of distributed computing projects. Now NASA has plans to undertake a similar project, using that model not to look for aliens but to help perform research on climate change models.

The initiative is called Climate@Home and is collaboration between NASA, over a dozen Federal agencies, and several universities and private organizations. Goddard Space Flight Center's Robert Cahalan is serving as the project scientist and has assembled an international team of scientists to help set science goals and determine which parameters to run.

Like SETI@Home, the project will perform the supercomputer processing necessary to test the accuracy of climate change models not with supercomputers themselves, but by distributing that processing across a network of computers - in effect, virtualizing the supercomputing. An effort to help reduce the carbon footprint of this sort of massive processing, software for the Climate@Home will be available for download so that volunteers can run it on their computers as a background process.

This model will be comprised of equations that describe how atmospheric temperature, air pressure, winds, water vapor, clouds, precipitation, and other factors all respond to the Sun's heating of the Earth's surface and atmosphere. These models help predict how the climate might respond to small changes in the Earth's ability to absorb sunlight or radiate energy into space. Those participating in the program will run the same model but with slight variations in certain parameters. And from this scientists will be able to examine sensitive climate predictions are.

Climate@Home is modeled on the European project Climateprediction.net. NASA says the project will be rolled out in early 2011.

Four Signs that Migration to IPTV Is Accelerating

Excerpted from The Week Report

Consumers are cutting the cord and ditching their cable subscriptions for online options like Hulu and iTunes. Is cable TV not long for this world?

In the second quarter of 2010, six of the country's eight largest cable companies reported their worst subscriber losses ever. Industry experts have long speculated that cable television is the next "traditional media" doomed to a long, slow death in the wake of new technology. Here are four signs that they may be right:

First, self-acknowledgement: Even the cable companies themselves are acknowledging that cable TV isn't a good value. "Young people are pretty smart," Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg told a Goldman Sachs' media conference last week. "They're not going to pay for something they don't need."

Second, big competition: Earlier this month, Apple announced that its revamped Apple TVs would be going for just $99 (older versions were $229) and started offering $.99 rentals on TV shows. Google TV, set for release this fall, will turn traditional TV sets into web browsers - and let viewers search for (and watch) the expanding range of television options available online. Netflix's streaming video service, Watch Instantly, is growing rapidly, and has reportedly inspired Amazon to jump in with a similar offering. "Netflix has already won the digital TV/Video War," said Paul Verna in Ad Age. A new Credit Suisse study found that 37% of Netflix subscribers between the ages of 25 and 34 watch Netflix streaming instead of TV, while 30% of subscribers between 18 and 24 have have ditched their cable TV.

Third, Blockbuster's bankruptcy: The downfall of the movie-rental chain isn't a good omen for the cable industry. "Pay TV operators should heed the lessons that Blockbuster's downfall teaches," said Greg Sandoval at CNET News. "Netflix competes with pay TV the same way" it did with Blockbuster.

And fourth, pessimistic city planning: New York City is already preparing for "life after cable," reports The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Though the city currently pockets $110 million annually from its cut of cable subscription revenue, a new deal guarantees the city renegotiating rights if that figure drops more than 22.5% over the next ten years "as consumers shift to Internet video." It's likely the sign of a wider trend. "Where do early adopters live in this country?" asks Eddie Borges, the Communications Director for the city's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, as quoted in the WSJ. "They live in New York."

A New Model for Music Videos

Excerpted from Video Insider Report by Mike Henry

If you watch a music video three times in a row and can't remember a lyric or chorus, there must be another reason you're wasting time at work. Such is the case with White Knuckles, the latest video from the band OK Go.

OK Go has never embraced a normal path for popular music. They've been making hit viral videos since before YouTube mattered, and have had more success getting their songs into videogames than into people's iTunes libraries. Early this year, OK Go broke from its relationship with EMI, not long after the lead singer, Damian Kulash, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times where he essentially opined that the record industry and the band didn't agree on how to leverage the value of online music videos.

The band formed its own label and, effectively, a new business model for how artists can connect directly with their audience and marketers, and indirectly benefit by promotion and

awareness that drives merchandise sales and touring.

Whether their model provides better economics (even for them) has yet to be determined. These videos do take time and they do cost money - more than $200k in the case of their Rube Goldberg video for the song "This Too Shall Pass," according to the band's manager.

But think about the potential payoff.

The current video generated 3 million views in three days. That's about $60k in media value to a brand advertiser. The Rube Goldberg video has gotten 18 million views in 6 months. That's more than $350k in media value. That video was also sponsored and partially underwritten by State Farm.

The band's videos have been seen nearly 100 million times in total on YouTube - that's probably an audience of over 20 million. Even if only 1% of them ever bought one track, that's still 200,000 tracks. And some of them must have gone on to see a show or buy a T-shirt, right?

The "White Knuckle"s video was done in support of the ASPCA. But the band didn't stop with the video. They've gone on to develop a re-mix contest with the higher-def audio content for sale on their site. The contest is underwritten by Rock Band.

As the traditional music money pot continues to shrink, musicians are increasingly open to engage marketers with creative projects that help both sides achieve their goals. And in many cases, music videos and social networks are creating the currency that makes all this worthwhile.

Kudos to OK Go for connecting their unique form of entertainment with good causes and smart brands.

BitTorrent Live Streaming - Make Your Own YouTube

Excerpted from ZDNet Report by Tom Foremski

Earlier this week I attended a media roundtable at Boulevard in San Francisco with top executives from BitTorrent, which invented the popular file-sharing technology that has about 80 million monthly users. I spoke with Eric Klinker, CEO; Bram Cohen, Chief Scientist and Co-Founder; and Simon Morris, VP of Marketing and Product.

Here are some notes from the event:

BitTorrent has been working on a live streaming technology for two years and now it is almost ready to be rolled out. The company expects to launch it by the end of this year. It is described as very robust. With this software, you could effectively host your own YouTube; you wouldn't need to upload videos to a hosting site, you would be able to stream directly from your hard drive.

The company is trying to show the commercial sector that it can be used to solve significant issues around distribution of large files across the entire Internet. BitTorrent is also looking into launching a service that helps connect like-minded BitTorrent users. It has the capability to message each user. Using BitTorrent through a virtual private network (VPN) connection improves user privacy.

BitTorrent this week launched an App platform and it is also working with artists to power a shared film festival, and also with TED to distribute videos.

The company changed its protocol earlier this year to avert the problem of Internet service providers (ISPs) blocking BitTorrent file transfers because its traffic was taking up too much bandwidth. The new protocol automatically detects when bandwidth is in short supply and slows down the transfer until more bandwidth is available. This can speed up file sharing because there is no blocking.

The number of users has jumped from 20 million monthly two years ago to as many as 100 million during some months. Much of this growth has come from emerging economies, such as Russia, where more than 50% of Russian males between the ages 18-to-34 years use BitTorrent.

BitTorrent "democratizes the Internet and brings the 'cloud' to the edge."

I was impressed with the BitTorrent team and I see the technology as almost a fundamental part of the Internet infrastructure. It solves many key problems in terms of moving large data files, such as high resolution video, among Internet users.

The clever approach to making sure that BitTorrent file transfers do not tie-up Internet bandwidth shows that the company is striving hard to be a good citizen and improve the usefulness of its technology.

Orcon Selects Alcatel-Lucent's Velocix Platform

Alcatel-Lucent this week announced that it has been chosen by Orcon to improve the delivery and experience of Internet-based video to its customers.

Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its next-generation Velocix Digital Media Delivery Platform in key centers across New Zealand, allowing Orcon to offer broadcasters, content distributors and web-site owners a faster and more efficient connection to broadband users across multiple networks and devices including PCs, mobiles and TVs. The Velocix platform will enable Orcon to cost-effectively meet the fast-growing demand for online video, as well as to open up new revenue opportunities.

"As video-on-demand (VoD) and streaming TV websites grow in popularity, the amount of online video watched by broadband users is growing at an incredible rate," said Charlie Boyd, Head of Wholesale at Orcon. "By leveraging Alcatel-Lucent's Velocix infrastructure, we can offer content providers a local content delivery network (CDN) solution that meets their specific requirements, with the assurance of knowing its technology and services are proven by telcos and broadcasters around the world.

Jyoti Mahurkar-Thombre, Head of Alcatel-Lucent's New Zealand operations said, "We are witnessing an explosion in data traffic over both fixed and mobile networks. As New Zealand moves towards a fiber-based ultra-fast broadband future, that exponential growth in online video will only continue."

Paul Larbey, General Manager of Velocix said, "Our aim is to work with Orcon to develop a high leverage network that can handle the extra demand efficiently while at the same time, creating the potential for new revenues by exposing the assets within the network in a secure way."

The Velocix platform is a key element of Alcatel-Lucent's High Leverage Network' architecture - a fully converged, scalable, next generation, all-IP multiservice infrastructure that enables operators to deliver traffic more reliably, efficiently and at the lowest cost, while also leveraging the network to generate revenue from sophisticated managed services and applications.

QTRAX Goes Live in Asia and Australasia

Excerpted from Music Week Report by Eamonn Forde

Ad-funded music service QTRAX has launched in beta in several Asian and Australasian markets, including India, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand

The site's international rollout was originally scheduled to launch in a number of Asian markets, including China, almost exactly a year ago.

In November 2009, QTRAX signed a partnership deal with Baidu, China's leading search engine, to direct music-related searches to its legal music platform.

The company says that it has now "secured unique licenses with major music labels, and is therefore able to provide completely legal music downloads." It also added that "portability to many of the new smart-phones and most MP3 music players is coming soon." Tracks are currently enabled for Windows Media Player and Windows Mobile.

QTRAX CEO and Co-President Allan Klepfisz said, "QTRAX is beginning with a strong Asia focus. The opportunities in this part of the world are very substantial. There is massive music consumption, combined with fewer legal services. We are very excited about building our presence across Asian markets."

The QTRAX site adds that launches in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Russia, Taiwan, and China are imminent.

Wikipedia Uses BitTorrent to Keep Video Bandwidth Costs Down 

Excerpted from Softpedia Report by Lucian Parfeni

Wikipedia has been pushing video content for the past few months encouraging contributors to add video data to entries. It recently rolled out a HTLM5 video editor for use on the site.

Apparently, Wikipedia's actions proved successful, so much so that the site is now worrying about the all the bandwidth video content eats up.

"As Wikimedia and the community embark on campaigns and programs to increase video contribution and usage on the site, we are starting to see video usage on Wikimedia sites to grow and we hope for it to grow a great deal more," Wikimedia's Michael Dale wrote on the foundation's Tech Blog.

"One potential problem with increased video usage on the Wikimedia sites is that video is many times more costly to distribute than text and images that make up Wikipedia articles today," he said.

"Eventually bandwidth costs could saturate the foundation budget or leave less resources for other projects and programs," he added.

Wikimedia is now experimenting with a P2P solution to distribute video content. P2P-Next is a group funded by the EU, which aims to lower the cost of online video distribution.

The group has created a Firefox add-on, Swarmplayer 2.0, which is being made available today. The add-on uses BitTorrent for P2P distribution. An IE version is in the works.

Wikimedia, the foundation behind Wikipedia, has enabled support for the add-on on its sites, including Wikipedia. This means that every video viewed from one of those sites will be streamed via BitTorrent as well as a regular HTTP connection.

The video is then stored locally and is made available via BitTorrent to other Swarmplayer users. The advantage of this is that it keeps bandwidth costs down for hosts and it may result in higher speeds for viewers in some cases, if the video is popular enough.

jacAPPS and Abacast Partner for Mobile Radio Applications

Abacast, a provider of online radio streaming solutions, and jacAPPS, a division of Jacobs Media and one of the world's largest developers of mobile applications, have partnered to provide Abacast-branded online radio mobile applications for Abacast online radio customers.

The applications, which will be branded as the "Abacast Mobile Player, developed by jacAPPS" will be tightly integrated with the Abacast Radio Streaming Platform and provide multiple features for station revenue generation including rotating panels for multiple sponsorships and integration with the Abacast Ad Insertion System for in-stream audio ads with synchronized banners, pre-roll video ads and display ads.

"After looking at many of the online radio app developers in the market, we chose jacAPPS because of their deep radio domain experience, focus on station revenue generation, and app development expertise," said Rob Green, interim CEO of Abacast. "jacAPPS' state of the art mobile apps will provide our customers with the ability to capitalize on the growth in mobile listenership and provide them a significant revenue stream."

"We're excited to work with Abacast because of their extensive customer base and deep experience in monetization of radio stations," said Paul Jacobs, Vice President and General Manager at jacAPPS. "Both companies realize that the explosive growth in mobile means not only an increase in audiences but also significant and new revenue opportunities."

Dyyno dUbTM Delivers HQ Video to Justin.tv Broadcasters

In just two weeks of its launch at DEMO, the Dyyno Universal Broadcaster (dUb) is being used by over five thousand Justin.tv broadcasters, who are generating close to five percent of Justin.tv's live streams at any given time. Justin.tv users from all over the world are now broadcasting a variety of content including movies, games, live cameras, desktop, and internet browsers - leveraging the "universal" capability of dUb.

"Bringing high quality videos to Justin.tv's 30 million users was among our top three goals when we unveiled dUb at DEMO," said Raj Jaswa, CEO and President of Dyyno. "In just two weeks of dUb launch we are seeing over 60% of the dUb streams on Justin.tv are in HQ. This is essentially a validation that everyone is ready for high quality streaming."

Unlike other broadcasting tools, dUb is truly easy to use. Over 90 percent of users who signed in to dUb went on to broadcast their content. dUb comes with streaming "presets" for Games, Movies, Documents, Photos, and Automatic - settings that work out of the box. Broadcasters who want to fine tune their stream quality, dUb offers a "custom settings" to adjust bit rate, frame rate (FPS), and resolution. dUb also supports simultaneous recording on to local disk in MP4 format of the content that's being broadcast. More than 20% of dUb broadcasters on Justin.tv used this capability to record their live streams.

Dyyno launched dUb with a 2 million dollar promotion offering the $199 per license product for free to the first 10,000 Justin.tv broadcasters. As of today, more than a half of free dUb broadcasters are claimed and the promotion is expected to complete by mid October. Broadcasters can download dUb from Justin.tv and get started with the dUb how to video.

"Wow, it looks really amazing," said a Justin.tv broadcaster who started streaming with dUb. Broadcasters using dUb can reach out to over 30 million users of the Justin.tv portal, thereby building an instant audience and mass promotion. Alternatively, the broadcasters can leverage Dyyno P2P viral distribution using their Dyyno channel or on their own portal. The latter option, Dyyno Hybrid P2P distribution offers content owners and distributors the ability to monetize their content via ads and subscriptions.

Virtually in the Cloud

Excerpted from Linoma Software Report

The buzz around cloud computing and virtualization is exciting. Virtualization is not a new concept as this is a progression from distributed computing. What creates the excitement is that virtualization has gained momentum with a few key players making it easy to manage virtual servers via a console or hypervisor.

Why virtualize secure file transfers? The file management realm grew-up with the notion that nothing is secure unless it can be physically segregated in a locked room. This is not reality anymore. "Bare Metal" or "Domain 0" virtual servers are just as secure as physical boxes, but they need to be hardened at the operating system level in the same way as a physical server.

"Virtualization doesn't fit the traditional mold of dedicated servers to handle a corporation's encryption of sensitive data, secure data transfers or data translation functions," says Bob Luebbe, Chief Architect at Linoma Software. "There were many variables to consider, but we were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to implement a full VMware environment. The virtual servers were easy to manage and move among hosts."

The GoAnywhere suite of managed file transfer solutions are tested and certified for virtualized and cloud environments. GoAnywhere Director and GoAnywhere Services are the only VMware Ready software-based secure managed file transfer solutions available. GoAnywhere Gateway is the VMware Ready reverse proxy gateway for the DMZ that integrates with GoAnywhere Services.

Security in Cloud Computing Possible and Measurable

Excerpted from InfoTECH Report by Rajani Baburajan

Cloud computing solutions are the economically viable options for several businesses; however, there are rising concerns over the security and privacy of these services.

To allay this fear, Broadband Testing, an independent test lab, and Spirent Communications, a provider of test and measurement solution, announced a new report that confirms that security in virtualized data center and cloud computing environments is both possible and measurable.

The report provides a detailed account of how HP TippingPoint's Secure Virtualization Framework (SVF) solution is able to create a secure virtual data center environment, resisting all recognized attacks.

The report says that security can be rigorously tested under "real world" operating and attack conditions using Spirent's pioneering cloud computing testing solutions with performance, availability, security, and scalability or 'PASS' methodology.

The outcome of this report is that "We can trust cloud," says Steve Broadhead, Founder and Director, Broadband Testing.

"Virtual security works in theory but, until there was a way to test it thoroughly under realistic conditions, solution vendors have had a hard time convincing their customers. Without Spirent we could not have done this - the testing proved not only highly rigorous, but also quite simple to set up and run," Broadhead added.

"Testing a complex hard-wired system can be tough, but at least the structure remains static," added Broadhead. "The Cloud is a good description from a network testers' perspective of the relative shapelessness of the virtual environment. Until the test process itself could be virtualized, the cloud remained pretty opaque."

Broadband Testing, in conjunction with Spirent Avalanche, tested internal and external-to-internal traffic under normal operating and extreme conditions as well as a wide range of attack scenarios. The solution could block all the threats in the HP TippingPoint signature, the only ones that passed were those not yet added to the then-current database.

Introduced in April this year, Spirent Avalanche Virtual is the first solution to test the performance, availability, security and scale of virtualized network appliances as well as cloud-based applications across public, private and hybrid cloud environments, according to company officials.

According to company officials, the virtual environment under test was truly representative of the next generation IT environment in that it included physical and virtual elements - with the HP TippingPoint IPS and SVF, as well as the test bed itself, consisting of physical and virtual versions of Spirent Avalanche.

"The key takeaway was that testing with Spirent stressed the capability of the security solution right to its limits," David Hill, Spirent's vice president for EMEA, said. "People assume that security is the final objective, when what is really needed is a precise way to quantify and tailor the level of security in a complex system. 'Tried and tested' means more than any amount of theoretical argument in this case."

With hybrid physical/virtual environments becoming the norm, there is the need to find new test methodologies to prove that these solutions actually deliver performance, security and scalability, according to company officials.

"The economic benefits of cloud computing are overwhelming, but so are the security concerns of network operators and their customers," Hill continued. "This independent report breaks that deadlock, as reliable testing now makes it easy for system vendors to mitigate the risks of migrating to the cloud, while optimizing resource utilization under an exhaustive range of real-world operating and threat scenarios.

Tech Firms Urge Delay of Anti-Infringement Measure

Excerpted from Digital Media Wire Report by Mark Hefflinger

Technology firms have urged Congress to halt the fast-tracking of a Senate bill that would empower the Justice Department to shut down websites accused of offering infringing copyrighted works and counterfeit goods, CNET News reported.

The bipartisan Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Acts (COICA) - which could have been brought up for a vote as early as Thursday - was introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) last week. 

Supporters included the RIAA and MPAA, AFL-CIO, and US Chamber of Commerce. 

"Legislation like this goes through, we start to break the Internet," Ed Black, CEO of the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), told CNET. "Nobody is arguing that copyright infringement doesn't exist. But Lady Gaga isn't going to go broke tomorrow. We should be trying to solve the copyright issue in as an unobtrusive and thoughtful way as possible and not creating anti-First Amendment laws." 

CNET noted that a House version of the bill had yet to be introduced, and that the legislation was likely not to have passed before the November recess, but will "almost certainly" be addressed once Congress returns.

Controversial Bill Stalls after Opposition Grows

Excerpted from Daily Online Examiner Report by Wendy Davis

A controversial anti-piracy law that would have allowed federal authorities to effectively shutter certain websites seems to be stalled until at least after the midterm elections.

The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) would have enabled the Department of Justice (DoJ) to ask for court orders directing Internet service providers (ISPs) and domain registrars to stop visitors from reaching domains "dedicated to infringing activity."

Entertainment groups like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) supported the proposed measure, while digital rights groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) opposed it. Among other arguments, the EFF said that copyright holders can already go into court and obtain injunctions against certain infringing sites.

It wasn't just the civil libertarians who expressed concern about the proposal. More than 80 Internet engineers also asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to quash the bill.

"If enacted, this legislation will risk fragmenting the Internet's global domain name system (DNS), create an environment of tremendous fear and uncertainty for technological innovation, and seriously harm the credibility of the United States in its role as a steward of key Internet infrastructure," they wrote in an open letter earlier this week.

"In exchange for this, the bill will introduce censorship that will simultaneously be circumvented by deliberate infringers while hampering innocent parties' ability to communicate."

Also opposing the bill was Tim Berners-Lee, credited with creating the World Wide Web. "We all use the web now for all kinds of parts our lives, some trivial, some critical to our life as part of a social world," he said.

"In the spirit going back to Magna Carta, we require a principle that no person or organization shall be deprived of their ability to connect to others at will without due process of law, with the presumption of innocence until found guilty."

Online piracy poses a very real problem for certain industries, or at least certain business models. There's no serious question that some record labels have seen revenue plummet since the emergence of Napster.

But the RIAA, MPAA and others already can sue companies that infringe copyright and, if successful, obtain injunctions against individual sites. Enabling the federal government to order an ISP to block traffic is censorship at its most fundamental level; it should require more justification than protecting the commercial interests of entertainment companies.

Top Legal Experts Explore Reforms to Copyright Law

A group of leading experts on copyright law and policy released a report today that explores ideas for meaningful reforms to the U.S. copyright system. Crafted over three years by a group of legal academics, private practitioners, and corporate attorneys, the report examines several ways to improve and update the law in an era of rapid technological change.

The Copyright Principles Project: Directions for Reform (CPP) report attempts to ignite an informed debate about how to best balance the interests of copyright owners and users. The group reached consensus on a number of significant ideas, as well as guiding principles for copyright reform. The project was led by Berkeley Law distinguished professor Pamela Samuelson.

"The report intelligently informs the copyright debate, and the identification and discussion of issues is well done and important," said Marybeth Peters, the head of the U.S. Copyright Office. "The recommendations are thoughtful, and in many cases, I support them. This entire project significantly reinvigorates efforts to bring the copyright law up-to-date, either incrementally or as a major revision."

US Copyright law, originally drafted in the 1960s, was conceived decades before widespread use of the Internet, web, and global digital networks. At that time, there was no reason for ordinary people to care much about copyright law. However, today, virtually everyone online interacts with copyrighted works, whether downloading photos or songs from the Web, forwarding news articles to friends, place-shifting music collections, or linking to favorite websites.

Advances in technology have not only vastly expanded access to authors' works, but it has also brought new stakeholders into the copyright arena. Millions of ordinary citizens now publish and distribute material with the click of a mouse, making it easier to become copyright creators and publishers.

Professor Samuelson says such user-generated content challenges copyright law because it's typically created by non-professionals-amateurs with different needs than, say, Hollywood studios.

"Copyright law touches us all on a daily basis and now millions of people who create user-generated works have become copyright stakeholders," said professor Samuelson. "Copyright law needs to be simpler, understandable, and more flexible to change with the times."

Terry Ilardi, a project participant and IBM copyright counsel, said, "While the Copyright Act has grown enormously in the last three decades, it has not done so coherently, or in a way that has been sensitive to the changes demanded by the newest technologies."

One of the project's ideas would provide non-commercial uses of copyrighted works better shelter from liability, particularly as users lift parts of existing works to create new ones. The report also suggests a more efficient and technologically-driven approach to copyright registration, so that works can be freely reused if their authors agree.

Copyright law reform has been a challenging issue for stakeholders, many of whom have starkly different ideas about how to balance public and private interests. To its credit, the project team explored controversial subjects openly and with vigorous debate. In cases where the participants could not settle on a specific reform proposal, they were able to draft guiding principles for future reform efforts.

"The report will be a major spur to copyright reform with its ideas and practical recommendations," said Michael Traynor, of the American Law Institute. "It helps copyright owners and users, Congress, and the courts cope intelligently with rapidly advancing technology."

One common problem the report addresses is peer-to-peer file-sharing of commercial movies and music. Although some file-sharing services have been shut down, the illegal practice has not abated. The report suggests the creation of a "safe harbor" to protect online service providers from excessive damage claims if they take reasonable, voluntary, measures to limit file-sharing-or other unlawful distributions of commercial works. Companies that comply would be shielded from liability for user infringements.

The report also suggests development of reasonable and consistent statutory guidelines for damage awards. Current law allows courts to award between $750 and $30,000 in damages per infringed work-and up to $150,000 per work if the infringement is willful. This has led to awards that seem arbitrary and capricious, inconsistent with awards in similar cases, and grossly excessive or disproportionate.

Other ideas include:

Modernize the Copyright Office: Instead of one registry for all copyrighted works, the office could certify third-party registries for different types of works, such as photos, films, and computer programs. The model is akin to the domain name registration system. Other suggestions include adopting a small claims procedure for small-scale disputes.

Reinvigorate copyright registration: Encourage copyright owners to register so that it's simple to find out who owns what. The idea is to make registration easy and worthwhile for copyright owners so that the public can have better information about protected works and their owners.

Refine exclusive rights for authors: Weigh commercial value and risk of harm to copyright markets when determining whether someone's exclusive right has been infringed; this shields non-harmful activity from the threat of highly punitive copyright claims.

Revise the common practice of automatic injunctions: Courts could consider whether a preliminary or permanent injunction is needed to prevent irreparable harm, as well as whether having access to the work is in the public's best interest.

Limit Orphan Works liability: Enable libraries and others to preserve a part of our cultural heritage by using copyrighted materials whose owners cannot readily be found.

Register of Copyrights, Marybeth Peters, agrees that "there's a real need for orphan works legislation," and "commends the copyright project participants for making this a priority." Overall, Peters said, the report "will command attention and much respect."

The Copyright Principles Project: Directions for Reform will be published this fall in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal.

Coming Events of Interest

M2M Evolution Conference - October 4th-6th in Los Angeles, CA. Machine-to-machine (M2M) embraces the any-to-any strategy of the Internet today. "M2M: Transformers on the Net" showcases the solutions, and examines the data strategies and technological requirements that enterprises and carriers need to capitalize on a market segment that is estimated to grow to $300 Billion in the year ahead.

Digital Content Monetization 2010 - October 4th-7th in New York, NY. DCM 2010 is a rights-holder focused event exploring how media and entertainment owners can develop sustainable digital content monetization strategies.

Digital Music Forum West - October 6th-7th in Los Angeles, CA. Over 300 of the most influential decision-makers in the music industry gather in Los Angeles each year for this incredible 2-day deal-makers forum to network, do deals, and share ideas about the business.

Digital Hollywood Fall - October 18th-21st in Santa Monica, CA. Digital Hollywood Spring (DHS) is the premier entertainment and technology conference in the country covering the convergence of entertainment, the web, television, and technology.

Digital Media Conference West - October 27th in San Francisco, CA. Don't miss Content in the Cloud: What Does the Future Hold? at this full day of in-depth discussions and networking focused on the top business issues impacting digital media companies.

P2P Streaming Workshop - October 29th in Firenze, Italy. ACM Multimedia presents this workshop on advanced video streaming techniques for P2P networks and social networking. The focus will be on novel contributions on all aspects of P2P-based video coding, streaming, and content distribution, which is informed by social networks.

Streaming Media West - November 2nd-3rd in Los Angeles, CA. The number-one place to come see, learn, and discuss 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 all come to Streaming Media West. 

Fifth International Conference on P2P, Parallel, Grid, Cloud, and Internet Computing - November 4th-6th in Fukuoka, Japan. The aim of this conference is to present innovative research results, methods and development techniques from both theoretical and practical perspectives related to P2P, grid, cloud and Internet computing. A number of workshops will take place.

International CES - January 6th-9th in Las Vegas, NV. With more than four decades of success, the International CES reaches across global markets, connects the industry, and enables consumer electronics (CE) innovations to grow and thrive. The International CES is the world's largest consumer technology tradeshow featuring 2,700 exhibitors.

Content in The Cloud - January 7th in Las Vegas, NV. The DCIA's Conference within CES explores this cutting-edge technology that promises to revolutionize entertainment delivery. Six keynotes and three panel discussions focus on cloud-delivered content and its impact on consumers, the media, telecom industries, and consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers.

Copyright 2008 Distributed Computing Industry Association
This page last updated October 11, 2010
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