Internet law professor Michael Geist applauds the recent use of BitTorrent by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Moreover, the European Union recently joined forces with leading
broadcasters such as the BBC to launch P2P-Next, a new peer-to-peer
research project. The project, which involves an investment of tens of millions of
dollars, hopes to advance current P2P technologies to create the
"next-generation Internet television distribution system." While the CBC may succeed in paving a new path for content distribution
for broadcasters, it is also placing the spotlight yet again on the
contentious issue of network management practices. A growing number of internet service providers actively limit the
amount of bandwidth allocated for file swapping on BitTorrent. Those practices - known as traffic shaping - may leave users around the
world wondering why they are unable to swiftly download the CBC
content. In fact, critics point to the anti-competitive effects of ISPs
limiting access to new forms of video distribution, while actively
offering consumers competing video services..
Major update to Miro, the free/open Internet TV client - Boing Boing
Miro, the free/open Internet TV client, has just released a major update, going to 1.2. Miro combines BitTorrent (fast downloads), VLC (play any video format) and RSS (subscribe to video in "channels" and have new episodes downloaded directly to your desktop as they're published).The idea is to create an open platform for enjoying video online, one that isn't owned by any company, one that anyone can produce video for -- to make video open like the web, not owned by any company. Basically, to make a Firefox for Internet video.
SlySoft on Blu-ray BD+ crack: next time it will be easier
Last week, SlySoft announced that it had definitively cracked the extra layer of DRM that helped make Blu-ray more popular with the studios than HD DVD. The company announced in a post on its forum that the new version of AnyDVD HD (126.96.36.199) will allow users to make "backup security copies" of Blu-ray discs that use BD+. One issue facing SlySoft (and anyone else that manages to crack BD+) is that the encryption keys and scheme can be modified in the case of a successful crack. That's no worry, as van Heuen told Ars that "cracking updates will take significantly less time than the basic work we did the last three months—which was figuring out how BD+ works, since it is not documented in public."Although the BD+ scheme is designed to be dynamically updated, van Heuen isn't worried. Noting that the entire BD+ scheme is "not economical to be done even once," he wryly points out that "the customer pays the additional cost." There are some "attacks" against SlySoft's crack that the BDA could roll out, but Slysoft is prepared to address them, van Heuen added.
TiVo takes a break while cable giants do the heavy lifting
DVR pioneer TiVo is shifting its business model into a new gear. In a few years, you might not even recognize the company anymore. If you like the TiVo way of presenting content, then this is all good news.Comcast has started to roll out software updates to New England customers, turning their Motorola set-top boxes into nearly full-fledged TiVo machines. Cox is planning to follow suit in its Rhode Island and Connecticut coverage areas, and is currently running through technical trials. TiVo is busy talking to other cable operators around the country, and the new distribution channels should make the DirecTV defection a distant memory soon enough.
As the cable providers start to shoulder the costs of promoting the TiVo service to their own customers, TiVo is scaling down the marketing spend and pocketing the difference. The company would no doubt love to become a pure-bred software licensor that simply works on the user interface and lets its partners worry about the underlying hardware. Notwithstanding the early success of the generation 2.5 TiVo HD box, it looks like the company is already heading in that direction.
Dropping 22TB of patches on 6,500 PCs in 4 hours: BitTorrent
Apparently, software updates are getting so big these days that simply downloading them from a server is becoming prohibitively time consuming, especially when the same updates need to be applied to many different machines. A Dutch university has some 6,500 desktop PCs in ten locations, which on occasion need to download 3.5GB worth of different types of updates. That's a handsome 22.2TB in total. In a traditional client-server world, that's some modest lifting.In fact, INHOLLAND University's IT department used to have almost two dozen servers distributed over the university's locations to serve up these downloads. The school was able to retire 20 of them after adopting a new way to distribute updates: BitTorrent.
Slashdot | China Unblocks the BBC (In English)
China has unblocked the BBC Web site — the English-language version at any rate. No announcement was made, because China has never acknowledged blocking the BBC for the last decade. The Chinese-language version of the site has been blocked since its inception in 1999.
OpenSocial Foundation launches with Google, Yahoo, MySpace
Google's OpenSocial platform for providing social network application development standards got significant new support today. Between Yahoo joining the fold and the creation of an official new foundation to oversee the evolution of OpenSocial, Google is looking to solidify the platform's future, providing a clear sense of direction and a forum for community interaction and resources.On a conference call today, representatives from Google, Yahoo, and MySpace outlined the initial plans for the OpenSocial Foundation, a new nonprofit organization whose purpose is to organize the various aspects of the platform. With an early framework already in place at OpenSocial.org, the foundation will primarily serve as a resource hub and communication portal for the developer community. According to Google's statistics, OpenSocial applications are already
used by over 200 million users across participating social networks
like Engage.com, Friendster, LinkedIn, Six Apart, and more. Next
Tuesday, hi5 will be joining the fold, and the OpenSocial Foundation
itself should be up and running within the next 90 days.
Safari 3.1 on Windows: a true competitor arrives (seriously)
Safari 3.1 is the first non-beta release of Safari for Windows. Along with the Mac version, 3.1 brings support for CSS Web fonts and animations, and it improves existing support for SVG and HTML 5. There are also a handful of performance and stability improvements rolled into the release.
Tracking Linux prereleases: OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, and Fedora: Page 1
Ubuntu, Fedora, and openSUSE—three of the most prominent desktop Linux distributions.
Evidence mounting: Windows 7 going modular, subscription
When Windows 7 launches sometime after the start of 2010, the desktop OS will be Microsoft's most "modular" yet. Having never really been comfortable with the idea of a single, monolithic desktop OS offering, Microsoft has offered multiple desktop OSes in the marketplace ever since the days of Windows NT 3.1, with completely different code bases until they were unified in Windows 2000. Unification isn't necessarily a good thing, however; Windows Vista is a sprawling, complex OS.A singular yet highly modular OS could give Microsoft the best of all possible worlds: OSes that can be highly customized for deployment but developed monolithically. One modular OS to rule them all, let's say.
Mary Jo Foley is wagering that one of the big changes coming with Windows 7 is that it might be "available in pieces." That is to say, Windows 7 could be a modular OS. I'll go further. Windows 7 will be a modular OS, and we can already see the clues in Windows Vista, because it, too, is a fledgling modular OS.
Windows XP: Going, going ... gone?
So will there be any way to get a copy of XP after June 30? If you want to continue using XP, what problems will you face? If you buy a PC with Vista installed and decide you want XP instead, what are your options?
BBC NEWS | Technology | Google backs 'white space' wi-fi
Google is pressing the US government to allow the unlicensed frequencies of TV "white space" to be used for wi-fi.The firm has written an open letter to regulators saying the US spectrum was a "once in a lifetime opportunity".
White space is unused blocks of frequencies in-between channels broadcast on analogue airwaves.
Digg - Do you hear the diference between a 128 and 320 kbps mp3?
Featured Windows Download: Add YouTube and Flickr to Windows Media Center with Yougle
Windows Media Center plug-in Yougle integrates community video from the likes of YouTube and community images from sites like Flickr and ICanHasCheezburger with Windows Media Center. Once installed, Yougle provides access to all of those wonderful videos, pictures, and even audio from the comfort of your couch. If this looks familiar, the plug-in is a Vista version of a previously mentioned and no-longer-developed Windows MCE plug-in. Yet another great plug-in for making your Media Center life better. Yougle if freeware, Windows Vista only, requires a registration at the download site.
Featured Windows Download: Add Hidden File Showing, Other Right-Click Tools with Shell Tools
Free shell extension utility Shell Tools adds a few rare-but-good abilities to your right-click menu, including a means of toggling hidden file showing that's a lot more convenient than digging through each folder's toolbar menus to find the switch. In addition, the configurable extension tool lets you copy file names instead of files, create (hidden) note files on any file, grab URLs or site names from Internet Explorer bookmarks, and install or load fonts for a single session from the Explorer shell. I'm keeping it installed for the hidden file feature alone, but those who do a lot of file-swapping might find a good use for the notes feature, at the least. Shell Tools is a free download for Windows systems only
Featured Windows Download: Keep Real-Time File Snapshots with DocShield
Windows only: Free snapshot backup utility DocShield provides a similar service to previously-mentioned FileHamster, but with a lot more control over how often, and how big, those backups should be. Select individual files or groups of certain file types (like .jpg or .xls in the My Documents folder, for instance) on your home computer, networked systems, or even remote FTP servers, set DocShield to check at certain increments, and choose whether those backups are compressed or not. Better still, the program offers a utility to save a file and its versions onto a USB drvie, along with a utility to read and re-save it. For those looking for a Time-Machine-like utility for Windows but don't need entire systems backed up, DocShield is a helpful tool. DocShield is a free download for Windows systems only.
TripIt | Organize your travel
# Organize trip details into one master online itinerary -- even if arrangements are booked at multiple travel sites # Automatically include maps, directions and weather in their master itinerary
Digsby = IM + Email + Social Networks
One combined buddy list for all your AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk, and Jabber Accounts. Manage your Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL/AIM Mail, IMAP, and POP accounts right from digsby. Stay up to date with everything happening on your Facebook or MySpace account .
FriendFeed - About Us
FriendFeed enables you to keep up-to-date on the web pages, photos, videos and music that your friends and family are sharing.