Monday, March 31, 2008

Sun's Open Source 3D Virtual World - MPK20

MPK20 is a virtual 3D environment built using the Project Wonderland Toolkit. In this 3D world, employees can accomplish their real work, share documents, and meet with colleagues using natural voice communication. Just like on Sun's physical Menlo Park campus, known as "MPK," inhabitants of the virtual MPK20 office building can work together in planned meetings, or can talk informally in unplanned encounters. Unlike the physical campus, however, in MPK20, the community can be built and maintained without the constraints of physical location.

MPK20 is a sample virtual world built using the Project Wonderland open source 3D virtual world toolkit. Within the world, users can communicate with high-fidelity, immersive audio, and can share live applications such as web browsers, OpenOffice documents, and games.

The Wonderland toolkit is built on top of the Project Darkstar server infrastructure. Darkstar, a platform designed for massively multiplayer games, provides Wonderland with a scalable and secure multi-user infrastructure well-suited for enterprise-grade applications.

Check out the interesting demo videos on the MPK20 project page.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hybrid P2P-CDN Streaming Enables HD Video Delivery

Peer-to-peer technology innovations will take center stage for content delivery. Why? The combination of commercial P2P technology and Content Delivery Networks promises the best of both worlds: scalable yet cost effective media streaming and delivery.

The companies and services that have voted for Hybrid P2P-CDN architecture include:
Have a look at this interesting panel discussion at Streaming Media West on how P2P is emerging as a critical enabling technology of a video-centric Internet.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Yahoo Search Architecture Based on Hadoop

How to implement internet scale search based on open-source technologies?

Yahoo has solved this problem using the open-source Apache Hadoop distributed computing framework. Hadoop provides a distributed filesystem (HDFS) and support for the MapReduce distributed computing metaphor that is also the foundation of Google's architecture.

The Yahoo! Search Webmap Hadoop application runs on a more than 2,000 node Linux cluster each with two quad core processors and produces data that is now used in every Yahoo! Web search query.

The Webmap build starts with every Web page crawled by Yahoo! and produces a database of all known Web pages and sites on the internet and a vast array of data about every page and site. This derived data feeds the Machine Learned Ranking algorithms at the heart of Yahoo! Search.

Some Webmap size data:
  • Number of links between pages in the index: roughly 1 trillion links
  • Size of output: over 300 TB, compressed!
  • Number of cores used to run a single Map-Reduce job: over 10,000
  • Raw disk used in the production cluster: over 5 Petabytes
Smaller companies who cannot afford to run their own Hadoop cluster can combine it with the Amazon EC2 ans S3 cloud computing service. The result? Open source utility computing on Google scale!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

iPhone Roadmap Possibilities Until 2012

The future Apple iPhone generations will generate huge waves of innovations. Tomi T Ahonen argues that June 2007 marks a watershed moment in time. He is certain that the mobile telecoms world will count its time in two Eras. The Era BI: time Before the iPhone, and the ERA AI: time After the iPhone.

What are the possibilities in the Era AI?

2007 iPhone
  • Samsung ARM SoC 620 MHz 1176 running at 412 Mhz + PowerVR MBX 3D GPU
  • 128MB RAM
  • 8 or 16GB Flash storage
  • 320×480 3.5” 163 DPI display with multitouch input
  • 100 Hz Accelerometers
  • 2 Megapixel camera with Micron CMOS
  • Quad band GSM + EDGE
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g
  • BlueTooth 2.0 EDR
  • Web applications
2008 iPhone 2.0
  • 3G/UMTS
  • Wireless USB
  • Open SDK
    • Cocoa Touch
    • OpenGL ES 3D graphics
    • OpenAL 3D surround audio
  • Applications like
    • Google Earth
    • Facebook
    • Ebay
    • Twitter
    • Home automation / remote control
  • Games like
    • Spore
    • The Sims
    • Second Life
2009 iPhone and iCar
  • Next generation 45 nm SoC with advanced processing and multimedia
  • 512MB RAM
  • 64GB flash memory
  • GPS
  • 5 Megapixel camera with Image Stabilizer
  • iCar integration
  • HDMI TV/video interface to work as a personal AppleTV or videopod
  • Next generation LCD with embedded scanner functionality
  • NFC radio interface for contactless applications like
    • Access
    • Payment
    • Ticketing
  • Personal 3D display as iPhone accessory
  • Games
    • Social, Location Based and MMORP Games
  • Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality applications
2010 3D iPhone
2011 iPhone, iPhone Mini or iWatch
  • WiMax/LTE 4G wireless networking
  • Alternative iPhone Mini or iWatch form factor
  • Embedded pico projector
2012 iWow
  • Terabyte iPod or iPhone aka the teraPod
  • What else do you need in an ultimate iGadget?

If you like this post check out this fun iPhone roadmap forcast until 2010 in The Red Ferret Journal.

Disclaimer: based on my own ideas and research - and not Apple information

Copyright Geekr 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

Management 2.0: Business Model Innovation

Innovation is core to internet startups. What kind of innovation?
  • Business Model Innovation
  • Product & Service Innovation
  • Process Innovation
  • Technology Innovation
It is usually the business model and not the technology that creates unique competitive advantage. Alexander Osterwalder of Arvetica examines the role of business model design and innovation in the age of management 2.0.

Alex examines and visualizes the innovative business models of Zopa, Google, Grameen Phone, Apple iTunes & iPod, Amazon S3, Skype, Netflix and others. It is an excellent and very informative presentation on strategy and innovation.

The slides include valuable tools such as
  • Business Model Framework
  • Business Model Template
  • Big Picture on Business Model

Friday, March 14, 2008

iPhone 2.0 SDK Applications to Lead Mobile Internet Innovations

What it takes to have the Internet in your pockets? Apple understands the needs and delivers. The recent announcement of the iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK) and the iPhone 2.0 marks the start of the revolution of mobile computing:

"What we saw today was the spark. The explosion will continue for twenty years. We will all feel the warmth. Watch the Steve Jobs video from today and you will understand how Apple will dominate the smartphone market for the next 25 years. Wow. What Microsoft and Windows was to the desktop, Apple and Touch will be to mobile. "

Until now the internet experience required a PC or a Mac with a browser, e-mail client and several other applications or clients like Google Earth or Second Life. To deliver this multimedia experience it takes a powerful device and a full featured operating systems like Mac OS X. The Apple iPhone is a unique device that makes true mobile internet experience a reality for the first time.

What makes the Apple iPhone uniquely powerful? Kontra has found 10 reasons in his blog post on Who can beat iPhone 2.0?
  1. Design - Apple’s industrial design and highly polished multi-touch interface have no peers
  2. Stores - The promise of the iTunes Store-like App Store is genuinely outstanding
  3. Pricing - Apple can now leverage its high-volume iPod/Mac businesses to get favorable component prices
  4. Games - high-resolution 3.5" screen, Core Animation, H.264 video, SQLite, OpenGL ES, 3-D OpenAL sound, accelerometer and multi-touch makes the iPhone 2.0 the most capable mobile game platform. Have you seen Spore on iPhone?
  5. WebKit - the Web shines on the iPhone with its multi-touch gestures and big screen
  6. Depth - multi-touch patent portfolio and gesture library bridges PCs and mobile devices. Economies of scale, core design competencies and cross-device integration opportunities will give Apple an huge advantage in product design in the post-PC era
  7. SDK - Cocoa Touch, the marriage of OS X and multi-touch UI, gives developers access to the hardware, multi-touch controls and events, accelerometer, camera, etc., in the top of the line XCode IDE with built in emulator
  8. Enterprise - The mobile space enables Apple to openly court businesses large and small. The enterprise world is a new and significant market for the company.
  9. Ecosystem - Apple has already created the biggest-ever ecosystem around a consumer electronics product line with the iPod. No other player has comparable experience in growing a billion dollar plus ecosystem
  10. Curatorship - Apple has proven with Mac OS X and the iPod that it can anticipate user needs, trade features for enhanced user experience and carefully distill choices to create coherent and desirable products.
User satisfaction surveys consistently prove actual users love their iPhones at rates far above rival devices. Safari on the iPhone has already captured 71% of the mobile browser market in less than a year.

The new iPhone SDK will start a new wave of innovations in mobile computing with applications such as:
  • Reality Tagging
  • People Tagging
  • Reality Recognition
  • Physical Social Networks
  • Personalized Travel Guides
  • Digital and Physical Treasure Hunt
  • Distributed Mobile Games
  • Credit Card and Biometrics as Software
  • Paperless Receipts & Digital Business Cards
  • Medical records as Software
  • Physical Browsing & Digital Shopping
  • Location/time-based deals
Will Apple Dominate Next Gen Computing? It is hard to tell. But the iPhone value proposition looks great for developers and users alike. A revolutionary new platform is a rare and prized opportunity for entrepreneurs as well. So much so that Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has created a $100 million fund to fuel this innovation. KPCB’s iFund™ is a $100M investment initiative that will fund market-changing ideas and products that extend the revolutionary new iPhone and iPod touch platform.

Developers are indeed interested. Apple has announced more than 100,000 SDK downloads in just the first 4 days.

It is certainly a challenge for Google Android, Microsoft and Nokia/Symbian (to catch up?). What do you think?

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Practical Guide To Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) brings virtual objects into the real world where we live in.

Powerful mobile devices and smartphones such as the Apple iPhone can be enhanced with innovative video-see-through technology. Just hold the device up and see through the display to view both the real world and the superimposed virtual object. Move around and see the virtual object, model, animation, or game from different views as the AR system performs alignment of the real and virtual cameras automatically. Augmented Reality is a technology that could become mainstream in a couple of years and revolutionize mobile entertainment and our interaction with the world around us.

Imagine Google Street View, Earthmine or Everyscape on steroids!

Augmented Reality: A Practical Guide will introduce you to Augmented Reality (AR), provide detailed explanations of how the technology works, and provide samples for you to try on your own. Code samples using the freely downloadable ARTag software SDK in C++ and C# are included; all you need is a computer, printer, and a webcam.

The book provides everything you need to quickly start developing your own Augmented Reality (AR) applications including
  • how to get started by running AR on your system
  • how OpenGL is used to create computer graphics for AR
  • how to create OpenGL applications
  • how to develop Augmented Reality applications
  • how to integrate ARTag into your OpenGL programming
  • how to create 3D models and import them into the AR program you're writing
  • how to create a 3D Augmented Reality video game