Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wireline and Mobile Broadband Penetration and Traffic Study

In Q1 2009, the US market exceeded $10B in quarterly mobile data service revenues for the first time. The subscription penetration in the US is well past 90% and the mobile data usage is on the rise. While the rate of new subscriptions has slowed, the pace of innovation is going very strong. It is quite apparent that the mobile industry is going through a significant transition from voice to data, from making calls to getting lost in applications and from voice communications to multimedia communications. Helped by the ever expanding wireless broadband networks, and release of hit devices every quarter, and consumer’s insatiable appetite for information and content has brought us to the surge of a data tsunami that will shake the industry to its core.

In 2009, the global yearly mobile data traffic will reach a new milestone – 1 Exabyte(EB) or 1 Million Terabytes (TB). By 2016-17, the global yearly mobile data traffic is likely to exceed 1 Zettabyte (ZB) or 1000 Exabytes. By 2014, in the US alone, the total yearly mobile data traffic is likely to exceed 40 EB. How do you go about managing such growth in a profitable manner when the cost of supporting such traffic will increase exponentially despite the move to 4G? Will the move to LTE offer some respite?

The new report Managing Growth and Profits in the Yottabyte Era discusses the analysis done by Chetan Sharma Consulting on the growth of mobile data traffic in the US market and how the ecosystem can apply some strategies to manage growth and profits. We built detailed models to estimate the rise of mobile data network traffic and discuss some solutions to handle such growth in this paper.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Youtube 3D Video Player

YouTube introduced a stereoscopic player for watching videos in 3D. If you play a 3D video a drop-down menu will show options for red/cyan and amber/blue 3D glasses and some options that don't require glasses. Here's a brief overview video.

To enable the 3D player, you need to add the following tag to one of your videos: yt3d:enable=true. Peter Bradshaw, a Google employee, has more information about this experimental feature:

I'm the developer working on the stereoscopic player as a 20% project. It's currently very early, hence the silly bugs like swapping the eyes for the anaglyph modes. A fix for this is in the works.

The current tags are provisional and may change or expand. They are:

yt3d:enable=true Enables the view mode.
yt3d:aspect=3:4 Sets the aspect of the encoded video.
yt3d:swap=true Swaps the left and right sources. You may need to add this to videos when the player with fixed anaglyph modes ships.

You can try the new feature by searching for yt3d:enable=true.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Self Destructing E-Mail with Vanish Firefox Plugin

Computing and communicating through the Web makes it virtually impossible to leave the past behind. College Facebook posts or pictures can resurface during a job interview; a lost or stolen laptop can expose personal photos or messages; or a legal investigation can subpoena the entire contents of a home or work computer, uncovering incriminating or just embarrassing details from the past.

Vanish is a research system designed to give users control over the lifetime of personal data stored on the web or in the cloud. Specifically, all copies of Vanish encrypted data — even archived or cached copies — will become permanently unreadable at a specific time, without any action on the part of the user or any third party or centralized service.

For example, using the Firefox Vanish plugin, a user can create an email, a Google Doc document, a Facebook message, or a blog comment — specifying that the document or message should "vanish" in 8 hours. Before that 8-hour timeout expires, anyone who has access to the data can read it; however after that timer expires, nobody can read that web content — not the user, not Google, not Facebook, not a hacker who breaks into the cloud service, and not even someone who obtains a warrant for that data. That data — regardless of where stored or archived prior to the timeout — simply self-destructs and becomes permanently unreadable.

The technical paper, which will appear at the 18th USENIX Security Symposium in August, describes the concepts behind Vanish in detail. Briefly, as mentioned above, the user never knows the encryption key. This means that there is no risk of the user exposing that key at some point in the future, perhaps through coercion, court order, or compromise. So what is done with the key?

Vanish leverages an unusual storage media in a novel way: namely, global-scale peer-to-peer networks. Vanish creates a secret key to encrypt a user's data item (such as an email), breaks the key into many pieces and then sprinkles the pieces across the P2P network. As machines constantly join and leave the P2P network, the pieces of the key gradually disappear. By the time the hacker or someone with a subpoena actually tries to obtain access to the message, the pieces of the key will have permanently disappeared.

The Vanish prototype uses the Vuze Bittorrent Distributed Hash Table as the underlying P2P network. It supports data timeouts of 8--9 hours by default, though longer timeouts are possible.

Friday, July 17, 2009

BlockBuster OnDemand Streaming on Samsung HDTV and Blu-ray Players

Blockbuster OnDemand challenges Netflix and Amazon's Instant HD Video on Demand service.

Blockbuster OnDemand is coming to a long list of Samsung TV and home theater products. The online pay-per-view streaming service will be added to Samsung's online-enabled HDTVs, Blu-ray players, and Blu-ray home theater systems via future software updates. As part of the deal, Blockbuster will also sell some of the Samsung products in its video rental stores.

The service, due to launch in September or October in the United States, is similar to Blockbuster's existing pacts with TV maker Vizio and digital video recorder maker TiVo Inc, which was announced in March.

According to Samsung, the Blockbuster OnDemand feature will be added to "Samsung LCD and Plasma HDTVs Series 650 and above, and Samsung LED HDTVs Series 7000 and above," as well as "select 2009 Samsung Blu-ray players and home theater systems."

Most probably these top HDTV and Blu-ray players will play Blockbuster HD movies:
Finally TV's will partially take over the role of the desktop monitors to be our window to the broadband internet. How will Netflix and Amazon keep up in this competition?

Do you like these Samsung devices or do you prefer the excellent and Vizio 32" 1080p LCD HDTV (VOJ320F1A) at a low price of ~$500?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Introducing the Google Chrome OS

So today, Google has announced a new project that's a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System. It's their attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.

Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year Google will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010.

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. Google is designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. Google is completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.

Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and Google is working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year. The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies.

This is the age of Web as the Platform. As Eric Schmidt said in his Google I/O keynote it is just the beginning for the new computing model enabled by cloud computing, the open web and mobile devices. Viva la Web 3.0!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Webware 100 - The Coolest Web Apps 2009

Below you'll find 100 Web apps in 11 categories voted to be the best of the best by CNET Webware readers and users of the apps themselves. Each category lists the top 10 applications:

Audio & Music
  • Amazon MP3
  • Grooveshark
  • iTunes
  • Jamendo
  • JamLegend
  • Lala
  • Nexus Radio
  • Pandora
  • Project Playlist
  • Diigo
  • Firefox
  • Flock
  • Google Chrome
  • iGoogle
  • Internet Explorer 8
  • Maxthon
  • Opera
  • Safari
  • XMarks
  • Amazon
  • Craigslist
  • Elance
  • Etsy
  • Eventbrite
  • PayPal
  • Woot
  • Zillow
  • ZipRealty
  • ZocDoc
  • Digsby
  • Dimdim
  • Gmail
  • Pidgin
  • Postbox
  • RingCentral
  • Skype
  • Windows Live Hotmail
  • Windows Live Messenger
  • Yahoo Messenger
Infrastructure & Storage
  • Adobe Air
  • BitTorrent
  • Carbonite
  • DropBox
  • Dropio
  • Facebook Connect
  • Mozy
  • OpenID
  • Windows Live SkyDrive
  • YouSendIt
Location-based services
Photo & Video
  • FreshBooks
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Docs
  • Intuit QuickBase
  • LogMeIn
  • Microsoft Office Live Small Business
  • Microsoft Office Live Workspace
  • Mint
  • Remember the Milk
  • Zoho
Search & Reference
  • eHow
  • Google
  • Live Search
  • Scour
  • WikiHow
  • Wikipedia
  • Yahoo
Social & Publishing
  • Bebo
  • Drupal
  • Facebook
  • Gaia Online
  • Hi5
  • Meebo
  • MySpace
  • StarDoll
  • Twitter
  • (with Wordpress platform)
Editors' Choice