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Kodak's Ofoto Another Flickr-Like Disappointment

May 16, 2012

This past March it was announced that as part of Kodak's restructuring, the online photo-sharing site ofoto or Kodak Photo Gallery will be sold off to Shutterfly and your photos will automatically be converted to the company's platform - unless you opt out.

The email below was sent to customers today to let them know about the transition which is also detailed here. The company will be transferring 5 billion photos in July but in June Shutterfly will be sending instructions to users determining how they want to link up their Kodak Gallery account to their service.

Pirate Pay Blocks BitTorrent Sharing. Is it Illegal DOS?

May 15, 2012

Skolkovo or Russian's competition to Silicon Valley has a hot company Pirate Pay which just received funding from Microsoft. The idea behind the system is to confuse BitTorrent clients to keep them from downloading specific content. The monetization comes from movie studios and other content providers who would pay to keep their products from being shared.

The idea makes sense but the challenge is it could be illegal to use a targeted attacks on computers. In fact, a number of laws to prosecute hackers may come into play making it conceivable that the movie studios could get in trouble for sabotaging downloads.

At this point the discussion is theoretical since no one knows how Pirate Pay works but it presents a fascinating look at the battle between content producers and those who are looking to pirate content.

For more check out this article on companies in the Skolkovo region, one on the Microsoft investment and another on the legality of disrupting these downloads.





Brightcove Sales Reflects well on Video, Cloud, HTML5

May 4, 2012

What happens when you sit at the intersection of cloud, HTML5 and video - especially when tablets and high-resolution smartphones are being sold by the hundreds of millions? The answer is - if you are Brightcove, that your sales grow rapidly. In fact the company just announced earnings of $19.9 million which is up 53% YoY. Sure, this isn't a huge number but the percentage is obviously intriguing.

Moreover, gross profit for the first quarter was up 56% at $13.6 million.

Pirated Music, From Napster to Kazaa and Now VPNs

May 2, 2012

I was at a conference some years back where one of the panels discussed how VoIP was blocked unsuccessfully in country after country. The point the speaker made was you can't stop IP. Users and developers are always one step ahead, masking their packets in ways (HTTP, etc) which gets through firewalls and other systems designed to thwart such communications.

I remember something similar happening when Airlines provided WiFi for the first time and blocked VoIP yet Andy Abramson found a way through.

So it should come as no surprise that music sharing which started with Napster, moved onto other services like Kazaa, Pirate Bay and has now evolved to use VPNs.

Now the challenge for record labels and others looking to determine who is sharing and what has grown substantially. The downside?





Optimum Live TV App now on PC

April 26, 2012

Update: the Optimum app for Android does not allow live TV viewing but allows you to manage your DVR and check TV listings. The company says this functionality "is coming." Moreover - the app will only work on laptops - not PCs with external monitors. Is it too late to ask for a do over on this post?

Having been on Android and iOS for quite some time (see my review from last April), Cablevision's Optimum TV viewers can now also watch TV on their PCs, Macs and laptops. This could be important to power users who have tricked out monitors of 24" or perhaps even greater.

HP: 50% of Organizations Use Non-IT Sanctioned Clouds

April 24, 2012

For traditional hardware vendors who have strong relationships with information technology departments, the idea that cloud computing, one of the hottest trends to ever hit the technology space is being purchased without the consent or guidance of IT is quite scary. If you’ve been selling servers to a company for decades and all of a sudden the employees within that organization start to buy their own resources, effectively sidestepping an established relationship, you can rapidly see yourself disintermediated.

In fact, 50% of organizations use non-IT sanctioned clouds according to research sanctioned by HP. Moreover the company found 18% of companies were unsure if their users were using cloud computing services without the knowledge of IT.

Microsoft Working on Skype Everywhere Initiative

April 20, 2012

The fact that Microsoft would want to integrate Skype everywhere shouldn't be too surprising, Office/Lync and Windows Phone are obvious areas and so is Xbox. That's why news of the company looking for engineers who can delve into the hybrid world of video games and IP communications shouldn't be too surprising.

When Microsoft integrates Skype into Xbox and bundles some free calling into the solution, what's to stop them from offering a DECT phone as well? With retail prices of DECT 6.0 phones starting at less than $20, the idea makes more and more sense.

Sure, you can use a cordless/wireless phone with Skype today but if Microsoft integrates it all seamlessly and video is added for free, what happens to the business models of Ooma, netTALK and magicJack?

And what about the cable companies, AT&T and Verizon? Sure, a Skype home phone calling solution will be inferior as it doesn't allow emergency calling due to a lack of E-911 support but still, if it is part of a bundle and has HD voice support, why pay for phone company or cable calling? Especially if it has video as well and other great Skype calling features, presence, etc.

Additionally, a benefit of the Skype purchase will be potentially becoming the phone provider for hundreds of millions of consumers.







NCSA Helps Business Harness HPC Investments

April 18, 2012

How to create a digital supply chain to drastically improve manufacturing productivity

At the recent Moabcon 2012 conference in Salt Lake City, UT I had a chance to meet with many of the people in government, universities and private industry who run the most powerful computers in the world. The high performance computing or HPC space is doing quite well for a number of reasons including the need to process big data applications as well the fact that many universities are flush with cash and continue to see value in purchasing these super-powerful computers. The reason the universities have such large budgets for HPC has to do with the government providing virtually limitless student loans which in-turn has caused tuitions to skyrocket as well as more direct government stimulus funding.

One organization looking to take this massive computing potential and harness it to help boost the US and global economy is NCSA or National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

Moabcon 2012 Live Blog

April 10, 2012

Robert Clyde CEO of Adaptive Computing - the HPC and cloud computing company is about to take the stage and begin his keynote session. The conference is located at the Hyatt Escala Resort in Park City, Utah.



History of the company - lots of firsts:

1996: Predictive & backfill scheduling
2001: Integrated accounting
2006: Dynamic provisioning
2008: QoS Management
2008: Petaflop scale
2011: 1M+ jobs

The company is a leader in both HPC and cloud computing and both share a similar code base while the fact that they are involved in cloud does not mean they are deemphasizing HPC in any way.

The company is very technical - he is a past CTO and programmer - even the marketing team is filled with tech people. They have 16 patents and 30 pending - he believes this is greater than other companies their size. There is a huge focus on R&D.

Backed by top tier investors such as Intel Capital, Epic Ventures & Tudor Ventures and partners consists of HP, Penguin, Cray, NICE, Bright Computing, IBM, SGI.

We have 200+ customers and focus on large scale projects.

We power 40% of the top ten systems and 33% of the top 100 by cores.




















The Need for More Fiber is Very Real

April 3, 2012

As the mobile revolution has grown, the one constant has been the need for faster connections and/or fiber to cell towers. For years TMC has interviewed Hunter Newby and Jason Cohen of Allied Fiber about the need for fiber throughout the US. Their company is building a network of ducted fiber through a wide swath of the US and is selling it unlit meaning that whoever decides to purchase the fiber has the rights to improve the equipment on the fiber allowing for faster interconnections as technology improves.

TMC’s Paula Bernier Interviews Jason Cohen of Allied Fiber

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