Reverberations

News, Views, Rants and Raves About Technology and More

Archive for November 2005

G2G : file-sharing the email way

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G2GGmail provides more than 2GB space, and pseudo hard drive utilities like GMail Drive and Roam Drive have already been developed in the past. Someone has come up with a way to use Gmail account to share files. Its called G2G Exchange.

The site was down yesterday due to bandwidth issues. Its up again as of now with more than 900 users registered and a new version(0.7). The G2G FAQ page is also up.

Google will have something to say about this because of the potential for piracy. But its an interesting idea nevertheless.

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Written by Brajesh

November 30, 2005 at 9:49 pm

Posted in Content, Google, P2P

Firefox 1.5

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FirefoxI’ve just installed Firefox 1.5. I managed to update most of the extensions from my previous setup (1.0.7). One ‘Alert Link Type‘ and ‘Wiki-Quick-Find‘ are still missing. Tab rearrangement is inbuilt now, something good to have. I got this ‘Colorful Tabs‘ extension and it looks great.

There is a Firefox 1.5 review at NewsForge that mentions faster browsing with new Firefox. I’m yet to be convinced.

Earlier, Firefox window sometimes used to just disappear and re-appear in taskbar, I hope it’s fixed now, as well as some memory usage issues on WinXP.

Written by Brajesh

November 30, 2005 at 6:47 pm

Posted in Firefox

P2P File-Sharing and Music Sales

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How does P2P file-sharing affect music sales? I found this interesting paper on relationship of economics of P2P file-sharing by David Blackburn,a Harvard PhD Student, mentioned at “The Long Tail” (and posted it on Slashdot faithfully). I also found this compilation of studies on P2P.

The findings are not surprising as the paper essentially states the obvious. The hits at the top of the charts lose sales, but the niche artists further down the popularity curve actually benefit from file-trading.

“Artists who are unknown, and thus most helped by file sharing, are those artists who sell relatively few albums, whereas artists who are harmed by file sharing and thus gain from its removal, the popular ones, are the artists whose sales are relatively high.”

But then some of the conclusions are shocking, e.g.

“File sharing is reducing the probability that any act is able to sell millions of records, and if the success of the mega-star artists is what drives the investment in new acts, it might reduce the incentive to invest in new talent. This is, at its heart, an empirical question which is left to future work.”

Is finding new talent outcome of investments by big labels. Hardly!

With so much ‘noise to signal’ ratio in music industry, big names give headstarts for sure, but they hardly have incentives to find new talents in an economy of abundance. Big companies were relevant at the time when technology wasn’t cheap and cost of producing and marketing music prohibitive- not anymore the case.

P2P notwithstanding, independent music is going to proliferate on its merit. Music needn’t big names to sound good.

Written by Brajesh

November 27, 2005 at 7:41 am

Posted in Economics, Music, P2P

Now a Media Player with built-in P2P

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From an Engadget post, a Dutch company LamaBox is launching a media player with built-in peer-2-peer functionality. It plugs directly into TV, provides search and download support for all the major P2P services like Bittorrent and Kazaa, has a DVD burner and plays any image/audio/video format.

Will it be bait for more litigations? Probably not. Engadet writes – “The Dutch supreme court ruled long ago in favor of the then Netherlands-based Kazaa and only classifies the upload of copyrighted material as illegal. As the LamaBox FAQ responds to the question of the legality of downloading films and music, “downloading from the Internet is always legal.â€?

So no “affirmative steps to foster infringement.â€? as in US ruling aginst Grokster. Bait for debate it’ll be.

Written by Brajesh

November 26, 2005 at 3:26 am

Posted in Media, P2P

Simple Sharing Extensions: Turning RSS bidirectional

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Ray Ozzie, the Microsoft CTO, has proposed Simple Sharing Extensions(SSE)– a new specification that extends RSS from unidirectional to bidirectional information flows.

From the FAQ page on SSE at MSDN

SSE defines the minimum extensions necessary to enable loosely cooperating applications to use RSS as the basis for item sharing–that is, the bidirectional, asynchronous replication of new and changed items among two or more cross-subscribed feeds.

Essentially, an RSS (and OPML) extension to allow two-way communications over RSS*.

The draft specs for SSE are released under a Creative Commons license – Attribution-ShareAlike. By the way, Creative Commons has made a note of SSE and its CC-license release, saying something to the effect of it’s too good to be true.

For me, SSE is a potential blockbuster. Too early to comment though.


*Is that Really Simple Sharing in OzzieSpeak or Really Simple Syndication?

Written by Brajesh

November 22, 2005 at 11:53 am

Posted in Microsoft, RSS

Two on Two

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I got two stories posted on slashdot in last two days. And all that while I was digging deep through Code Obfuscation. I feel great now.

The first story on Apple iTunes security flaw getting discovered and the other one on P2P after seven years from the release of Napster.

There were a few earlier. Update on Standards and CSS in IE7, the one about P2P getting declared a crime by EU, P2P trends and one related to Wikipedia editorial control found a place in slashback.

Written by Brajesh

November 22, 2005 at 3:01 am

Posted in Slashdot

On-demand movie downloads available via P2P Distribution

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I believe that peer-to-peer is the future of content distribution over Web. In a progressive step, NBC Universal has agreed to make few movies available for on-demand downloading via peer-to-peer distribution early next year. The P2P technology partner is Wurld Media.

The business model built around P2P might be in a nascent stage as of now. But, with the proliferating bandwidths and aging traditional business models, it is poised to evolve.

From a news item at Reuters, the proposed revenue model goes like this-

Peer Impact users will be able to view the films for a 24-hour period once they hit the “play” button on their computers. The file will remain on a user’s computer for 30 days in an effort to hasten the download speeds of other Peer Impact users who purchase the same titles, because P2P gains speed and efficiency with each additional copy of content on the network.

Consumers log on to the secure network, where they can preview clips of all available content. Payment is due upon checkout…

Written by Brajesh

November 18, 2005 at 9:57 pm

Posted in Content, Economics, Media, P2P