Monthly Archives: February 2006

Video on the net – TV networks try to control it, telcos try to profit

More and more video is showing up on the net – not just homebrew videos, but clips from television. Unleashed from their broadcast boundaries, short 3 minute video clips hosted on YouTube get passed around incredibly quickly on social networking sites like Myspace and get viewings way beyond what TV types are used to for local content.

All this video poses a problem though in that it’s not clear who is going to profit from all of this bandwidth. CBS doesn’t get an ad revenue cut of clips rebroadcast on YouTube. AT&T bless their souls don’t get paid extra for the most part when their loyal subscribers download videos vs. just reading email. Some analysis below points to the current state of affairs – a good ongoing source of news is Jeff Ubois’s .

Internet Videos Spawn Performance Anxiety – Rural-Urban Broadband Gap Closing – US Broadband Penetration at 66.7% Among Active Internet Users – February 2006 Bandwidth Report:

Summary: As higher bandwidth content streams to more bandwidth-hungry users quality of service can suffer. Some industry experts are wondering if the Net can scale to handle the load. Meanwhile, the rural-urban broadband penetration gap is closing in America. February 27, 2006 Archives:

Networks Grapple With YouTube; CBS’s Turn [by staci] : Updated: The response when CBS News told the story of an autistic teen’s triumph on the basketball court was so extraordinary, the network ran the story again the next night. Not surprising, then, that a YouTube user would feel driven to share the experince via the video site. So far, YouTube has delivered more than 1.3 million viewings and the video is on the site’s top 20 all-time list. …

Betsy Morgan, SVP and GM of, told the CBSNews blog Public Eye: “It’s uncool for people to take our video without permission. It’s interesting and encouraging that there’s that much of an audience for our content. But this stuff should come back to the core site – otherwise it’s theft.”

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Wired News: Building the Internet Toll Road

Wired News::

Whether they tier their service, telecommunications companies need to expand capacity. To do so costs money, and the telecoms argue that internet users will have to pay, one way or another. They say it’s preferable that the money come from those who need and are willing to pay for better service, rather than spreading the cost out over all users.

“We do have to recover the cost for building the new capacity out there that the content providers are expecting us to provide,” said Jim Cicconi, AT&T’s senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs.

The Jeff Pulver Blog: Guest Blogger: Bruce Kushnick – Net Neutrality is Hogwash…:

Even Senator Ensign quoted herein, “We don’t have the financial incentives for networks being built.”

This is all hogwash. America is 16th in broadband and falling. Our current services are inferior to Korea and Japan who are delivering bi-directional 100 Mbps services for $40 bucks. (FIOS is 30 mbps top speed at $199.)

But worse — You were lied to. That’s right. You see, customers funded fiber optic networks they never received, to the tune of $2000 per household — about $200 billion. By 2006, 86 million households should have had a fiber optic based service capable of 45 Mbps in bi-directions, that could handle over 500 channels of programming.

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Thursday Breakfast at Saul’s in Berkeley, Serendipity Books

I’ve been meaning to get to breakfast at Saul’s ever since Jeff Ubois told me about it, and I finally got my chance. Nice bunch of people, good discussion, a big table so there was always something new to listen to.

The table topic was “what is your favorite library”. (an excellent choice of topic). I didn’t really know where to start, but I talked about the Ann Arbor District Library and Assistive Media. Given enough time I would have talked about the deep satisfaction of sifting through old business records at the Bentley, the amazing collection of protest literature at the Labadie, and the wonderful children’s room at the Peter White.

After breakfast we went to Serendipity Books in Berkeley where there is an immense collection, some neatly arranged in compact shelving, others stacked into neat but very tall piles on the floor.

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Marnie Webb on community: The magic number is 6

ext337: The magic number is 6:

We don’t make communities for 1M, 100K, 10K or even 1K. The communities we make are for 6 people. Make that—share it, write it, meet with it—and let each of those spawn more communities of 6. Keep it small enough to really care about and relate to. (Marnie Webb)

Six people can sit around a table and have a real conversation, one conversation, with everyone participating. If it gets much bigger than that it’s hard to keep things together. It’s easy to grow beyond six once you have that core conversation, but if you never get to that stage it’s hard to relate to.

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Aha! Mashup camp session by Ward Cunningham

Unedited notes done w/Tantek – posting this for the record – look for a followup after I get the chance to think through it. Best session so far by far (thanks Ward).

mashup camp aha session ward cunningham

Notes by:

* Edward Vielmetti – http://www.vacuumgroup.com

* Tantek Çelik –

<- patterns wiki ??? pair programming ->

mashups here

find the times when you were working on something that

gave you a quantum leap in productivity.

What was the question?

Remember something significant that caused you to all of a sudden understand mashups better. You were working away, and then “oh wow, this is just so much cooler than mashups before”. What was it that made you think that?


1. figuring out which of the set of people on my

IM messenger list who I could ask short pointed

questions to and get answers, so that I didn’t have

to feel stuck.

2. starting a blog in the narrow niche I was working in w/good readership so that good ideas could bounce around. typical interaction bounces from individual w/idea but no coding skills to me to blog to programmer somewhere.

3. getting a chat channel going again on a very narrow topic that is on only when I want it to be on where I can multicast to whoever is listening and then turn that channel off when I need silence.


1. Subethaedit to collaboratively take notes at a conference. The group as a whole can keep up with what the speaker(s) are saying. People naturally selected different specialized functions like (1) scribing notes as fast as they can, (2) organizing the notes into an orderly outline or into sections, (3) copy-editing/typo-fixing the content and otherwise cleaning it up.

2. Wikis = parallel processing, email = serial. Wikis = persistent, email = ephemeral. The realization that using wikis to document (or even discuss) topics naturally persisted community memory (and thus significantly reduced revisiting the same topics).

Let’s take turns explaining your a-has. This could take 15 minutes.

What kind of things were the ahas?

Pete & partner. Epiphany that blog=wiki=email data format are structurally equivalent.

Subject and Body. RFC 822.

back in the corner. Album s/girl/squirrel/g. s/love/lunch/g.

theme of visualization. take it out of a flat bulleted list and move it into a map. value changes based on presentation.

comma-separated file on a government website

being able to see that visually on a map

it has jarred a lot of people

the value of information changes based on presentation

amazon book search + library site inventory. (jon udell did that.)

value of libraries could be augmented with visual design

not valuable for vendor, valuable for user. allow other people to

slice it up and see what is valuable to them.

ownership of data, greenfield site on presentation.

cockpit design: keep things atomic, teach how to compose information;

as opposed to machine built designs. data as information for scaffold

that exists in training.

google maps + craigslist aha! scaffolding much better than linear list.

hacker instinct. make something do something it wasn’t intended to do.

user-generated logic. “you see insane stuff”. lambdamoo, second life.



common: take things apart, reuse them in new combinations? not just

take apart data?

throw a cog in your routine.

altering your routine will increase the chance of you having an a-ha moment.

being able to discuss “half-finished” code etc. in various public forums

why isn’t everyone using collaborative editing?

people evolve, the tool doesn’t evolve. the challenges are social, not technical.

“subethaoffice” – freak out

baton passing.

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flyspy: mashup camp demos, night one.

Firefoxscreensnapz002-2The single best demo of mashup camp on Sunday night was a tool by flyspy that lets you scope out a month’s worth of fares between city pairs (as long as one of those cities is MSP and the other one is fairly big) at a single glance. Click through for a bit of a screenshot. This would be hours of clicking on Orbitz or NWA.COM but was a single click.

Robert Metcalf (not the ethernet inventor) asked not to blog the URL, since it’s only running on a single server. It’s not much use yet unless you want to fly to or get out of Minneapolis. That said, it’s the single most promising bit of travel technology I’ve seen recently.

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East Cross Street: assistance wanted in building interactive crime map

East Cross Street – If you ain’t no punk, holler we want prenup:

Programmers of the world, lend me your code. I need someone to teach me how to make a database like I’m suggesting. I want to input an address and have the database give me the geo-coordinates and plot it on a Google Map. I also want the search capabilities I suggested earlier. I have not money to offer, but I will assist you in creating your own crime map of your city. In theory, you could just steal my code, but I’m making this request to honorable programmers.

Crime maps are part of civic infrastructure – help build a better one.

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