Category Archives: Report

Petits articles reprennant pleins de liens sur un sujet.

Congratulations! You are one of the first 250 iPhone3G-owners in Belgium!

D’un naturel plutôt ponctuel, je suis arrivé précisément à 21h, comme requis dans la charmante invitation de Mobistar. Il pleuvait une pluie fine qui vous glace les os, et avec la chaleur résiduelle du jour, une certaine moiteur régnait, ajoutant à l’ambiance tendue d’un petit groupe d’une centaine de personnes qui faisaient déjà la file le long de la Toison d’Or.

Parmis les plus de 5.000 personnes qui s’étaient enregistrées sur le site dédié à ce lancement, une centaine de personnes avaient eu la chance d’être sélectionnées comme V.I.P. Malheureusement je n’en était pas. Je me glissai donc dans la file des client non V.I.P., déjà un peu frustré – mais c’est tout le but de ce genre de lancement organisé.

Ayant compris du petit groupe la mécanique de la soirée (attendre sous la pluie), je reçu un ticket numéroté 085 d’une demoiselle qui pris la précaution de m’indiquer qu’avec ce numéro je ne passerais pas a la caisse avant 3 heures du matin, histoire de m’encourager.

J’étais bien résolu à me démerder pour trouver un raccourci mais je commencai par prendre mon mal en patience. Pourtant après une bonne heure d’attente humide, ponctué de jatte de café tiède, je commencais a en avoir franchement plein les couilles. J’ai alors usé de mes crédits de journaliste pour aller me mettre a l’abris et boire un verre de Coca tiède en attendant minuit.

Malheureusement mon badget Press ne me permis pas d’entrer avec les “VIP” et je repris ma place dans la file comme un bon citoyen. Finalement, c’est vers 1h30 du matin qu’un Emakinien (que je remercie au passage) me fit passer discrètement la barrière nadar, pour me permettre d’acquérir le “precious”. 4h30 d’attente pour pouvoir écrire ce putain de post et frimer pour quelques heures?

Non, en réalité je pars demain matin, rejoindre ce bon vieux Thierry Tinlot, pour 3 jours de délire au North Sea Jazz Festival à Rotterdam. Je vais pouvoir shooter, twitter, surfer, uploader, blogger, emailer, à la vitesse de la 3G. Good night!

Starting a tour of Exotic Programming languages

Since two dozen years I have a love affair going on with exotic, unknown programming languages. I believe at a certain point every serious programmer tend to develop his own programming language. I myself attempted to develop a kind of language to describe visual interface for my BBS around 1987. Computer interface where mostly text based and I use to create menu interface with ASCII code, producing beautiful low resolution colored pixels. But since I had an early experience with vector display on the PLATO terminal system from Control Data Corporation I designed a kind of visual description language. It was kind of elementary, features vectors, shapes, texts with fill and outline control in a resolution independent matrix. Unfortunately I wasn’t skilled enough to produce an implementation and it never existed in another form as my handwritten notes. However when many years later I discovered QuickDraw, the Macintosh graphic toolbox and Postscript, I was proud of myself at least of being able to spot the structural problem in describing screen by pixels (resolution) and think around a similar solution as the genius of the time.

My first real computer was probably a calculator, a Texas instrument 58c I played with it for a few monthes, learning its logic, primitive algorythms made of sequences of maximum 5000 instructions… but I really started programming in a little known language, Forth. It was the only programming language available on my white Jupiter ACE. I immediately loved the beauty of it’s simplicity. With the included manual I could learn the language in a day. Only a LIFO stack to push and pop data and a few instruction to solve about any problem. I could not do any floating point calculations but it was a great exercise for the mind to try reducing complex problem to the shortest suite of simple instructions. It was 1985 and about the same time I bought myself a book which was a general overview of programming languages. It featured quick review of BASIC, FORTRAN, PASCAL, ADA, LISP, and more. I still own a copy somewhere and this book opened my mind to a form of human creation that since then fascinate me : the art of designing programming languages which in the hand of programmers can theoretically solve any computing problem.

I am always looking for those new languages and it’s my main subject of conversation whenever I meet one of those contemporary geniuses that do real programming. So I decided it was about time I share my discoveries in this modest geek blog.

Why and how Joost will change the World!

I will not explain what is Joost, just google the web, visit the Joost website and blog.

But I’ll explain why, after only two weeks of Joost experience, I’m convinced that Joost will change the world.

Why ?

Because Joost will revolution television first, then slowly the audience habbits (personalized individual tv consumption), then the whole mass media segmentation system, then shift the power from the media moghuls that rules using their monopoly on frequencies, on satellite, cable, DSL channels to content creators.

Because Joost will change the business model of television, then destroy the advertising media agencies monopoly and their exclusive relation with advertisers, then turn whole advertising business sector (from ATL to Interactive) upside down – literally.

Because Joost will destroy the ambitions of most web video sharing websites (YouTube, Google Video, Daily Motion, and the numerous others) by cutting the bandwidth from the whole equation (thanks to peercasting) and adding advertising revenues (from day one) maybe subscriptions revenues and maybe pay-per-view revenues while respecting the whole rights system since day 1 (including territories distinction).

How is it possible ?

Joost can be viewed from any screen as long as you have broadband internet access and a Windows PC or a Mac. Watch it on a laptop over Wifi. Watch it on your desktop PC monitor or on a television (CRT, LCD, Plasma). No need for setop boxes, smart cards, satelite dishes. Watch it in your hotel room. Start watching a movie in the office, finish it in the living room. This is freedom of space! And freedom is a good reason to change your habbits.

Joost replicate the old plain TV experience (full screen) with a program (a playlist of shows). Don’t search snippets of video on the web, just trust a brand (channel), sit down, relax and watch. You just have access to a potentially infinite number of channels. You’ll never need to record a program again. Don’t invest in storage, recorders, tapes and EPG subscriptions. With Joost, you can navigate the channel playlist forward and skip a boring show or backward, to view an old show. This is freedom of time! And freedom is a good reason to change your habbits.

Joost has advertisement since day one. Both as sponsor of a channel (you watch an ad at the beginning of you program) or in the middle of your program (and to the contrary of television, you can’t zap). And you’ll watch those ads, as Joost will personalized them just for you. Joost know your name, your email, your email domain name, your location, your computer model and OS, your IP adress, your channel selection, your RSS feeds selection, so Joost know your profile. Joost will provide advertisers the GRAAAAL they have been searching forever : the emotional impact of television with the one-to-one personalisation possible with interactive media… And I bet Joost will provide advertiser a platform to buy ad space like you buy ad words in Google Ad sense program. Good bye media agencies…

Just like with Skype-out, soon Joost will ask your credit card number to allow you to subscribe to channels (great for porn), and buy pay-per-view movies. Even better a mobile payment system for teenagers like Tunz.com 😉 Then thanks to Joost integration of mozilla’ html rendering engine wich allow each channel to display an overlay with a mini website, you’ll be able to buy products from Joost in one click! Watch an TV ad, click. Done. Ho boy. That will be BIG.

In the near future bandwidth cost will drop and volume limits disappear. Even today in some market (eg: voo.be in belgium) broadband subscriptions have no volume limits, there Joost could also move from SD to HD in a codec snap and kill blue ray and HD DVD before birth.

Joost has the potential to change the media business, the advertising business, the e-commerce business, the interactive business. Soon the whole world.

Next episode : what are Joost’ threats.

Note : Like many others I thought I invented the peercasting in 1999 (see annex below). I remember an Apple Expo in Paris during which I had diner with my friend Martin and draw a QuickTime distributed streaming system on the napkin. By chance Frank Casanova, from Apple QuickTime team was in the restaurant, so I took my chance and gave him my little napkin drawing with an explanation. He gave me his email adress and asked me to send him my idea in writing. I never did. Ten years later Apple has AppleTV, FrontRow, iTunes, iPod, iPhone with Wifi, QuickTime Streaming Server and still no peercasting. So next time an idiot give you a napkin drawing, take him seriously.

Annex I : Other PeerCasting technologies :

Sony PS3 Home : A blogosphere tour

Initial download to be “under 500MB”

More PS3 virtuality: PlayStation Home launch roadmap revealed

PlayStation Home to be accessible via PSP and mobile

Sony’s “Home”. Sony’s Imagination.

Sony brings it ‘Home’ for the PS3

Playstation Crushes Second Life with Superior Platform

PlayStation Home revealed

PS3 ‘PlayStation Home’ launches fall ’07, confirms NY Times

Habbo Hotel + PS3 = Sony Home

GDC07 Clip: The PS3’s Home

Napster de nouveau gratuit !

Napster renoue avec ce qui a fait son succès : la gratuité. La plate-forme de téléchargement légale américaine a annoncé, lundi 1er mai, le lancement d’un nouveau service permettant d’accéder gratuitement à 2 millions de titres.

Vous pouvez écouter chaque titre maximum 5 fois, et vous devez écouter la musique en streaming. Pour télécharger le morceau ou le réécouter une sixième fois, abonnez-vous à leur service ou achetez juste le morceau convoité. Ca fait tout de même 10 millions de morceau ecoutables. Selon mes calculs en écoutant leur catalogue en permanence (16 heures par jours), à raison de 3 minutes par titre, il y en a tout de même pour 85 ans! Ca devrait être assez pour les ados en mal de piratage ?

Ce service gratuit est le résultat de mois de négociation avec les Majors et s’appuie essentiellement sur des revenus publicitaires. Ce nouveau service permettra notamment aux abonnés de Napster d’envoyer des liens à leurs amis pour leur faire connaître un titre. Leur service NapsterLink permet de rajouter de la musique sur votre blog, MySpace, WebSite que vos visiteurs peuvent ecouter jusqu’à 5 fois! Objectif : se servir du marketing viral pour recruter de nouveaux membres.

A ce jour, la plate-forme revendique 600.000 abonnés.

Pour le moment la gratuité n’est valable que pour les abonnés situés sur le territoire des états-unis. Une bonne raison de s’inscrire à la lotterie pour obtenir une green card 😉

Television “as you know it” will die soon!

In the last millenium Jeremy Allaire and his brother J. J. established the Allaire Corporation, which made ColdFusion, an early tool for making Web sites. In 2001, Allaire was bought by Macromedia for $360 million. Mr. Allaire became Macromedia’s chief technical officer and helped oversee the development of Flash, which originally was to add animation to Web sites. His work with Flash video persuaded him to start a company devoted to Net video, Brightcove’s system combines software tools for producing and distributing video with methods for making money.

Consciously modeled after Google, it is starting a network that will sell video ads associated with independent video producers, much as Google sells ads on many blogs. It also includes technology that allows producers to charge fees to watch or download video, including a way for Web site owners to place links to video content on their pages and split the revenue with the video producer.

Meanwhile Participatory Culture Foundation is building DTV software which use BitTorrent clever protocol to download videos and tv shows, allow anybody to launch its own channel using the Broadcast Machine PHP scripts and provide a Channel Guide. They aim to create an independent, creative, engaging, and meritocratic TV system for everybody. My favorite channel are Rocketboom and MacTV. Very similar approach without the BitTorrent protocol, Fire Ant (previously know under the name AntNotTV) and the brand new iTunes 6, both can subscribe to video podcasts RSS feeds.

If you rather like watching those internet videos on your TV, turn to Akimbo setop box, connect it to your broadband internet connection and your tv to watch on demand videos. Akimbo distribute Internet content straight to your TV set, no PC Needed. Channel mix iFilm, Rocketboom and BBC and CNN…

Or Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition optimised to record and watch traditional network tv minus the ad, it can be enhanced with TV Tonic which delivers high-quality video programming direct to your Windows Media Center PC, providing a full-screen, DVD-quality viewing experience with only one click. Watch ZeTools‘ Alloy, the first end-to-end solution to enable producers and distributors of digital media to accelerate and streamline the creation and distribution of content for any Internet-enabled (IP) platform. AllOY combines content capture, accelerated encoding, automated authoring and publishing, and secure UDP distribution into a single package. With AllOY, production processes that used to take an experienced technical team days to accomplish can now be done by a single production intern in minutes.

If you can’t afford your own channel management package, to create your own nano-broadcast, get Orb a free software that allow you to stream your home tv live feeds, photos, videos, music to any internet connected device that has web access (laptop, pda, mobile phone, portable game machine, …). If you are lazy buy a SlingBox an hardware equivalent. Or the Location Free from Sony (compatible with your PSP).

You may also surf to Internet networks the Oxygen Network a 24-hour cable television network that puts a fresh spin on television for women. They just launched vertical internet tv channel oh! baby.

But the future may ressemble more to NewsViewz, the first of a new generation of internet broadcast that have been conceived, developed and produced to empower the viewer with as many layers of control and participation as possible. They dubbed these broadcast ChannelBlasts.

Or french initiative Vodeo which sell 3 to 90 minutes documentaries for 3 to 5 euros (streaming version).

Or ManiaTV live Internet Television channel, broadcasting live 24/7 for youngsters which even developped Viral TV a channel broadcasting those viral clips that are swapped by email on the internet. ManiaTV! delivers Internet addicts the best mix of music, short films, action sports, video games, cartoons and news with a twist. All shows are hosted live by “CyberJockeys” (CJ’s for short). You can rap with ’em in real-time via webcams, chat, and more. And you can submit your own shows, short films, dedications, and requests to interact with the network and influence what gets aired. In addition to their live ManiaTV! channel, their network has several VOD channels. Check ’em out. Join the revolution.

If you are lost searching on the web with all that video online, the good news is that most big Internet player are launching their multimedia search engine like AOL with their Singing Fish.

Google goes further and allow even content providers to upload on their Google Video server, just like the free world Our Media which provide free storage and free bandwidth for your videos, audio files, photos, text or software. And YouTube which aim to become the Flickr of video, just like Vimeo and Medicine Films and Blip TV.

Altavista Video and All The Web video search technologies where combined by Yahoo into Yahoo Video Search, but they search essentially meta content, not real video content. Those major player initiatives are already challenged by specialized video blogs search engines like VLogDir.

Unlike Video search engine Blinkx TV, a service of innovative software house Blinkx, that use advanced speech recognition and video analysis to actually listen and watch thousands of hours of podcasts and video-blogs every day to allow you to jump straight to the item that is most relevant to you. Blinkx use technologies from Autonomy Corp subsidiary Virage‘ VS Archive is a content management solution to efficiently store, categorize, manage, retrieve and distribute video, audio and other rich media content.

While aiming for “deep indexing,” Yahoo isn’t giving up on metadata. Along with the test video search service, it launched an initiative called Media RSS, a syndication format based on RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and designed to make it easier for Yahoo to index — and for providers to contribute — video content.

It’s going to be an interesting time for traditional network and channels.

Online Web 2.0 Maps epidemy

After the success of Google Maps Amazon is launching a similar maps application with PHOTOS of every meter of city streets. You must try Walking down the streets of Salt Lake City. Of course there is also the “metoo” from Microsoft. Google Maps open API has also sparkled interest of developpers around the globe. Checkout this impressive Google Maps Flash implementation in which you can even rotate maps. Go have a look to the Top 10 Google Maps implementation list in which you’ll find gems like Global Coordinate (atlas, weblogs, photo-blogs, travel guides, weather reports, news sources, …), GVisit (Track visitors to your website using Google Maps) or Hot Maps (Finding Hot People (Male or Female) by Zip Code)…

Blogging over-the-air with Azure

Azure is a blogging software client wich allow writing post offline. It runs on J2M compatible devices, like my Sony Ericsson P900.

Azure use the xmlrpc interface of blogging server software.

It is working perfectly with WordPress and allow full categorization of your post, writing draft or publish, access to summary and extended body.

Some HTML tags are inserted using a menu. A really cool toy. The only drawback seems due to Java, no cut & paste.

PHP/MySQL Blog engines