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Driving Seat: Veoh and misc. tech stuff

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Veoh Networks is a great company, though I haven’t worked out yet whether it is sailing too close to the wind or not. The company is funded by media conglomerate Time-Warner and Michael Eisner (the former ruler of planet Disney). The website looks like YouTube, but with some important differences:

  • Veoh lets you submit full-sized streaming videos
  • YouTube limits its users to 100 MB files.
  • Veoh can do 2 GB files distributed via a P2P-client available for Mac and that other platform

I’ve been enjoying a selection of ‘so-bad-they’re-good’ 1970s martial arts movies off there. The Mac client is really easy to use. My main concern is how will the company make money in the longer term. I can see someone like TimeWarner using Veoh as a guinea pig to further is experiment with AOL and online TV. On second thoughts just enjoy it while you can!

I’m with Stupid
Apple has apparently moved away from using a PortalPlayer media processor in all its iPods and instead moved to Samsung for the next-generation of MP3 players. PortalPlayer is very exposed to the Apple business, with iPods counting for about 70 per cent of its sales according to a Reuters report that I’ve read. Its not healthy for PortalPlayer, hopefully the company will diversify its client base to become more independent.

However Samsung as a supplier was also a dumb move for Apple. This is not a commodity product like flash memory where Apple can use multiplie suppliers and change at will, the media chip is central to the iPod functionality and experience.

Does it sound like a smart move to work closely with (and educate in the art of engineering a killer MP3 player) a large ambitious, hyper-aggressive company that wants to eat Apple for lunch? It has been alleged that Samsung had meetings with creative agencies in London where the central theme was Kill iPod.

You can chart the fall of the iPod empire from this moment on…

试驾 | driving seat | 시험 비행

Skype U Like

Reading Time: < 1 minute

I was recommended Skype VoIP software from my friend Uri. I had not tried voice over the net since I worked on one of the pioneers in this area, an Israeli company called Delthathree. I expected metallic sounding voices and gapped and stuttered speech as signals would be distorted and delayed by network traffic. Skype is a peer-to-peer voice over the net application, you pay nothing for calls between computers and low prices between computers and phones. This is nothing new Net2Phone did this back in the day, both Yahoo! Messenger and Apple’s iChat allows you to do video conferencing and voice calls. Skype has something else, sizzle.

Skype’s client software arrived just as broadband has become mainstream, secondly the player looks and works really well, Skype had the underground cool heritage of Kazaa – both shared the same development team based somewhere in the Latvia. Finally the Orrin Hatch pestilence of anything that doesn’t cost the consumer must be bad has co-opted authority against open source, P2P communities and telecoms providers against any web service they would like to tax to feather their own nests.

Usability in the Mac OS X client is second to none and very intuitive. Encryption of conversations would be nice just to wind the powers that be up a bit more! The way I look at it, the more we make them work to read our personal mail, the better the peace dividend in five years or so as the NSA has had to increase its computing power and write wicked cool software to cope. Hell, it would be un-American not to help be everything they can be!