Credibility and the Web – What is Video’s Influence?

Well, I was discussing David Danielson of Stanford University and his upcoming talk on “web credibility” with the VP Marketing / Branding of a client company. Basically, web credibility has to do with how information is arranged on a site to make it “trusted” to the customer – something both good security and marketing people know implicitly. So what did a hot-shot marketing guy say about an academic’s work on this topic? Plenty.

He noted that those studies on credibility did not properly address Internet video commercials and rapid turnover branded video, yet they’re finding a dramatic change in the last two years with their 18-34 age demographic in view / use of video for the buying decision.

Automation Makes or Breaks Internet Startups

I’ve been hearing a lot about costs of running a datacenter these days, and how important it is to outsource even though administration and overhead of international contracts is not cheap either. I’ve been hearing about projects that were transferred out of the US only to die in a foreign land. Seems it would be cheaper to just abandon those projects, rather than slowly kill them.

But there are other ways to reduce the costs – especially for startups – you automate and use the Internet. As Tony Perkins says, “the costs of launching an Internet company have never been lower”. You’ve got customer acceptance, branding is cost-effective, and now over 50% of the domestic US Internet customer base is on broadband. It’s all about the service, and ease of use.

SiliconTCP, EtherSAN, and Scalability

Everyone says I was amazingly ahead of my time. As Rick Merritt, EE Times writes about the possibility of using storage interconnects concluding “Competitors such as Broadcom Corp., which have existing 1-Gbit R-NICs, will not be able to scale to the greater bandwidth because they lack the ASIC state machine architecture…”.

Well, now I’m pleased that I wrote a paper for the global storage network workshop last MayAll You Need is TCP: EtherSAN and Storage Networks, and even more grateful for the feedback I received from people like Jim Grey of Microsoft, John Wakerly of Cisco, and Greg Pfister of IBM. Gordon Bell was an earlier advocate of the InterProphet technology and urged Chuck Thacker to take a look at it several years ago. So it appears this is finally becoming a topic of serious consideration – although I’ve been seeing it coming for many years.

The fundamental scalable state machine architecture patent (“TCP/IP network accelerator system and method which identifies classes of packet traffic for predictable protocols“) was filed in 1997 and granted 2000. A term memory patent (“Term Addressable Memory of an Accelerator System and Method was independently filed and granted July of 2004. It’s a better memory approach that hand-in-glove with a state machine architecture that deals with certain flaws.

It’s an Inside Pitch on a Fast Ball…

One of the neater things that you can do with MinutePitch is to capture top startup CEO’s strut their stuff and compete for funding with a click of a button. I’ve been to a number of Pitch Competitions over the years, where I’ve watched the room gyrate like a whirling dirvish when a CEO hits a home run. I’ve always thought “Wow, I wish I could see that again in instant replay”. But the moment is lost, and everyone slumps back in their chairs. Sometimes, that CEO doesn’t even get a follow-on, because the next pitch is sooo boring it drives out everything else, including that great pitch just before.

So I was lucky enough to be off with my friend and fellow Berkeley physics alum Rick Bentley this weekend as they were shooting his company’s first pitch. And was it ever fun. He did it on the spot, on location, at the airport between flights. Why the airport? Because he’s serious about security and he’s a pilot. This is absolutely cool, and definitely the way pitches should be done – so you can capture the moment and make it last.

Free Culture and the Internet by Lynne Jolitz in Dr. Dobbs Journal

Well, my book review Free Culture And the Internet discussing Larry Lessig’s latest book is now on the newstand in Dr. Dobbs Journal. After I had Coffee with Larry Lessig back in April of this year, he kindly had a copy sent to me.

My background in this area is most extensive – in fact, it predates Dr. Lessig’s professional interest by a bit. Even in the 1980’s I was wrestling with the issues of royalties and copyrights and license agreements as part of the staff of Symmetric Computer Systems, and used that experience to great advantage later with days, as I write in my backgrounder of the review, also entitled Free Culture and the Internet.

If you enjoy the review, let the editor of DDJ know so we can keep them coming. And if you like the review enough to read the book, let me and the author know what you think. Books are meant to be shared.

In the DataCenter – ISP’s and Video Stream Revenues Part II

Continuing on the discussion of evaluating the vanishing value of video streams, Dan and I broaden the discussion to encompass other companies, not just ISP’s, who are dependent on moving more bits across that wire.

How much value a video stream provides is not only important for a datacenter group debating this issue to understand. It is also important to companies like Cisco. According to some of the “M&A” guys I chat with, Cisco’s entire acquisition strategy right now is predicated on delivery of VOIP/VOD/MMP – and massive video production aka MVP (“Massive Video Production Debut“) fits right in. It’s all about end-to-end quality from the tech perspective, and building service models that deliver value from the business perspective.

So what does Dan Kusnetzky, Program Vice President, System Software at IDC say about this…

With Every Photo, There’s a Blast

A news photographer got a bit too close to the demolition of a bridge on the Mississippi. Well actually, he did want to get further away, but his remote setup didn’t work. So he got close in and manually handled the cameras from behind some construction equipment. Not a good idea. The blast knocked him down and destroyed all his equipment, but not the CF card.

Fascinating photos of the bridge and the camera moments after the blast.

Film would have probably been too damaged, as the camera itself was ripped open. But the images survived on a CF card. Anyone want to argue about the hardiness of digital storage now?

In the DataCenter – ISP’s and Video Stream Revenues

A debate recently arose among the datacenter staff. The oldsters think the cost per stream is more than the value per stream right now, because the cost of media is high and everyone looks at things single (one at a time). But the youngsters have noticed that a lot of new content creators are coming online wanting lower cost deployment of media, and some even lower the production time/cost itself through use of services like . They worry that the value per stream is eroding fast, and that’s a lot of ISP’s bread and butter.

So even if the value per stream is currently high, as you increase the number of media creators, what does it do to the revenues of the service providers? Does it increase their value per stream?

I asked Dan Kusnetzky, Program Vice President, System Software at IDC what he thought of the vanishing value per video stream debate. And here’s what he told me…

When the Press Gets Ugly

Hurrah for John Crumpacker’s article in the SF Chronicle today on the “ugly press” at the Olympics. It’s nice to see good people in the press take others in the press to task when they act badly, and tell them to act like journalists – not badmouths.

My family watched the opening ceremonies broadcast last Friday, and we were very annoyed at the rude comments about countries marching in the Olympics by the so-called press commentators. They displayed a willful ignorance about world history. When they had to read some piece of information gathered for them about a particular country, the male commentator would say it with a smirk and a laugh, as if it was a joke. It was just plain annoying.

Momma, Don’t Let Your Kids Grow Up to Be Programmers

Well, with all the Olympics fun, forgot to mention that the CS major percentage has dropped again a few weeks back. At the same time, 25% of 18-34 age group now watch videos on the web. Very big growth, don’t you think?

Of course, who will keep this momentum going? Don’t we need creative young people to keep up with innovation? I know that people often like to think everything that we need has been invented, but this convenient mindset can be misleading.

In 1904, physics was considered a very sedate and settled field. Then Einstein published a series of papers in 1905 on special and general relativity, and also set into motion the new fields of quantum mechanics and modern statistical mechanics. Modern physics was born.

The international physics community has set aside 2005 as the World Year of Physics as a tribute to Einstein’s centennial. Of course, I follow these things since I have a physics degree myself. But maybe everyone else should take a minute and think about how in a matter of a year the world can change forever.