Wednesday, January 30

HardyHeron/Alpha4 - Ubuntu

Great overview of some of the stuff coming up in the next version of Ubuntu 8.05, aka. Hardy Heron. Complete with screen snaps

HardyHeron/Alpha4 - Ubuntu Wiki

Some items of particular interest.
  • Firefox 3

  • Transmission - the open source bittorrent client that has been popular already on Mac

  • Gnome system monitor - a beautiful new system monitor (seen below)

Trends: French police switch to linux

AFP: French police deal blow to Microsoft: "The French paramilitary police force said Wednesday it is ditching Microsoft for the free Linux operating system, becoming one of the biggest administrations in the world to make the break."

Well summarized.

More notes:

"There are three reasons behind the move, Geraud said at the Solution Linux 2008 conference here. The first is to diversify suppliers and reduce the force's reliance on one company, the second is to give the gendarmerie mastery of the operating system and the third is cost, he said.

He also added that "the Linux interface is ahead of other operating systems currently on the market for professional use."

Vista, for example, Microsoft's latest operating system, is being spurned by consumers who cite "concerns about its cost, resource requirements, and incompatibility with their existing applications," according to"


"The gendarmerie with its 100,000 employees is the biggest administration to shift to open sourcing for its operating system, but it is not the first in France. That honour belongs to the National Assembly which adopted Ubuntu for its 1,200 PCs in 2007."

RSS + Bittorrent distribution for TV and online video

The Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) has made their most popular TV series available DRM-free via BitTorrent, even better it's available as a subscribe-able RSS feed via software like Miro. Shown here is the subscribe-able feed in Miro the popular open source video aggregater.

I just wish the show was available in English. :)

Entire and partial news programs like CNN, ABC and CBS nightly news are already widely available via subscribe-able RSS feed (podcast), and the Daily Show, Colbert Report and other highly popular TV shows have been widely distributed unofficially via similar means on, but this may be the first TV show to officially embrace this technology pioneered by video bloggers.

I expect that this form of distribution (RSS + Bittorrent) will become increasingly popular with TV producers as they realize it does not threaten their traditional advertising supported models.

To start with I expect PBS, BBC or other distributors less threatened by peer based distribution (P2P) culture to officially embrace the RSS + bittorrent distribution model.

NPR has already widely embraced RSS distribution (aka. podcasting) for audio programing with over 500 subscribe-able channels for their radio shows, and PBS has a dozen or so subscribe-able video podcasts though they are currently just partial shows or show clips. I expect timely news programs such as Frontline will be the first to officially embrace the RSS + bittorrent distribution model as bittorrent scales much better for popular, timely, high definition content, much like the Daily Show and Colbert Report.

RSS + bittorrent distribution is a counter point to new proprietary distribution services from content creators like (currently only available via private beta) and and which are only currently available by visiting and watching programing on website, have no subscription mechanisms, and are not available beyond desktop computers.... i.e. on your TV or hand held device.

There are also alternative systems like Joost and Veoh but while these proprietary 3rd part networks have a high degree of usability and interface polish as is typical of proprietary solutions they lack the flexibility to scale to handle the wide variety of newly available content on the web and the various cellular, hand held and set top box platforms.

Of course there are also solutions from Apple, and Tivo for television producers, but these are increasingly complimentary to RSS / Podcasting and perhaps in the future even added bittorent distribution.

What makes RSS + bittorrent such a powerful combination is it's increasingly openly accessible to virtually anyone who wishes to distribute media online via various services, and RSS / podcasting is already starting to be adopted by set top box, cellular, and handheld manufacturers like Apple (AppleTV, iPod & iPhone), Tivo, Nokia, Akimbo and many others.

Bittorrent is the final piece of the puzzle allowing extremely rapid scaling for the distribution of high definition content but it may take much longer to popularize do the greater technical requirements in implementation on various hardware platforms.

Sunday, January 13

Mozilla Prism - bringing office 2.0 back to the desktop

Prism is an application that lets users split web applications out of their browser and run them directly on their desktop.

I've been telling my friends about one of my favorite new apps which just came out of private beta, Mailplane. It's one of the few pieces of shareware I've actually bought. It's not that it's that amazingly innovative. It basically is just a standalone web browser using Safari's Web Kit that's sole purpose is to run gmail.

It brings gmail out of the web browser and back into the Mac OSX interface.

It has some custom configurations, but that's basically what it does and that's really all it needs to do.

Nough' said.

Thursday, January 3

CNET, RIAA does NOT claim ripping a CD is illegal

Despite a Washington Post article (and the fact that the RIAA is widely despised for suing their customers) the RIAA did NOT claim that ripping a CD to your computer is wrong. In fact what the RIAA specifically stated (in their brief vs. Jeffrey Howell) that ripping files directly to his "share folder", hence with the INTENT TO SHARE, is wrong.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, January 1

The Elephant in the Ad Room

Had to reblog this post from Jan of Faux Press. Hugh Macleod rules.

This is what advertisers don't yet understand - but will - or they will cease to exist.

News outlets should come to understand this concept, too.

Talk down to your audience at your own risk.

Thanks, Hugh.

Raise the barre or die.