Peer-to-peer company BitTorrent is set to announce on Tuesday morning the availability of a new enterprise content delivery product, BitTorrent DNA. Designed for companies that use streaming video, large downloads or games over the Web, the launch of BitTorrent DNA marks yet another conscious move by the San Francisco-based software brand to move beyond its roots as the creator of file-sharing protocol that became nearly synonymous with digital piracy over the past few years.
BitTorrent described the new BitTorrent DNA product in a statement as "the ideal solution for publishers seeking ways to overcome the obstacles associated with centralized content delivery, such as slow downloads, choppy video streams, and inefficient use of network infrastructure." The inaugural client for the new content delivery network is online video start-up Brightcove , which powers a number of large companies' broadband media operations.
BitTorrent DNA will be used to "accelerate" the delivery of the video hosted on Brightcove's platform.
With the rise of online video and large-scale media downloads, content delivery has become a crowded niche in the market. BitTorrent DNA will square off with industry leaders like Akamai Technologies--the force behind CBS' video distribution network as well as a host of others . BitTorrent is hoping, however, that its massive following will help give it an edge.
In addition, the peer-to-peer format has become increasingly popular in the streaming video space, with recent entries like Joost and Babelgum touting P2P technology as the backbone for their professional-quality video content.
In February, BitTorrent announced that it was creating a digital download store that would use that robust user base as a way to legally transfer large movies, games and other files. The company has also forged alliances with major movie studios for legal film downloads.
Meanwhile, the exhaustive battle over online piracy wages on.
Apple Computer is getting ready for its Worldwide Developers Conference next month, and bloggers are already abuzz about what will be announced.
The only official conference news is that CEO Steve Jobs will demonstrate Leopard , Apple's next-generation operating system. But Jobs is known for bringing out new toys during his keynotes.
Rumors that seem to be generating the most interest include movie rentals on iTunes and new iPod Nanos . Can Apple make the rental model work online?
Blog community response:
"Movie rentals, combined with new iPod hardware designed for watching video, would undoubtedly unleash another portable media player-buying spree for Apple Computer. Would it really make sense not to do a tandem announcement? Then you have the fact that WWDC is all about Leopard, not to mention new Intel Pro Macs, and it all seems like too much to be true." -- Infinite Looop
"I think this can only further Apple's lead with iTunes as the multimedia king. This also opens the door for a more advanced video iPod. If people are going to start watching movies on their iPod, and not just music videos, Apple will probably respond with a 16:9 aspect wide-screen video iPod." -- PaulStamatiou.com
"Assuming this rumor is true, and I seriously have doubts, if the rentals are priced like Movielink, CinemaNow, etc., it's going to tank. Nobody wants to pay $3 to $5 per new movie rental online, even through iTunes . Haven't enough netizens voted with their wallets on pricing? Movielink has been up for sale for a while, and there doesn't appear to be flocks of interested suitors." -- Things that make you go hmm
Margaret is news editor for CNET News, based in the Boston bureau. She also oversees the CNET Blog Network. E-mail Margaret .
We got an e-mail earlier today from a Webware reader and Omnidrive user who told us the online storage service has been out since early this morning. We sleuthed around a little and tried to get in touch with Omnidrive CEO Nik Cubrilovic , whose personal blog is also down, although we've heard nothing back yet. As of publishing this, the service is still down.
Last month Read/WriteWeb broke a story about the online storage service heading to the mythical Internet deadpool after picking up on a flurry of unresolved technical difficulties that had been listed in the official and unofficial Omnidrive support forums. Cubrilovic responded to the RWW post saying that all was peachy, with a new release on the way and a healthy dose of funding in the can. However, hours later Ex-CTO Phil Morle responded with a completely different story, saying that there were no more staff on board and that he had never been paid for his services over his four-month stint with the company. Worse yet, Morle said that member dues weren't properly going to paying the monthly server bill, leading to unexpected downtimes.
If the downtime is permanent, the real losers in this situation are the paying users with critical data that cannot be accessed. Deadpool or not, the best you can hope for in a situation like this is an escape hatch to get your data out and migrate it elsewhere. We'll keep you posted.
Update: A handful of users have let us know that the Windows desktop client is still working for them, despite the Omnidrive site and connected support forums being down.
A Republican congressman who has sponsored legislation banning access to social-networking Web sites in schools and libraries has found a new target of displeasure: Second Life .
Rep. Mark Kirk, who is seeking re-election this year, staged a press conference at a library in his suburban Chicago district on Tuesday to highlight what he called the "dangers" of the virtual world to children. Flanked by local officials, he also released a letter asking Federal Trade Commission Chairman William E. Kovacic to "take action to warn parents of the similar dangers and sexually explicit content found on Second Life ."
Kirk said he was appalled that Second Life has no age verification features built into its registration process, and he claimed that there are "countless locations" outside of the service's teen-designated area where virtual prostitution, drug deals, and "other wholly inappropriate activities" occur.
According to a Chicago Tribune report , Kirk recounted an aide's failed attempt to create an avatar on the site as a 10-year-old--and a subsequently successful attempt to log in as an 18-year-old.
"Sites like Second Life offer no protections to keep kids from virtual "rape rooms," brothels, and drug stores," Kirk said, according to a press release . "If sites like Second Life won't protect kids from obviously inappropriate content, the Congress will."
Second Life creator Linden Lab, for its part, released a statement, according to various local news reports, saying, "Members of the Second Life community, including Linden Lab staff, actively monitor against minors accessing the service." But Kirk said company officials have acknowledged that it's possible for teens to get into the adult portion of the service, and vice versa.
Kirk's comments were yet another attempt to drum up support for a bill, which he reintroduced last year, known as the Deleting Online Predators Act .
That proposal would require schools and libraries that receive federal subsidies through a program called E-rate to certify that they've put in place a "technology protection measure" on all of their computers that "protects against access to a commercial social-networking Web site or chat room, unless used for an educational purpose with adult supervision."
The definition of "commercial social-networking Web site," however, appears to be broad enough to sweep up blogging and online-journaling services, as well as any site that allows users to create public profiles, from Amazon.com to Slashdot to Yahoo.
The bill would also require the Federal Trade Commission to issue a "consumer alert" outlining the potential "danger" of such Web sites because they can be accessed by child predators.
Similar legislation passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives by a 410-15 vote in 2006 but died in the Senate.
Despite the overwhelmingly favorable vote two years ago, the bill is not without controversy. The American Library Association is staunchly opposed to the proposal , arguing that it ignores the value of interactive Web applications as a learning tool, could block helpful sites, and would inhibit librarians' ability to teach youngsters about how to use the Web safely.
After all, even police agencies--including the Arlington County Police Department outside of Washington, D.C., just this month --are launching MySpace.com profiles these days.
If there's one thing the world probably doesn't need, it's another iPod case .
Practically since the day it was introduced, the market has been flooded by cases with themes ranging from kimonos and gym shoes to " Star Wars ." One recent entry even winks at you .
TechEBlog takes a sober assessment of this cottage industry run amok, compiling a list of the " Top 5 Strangest iPod cases ." What surprises us most is that there are only five.
The blog "Android Guys" has published an engineering drawing of T-Mobile's soon to be released Android phone codenamed the T-Mobile G1.
The images show more information about the device than any of the other mock-ups that have zipped around the blogosphere.
One of the more interesting tidbits from the drawing is a slight tilt of the bottom part of the phone where the trackball is located. The device has a full QWERTY keyboard with nicely spaced buttons. The Android Guys note this is reminiscent of recent Sidekick designs, and the site gives it a thumbs-up.
The blog "Android Community" has used the drawing to calculate the phone's dimensions and reports that the thickness of the G1, also known as the HTC Dream, is approximately 0.64-inches or 16.35mm. Apple's iPhone , which doesn't have a flip-out screen, is 12.3 mm thick. It also looks like the G1's screen size is comparable to the iPhone's 3.5-inch screen.
There is also a "menu" button on the G1, according to the drawing, which will likely be used to launch Google services.
The HTC phone, which is expected to be widely available on T-Mobile's network in October, is the first phone that will use Google's Android operating system . Rumors about the phone have been flying through cyberspace for months in anticipation of its launch.
The device is expected to be priced at about $399 full retail or about $150 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile. One blog reports that the device will go on sale October 13, 2008, with pre-orders for existing T-Mobile customers to begin September 17.
Some of the rumored specs for the device include: a full QWERTY keyboard; 3G/Wi-Fi; full HTML browser; easy access to Google apps, maps ; YouTube; IM and text; e-mail; 3-megapixel camera; video playback; a music player plus a memory card slot; and an application store.
Click here for full coverage of Google Android
Yahoo was hit with a one-two punch Monday--first a right jab from Carl Icahn , which is calling for the removal of Yahoo's entire board, and then a left hook from Microsoft , which confirmed its support for Icahn's proxy fight and said it's interested in negotiating a deal with a "new" Yahoo board.
Microsoft, in its public statement, said it could see the value in a potential Yahoo deal, to either purchase the 'search' function with large financial guarantees, or alternatively, purchase the whole company--a been there, done that attempt with Yahoo's existing board.
Yahoo counterpunched later Monday morning, issuing a statement expressing its interest in talking to Microsoft about a buyout of the entire company, if only someone would make an actual offer, and the right kind of offer:
Yahoo!'s Board of Directors continues to stand ready to enter into negotiations with Microsoft Corporation for an acquisition of Yahoo!. Indeed, as recently as June, Yahoo!'s independent directors and management approached Steve Ballmer about just such a transaction, only to be told that Microsoft was no longer interested even in the price range which they had previously proposed. Now Mr. Ballmer and Mr. Icahn have teamed up in an apparent effort to force Yahoo! into selling to Microsoft its Search business at a price to be determined in a future "negotiation" between Mr. Icahn's directors and Microsoft's management. We feel very strongly that this would not lead to an outcome that would be in the best interests of Yahoo!'s stockholders. If Microsoft and Mr. Ballmer really want to purchase Yahoo!, we again invite them to make a proposal immediately. And if Mr. Icahn has an actual plan for Yahoo! beyond hoping that Microsoft might actually consummate a deal which they have repeatedly walked away from, we would be very interested in hearing it.