|Thursday, 31 March 2005, 12:26 pm
Tags: Camera Phone
|Saturday, 26 March 2005, 5:19 pm
This week in the tech news…
This will be the last report for a while. I’m leaving for France on Monday and I’m not sure what kind of Internet access I’ll have. But I will post pictures and stories when I get back April 10.
Happy birthday OS X. It’s four years old. Apple started selling it on March 24, 2001.
- The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Tuesday in the MGM vs. Grokster case. At stake, whether Grokster and Morpheus are legally liable for copyright violations that occur on their services. The Recording and Motion Picture industries, Bush Administration, Christian Coalition, Don Henley, Sheryl Crow, and the Dixie Chicks have all filed briefs (PDF) in favor of MGM’s case. Intel, the Consumer Electronic Association, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and numerous computer science and law professors, are on the other side, claiming that a decision overturning the court’s 1984 Sony Betamax decision will eliminate the VCR, DVD recorder, iPod, Tivo, the PC, and on and on. Needless to say, this is a very important case for all of us who love technology. I recommend studying up at the EFF’s site then crossing your fingers on Tuesday.
- Microsoft is going on the offensive against technologies it considers threatening to its Windows monopoly:
- The company is claiming that Firefox is less secure than Internet Explorer. Some “independent” columnists are taking the bait.
- Microsoft was also exposed for funding a report that claimed Windows was more secure than Linux. The report by the Florida Institute of Technology and Security Innovation was delivered at last month’s RSA security conference, without disclosing who paid for the research.
- Check out the page at Microsoft.com on “How to buy an MP3 Player.” Hard drives? Bad. Built-in voice recorder, FM recorder, or stopwatch. Good. Getting “locked into one online store” cough-iTunes-cough very bad.
- The Sony Playstation Portable, PSP, shipped on Thursday. Sony made sure there were plenty of units to go around. Despite long lines in San Francisco I was able to walk into a Best Buy in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, at 6p and pick one up. The store had expected 70 units and received 200. Best feature so far: built-in free Wi-Fi gaming in Twisted Metal: Head On. Booyah!
- Symantec, attempting to drum up sales for its security products, says that Mac OS X will soon become a target for hackers. I say, bring ‘em on. (And make sure you use secure passwords, gang.)
- Banks must start telling customers about security breaches. They didn’t have to before?
- Yahoo! buys Flickr; Barry Diller buys Ask Jeeves. I bought a PSP. Oh yeah, I already mentioned that.
- Yahoo! has also increased storage on its free email accounts to one gigabyte to match Google’s Gmail.
- Sony may be willing to compromise on Blu-Ray.
- Agence France Press has successfully sued Google to remove its news feeds from Google News. Yahoo has reacted by asking US courts for 1st ammendment protection. Google is also removing news feeds from an alleged white supremecist group.
- On Monday Apple closed a hole in the iTunes Music Store that allowed users to buy songs without copy protection. By the end of the week, the hole was re-opened. Is there such a thing as effective copy protection? To my knowledge no one has cracked the Windows Media DRM. Yet.
Some of the webs sites I spent time on this week…
- How virtual memory works from Adrian’s Rojakpot
- The truth about speaker cables from TNT-Audio
- The Top 25 Innovations of the past 25 years from MIT-Lemelson
- Transparent screens from Flickr
- PSP Site from IGN
- A life hacks wiki from 43Folders
Listen to my radio show for commentary on these stories and more every Saturday and Sunday, 11a to 2p Pacific on KFI, Los Angeles or via podcast at http://leoville.tv/podcasts/kfi.
|Friday, 18 March 2005, 12:01 pm
Patrick kept his word. At 11:56p on St. Patrick’s Day he put up his web site. Ah the power of the podcast.
Hey, he’s posted more than I have this week.
|Friday, 11 March 2005, 3:58 pm
Tags: Camera Phone
|Wednesday, 9 March 2005, 1:57 pm
Tags: Camera Phone
|Monday, 7 March 2005, 3:49 pm
Today’s the big day. Call for Help debuts in Australia on The HOW TO Channel, channel 118 on FOXTEL Digital and Austar Digital. We’re thrilled to be back!
There’s a nice little interview with me on the HOW-TO site.
|Monday, 7 March 2005, 3:04 pm
I‘ve been working with Michael Freedman at Coral to come up with a solution to the podcast issues some of you have been experiencing.
As you may know I use Coral to distribute the bandwidth costs for my podcasts. To quote from the Coral site:
Coral is peer-to-peer content distribution network, comprised of a world-wide network of web proxies and nameservers. It allows a user to run a web site that offers high performance and meets huge demand, all for the price of a $50/month cable modem.
Coral is part of the IRIS peer-to-peer network project funded by the National Science Foundation, and it’s an amazing community service.
Essentially, Coral is a distributed network of volunteer servers that cache content for web sites. When I post a new podcast I use a modified URL: http://www.leoville.tv.nyud.net:8090/airchecks/20050306-1.mp3 for example. A request for that file goes first to nyud.net over port 8090 – that’s Coral central. It will route the request to the geographically nearest Coral server. The server will check to see if it has a copy of the file. If it does not it will check with other Coral servers. If none of them have a cached copy of the file they will download it from leoville.tv and cache it for future requests. For the next 24 hours requests for that file will be served by Coral not leoville.tv.
This map of US Coral servers is from the Coral site and is, itself, Coralized.
This greatly reduces the bandwidth requirements for leoville.tv and provides users with faster servers that are closer to home. Because there are many Coral servers no one server should have to do too much work, but to protect the volunteers there is a quota system in place. When any one site, like leoville.tv, draws too much bandwidth, that server can decline the Coral request with a 403 FORBIDDEN error. We have exceeded quota with every single podcast release. In fact, Mike tells me we’re one of the top 5 Coral users.
This has caused a problem with some podcast clients. Instead of retrying later, they give up, saying the file does not exist and you’ll miss a podcast. Michael has implemented a new system that allows me to tell the Coral servers to redirect excess traffic back to leoville.tv. If I’ve saturated Coral’s bandwidth I will serve the file directly for a while. That means my bandwidth costs go up, but it doesn’t confuse podcast clients.
This system has been implemented starting with the current KFI podcast (shows from March 5 and 6). Please let me know if your podcast client has any problems with these files. You shouldn’t see any 403 errors.
Thanks for your patience. Just so you know, you’re involuntary guinea pigs in a brand new medium. But the combination of podcasting and Coral P2P makes it feasible for anyone, even with very limited bandwidth, to create programming that the whole world can download, and I think that’s tremendously exciting. You’re helping change the face of broadcasting!
|Thursday, 3 March 2005, 4:46 pm
Some stats from February…
I’ve been using a superb anti-spam service called MailRoute. I route all leoville.com traffic through it, and thank goodness I do. My spam mail has tripled since I last checked stats in October.
In February I received more than three-quarters of a million email messages at leoville.com:
718,597 spam messages 1,039 viruses 20,504 good messages 39,114 bad or invalid headers ------------ 779,254 total messages in Feb
In other words, only 2.64% of my email was good. Actually it’s somewhat less than that since my local spam filter rejects about a third of the mail that gets through MailRoute (MailRoute avoids false positives by being fairly conservative). The good news is that over 26,000 spam messages and 40 viruses are filtered out of my inbox every day. If I had to look at all of those I’d stop using email entirely.
I probably get more spam than almost anyone else because my address is widely known and I’ve had it since 1996. I’d bet it’s on every spam mailing list in existence. Weirder still is the number of messages that come to random addresses at leoville. Only about 10% are addressed to leo. I got 2,329 messages addressed to leos_hair (obviously some “fan” having some fun at my expense). I also received more than 1,000 messages each to noway, nonono, alexander, bowden, coker, beltran, abernathy, and brewster at leoville.com. Hunh? I guess once spammers find a good domain they spew messages to random addresses at that domain. Of the viruses filtered out 70% were actually phishing messages. I get more than 25 phishing emails a day.
At this rate I should be receiving more than a million spam messages a month before summer.
The web stats are much more encouraging. February was a strong month, although as the graphs show, traffic went down for the first time since I moved the sites to Vizaweb.
Leoville.tv (the radio show and the podcasts)
89,342 unique visitors, 1,523, 018 pages loaded, and 125.69 GB of bandwidth. (That’s 10% of the bandwidth used in January thanks to Coral.)
Internet Explorer usage is down again to 40%. Firefox is at 34%.
Leoville.com (the blog and main site)
80,639 unique visitors, 1,825,346 page view, and 41.23 GB of bandwidth used.
IE 41%, Firefox 37.1%, Safari 6.9%. 82% were Windows users, 11% Macintosh. 2% Linux.
Leovilletownsquare.com (the message boards)
42,690 uniques, 720,755 page loads, 140.23 GB bandwidth.
All three domains suffered drops in traffic from January. The graphs are from the Urchin web stats package. The number reflects monthly user sessions. A “session” is defined as a series of clicks on a site by an individual visitor during a specific period of time. Unique visitors dropped commensurately.
Thanks for the clicks!
|Tuesday, 1 March 2005, 5:01 pm
The last video report from the Photo Marketing Association show in Orlando is up now at DigitalCameraInfo.com. Let me know what you think of the coverage. It’s not television – but it’s better than nuttin’.
|Tuesday, 1 March 2005, 4:44 pm
Andy has posted the March schedule of shows for Call for Help. Don’t forget, we debut in Australia on the HOW-TO network March 7. To get Call for Help where you live, visit our web site and fill out the form.