Archive for May, 2006

Zattoo to Broadcast World Cup

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

One of my professors from last year and a bunch of my friends have been developing Zattoo, a peer-to-peer video streaming technology back in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The client runs on both Windows and Mac and supposedly allows millions of viewers to watch a single live video stream over the Internet without costing the broadcaster a whole lot of bandwidth.

It is a little like BitTorrent in the fact that its peer-to-peer and doesn’t require the original person with the content to have a huge pipe to the Internet. It is very different from BitTorrent in the fact that the content is streaming. Timing makes a difference. If a piece of the video gets lost over the network, there is no need to resend it because you can’t rewind the video. There is no way to save the video to your computer either.

Just a few days ago, the news went out about Zattoo being the the system used for streaming the 2006 FIFA World Cup. That is very exciting news. I’m looking forward to being able to watch soccer over the Zattoo client in June! That is… if they are broadcasting to the US…

Quick-start, Long-play Internet Television Arrives with Zattoo P2P IPTV

Zattoo brings long play P2P broadcasting to Internet TV

UPDATE: Looks like Zattoo has a blog now! Yey!

How Website Problems Should Be Presented To The User

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

Maxis Technical Difficulties

Settled in Seattle

Saturday, May 20th, 2006

The weather has been really nice ever since I got here. I think the only not so good day was yesterday when there was a little bit of rain. There were a couple other times I heard people talk of rain, but I never saw it. It seems like its been between 70-80 during the day and maybe 55 during the night, but I’ve never actually measured. Just a guess.

I found some grocery stores! Woot! One is right next to my work. It’s called Uwajimaya. Although the store is mostly filled with Asian groceries, they do have some normal stuff too. They also have an asian food court in back which is pretty good. Speaking of asian food… that is pretty much the only thing to eat around my work. You have to walk quite a ways to get non-asian food. But, its still pretty good.

I finally got a desk and chair for my computer and a connection to the internet for real. Before, I had to steal wireless from the neighboors, and it only worked in the other bedroom. By the way, I still don’t have a roommate, and I don’t know if I’ll get one or not. Now that I think about it, I probably wouldn’t want one.

I’m working this summer at We’re busy building Marks and Spencer‘s new website and ordering systems. Marks and Spencer is a large retailer in the UK with over 400 stores. Here’s an article, explaining it.

I work in a large room on the 10th floor with about 10 people. We have a good view of the baseball and football stadiums south of downtown Seattle. The people are cool. Some are extremely entertaining.

Facebook Expands to Companies

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

Oh boy… facebook is expanding to include companies. I can just see where this is going. The amount of time wasted at work browsing facebook is going to be phenomenal. See… there’s a big difference between college and the corporate world. In the former, you are paying to be there, in the latter, you are getting paid to be there. I can’t imagine companies are going to be very friendly to the idea of people using company time to browse the facebook.

I wonder if there have been any court cases involving companies blocking certain sites. Here’s a wild prediction of a possible court battle…

Microsoft starts to see a bunch of people using the facebook… and not for business purposes either, just for social, outside of work type stuff. Microsoft says, “Hey, our employees are wasting time on a site that doesn’t do our business any good. Furthermore, we have been developing internally our own version of the facebook, but more geared towards businesses than the facebook currently is. We’ll block facebook so that our employees will be forced to use our not-as-cool facebook clone. Once we have Microsoft employees on board, we’ll sell this software to other companies and make lots of money.” Then, facebook sues Microsoft for loss of business or something and it goes to the supreme court, and they make some sort of ruling.

Ok, so I admit, that’s a pretty wild prediction. There are at least a few problems with it. 1) The number employees at Microsoft is really small compared to the number of people using facebook, so I can’t really see any one company with that scenario. 2) I think companies have the right to block things going to their internal networks. After all, they own their network and everything inside it, right? 3) No one will dare to challenge Microsoft in the legal realm unless they are sure to win…

So, basically, my point is that, facebook as it currently stands is not suited for corporate use, and companies will catch onto that fact very quickly and ban its use or create policies against it or whatever. Maybe facebook does have plans to make their service more useful to businesses and eventually companies won’t mind their employees using the service. But, they better get moving quick, or another site will push them out of the market. I kinda doubt facebook will change much to accomodate large corporations though. They have a good thing going with the college market. What they might want to do though is to make facebook less of a time waster and more of a school helper. I don’t know if that’s even possible, or if that’s what people really want.

Hmm… interesting. I just looked at the facebook terms of service. It specifically states that facebook may only be used for non-commercial purposes:

“You understand that the Service and the Web site are available for your personal, non-commercial use only.”

Here’s a couple related entries from a blog I just found called Inside Facebook:

Congressman introduces bill to block Facebook

Facebook opens its doors to a slew of companies

Facebook Builds WAP

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

“According to company spokesperson Melanie Deitch, Facebook has just finished building a WAP, or wireless application protocol, that will offer a browsing service that more closely resembles the way the site works online.”

You don’t build a protocol… its already been created. You build a version of the site that runs on the protocol.

“WaveMarket, a location-based technology company that is powering Sprint’s Family Finder service, has a StreetHive mobile social network application, though the site is still in beta.”

Isn’t every web application on the internet still in beta?

full article

Seattle Move In

Friday, May 5th, 2006

Yey! I’m in Seattle now, and I’ll be here for a few months while I do an internship with

So far, the weather has been great. I took a bus into the city this morning, walked around for a bit and found Harried and Hungry for lunch.

I took the bus back up and decided to take the mile or so walk down to where I’ll be working. The way to work is all downhill… but of course that means its all uphill coming back. That’s one big difference with being out here… so many hills.

The corporate housing is being subsidized by Amazon, although I still have to pay for part of it. It’s really nice, but there is no internet yet. :( Right now, I’m out in the courtyard picking up wireless.

I haven’t gone to the grocery store yet. I’m kind of wondering how I’m going to travel to and from considering I don’t have a car. The bus is an option, but carrying groceries on it isn’t ideal. I might take a taxi and stomach the fare every once in a while. Maybe one of my friends here has a car… hmm…