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December 5, 2011
Volume XXXVII, Issue

Cloud Traffic Fast Approaching the Zettabyte Era

Excerpted from GigaOM Report by Derrick Harris

According to data released Tuesday as part of Cisco's Global Cloud Index, IP traffic over data center networks will reach 4.8 zettabytes a year by 2015, and cloud computing will account for one-third of it, or 1.6 zettabytes. The report itself is a refreshing reminder that while public Internet traffic gets most of the attention, data centers are working hard behind the scenes to make the web run. By 2015, data center networks will handle about five times the amount of data that will travel across the Internet.

To wrap one's head around the disparity in traffic, one need only look at the life of a single e-mail message. As Cisco's Shruti Jain explained to me, a single 1MB message sent to a handful of people can account for about 50MB of data after each e-mail system stores, replicates, scans and otherwise deals with the message. Data centers somewhere, whether within individual organizations or those operated by service providers such as Google, handle all those tasks.

Of course, we're using the Internet for a lot more than sending e-mails these days, which is why data center traffic volume is growing so fast. According to Cisco, data center traffic already was at 1.1 zettabytes in 2010, and will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 33 percent through 2015. Of that, traffic coming from cloud services will grow at a CAGR of 66 percent, from 121 exabytes in 2010 to 133 exabytes a month in 2015.

For the purpose of the study, Cisco defined cloud services as having the following characteristics:

Ubiquitous access. The application or service can be accessed anytime, anywhere from multiple devices.

Persistent personalization. The application or service can apply basic user credentials and customized preferences or settings.

Virtual capacity/processing. The application/service can store or process data beyond the capacity of (and separate from) the connected end-user device point.

Flexible delivery. The application or service offers scalable provisioning, usage-based pricing, and can be delivered on-demand.

For cloud computing specifically, the Global Cloud Index marks 2014 as a magic year: It's the year cloud-based workloads will surpass traditional-data-center-based workloads in total volume.

Probably not surprisingly, Cisco expects consumer-based workloads to dominate the traffic on data center networks. Cisco's Doug Webster told me although business traffic actually will grow in volume from 259 exabytes in 2010 to 744 exabytes in 2015, that threefold growth pales in comparison to consumer traffic growth, which will grow nearly 5x by 2015.

Webster said it's workloads such as streaming video and other data-intensive activities that will power the surge in consumer traffic. In fact, he said, during "Internet primetime" in 2015 - the hours when the most people are online - data centers will be 2.5 times busier than they are on average. Internet traffic increases about 25 to 50 percent during those same hours.

The study notes the increase in consumer traffic levels within data centers is largely attributable to cloud-based applications. Between 2000 and 2008, it states, peer-to-peer traffic dominated consumer Internet traffic, which didn't put a strain on data centers. By 2015, however, 37 percent of consumer data center traffic will come from cloud applications, up from 14 percent in 2010.

One final aspect of Cisco's Global Cloud Index is an assessment of how ready certain geographic regions are to support various types of cloud-based applications. While all the regions - Latin America, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, North America, Central and Eastern Europe, and Western Europe - are capable of supporting basic applications such as e-mail, text messaging and social networking, only the latter five can handle basic applications such as HD video streaming, basic gaming and basic video chat.

Webster said that no regions, as a whole, can support advanced cloud applications such as advanced gaming, video chat and video conferencing, but that finding is somewhat misleading. Almost every region has average download and upload speeds capable of handling those applications, but latency is the major stumbling block. And, as both Webster and the study note, there are outliers in every region (e.g., Japan and South Korea in APAC, and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East) that are much more ready than other countries in their areas.

One interesting finding is that while North America lags near the middle in average upload and download speeds, it leads in both fixed broadband (27 percent) and mobile broadband (54 percent) penetration rates.

Overall, Cisco's study is valuable not so much because it tells us something we didn't know - anyone following the web infrastructure space has seen data center growth skyrocket over the past couple years - but because it quantifies just how much traffic data centers are dealing with. The good news for the growing number of individuals and businesses that rely on cloud-based applications is that although the Internet itself might be under a great deal of strain, many service providers have proven very willing to invest in resources and architectures to ensure their data centers can handle whatever loads they're asked to deal with.

Report from CEO Marty Lafferty

Photo of CEO Marty LaffertyPhoenix Marketing International (PMI) is undertaking fresh research to present at the upcoming CONTENT IN THE CLOUD Conference at CES.

Focused on converged technology and media, and led by a team of 130 senior professionals, PMI is one of the fastest growing marketing research firms in the United States.

PMI is interviewing leaders of companies at the forefront of advancements in telecommunications and media to gain their current perspectives on cloud delivery.

Using open-ended questions, PMI will probe the challenges and opportunities these leaders identify. All the data will be combined into a composite view of how the industry now assesses cloud solutions for content distribution, which will be presented and discussed at CONTENT IN THE CLOUD.

If you still haven't registered for the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), please click here to sign-up now.

Then look for the "Add to Cart" button as you browse the 2012 Conference Program to find the CONTENT IN THE CLOUD Conference at CES and other sessions or tracks you want to attend this January. When you're ready to check out, the system will tabulate the best purchase option based on your choices.

The DCIA's CONTENT IN THE CLOUD will take place as a conference within CES on Wednesday January 11th in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

This show will take you on an insider's tour of the many ways cloud computing is revolutionizing entertainment delivery, and enable you to come away with a deeper understanding of the impact of this technology on all parties involved in content distribution.

Our opening keynote will be "A Vision for Content in the Cloud" by Mike West, Founder & CTO, GenosTV. This presentation will set the stage for the entire conference program that follows, which will delve into the many ways that cloud computing is transforming content delivery.

Our first panel will explore "The Impact on Consumers of Implementing Cloud Computing for Media Storage." What does cloud storage mean to users in terms of accessing entertainment content and owning copies of movies, music, TV shows, and games? Panelists will include Sean Barger, CEO, Equilibrium; Jim Cady, CEO, Slacker; Keith Friedenberg, Head of Research & Consumer Insights, WME; Ed Haslam, SVP, Marketing, YuMe; Gigi Johnson, Executive Director, Maremel Institute; Mike Lewis, Co-Founder, Kapost; Jostein Svendsen, CEO, WeVideo; and Dave Toole, CEO, MEDIAmobz.

Our second keynote will be "Consumer Benefits of Cloud-Delivered Content: Ubiquity, Cost, Portability Improvements" by Shahi Ghanem, EVP, Strategy, BitTorrent. Cloud-based solutions are being applied to popular entertainment properties. What are the advantages to users versus older methods of online distribution?

Our third keynote will be "Consumer Drawbacks of Cloud-Delivered Content: Privacy, Reliability, Security Issues" by Jim Burger, Member, Dow Lohnes. Cloud security is raising serious questions: What experiences have other industries had with inadvertent leaks or intentional hacking of confidential data? What can users do to mitigate not having access to their applications or accidentally losing their data when they go offline? What happens if a cloud provider goes out of business?

Our next panel will discuss "The Impact on Telecommunications Industries of Cloud Computing." How will cloud computing affect the way broadband network providers manage their intellectual property, utilize network resources, and provision new services? Tom Mulally, Principal Analyst, Numagic Consulting, will moderate panelists Sean Jennings, VP, Solutions Architecture, Virtustream; Wayne Josel, Counsel, Media & Entertainment, Hughes Hubbard & Reed; Bill Kallman, President & CEO, Scayl; Monica Ricci, Director of Product Marketing, CSG Systems; Nick Strauss, Director of Sales, Verizon Digital Media Services, Mark Taylor, VP, Media and IP Services, Level 3; and Richard Yang, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Yale University.

Our fourth keynote will be "Telecommunications Industry Benefits and Drawbacks of Cloud-Delivered Content: New Opportunities vs. Infrastructure Challenges" by Joe Porus, VP, Merged Technology & Media, Phoenix Marketing International. What advantages do cloud-based solutions applied to popular entertainment properties bring to broadband network operators? How does the on-demand, always-accessible nature of cloud-based entertainment delivery challenge conventional distribution systems? Will older distribution methods disappear?

Our next panel will explore "The Impact on Entertainment Industries of Cloud Computing." How will cloud storage and distribution affect the ways in which content rights-holders manage their intellectual property (IP), realize new cost savings, and implement new business models? Panelists will include Kris Alexander, Chief Strategist, Connected Devices & Gaming, Akamai; Saul Berman, Partner & VP, IBM Global Business Services; Peter Csathy, CEO, Sorenson Media; Mark Friedlander, National Director, New Media, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) ; Jonathan King, SVP, Business Development, Joyent; Ty Roberts, SVP & CTO, Gracenote; Ramki Sankaranarayanan, CEO, Prime Focus Technologies; and Robert Stevenson, SVP, Business Development, Gaikai.

Our fifth keynote will be "Entertainment Industry Benefits and Drawbacks of Cloud-Delivered Content: Innovation and Flexibility vs. Disruption and Accountability Issues Keynote" by Scott Brown, US GM & VP Strategy Partnerships, Octoshape. What improvements does cloud computing offer the content distribution chain? What issues do rights-holders face in adapting their internal content management processes to cloud-based media storage?

Our final keynote will be "Consumer Electronics (CE) Manufacturer Benefits and Drawbacks of Cloud-Delivered Content: Expanded Opportunities for Products with New Features at a Range of Costs; New Challenges Related to Interoperability and Data Security" by Lucia Gradinariu, Chief Market Strategist, Huawei. What unforeseen impacts, both positive and negative, do cloud-based solutions applied to popular entertainment properties bring to CE manufacturers?

Our closing panel will address "The Impact on CE Manufacturers of Cloud Computing Deployment." Remotely accessing applications and data affects everything that must be integrated into networked end-user devices. The same holds true for servers and other edge storage hardware products. What new hurdles must be overcome with these technological solutions? Panelists will include Stefan Bewley, Director, Altman Vilandrie & Company; Shane Dyer, President, Arrayent; David Frerichs, Strategic Consultant, Pioneer Corporation; Kshitij Kumar, SVP, Mobile Video, Concurrent; AJ McGowan, CTO, Unicorn Media; Michael Papish, Solutions Architecture Director, Rovi Corporation; Jordan Rohan, Managing Director, Stifel Nicolaus; and Chuck Stormon, CEO, Attend.

Please click here to register now for the 2012 International CES and then add CONTENT IN THE CLOUD. We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas, NV in January. Share wisely, and take care.

Ad-Supported Streaming Soars, Generates Huge Viewership

Excerpted from Online Media Daily Report by Gavin O'Malley

No wonder Hulu's owners decided not to sell their stakes in the video venture. Ad-supported streaming media is on fire.

In October alone, Americans viewed 7.5 billion video ads, with Hulu generating the highest number of video ad impressions at more than 1.3 billion, according to comScore Video Metrix.

With the average viewer now consuming a record 21.1 hours of video a month, a total of 184 million US web users - or 86.2% of the country's online population - watched more than 42 billion videos in October, comScore found.

Also worth noting, video ads accounted for 14.9% of all videos viewed - and 1.4% of all minutes spent viewing video online - in October.

Led by YouTube, Google sites still ranked as the top online video content property in October, with 161 million unique viewers and a record 20.9 billion videos viewed.

Still small by comparison, Facebook ranked second with 59.8 million viewers; followed by Vevo with 57 million; Microsoft sites with 49.1 million; and Viacom Digital with 48.2 million.

In the ad-serving category, Tremor Video ranked second overall - and highest among video ad exchanges/networks - crossing the 1 billion mark for the first time.

BrightRoll Video Network ranked third with 756 million, followed by Specific Media with 512 million; and CBS Interactive with 415 million.

Time spent watching video ads totaled more than 3.2 billion minutes during the month, with Tremor Video delivering the highest duration of video ads at 614 million minutes.

Across the board, video ads reached 53% of the total U.S. population an average of 47 times during the month, while Hulu delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 46.5.

Among YouTube partners, video music channels Vevo and Warner Music maintained the top two positions in October, with 54.2 million viewers and 30.4 million viewers, respectively.

Gaming channel Machinima ranked third with 17.7 million viewers; followed by Schmooru with 9.9 million; Maker Studios with 9.4 million; and Demand Media with 7.4 million.

Within the top 10 partners, Machinima demonstrated the highest engagement with 65.1 minutes per viewer on average, and it accounted for the second-highest number of videos viewed - 277 million - after Vevo.

Disney-ABC Testing New Production Strategies for Companion Web Programming

Excerpted from VidBlog Report by Daisy Whitney

Disney-ABC Television Group has been expanding its work in original video programming to now include companion content for ABC Family and Disney Channel shows in addition to ABC primetime programs. The company's digital media studios group has also been experimenting with new production processes for online video in support of an upcoming ABC Family pilot in 2012. If successful, the new process could become a blueprint for how the development of complementary online video content can be integrated into the production of a show.

To date, the digital media studios group has been tasked with producing behind-the-scenes material, interviews, and derivative Web programming for ABC shows such as "Lost" and "Cougartown," and recently began supporting the other networks, said Chris Thomes, VP digital media studios at Disney-ABC TV Group.

Currently, his team is developing complementary Web programming for an ABC Family pilot slated for a 2012 release. The work could serve as a proving ground for best practices for Web production. "We want to get in early, work with the show runner and the production company and make sure we have a digital strategy for that show so we're not playing catch up," he said.

Starting earlier can also help the digital media studios group better support marketing and sales, he said. "What it can do is show to our sales department that we can create entertainment that is interesting for the brands, show to marketing that it can do some of the lifting they need, and it can extend our stories earlier in the process whereby everybody can get behind it and it can be woven into the fabric of a show's production. We can be proactive."

Thomes said the sales team sells inventory in original online video year-round, but will also be making a concerted push to include integrated packages with online video programming in the upfront.

Octoshape Infinite HD Is Now Download-Free

Octoshape, an industry leader in cloud-based global streaming technologies, announced today a groundbreaking innovation, which would enable their cutting-edge Infinite HD technology to be available to online viewers without the necessity of a client download.

Previously, in order to enjoy TV-like experiences on the Internet without buffering and immediate start-up, online viewers were prompted to download the Infinite HD app before watching a video. The application uses patented throughput optimization technologies to deliver the highest quality video over best effort networks, sustained quality viewing experiences, a unique ability to provide global audience reach without infrastructure in country, and extended engagement times. The application also facilitates a suite of Multicast technologies, enabling network efficiencies in the telco/operator networks as well as the enterprise.

With this new innovation, online viewers will be able to view HD TV content more quickly since no downloads are necessary, yet still enjoy all the high quality benefits of the Octoshape technology suite.

"Octoshape leads the industry in high quality video distribution in a way that is sustainable for the last mile providers" said Michael Koehn Milland, CEO Octoshape. "With the latest download-free technologies, it is now easier than ever to reach a global audience and to set the quality bar higher for OTT distribution of content."

Companies can now switch from their current HD network CDN to the Infinite HD service. If they order the service before January 1st, Octoshape is offering a promotion of $90 for the first 90 days (certain other conditions apply). A demonstration of the new product is available at http://www.octoshape.com/hdpromo

Octoshape provides the enabling technology required for content owners to deliver online video over best-effort public networks to the largest audiences and with the highest-quality viewing experience. The company is writing the next chapter of content delivery for IPTV services over the Internet. The Octoshape approach is more scalable, flexible and affordable than traditional CDN schemes, while providing feature-rich, high-quality viewing to the largest of audiences. For more information visit www.octoshape.com.

Kontiki Revolutionizes Internal Video Delivery for Nationwide

Nationwide, the UK's largest building society, has used Kontiki's Enterprise Video Platform (EVP) to make over three million desktop deliveries over the last year, 1200 per cent more than initially planned. Following deployment in October 2010, Kontiki's software-based solution has helped Nationwide streamline the way it distributes video content to its dispersed workforce.

Kontiki's unique mixture of cloud systems and client software means that, despite over 52.5 terabytes of video data being delivered in total, there has been no adverse impact on business-critical traffic and no capital expenditure on hardware required.

Nationwide has always believed video is an effective way to deliver corporate messaging updates, training schemes and internal communications. But distributing video via post to 19,000 employees across 700 UK branches and five administration centers was inefficient, expensive and provided no data on usage and viewings. Kontiki's Enterprise Content Delivery Network (ECDN) reduces network strain by only requiring one 'copy' of a video stream or file to cross each wide area network (WAN). ECDN then delivers these videos to employee desktops across a branch's Local Area Network (LAN) while intelligently managing bandwidth to help prioritize critical traffic.

"Video is a powerful medium that allows us to communicate with our employees no matter where they are based," commented Charlotte Kensett, Senior Channel Manager for Corporate Communication at Nationwide. "We knew that delivering videos electronically was the way forward, but didn't want to commit resources to costly new hardware and long deployment times. Many traditional IT vendors suggested solutions involving large-scale investment in new hardware or network bandwidth upgrades, but this route was cost-prohibitive. The Kontiki solution immediately stood out as it's essentially just a piece of software and requires no hardware changes."

Kontiki's patented technology provided the engine for the original BBC iPlayer service and is used by companies in 180 countries, helping to deliver corporate videos to more than one million employees. Using Kontiki's analytics tool, Nationwide's communication team can now quickly collect vital data on how many people are viewing videos for compliance purposes.

"Distributing corporate videos online is an obvious route for businesses to take," commented Dan Vetras, CEO, Kontiki. "But, for a company the size of Nationwide, streaming large amounts of data like this can cause significant strain on IT infrastructure. With Kontiki, not only is the impact on the network significantly reduced, the business can gather valuable insights to optimize future content and prove the ROI of this vital communication channel."

Internet TV Shootout: Apple TV, Roku, and Sony Blu-Ray DVD Player

Excerpted from ZDNet Report by Steven Vaughan-Nichols

What's the best way for you to get Internet video to your TV? It depends.

When people talk about Internet TV, I've noticed that they usually talk about either Apple TV or Roku. Both are fine devices, but you may be over-looking that are many other ways to get Internet video to your TV. Many of these are still too complicated for general use and others, like Google TV, are still half-baked. But, besides Apple TV and Roku, many Blu-Ray DVD players now come with Internet video built-in. If what you want this holiday season is a Blu-Ray DVD player and Internet streaming, one of these all-in-one players may be just what you need.

So, which one is right for you? Well, here's what I've found in my years of watching Internet TV on my television. These days I use an Apple TV, a Roku 2 HD and a pair of Internet-enabled Sony Blu-Ray players for my TV watching pleasure. Indeed, a few months ago I cut the cord to my cable company and now the only TV I watch comes up either the Internet or from one of my own network media servers.

First, before you buy into any of these, you're going to need a robust Internet connection. You'll need at least a 3Mbps DSL Internet connection to make watching Internet video worthwhile. I've tried it at slower rates, and you'll only end up getting ticked off at the crappy video.

Most Internet TV's media extenders are pure-streaming devices. That means if there's much more than a 100-milliseconds seconds or so of jitter on your Internet connection, you're going to see the latest episode of Modern Family stutter across the screen. If you have a fast connection, but you're seeing video blip and stagger its way across your PC's screen, first check into your Internet connection's quality before buying any Internet video media-extender.

Personally, I recommend getting at least a 10Mbps connection. I'm currently running with a 60Mbps cable connection and it works well all the way up to 1080p high definition (HD) resolution. The lower your Internet speed, the lower your resolution. For 720p HD I've found you need at least 20Mbps. The lower levels of bandwidth are fine for 420i and 480p standard definition (SD) watching. Before getting too excited about upgrading your Internet to ever higher speeds though you should keep in mind that there's relatively little 1080p video content out there at this time.

In addition, you really need 802.11n, and have it setup properly. You can make do with 802.11g, but in my experience, you're likely to run into video stuttering from time to time even with plain old 480i TV episodes and movies. Back when 802.11g was as fast as you could get, I just ran Fast Ethernet cable between my router and my early model media extenders rather than bother with Wi-Fi.

So, if you have the Internet and network chops for home Internet video, here's what each of the big three choices bring you. Please click here for the full report.

Apple to Launch Voice-Controlled Connected TVs

Excerpted from New Media Age Report by Jessica Davies

Apple is developing a connected TV that responds to voice and motion control, according to reports.

The company is developing the product, called iTV, to synchronize with other Apple devices, including iPads and iPhones, while building in the ability to download movies.

Apple is working with manufacturer Sharp on the products, which are due to launch in the second half of next year.

The news has emerged following the release of Apple founder Steve Jobs' biography, in which he mentions his plans for iTV.

Its push into the TV market comes as Microsoft puts the finishing touches to its new content hub for Xbox 360.

It has formed tie ups with around 40 content providers, including music service Vevo alongside the BBC and Channel 4, to launch on its Xbox Live platform. It is yet to negotiate a deal to bring ITV content onto the platform, but it is having discussions with the broadcaster. The new TV and movie proposition is due to roll out in the coming weeks.

It has also bought video-search specialist VideoSurf to boost its content discoverability ahead of roll-out. Microsoft has not disclosed the sum but it has been rumored to be around the value of $70 million.

All Xbox content partners will have access to Microsoft's Kinect, which features motion-sensor technology that responds to a person's gestures without the need for a remote control. It also responds to voice control has the capability to separate a user's voice from ambient noises.

uTorrent Plus Now Available to Pre-Order for $24.95

Excerpted from Geek Report by Matthew Humphries

Back in July, BitTorrent announced that its very popular free torrent-downloading client uTorrent would be getting a premium version called uTorrent Plus. In return for paying to use uTorrent, users would gain the ability to "find, get and play content anywhere." It was to be the only software you required to not only download content, but also convert it to play on most popular devices.

Four months later and it looks as though uTorrent Plus is almost ready to launch. BitTorrent has just added the option to pre-order the software, and by doing so announced the price you'll pay for the all-in-one solution: $24.95 per year.

The actual pre-order offer gets you an additional 6 months of use making it a better deal. In return you get all the functionality of the free version with the addition of a built-in antivirus solution, a HD media player (complete with all the codecs you need), the ability to download content remotely, and conversion tools for multiple formats including for Apple and Android devices.

How good of a deal that sounds depends on just how dependent you are on content downloaded via torrents. Although, if the media player is good enough it could still be useful even if you don't. The counter argument to that is why does anyone need a paid-for media player when VLC has you covered for free?

uTorrent is thought to have more than 100 million users, so even if a small percentage of them decide to buy uTorrent Plus it could form a significant amount of new income for BitTorrent.

2012 Trends: Cloud-Based Music Streaming

Excerpted from eMarketer Report

Despite better-than-expected business in the first half of 2011, the recorded music industry remains plagued by a decade-long decline in CD sales - still its core product - and insufficient digital revenue to make up the difference.

Discrete downloads and ringtones were once hailed as promising revenue streams but both have fizzled. Even the company that pioneered the legal download model, Apple, is now pushing a cloud-based alternative, iCloud. Amazon is making a similar push with its Cloud Drive.

The key to the long-term survival of these services is whether they can generate enough revenue for themselves, copyright holders, music publishers and other rights owners in the recorded music value chain.

Regardless of how cloud-based streaming plays out in the long run, 2012 will be a year in which this access-based approach will get a full test. As an indication of how streaming fits into the consumption spectrum, in September 2011 roughly equal percentages of US music consumers purchased music online, bought physical copies and streamed for free, according to a survey by music retailer eMusic.

This survey indicates that cloud-based streaming is a mainstream activity on a par with buying CDs or downloads, but that only a small percentage of consumers are willing to pay for this activity. If past usage of offerings such as Pandora and Spotify is any indication, cloud-based streaming will follow an economic model akin to virtual goods in social games: only a fraction of users will pay for premium service, while the majority enjoy a lesser level of service for free.

A key to whether the current generation of streaming services will succeed will be the extent to which they provide promotional value. If enough people use Spotify, Pandora, Apple, Amazon and others as try-before-you-buy outlets, those services could play a similarly important, if indirect, role in driving business.

For more information on marketing developments expected next year, stay tuned for the forthcoming eMarketer report "Top Trends for 2012," available to eMarketer corporate subscribers only.

Corporate subscribers have access to all eMarketer analyst reports, articles, data and more. Join the over 750 companies already benefiting from eMarketer's approach. Learn more.

Pretty Lights and BitTorrent Release Music to the World

BitTorrent, a globally-recognized creator of software and protocols to help people find, share and move digital media, today partnered with the ultra-hot electronic dance music act Pretty Lights to release a special media bundle of music to a worldwide audience.

The bundle, created especially to introduce the massive BitTorrent community to the Pretty Lights sound, includes three Pretty Lights releases from 2010 and a single/video from 2011: Glowing In The Darkest Night (EP - 8 eight tracks), Making Up A Changing Mind (EP -- six tracks), Spilling Over Every Side (EP -- six tracks), Pretty Lights Live @Bonnaroo (video), and the bonus hit single "I Know The Truth." The bundle is available to download free here, or within the uTorrent and BitTorrent Mainline software. A torrent is available here.

Derek Vincent Smith, aka Pretty Lights, has toured extensively around the globe and spread his music online through unorthodox distribution methods. But many electronic dance and hip-hop music fans haven't heard Pretty Lights and don't have easy access to live events and music festivals.

Unlike traditional distribution and many online music services, BitTorrent already has users in every corner of the globe. The company can reach new audiences in areas that Pretty Lights may not be touring anytime soon. Combine that reach with BitTorrent's legendary super-fast downloading technology and it's a perfect fit.

Pretty Lights has a large dedicated fan base, made clear through his sold out US tours in venues ranging from 2-12 thousand persons in capacity. He's also played shows to massive crowds at Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Glastonbury, Wireless Music Festival, Ultra Music Festival and more.

"These live experiences are at the core of Pretty Light's success," said Shahi Ghanem, Chief Strategist at BitTorrent. "As the Pretty Lights phenomenon continues to win over the world, we are very happy to offer a platform to directly distribute his music."

Pretty Lights will perform at Oxford Arts Factory in Sydney, Australia tonight (tickets), at the Stereosonic festival in Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane Australia on Dec. 2-4 (tickets), and then will play two massive sold-out New Years Eve shows in his home state of Colorado on December 30th-31st.

Fans can further stay in touch with upcoming Pretty Lights music and tour information at http://prettylightsmusic.com , or on the Pretty Lights Facebook page.

The Cloud in 2012: Maturing, but with Growing Pains

Excerpted from Forbes Magazine Report by Antonio Piraino

Cloud computing is real and here to stay. Executives are seriously considering the cloud's financial and productivity benefits versus continuing to perform all information technology (IT) functions in-house. As 2012 nears, the success of cloud computing is undeniable. But, as with any new technology or consumption model, the cloud brings with it a variety of teething issues.

Here's what to watch out for in 2012.

As cloud computing becomes more mature, consumer cloud environments at Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Salesforce.com will begin cut-throat competition for consumer and business dollars. The war will pull in the managed hosting and data center providers as well as smaller players with Amazon/Rackspace envy, but they won't be able to compete on pure muscle and price alone. To succeed, they will need to identify niche markets where they can deliver new services. The cloud war will bring with it coalitions that will lead to more holistic and innovative cloud solutions and differentiated service catalogs.

In 2012, one or more major cloud environments will be hit with a massive security attack. Security breaches are nothing new, but cloud service providers and their customers will be stronger as a result of this one. The reason? It will force them to learn the lesson of why security and disaster recovery plans are so critical, regardless of where the IT loads reside. The cloud is not a panacea, and businesses need to take responsibility for their own security and disaster recovery in the cloud.

Cloud computing will defy the laws of demand in 2012, exhibiting the characteristics of a modern-day Giffen good. The price elasticity of demand for a Giffen good is positive, meaning that as the price goes up, demand goes up as well. While Giffen goods are considered inferior products with low price points, in the modern era it is the ability of cloud to break down costs into smaller increments that make it far from inferior. Cloud computing - with its benefits of elasticity and agility- will increasingly become an essential good in the coming year, with businesses willing to spend a larger proportion of their IT budgets on cloud-based resources.

The concept of Big Data and business analytics are among the fastest growing uses for cloud computing resources today. While this data is being leveraged by executives to make smarter decisions to drive their top line, IT infrastructure yields data and analytics that can help drive up the bottom line too. It can help answer questions such as: When should I upgrade my infrastructure? Am I making best use of my human resources? The ability to make intelligent decisions, especially around IT operations, will become more central to all business operations.

Traditionally in technology, big firms gobble up small firms - next year, this will be different. Acquisition strategies will focus less on gaining customer footprint and more on what technologies are needed to fill out the portfolios of telcos, social media firms, large systems integrations and managed service providers to help them compete. With stiffening competition, true synergies are being somewhat substituted in the short term for the sakes of getting an edge over the competition. The main targets for acquisition will be the cloud on ramp providers, orchestration technologies, security technologies and monitoring and management firms.

To date, cloud providers have been fixated on creating or emulating the 'top' cloud computing platforms from an infrastructure, self-service and pricing perspective. The next big wave of opportunity for cloud providers and IT cloud system administrators is the necessary visibility and control of those increasingly expansive, decentralized and fluid virtual environments. Best of breed monitoring, management and orchestration will be the name of the game in 2012.

Cloud computing causes data centers to use more energy. Today, three to five percent of all US power usage us being drawn into data centers, which is significant enough to invite regulatory attention around the sources of energy and levels of efficient energy usage. Also, increased in-country regulation - ranging from where a transaction takes place to where the final data resides - will become commonplace in numerous regions of the world. This will invite increasingly homegrown cloud participation by international hosters and service providers.

As IT budgets continue to face pressure in 2012, enterprises will focus more on leveraging external service providers and cloud computing to save capital expenditure. The cloud's greatest promise is its ability to help organizations improve their business models and productivity. As cloud's growing pains continue but start to subside in 2012, buyers will see service providers provide differentiated and resilient offerings that will benefit the enterprise IT market as a whole.

Hollywood and the Internet: Time for the Sequel 

Excerpted from Huffington Post Report by Susan Landau

The Internet has created huge numbers of businesses: Amazon, eBay, Google, Skype to name but a few. These businesses disrupted -- and even displaced -- old businesses: local bookstores, classified ads, newspaper and magazine advertising, long-distance calling -- but you didn't see the bookstores, the print industry, or even the long-distance telephone companies going to Congress for relief and a ban on the Internet. But then, they're not the recording industry or Hollywood.

Even before Napster, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Hollywood were fighting a rearguard action against copyright infringement. Fearing the easy ability to copy and share copies of music and movies that the combination of digital technology and the Internet afford, lobbyists from the music and movie industries got Congress to pass the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This law, much hated by the young, those in favor of using the new technology creatively, moms and dads who want to post a YouTube video of their toddler dancing to pop music, anyone who wants to share a song they just bought with their best friend, makes it illegal to circumvent copyright protection. This is true even if the usage is what's called "fair use" -- usage permitted under the law. Break the copyright protection on a recording or movie you bought and you've broken the law.

Now Hollywood has upped the ante. A new bill in front of Congress, the Stop Online Piracy Act would require the Domain Name System (DNS), the system that resolves the Internet urls (such as www.amazon.com) to the string of numbers that denote Internet addresses, to redirect users from sites allegedly supporting copyright infringement to "disappear" from the Internet. A Senate bill, the PROTECT IP Act would do the same thing. With cyber security a national priority, Hollywood would like to make it harder to determine whether a website is legitimate. Yes, you read those words correctly; Hollywood is lobbying for a bill that would derail current efforts to secure the network.

For a long time we've been relying on DNS to get us to sites, but DNS can be fooled. You can be sent to the wrong site (one that could steal your identity information, your password, and worse). So the US government has been pushing for its replacement by DNSSEC, a technology that uses digital signatures to ensure that the site you visit actually has the credentials for that site (technically speaking, it has "signed" the certificate for the site). When you type "www.bankofamerica.com" into your browser, you are actually going to the Bank or America website -- and not some facsimile.

DNSSEC will not work properly under the bills being pushed by Hollywood lobbyists. Under these bills, if a user attempts to navigate to a site suspected of carrying pirated content, she will instead be sent to a site that warns her of this. Or putting it another way, her session will be hijacked. How will a user be able to tell when she is being redirected because the site she is seeking is carrying pirated content and when she is being misdirected because someone nefarious is sitting in the middle, breaking the proper connection. The short answer is she won't.

The longer answer is that the two bills will make DNSSEC - the secure version of DNS - much harder to implement (if not impossible). At a time when cybertheft and cyberexploitation are issues of major national-security concern, Hollywood is seeking to undermine security to - perhaps - save copyright. SOPA and PROTECT IP are bills that only a Hollywood copyright lawyer could love.

This isn't the only way the story of Hollywood and the Internet could end. Consider the Icelandic pop singer Bjork, who has recently released a new album. She turned it "into a sort of audiovisual game, delivering a miniature production studio into the world's willing hands," according to the NY Times. With the movies Hollywood owns, it could do the same -- and much more.

Consider the business of selling old movies with editing tools. You heard that. What if Hollywood sold films with the ability to cut and paste, add characters, change lines, copy scenes etc.? The simplest would be a version of a film allowing some cutting and pasting, but no other editing. More interesting - and more expensive - would be a version that allowed even more complex editing (such as substituting characters). Finally, the most expensive version would be a film with no restrictions except for watermarking (so as to enable tracking).

Hollywood owns the copyrights on those films. No one could compete. Think of it: Casablanca straight, or with some scenes repeated ("Round up the usual suspects" appearing at multiple points in the movie), or with Ronald Reagan cast as Rick and Hillary Clinton as Ilse. One could present a lawyer who just passed his bar exams with To Kill a Mockingbird - but with the new lawyer playing Atticus Finch. With the right editing software, you could change the characters, modify the plot, go wherever your filmmaking imagination takes you. The movies are there; all that's needed to make this happen is for some engineers to build the tools (more details can be found here). Imagine birthday parties where kids put themselves into the Harry Potter and Hermione roles, Star Wars parties where people vie for the ability to become Darth Vader. Geminio! Hollywood creates a new use for old films and grows new businesses, increasing audiences and further expanding the film, computer, and network industries.

The current movie of Hollywood and the Internet is old and doesn't play very well. It's time to move onto the sequel. Instead of SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act, Hollywood should duck into the telephone booth and emerge ditching the lobbyists, hiring the engineers, and looking like the companies that have fully embraced new communications technologies. Now what a great sequel that would be.

Coming Events of Interest

The Critical Path to IPv6 - December 13th in New York, NY. Attend this brand new Network World Technical Seminar to gain practical information on how to help lead your organization through this necessary transition.

2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) - January 10th-13th in Las Vegas, NV. With more than four decades of success, the International CES reaches across global markets, connects the industry and enables CE innovations to grow and thrive. This is the world's largest consumer technology tradeshow. 

CONTENT IN THE CLOUD at CES - January 11th in Las Vegas, NV. Gain a deeper understanding of the impact of cloud-delivered content on specific segments and industries, including consumers, telecom, media, and CE manufacturers.

2012 NAB Show - April 14th-19th in Las Vegas, NV. From Broadcasting to Broader-casting, the NAB Show has evolved over the last eight decades to continually lead this ever-changing industry. From creation to consumption, the NAB Show has proudly served as the incubator for excellence in helping to breathe life into content everywhere. 

CLOUD COMPUTING CONFERENCE at NAB - April 16th in Las Vegas, NV. Don't miss this full-day conference focusing on the impact of cloud computing solutions on all aspects of production, storage, and delivery of television programming and video.

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This page last updated December 11, 2011
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