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Google Might Get Into Hosted Gaming Via YouTube December 30, 2009

Posted by andre in Internet & Communities.
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YouTube is the world’s online video portal, but if a recent patent application filed by Google is any indication, it may be looking to become an interactive gaming portal as well.

The patent, “Web-based System for Generation of Interactive Games Based on Digital Videos,” was filed by Google earlier this year but published this month. Uncovered by BNET, the Google patent seems to detail a system where the creation of video annotations can be used for gaming-like mechanics and video behavior change.

The following is the full abstract from the patent application:

“Systems and methods are provided for adding and displaying interactive annotations for existing online hosted videos. A graphical annotation interface allows the creation of annotations and association of the annotations with a video. Annotations may be of different types and have different functionality, such as altering the appearance and/or behavior of an existing video, e.g. by supplementing it with text, allowing linking to other videos or web pages, or pausing playback of the video. Authentication of a user desiring to perform annotation of a video may be performed in various manners, such as by checking a uniform resource locator (URL) against an existing list, checking a user identifier against an access list, and the like. As a result of authentication, a user is accorded the appropriate annotation abilities, such as full annotation, no annotation, or annotation restricted to a particular temporal or spatial portion of the video.”

While there are already annotations within YouTube videos, they don’t have this type of functionality. With the behavior described in this patent, you could create a game that jumps from video to video based on your responses or one that pauses the video and requires you to answer a question before resuming playback. It also has potential applications in advertising mechanics.

It’s tough to tell just from the patent what Google intends to do with this technology, but the fact that the patent focuses on interactive games gives us our best clue. YouTube-based gaming may be in our not-so-distant future.

via Is YouTube About to Jump into Online Gaming?

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Web Strategy Spheres September 15, 2009

Posted by andre in Internet & Communities.
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Who’s a Web Strategist? In a company, they often are responsible for the long term vision of corporate web properties. At a web company where their product is on the web, they’re often the product manager or CTO. Regardless of role, the responsibilities are the same, they need to balance all three of these spheres, and make sure their efforts are in the middle of all three.

1) Community Sphere
To be successful, the Web Strategist must understand (by using a variety of techniques and tactics) what customers and prospects want. Stemming from, ethnography, analytics, brand monitoring and primary and secondary research the end result should be a web experience profile and mental model. […]

2) Business Sphere
Yet understanding customers alone isn’t sufficient, the Web Strategist must be able to achieve measurable business objectives. This leader must be able to first identify key stakeholders within an organization, capture their needs, prioritize, and balance into a plan that meets both their needs and the community. This delicate dance requires the strategist to balance the needs of a variety of internal teams, offset daily fire drills, yet meet the needs of the company. Many Web Strategists fall short here, they meet the goals and objectives of internal stakeholders yet fail to balance the needs of the community. The end result? A website where users rarely visit, and go elsewhere to make trusted decisions. […]

3) Technology Sphere
Lastly, the Web Strategist should be an expert in their own realm of internet technologies. They’ll need to know the capabilities and deficiencies of their current arsenal of tools as well as adopt new technologies that are ever emerging. Leaders in this space often become complacent configuring current systems and forget to plan into the immediate roadmap new technologies that widen the breadth and width of what can be done. If the Web Strategist is performing the Community sphere correctly, they are already watching how the use of customers technology adoption is changing. […]

via The Three Spheres of Web Strategy –Updated for 2009 « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing

No Internet, No Fun – Android USB Tethering July 10, 2009

Posted by andre in Internet & Communities, Mobile & Gadgets.
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Over at my private blog android.rabold.org I have posted a small comparison of Android tethering applications (using your phone as a modem to surf the Internet with your desktop PC). Due to a broken DSL modem I had to grab my T-Mobile G1, started googling the web for a solution, and came up with PdaNet and azilink:

PdaNet was the first to try: Installation is pretty straight forward. No separate packages and downloads needed. Just double click the executable, follow the instructions and you’re done. You’ll get a background application, a special USB driver for the Android phone and a modem driver – plus a new app on your Android phone. What I instantly liked about it – besides the installation process – is the tray icon. I know that a lot of people hate applications which put themselves into the tray but in this case it’s really the easiest in terms of usability. A click on the icon opens a context menu where you simply select “Connect” and you’re done! It’s such easy… At least in theory because it seems there is an issue with PdaNet and my Vista system. It crashed immediately 😦 I played around and had a quick search in the Internet (via my mobile again) but haven’t found an immediate solution for the problem. So I turned to the next tethering software candidate…

Check out the full article over at android.rabold.org

Apple’s HTTP Adaptive Video Streaming July 2, 2009

Posted by andre in Internet & Communities, Mobile & Gadgets.
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When Apple upgraded its iPhone operating system in June, it included some highly prominent and loudly demanded features, like search and copy and paste. But the Cupertino, Calif., computer maker also added some behind-the-scenes upgrades that haven’t yet started to show up in most iPhone users’ daily experiences. One of them, HTTP video streaming, has the capability to substantially change how mobile video is perceived and consumed.

HTTP streaming enables publishers to give users a better video experience by employing adaptive streaming techniques, something other players such as Microsoft, Adobe Systems, Move Networks and Swarmcast already offer (though Adobe uses a more traditional proprietary real-time streaming protocol to do so, rather than sending chunks of video over standard HTTP like the others). That means that watchers can enjoy a continuous, smooth video experience. The stream intelligently adjusts to the highest quality a viewer can receive at each moment. If the connectivity worsens, a lower quality stream is substituted without interruption or buffering. […]

via Video: See Apple’s HTTP Adaptive Video Streaming in Action

Flash 10 for Android June 23, 2009

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On Adobe’s earnings call last week, chief executive Shantanu Naraye said his company will introduce version 10 of its Flash multimedia player for Android this October at Adobe MAX 2009. This comes on the heals of handset manufacturer Sony Ericsson’s announcement that it will release its first Android 2.0 handsets with “more multimedia capabilities” the same month.

The significance is that Android developers will build better-performing apps, that can live outside of any official “app store.” […]

What if you could do Skype VoIP & video conferencing on the Google Android? Sounds pretty damn cool, doesn’t it? Especially given all the media hype surrounding the new iPhone 3GS. I already tweeted my displeasure that the new Apple iPhone 3GS doesn’t support Flash and also tweeted my annoyance that Apple didn’t put a front-facing camera for video chat support using Skype. Thus, while the iPhone supports a native Skype app, it only supports VoIP and not video chat. And don’t expect video chat anytime soon either. As Skype Journal remarked, “iPhone programmers can use the webcam to store video to a file, but won’t be able to write apps that manipulate or route the stream. This means Skype for iPhone won’t be able to add video calling any time soon.

via Adobe’s Flash 10 for Android: A big win for mobile web apps | VentureBeat

A Powerful Way to Edit Images Online May 14, 2009

Posted by andre in Internet & Communities, Programming.
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Last fall, a New York-based startup called Aviary went live, offering digital artists an online image-editing tool with features that could normally only be found in expensive software. Last month, the company released software that lets anyone integrate these tools into their website; some sites are now using the software to reinvent the way that they use images, allowing visitors to contribute cartoons for contests, modify photographs in newspapers, and even tweak the overall design of an online storefront. […]

Aviary consists of four tools: Phoenix for photo editing, Raven for
graphic design, Toucan for color swatches, and Peacock for pattern
generation. They were built using Flex, a platform for developing
powerful Internet-based applications created by Adobe. […]

via Technology Review: A Powerful Way to Edit Images Online

Native Client February 2, 2009

Posted by andre in Multimedia, Programming.
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Native Client is an open-source research technology for running x86 native code in web applications, with the goal of maintaining the browser neutrality, OS portability, and safety that people expect from web apps. We’ve released this project at an early, research stage to get feedback from the security and broader open-source communities. We believe that Native Client technology will someday help web developers to create richer and more dynamic browser-based applications.

nativeclient – Google Code