You are currently viewing archive for July 2006
07/31 2006 | 04:02 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Cachelogic has been pointing out for a long time that the majority of net trafffic is caused by P2P appliactions. But how is that playing out throughout the day? Are people downloading a lot from the office, or is P2P more of a nighttime activity? The British ISP Plusnet is publishing network monitoring data in real time. This is what Plusnet's customers have been doing over the last 48 hours:

plusnet network traffic

Looks like web traffic is more dominant in the daytime, as P2P stays pretty much constant 24/7. It is worth mentioning tho that Plusnet is limiting P2P traffic data during peak hours, which might explain why we don't see a higher spike after school.

(via Digg)

07/28 2006 | 02:06 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
The German IT news website reports today that Azureus received an unspecified amount of funding from BV Capital. I can't find any related announcements, but the BV Capital website lists Azureus as part of their portfolio, stating:

"The distribution of video on the Internet is going mainstream and consumers are asking for high-resolution, high-quality content. Azureus' efficient peer-to-peer technology positions the Company to become a leading player for the distribution of high-quality entertainment content."

Azureus is planning to launch version 3.0 of it's client with an integrated content distribution platform some time this summer. BV Capital previously invested in, Peerflix and Rojo.

Update: I just noticed that Rafat Ali from wrote about this today as well. He also has a link to a video presentation of the upcoming content distribution platforn.

07/27 2006 | 12:25 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
I wrote about the P2P currency exchange website yesterday, expressing mixed feelings. I definitely like the idea of a peer-based money exchange system. The site itself doesn't seem to be too professional tho, and the fact that they didn't reply to my email didn't really help either. director Sieva Yourievitch took some time to reply to my questions after the review was published however. These answers didn't completely change my mind, but I think they show that they are open to dialogue and criticism, which is an important first step. I also understand that your first shot isn't always perfect - heck, just look at the out of the box standard design template of this website. But I still think anything that resembles a financial institution should have some minimum safeguards, like a privacy policy and a terms of use agreement.

Okay, enough said. Here's the complete email interview with Sieva Yourievitch of
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07/27 2006 | 11:45 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
The story of the day is obviously the settlement between Kazaa owner Sharman networks and the music industry. Sharman Networks promises to pay 100 million US-dollars and to roll out some sort of filtering mechanism, and the labels in turn drop their lawsuit.

I'm wondering if we're actually gonna see any of these changes anytime soon. iMesh took over a year to roll out their licensed service, meanwhile continuing to let users swap files with the unspoken approval of the entertainment industry. Metamachine is supposedly still working on a transition that started last fall. Will it be business as usual for Kazaa users for ome time to come?

07/26 2006 | 11:44 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
First there was MP3 swapping. Then people started to trade CDs and DVDs. What's next? How about exchanging some of that spare money from your last vacation?

That's exactly what is trying to facilitate. The site wants to pair people up to trade currencies without hefty bank surcharges. You can make an offer, look for open trades and close deals with people all around the world. Well, theoretically at least. Most people are a little wary of money transfers initiated by African dictators by now, which is why Moneytwins is suggesting to trade with folks in your community. They also have some sort of trust score built into the system, which supposedly prevents you from running down to the harbor at night with 10.000 dollars in your pocket. Or so.

This sounds like a great concept. Not just for those funny bills left over from your last vacation, but also for the increasing amount of transnational families and their informal money transfers - a phenomenon that is also known as remittances. It is estimated that immigrants transfer up to 300 billion dollars back to their home countries every year.

Only a small amount of that is transfered by the traditional banking system. Specialized wire services, family businesses (sometimes even restaurants) and telecom companies are all involved in getting money over borders. A big concern for the people using these services are the oftentimes artifically set currency exchange rates. Now a lot of this money may seem to flow only in one direction. But I'm pretty confident that some sort of P2P money exchange - maybe in the country of fiscal origin - could help to reduce these costs significantly.

Will help to solve this problem? Probably not. The site tries to play in the big league, but it's clearly not equipped for that - yet, at least. It promises hundreds of available offers, but really only seems to have a hand full of active users. You run into server errors all the time, and the design doesn't really give you much confidence either.

Another point of concern is the business model. Moneytwins doesn't charge its users for their transactions and doesn't seem to have any ads either. I tried to get in touch with the company about this, but didn't get any feedback. Finally, their lack of postal contact or privacy policy doesn't really help to convince potential users to give up their private data in order to register.

Still, it's a great idea - and maybe one day someone will transform it into a profitable business.

Update: director Sieva Yourievitch clarified some details about his venture after this review was published. You can read the complete email interview here.

07/25 2006 | 07:14 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Digg has finally launched their Stack and Swarm visualization tools. P2P Blog reported some details about these tools earlier here.

The tools itself are funky and at the same time quite useful. I was among many users who actually discovered the Digg story about the official announcement through the visualization of it's growing importance. Kinda mind bending, especially if it's as hot as right now.

Another interesting part of the announcement is that they want to release an API to the visualization data "as the project matures". I could see this getting incorporated into many existing and yet-to-be-launched mashups.

07/25 2006 | 05:03 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
The August issue of Wired magazine brings us an article about a programmer turned millionaire who got sued by the Motion Picture Association of America - and vowed to figth the lawsuit in court. From the article:

"Last November, Shawn Hogan received an unsettling call: A lawyer representing Universal Pictures and the Motion Picture Association of America informed the 30-year-old software developer that they were suing him for downloading Meet the Fockers over BitTorrent. (...) The attorney said they would settle for $2,500. Hogan declined."

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

07/24 2006 | 08:33 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Remember Snocap? Right, Shawn Fanning's latest venture. Snocap wanted to build a central registry / clearinghouse for licensed (read: filtered) P2P platforms. Mashboxx should have been their first customer. That was two years ago - and the over-announced Mashboxx beta test is still nowhere to be seen. The funders probably got a little upset - and so Snocap decided to branch out.

The result can be seen now on Myspace and elsewhere: A Flash-based downoad shop widget for independent artists that are part of the Snocap Idol rights management database. The widget can be integrated into social networks and other websites that don't offer any support for more complex e-commerce solutions. The whole thing looks like this:

Snocap Store Widget

Snocap uses Paypal to facilitate the payment process. Interesting about this is that Snocap specifically targets Indie musicians and apparently doesn't intend to use any form of DRM for the downloads. From their FAQ:

"Q: Can I copy my music to a CD?
A: Yes. As the format is mp3, you can copy it to a CD or any other place that you like."

(via hypebot)

07/24 2006 | 01:04 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Business Week is reporting that Janus Friis und Niklas Zenntrom of Kazaa and Skype fame will try to disrupt the TV business with a new TV streaming venture, which might have a P2P component of some sort as well. The venture is dubbed "The Venice Project" because some of the development is taking part in Venice - I guess inviting TV network bosses to Lithuania to broker deals wasn't really an option. And there will be deals:

"This time around, Zennstrom and Friis are inviting the cooperation of TV producers and networks. While the exact nature of their business model isn't clear, they are talking to every TV network in town, according to one person familiar with the matter. The idea is to become a dominant TV distribution company for the Internet era, just as companies such as Comcast (CMSCA) have dominated TV distribution in the cable era."

Aside from that the details of the new venture are still not very clear. An official announcemend isn't expected before fall, according to Business Week. Om Malik seems to know more and promises an update to the story later this week.

07/22 2006 | 01:15 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
The new Pew blogging study already made some waves in the world of online journalism. Pew reported that impressive 39 percent of the US online population read blogs. Eight percent maintain their own blog.

I thought another aspect was very interesting as well: Bloggers and blog readers seem to be more racially diverse than their fellow surfers that don't read blogs. From the study:

"Another distinguishing characteristic is that bloggers are less likely to be white than the general internet population. Sixty percent of bloggers are white, 11% are African American, 19% are English-speaking Hispanic and 10% identify as some other race. By contrast, 74% of internet users are white, 9% are African American, 11% are English-speaking Hispanic and 6% identify as some other race."

Also, bloggers and their audience are about evenly divided by gender. This seems to prove the cliche of the white male teenage blogger wrong. No word about the pizza boxes tho.

07/21 2006 | 07:41 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
I haven't had much time to update this blog during the last few days because I was working on a radio feature about Platial offers geotagging and locative story telling - it's a great site, check it out if you haven't done so yet. One specific part of their Terms of Use is rather disturbing tho:

"Platial permits you to display on your website, or create a hyperlink on your website to, individual Places on the Site so long as such use is for noncommercial and/or news reporting purposes only (e.g., for use in personal blogs or personal online media). If the total number of Places displayed or linked to on your website exceeds one thousand (1000) Places, your use will be presumed to be in violation of these Terms of Use, absent express permission granted by Platial to do so."

I always assumed the age of linking policies was over and people had accepted the fact that you cannot and should not assume any control about inbound links. Platial seems to think otherwise. The site even goes so far as to tell people what they can and cannot write about Platial when they set a link to their site:

" You may also create a hyperlink to the home page of the Site so long as the link does not portray Platial, its employees, or its affiliates in a false, misleading, derogatory, or otherwise offensive matter."

Of course this is just plain stupid. But how does a otherwise very clever Web2.0 company come up with such pre-web nonsense? I have a feeling that it's something that crept out of a different area - the APIs that are an essential part of the Web2.0 way of doing business.

Many websites limit the access to their APIs to a certain number of calls or to not for profit Mashups. Businesswise this does make sense. You don't want someone to use your server and data to build a commercially oriented ripoff of your site. Many Web2.0 companies also hope to eventually sell some of their web services to other companies.

The downside of this urge to limit access seems to be a new protectionism. You can only access my ressources as long as you don't want to make money off of it - which, consequential, is also applied to accessing a web server. Of course it doesn't make sense, especially not in the case of inbound links. You should be happy if someone gives you thousand links, because these are a thousand possibilities to get new users and a thousand chances to display ads - or whatever your business model is based on.

It's time for Web2.0 companies to come up with some set of open source-like licensing rules for their APIs. We need open platforms, not gated communities - because once you start building walls around one property, you evidently start to get overprotective about other things as well.

07/21 2006 | 01:29 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
I've had some problems with Technorati lately, but I hope this will help ...

Sorry for the confusion.

Update: It looks like it actually worked. Technorati started indexing my posts again. Not everything seems to be perfect yet, a few tags are missing and the site still claims that this blog was "updated 23 days ago".

Here's what I did: I sent an e-mail to Technorati last week through their web interface. I never got any response back aside from an auto-generated notice. Technorati's bot never showed up either. But a few days ago I noticed that searching for my blog on Technorati didn't result in any links to the "Technorati Blogs" section or other additional information related to the blog anymore. The site basically looked like an unclaimed blog.

So I logged into my Technorati account, where this blog was still listed as claimed and not updated. I erased that claim and re-claimed the blog through this item. Reclaiming was actually easier than I thought, Technorati remembered all the original blog tags. A few minutes later their bot showed up.

Now I'm crossing my fingers that he'll come back after my next post.

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07/21 2006 | 12:58 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Hypebot interviewed The Orchard CEO Greg Scholl. Among the topics: Digital downloads in Russia. Scholl seems to take a balanced approach:

"There are two approaches to engaging with others: unilateral saber-rattling and aggressive rhetoric, and constructive dialog toward jointly developed goals that are in the interests of both parties."

... and then quickly forgets what he just said:

" is an illegal service that hurts artists, labels and the industry, and we support the BPIís efforts to shut it down, full stop."

If it only was that easy.

07/20 2006 | 10:37 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Sci-Fi Fans went crazy when "Done The Impossible - The Fans' Tale of Firefly & Serenity" came out on DVD. Now the creators released a Creative Comons-licensed version via For free, and for the right reasons. From the release notes:

"We philosophically agree with the concepts of Creative Commons. In our opinion, the modern state of copyright is counter productive to creativity and free culture. It puts unnatural restraints on "fair use", hinders the creative process and has fundamentally destroyed an entire industry before it was even born. Just think of the amazing products, enhancements, embellishments and re-mixes to creative works that could be built with today's technology and talents. But because modern copyrights are so restrictive, nobody dares do anything that *might* infringe on somebody's oh so holy copyright. Thus, we have chosen to not go down that road with our documentary. Enjoy it, share it, re-mix it all you like, just be sure to follow the license below."

I must confess that didn't have a chance to look at it yet - but I've been told that it is "possibly the best Creative Commons-licensed content yet". Download and judge for yourself:

Done the Impossible Torrent (hosted by

07/18 2006 | 08:51 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Bittorrent hoster Prodigem got bought earlier this year by an unnamed Bay Area startup. Now we finally know who it was: Prodigem has started to redirect their customers and trafic to - a media delivery website that relaunched today. Movedigital offers superseeded Bittorrent downloads as well as mobile video streams. From the website:

"We're unique, a file is only charged as delivered after the entire direct download is complete. We also allow your audience to add bandwidth to your account, and we always roll over your bandwidth, so it's never lost."

The roll over option probably won't make too much of an impact, considering the contracts are yearly. The cheapest option gives you one gigabyte of storage and ten gigabyte of bandwidth per year for 10 bucks. Every additional gigabyte costs one dollar, and the next package starts at 101 dollars per year.

People interested in the service should probably compare this offer to Amazon S3, which charges 15 Cent per month per gigabyte for storage and 20 cent for each transfered gigabyte.

07/18 2006 | 12:04 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Techcrunch has some screenshots of the upcoming Digg visualization features. Apparently they will launch next Monday. Digg founder Kevin Rose described these features ealier here.

07/17 2006 | 08:24 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Youtube is quite literally taking a beating today: The Holywood Reporter is reporting that the site is being sued by LA-based journalist Robert Tur who filmed the famous truck driver beating scene during the 1992 riots. Tur found the footage on Youtube, where it had been viewed a thousand times after someone uploaded it recently. The Reporter quotes from the lawsuit:

"The scope of the infringements is akin to a murky moving target, in that videos uploaded are not identified by copyright owner or registration number but rather by the uploader's idiosyncratic choice of descriptive terms to describe the content of the video ó tags ó making it extremely impractical to identify plaintiff's copyrighted works."

Now if Youtube would only find a way to force it's users into identifying every upload by registration number ...

07/17 2006 | 03:52 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
No, not this one. The good folks over at Weblogs Inc. have decided to retire their Peer to Peer Weblog and instead concentrate on the Downloadsquad blog. Too bad, it's always good to have some competition additional eyeballs on the subject. On the other hand: The Weblogs Inc. P2P Blog never really did that well, oftentimes being on hiatus for weeks. Let's see what the future brings for this space.

07/17 2006 | 02:05 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Podcasting startup launched a bunch of new things during the last few weeks. They rolled out a beta version of their new player interface, leaving out a lot of clutter. Who needs a search box anyway? Actually, that one should have stayed, if you ask me.

Odeo got much more buzz for another website that isn't Podcasting-related at all - at least not for now. Twttr is some sort of SMS hub that allows you to broadcast short messages from your phone to all your friends. It also publishes them on the web, so everybody can see that Jason Cosper spent his weekend "drunk and sitting on a diving board."
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07/15 2006 | 12:22 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Time is running out on the possibility to sell cheap music in Russia, Allofmp3-style. Apparently people are reacting by moving their businesses offshore. Take as an example: The site is offering song downloads for as little as 15 US-Cents - and the owners couldn't really make up their mind about a good location for their business. So they rented a mailbox in India, paid a lawyer in Thailand and got some server space in Greece. Which might turn out to be the Achilles heel of the whole operation ...

Update: Adding to the global confusion is this part of their TOS:

"This Agreement is governed by the laws of Republic of Panama, without regard to its conflicts of law provisions; and you hereby consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of and venue in the courts located in the Province of Panama, Republic of Panama with respect to all disputes arising out of or relating to the Service."

07/14 2006 | 01:16 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Robert X. Cringely wrote a column this week about the fact that ISPs regularly overbook their networks. ISPs don't expect all their customers to be online at the same time, and they don't have the capacity to give each of their customes the promised DSL or cable speed 24/7. Which isn't all that bad, Cringely says, as long as it doesn't affect transmissions that need a certain Quality of Service. In other words: The world wouldn't end if we all decided to use the net at the same time - the whole thing would just be really, really slow.
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UK Indie file sharing proposal continues to make waves

07/14 2006 | 12:23 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
The proposal of the UK-based Association of Independent Music (AIM) to impose a compulsory license on ISPs in exchange for free file sharing doesn't ring so well with the Open Rights Group (ORG). The group answered Thursday with a press release that called the AIM plans an "ISP tax" that would be "ill-conceived and grasping".

The press release quotes ORG executive director Suw Charman with the words:

"Suggesting that ISPs and telcos should be responsible for the content transferred by their users illustrates how poorly the music industry understand the net, the right to privacy, and the ISPsí duties to their customers under the Data Protection Act. They are looking at booming technology markets, such as the growth in iPod sales, and wondering how they can get themselves a slice of the action."

Malcolm Hutty from the British ISP group LINX is also quoted:

"We donít accept that ISPs should be responsible for paying for all the value that our customers acquire as a result of using the network. There are already very effective procedures in place which rights holders can use to pursue cases of copyright infringement and ISPs co-operate fully with such investigations, but beyond that, itís nothing to do with the ISP. There is no need for an ISP tax, and it is absolutely inappropriate that the ISP industry should be forced to seek a licence from the music industry in order to operate."

I personally think the growing hostility in the debate about new business models is very unfortunate, and another good reason why any collective licensing solution has to be voluntary. ISPs can end the race to the bottom in terms of access prices by embracing new content offerings built upon P2P infrastructure - think of it as an Audiogalaxy on stereoids.

Record companies on the other hand have to stop blaming others for their misfortune and take their future in their own hand. The solution is not to tax ISPs, but to persuade them to sign up for licenses.

Diggs upcoming visualization features

07/13 2006 | 01:11 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
I did a story about Digg and similiar sites the other day for a German news website. Kevin Rose replied to a few of my questions - but due to time constraints the quotes unfortunately didn't make it in the original story. Which is why I decided to share some of them with the readers of this fine blog.

I think his comments on the upcoming Digg visualization features are especially interesting, because these features definitely sound pretty cool. Kevin said two features called "Digg incoming" and "Digg swarm" will launch towards the end of this month. Here's what they'll look like, as described by the Diggfather himself:

"digg Incoming: Think of incoming as a combination of an excel clustered column bar graph and the game of tetris. Every time a user diggs a story another block falls from the sky, causing the graph to grow taller. This will be one of the first tools that enables users to see real-time activities from several hundred newly submitted stories at once. The larger the graph, the more users are digging the story.

digg Swarm: Swarm is a graphical representation of diggers gathering or swarming around stories. On mouse over, swarm also draws real-time connections between stories that have similar diggers. The larger the bubble grows in the swarm, the more activity occurring within that story."

You can see some of those visualizations here and here (together with a very funny interview, courtesy of Geek TV), but this explanation definitely helped me to understand what the hell was going on in these visualizations.

British Indies want compulsory license - with DRM?

07/13 2006 | 12:21 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
The story about the UK-based Association of Independent Music proposing some sort of compulsory licensing scheme is getting more confusing every day, and the fact that AIM apparently forgot to renew their domain registration isn't really helping either.

The BBC is reporting today that AIM wants a license that allows free downloads for all ISP customers - as long as they can't burn the music. From the story:

"They say that, in the future, the industry would make money from file-sharing music by charging Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for distribution. However, customers would still have to pay for a permanent copy of a piece of music on CD, or as a download bought from digital retailers. "

I'm really unsure on how this is supposed to work. Are they trying to give every UK internet user a free Napster account? Or do they want to legalize file sharing - but only if you download DRMed tracks from special walled-garden networks?

Pando goes Outlook

07/12 2006 | 04:47 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Om Malik reports that Pando is going to offer an Outlook plugin for P2P file transfers:

"The best part is that you can attach files you normally would, and if it is up to a specific size, the file would be sent using the email. However, if the file is say bigger than specified 20 MB, then Pando will automatically offer to package them and insert a small .pando file in their place."

Opening this attechmend then starts a P2P file transfer - that is if your recepient also has Pando's software installed on his PC. I'm not an Outlook user, so I won't be testing this any time soon. Still, it sounds like a smart solution for an obvious problem.

British Indie labels consider collective licensing

07/12 2006 | 12:16 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
The BBC is reporting that the British Association of Independent Music (AIM) is debating alternatives to P2P lawsuits. One of them apparently includes legalized file sharing in exchange for a collective license:

"Ways of charging ISPs for acting as an "intermediary" between and music buyers is another area highlighted in the discussion, details of which were revealed on Wednesday. This could take the form of a collective licence - similar to the current radio licence in the UK - which would allow ISPs to host file-sharing for a fee that would go to record companies and musicians. "

The article isn't too clear about how such a license could be applied. It talks about a change in the law, which in effect would be a compulsory license. Of course there is another way: Voluntary collective licensing. AIM represents roughly 20 percent of the UK music market. How big of a market share do you need to break a new business model?

(via Digg)

Redswoosh review

07/11 2006 | 09:01 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
I spent some time this weekend testing the new Redswoosh 2.0 service. First the basics: Redswoosh is a P2P service that allows webmasters to distribute files with the help of their users. It's based on a small client application that, at least for now, is Windows-only.

Downloads are coordinated with the help of Redswoosh's servers instead of a local tracker server - so you don't have to set up anything on your web server. That's especially helpful for people with budget web hosting accounts, since many of them don't allow setting up Bittorrent trackers.
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Myspace: Biggest US website

07/11 2006 | 01:12 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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It's official: Social networking is now bigger than - anything, actually. Reuters reports that Myspace surpassed Yahoo in visits last week. From the article:

"News Corp.'s MySpace accounted for 4.46 percent of all U.S. Internet visits for the week ending July 8, pushing it past Yahoo Mail for the first time and outpacing the home pages for Yahoo, Google and Microsoft's MSN Hotmail."

Those stats are all based on Hitwise research, and are in this case US-only. Would be interesting to see how Baidu and Co. stack up to this.

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Bittorrent to start video subscription service(s)

07/10 2006 | 07:23 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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This is interesting: CNet News is reporting that Bittorrent signed distribution deals with four indie film studios. The films, however, will not be available on a per-download basis, but as one or multiple subscription packages. From the CNet article:

"The filmmakers that signed with BitTorrent are Hart Sharp Video, Egami Media (a subsidiary of Image Entertainment), Koch Entertainment and The Orchard. Videos offered include documentaries, feature-length and short films, live music concerts, comedy recordings and TV programming."

The article isn't too specific about the details, and I couldn't get my hands on the press release yet. Interesting about this is that Koch and the Orchard also have music operations. Kind of makes you wonder whether there might be a future for album downloads or maybe some sort of mixed-media packages for Bittorrent as well.

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07/10 2006 | 02:14 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
CD swapping service recently launched their Z Foudation to give back some of their revenue to musicians. Mark at DigitalOn thinks the setup of the foundation is unfair:

"It states that the musician's "music-related income accounts for more than half of their total income." The world's artists who are truly in need of these benefits are the ones who, at this very moment, write lyrics at 3 o'clock in the morning after working a full-time job, and can only afford the time to perform at a local bar on weekends."

While I think it's fair to question the effectiveness of something like the Z Foundation - after all, only pledged to contribute between 10.000 and 50.000 10,000 and 50,000 dollars per month - Mark seems to be missing the point here. Musicians who have given up their day job aren't "already established" in terms of secure income - in fact, many of them are struggling somewere around the poverty line, and few can afford health insurance. However, if you decide to keep your dayjob, then that job should provide benefits for you.

Mark thinks that the step to become a full-time musicans should be easier:

"The foundation will not encourage music as a viable way to make a living for new artists. It will only serve to aid the musicians who are already doing music for a living."

I'd instead argue that if you better the situation of people who are trying to make a living with music, you also encourage newcomers to take their art more serious.

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Cachelogic gets more cache. No, wait, that's cash.

07/10 2006 | 01:02 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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Cachelogic is riding high on the Bittorrent wave, announcing that it received 20 million dollars in venture capital funding. Cachelogic is famous for their P2P traffic analysis, but the real story about this cash infusion seems to be superseeding authorized content for From the press release:

"CacheLogic is uniquely placed to facilitate the use of P2P technology for content delivery over the Internet by balancing the requirements of both Internet Service Providers and content owners alike."

(via GigaOm)

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Technorati trouble & ads

07/10 2006 | 12:24 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Technorati stopped indexing this website two weeks ago, and I have no idea why. I have since validated the RSS feed as well as the XHTML, and I have also made some changes to my templates. I've tried different methods of pinging the Technorati server, and I've looked for help on other websites - with no resolution yet.

Then today Technorati offers me to anwer a survey - and I think: Great, let's tell them their service doesn't work. Turns out it's just about potential advertising solutions and commercial widgets. Even worse: Technorati tells you to get lost if one of your blog isn't primarily targeting a US-based audience - even if you have other blogs that still might be relevant:

"We appreciate your efforts, but unfortunately you do not fit with the specific criteria we are pursuing for this project. Thank you for your time."

Now if I only knew how to make P2P Blog fit their crieria for pursuing their original project, namely indexing blogs ...

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Digg vs. NYT: Apples and oranges?

07/07 2006 | 12:17 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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Techcrunch mentions a new Hitwise statistic today that compares the traffic of the New York Times website to And, surprise, surprise. The Times is still more popular:

"According to the Hitwise US sample of 10 million internet users, Digg ranked at #101 in the News & Media category in for the week ending July 1, 2006. The share of page impressions for the NY Times was 19 times greater than for Digg for that week. "

The Techcrunch readership weights in with a lot of good arguments why this comparison is moot in the first place. Alex Rudloff for example says:

"Without NYTimes, there would be no Digg. Digg is agreggate and links to journalism. NYTimes is journalism. This just in ó there are still more phones than phone books."

He's right about the apples and the oranges, but I think he's ignoring the peaches, strawberrys and bananas. Digg doesn't just link to the New York Times and other traditional journalistic news sources, but to blogs, forums and other new forms of publishing as well. For every link to the Times you'll find one to the Huffington Post, and for every offical movie trailer there are links to at least ten mashups. This makes Digg both an indicator and a catalyst for the rising importance of what some people call citizen journalism.

All that aside, Digg does show a huge growth rate. They just send me their recent statistics yesterday, and these numbers are pretty impressive: They claim to have 360.00 registered users now, with a growth rate of 100 percent per month. They get one million unique visits and 10.000 new signups each day. All these users post between 2500 and 3000 new stories per day. Again, those numbers are from Digg, so it's up to you if you trust the orange.

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Redswoosh reinvents itself

07/05 2006 | 06:10 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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Redswoosh has launched a free service for webmasters with bandwidth problems: Files or pages can be linked (or "swooshed", as they would say) and then downloaded via P2P. Downloads are managed by a small client application that is at least for now only available for Windows. But Mac and Linux users don't need to worry - they are redirected to the original web hosted file.

Redswoosh has a long history: The company was founded by Travis Kalanick who also founded - one of the first Napster competitors with video support. Redswoosh courted corporate clients for quite some time, but now wants to open up to bloggers, podcasters and advertisers, who's cash is supposed to support the free service.

I'll do a test of the system during the next few days - for now you can go and check it out yourself.


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Plazes relaunch

07/04 2006 | 08:22 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
1 Comment relaunched today while everybody else was hanging out at the beach, having barbeque or crying with Odonkor. Good timing to deal with last-minute bugs, indeed. Plazes is something of an location enabler based on Wifi access points. It allows you to describe your unique location (Plaze) and then recognizes it through your router's MAC address.

How is this P2P? Good question - and easy to answer. Plazes enables people to use their location as an additional bit of information when it comes to personal publishing, putting photos on Flickr or various ways of discovery (a.k.a. hooking up). So it not only brings people together, but at the same time allows geographic collaborative media. Which might not technically be P2P, but it's definitely something I'd call social P2P. Using technology to make the net a two way street.

The relaunch itself was a little overdue. So many things changed in terms of mapping and location lately, and the old interface really wasn't up to it anymore. The folks at Plazes showed me an early screenshot of the new site design back at Etech, which was very, very Web2.0. Color fades, pastel, all the works.

Compared to those early attempts, the new Plazes interface almost looks like a Google service - and that's not only because the Google's maps are displayed very prominently. It's simple, makes use of big fonts and looks kind of square. Useful, but not pretty. In that it is a little bit like, even tho the sites don't really look alike.

Upon login users are greeted with a dashboard that displays their location and discovered Plazes in their neighbourhood on a big Google map. Further down on the page you'll find buddies. A little too hidden for my taste, but then you can always get a list of them through your Plazes application.

The main theme of the relaunch is mapping,which seems to be a smart move. Plazes does't want to be a dating platform like Meetro, so they put the emphasis on the locations and not the people. Open the tab "Browse Plazes", and yoo get to see a map. Open "Browse People", and, again, you get a map. Of course you can get a list as well, but the mesage is clear: It's all about location.

One danger is that Plazes might take itself too serious. The previous website invited people to playful browsing - opening random Plazes that were displayed on the front page. The new site focuses on your current neighbourhood. Which makes sense if you are often at different locations. People working at home end up just seeing the same three or four other Plazes users nearby. It would be good to have some options for your dashboard. Some incentives to actually contribute to the system, some showcase of other Plazes.

I believe the real test fo Plazes will be how useful it is to other developers. The service will only grow to a useful size if others integrate it into their own services, which might be web- or application based. Or probably both. Once we see such integrations happen, the Plazes web interface will become sort of a backdoor. Like that admin area of your blogging software. It's not pretty, but it works.

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AddThis Social Bookmark Button gets framed C&D notice

07/03 2006 | 01:59 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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This is kind of funny: Chris Pirillo and Jake Ludington got another cease and desist notice from Microsoft for their website. This one was framed tho - and handed over at Gnomedex, in front of a probably slightly confused audience. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer weblog quotes Microsoft manager Aaron Coldiron saying:

"Things do happen, and we thought this would be a lighthearted way to say, 'Nice try.'"


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An internet was sent to me

07/02 2006 | 04:45 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
1 Comment
Expect this to be on the Daily Show any day: Wired News has a transcript of Senator Ted Stevens arguing against net neutraility. He really seems to know what he is talking about:

"I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially."

Funny. And really, really disturbing.

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07/02 2006 | 01:18 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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I've transfered my Atom and RSS feeds to Feedburner. Please let me know if anything went wrong. Hopefully you won't notice any difference ...

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Peerthings: Siemens tries to compete with Skype

07/01 2006 | 03:02 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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This is a little older, but becoming a little more relevant these days: Siemens demonstrated a SIP-based Skype alternative called "Peerthings" at the last CeBIT. An informative video interview is available here, and here's a screenshot, as found in these slides:

peerthings screenshot

The main features: Voice and IM chat, video conferencing and a distributed database based on an adaptation of the Chord DHT.

There is no file sharing function avaliable to the user tho, and a file distribution function is only used for updates. Siemens wants to sell this appliaction to carriers, which is why they don't want to include file trading. This might be a bad decision, since pretty much every IM client offers at least some sort of file transfer thse days.

But that's a minor detail, since the product isn't available yet anyway. The real question is: Which role does Peerthings play after the recent Siemens transactions? The company sold its mobile phone unit to BenQ, and merged its network technology unit with Nokia. Does this mean Peerthings is now part of Nokia Siemens Networks? And what does that mean for Nokia's own P2P research?

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