Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Architecture of Flash

Ely Greenfield, Flex architect, David Wadhwani, vice president of Flex Product Line, and Mike Chambers, senior product manager, developer relations, walk to the whiteboard and describe Adobe Flash's architecture and give further details about what is being open sourced. via Scoble

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Joost disappointing

The prospect of a peer-to-peer IPTV application from Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis founders of Skype and Kazaa would seem to be something seriously worth experiencing.

So vast numbers of potential users flocked to sign up for the Joost beta. Months elapse then one day the invitation arrives. Understandably most Joost beta users come with high expectations.

Here is my initial experience based on the first few attempts using Joost. Once the download completed and my PC's specifications were assessed as worthy to run the application, the trouble began.

Joost describes itself as 'Easy to use, just like regular TV'. But how many people have to login to their TV before they can use it? So logging to Joost was the first pain. Auto-logging in with cookies would have been preferable. The application appeared very unstable, splashing a full screen message with plenty of small text for less than half a second so that there was no chance read it. Then there was approximately 30 seconds to one minute gap with no indication or task bar evidence something was about to happen.

Once past these hurdles your entire screen goes black and it is filled with the Joost application, with no minimize or 'close box' option. You are then subjected to a 'coming next' graphic and force fed the content. No browsing or selection is obvious at this stage.

There is in fact a control panel on the lower section but it doesn't appear to be constantly available or easily accessible. The quality of the 'video' in my experience was more or less one frame per second with equally poor stuttering audio when tested from two different broadband networks and locations.

To be generous, perhaps this woeful experience is untypical. The majority of hands-on beta-test feedback is in fact positive.

In my opinion Joost needs to hand control to the user much more obviously. The login needs to be less clunky, the controls have to be far more accessible, the frame rate has to speed up. At the moment there are so many failings in this user's experience of Joost that the incentive to continue is remote. Presumably many of the bugs mentioned above will be eliminated from the next release of Joost.

What is your experience of Joost?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

TechCrunch nuttiness

Regular readers of TechCrunch may remember that editor/owner Mike Arrington has form when April 1st posts are concerned.

Rather than inventing semi-plausible spoof Web 2.0 start up company reviews, cramming in all the requisite buzzwords, this year Arrington appears to have gone for a different approach. CNet reports 'TechCrunch: When April's Fool is no joke' regarding the acquisition of FuckedCompany by TechCrunch.

FuckedCompany started in 2000 by Philip 'Pud' Kaplan and gained a following in the wake of the dotcom bubble burst, when disgruntled employees of failing dotcom start ups, and the recently redundant spilled the beans making for juicy reading.

Arrington who currently deposits failed companies he has written about in the TechCrunch 'Deadpool' cites his rationale for the acquisition of 'FC' as "the current trend in blogging, led by Valleywag and others, is to “go negative first, and ask questions later.” That tabloid-style journalism tends to generate a lot of eyeballs and, subsequently, advertiser dollars. This is something we just can’t compete with. By acquiring FC, we can go more negative faster than anyone else out there, when and if we need to.

With the combination of these two companies, we can now effectively cover a startup from the idea stage, through the hype and funding stage, and then cover its inevitable bankruptcy and liquidation as well."

Approximately half the 233 comments on TechCrunch regarding the acquisition believe it to be a joke. Whatever the truth is you have to hand it to Arrington for his ability to continually generate and sustain a high level of interest in his ventures.


Update: Now confirmed as an April Fools joke to draw attention to how ' Techcrunch is the best-known site announcing new "Web 2.0" companies, while FC chronicled the fall of "Web 1.0." The joke being that Web 2.0 is "officially" over.'