Internet2: Arthron – A Tool for Video Streaming Remote Management in Artistic Performances Experiences

Arthron was concept for experiences in the domain of Art and Technology. Arthron facilities include its simple user interface and the manipulation of different media sources. Users can remotely add, remove and configure the presentation format as well as schedule the media streaming during an artistic performance.
Arthron is composed by six components described as follow. The Articulator is responsible for the remote management. This component concentrates a great part of the Arthron functionalities, such as stream scheduling (manual or automatic), network monitoring and measurement, remote configuration of other modules, access control, web page automatic generation for online publication, video effects, and communication tools. The Encoder is responsible for capturing and encoding (when necessary) of media source, which can be external (DV or HDV camera, DVD) or internal (a local file). The Decoder’s main functionality is to decode and display the media stream in a specific device (monitor, projector, etc). The Reflector is responsible for the replication and redistribution of media streaming over the network.

The VideoServer component is able to transcoding media streaming that will be published online. This component is also responsible for working with flv, ogg and h264 formats. The MapManager controls and displays the interactive map of Arthron components. MapManager offers to users an overview of the geographical distributed locations of Arthron components.

Latest read: The Numerati

This is not a book about Dan Brown’s character, Robert Langdon and his fight against the Illuminati in Angels & Demons.  This is The Numerati, a slight spin on very advanced mathematics and high performance computing, the future of shopping, medicine, safety, sex, voting and yes …. even work.
the numeratiThe Numerati is a great read regarding the impact of advanced analytics across the board.  I was impressed with mathematicians Baker interviews and the surprising number who eventually work for IBM or the NSA.  Baker has written a book about how the best mathematicians are changing the way we live by processing amazingly vast amounts of data and simply detecting patterns.  The data comes via mouse-clicks, cell phone calls and credit card purchases just to name a few.

It sounds simple.  On the surface with today’s high performance computing and powerful consumer technologies.  But Baker shows how mathematicians are working to draw upon extremely high levels of computational power to deliver products and solutions that will dramatically impact our lives.

At the same time some of the projects mentioned seems more ‘wonderland’ in design. Yet consider the amount of data created by the Large Hadron Collider for example, the emerging world of Big Science is just starting to take off.

Chapters tackle different subjects (mentioned above) and as others. Many have indicated the shopping chapter is the best of the book. It was very enjoyable to read.  Some of the ideas and inventions about health were interesting, some ideas a bit hard to wrap around your brain – like the ability of a floor tile to detect if your elderly father has a change in an existing medical condition.  Another example, how a computer can analyze a sequence of video (over time) and determine in your are prone to suffering Parkinson’s disease.

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Google to build multiple fiber cities ?

Google may launch more than one “fiber city” in America.  This cyberinfrastructure project could will be a tipping point for a few lucky cities.

Tags: experimental network, Google, Network, internet access, Research, Internet2, Broadbandt, gigabit, high speed, trends,

Sports Illustrated on the iPad ?

ipadIn January Time Inc., the publisher of Sports Illustrated showed off their own tablet highlighting a future issue of SI for tablet users.  I immediately questioned their “announcement” to produce their own tablet.

Clearly the business model for ANY publisher to develop a tablet is a mistake with the marketplace is its infancy.  The internet forced computer companies to move faster in transforming their business.  Its simply smarter to drop SI into the iPad Store inside iTunes.  The RIO is much better.

And just six months later….SI has announced its coming to the iPad for the same price as the print version.  So much for their own hardware eh?

Time Inc, holds major content providers in business/finance, international, luxury/portfolio, lifestyle and style/entertainment media categories and with the initial wave of eBook publishing just beginning to hit a business sweet spot it should not be long before popular titles begin to appear alongside SI.

Tags: Sports Illustrated, Time, Inc., iPad, Tablet, design, wireless, magazine, trends

Latest read: The Next 100 Years

I was looking forward to George Friedman‘s The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century.  I found this to be a very compelling read due to the simple nature that predictions in general are always horribly incorrect.

the next 100 yearsFriedman’s background provides a true global, military view of the world’s future and his role at Stratfor, a global intelligence service provides direction to his book.

Yet I could not help but think twice about some of the aspects of his work.  I agree with his points that in the future countries including Poland can become a superpower, but at the same time to predict in 40 years America will be at war with Mexico after fighting Japan and Turkey are a bit…on the surface, a stretch.

For the strangest reason Friedman seems to be able to tie some of his predication today.  Following the fall of the USSR and the Orange Revolution not many would predict that Ukraine and Russia would sign a joint agreement in April 2010 to keep Russian Naval forces in their former communist republic in Sevastopol.

At the same time his prediction of Poland’s coming success as a global power could not have taken into account the April 2010 tragedy in Katyn. I do not believe this will stop Poland from gaining power in the future, but it appears to be slowing down (potentially) the process by a decade.
I do feel the first half of the book hold chapters that are solid and well written:

Chapter 1: The Dawn of the American Age
Chapter 2: Earthquake: The US – Jihadist War
Chapter 3: Population, Computers and Culture Wars
Chapter 4: The New Fault Lines
Chapter 5: China 2020: The Paper Tiger

However Chapters 6 – 13 layout the world order from 2020 to 2080.  Again the further out the more difficult to predict IMHO.  Interesting reading for sure since most today would never foresee Mexico winning a war against America.

Tags: The Next 100 years, George Friedman, 21st Century, America, Japan, Turkey, Mexico, future, reading, trends

Latest read: Ahead of the Curve

The title of Philip Delves Broughton‘s Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business School was interesting enough to jump on my reading list but when I began to see his book mentioned in blogs and on twitter I pulled it from my wish list and dropped it into my cart.  It was not a mistake. The opportunity to learn about the life of a Harvard MBA candidate is a pretty interesting read.

Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business SchoolBroughton is the former Paris bureau chief for The Daily Telegraph of London. His writing was easy, flowing and pleasant.  Broughton was also very human in his approach to writing about the elite training ground for the high stress world of finance, venture capital and banking.

Broughton was also able to describe those MBA alums who spoke of those demands and losing wives and children to the long hours of business.  It was a bit odd to read that more than a few alums went through the divorce process four times.

Worse yet was those few who admitted their own children did not know who they were due to those demanding hours.  Most wanted their MBA to provide for their family while in fact they were losing touch with them in the process…all for the glory of wealth and fame.

And yes it was interesting to hear how his class of 2006 could land $400,000 jobs, his thirteen interviews with Google were pretty demanding.

In the end he skipped his graduation on a rainy Saturday in to take his infant son to his favorite Boston spot for cannoli.  At one point in my life I would have ridiculed this man for skipping his Harvard commencement.  For $175,000 (minus his new BMW — see below) you better be sure I would show up come rain or snow for that moment.  Today with two small children and a backdrop of a soggy event on Harvard Square I kinda understood his decision.

I was impressed with his review of their first year known as RC: required cirriculum.  The demands of Harvard’s case studies was rather impressive as their main tool for teaching.  And from the looks of it those case studies required round the clock research and planning.  The feel of his fellow students all aiming for post Harvard success was an interesting read, especially from the foreign students.  Most of his fellow students agreed they did not want to be called upon to review a case study.  The demands were extremely high and Broughton described a couple of painful episodes of his participation and those by his fellow students.
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Latest read: The Post-American World

Most recognize Fareed Zakaria from his CNN show Fareed Zakaria GPS. His book The Post-American World is an enjoyable read. The bottom line:  The US is not falling behind but rather (quite simply) the world is catching up.  Some amazing technologies are lifting the citizens of the poorest third world countries.
The biggest elephant called out in his book is America’s educational system. It needs a much required re-boot in order to compete against tomorrow’s globalized students who have access to free, powerful computing tools including Linux, or new technology like water pumps in Africa.  He references Tom Friedman‘s The World is Flat: a Brief History of the Twenty-First Century which I found to be a great read as well.

Zakaria is able to simply convey that America remains the top country for innovation, technology and intellectual property but India and China are catching up fast by introducing more of their citizens to the global economy.  India is first only in population growth while their level of poverty slowly dropped.

While true to some extent the reader may be surprised to see the detail about how splintered Al-Qaeda has become.  In Iraq for example the aim of this terrorist group has moved from targeting American and Israel to fighting other Muslim warlords and religious groups for control of Al-Qaeda’s future.

It should be noted Zakaria also addresses the issues of global climante and energy.  But to again point to Friedman’s Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America not a lot of new ideas or information.

Overall Zakaria’s book is a gentle wake up call for America and is much smoother on the American reader than Mark Steyn’s America Alone.  The war in Iraq and Afghanistan while critical, reveals Al-Qaeda‘s struggle since 9/11 to deliver any significant violence on American soil.  Why?  Zakaria’s position is that Bin Laden has been so tightly curtailed, his organization still under a microscope has evolved into a communications company and is no longer a true terrorist organization.

WiscNet FTC Day 2 Keynote

Joel Mambretti presented an overview of projects underway in Chicago’s Starlight network during his address: Creating Communications for the 21st Century: Applications, Architecture, Technology and Facilities.

Starlight is really one of the true keys of internet research and development. At the high end he presented the incredible work utilizing bandwidth coming out of Chicago and how Starlight has repositioned the globe regarding fiber points spanning the globe.

Tags: Internet2, WiscNet, Joel Mambretti, Starlight, globalization, network, trends