Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Netflix Crippled On Christmas Eve By AWS Outages

On December 24, 2012 Netflix has been down since 1pm PST for some customers. Reason?

Well, "problems are originating in AWS’s US-EAST-1 region. The latest ELB update at 5:49pm PST reads “we continue to work on resolving issues with the Elastic Load Balancing Service in the US-EAST-1 region. Traffic for some ELBs are currently experiencing significant levels of traffic loss.”"

As Netflix Cloud Architect Adrian Cockcroft said on Twitter:

Bunch of ELBs down, lots of happy Netflix instances getting no traffic, still waiting for AWS to fix it. Some devices working, others not.

— adrian cockcroft (@adrianco) December 25, 2012

Interesting thing is that this is the latest in a series of high profile Web outages related to Amazon Web Services. In October, issues at AWS affected Reddit, Pinterest, Airbnb, Foursquare, Minecraft and other popular Web sites, while back in May, outages at AWS data centers took down Pinterest, Instagram and Netflix.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Google’s Policing Of Duplicate Ad Sitelinks Extensions Misses Apparent Violator — Itself

Google has plenty of policies by which you must abide, like Ad Sitelinks extensions can’t have two links that point to the same page, and sitelinks can’t have the same destination page as the text ad’s headline. These rules seemingly apply to everyone except… Google itself.

The rule-breaking was spotted by SEER Interactive’s Francis Shovlin, who noticed some pretty blatant examples on ads for certain search terms, and wrote about it on the company’s blog.

Search for “adwords,” for example, and the top result is — unsurprisingly — a Google ad for its AdWords program. Sitelinks underneath seem to link to specific pages where users can “Lean How to Advertise on Google” or the “Benefits of Google AdWords” or about “Costs and Payment.”

In fact, all of those links lead to nearly the same page — the only difference between the destinations being that a different tab, below the fold, is open for each link. Meanwhile, Google’s own guidelines say “Tabs on the same page count as the same page” and “We recommend that 80% of the content on a page be unique for that page to count as a different page.”

Google in September announced it would start more aggressively pursuing violators of the duplicate sitelinks policy, but it apparently hasn’t investigated its own ads.


Friday, December 21, 2012

NFL to Stream Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, Playoff Games Online

The 2013 Pro Bowl and two Wild Card playoff games will also be broadcast via the Internet. Fans can watch Super Bowl XLVII live on Feb. 3 through and

The game will also be broadcast the old-fashioned way on CBS. The Pro Bowl, on Jan. 27, and two Wild Card playoff games, both on Jan. 5, will be broadcast on NBC and also available via and Fans can watch all four games online through Verizon's NFL Mobile app.

Why watch online? In addition to added convenience, streams will include extra camera angles, live stats and other enhancements, according to the league. Super Bowl XLVI last February marked the first time in history the game was legally streamed for viewers. It set an online viewership record for a sports game live stream.

Given that success, it's no surprise the NFL wants to build on its post-season streaming options in 2013. Sports fans can expect to watch more and more big games online over the next several years. In a potential sign of bigger things to come, for example, the NBA recently announced that more than 350 of its minor league games this season would be available for free viewing through YouTube.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Doomsday 2012: Watch the 'End of the World' Live Online

Anyone worried that the world will come to an end Friday (Dec. 21) can scan the heavens online this week for any signs of death from above.

The online Slooh Space Camera will broadcast a series of live cosmic views all week, beginning today (Dec. 17). The free webcasts will help the public keep watch for any monster solar storms, impending asteroid strikes or other potential agents of the so-called "Mayan apocalypse" that doomsayers claim is set for Friday.

"Rather than merely offer scientists' dismissals of the many silly doomsday scenarios that have now been heard by almost everyone in the world, and which have reportedly produced panic in Russia, Slooh will take a 'let's see for ourselves' attitude," Astronomy Magazine columnist Bob Berman, who will participate in the shows, said in a statement.

"By acting independently of any government agency, which assumedly would be disbelieved by the millions who are convinced a giant cover-up is in place, Slooh will observe the planets and the ecliptic plane for anything out of the ordinary," Berman added.

Slooh will webcast live footage from observatories in Arizona and the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa. Each day will focus on a different apocalyptic "area of concern," from massive sun eruptions to a collision with a mythical "rogue planet," Slooh officials said.

You can check out the schedule and watch the shows — which will also feature Slooh president Patrick Paolucci and other guests — at Slooh's website:


Redbox Instant Opens Invites

Redbox Instant by Verizon on Wednesday began letting people register for an access code to use the streaming service. For $8 a month, Redbox Instant will offer unlimited streaming of movies plus four DVD credits. A promotion on the service's website says the first month will be free. Users can upgrade to Blu-ray for $1 more.


Users will be able to stream movies on computers, tablets, smartphones and TVs. The Redbox Instant by Verizon app is now available for Android and iOS. The multi-platform new subscription service is available to any U.S. resident (you don't have to have FiOS TV service or Verizon-operated broadband). And unlike Netflix, which mails disks to users, Redbox makes subscribers pick up their DVDs or Blu-rays at Redbox kiosks.

Verizon announced the Redbox streaming initiative in February when it decided to partner with Coinstar, Redbox's parent company, on the venture.



Apple Is Testing The Apple TV In Secret


A source out of Foxconn has said that testing is already underway on Apple’s HDTV. The source, speaking under the condition of anonymity, explained that Apple is using LCD panels ranging between 46 inches and 55 inches.

Rumors of an Apple TV set have been flying around for years, despite the company calling it more of a “hobby.” Since, Tim Cook hinted publicly that Apple certainly has plans for a TV set, but didn’t go into too much further detail.

See, Apple and Samsung compete on just about every consumer electronics front, but the TV is the key. Users are not necessarily looking for the best product in a single arena, but rather a connected experience across electronics. With Samsung and Apple holding the greatest market shares in mobile, the real war begins in the living room.

But don’t get too amped. Apple TV set top boxes are essentially flying off of Apple shelves, and until they have a product that blows Samsung’s TV offerings out of the water, there’s still time to wait.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Google Maps iPhone App Gets 10 Million Downloads In Two Days


Jeff Huber, Google’s Senior Vice President of Commerce & Local at Google said on Google+ that in two days they had over 10 million downloads of the app.

The app has already hit the number one free app rank in the Apple App Store and has over 20,000 reviews with a 4.5 star rating. Finally, the reviews for the Google Maps app have almost all been stellar.

Jeff Huber wrote:

We’re excited for the positive reception of Google Maps for iPhone around the world. Congratulations to the Maps Team on the recognition for the passion and hard work they poured into it, for this release and over the last 7+ years.


If you’re an iPhone user and haven’t downloaded the Maps app yet, get it on the App Store or visit here.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Yahoo and NBC Sports Group to combine sports content

Yahoo! Inc and NBC Sports Group said they will integrate and promote each others sports content on the Internet as well as on television in a move that would help both the companies draw on their respective strengths across both mediums.

The collaboration will increase NBC's digital presence as well as bolster its college and fantasy game coverage, while Yahoo will gain access NBC's video content, live sports coverage and big name television personalities.

The two companies will maintain separate websites and independent newsrooms, but will collaborate on big sports news stories as well as events coverage both online and on the air, the companies said in a statement late on Sunday.

The sports news providers will also jointly develop made-for-web video programs that will appear on both Yahoo Sports and as well as collaborate in how they provide advertising.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Balakam interview at Streaming Media West 2012

Daria Golyanina and Alexey Fomichev from Balakam are speaking on the key features of a search system for live broadcasting Internet radio and TV during a red carpet interview at Streaming Media West 2012.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Infographic Details Q3 Online Video Ad Spending and Performance.


Videology Group has released an infographic with useful data about Q3 online video advertising spending and performance.

- Despite the buzz over mobile and connected devices, 90% of video ads were still served online.

- Almost two-thirds of video ad impressions were placed on sites classified as entertainment-oriented (the third quarter in a row this has been the case). A distant second, with 8.4% of video ad impressions were portal sites.

- Just 10.1% of video ad impressions were targeted to the tech-savvy 18-24 demo; the majority (63.9%) were targeted to the 25-54 demos.