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The July 13, 2005 Issue Provided by System Dynamics Inc.
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Briefly Noted: Updates, Observations and Trends

Each month, we collect miscellaneous happenings, studies, trends or observations that you might have missed. This month we feature items on home control, new statistics on broadband and VoIP, and a snapshot of new software that makes video publishing free and easy.

Home control, with a "Z"

Two Nordic countries recently hosted events on home control, which in each case is spelled with a "z". At the Z-Wave Alliance Forum in Copenhagen, a variety of manufacturers displayed 40 new products based on Zensys' Z-Wave technology; the Forum's purpose was to promote and solidify Z-Wave as "the global standard in wireless home control technology". Meanwhile, in Oslo, the ZigBee Alliance, showcased its products at its first European Alliance open house event. ( ) ( ) ( )

Broadband and VoIP Statistics

Point Topic has published two interesting new analyses:

  • World broadband statistics: Q1 2005 shows that total worldwide broadband penetration grew to 164.4 million lines during 1Q05. South Korea remains number 1 in penetration.
  • Retail VOIP more than doubles in 9 months on VoIP subscriber numbers estimates that over 11 million people were using a retail VoIP service for at least some of their telephone calls at the end of March 2005; in mid-2004 they estimated around 5 million. More than half of today's users are located in Japan and Yahoo Softbank provides service to the majority of them. Next come the US cable operators, with around 2.1 million subscribers.

Napster for TV or Good Guys?

About two months ago, the Participatory Culture Foundation published an initial version of Broadcast Machine, which they promote as "software that lets anyone with a website publish full-screen video to thousands at virtually no bandwidth cost. It's free, open source, and designed for easy installation." The software uses BitTorrent technology. The Foundation is a non-profit organization, dedicated to building open-source website and software tools for broader engagement with culture and politics.

Late last month, Google announced that it will be using the open source video player in its video playback browser plugin. This month, the organization plans to release a desktop video player that downloads published videos in the background, using channels based on RSS feeds. In addition, the first BitTorrent client for the Pocket PC has been released by Adisasta.

While BitTorrent technology is already being used to distribute illicit copies of television shows, its authors say they are in no way encouraging people to illegally download material. It will be interesting to watch both the impacts of this software and next steps by legitimate companies to leverage it.

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