Advantages of 1gig broadband: Plex media server

Plex Py

The advantage of having 1gig broadband (hyperfast) is the change of behaviour. Yes you can consume more and very quickly but its the symmetric nature which makes it interesting.

I have been running Plex media server for a while mainly to keep a track of my media, as I’m still running Kodi as the front ends.

One feature of plex media server is the ability to stream media to friends. Sitting on 1gig, I can share with a few close friends without even noticing. Its pretty seamless too, as long as they are using plex as a client. Luckily there are clients for many operating systems and devices including the xbox, playstation, firetv,  chromecast, etc.

Plex media server share

Its good, I once had 4 different friends watching media from my single core celeron server one evening. Did I notice? Nope, except when I noticed the activity indicator was lit up.

This got me thinking theres got be a way to visualise this stuff? Of course others have thought about the same and I installed Plex py.

Plex Py

Pretty cool eh?

The only downside right now is my single core server with 5400rpm drives (helps with the cooling) is rubbish at transcoding full HD content, especially burning in subtitles. Maybe its time for a server upgrade?

I’m also not certain about running everything through Plex, wondering what other solutions there might be which can work in a similar way.

Sharing is caring…

Consequence or Inception of connecting people

I saw the below tweet and felt like it needed to be not just retweeted but also blogged…

Help this teacher make a great point to her students about the consequences of social network use. Please RT widely

From Twitter

It says…

I want to illustrate to my junior high students (grade 7-9) how fast a photo can be shared on the internet. Please “Like” and “Share” this image to help me teach caution and discernment to the students in my classes.

Although a great idea and I’m not against teaching and eduction, but its worth pointing out the incredible power this also brings to each and everyone of us. Empowerment should also be taught in the same lesson. Never has there been a way to connect a mass audience at such low cost and such speed. The inception of the internet and social media is a great thing too. And its too easy to teach the negative. The internet and social media isn’t something which should be feared, rather taught how to responsibly participate in.


Replacements for dropbox?


I’m seeing some serious replacements for Dropbox hitting the market

They all seem to have there advantages and disadvantages. Anyone used one or the other?

Ultimately I’d like to use something which is peer 2 peer, encrypted, opensource and secure. It would have clients for Android, Linux and other platforms. Webdav would be nice if you can do encryption baked in.

I like what dropbox does but I can live without the central operation. I do also like the fact dropbox is being used as a storage add on, but I’m sure this can be done using standard protocols. OAuth+Public key encryption surely can solve this problem easily enough? I’m also thinking this might also allow sharing and access control properties of folders and files within reason.

Who needs SOPA when you have the DMCA?


I know there’s a very clear difference between the DMCA and SOPA/PIPA but its interesting that right after the victory of the internet regards to SOPA, Megaupload was taken down a few days later.

It was almost like the incumbents saying, “well you might have won the fight but we’re still in the running and can still take you down…” (or at least thats how I see it). Something like a playground bully sending you message from detention saying “wait till you get outside, then your really going to see what I’m made of!”

The chilling effect is already in effect… Although Rapidshare claim there not afraid of the bully in detention.

Its certainly not a good time to be an file uploader service or even a user, however its funny that Bit Torrent may have built a solution to solve this problem.

BitTorrent Inc. launched a personal file sharing application called Share. Thursday that aims to give users an alternative to paid cloud storage companies and media sharing over social networks. Share makes it possible to transfer files without any size limits to an unlimited number of personal contacts. Files are cached in the cloud, so users don’t have to be online at the same time to complete transfers.

On Wednesday, BitTorrent Chief Strategist Shahi Ghanem told me the company is relying on Amazon’s EC2 and S3 services to provide this kind of caching infrastructure. Files are taken off the cloud as soon as they are sufficiently shared by peers. The app will initially be Windows-only, but Mac users will be able to download an alpha version of the company’s µTorrent client that will offer them the same kind of personal file sharing functionality. Future Windows versions of µTorrent will also offer Share functionality.

Just a shame it doesn’t support Linux in any shape or form yet… Welcome to the darknet?

R&D TV: Episode 1

So finally its been revealed what I've been working on recently.

R&D TV is a pilot project between BBC Backstage (which is part of BBC R&D) and BBC RAD Labs. The pilot is monthly technology programme made up of interviews from knowledgeable BBC developers, BBC project experts and experts from around the world. Its made of rights cleared assets so sharing of content is a core part of its concept from day one. When I say experts, I don't even mean in the traditional sense but more people doing interesting things which there very knowledgeable about.

There are three parts to the project,

  1. A brief 5 minute video, containing all the very best bits
  2. A longer 30 minute video, containing deeper conversations
  3. The Asset Bundle, containing everything we used and didn't use to make the videos above

They say good artists borrow and the best steal. Well you can think of what we have done as a combination of PBS's NerdTV and Microsoft's Channel9. The biggest difference is the asset bundle.

Releasing the assets as well as the 5min and 30min versions is something that's new for the BBC and to be fair both teams are not well known for. I mean R&D and Rad are not content creation departments. However we truly believe this is a exciting and possibly important experiment in creating media specifically to be shared and remixed.

Not only does the asset bundle include media but it also has all the extra media to create the show and stuff which didn't make it into the show. So you can duplicate the show or with a little more creativity do some remixing and show – legally.

We (me and George Wright) did a interview with Jemima Kiss of the Guardian on Wednesday. There's a couple of corrections like the project is half RAD and half Backstage plus Rain Ashford works for backstage and Hemmy Cho works for RAD. But otherwise Jemima does a good explaining the project and some of the thoughts behind it. I kind of wished we recorded the interview but who knows what might appear in the asset bundle one day soon.

Videos can also be viewed on YouTube and Blip.TV right now but expect even more places in the next few weeks. We created a ATOM/XML podcast file so you can suck down all the files in one go using a podcatcher. Hell we even did the MD5 hashes to confirm the files are correct if you get them from elsewhere.

One of the things which I believe will happen very quickly at the start at least is people asking us to interview certain people. We will take a lot of this on board but what I really want to see is people filming themselves and using our footage and combining it with there own. I already have looked into mixing MakerTV with our footage to create a more hardware driven show. Or even taking parts of the Socialweb.TV and using some of the Kevin Rose interview. The best part of all this is, you can all do the same! One thing I've been dying to do is combine Pop!tech footage with ours, because they also put there shows out under a creative commons licence.

There's more to come from R&D TV so look out for number 2 about May time. Looking forward to hearing all your thoughts.

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