Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mozilla against WebP

In a bugzilla entry asking for the incorporation of WebP, Mozilla developer Joe Drew said in a comment "As the WebP image format exists currently, I won't accept a patch for it". Readers were directed to a blog posting by Jeff Muizelaar for the rationale for the rejection. He explained that Mozilla is unhappy with the quality versus size claims made by Google for WebP and questioned the methodology used to test: this converted existing JPEG images into WebP images and then compared quality using PSNR (Peak Signal-to-Noise Ratio) and file size.

A month after Muizelaar made these comments, Google released a new study which used PNG images as source and compared quality using SSIM (Structural Similarity). This new study showed WebP images to be on average 25%-34% smaller than similar quality JPEGs, but the quality value is calculated and there is some discussion over whether WebP imagery is perceived by the untrained eye to be of the same quality.

Source: H online.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Real-time entertainment traffic

The last report by Sandvine says that -in North America- Netflix accounts for 30% of traffic during prime time, and 22.2% of daily internet traffic. Sandvine gets the data from ISPs using its broadband technology and now foresees "Real-Time Entertainment" (which includes Netflix) shooting up over 55% of peak internet traffic by the end of this year.

Sandive also reported that in Europe, Real-Time Entertainment continues a steady climb, rising to 33.2% of peak aggregate traffic, up from 31.9% last fall. BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocol, is the largest single component of both upstream (59.7%) and downstream (21.6%) Internet traffic during peak periods. In the UK, BBC's iPlayer is 6.6% of peak downstream traffic, reflecting the demand for localized content in many markets. Overall, individual subscribers in Europe consume twice the amount of data as North Americans. 

Source: Engadget.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Microsoft to acquire Skype

Microsoft Corp. agreed to buy Internet phone company Skype Technologies SA for $8.5 billion in cash — the most aggressive move yet by Microsoft to play in the increasingly converged worlds of communication, information and entertainment. The deal will let Microsoft "be more ambitious, do more things," Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said in an interview.

Skype will become a new business division within Microsoft, and Skype Chief Executive Mr. Tony Bates will assume the title of president of the Microsoft Skype Division, reporting directly to Mr. Ballmer.

The Skype deal ranks as the biggest acquisition in the 36-year history of Microsoft, a company that traditionally has shied away from large deals. In 2007, Microsoft paid approximately $6 billion to acquire online advertising firm aQuantive Inc. Many current and former Microsoft executives believe Microsoft significantly overpaid for that deal. But they are also relieved that Microsoft gave up on an unsolicited $48 billion offer for Yahoo Inc. nearly three years ago. Yahoo is valued at half that sum today.