September 30, 2004

Peer-to-Peer Traffic

From CacheLogic (selling network-monitoring equipment), an eye-opening presentation about Internet traffic patterns. Roughly half all traffic is peer-to-peer; and two-thirds of that is BitTorrent. HTTP is almost down in the noise.

While the Streamsight 510 is unable to identify the actual content of the Peer-to-Peer networks, BitTorrent's dominance is likely to be attributed to two factors: the rise in popularity of downloading television programmes, movies and software; and the size of these files - a MP3 maybe 3-5Mb while a BitTorrent often sees files in excess of 500Mb being shared across the Peer-to-Peer network.
(via boingboing)

September 29, 2004

Living in a Virtual Office

The software I spend most days working on is called "Groove Virtual Office". But what exactly is a virtual office, and why on earth would you want one?

Here's a new webcast exploring the practicalities of working in really distributed organizations. Includes intro from Jeff Zbar ("The Chief Home Officer"); a Groove demo; and commentary from two Groove customers. "While outsourcing work to freelancers lowered our company's operational costs, it raised the costs of coordinating client work", says one of the Groove users interviewed... and there's plenty here to show exactly how Groove lowers those coordination costs.

Case study #2 is a translation company called iTranslate, with their nominal base in Paris. Here's some of their intro:

The French government makes it extremely difficult for companies to let employees go, so if after expanding we later needed to downsize, we could have faced punitive charges... but our competitors had much more freedom to hire and fire. This was a severe handicap for a small company like ours. We decided to set up a virtual office because we needed a solution that would allow us to grow the business without taking on permanent staff and incurring more fixed costs. We needed to tap into an international group of skilled contractors -- we like to call them our e-partners -- who could work together over the Internet...
(Job security? Home/work balance? Or, How I learned to stop worrying and love the Internet...)

Case study #1 is Atlanta-based marketing agency MediaThink ("Feed Your Head: Sign up for our industry leading newsletter the Brain Snack. It's free and it will make you smart". They have an RSS feed too):

Going virtual, initially, really wasn't an easy model to deal with, and we ran into a number of problems that we really didn't anticipate. Mostly, the problems we were having were associated with process and moving information around efficiently. Like a lot of other businesses we relied heavily -- almost solely -- on email, to share Word documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations... But then we had a ton of email and a ton of attachments, and that just caused more problems. So we had people working on the wrong version of a document, people needing a file that they had lost because they'd mis-filed it somewhere... - literally hundreds of emails every day, and it was crushing the business, it was grinding us to a halt.

Of "seven simple tips" to operate a virtual office, one is "be diligent about keeping everyone on the same page". Do watch the webcast to see how.

September 24, 2004

In the slow lane

I doubt anyone noticed the lack of updates here. Hey, I've been working... spending a lot of time on Groove Forms, which I hope to write about sometime. It's powerful stuff.

Meanwhile my weblog-reading is slipping behind. The "Other" category in bloglines shows 711 unread (for 70-odd weblogs)... my reading-list taxonomy and collation sequences need some work (I have them sorted alphabetically, which means that Adam Bosworth might get some attention but Wes Felter doesn't). I had to ditch the whole politics-philosophy-economics category a few weeks ago; too much signal, too much noise, no ratio. I'm not a citizen, so I don't feel too guilty about that.

Adam, is this what you're looking for?

September 05, 2004


Bill de hÓra, about parts of the the XMPP (draft) spec:

The default namespace is a bizarre construct. It's a like a macro and a lexical scope rule rolled up into one, but from an alternate universe. In modern protocol construction, it conspires to produce an architectural prank of the first order.
I completely agree...