My window to the world

How much bandwidth does Joost use?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-May-2007 14:08

I am receiving lots of requests for Joost invites, which is cool. Keep them coming in the other post please!


But I wanted to point out this entry in their FAQ:


How much bandwidth does the application use?

IMPORTANT NOTICE for users with limits on their internet usage

You need to read this carefully if:

- you have an upper limit on your monthly internet usage, or
- you pay for internet usage as you go (i.e. you pay per megabyte you download, instead of a flat fee).

Joost is a streaming video application, and so uses a relatively high amount of bandwidth per hour. In one hour of viewing, approximately 320MB data will be downloaded and 105MB uploaded, which means that it will exhaust a 1GB cap in 10 hours.

Windows users should note that the application continues to run in the background after you close the main window. For this reason, if you pay for your bandwidth usage per megabyte or have your usage capped by your ISP, you should be careful to always exit Joost client completely when you are finished watching it.

To stop using bandwidth, you need to exit the application entirely...



This is particularly sad for New Zealand users, because there are no true unlimited plan with decent bandwidth available in this country...

So, beware of the usage when running Joost.

UPDATE: Please note these figures are Mb (megabit) not MB (megabyte), Gb (gigabit) not GB (gigabyte). Therefore 1Gb (gigabit) = 128 MB (megabytes). So Joost should use about 128 MB (megabytes) every ten hours.

UPDATE: I've contacted the Joost support through their forums and the Joost FAQ is incorrect. It's actually supposed to be MB (megabytes) and GB (gigabytes). I am updating the blog to reflect this. Note then that you will burn about 435 MB/hour with Joost!









Make sure you backup your data - now

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-May-2007 08:36

People know things will fail. They know computers will stop working, or worst, hard drives will crash. Work will be lost, content will be lost. Memories will be lost.

And that's what happened to Busines 2.0, one of the few magazines I actually buy (the others are Fast Company and Wired). According to some news Business 2.0 lost its main content server with all the material for the next issue.

They did backups. But apparently didn't test the backup lately - and the process failed to restore the so needed content.

Lucky for them most of the material was sent to lawyers for review and approval - but all the art work needed to be redone.

How are you doing today? Here are some tips:

If you are running Windows Vista, the Backup and Restore Center offers a handy basic file backup and restore, and in some versions (Business, Ultimate, Enterprise) a Complete PC Backup and restore option. It will copy the entire hard drive to an external drive and you will be able to restore your digital life to the exact image of that backup. It will do incremental backups, meaning you will be able to do faster backups over time.

Try an on-line service. There are free ones (up to 5GB) such as Xdrive, and some inexpensive options such as Carbonite. These are set and forget things, and they will copy your data to servers over the Internet. Of course you will need some fast broadband and an unlimited account or at least a large allowance for all the data backup. In New Zealand you can also try local solution NZDrive.

Try a backup to another computer. You could use Memeo and forget about this. Set it to backup your files to another computer on your network, and forget it. It's all automatic. And Memeo works on Windows and Mac OS.

Get into the home network server space. Try Windows Home Server. This might need a bit more knowledge, and more hardware, but it's getting to a point where some households have more than one computer, and this is an automated solution for backup nightmares. It will store automatic backups from all PCs in your network, and allow for restores over the LAN.

And of course test the restore to see if it all works. After all storing the data away but not being able to retrieve is not fun.

Most importantly: practice safe computing.




Measuring the perceived risks of SMS in the youth culture

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-May-2007 10:01

A friend is running a survey to measure the perceived risks of SMS, mainly when it comes to underage users being harassed with bullying messages or other sexual content.


We are a small independant software company interested in the effects of bullying and harassment through text messaging on the youth culture.

The purpose of this survey is two fold - to find out how undesirable messaging is perceived in society and to understand if technology is able to help mitigate some of the issues we suspect are out there.

The questions in the first section will be shared with the general public in an aggregated summary format to help the New Zealand community understand how text harassment is affecting society. The remainder of the information including any personal information will not be shared with anyone and will be used to help us understand whether technology is an appropriate way to deal with this issue.


If you can help, please visit www.txtsurvey.co.nz and fill in the questions. It will only take a couple of your minutes! It would be better if you had kids of your own, to make it more focused.

You can do it even if you are not in New Zealand.




Novatel Wireless sales and gross margins up

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-May-2007 09:18

Margins should be up for Novatel Wireless... It seems they have no support service, so no support costs... This is from their press release today:


Novatel Wireless Reports Record Results Driven by Strong Sales Across Multi-Pronged 3G Product Portfolio
First Quarter Revenue Increases 174% Year Over Year and 43% Sequentially

“Our first quarter performance was the best in Company history, with record sales, strong gross margins and impressive operating leverage,” commented Brad Weinert, Novatel Wireless’ acting Chief Executive Officer. “Sales were even higher than forecasted in our revised guidance due to strong end-of-the-quarter momentum for newly introduced ExpressCards and Ovation USB devices. During the quarter, shipments of the Company’s ExpressCards – the most successful new product introduction in our history – grew to almost $50 million in sales.


The product can be a success. It's actually quite good. But when you contact the Novatel support multiple times through their support forms but receive no replies, as it happened to me, then it really leaves a bad taste in your mouth.






Joost for all: ask for invites here

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-May-2007 08:39

According to GigaOM Joost is close to a public launch, perhaps available to everyone from end of May 2007... And the closer it gets the easier it is to get in.

Other reports tells us that from today every current Joost user can invite an unlimited number of friends to join the service (although my Joost status still says I can invite only five people).

So if you are thinking of joining Joost, post a comment here and I will send you an invite until it opens to the public or until I run out of time.

UPDATE: Joost has announced its commercial launch, and unlimited invites available for current beta testers. But the "unlimited" is not really available now, so I've sent invites to the first five people commenting here and will send more invites as soons as I have them.

UPDATE: Unlimited invites are now available so please comment away!








Vote for the Dell XPS design

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 30-Apr-2007 22:13

I just got an e-mail telling me about a new initiative from Dell: users can influence the design of Dell's next gaming desktop machine, the Dell XPS 710 H2C:


You can vote for a Dell XPS 710 H2C design of your choice. Two options are available now.

You can also comment on the designs and ideas and by the looks of it people are using that forum to provide feedback for all of Dell's products, not only this design process.






Xbox 360 Pac-Man World Championship

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 30-Apr-2007 15:20

Today I got a box with a note about the Xbox 360 Pac-Man World Championship... Yes, that Pac-Man:


Anyway, back to the competition. Read the press release find all about the Xbox 360 Pac-Man World Championship.


Drawn from the best players in the Xbox 360 regions of Australia/New Zealand, Asia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Europe and the United States, nine finalists will advance to the finals based upon the highest Xbox LIVE Arcade leaderboard scores and be flown to New York City for the finals on June 5.


I remember playing this in the arcardes, mid-80s. Good times. No worries. And Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Asteroids were the big thing back then. You can play these on-line (Asteroids, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong) to find out what was cool back in the 80s.



TelstraClear upgrading to 25 Mbps?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 30-Apr-2007 09:54

I am sure everyone heard rumours about TelstraClear upgrading their cable modem services to support even faster Internet services in Wellington and Christchurch.

The story going around is that customers will be able to get a 25 Mbps option soon, up from the current maximum 10 Mbps service.

However, have you noticed how the speed has degraded in the last few weeks? I am signed up for the 10 Mbps, but I've noticed really bad times to Australia in the last four weeks. It was really good just before, and one Saturday evening all went down hill.

If 25 Mbps is coming, it would be great to at least have the current service back ot previous levels.



Mobile phones are not killing the bees

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-Apr-2007 18:22

Incredible FUD on TV3 News just now: a so called "expert" was on TV3 News saying that bees are vanishing because of the humans, and blame on the cell sites...

This is the story from last week, but of course TV3 had to put it on air, even though just yesterday the UC San Francisco declared that it is highly likely a fungus, not cell sites, are forcing the bees to flee their hives.








Free broadband to everyone!

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-Apr-2007 12:34

The new is impressive:


The government proposes to offer all citizens [...] free, high-speed broadband connectivity by 2009, through the state-owned telecom service.


Is this what we will have here in New Zealand? No, this is actually in India, where 1.1 billion people live on a rather large country.


The idea is to boost economic activity in general. The government of India plans to achieve free broadband connectivity at a speed of 2 Mb per second across the country, [with a similar goal]. Senior government officials expect to be able to achieve this goal spending only a portion of the corpus of the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

All telecom operators contribute 5% of their revenues every year to USOF. It is estimated that the unutilised sum from the USOF has touched Rs 9,194.12 crore by March, 2007-end.


Rs 9,194.12 crore... An Indian crore is ten million - 10^7...

And here in New Zealand we are still fighting for a better infrastructure where a single dominant player has left the country's network behind the ages, impacting in the overall economical development. Let's see if things change when Telecom is split in three - one company just for network operations, separate from the others.

Note that this project includes peering, which is something we really need here in New Zealand:


The department of telecom (DoT) will be taking a series of steps to make its plans for free broadband a reality. These include, using the USOF to set an extensive optic cable network across the country, opening up the long-distance sectors to further competition, allowing free and fair access to cable landing stations, permitting the resale of bandwidth, setting up web hosting facilities within the country and asking all internet service providers to connect to the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI).


And do you think the following sounds familiar?


With international bandwidth rates in India being between two-to-five times higher than the global standards, the DoT will also go all out to break the monopoly of existing national and international distance players in a bid to induce cut throat competition in this sector. “India has only a handful of NLD/ILD operators while small countries such as Singapore and Taiwan have over 30 and 60 long distance operators respectively.



freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

I'm the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums. Also worth visiting is TravelTalk NZ, a community for travelers!

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If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me freitasm@geekzone.co.nz. Note this email is not for technical support. I don't give technical support. You can use our Geekzone Forums for community discussions on technical issues.

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