Microsoft puts name, date to Aurora

Microsoft reveals details of the next generation of Windows Small Business Server, including names and the final feature set.

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Apple retires Xserve in favor of Mac Pro Server

The enterprise server will be discontinued January 31. As an alternative the Mac Pro will be offered with beefed up specs and a copy of Mac OS X Server.

Originally posted at Circuit Breaker

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App to convert Flash on iPhone hits App Store

Skyfire’s mobile browser, which fires up the company’s own servers to translate Flash video into HTML5, will soon hit Apple’s App Store, according to CNN.

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Microsoft Giving Up On Silverlight, Joining HTML5 Party

We now have further confirmation that Microsoft is giving up on its Silverlight rich Internet application platform. Bob Muglia, Microsoft’s president in charge of server and tools, told ZDNet that the company is “shifting away” from Silverlight as a cross-platform development framework, and pushing the HTML5 web standard instead.

There’s been plenty of evidence to suggest this was the case. After all, with the launch of Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft has fully embraced and touted many of HTML5′s features. But it doesn’t just stop there; Microsoft will be leveraging HTML5 for the latest version of its Bing search engine, and is using H.264-encoded HTML5 video in lieu of Silverlight Smooth Streaming for delivery of live video on its Xbox 360 game console.

Microsoft will continue to develop and lean on Silverlight, especially for application development on its recently launched Windows Phone 7 operating system for mobile devices. However, Muglia told ZDNet, “HTML is the only true cross-platform solution for everything, including (Apple’s) iOS platform.”

That Microsoft would align itself with Apple, especially in the embrace of a web standard, might seem peculiar to some. After all, the two software makers have been battling for decades in the PC space, and now are bumping heads in mobile as Microsoft tries to offer up a compelling alternative to Apple’s iPhone.

But it also makes sense that Microsoft would begin de-emphasizing Silverlight as a cross-platform development platform. Despite some of the advances Microsoft was able to push with its development, including HTTP and adaptive bit rate streaming, it wasn’t able to dethrone Flash as the de facto rich Internet application and video platform on the web. And with the emergence of HTML5, it was no longer a matter of playing second fiddle to Adobe, but lagging behind a web standard that was also being rapidly adopted.

To see what Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch has to say about adoption of HTML5 and its positioning against Flash, come see him speak at NewTeeVee Live on November 10 in San Francisco.

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Rhomobile rolls out Rhodes 2.1, enhances iPhone 4 support

Platform provider Rhomobile introduced version 2.1 of its Rhodes open source mobile application development framework, promising a series of user interface enhancements for enterprise and industrial app developers including barcode reading and signature capture as well as iPhone 4 enhancements like improved support for running in multitasked environments. Rhomobile launched Rhodes 1.0 in March 2009, touting a framework to rapidly build HTML-based native apps spanning all major smartphone operating systems–apps created via Rhodes work with synchronized local data and leverage device capabilities such as GPS, PIM contacts and camera.

Rhomobile also announced an extension of its RhoSync 2.0 scalable mobile sync server to Objective C developers. “We will be providing support for JavaScript clients as well soon, which will allow RhoSync to be used from any app on any smartphone whether or not that app was written with Rhodes (using JavaScript support in the browser components),” writes Rhomobile CEO Adam Blum on the firm’s blog.

For more on Rhodes 2.1:
- read this Rhomobile Blog entry

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Google defends Android licensing service after hack published

Google is publicly defending its new Android Market licensing service following the recent publication of a hack enabling some Android applications to bypass the anti-piracy measure. Writing on the Android Developer Blog, Android developer advocate Tim Bray contends that despite the setback, the licensing service remains a step forward over the plain copy-protection facility that was the previous norm: “The first release shipped with the simplest, most transparent imaginable sample implementation, which was written to be easy to understand and modify, rather than security-focused,” Bray explains. “Some developers are using this sample as-is, which makes their applications easier to attack. The attacks we’ve seen so far are also all on applications that have neglected to obfuscate their code, a practice that we strongly recommend.” Bray adds Google will soon publish detailed instructions on code obfuscation.

While Bray admits that the number of Android apps that have migrated to the licensing server is presently very small, he argues the program is still a step forward, explaining that when correctly implemented and customized it can dramatically increase the cost and difficulty of pirating. “The best attack on pirates is to make their work more difficult and expensive,” Bray writes. “Android Market is already a responsive, low-friction, safe way for developers to get their products to users. The licensing server makes it safer, and we will continue to improve it. The economics are already working for the developers and against the pirates, and are only going to tilt further in that direction.”

Google introduced the Android Market licensing service roughly a month ago. The free service promises a secure mechanism to manage access to all paid apps targeting Android 1.5 or higher–applications can now query licensing server to determine a user’s license status, receiving data on whether the consumer is authorized to employ the app based on stored sales records, allowing or disallowing further use as appropriate. Developers can also apply a flexible licensing policy on an app-by-app basis, enforcing licensing in the manner most appropriate for each individual application. All applications published via Android Market are eligible for the licensing service, with no special accounts or registration–because the service does not use dedicated framework APIs, developers can add licensing to any legacy app using a minimum API level of 3 or higher.

For more on the Android licensing service:
- read this Android Developer Blog entry

Related articles:
Android Market
adds licensing service to combat app piracy
Google opens up Android development, expands app billing options
Google looks to emerging markets to boost Android  
Google activates Android Market app kill switch
Google aggressively wooing iPhone developers to Android

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Developer Workshop: Advanced Mobile Protection

Developer Workshop is a series of profiles exploring the current state of the mobile marketplace from the point of view of the software developers mapping out its future. Each profile focuses on a developer with a compelling story to tell, and offers their perspective on what the industry’s doing right, what it’s doing wrong and how to make it better. Check out our previous workshops on Shazam, InfoMedia, Viigo, Meet Now Live, Shortcovers, Pint Sized Mobile, Geodelic, Spark of Blue Software, Tarver Games, People Operating Technology, Booyah, Bolt Creative, Thwapr, Monkeyland Industries, Rocket Racing League and Vlingo.

This week FierceDeveloper profiles security monitoring vendor Advanced Mobile Protection.

Advanced Mobile Protection calls its new iPhone application OnCall Defender “the most important app we hope you never have to use.” OnCall Defender offers smartphone owners 24/7/365 GPS-enabled security monitoring connecting directly to live professionals, local law enforcement and EMS dispatch–marketed for users with existing health conditions, travelers, students and anyone else whose lives, careers or interests put them at risk, the app combines panic alarm and medical alert systems, leveraging both satellite and cellular GPS technologies to quickly identify and track the user’s whereabouts and movements until help arrives. (It also gives users 15 seconds to disarm the app in case an alert is transmitted accidentally.) AMP offers three OnCall Defender service plans: $6.99 per month for the panic alarm, $9.99 a month for the medical alert and $11.99 per month for both services.

Advanced Mobile Protection was founded by the husband and wife duo of Fred and Marsha Newman–the former serves as the startup’s CEO, the latter as its president. The Newmans boast 50 years of combined experience consulting and designing security solutions for clients including Fortune 100 companies, military bases, prisons and telecommunications providers, with OnCall Defender heralding their first foray into the mobile software segment. FierceDeveloper spoke to them about migrating to mobile, navigating the complexities of the iPhone and the importance of communication.

Fred, left, and Marsha NewmanFred Newman on OnCall Defender’s origins: I’m a techno dweeb. Our kids bought me an iPhone, and I thought it was the coolest piece of equipment I’ve ever had in my hands. It hit me that it could be an amazing security platform. 

Marsha Newman: We’ve been watching the growth of smartphones. People don’t leave home without it. We’ve also analyzed the growth of crime. The statistics aren’t good, especially in relation to crimes against women–every two minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. So we entered the wireless market to develop a service that is truly needed, particularly by women.

Fred Newman on developing for the iPhone: We both have extensive backgrounds in high-tech, high-level security technology development. But when we started working on the iPhone, I was quite surprised. The platform is more intense than we were used to. My experience is with high-tech perimeter defense systems–that’s pretty complex, but not compared to this software. We had to cover a lot of bases–how do you avoid false alarms? How do you improve the ease of operation? How do you adapt to Apple’s protocols? It was very challenging, and very hard work.

The other challenge we faced is that when you’re developing security systems for clients like military bases, you’re designing for a very concise audience–the solutions are very narrowly defined. But when you’re developing an app like this, you’re working to reach a very broad demographic, as well as people who are usually not familiar with security technology.

Fred Newman on consumer privacy: All personal information input is optional, and only sent when an alarm is sent, because that information is critical for first responders. There are only a few mandatory fields, like name, address and phone number, as well as a safe word that must be entered in case of a false alarm. So far, we haven’t seen any false alarm issues. We took great care during development to implement a solution for that.

We hold personal data on our servers, but it’s not ever used. It’s only there for practical purposes, like if the app must be downloaded again. We’re extremely sensitive to user privacy.  

Fred Newman on the App Store approval process: OnCall Defender was approved in a week. The timeline really surprised us. We were told it could have taken weeks and weeks.

Marsha Newman: We were very mindful of the process and respectful of the requirements.

Fred Newman: Now we’re sitting down and exploring the next platform. Google is aggressively pushing applications, but based on the latest data we’ve seen, BlackBerry still occupies the majority of the American market. So that’s the big question we’re facing.  

Fred Newman on advice for aspiring mobile developers: Communication is paramount. We learned many years ago that to develop technology, you need strong communication with everyone involved. You can’t work with people who don’t know how to communicate.

Marsha Newman: You have to do it right the first time. You can’t cut corners. Even if getting it right involves extra time, engineering or coding, you have to be thorough.

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Consulting Services

We offer the following professional consulting services and solutions:


  • Server architecture and multimedia library builds for all major video encoding and playback formats, specializing in Apache Linux RHEL/Centos (or other Linux flavors, Ubuntu / Fedora)
  • Front end display solutions; specializing in popular Open Source content management and delivery systems (CMS)
  • Website hosting, both internal and external (commercial) server platforms, clustering
  • Back end automated management accounting and billing solutions, specializing in WHMCS, cPanel, and WHM
  • Multimedia and video system integration into existing websites and platforms
  • Advanced development and customization; Ajax, Javascript, PHP, CSS, all Adobe suites (Flash, DW, Ill, PS, PRM, SB, etc) all HTML flavors, and dynamic database integration
  • Expert knowledge in SEO (vSEO) techniques, site structure, and search engine return performance, well versed in SEM management as well
  • Video advertising, marketing structure and management systems
  • We also offer turn-key multimedia and video dedicated servers pre-built, configured, and fully loaded. Fully ready to go solutions for hosting, commercial, or other use – and at extremely affordable prices!
  • Contact us today for a quick and easy professional consultation by phone or online by form, whichever you prefer.

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Free Video and Multimedia Open Source Website Software Supported

We currently offer and fully support two excellent free HD video/multimedia website software scripts and systems (and we’ll be adding more soon). Both of these video website software scripts are HD video, multimedia, and social media sharing websites — also known as “YouTube Clone” scripts, primarily because they have the same features and functionality of YouTube. We offer both of these video sites virtually turn-key configured and ready to go. Both can be easily and automagically installed in just a few clicks on every video and multimedia website hosting package we offer too. Read more below…

Check out our example HD video and social media website here (#1), and our second example HD video and multimedia website here (#2).

Note: The embedded video examples below are re-sized at 550×253 to fit our blog page and mobile. Check out the full size HD video examples here.

HD Video Example: Flash Player SWF – MP4 -1280kbs – 24FPS – 128kb Audio – 720×340 Resolution

Our example video website #1 and the video embed above, is from a custom version of Clip Bucket V2 with our Open Sunrise Template and HD Gold Flowplayer addons installed. Clip Bucket V2 was created by Arslan Hassan and his team of talented developers international. We’re impressed, it’s packed with features right out of the box and hits the scene running — no pun intended. In our humble opinion it’s clearly one of the best HD video sharing/social media open source software scripts available online.

Clip Bucket is fairly new to the game too for video software scripts, but already has a solidly built foundation, incorporates full video encoding in all major PC / Mobile formats, offers tremendous upside potential, and has a growing community which helps support it’s continued development. We will be contributing the development, and building many more addons for Clip Bucket V2 (download some here). We have several already which are due to be released in the next few days — hit us up on the Clip-Bucket forum or drop us a line to check on the status. Example video website #2 and the video embed directly below is from Vidiscript, another excellent free and open source video script we offer and fully support. The example website Blue/Gold template, white label (your brand) HD video player and MP3 player will be our first module addon releases for Vidiscript with more in the works. VS was just recently acquired and now under new ownership, but we’ve heard there won’t be any changes to the open source licensing, just more overall support, plugins, templates, and good stuff continuing to happen.

Example HD Video FLV – mEncoder Render 1500BR 30FPS – 128K ABR – 720×340 Display Flash SWF Player

That’s good news too, we like Vidiscript’s overall build and potential. It has a solid platform to customize and develop further. Some unique features include an MP3 player and Flash game embedding baked right in (see below example), full HD video and mp3 encoding system which supports all major video and multimedia formats. We plan on releasing some addons for Vidiscript, the current template on our example #2 video website will be our first template released which should be done by next week, and available on our downloads page.

Example HQ MP3 Music Embed – 256K ABR – FFMPEG Encode

Both of these excellent HD video and multimedia open source scripts can be easily installed automatically with a few clicks under your Ultimate Admin GUI Control Panel screen on ANY video and multimedia website package we offer. Plus all of our server packages come turn-key ready for you to start creating your video and social media empire. Everything you would need has already been pre-configured for HD video/multimedia encoding via upload, multiple HD player choices for playback/display for PC/Mobile, and ready to deliver that HD experience at blistering fast speeds to your viewers. If you have other video scripts or multimedia software you want to install on your server account it’s not a problem, just install and go.

Bonus Sneak Peek: Now let’s move on to “the bleeding edge” of open source video tech online

Below is an example of a cross platform HD HTML5 video player (No Flash needed) which can stream both FLV PC or MP4 mobile via RTMP or HTTP for playback depending on the viewers browser. It’s a promising WordPress plugin called Stream Video developed by Rodrigo Polo, we like what it has to offer and are going to be developing it further for integration into our platform. There is a bug to work out with the flash fallback and mobile sniffer. Translation; meaning the player has trouble automatically recognizing a mobile or PC based browser, so it can deliver either a MP4 (mobile) or FLV (PC) video to the viewer.

This isn’t really a big deal though from what we can tell and we’re not scared, this can be easily fixed. It works about 90% of the time “as is” tested on Firefox, Chrome, IE8 and Opera. If you see a “stream not available for this medium” message then it hates your browser. Be a good guinea pig and try refreshing your screen again. Hey that’s why it’s called the bleeding edge of technology, right? If it worked 100% of the time we’d be filing this “Sneak Peek Bonus” topic under the “Stable / Production Ready” (yawn) section.

HD HTML5 Video Player CBC Example: FLV PC / MP4 Mobile -1280kbs – 24FPS – 128kb Audio – 720×340 Resolution

[stream provider=video base=x:/ flv=Big-Buck-Bunny-animation-720p-HD-Segment100-01-39-00-02-09.flv img=cpanel-whm-boonjackmedia-free-software-open-source-one-click-installs-multimedia-200x88.png hd=Big-Buck-Bunny-animation-720p-HD-Segment100-01-39-00-02-09.flv mp4=Big-Buck-Bunny-animation-720p-HD-Segment100-01-39-00-02-09.mp4 embed=true share=true width=550 height=253 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high title=testing video volume=100 autostart=false /]

That’s all we have for now folks for HD video examples, but promise there will be more goodies coming real soon. We’re always busy trying to make Multimedia easier, now go relax and enjoy making your video and multimedia website… or two.

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