Google I/O at the Brightcove

Google I/O is an annual developer-focused conference held by Google. The event takes place in San Francisco (CA) but they have extended events in many cities around theIMGP6679.jpg world. The Brightcove, in Boston, showed off the Zencoder cloud transcoding service at the conference. I had the opportunity to join developers, engineers and passionate students to watch and discuss some of the conferences.

Google Play

Google Play is the Google’s distribution platform which allows to download music, books, movies, videos, games and applications. Google redesigned the platform both mobile and web versions. They also introduced new services such as Google Play Games and new features such as the personalize suggestions based on the user preferences and search history.

Google Play Games is the new game service with real-time multiplayer action and multi-platform synchronization. The gaming experience becomes more social, allowing for example to invite and play with your friends and share your scores. It can be synchronized with other platforms such as tablets, computers, smartphones running both Android and iOS, which is an interesting feature for the developers.

Google Play StoreA monthly music subscription service has been introduced for the Google Play Music. It allows to play all songs available in the market and also to upload your songs.  Google Play Books now allows to upload your files to the cloud and it includes a Read Now section that features books you have recently uploaded, purchased or read.

Google also announced a new education program that will help teachers manage and push out apps, books and other educational content to student tablets and computers: Google Play for Educational Program.

Google +

The social network of Google has been redesigned  with responsive design in the feeds, a tags feature to dig into more content and a new photo manager and editor.

google-plus-featuresWhen you upload hundreds of pictures, Google+ Photos will choose the best ones based on the bright and contrast, number of people in the picture, famous landmarks and attractions and it will use face-recognition algorithms to select the one where you and your friends appear in the picture.

Google Hangouts is a new application that substitutes Google Talk. The new multi-platform app allows to chat, share videos and pictures with your friends. It is available on Android, iOS and Chrome.

Google Maps and localization

Google released new APIs to improve localization and battery life on Android devices. An interactive map will recommend location, compare travel modes and integrate Street View and Google Earth on Google Maps. The new APIs includes better outdoor localization, indoor localization and navigation and human activity recognition.

Android2312719-a6

The most common IDE to develop Android apps is Eclipse which runs on Windows, Linux and Mac. But Google developed their own IDE, Android Studio that runs on all operative systems.

The new features that Android Studio includes are the navigation drawer, a better integration with Google Analytics and the possibility to launch beta and alpha versions of the applications.

Samsung Galaxy S4

The new Samsung Galaxy S4 from Google is a completely unlocked device. It comes with an unlocked bootloader that gives to the developers a root access to the operating system. The phone will be release on June and it costs $649.

Samsung-Galaxy-S4-Google-Edition-2

Other features

Google Voice Search is already available for Android devices but Google wants to expand its voice search capabilities and other features on Google Search for desktop devices, a fundamentally change the way the people look things up on its search engine.

Google Wallet, the online payment method from Google, enables now to send money as a Gmail attachment over other interesting functionalities. It will be integrated on the Chrome browser wich gets faster, more secure and includes faster video-streaming.

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The most useful google services

Google is the number one searching online engine used by millions of people everyday. But Google is more than a searcher: the list of products, services and tools is huge. Some of them started as independent projects developed by Google engineers, such as Google News or Gmail, others come from the acquisition of companies like Youtube or Blogger. Nowadays Google have hundreds of tools, services and applications including desktop, mobile and online products.

Basics

  • Gmail: One of the most used email services.
  • Google Translator: online translation tool to instantly translate text and webpages.
  • Google Maps: map-based services including street maps (Google Maps),satellite images, a route planner for travelling by foot, car bike or public transport (Google Transit), 360° panoramic street-level views of various locations (Google Street View)…
  • Google Calendar: an online calendar to keep track all events and receive event reminders.
  • Google Reader is a RSS feed reader.  It is the perfect tool for the people who like  reading blogs and news from several different web sites.
  • Google News: it is a news site that aggregates headlines from news sources worldwide.

Suites, storage, payment… 

  • Google Drive provides storage space on the cloud. It is a way to synchronize with Google Docs (docs, spreadsheats, presentations), Google Drawings (drawings), Google Forms (forms), pivot tables, app Scripts..
  • Google Desktop is an interface to remotely access your computer files, images, emails, pretty much anything. It needs to install an app to start indexing all the content of the computer.
  • Google Play is a shop to buy and listen music, to read books, to find movies, games and Android apps.
  • Google Wallet provides a secure means of shopping in the virtual marketplace.

Photo and Video

  • Youtube: the most popular video platform.
  • Picasa is an image organizer in image viewer that allows to share albums and photos online.
  • Google TV to watch shows online or listen to radio.
  • Google Goggles is an image recognition app to search by taking a picture with the smartphone. The photo is used to find more information about products, famous landmarks, paintings, QR codes…
  • Google Talk allows to chat with google contacts on the internet using  Google Chat.
  • Google Voice gives you a Google number to forward call/text to all your phones. It also provides free PC-to-phone calls (US) and PC-to-PC video and audio calling, international calls, text message…

Following TV shows through Internet

September is when most of the TV series start, so now is the moment to get ready for it. Internet offers a lot of possibilities to follow them: official webpages, blogs, facebook’s accounts, twitter account’s… However, there are other interesting applications for the computer or smartphone:

  • Official webpages: the best way to know all the information related with your favourite TV shows. Moreover, if you’re in US, you can play it on streaming.
  • iMDB: the biggest database wich contains all the information about TV series and movies: plots, actors, curiosities, reviews…
  • iTV Shows for iPhone and iPad: shows management application to keep track of every show you follow and what episodes you have seen or not. The app will remind you where you left it and when the new episode is going to be aired.
  • MyTVShows: similar to iTV Shows but as a website service.
  • TV Shows for Mac: application to easily find and download new episodes: you only have to open TV Shows, subscribe to your favourite shows and turn it off. Next time a new episode is aired, it will automatically download it.
  • Miso for iPhone and iPad: a social network to share what you are watching. Check-in to TV episodes and movies to share what you watch and connect with friends who watch the same shows as you.
  • Blogs and unofficial websites: googling is the best way to find blogs and unofficial websites about your favourite TV series. You will usually find more information than official webpages and from different points of view. news, episode reviews, quotes, videos, photos or curiosities.

New ways of Internet use

Nowadays, the process of redefining the way we are consuming digital content and generally the way in which the Internet is used has strengthened. The model based on the possession of content is evolving to a model where the important thing is to access to the content itself, wherever you are. This is the access mode online or streaming.

Having a streaming service, you can enjoy the content without downloading the file and viewing in real-time, which undoubtedly contributes to improving the experience of use. However, the lower quality is the main disadvantage.

The video and/or audio is coded using AVI, MPEG, Windows Media or Real Media formats. The streaming servers deliver the files with help from a web server, but new protocols have been designed to transfer data in real-time: RTSP, RTP, RTCP, HTTP streaming, MMS and RTMP.

At present, the two most common types of content in the consumer line is the video, movies (32.2% of Internet users) or series (26.9%), and music (13.3%), although the online game also has an important place, both individual play (9.5%) and group (7.4%).

Music streaming

Lots of music streaming sites have appeared in the last years, most of them are free or very cheap services. Nowadays there isn’t a dominant streaming music services, but the most popular are Grooveshark, Spotify, Last.fm and Pandora. All of them offer great advantages to greatly simplify the search and cataloging of the songs and albums.

Video streaming

Web video streaming is one of the most popular Internet activities. It allows to watch video from all around the world, such as news recaps, tv shows, tutorial or funny videos. Nowadays there are lots of services based on access to content are outstanding on-demand videos over the Internet as Netflix, Google TV, Apple TV, Boxee, Youtube, Vimeo, Hulu or Veoh.

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as utility over a network. The end-user can access the resources from everywhere (computer, cellphone, tablet, etc) because the service runs from the cloud, not in the end user physical computer.

Cloud Computing location

The cloud computing has 4 locations:

  • Public cloud is open and is where pretty much all the services that run over internet are located. Some examples are service providers like Microsoft or Google.
  • Private cloud for enterprise. The data center architecture is owned, managed and operated by a single company a used for a private group of users. Federal agencies and departments opt for private clouds.
  • Community cloud for an especific community group. The infrastructure is shared by several organizations and supports a specific community that has shared concerns. It is used for mission, security requirements, policy, etc.
  • Hybrid combination of two clouds that remain unique entities but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology. Companies can maintain control of an internally managed private cloud while relying on the public cloud as need. NASA Nebula is an example where private cloud is used for research and development, and public cloud to share datasets with external partners and the public.

Models of Cloud Computing

There are three models of type of services offered:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): It offers compute power, storage and networking infrastructure as a service via the public Internet. Organizations rent computing power and disk space, so they access them from desktop PCs through a private network across the Internet. The most successful IaaS providers are Amazon Web Services, GoGrid and rackspace.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): It evolves providing a platform on which a customer can run his own applications. The three biggest PaaS providers today are Google, Microsoft and Salesforce.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): It is the most common model of cloud service because the application exists in the cloud and can be consumed from any browser. So, the cloud users do not manage the cloud infrastructure and platform on which the application is running. Microsoft Online Services and Google apps are the most used.

Nowadays most of the users use cloud computing. In the next table you can see a rundown of the share of Internet users who have done a select set of online activities that involve storing data online or accessing applications in cyberspace.

Benchmarking of the different Internet services

Nowadays there are a lot of services, such as email, chat, voice over IP, document sharing, blog edition, etc, that are offered through Internet by diverse companies like Google, Hotmail or Skype. Most of them have become essential (email) and some of them (softphones, file hosting…) will become, either for particular users and small enterprises.

E-mail

Several companies provide e-mail service, but the main ones are AOL, Yahoo, iCloud, Windows Live and Gmail.

Gmail is a good choice for users and small business which cannot afford their own server. It is the most balanced service, it supports POP3, IMAP and MS Exchange, it is more secure and has advanced filters and labels.

Softphones

A softphone is a software program to make telephone calls over the Internet. Nowadays, there are a lot of companies that provide voice over IP: AOL IM, Bink, Bria, Brosix, Jitsi, Oovoo, Skype and Yahoo Messenger.

For a particular users the best option is Skype. It offers text messaging, voice calls, video calls and conference calls for free in a security way.

For small enterprise the best option is Brosix because it provides private Instant Messaging (IM) network and control, has a powerful collaborating tools, doesn’t need a maintenance and has strong security. It is an alternative for those who are more interested in business features and less in personal communication.

File hosting

The providers of file hosting are Google Drive, Dropbox, SkyDrive, iCloud, Box, Ubuntu One and Sugarsyng.

Amazon S3 offers very large storage which can be useful for large companies. It is the only one which offers redundancy and advanced security options. However, Dropbox would be the most balanced service for users or small businesses while Amazon S3 suites the need of massive storage for larger companies.

Suites of services

Google and Microsoft provide a huge number or Internet services, most of them for free, accessible with the same login name.

Google provides diverse services for personal communication and professional business with good compatibility with existing user software. It has more services than Microsoft and is continuously developing more. Because of that, either for particular users and for small enterprise Google services are the best.

New trends in TV broadcasting using Internet

The digital terrestrial television is the transmission of data (images and sound) via digital signals. DTTV signals are broadcast over the same media as the older analog terrestrial TV signals: via radio.

DVB-T

DVB-T is the standard for the broadcast transmission of the digital terrestrial television. It uses MPEG-2 codification and COFDM modulation. The bandwidth of DVB-T is 20Mb/s so, as much as 5 programs per channel depending of the quality wanted (4Mb/s to SD-TV and 20Mb/s to HD-TV). All the video, audio, subtitles and text programs conform the multiplex and it is coded through COFDM.

The advantages of DVB-T are the reduction of the bandwidth, clearer picture and superior sound quality, subtitles and different languages, and more contents. However, in Digital TV noise produces an increase in the channel bit error rate so the transmission could break down.

IPTV

IPTV allows to receive television via Internet using the IP protocol. It descries a system capable of receiving and displaying a video stream encoded as a series of IP packets.

IPTV is a new way of understanding the tv, it is an interactive television accessible by multiple devices. The customer chooses what to watch at every moment so, only the channel ordered is transmitted in MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 (better quality and data rates) codification.

In Spain there are different IPTV providers: Telefonica (Imagenio), Orange (OrangeTV), Jazztel (Jazztelia TV). Nowadays, Movistar Imagenio is the most important with more than 800.000 clients.

Multimedia Home Platform (MHP)

DVB-MHP is an open middleware system standard designed by the DVB project for interactive digital television. Interactive tv applications can be delivered over the broadcast channel, together with audio and video streams. There are lots of application areas of MHP: program guide, portals for events and programs, information, news, weather, sports events, games, interactive shopping…

MHP applications are programmed using Java language and APIs, and once developed are installed on MHP set-top-boxes. However, the degree deployment of MHP is null at this moment.