Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Cringley at it again

Robert X is still concerned with VoIP and I'm still unconcerned. First, tunnelling data is NOT hard. It's trivially easy. In fact, an entire programming model has been built up around tunnelling data. Web Services is nothing more than programatic API's that can easily traverse firewalls... ok, it's quite a bit more than that, but it's that also. I simply do not see any way in which this problem can exist without it being a problem for every other (much higher) bandwidth user.

I'm also really surprised that Cringely is dissatisfied with 9.5Mbits/s of bandwidth. Personally, as someone who has used bittorrent to download content, I don't see it as much different than scheduling a show on my TiVo. If I schedule a show for two days from now on the TiVo, it's going to take 48 hours before the show is fully downloaded. If I start a bittorrent download, it will probably be finished much sooner. If I'm expecting to watch the program immediately, then of course, it's going to feel glacial if it takes 12 hours. So some level of expectation management needs to be met. In other words, distribution of content via bittorrent needs to be thought of exactly the same way as scheduling a recording a few days from now. If the mechanisms for dealing with this look the same, I suspect that will help manage the expectation of users.

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