26/02/2010

Changes to our mobile lineup - Skype Blogs

Changes to our mobile lineup - Skype Blogs

Skype the P2P software company (that's what they say anyway i.e. they're not a telco) has dumped Skype and Skype Lite for Windows Phone as reported in the company blog.

They say's it's becoming more and more difficult to maintain the Skype user experience on that platform, so rather than give users a bad experience, they're dropping support.

They are still working with carriers (in the UK 3 and now Verizon in the US) who bundle Skype as part of the service. What's different there is that it's actually using voice calls back to a server and then it's translated to the Skype P2P service in the network i.e. not on the phone (it's using an iSkoot client). The Skype client uses VoIP (though Skype's propriety version) which is obviously having problems on the Microsoft Mobile OS.

Skype have done well with 3 in the UK who offer free Skype to Skype calls for life.

25/02/2010

144 petabytes in your pocket, or are you just please to see me?

The new standard for Compact Flash cards (version 5) will support 144 petabytes - that's a lot of information assuming that the average Joe Blogs has 1TB of data, you can keep all the data of 144,000 of your closest friends.

To put in context 144 PB is 144 x 1024 x 1TB.

The current SDXC specification for CF cards only supports a measly 2TB, though the cost of that amount of Flash memory may be slightly expensive (256GB SSDs go for around £500 - so 1TB would be about £4,000 and 1PB £4m).

Maybe by the time 144PB cards are available they'll be some form of optical/holographic storage that is workable,

24/02/2010

Fibre Capacity Limitations in Access Networks | Ofcom

Fibre Capacity Limitations in Access Networks | Ofcom

Ofcom have commissioned Analysys Mason (of Edinburgh) to write a report about fibre technologies and how they relate to fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and fibre-to-the-cabinet FTTC) deployments.

The report goes into the differing fibre technologies such as single vs multi-mode fibre, optical transceiver types (such as differing lasers), repeaters/amplifiers and differing transmission types (GPON, PTP and WDM PON).

There's a nice analogy of comparing a road system to a fibre, you have to consider the length of the road, the wide of the road and the lanes and the speed limit and the effect they have on the available capacity i.e.

* Increase the width of the road. Relates to the available spectrum which means more spectrum, more capacity. However the technology may not be available (at the optical or fibre level) to support extra spectrum.

* Increasing the speed limit. This relates to the frequency of the light being sent down the fibre, which can be limited by both the fibre characteristics and the optical transceivers.

* Increasing the number or lanes (or decreasing the size of the lane). More traffic can pass down the increased lanes, however at some point there is interference between lanes and traffic on neighbouring lanes will collide.

The report goes into considerably more technical detail, but an interesting read if you're into fibre technologies and what happening in that area.

23/02/2010

Twitter Blog: Measuring Tweets

Twitter Blog: Measuring Tweets

Twitter is now seeing 50m tweets per day from maybe a couple of million per day a year ago.

That's 600 tweets per second and it doesn't include Twitter SPAM (twam?) as SPAM traffic is removed before analysis.

The actual number of tweets delivered to end-users is much higher as tweets get sent to multiple followers/recipients. Those figures haven't been made available.

Those are big numbers and considering most of the growth has been in the last year, Twitter has done well to survive the onslaught, in early days there was quite a lot of downtime but the systems must now be scaling well.

As the population grows the delivered tweets must exponentially grow, will the systems cope?