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Cloud Computing

Netflix Promises $100,000 Reward For Best Cloud Computing Developers


Netflix is offering $100,000 for developers who can improve the features, reliability and security of Cloud computing, a report on PCMag said.

The video streaming media company is seemingly troubled by concerns on the reliability, dependability and the security of the Cloud technology. Neil Hunt, Netflix’s chief product officer, said in a statement that they consider the technology “emerging.”

Although the technology is slowly gaining momentum, it is not fully developed yet. So, in order to bring the technology to the next level, Netflix is offering the prize money to those who can explore and develop the Cloud computing further.

Why is Netflix doing this? The company is considering itself as one of the pioneers of the Cloud technology, having moved to the Cloud in 2009 through the Amazon Web Services (AWS). Today, Amazon runs a variety of applications for Netflix. It allows the company to focus more on improving its customers’ overall experience instead of worrying about the technology infrastructure.

Most of the complicated technology infrastructure of Netflix has been moved to AWS, including the members’ movie lists, web searches, movie transcoding and recommendation system.

So now, Netflix seems to want to focus greatly on innovation as it invites developers to take the Cloud technology to new heights.

The Prize

According to Netflix, the prize is divided into 10 categories. They will be judged by a panel of independent but renowned technology experts and pioneers such as Amazon’s CTO Werner Vogels, Thoughtworks chief scientist Martin Fowler, Strategist Simon Wardley, Telx Senior Vice President Joe Weinman, Netflix Cloud vice president Yury Izrailevsky and others.

The $100,000 prize money is not for one category alone, however. Netflix will give $10,000 to each category wherein programmers and software developers are required to build from Netflix’s open-source code. Aside from the cash prize, Netflix will also throw in $5,000 worth of AWS credit, a trip to Las Vegas and an invitation to the Amazon Web Services Re: Invent Conference in November.

But the prize doesn’t seem right for what Netflix is asking of developers for a mere sum of $10,000 per category (that amount will still be divided among the team members). However, for those who are interested, Netflix’s current open-source projects will give you an idea of what it is that the company is looking for.

The contest runs from March 13 to September 15 this year. Winners will be announced in October.

Moving Away from AWS

Since Netflix uses AWS for its Cloud, it seems a little bit confusing that it is asking developers to make its Cloud technology more efficient and dependable? Does it want to improve the technology for AWS or is it moving away from Amazon?

Major parts of Netflix’s technology infrastructure is run by AWS. So, it is a big question that the company does not see that AWS is capable of developing the technology by itself. Then, there are also criticisms on Netflix’s own ability to improve the technology that it possesses because it had to ask developers around the world to create the codes that will make its Cloud computing work more smoothly.

Source: PCMag

HTC Goes Deeper In The Cloud

HTC has gobbled up a Seattle based company called Dashware Inc. Dashware specializes in cloud based computing and is conveniently headquartered near HTC’s US base of operations.

HTC started working on their cloudbased initiatives earlier this year when they introduced to the HTC Sense UI experience.  With users can backup, share interests and info with other users, even find, lock and wipe a device.  Adding Dashware to the mix means that HTC can go even further with, we could see things like news aggregation, document creation and sharing, and more all branded under the HTC Sense umbrella.

More after the break

Amazon AWS EC2 Problems Cripple The Internet And Many Familiar Sites Including Hootsuite

No it’s not an illusion we’ve been tweeting  alot less than we normally have.  One of the main tools we use to interact with people on Twitter is Hootsuite. We use and also the Hootsuite app for Android.

There are several reasons that we use Hootsuite but in particular this week (actually over the next two months) we’ve been doing a lot of traveling to report events. Hootsuite allows us to share access to thedroidguy Twitter account with different members of our team without compromising sensitive credentials.  In otherwords other members of our team have thedroidguy on their Hootsuite without the need for regular authorization every time. This proves to be a huge convenience when it comes to managing Twitter.


Netscape Founder looking forward to everything being in the cloud

At the Paypal X Innovate 2010 conference in San Francisco today Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz said he was looking forward to the day that everything was in the cloud. Andressen is best known for some of his start ups, like well Netscape. Andreessen says he is waiting for the day that everything is in his phone and paypal, for which he is an investor, is the key to that start.

“Mobile is just the wallet you will be using,” he said. “Whether it’s a credit card, cash, PayPal, Facebook credits, whatever. It’ll be a more versatile wallet.

Cloud computing allows users to offload information into off-site servers owned by companies such as Rackspace, Google and Amazon. During his keynote address to the Paypal X attendees Andreessen pointed out that everything from music to facial recognition software is finding its way to the cloud. He also commented that, today the mobile phone is expected to do everything but “read your mind”

Andreessen, a passionate speaker about anything web based said “When I invented [the] Mosaic [Web browser], I didn’t imagine the Internet would look like this — there are no download processes and people expect phones to do everything but read their minds.”

Paypals current mobile application is feature rich and allows you to do all the account functions you would on their website, from your phone. The latest version of the app even has a tip calculator and the ability to “bump” from one phone to another.  Traveling merchants are also embracing accessories that allow them to swipe credit cards right onto their phone for instant processing. This feature cuts down on users of “dead beat” cards anywhere from trade shows to antique marts.

Andreessen founded mosaic which eventually became Netscape one of the first web browsers used by the masses. Andressen isn’t any strange to the current web/mobile based landscape. Through their investment firm, Andreessen Horowitz they hold shares in some of the most popular current companies like Zynga, Skype, Snaplogic and Foursquare.

The only thing Andreessen said didn’t belong in the clouds was “Love notes”

source: Crunchbase and Venture Beat