Lately, with the strengthening of web applications such as Google Gears and Aviary’s tools, web based applications, and application platforms, have been boosted to the forefront of ubiquitous tech.
Aviary, which already has a number of other graphical manipulation web apps, just acquired an web based audio editor platform Digimix, with the perceived goal to integrate Digimix’s tech into their upcoming fully featured online audio editor, called Myna. No live demo of Myna is available yet, however there is a nifty, hyper-speed video of the Digimix software in action. Keep in mind here that all of processor and storage-intensive processing is all being done on remote machines.
I love seeing powerful applications, such as graphic and audio manipulators, become accessible as web applications. I think that, especially now with the surge of “netbook” popularity, that web-hosted applications, and cloud computing/storage in generally are going to become increasingly important. As network connection speeds increase, shifting the processing and storage burden away from our own, less-capabale machines, and onto platforms optimized for specifically that task, will get more and more commonplace. Being able to carry around a tiny computer specifically optimized for network operation, and have unlimited storage and processing capacity sounds like a dream – that’s increasingly coming true.
Off the top of my head, here are some other interesting applications and technologies that are helping to make the “netbook”, cloud computing and storage, and the elimination of the aches of lugging around a brick like computer, a definite possibility for the near future:
- Amazon Web Services
- Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) + Amazon Electronic Block Store (EBS)
- Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) – Now even computational problems that only humans can solve (so far…), such as reasoning, pattern recognition, etc, can be computed on the grid.
- Google Gears
- Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) (I’ve been a SETI at Home user, which uses BOINC, since 2000)
- Terra Grid
- Apple Mobile Me
One final note – as network connection speed increases and the demand for web applications and rich media becomes greater, I think there’s always going to a fight for enough bandwidth – the industry will simply expand its needs up to the available amount of bandwidth. One way this is being dealt with, in the case of massive distribution of live video for CNN, is by using p2p network technology to increase the overall bandwidth of the network. CNN is using a p2p flash player technology from OctoShape, which effectively turns each computer streaming live video into a server, which streams the same video around to other viewers. This type of peer to peer, bit torrent-like technology is a great way for increasing network capacity and throughput, however, and especially in the case of CNN and OctoShape, there are some scary privacy/legality/ISP usage/cost concerns with turning an unwitting viewer’s computer into a live media server, even if it is “covered” in the EULA.
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