Friday, January 18, 2013

Mega Cloud Storage

It's been a while since we last chronicled the adventures of Kim Dotcom and the results of the MegaUpload takedown.  We've been impressed, though, by the persistence and persuasiveness of Dotcom. Now, he's back with a new service that takes on Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud and other cloud-based file storage systems.

It's called Mega and it opens on Sunday.  UPDATE:  It's now live and receiving huge amounts of publicity (more below).  UPDATE: gets his story out in 14 minute YouTube chunks:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6 (final):

As reported by Ars Technica, the site is designed to be simple to use and offers 50GB of free storage.  Paying users get 500GB of storage plus 2TB of transfers for $14/mo.  All files are encrypted so the only way to share a file is to generate a public link to the file.  Given that users are moving more data between devices, 50 GB seems like a lot but might soon become standard amongst rivals.

One tidbit bears watching:  Users who share links to files with other Mega users see those files appear immediately in the users' account, similar to Google Drive.

At Bitmenu, we have experimented with for-pay distribution using cloud-based systems.  In other words, users of Mega might one day put a price on the files they share (currently, Bitmenu sellers must upload their files to our servers).  Would you want that?


Update:  In some respects, the federal takedown of MegaUpload has enabled to pivot and release a version 2.0.  How is it different?  As detailed in Forbes, only the individual user holds both the encryption and decryption keys to the files they load into the system.  This means that Mega cannot ever know what is being stored on their service and thus cannot "turn over" that content to authorities if required to under warrant.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

TV is Getting Coffee

We consider Louis CK as a pathfinder when it comes to how comedians and others can use technology to reach their audience and profit from the relationship.  I don't think comedians do it just for fun.  They want to make money at it.  They think about this a lot.

For example, click the image to view the embedded episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.  It shows that we are not the only ones exploring new business models for creative artists and producers. At the 8:48 min mark, Mel Brooks endorses Louis CK.

TV shows like this are looking for lower cost methods to produce episodes that generate enough of an online audience to sustain the effort.  Note the use of lavalier mics taped to jackets, members of the film crew visible for some cuts, etc.  Considering that these men revolutionized the sitcom, it's worth paying attention to where they are looking and what they are saying.

As Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld and others follow the path of Louis CK, they will build in direct sales mechanisms.  We expect these experiments to continue!