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#POWEROFONELUNCH

Today’s guest blog comes from our friends at GLIDE — Thanks Dori! Dori Caminong is GLIDE’s  Communications, Philanthropy and Social Innovation Manager. You can find her on Twitter: @doricaminong


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GLIDE’s 15th Annual eBay Charity Auction for Power Lunch with Warren Buffett, Runs June 1 – 6

Each year legendary investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett hosts just one charity power lunch to help support GLIDE’s programs. For the past 15 years, Mr. Buffett’s sustained commitment and the philanthropic spirit of the winning bidders, have helped raise nearly $16 million to support GLIDE’s unwavering mission to help San Francisco’s residents in need.

GLIDE invites everyone to join us + watch the final moments of the Countdown on Friday, June 6, 2016 at 6:40PM at http://www.ustream.tv/buffettauction

The bidding starts at $25,000 and all bidders must pre-qualify prior to placing their bids at ebay.com/glide. The winning bidder may invite seven friends to join Buffett for lunch at Smith & Wollensky, “the quintessential New York steakhouse.” Over the years, the winning bids have ranged from $25,000 to $3,456,789, with the funds going to support GLIDE’s programs, which help people overcome hunger, poverty, homelessness and debilitating health challenges.


Deathowl creation – Openduty

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Ustream as a company likes to challenge employees to think outside of the box and fuse in creativity. We believe that being surrounded by unique, innovative people helps develop new ideas.

In February, we hosted an internal Hackathon to give engineers the freedom to work on things they love and to hack solutions that could solve problems to find better ways of doing things at our company.
(To learn more, check out this previous blogpost)

We hoped that in a few months, one or two of the Hackathon projects would become a reality and make it into the product as a feature or a completely new application.

Some of our developers needed a tool to make their life easier. Instead of purchasing an already available product, they gathered together and developed their own tool, now called Openduty. (You can see the source on Github)

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The OpenDuty project is an alarm aggregation and dispatching service built for system administrators and support teams on call duty. When an incident happens regarding our server or service, this tool provides a proper alerting system for quick notification. This development will automatically route actionable alerts when a problem occurs and determine whom to contact.

Till the end of the Hackathon contest an internal SMS gateway, a Pagerduty compatible REST API, and a basic admin dashboard was developed. The team succeeded to send automated SMS and phone call notifications for a given alert, escalate it according to a calendar, and see logs according to the failures in the system.

In 2 months they have build a Beta version and started implementing new bells and whistles.

Today, Openduty collects alerts from monitoring tools, provides an overall summary of the alerts and allows users to build notification rules. It provides also the freedom to set up multiple levels of coverage, so if the “primary” on-call person doesn’t respond to an alert in a timely fashion, it’s automatically escalates to a “secondary” person, and so on. The system integrates with GTalk, Push notification, Phone and Text Message (operates through Twilio).

The idea came from Bálint Csergő (Deathowl) who works as an Infrastructure engineer at Ustream Hungary. He and his team constantly work on new ideas to make Ustream’s service better.

We welcome any feedback or ideas regarding this project!


Integrate Live Video Into Your Communication Strategy

integrate-top Seventy-two percent of executives prefer live video over on-demand video — But why? Let’s consider some of the appeal of live video vs. video-on-demand (VOD). Today’s socially-driven world craves instant gratification — and there’s nothing more instant than live. Live events bring together a community of engaged viewers that are all sharing the same experience, at the same time. There’s no delay, there’s no spoiler from social media, and you can be anywhere in the world. Don’t get me wrong — VOD is great and we cannot live without it — but there’s something special about experiencing events live. It’s something we all have experienced for decades on a consumer (and mostly physical) level, but technology has helped bridge that gap. Businesses have taken notice and are now adding live video into their marketing tool kits. Forward-thinking companies are harnessing the power of live video for a variety of uses, including:


TCP Engines brings Ustream increased video quality and reduced buffering

Today we announced a partnership with TCP Engines, the leading supplier of TCP optimization solutions, as we are now taking advantage of the company’s TCP-MAX solution for streaming optimization. Our Ustream Cloud Platform is built on a proprietary technology stack: Ustream Content Delivery Network (UCDN), Ustream Media Server (UMS) and Ustream TCP Congestion Control Algorithm (UTCP). TCP Engines is at the core of the TCP Congestion Control Algorithm. TCP Engines congestion control solutions effectively unclog networks and find more bits to deliver to consumers, increasing the video quality and experience for consumers.

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Arpad Kun, our director of network operations, provides his take:

The TCP Engines solutions help us further differentiate the Ustream platform.  After benchmarking against all known TCP solutions in the market, we found the TCP Engines solution to deliver the greatest benefit for our platform, publishers and users.  TCP Engines delivers over 50% increased throughput over Bic, and over 285% increased throughput than htcp.  Further, by reducing buffers ratios to 1.6% and increasing video quality, we are able to offer a more compelling service.

Read the full release via PRNewswire: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tcp-engines-brings-ustream-increased-video-quality-and-reduced-buffering-by-licensing-tcp-engines-tcp-max-solution-for-streaming-optimization-259032911.html

Visit TCP Engines: http://www.tcpengines.com/


#NoSlowLane

NetNeutralitySeven years ago, my co-founders and I started Ustream with a mission to bring live video technology to anyone with an internet connection. Last year, our users crossed the 2 billion viewer-hour mark, and we’re incredibly proud of the open platform we’ve built. This activity can be largely attributed to net neutrality, which has been facing scrutiny from the FCC.

Alongside 100+ companies including Google, Netflix, and Facebook, and with the support of Engine Advocacy, we’ve sent this letter to the FCC, which is certainly creating well-deserved waves: http://engine.is/wp-content/uploads/Company-Sign-On-Letter.pdf

Help us preserve a free and open internet and please share this with your friends and colleagues. #NoSlowLane

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