Friday, 3 December 2010



Nexiwave and UbiCast Partner on Affordable Audio Search

Posted: 02 Dec 2010 03:06 PM PST

Last summer, we interviewed Ben Jiang, CEO of startup Nexiwave, who talked about his company's work in making it possible to search for a spoken word as easily as we Google a written word or phrase.

We caught up recently with Ben and learned that Nexiwave has just entered into a partnership with UbiCast, a webcast hosting and technology company based in France. UbiCast will be the first company to offer "deep audio search" as a standard feature to all of its customers. See today’s press release here, which talks about how UbiCast customers produce large amounts of high-value content, but finding and retrieving archived information has been a challenge. Nexiwave's technology, which is accelerated by NVIDIA GPUs, will help UbiCast make broad-scale audio search cost-justifiable for the first time ever.

Nexiwave, as Ben explained to us, is focused on “speech indexing” – which is computationally intensive and has traditionally been very expensive. Fortunately, speech indexing can be efficiently processed in parallel and the GPU is a perfect fit for it. Through the use of GPUs and CUDA, Ben’s team has seen a ~70X speedup over previous solutions (which translates into cost savings for users).

Nexiwave offers its technology via software licenses, as well as SaaS (software as a service) and cloud computing. An early user of the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) environment, Nexiwave plans to utilize the newly-announced Amazon EC2 Cluster GPU Instances service.

Nexiwave can potentially change the way we interact with large volumes of archived presentations and speeches. For example, imagine being able to search for very specific key words like "photography" or “stereoscopic” in hours and hours of recorded audio from conferences, college courses or seminars. With Nexiwave's technology, it will be possible to quickly and easily rediscover the presenters' actual spoken words.

Inner Geek: Electric (Holiday) Light Orchestra

Posted: 02 Dec 2010 01:33 PM PST

Christmas lights have always been a big deal in my family. A few years ago I saw a video like the one below, of Christmas lights dancing to music and knew that I had to do it.

This year I’ve embraced the obsession by sync’ing the Christmas lights to music played on a FM transmitter so neighbors driving by can listen to the lights on their car stereos. There are much bigger light displays out there, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to rule the block this year. I’ve been working on the show since last January when I started programming the light sequences to music in a simulator. Then I purchased 2 light controllers each with 16 individual, programmable channels, and we used Halloween as a dress rehearsal to work out the kinks.

Earlier this month I had the whole family helping to set up the lights. In all we have 14,260 lights (almost all LEDs), 3 blowups, 7 deer, 17 Christmas trees, and since it’s Texas; a Christmas Cactus as well. Power usage is a big deal when doing Christmas light shows. Too much power means high electric bills, getting additional circuits installed, and potentially burning the house down. By making use of lower power LED lights the whole display runs on only 11.64 amps making it a relatively “green” show. If I had used regular Christmas lights the show would pull between 55-75 Amps. By putting the lights to music not all the lights are on at the same time making 11.64 amps the peak usage. The lower power usage allows me to use cheaper extension cords, which is important since I have 1784′ (0.34 miles) of extension cords in the yard.

Inner Geek: Electric (Holiday) Light Orchestra

Since this is my first year doing a computerized show I themed it by selecting songs from the best Christmas movie ever, “Christmas Vacation”.  I threw in other favorites thrown in as well, like “Wizards of Winter” from Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Inner Geek: Electric (Holiday) Light Orchestra

It’s a fun project and I’ve found a number of new friends and an entire community out there that shares the same obsession. Already have bigger plans for next year including more lights, more channels, maybe a mega tree, and someone has got to teach this software guy how to solder so I can build my own controller boards.

Inner Geek: Electric (Holiday) Light Orchestra

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