Soon, We Can All Have Our Own TV-Station
From I, Cringely about Neokast - an application that makes broadcasting of streams several magnitudes cheaper by creating a peer2peer network between the computers receiving the stream.
Had there been no peers up and running other than mine, the video would have streamed straight from the server in Chicago, but with enough peers operating, the load on the originating server is several orders of magnitude less than for typical one-stream-per-user distribution.
For content creators this is key: the more people who watch your Neokast the more efficiently will your server bandwidth be utilized. According to Birrer, under normal circumstances the server bandwidth should plateau at 3-4 times that of a single stream NO MATTER HOW MANY VIEWERS ARE BEING SERVED.
But the news implications of somebody setting up a webcam from their window in Baghdad or Darfur and serving a truly global audience is what appeals to me.
That - the live broadcasting of events to a large audience from your home computer - really was the last (technical) frontier for citizen journalism. Now add a server that takes video calls from UMTS phones and sets up a Neokast for whatever is send and for a few hundred dollars we can all have "portable news links" - and the next revolution in citizen journalism.
Update: Alright, after reading through the comments at Cringely's site I must admit that similar technologies have been around for a while (for example PeerCast) - but still, Neokast looks like an idea who's time has come and that might move into the IT and blogging mainstream.