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Streams and Eggs and all - an update from the trenches

Wildlife News
It has been a hectic April and it's not over yet.

First of all I want to appologize to those trying hard to view the cameras through our Windows Media server. We have had to cap the amount of traffic it can put out due to the cost of the link. At the current cap it should easily handle about 90 simultaneous viewers but has at times had over 300 trying to share its link. This has nothing to do with how capable the actual server is - it is capable of serving well in excess of 3000 simultaneos sessions if we opened up the flood-gates (network bandwidth) but at that rate it would be costing the foundation something over $10,000/month which we simply don't have at the moment. We're looking for sponsors to step up to the plate, and the advertising revenue is starting to climb, but it appears that this simply won't happen in time for the onslaught we expect once chicks appear.

In fact, we've pretty much known this all along - that we were caught in a catch-22 situation where the ad revenue wouldn't rise unless more people could view, and more people couldn't view until the revenue rose to pay for the added bandwidth - so we've been working on several fronts to address this.

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Neokast Media Network Streaming - All Members! (updated)

Wildlife NewsHancock Wildlife Foundation is pleased to announce that Neokast Media Network has accepted our cameras as a major part of their beta test for their new peer to peer video streaming service.

David Hancock and I recently met with many of the Neokast people at the Voice/Video on the Net show in San Jose (March 20-22) and came away with an agreement that we would be amongst the first content providers in their roll-out. Since then we've been working with them almost daily to get things in place.

Starting the week of April 2nd, Neokast began adding testers (your truly included) to their system in a staged roll-out of their services. I've had a stream from their facility up and live almost continuously since April 5th, and it has worked flawlessly.

As of April 7, 2007, our administrative people were added to the list, and as they gained experience over the next couple of days we added our moderators, then some of our members.

As of today, April 17th, we are opening up the Neokast viewer (install here) to all members of our site and have opened up the Neokast discussion topic to all members of our site.

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Nightly Replays

Wildlife News

Now that we have our own Windows Streaming Media server, we've implemented a number of features and likely will implement more.

The one that most people will appreciate is the replay each night (camera time) of the day's video. This article is to let you know how this works and why it can be a bit fragmented at times.

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We've Done It - the Sidney Bald Eagle Nest is Online!

Victoria/Sidney Nest It has taken far longer than anyone ever expected, but we finally have the Sidney nest cameras online in full motion video and audio. Thanks very much to the people at Insinc for giving us a hand with our own Windows streaming media server - getting it to the point where it is up and running and serving up beautiful video from all our cameras.

We'll continue to serve up the smaller 2-frames/second versions on the various sites' main pages so you can quickly see if there is anything happening on the nest - and because so many more people can watch them than can currently watch the full feeds. I'll be adding the Goldstream cameras to their page shortly.

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The Herons are Back

Stanley Park HeronryAs of Valentine's Day, February 14th, there are herons in the heronry at Stanley Park. According to Dalyce (Raptore) there were 3 birds visible on the camera that day. We've had the camera going for some time now, but there has been nothing to watch. Now our patience has been rewarded.

Yesterday (Feb 27th) I was sitting at my desk with the minimal versions of the cameras up on one of my screens when some movement in the Heron cam caught my eye. The host of our camera position was home and had taken the time to re-focus the camera on some of the birds that were there, zooming in for a better look. I phoned her and we discussed the camera settings, and she got it set on one nest with a bird in it. We got some great shots of the bird for a while, then it decided to walk off the branch and fly away, so she again set the camera to point at and take in several of the nests in the "B" tree.

Yesterday was one of Vancouver's reasons why we all live here - bright, sunny, blue sky, clear air and lots of snow visible on the North Shore mountains after the light snowfall of the previous day. I told her that I might visit if I got the chance. I decided in the early afternoon to ride the Honda down and take some pictures of the birds.


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