Win a chance to demo at TechCrunch Disrupt in SF!

Want to prove you’ve built the coolest OpenTok application? Think you have what it takes to demo to the most influential people in Silicon Valley?

Here’s a chance for you to prove it here in person in San Francisco! Just build the most compelling OpenTok app and you’ll win a place in  Startup Alley at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco this September. To make the prize even sweeter, we’ll pay up to $2000 in travel expenses!

As a Startup Alley participant, you’re eligible for audience voting to participate in TechCrunch’s premiere startup competition, Startup Battlefield. If you win the “Audience Choice” award, you will earn a slot to present your product on stage during Startup Battlefield in front of an all-star panel consisting of the biggest innovators, angels, VCs and influencers in the Tech community on Wednesday, September 14th, 2011.  Winner must meet Startup Alley criteria; for more details, please visit this page.

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S.P.A.R.K Chicago – Only the strong survive

If Startup Weekend is entrepreneurship on training wheels, then we sure could use an event that’s one step more advanced. Once you understand the dynamics of choosing a team, the compromises involved in pivoting, and the pitfalls of not validating customers, there should be a place to dig deeper into your startup idea – execute, period. I’m glad to say this weekend I found that next step.

S.P.A.R.K Chicago kicked off last Friday like any other Startup Weekend, except these entrepreneurs were hungry. They knew that not only would they be judged on launching a startup in 54 hours, but the top three teams would move forward for another three days to find one ultimate winner. The stakes were high because the competition was steeper and the prizes were money. But what I saw motivating these teams was that coming out on top of this unique event would be something memorable (okay fine, the prizes valued at over $100k were part of it too).

Allow me to introduce you to some of the teams.

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Using OpenTok apps on Mac OS X Lion 10.7

Following the release of OS X Lion on Wednesday, Adobe Flash Player has had a series of compatibility issues with Apple’s new OS. The big problem for fans of OpenTok apps? You’re unable to click “allow” or “deny” on the Adobe Flash pop-up that appears before you join a video call.

Until the official Adobe & Apple fix is released, there are a few steps you’ll need to follow to make OpenTok powered apps work:

1) Open System Preferences
2) Open Flash Player from “Other”
3) Click on Camera and Mic
4) Click on Camera and Mic Settings by site…
5) Set static.opentok.com to allow

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You Fly, We Buy: Launch at Startup Riot Seattle

Here at TokBox we love seeing you, our OpenTok developer community, build awesome applications. To help make your OpenTok app a success, TokBox is sponsoring travel to Startup Riot Seattle for two deserving OpenTok app developers.

Apply now!

So what exactly is Startup Riot? Startup Riot is an all-day event which highlights 25 startups through three minute, four slide presentations given by the startups. The startups subsequently answer questions from a judging panel for three minutes.

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Adding metadata on connections

You can now attach metadata for each client that connects to a session. For example, you can add information about the connecting user. When a client connects to the session, all existing clients connected to the session can access the metadata for the new connection.

You add this metadata by passing it into the generate_token() method of the OpenTok server-side library. The metadata is then securely embedded in the token string. Here’s an example, using the OpenTok PHP library:

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My Favorite Things

This week I’ve been travelling the east coast, hittin’ up various events. I’ve learned about a bunch of new stuff I didn’t know about, so I thought I would share some of…

JON’S FAVORITE THINGS!!!

This is the reaction I expect out of all of you:

Okay, my favorite things are:

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Why your company should do an internal hackathon

Originally posted at blog.mumm.me

Hackathons are awesome.

At TokBox we put our normal schedule aside for a couple days to run our first internal hackathon. The rules were simple: pitch an idea, form teams, build something, then demo it 30 hours later. The winning team would get a prize.

My team didn’t win (though we were proudly among the first losers), but it was a really positive experience. Here’s why I think every company should try doing an internal hackathon:

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OpenTok Apps: Lollapaloobox

It’s been three weeks since I’ve started my internship.  Since then, I have worked on quite a few projects, ranging from showcase to prototype apps. The one in particular that I’m quite proud of is Lollapaloobox; a mash-up between the OpenTok & Hacklolla APIs. The web app allows users to enjoy the full concert experience from the comfort of their homes.

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Yo Google, Skype – what about the web?

The big guys are duking it out again, and this time video chat is front and center. In the past few days Google unveiled Google+ with video “Hangouts”, Microsoft-owned Skype released the SkypeKit SDK and there is speculation that Facebook may announce next week it is bringing video chat to the social network.

There’s one thing missing in all of this. The web.

Google+ is surely a nice piece of work and Hangouts is great – and we love anything that makes video conversations more common – but these ‘new’ innovations are actually not new at all, they are alternatives to what we already have, just in a new location. They do nothing to help bring video chat to the web outside of the Hangout.

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OpenTok now supports echo-cancellation

Several factors deeply impact the experience one has in a group or one-one video chat conversation. There exists a vast body of literature analyzing the various human factors impacting interpersonal communication, via a computer, such as affinity, commitment and attention. Human-Computer interaction experts, social scientists and computer researchers have studied the various dimensions which make the subjective experience of people participating in a conversation compelling.

Audio quality is one such critical component.

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