Who Is Pied Piper?

Who is Pied Piper? Good question! That would be the intrepid folks whose bios are featured on this site and are currently building out our platform for launch at CES. Do we employ a pleasant-seeming young woman of Asian descent, who apparently plays the guitar? Sadly no, though I hope to change that soon when we expand our team, including the guitar-playing part: It would be nice to hear some music around here besides Gilfoyle’s terrifying noise that sounds like angry men raping each other with guitars. Something from Sarah McLachlan’s Surfacing album for me, please! 

This is by way of saying that some may have been a mite perplexed by the “I AM PIED PIPER” billboards—featuring said guitar-strumming woman—that recently went up on the 101 freeway and at other scattered locations in the greater Palo Alto area. These are the brainchild of our new investor Russ Hanneman, who believes they will promote our brand awareness. So for those who saw them, misunderstood and left us voicemails: We are a cloud-based compression company, and are ***not*** in the business of 1) selling guitars, 2) guitar lessons or 3) human trafficking.

I hope that clears things up! Jared out!

Meet Our New Funder: Russ Hanneman

That’s right! Despite Gavin Belson’s best efforts, he has failed in using his groundless suit to freeze our funding. We have secured, in lieu of a standard Series A, a substantial seven-figure bridge loan—albeit on a less-than-ideal disbursement schedule—from none other than famous (and some say polarizing) financier Russ Hanneman.

Russ Hanneman, as anyone not living in a cave for the last several decades knows, made a billion dollars in the early 1990s with his company that allowed internet users to access radio stations, or, in his colorful words: “Putting radio on the mother-f**king Internet.” Since then, he has launched other businesses, such as noted California billboard-purveyor Hanneman Outdoor Media, as well as busied himself with buying hockey teams, dating women thrown off reality shows for behavioral issues and the like. He also, flatteringly, seems to believe my romantic life is far more active and strenuous than it in fact is.

In any case, we’re glad you’re backing us, Mr. Hanneman! Please, please, please don’t park your McLaren on Erlich’s lawn again!

We’re Hiring!

That’s right, dear readers: Because we now have funding from Mr. Hanneman, we in the Pied Piper family hope to soon have the stork bring us several well-qualified, bouncing baby programmers! While we will be hiring front and back end web app developers and an implementation engineer at some point, for now we are looking to hire for the four below roles.

Resumes will not be accepted from any of the email/IP addresses I have compiled which have left certain comments on my blog. These are comments that have threatened my person or encouraged me to perform acts not possible under the laws of physics, although I suspect a percentage of them may originate with PP’s Gilfoyle or Dinesh, in which case they’re all in good fun!

One note: In addition to these very modest requirements for each position, we also require that all applicants be non-smoking, dog-friendly, fat-positive and respectful of the diversity in gender, race, religion, ableness, sexuality, age and weight which we hope to soon create. Also, tolerance of extreme rudeness, Satanism and marijuana use is recommended.

CORE COMPRESSION LIBRARY ENGINEER (C++ PROGRAMMER)

Requirements:

  • Deep expertise with C++/Java/C# development developing data compression algorithms.

  • 5+ years with C++.

  • Knowledge of downstream video platform components, including encoding, muxing, CDNs, signal processing, workflows and broadcast standards.

  • 3+ years experience with client-server and peer-to-peer architectures, network security, basic network protocols (e.g. TCP/IP and UDP), object oriented design.

  • Understanding of memory management, multiple processor use, runtime optimization, concurrency and synchronization.

  • Experience in building and running large scale distributed online services.

  • Experience with large distributed database design.

  • Proven track record of design/architecture of a large components.

  • Background in mathematics, including linear algebra and numerical methods.

  • BSc or MSc in Computer Science or related degree.

API DEVELOPER (JAVA)

Requirements:

  • 5+ years of development experience in web-related technologies such as Web Services, REST, SOAP, WCF, ASP.Net, C#, JavaScript, AJAX, JSON and XML.

  • Experience defining and developing web service APIs.

  • Experience in integrating with web-based products.

  • Experiences with the entire software development lifecycle, including version control, build process, testing and code release.

  • Working experience with an industry standard API Gateway technology such as Layer 7, APIGEE or Intel MASHREY is a plus.

  • Experience with Agile and Test-driven development methodologies.

  • BSc or MSc in Computer Science or related degree.

UNIT TESTER

Requirements:

  • 5+ years of testing & QA automation experience.

  • Experience in an Agile development environment.

  • Experience in Unit and UI testing.

  • Development experience in Java, JavaScript and web services.

  • Experience creating and reviewing test cases.

  • Experience in large-scale, real time video (including streaming) applications.

  • Testing multiple browser-OS environments.

  • Creating test cases.

  • Integration.

  • BSc or MSc in Computer Science or related degree.

VIDEO HACKER (ASSEMBLY)

Requirements:

  • At least 5 years of hands-on experience in C++ application development on Linux OS and extensive experience in Java and Javascript.

  • Knowledge of Linux C++ development tools and environments: make, gcc, gdb, gprof,, subversion, git, shell scripting, Perl, Python or Ruby.

  • Knowledge of virtualization and building distributed video processing systems.

  • Socket and network programming.

  • Multithreading and inter process communication.

  • Object oriented design and software development patterns.

  • Experience with video container formats: .mov / .mp4, .mkv / .webm, mpeg-2 transport stream, .flv.

  • Experience with video compression codecs: AVC, HEVC, VP6, VP8, VP9, ProRes, DNXHD, AAC, Vorbis, Opus.

  • Experience with video delivery formats for streaming and adaptive bitrate delivery: HLS, DASH, RTMP, RTSP, MPEG-2 TS over UDP, Zixi, FASP, WebRTC, and progressive download HTTP.

  • Experience with mezzanine file asset ingestion via SFTP and Aspera.

  • Network multicast, protocols, routing and topology.

  • Experience with video processing and broadcast standards. Deinterlacing, scaling, aspect ratios, telecine, etc.

  • Experience building end to end video workflows with a true glass to glass scope. Capture, process, encode, deliver, decode, and display.

  • Knowledge of workflows for stitching multiple cameras into equirectangular spherical videos.

Congratulations, Bro!

It is with great excitement that I congratulate our founding co-CTO Dinesh Chugtai’s cousin Wajeed on his new app, BRO! (Short for BRO2BRO.)

I am personally a huge fan of the app. I find it both sticky and, as a one-bit communication method, possessed of an admirable simplicity. I have used to it to “bro” many individuals for both business and pleasure, but have always found it user-friendly and in no way a “bro-job.”

The Hooli Lawsuit

This has been a terrible, terrible week. First Pied Piper suffered the loss of Peter Gregory, and then—at his actual memorial service—we learned that Gavin Belson and Hooli have filed suit against us for theft of intellectual property, unjust enrichment and a host of other trumped-up charges. 

It’s funny because if there should be a lawsuit between our two companies, it should be myself suing Gavin Belson, for how I was treated at Hooli. My actual name is Donald, but he decided that was “too hard to remember,” and renamed me Jared. I was continually belittled and often denied bathroom breaks, which led to incidents I refuse to discuss. 

On more than one occasion within my hearing, he referred to me as an “undead lesbian giantess.” But I digress. We at Pied Piper are certain that the suit is baseless, and that justice, common sense and our gallant attorney Ron “The Bomb” LaFlamme—who received his J.D. at Harvard—will prevail. (I have taken the liberty of assigning Ron the nickname “The Bomb,” and until I am certain it is acceptable, please do not mention it to him.)

Requiescat in Pace, Peter Gregory

As you all undoubtedly know by now, we recently lost our funder, Peter Gregory of Raviga Capital, who passed away this week. 

Peter was far more than a funder to us: He was a mentor, a friend—and in my case—the approachable foster father I never had. 

While details of his death on safari with Lorne Michaels and Kanye West remain murky, in Peter’s honor we have forbidden the use of the Safari browser in the Pied Piper offices, Mac-compatible or not.

We Won TechCrunch!

Happy weekday, readers!

TechCrunch Disrupt was last weekend, and after a sleepless, rollercoaster ride of a weekend including repeated harassment by microdrones and a brush with law enforcement…drumroll…we won!

With a record-breaking Weissman Score of 5.2, Pied Piper beat out all the other competing teams, although in a sense, everyone who participated was a winner, in that they put themselves out there and worked hard.

Although, I’d lay you dollars to doughnuts that no other company’s CEO had a scientific epiphany brought on by a conversation about maximizing efficiency in multi-partner male masturbation scenarios! Boom.

Welcome!

Greetings, dear readers!

My name is Jared Dunn (née Donald Dunn), and I’m head of business development here at Pied Piper, or “biz-dev,” as we biz-devvers like to moniker ourselves.

I’m pleased as punch to announce the relaunch of our website. A special thanks to my old Vassarite buddy Raj, a fellow organizer of “Check(ers) Your Privilege!,” Vassar’s annual checkers tournament benefiting social justice causes. He gave generously of his time in putting this all together. Thanks, Rajer-Dodger!

As someone who has blogged in the past (for Hooli, several Firefly fanfic sites, and The Progressive Caucus’ Subcommittee on Reproductive Rights and Freedoms), I will continue that tradition here and lovingly blog each entry myself.

And while blogging, I always love to check the comments section to see how I’m doing. You might say I have a “HOW’S MY BLOGGING?” sticker on my mud-flap! Now, while some of the comments people have written on past blog posts of mine have been a bit discouraging—or needlessly scatological or strangely racist—I welcomed any and all forms of communication, except direct threats of violence, which I will continue to report. In that spirit, I would like to encourage you to comment below.

Problem 1:

Single Points of Failure

Libraries are vulnerable to losing their collection because all of their books are contained at a single location. Say, for instance, that there was a fire, or a flood, or a vandal defaced John James Audubon’s masterpiece Birds of America by giving all the Warblers human genitalia. Even worse, if the vandal recruited bird haters from other neighborhoods and got ahold of all the copies of the book in existence, it could be lost crude doodles forever. It would be a tragedy on par with the destruction of the Library of Alexandria.

The Problem

Because Birds of America is centralized in one public location, it’s susceptible to permanent deletion. The same goes for content on the Internet — storing all your family photos on a single account in a cloud service? They could all be wiped away if someone hacked your account or corrupted the host servers.

The Solution

Our solution: In our decentralized library, we would duplicate and distribute multiple copies of Birds of America to your neighbors — if you need a copy, you would just go to your neighbor’s house. As our Pipernet town of mobile devices grows, so do the number of neighbors who might have a copy of your book. And the more potential copies there are available, the more secure the book is.

That’s what our new internet will allow you to do too: spread your personal files on devices across the world, so they’re completely safe from bad actors manipulating or deleting them.

Takeaways

All copies of your files in a well-known, hackable location = RISKY!

Files copied and distributed to multiple locations = SAFE!

Problem 2:

No Privacy

In order to check out books, you must have a library card — an ID that links back to your real world identity. That library card reveals all the books you’ve ever checked out, where you returned them, and whether they were returned on time.

The Problem

The tech titans collect data profiles on us too, and theirs are far more comprehensive. They amass thousands of personal data points by tracking our activities in both the online and physical worlds.

Users don’t own or control their own data, so it can be used against them. Take, for instance, Richard’s lawyer Pete Monahan, who had his probation revoked when the state retrieved his library records. Which was… probably a good idea. But for this metaphor’s purposes: bad that they can access that information!

On the web, our data profile is far more detailed, the laws around privacy even looser, and more freedoms are at stake. For example, what if Hooli sold your search data to an insurance company who then denied you coverage because you’ve HooliSearch-ed “kindest Palo Alto based Cardiologist” a few too many times?

The Solution

Replace library cards with anonymous identification cards which are impossible to connect to your real world identity. Instead of using a library card (linked to your name, address, etc.) to check out books, you would swipe a nondescript card (containing no personal details). Your activity would be tracked to keep the system stable, but your identity would not be siphoned and sold. I, for example, would no longer check out books as "Donald Dunn," but rather the nom de guerre "h3w0vbk37vpm."

That’s what our new internet will allow you to do too: use its apps and services without compromising your privacy.

Takeaways

Trading your identity and data for online services = RISKY!

Using services anonymously so nobody can target you = SAFE!

Problem 3:

Censorship and Manipulation

Because a town’s library is run by a small group of administrators, they could theoretically decide what books are available to its people. They could even decide to ban Birds of America, depriving young birders of Audubon’s elegant illustrations, pored over page by page under a government-issued blanket after lights out, giving you hope that even a slender-framed, shivering boy could grow to be as majestic as a Hooded Merganser.

The Problem

On the internet, multinational corporations can screen content, or even “adapt” their services to fit the local government’s requests. In both libraries and on the Web, we’re susceptible to data being censored or manipulated by intermediaries.

The Solution

A peer-to-peer lending system backed up by a fully public ledger, allowing you to send and receive books freely to anybody in the world without worrying about censorship or interference. Want to add Catcher in the Rye, Fahrenheit 451, or your controversial essay on Audubon’s coloring techniques? No problem, even if the town surrounded you with pitchforks to ban them, these vital texts would be available to share neighbor to neighbor, impossible to delete.

That’s what our new internet will allow you to do too: exchange messages and files directly with their intended receiver, disperse ideas and information free from threats of censorship.

Takeaways

Pushing all transactions through a central authority = OPPRESSIVE!

Establishing a peer to peer exchange system based on an immutable public ledger = FREE!

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