The Teenagers Who Livestreamed Apple's WWDC Keynote


John Coles and Joe de Max patched together various feeds and websites to satisfy the curiosity of hundreds of thousands of viewers


When Apple failed to provide a livestream of its Steve Jobs-led keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco this morning, hundreds of thousands of interested parties turned to AppleKeynotes, a Ustream channel operated by two quirky British teenagers. Ustream won't release the official figures until tomorrow, but John Coles and Joe de Max suspect that, at one point, over 40,000 people were following their commentary.

Because many of the livefeeds Coles and de Max discovered during the presentation were shutdown, they had to keep switching. When a video feed wasn't available, the hosts would use audio feeds and desktop screencasts from various liveblogs and supplement the streaming material with their own comments.

During their presentation, the teens found the time to answer some questions from All Things D's Liz Gannes. A few of their responses:

Where are you finding feeds?

I would love to tell you but that is a trade secret :) That is what helps us do what we do. Most of the time the chat room and the Twittershpere come in very handy so I guess you would call it crowd sourcing.

What are you using to patrol Twitter so quickly?

I use an iOS app called Boxcar ( I believe) this sends me push notifications for new followers and @mentions. Other than that I just have the web client open on my MacBook.

Has anyone tried to shut your feed down that you know of?

Not that we know of but last time we did it we did crash uStream. They stayed down for around 10 minutes. This year they managed to keep up with us. We did have to cut the quality though, originally we were sending them a 700 Kb/s stream now we are sending them around 500 Kb/s. Both me and Joe are sure that Apple are watching us very closely though.

The two fanboys (on his Facebook profile, Coles notes that, born in 1994, he "is part of one of the first generations that has grown up with technology and the Internet") don't have day jobs, but that's probably good for the rest of us. They're teaming up to launch TechReboot soon. 

Image: John Coles.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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