Well I guess we are at the point where we are going to see many of the early pioneers of IT pass away now. I am nearly 60 and most of first rung CS leaders predate me by at least another 20 years. So it is time.
Yesterday we lost John McCarthy at 84. The unparalleled voice of Artificial Intelligence and the co-developer of the LISP programming language. He was known as a cankerous sort but an acknowledged leader in several fields. McCarthy unknown to many was also significant in developing core systems used by a firm called BBN. Lest you know, BBN was the hand maiden to the Internet, being the firm that DARPA turned to for turning a paper idea into a physical net reality.
Wired has more here.
A huge loss.
This blog has been up nearly 4 years. In that time we have been beating the drum that its the governemnt – telecom axis that has delayed US deployment of faster, better, cheaper services. Don’t take our word for it –
Why is European broadband faster and cheaper? Blame the government
If you’ve stayed with friends who live in European cities, you’ve probably had an experience like this: You hop onto their WiFi or wired internet connection and realize it’s really fast. Way faster than the one that you have at home. It might even make your own DSL or cable connection feel as sluggish as dialup.
You ask them how much they pay for broadband.
“Oh, forty Euros.” That’s about $56.
“A week?” you ask.
“No,” they might say. “Per month. And that includes phone and TV.”
It’s really that bad. The nation that invented the internet ranks 16th in the world when it comes to the speed and cost of our broadband connections. That’s according to a study released last year by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society on behalf of the Federal Communications Commission.
It’s not surprising that we lag behind such hacker havens as Sweden (number one worldwide, according to the study) and Finland (number seven), nor densely-populated Asian nations like Japan and South Korea (numbers three and four). But the U.S. also trails countries that are poor by European standards: Portugal is just ahead of us in 15th place; Italy is number 14. (The full rankings are on page 81 of the study.)
We’re barely behind of Portugal folks and by next survey we will have sunk even further. Count on that. We as a nation are sinking in the morass of a cabal that likes it the way it is. Its, the 4th of July, Ben Franklin would be pissed if he saw our current state of affairs.
Domain names and web hosting provider Go Daddy is reportedly on the verge of being acquired by private investors for up to $2.5bn.
The New York Post reported that a group led by Silver Lake Partners and KKR & Co plans to buy the closely held company for $1bn. The Associated Press later put the price tag at between $2bn and $2.5bn.
An official announcement of the deal could come as soon as tomorrow, these reports said.
This could be significant or nothing at all. It all depends on what the acquirers want to do with GoDaddy. My observation is, having paid a tad too much the buyer ratchets up rates in order to meet ROI and service is degraded. Hope it does not happen. GoDaddy is a top dog player in the name space game. You could practically eliminate ICANN and substitute GoDaddy and the transition would not be that big a deal. Such is the size of their touch in this Internet space.
You’ve probably heard the tales of the NetFlix swamping the interwebs. Right? Do you think it is so? Well give a read –
The portion of the network Netflix hogs is only the ISP’s edge connections – from a distribution hub to the house of Netflix’ subscribers.
The heaviest traffic is in spikes during one part of the day, which is irrelevant from a network-infrastructure standpoint. Even if the spike is only an hour, the network segment through which the spike passes still has to have enough capacity to handle it.
For the ISPs that is the good news, though they already know this and simply leave the good news out when complaining they must be allowed to throttle Netflix to avoid having their networks swamped.
Netflix doesn’t swamp the ISPs’ backbones or even their high-volume network spokes because its content is distributed and cached ahead of time. When it launches it travels only across the edge, vastly reducing the logic behind arguments by AT&T, Comcast and Verizon that they have to keep adding to their core networks to keep up with bandwidth-sucking competition from Netflix.
For the benefit of our readers who may not be net savvy. The ‘edge’ in net parlance is that last mile hop that has to be made from say the Dallas TelNet farm to my home in Arlington. There are several providers of ‘edge services’ where companies like Net Flix, Microsoft and others forward store content, files, programs, movies, etc. Akami and Amazon are examples of such vendors.
So in general, the backbone as the snippet above intones is hardly bruised. Fact what I think many ISPs complain about is that they did not think to get into the edge services business sooner. But then they thought that the entertainment channel bandwagon was going to go on forever. That’s where firms like Akami have eaten their lunch.
So the real gripe is that they did not think of it as a service offering. The fact that they are letting firms like NetFlix take the heat is just a salve for their bad marketing.
… There is typically a reaction. In the tech world that usually means competition develops in reaction to some stupid action on the part of a group of companies, or the government. I have alluded before that if the US government gets too restrictive and draconian about the directory service that binds the internet, someone else will offer to do so — like say China. Well guess what? We may not have to look too far for that solution –
Hello all #isp of the world. We’re going to add a new competing root-server since we’re tired of #ICANN. Please contact me to help.
- Peter Sunde via Twitter @brokep on November 27th, 23:08 PST.
Now before you say, “Could this happen?”, you ought to be asking “Could it work?”. The unequivocal answer is yes it could. If it can work then it will happen. The Internet has an anarchist bent to it and like life, ‘finds a way’.
A core group is already assembling. The technology to handle it is pretty mundane. Were just talking about P2P software. Most likely there would be a need to set up a separate trusted network with most of the attributes of Limewire. But its just a tweak of open code. The better challenge is in developing some client facing tools that would make it easier for the participants to tag the appropriate records in their own systems to make the local directories public. From there it is just a graft to make the .DotP2P the last entry in your DNS tables in the event that your primaries are forced down by whomever.
Ideal? Well my guess is the response time would truly suck during a network discovery phase. P2P has never been known for being performance enhanced, just fast enough. But for those sites that a user might frequent, cached tables would improve the response times.
For somebody like the government idiots at DHS, this presents one of the ultimate problems. There are no central servers to bring down specific sites like they did with the torrent and false good websites here recently. ISP’s will probably have a cow too. It makes their job that much harder trying to play the network management game.
Action. Reaction. If it gets implemented chalk another one up to the tech dudes.
Or more appropriately, ya got the $150k to be on the bidder list? –
Buy This Satellite says it’ll take $150,000 in contributions to place a successful bid on the orphaned Terrestar-1, at which point its orbit will be moved in order to supply a connection to countries in need—for free. The group also plans to manufacture and distribute cheap satellite modems to get people hooked up on the ground. A lot of financial and bureaucratic trudging will have to be accomplished between cash raised and internet unleashed, but it’s a wonderfully daring plan, and a noble one at at that. Countries like Papua New Guinea—which has an open orbital “slot” which the Terrestar-1 could move into—has internet access for only 2.1% of its population. A bus-sized router for the world’s poor and internet-less could do a whole lot of good
Nothing against an undeserved part of the planet get this high tech tool. But it would be even more fun for a while to slide that porker over to a NA geo sync for a couple of years just to poke it in the eye of the Comm Majors. Free sat links while they last. Then move over to a permanent slot situated in the SW Pacific. Just the pirate in me I guess.