* Posts by Jellied Eel

173 posts • joined 18 Aug 2008

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Net Neut: Verizon flips the bird to FCC on peering deal crackdown

Jellied Eel

"Um, why would Netflix agree to ongoing, recurring payments for a peering agreement when they could have simply have incurred a one-time cost by adding some hardware on their side? I believe it is because the missing resources were not on Netflix's side of the connection."

It's traditionally the way the Internet has worked, for better or worse. Peering was between "peers", ie other ISPs with some expectation of mutual benefit and equality. Naturally this begat peering wars, Tier-1 bragging and the Net Neutrality debate. If you're not a peer, you pay something towards the cost of delivering your bits. Netflix doesn't want to pay if it can help it because obviously that becomes an operating cost that eats into it's margins and profits. Situation gets a bit more complex when ISPs like Level 3 and Cogent are involved. But basically it's an issue with the way the money flows, and pretty much a plain cost to your ISP.

User > Netflix

Netflix -> Cogent/L3 <-ISP <-User

So double dipping is really from Netflix's transit providers, as unless the agree to free peering with the ISPs connected to them, the ISPs would also have to buy more transit from Cogent/L3.

"And again, um, isn't that how the Internet works? Users pay for a connection, then go out to external sites and exchange packets. Yes, when the packets consist of a video stream from Netflix the arrangement is pretty one-sided, but then this is >>EXACTLY<< what ISP's expect. My connection is rated for 50 Mb downstream, but only 5Mb up..."

Yes, to an extent. Unless you're a business user or running servers at home, usage patterns have pretty much always been asymmetric since the good'ol days of 1200/75 modems. Difference is the amount of traffic generated by traditional usage, ie email, web, VoIP, gaming and streaming large amounts of HD video content to millions of users. That's not something the Internet was ever really designed to do and just highlighted settlement problems. Which isn't something new and the voice world solved it over 100yrs ago. If originating/terminating traffic balances, costs net out, otherwise one side pays the other to reflect the costs of delivering the other parties traffic.

"Why does a packet from Netflix "cost more" to deliver to me than a packet due to downloading an ISO image from Debian?"

Assuming you're downloading from the same place, it wouldn't. Difference is you're probably not downloading those images every night. Just like I'm not downloading 11GB from Steam every day. Plus if there's congestion, your download can be slowed down and it'll just take a little while longer to complete. If it's video, the ISP probably has no control over the session and if there's congestion, playback stops and user blames their ISP. Or Netflix blames your ISP. Or your ISP blames their transit provider for not increasing capacity. Widespread video streaming massively increases capacity needed during peak busy hours, and if content providers won't contribute towards those costs, the only option is again to charge the user.

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Brit GUN NUT builds WORKING SNIPER RIFLE at home out of scrap metal!

Jellied Eel

I blame the empire!

Because it was large, made things up as it went along and invented the Imperial measurement system to annoy the French. A possible explanation for how various 'calibres' evolved went like this..

Back in the day guns were sized based on projectile weight, so 12-pounder, 17-pounder etc. So weight of shot defined barrel diameter. Then along came muskets and a need to standardise ammunition. So they derived from the gauge system used in shotguns still, ie a 12 gauge has a bore size of 1/12lb of lead formed into a sphere. Some old rifle/pistol calibres then got based on that, or dividing up an ounce of lead.

That kind of fits with tradition, but not sure how plausible it would be. It's a way to standardise calibres or ammunition manufacturing, but by that point in history it have been just as easy to work from measurement or gauges. I still envy our colonial cousin's ability to experiment with wildcat rounds though. Subject to state laws, BATF regs etc etc..

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Thought your household broadband was pants? Small biz has it worse

Jellied Eel

Re: A rock and a ransom strip.

Sometimes lack of decent connectivity can be blamed on business park developers. Namely they don't consider communications services when developing sites. Or they view those as services that should be bought through the Estate/FM company at a hefty premium. Otherwise as many estates are private property, trying to provide services means trying to negotiate wayleaves, often at a high cost. Or show us their shiney new comms/fibre distribution room and look put out when asked why they installed multimode to feed a 20 acre site.

If there were competitive and practical access to ducts, splice chambers etc etc, businesses on industrial or retail parks may get more choice but generally there's no incentive for providers to do that.

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Google+ to offer 'infinite' gender identity options

Jellied Eel

Re: Big Deal

But what if the completion checking sees "other" or "freeform" as incomplete forms and refuse to process my application? And come to think of it, why do these forms often ask me to submit? We're not all submissives you know!

And would it allow me to specify my identiy as

Ambivalent'); DROP TABLE PATIENTS; --

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Gigabit-over-copper VDSL successor G.fast signed off at last

Jellied Eel

As others have pointed out, a large part of the market are things like shopping centres, hotels, apartment blocks etc etc. There, it's about potential to re-use existing cabling, cabling distance, subscriber density, contention and all that good stuff. Plus avoiding OAM costs.

So wiring up Ethernet would mean installing additional ducts, cabling, wiring closets. Costs may vary depending on property type and building regs. So depending on building size, closet may need an Ethernet switch trunked back to one or preferably more main switches. Then each subscriber would need their own VLAN and some way to be able to point that VLAN at their chosen provider.. Unless you're not intending to give them any choice. And then it becomes a question of who'll manage and support that lot, especially if they're trying to manage multiple properties.

Then the ability to slap on a G.fast modem and having it work much the same way as a regular xDSL subscriber starts to look attractive. It's also a way to improve on existing pseudo-FTTH deliveries where the 'F' is really copper and the ASA lets ISPs get away with it. Where properties are dense enough, G.fast can aggregate subscriber connections back to a street cab & fibre conversion can happen there.

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What a pity: Rollout of hated UK smart meters delayed again

Jellied Eel

Too cheap to meter

Anyone remember that one? In telecomms, metering, billing and mucking out the suspense account is a painful and expensive exercise so reduced some costs by not bothering. So customers can just pay x a month and provider figures out if the mix of light vs heavy users means x is about right. No reason why energy companies couldn't do the same and offer S/M/L/Cannabis Farm bundles based on XXkWh/month. No need then to pish £12bn+ up the wall on 'smart meters'. After all, our brilliant energy policy from DECC means our energy is cheap & plentiful..

Oh, wait. It's not. Which is why Baroness Vermin talks about 'demand management' and reduction being the solution to our energy market. So the only smart thing about the meters is an ability to disconnect them when demand exceeds supply and customers have been foolish enough not to pay a premium for an uninterruptable supply contract.

If however the lil displays did something more useful than emulating a 1950's meter, and showed a rates feed from competing suppliers.. That may actually be a consumer benefit and could save consumers some money, but that's not the objective here.

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GOOAALLL! Back of the net! 'Millions of dollars' score .football gTLD

Jellied Eel

Re: .football

No, cue letter to NFL asking them for large amounts of money to buy the premium domain, nfl.football

Then followup letter from NFL's lawyers pointing out that if anyone but NFL tries using that domain, donuts would get deep-fried in court. And they'll offer $10/yr for nfl.football and sell miami and dolphins.nfl.football to the club owners for $$$$.

I'm unconvinced many of the new tld owners will ever make their money back given the typical user will just type 'miami dolphins' into their search box and not care about the tld. Or if brand owners will really bother registering their brands given they're protected anyway. Some will no doubt convince themselves, and the Internet has long shown there's money to be made by never underestimating the gullibility of it's users.

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Androids in celluloid – which machine deserves the ULTIMATE MOVIE ROBOT title?

Jellied Eel

No flesh shall be spared

M.A.R.K. 13 from Hardware. An oldy but a goodie. Bad robot, Angry Bob and Lemmy as your cab driver. What more could you want?

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BOFH: An UNHOLY MATCH forged amid the sweet smell of bullsh*t

Jellied Eel

Re: What's a female BOFH?

Bob, until they've survived their probationary period. Or in exceptional circumstances where your own survival is less certain, call them whatever they'd like.

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Antares apocalypse: Orbital points finger at turbopump FAIL

Jellied Eel

Re: Some perspective on this

"When you put these facts together with Orbital's lack of experience in rockets, you have to wonder why NASA awarded them a contract in the first place."

Anyone looked at Orbital's board/investor list? Otherwise elements of this quote spring to mind-

Rockhound: You know we're sitting on four million pounds of fuel, one nuclear weapon and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder. Makes you feel good, doesn't it?

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Pitchforks at dawn! UK gov's Verify ID service FAILS to verify ID

Jellied Eel

Re: Experian

You were lucky. They asked me to confirm the value of a loan I hadn't taken out. Some ranting and assistance from the DPR later, it turns out they'd confused me with someone else with the same name. And would I like to pay for one of their services so I could correct their records for them.

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'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster

Jellied Eel

Re: They call this progress?

It's one of those things where I'd love to hear the rationale for the design. Someone made a conscious effort to turn a supercomputer into furniture, as seen here-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cray-1#mediaviewer/File:Cray-1-UIUC_CAC.jpg

which spawned lables saying 'Please do not sit on the supercomputer'. Back then, we had upholstery, now we have differentiation by way of designer rack doors. Plus there are still latency advantages from the old-school toroidal designs vs generic 19" rack layouts.

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Jellied Eel

They call this progress?

Cray-1 at least came with seating.

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Dyslexic, dyspraxic? No probs, says GCHQ

Jellied Eel

Re: well I blame the management.

Classic example from the wiki definition of dyspraxia-

"Many dyspraxics benefit from working in a structured environment, as repeating the same routine minimises difficulty with time-management and allows them to commit procedures to long-term memory."

Alternatively, a management that understands the issues could create an environment structured to maximise performance of the individual, and minimises the stress. Which is what GCHQ appear to be doing by recognising they can get exceptionally skilled individuals. They're not alone in doing this, but it does take a bit more effort from management to understand and support them.

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Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables

Jellied Eel

Re: some South American country

"Then they ran the new cable sideways (east) to Whats-it-stan."

That sounds like a standard branching unit for a new customer. Ideally you want to get those on board when the system's being designed because post-installation it means getting cable ships, cutting the cable and more cost/risk.

There's some videos on YT and Hibernia Atlantic's website showing how the subsea cable stuff works. Some of it seems crude, ie cutting anchors but done by specialists on some very special ships.

There was a point where industry was complaining about the O&M (maintenance costs) on subsea capacity and trying to squeeze costs. So was challenging sometimes to explain those charges paid to keep the cable ships crewed and ready to deal with faults. Some were in danger of going bust, but the increase in offshore wind farms helped generate new business. But also means they may be busy on other jobs. If you're buying wet capacity, always use protection as finding and fixing faults is really possible inside a day.

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Jellied Eel

Relevant bit is called a branching unit, eg Huawei BU1650 which is basically a switch/splitter that works usually with an amp/repeater to split signals off to drop at a landing station. They can be attached to the cable offshore, otherwise the cables are built through the landing stations in sections with the PFE and SLTs (Submarine Laser Terminals) powering and lighting each section. Adding one could get tricky given the power and optical signals are closely watched and cuts detectable very quickly. Then fire a TDR test from landing stations both ends of the cable to measure how far along the cable the cut is and send the co-ordinates to a cable ship to start looking for the cut.

They use either an ROV to visually follow and inspect the cable so may send a picture back of something unexpected. Alternatively the cable ship hooks up the section where the damage is, or cuts either side and splices a new cable section in. If there's an unexpected cable hanging off it, that would easily be noticed. Old copper cables could allegedly be clamped and monitored with the clamps detaching if they were disturbed.

For fibre, the idea of a parasitic clamp that could monitor a fibre without cutting it is less plausible. You could possibly do it via microbends but they'd require exposing the fibre which is in the middle of the cable surrounded by the cladding, armor wire and chunky copper power core. Which on a long distance cable like a transatlantic or transpacific one would probably be running 30-50kV DC. Exposing that to sea water could allow rapid detachment via the resulting short and steam explosion.

If you're not running the tap cable back to your own landing station, you'd then have to manage the data. That's not hundreds of megabits, it's usually n x 10/40/100Gbps. So an off-shore data logger would need to be a combination of DWDM mux, DPI system and storage, which would need it's own power and communications. Perhaps this is where the Google barges ended up? ULF isn't exactly practical if you're trying to send data transmitted originally at Ghz via ULF at a a few hundred hertz, or a few bits per second. That could involve rather a lot of buffering.

But if all those challenges are overcome, then it would be possible. A while ago I did look into the practicality of creating an off-shore PoP with a mux and router. Operating Juniper or Cisco at those depths would be tricky, not to mention voiding their warranties. They don't include deep-sea divers in their SmartNet contracts either.

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TROUT and EELS in SINISTER PACT to RULE the oceans

Jellied Eel
Terminator

Re: Hope

Indeed. Nothing to see here, move along. Isn't that a new iShiney over there? If you're quick you can buy one. Meatbag,

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LOHAN gets laughing gear round promotional mug

Jellied Eel

Re: Mug??

Mine's the diet version. But looks like the glass issue is resolved. So that would be errm.. nearly 200ml of Whiskey :)

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Jellied Eel
Pint

Re: Mug??

Still fine for café irlandés and if using the official 2 parts whiskey to 4 parts coffee, ideal for getting a drunken buzz on..

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LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!

Jellied Eel

Re: Explosives factory

Stretch goal!

Best way to beat bureaucracy is enjoin it in shenanigans. Probably find you could get EU development grants to cover sheds and a few berms.

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Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy

Jellied Eel

Re: Please

"I have no opinion on this person as regards his character, motives,"

Motives? He's got another book coming out soon so needs to get back in the news.

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Brit kids match 45-year-old fogies' tech skill level by the age of 6

Jellied Eel
Flame

6 year olds have the same tech skills as a 45 year old because modern UI's seem to have been designed for them. Bold colors easily stabbed with little fingers for instant gratification. Want to know more? Well, did you buy the support contract, or call our premium rate number for help.

Case in point. In World of Tanks, there'd been some network tweaks and a claim that altering TCP parameters improved UDP peformance and fixed 'lag'. Which sounded weird. And some claimed it had improved things. Which sounded weirder. But this is on Windows so I figured I'd have a quick poke to figure out why. My first mistake was that if I could find a network settings widget it'd show me all of them, maybe in the control panel, hopefully under 'network'.. But this is Windows. One is not meant to look under the hood.

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Danes cram 43 Tbps down ONE fibre using ONE laser

Jellied Eel

Re: Impressive

Abstract here, paper is paywalled-

"We demonstrate 43-Tbit/s transmission over 67.4-km seven-core fiber using a single source. Each of the 6 outer cores carries 6 Nyquist-WDM channels using 320-Gbaud Nyquist-OTDM-PDM-QPSK 330-GHz spaced, and the center core carries 10-GHz clock pulses."

It's not a fibre type that's in the ground, ITU-standardised or widely available. Good news is it's a reasonable distance, but may be bad news if your network has spans >60kms. Real-world applications would come down to cost. As the author says, currently you can lay 144f or 288f and that's pretty cheap. By using 7 fibres, you could do the same thing, and if that works out cheaper or gives you greater capacity, you'd likely go that route. Where it may get more interesting is with submarine cables. Those typically have much lower fibre counts due to mechanical challenges with attaching the 'torpedoes' containing amp/regen electronics to the cable.

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Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins

Jellied Eel

Beware of heresies

What's needed is a network that's designed to deal with a mix of voice, video, other real-time apps and some flavors of data. It should be able to offer 'permanent' paths for defined endpoints like Ethernet pseudo-wires or VPNs, and temporary paths for things like bulk data transfers. It should offer some form of congestion control and management and be dynamically reconfigurable. To some, this will sound like SDN. To others, perhaps older and more cynical, ATM. The Internet. Re-inventing the wheel since at least 1876..

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You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary

Jellied Eel

Useful end of the slippery slope

"..its warning emails will now include a link to purchase a copy of the illegally downloaded content."

This could be handy. So if I download a bit of Game of Thrones, will the link let me buy a legal DVD/Blu-ray now-ish? Like not having to wait until Feb 2015?

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YES: Scotland declares independence ... from the dot co dot uk empire

Jellied Eel

Re: Another money earning scam

Confused. Press release claiming a glorious day for the techno-scot. But nic.scot appears to be sitting in.. Bulgaria?

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Jellied Eel

Re: alt.swedish.chef.bork.bork.bork

.alba was blocked by Albania for passing off and to avoid confusion.

.sco forked to .ibm and .nov and may still be in dispute resolution.

.wee and .eck are available from alternative registrars. Premiums apply to golden registrations.

.midge is reserved for the Scottish Air Force.

According to ISO 3166-2:GB it should be .sct anyway.

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We got behind the wheel of a Tesla S electric car. We didn't hate it

Jellied Eel

Re: domestic power....

"It would seem that once there is a critical mass of chargers (for transit) and sinks (for domestics), the grid will have a reserve capacity not unlike a big dam.."

I think these are two of the biggest challenges (aside from cost). Teslas's rolling out it's Superchargers which cut filling times to more realistic levels, but not petrol/diesel convenience. Plus the challenges of managing high current charging and battery life. Potential problem there is they'll only be for Tesla's vehicles at present. Fair play to Musk for getting on and doing it but incompatible charging infrastructure will increase cost and reduce take up.

For domestic, the pitch seems to be buy a Tesla and a SolarCity solar charger/storage system using Tesla batteries. That's fine if the panels charge the store batteries ready to charge your car when you get home in the evening. If not, then demand isn't going to match solar profiles, so there'll probably be an increased night-time demand.

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YouTube in shock indie music nuke: We all feel a little less worthy today

Jellied Eel

Net neutrality

Google has long been a champion of net neutrality and the concept that all content is created equal. There should be no preferential treatment because that may lead to a 2-tiered 'net where rich companies can squeeze out the smaller operators. Google has spent years (and millions) lobbying for these rights, and creating a 2-tiered royalty system for YT is just demonstrating how sincerely it holds these views.

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D-Wave disputes benchmark study showing sluggish quantum computer

Jellied Eel

Re: Seems they are playing the old school definition of a "computer"

What do you get if you multiply six by nine?

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YouTube will nuke indie music videos in DAYS, says Google exec

Jellied Eel

Don't forget..

"Oh good, so it's gonna be just <pop tartlet du jour> and <ageing rock "icon"> from now on."

And endless Mars and Twix ads.. It's the Interwebz. Your stuff is free so we'll make money from it!

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British boffin tells Obama's science advisor: You're wrong on climate change

Jellied Eel

Re: Mathematician vs. a "Real" Scientist...

I'm confused. Which one is meant to be the "actual climate scientist"? One is Holdren, who's thesis was titled-

COLLISIONLESS STABILITY OF AN INHOMOGENEOUS, CONFINED, PLANAR PLASMA

who drifted from physics to poltics with the odd collision along the way. Notably the infamous Simon-Erlich wager which Holdren advised Erlich about. And lost. Holdren also co-authored a book with Erlich which contained some radical ideas about overpopulation. The other is Dr Screen, who..

"...leads a three-year project entitled “Arctic Climate Change and its Mid-latitude Impacts”, in collaboration with the UK Meteorological Office Hadley Centre and the US National Center for Atmospheric Research."

One's a specialist, the other's a politician and bureaucrat. But given climate science is largely about the numerical analysis of weather and climate data, who would you think more likely to produce credible results, the mathmatician or the politician?

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London commuter hell will soon include 'one card to rule them all'

Jellied Eel

"If everyone used ITSO on the underground, gate-lines would suddenly have enormous queues behind them and stations would close due to overcrowding."

Alternatively we could do as the Czech's do and have a carrot and stick system. Buy a card, activate it, walk freely onto the underground. Stick comes in if you get caught fare dodging, which means they have more *people* on the network keeping an eye on things and fewer machines.

Of course this means there are fewer people getting paid to run those machines, skim transaction charges or just analyze gigabytes of passenger information to work out where bottlenecks may exist. Or just people who are x hrs away from home, where the next Amazon ticket office conversion should be. Or correlating data from wifi & phone info to make targetted mailing lists. Your phone + person who is not your wife's phone take a cab to the west end, then to a hotel so wife gets added to mailing lists for lawyers and PIs. The possibilities are endless, especially when 'cost overruns' (this is goverment IT) mean 'exciting data sharing opportunities' are explored.

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Yet another reason to skip commercials: Microsoft ad TURNS ON your Xbox One

Jellied Eel

Re: Somewhat deceitful if not downright false advertising

"Advert is all about voice commands and ends with "XBoxOne- Now £349" ...which would be the kinectless version ...and you need Kinect for voice commands."

I blame marketing. If you want to gauge audience participation, what better way than to make sure your analytics collector is enabled and capable of sending audio/video at the start of an ad. Or finding out which channels Xbone owners prefer. As MS put it when they flogged Atlas to Facepalm-

"Perhaps more important than anything, five-plus years ago we did not have the stable of mature owned & operated media/screen assets with global reach that we now have, including: Xbox/Kinect, Skype, Bing, Windows Phone, a new and improved MSN that delivers premium ad experiences, and last but certainly not least, Windows 8 applications.

Our vision has evolved. We want to stay laser focused on building devices and services that we believe will represent the advertising platforms of the future."

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Psst. We've got 400Gb/s Ethernet working - but don't tell anyone

Jellied Eel

Re: Reg's standard for this?

"I think you'll find 40Gbps is incredibly popular among those who need it. The reason you may not have seen much of it is that very few people do need it."

I work on the supply side and haven't seen a request for 40G in a long time. That's on the WAN rather than LAN though. Reason I'm sceptical is historical. 40G was ok for older systems that worked on Nx10G wavelengths, newer systems use Nx25G which is one of the reasons why 100G is standardising around 100GBase-xR4. On the line-side flexible grids (ITU-T G.694) using PM-QPSK are running 500Gbps and 9Tbps+ on a single pair. So generally 40G isn't a convenient or efficient fit with modern muxes. 400G may work as in interim 4x100 solution but again less efficient it you end up wasting 100G on a line card. 1Tbps is possible now with 2xOSCs between compatible telcos, which generally means another DTN-X user. More info here-

https://www.infinera.com/technology/files/infinera-IEEE-Meeting-Superchannels.pdf

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Jellied Eel

Re: Reg's standard for this?

Bindun-

"The company says that this bandwidth is sufficient for 50,000 simultaneous high definition Netflix video streams."

So 400Gbps = 50KNvs. Which may not be a lot depending on how many of Netflix's 44m subscribers stream concurrently. I suspect industry may skip 400Gbps as they pretty much did 40Gbps in favor of 1Tbps Ethernet.

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Greenpeace rejoices after getting huge renewable powerplant CANCELLED

Jellied Eel

Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

"..but there is an incredibly large amount of concrete in dams with the associated CO2 emissions."

Only during production. Once it's installed, concrete *absorbs* CO2 making calcium carbonate. Check out what happened to Biosphere 2, where not realising this created a few problems.

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Jellied Eel

Re: Renewable is OK but...

"Not bad, only 7 readers so far who never get from behind their desk and only know how nature looks from those nice wallpapers on their desktops... Here, have a FAIL icon...."

Ooh, a pretty forest that could have been replaced with ooh, a pretty lake. No matter, thanks to Greenpeace Chile can mine coal instead, or cut forests for woodchip fuel.

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MIGHTY SOLAR FLARES fail to DESTROY CIVILISATION. Yes!

Jellied Eel

Re: Stone Age?

"Telecomms is similar, except that it's rarely copper and even more rarely DC coupled these days. Most of the long-distance internet is optical fiber."

True. Sometimes there may be a locator/tracer wire in the duct to aid location which could be vulnerable to induction currents. If the cable's direct buried, there may be risks from currents in armour wire or possibly DC power in the cable. That's less common in Europe given it's usually a lot easier/cheaper to route via habitation and power amp/regen kit from utility power. Locator wires aren't always used though on 'cost saving grounds', but where they are, spans can be 40-80km long for the fibre sections but wires usually shorter to prevent high induction currents.

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UK govt preps World War 2 energy rationing to keep the lights on

Jellied Eel

Re: Power storage?

"Why do you say "more storage is economic insanity" when we are currently paying generators to NOT supply electricity e.g. times when demand is low and wind output is high?"

That's a different form of economic insanity. The renewables lobby is ok with it because they get paid either way.

"If we had some means to store the surplus energy [1] at those times it would effectively be free electricity, which means that the round trip efficiency doesn't matter that much (in "market" terms anyway)."

Some people do, for example anyone with Economy 7. That was intended to solve a different problem of too much base load capacity. That could be used with minor tweaks to store surplus energy but doesn't really solve the grid problems when there's an energy shortage. It also wouldn't be free given the way the market's rigged. The surplus energy would be the most expensive given it's original generation cost plus the storage and transmission costs.

"You don't have to store it as electricity. If you took a "big picture" engineering rather than economics view of this, it's entirely possible to store the surplus energy *before* it's turned into electricity, e.g. offshore wind being used offshore to compress gas, lift weights, etc."

But if we're talking about the current wind fleet, they're blades attached to generators in the nacelles. They're designed to generate electricity, nothing else. Converting them to use mechanical energy to do work would mean drastic redesigns to the whole system, so more costs and inefficiencies. Wind pumps have been around for centuries though so could be used for pumped hydro. But once you've dumped the water because there's a blocking high, where do you get the energy from to refill the store?

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Jellied Eel

Re: The future's bright then...

"Even now I'm looking out my kipper tie and flares, and growing my sideburns in, since everything seems to have turned so very f***ing 1970s."

What you really need is a smock, some nice wool trews and a horse and cart. Our 21st Century government is taking us right back to the 1770s. You're a farmer who rocks up to the miller with a cart load of grain. The miller points at the non-moving sails and tells you to come back next wednesday. Or the miller may have a 1-2hp backup generator if you're lucky. Fast forward 250yrs and businesses will be studying weather forecasts to try to match production with the weather, customer demand and cash flow. And %deity help them if they're from the Met Office, but at least they may soon rhyme.

Workers can listen to the work forecasts to see if it's worth heading into work, or just going to buy more candles. Assuming you can buy them given they're often paraffin wax. Although that may be why environmentalists want wetlands re-introduced so the peasents can buy rush or reed candles.

21st Century Energy policy is like the industrial revolution never happened.

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Jellied Eel

Re: Power storage?

Because it's economic insanity. Check DECC's report here-

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/223940/DECC_Electricity_Generation_Costs_for_publication_-_24_07_13.pdf

which models generation costs. It leaves a few things out but has CCGT @£80/MWh, FOAK nuclear @£90/MWh and then renewables ranging from £101-158/MWh. So even with a very generous set of assumptions, renewables are the most expensive form of generation. Then because renewables aren't (wind/solar) despatchable, ie able to be spun up/down in response to demand changes we have to spend on either CCGT (or even diesel gensets) to provide power when the wind isn't blowing or it's dark.

Storage could be a solution, but it would simply add the storage costs onto the cost of an already expensive product. Converting to hydrogen isn't storage, it's conversion of electricity into a gas that would then have to be moved somewhere it could be used. Hydros already used in UK, but we'd need a lot more of it to cope with long duration lulls in wind/wave generation. So basically it's a solution looking for a problem. Cheapest solution would be CCGT and nuclear/coal, especially if the £18/MWh carbon tax was removed from CCGT, and if gas prices fall as a result of EU fraccing.

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Netflix agrees to end network warnings in Verizon slowdown spat

Jellied Eel

Shared customers?

"Netflix should say, "You are right Verizon, a direct connect would be better for out shared customers, you can drop free interconnects off at [insert NetFlix DC address here]"

And once they've done that for NetFlix, they can do that for me. This is about neutrality after all. Every ISP uses shared interconnects. The 'Tier-1' ISPs though are transit-free, which means unlike NetFlix, they don't pay "some of the world's largest transit networks" to deliver content. And I suppose it's a bit embarassing when those networks fail to deliver. Or when NetFlix fails to deliver the content their customers have paid for. Those subscription fees aren't shared, which is where the problem lies and the special pleading begins.

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SpaceX 'Dragon V2' ROCKET PODULE can hover-land on Earth - or MARS

Jellied Eel

Re: It's empty!

..steam gauges and magnetic core memory. Early NVRAM. It was functional. The interior of the Dragon does look rather sparse, presumably because the passengers can't really do much during ascent & descent to fly the pod? But hopefully this will make turning the space station into a waystation for a manned Moon or Mars base easier.

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Jellied Eel

Funding challenge sorted

"Musk announced that the V2 can transport up to seven ‘nauts.. You will be able to land anywhere on Earth with the accuracy of a helicopter,”

Or 4 Space Marines with their equipment. Once the trademarks are resolved. Impressive bit of technology though.

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WTF is NET NEUTRALITY, anyway? And how can we make everything better?

Jellied Eel

Re: "it can't really work any other way"

TOS bits are used extensively, or more accurately the IP Prec bits. TOS morphed into DiffServ/DSCP, the networks morphed into MPLS. The IP Prec bits get mapped onto the MPLS EXP bits and voila, IP Networks have a QoS capability as envisaged all those years ago in RFC791. Only the first 3 bits matter, the rest get TOSsed. These are also the bits some Net Neuts want to ban so the Internet can remain best efforts.

Shortest path also doesn't really matter for Netflix-style streaming. Shorter the path, the lower the latency so mostly relevant for real-time apps. CDNs are/were popular not to reduce latency, but cost. Stick a CDN box in an IX location and your connectivity costs drop to the cost of patching and peering/transit across a building vs sending lots of copies of the same content across a mass of expensive connections from a centralised server farm. Which may be somewhere stupid like Ireland. Nice for tax reasons, not so good if you're intending to push packets across the whole of Europe cheaply.

4
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UK.gov data sell-off row: HMRC denies claims it'll flog YOUR private info

Jellied Eel

Joined up government

So in another article, trials for GP patient data selli.. I mean sharing are under way. HMRC want to sell.. I mean share our data. This is perfectly reasonable, and how else are private medical companies going to know how high to set our premiums, or charge us for treatments? It would be incredibly inefficient to ask more than we could afford, unless they partnered with credit companies..

Anyway HMRC are good at sharing data. They sent me mine quite promptly. Shame their cover letter told me it was in response to 'my FOI request', which normally excludes personal data. And I'd asked under the DPA, which requires data holders to hold reasonably limited and accurate data. And imagine my suprise when I found errors, like starting employment with one company the day after I'd left it. And imagine my disappointment that they wouldn't put this data into their tax return forms, so I could check it for them.

5
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RIP net neutrality? FCC mulls FAST LANES for info superhighway

Jellied Eel

Re: An open question to the anti-net-neutrality crowd:

"Please explain why net neutrality is bad for me."

Mr Orlowski already went some way towards explaining why it's potentially bad. RFC791. The Internet Protocol-

There are no mechanisms to augment end-to-end data reliability, flow control, sequencing, or other services commonly found in host-to-host protocols. The internet protocol can capitalize on the services of its supporting networks to provide various types and qualities of service.

The pro-neutrality people argue that all packets should be treated equally, so should remain a best efforts network. The RFC should be revised to say the internet protocol cannot capitalize on the services of it's supporting networks because this is politically unacceptable to some lobbyists. If your real-time apps suffer because people are streaming or downloading, that's just too bad and the price you pay for an equitable, neutral Internet.

Reality is there are strong technical reasons to use the network to differentiate traffic based on requirement. The Internet community recognises this and there's another RFC, 2474 which explains how traffic could be managed. But only on private networks it seems. Enabling this on the public networks would arguably be beneficial, but the pro-neutrality lobbyists don't seem to want it.

The rest is largely an economics and education problem. Enabling QoS on the public Internet would allow differentiated rate plans. If you don't want video or voice, take a basic <=XXMbps Best Efforts service. If you want video, take a service with <=8Mbps of AF4 assigned. If you're getting VoIP, throw in 100Kbps of EF and you can make a phone call or two depending on your codec. This is all stuff we've been doing in industry for years, even across peering connections, but only really for private IP networks. Then it's just arguing the rates per class.

That shouldn't need to be a complex argument. Regulators have used principles like RAND and FRAND to determine market behaviours, especially in monopoly or SMP conditions. Rates are published and applied in a non-discriminatory fashion and neutrality remains, other than larger players being able to get volume-based discounts. Operator's own services get tested using EOI (Equivalence of Input) to (try and) ensure fairness. Users get a better quality experience and a choice of something other than best efforts. Do you really think this is a bad thing?

And as for-

and above all else that no internet provider is allowed to prioritize packets from services they own above those of services from competing providers.

Not even the routing and control protocol traffic required to maintain your network's stability?

0
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AT&T and Netflix get into very public spat over net neutrality

Jellied Eel

Re: Fees for requiring unneeded trips

"You could all be watching the same copy, rather than downloading it from Netflix separately. Netflix has these cache boxes, and provides them to the ISPs for free. But AT&T and Comcast refuse to take them, instead insisting that Netflix stream each copy separately from Amazon's datacenters - multiplying by thousands the bandwidth unnecessarily. This is as bad "

Yes, but it's Netflix's choice complicated by Amazon's choice of location for it's datacentres. So Netflix has cache boxes. They're not free, they require space, power, cooling and bandwidth. If Netflix wants those services, most ISPs offer them as collocation and transit and charge accordingly. There are also potential neutrality implications. If ISPs offer this free to the market leader, should they also offer the same terms to any other content provider? If ISPs offer CDN services, why wouldn't Netflix use those rather than forcing proprietary systems on operators? And if ISPs do special deals for Netflix, wouldn't that be potentially anti-competitive behaviour and harm the companies like Akami etc who've invested in CDN? If there were a common caching standard and protocols, wouldn't that make life easier for everyone?

As for Amazon, that's another example of where Netflix may have made a bad decision. AWS and CloudFront for Europe are located just outside Dublin. That may be attractive for tax reasons, but isn't exactly central for Europe and costs more for capacity than more traditional locations like London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris etc. Why would ISPs pay to increase capacity to Ireland to benefit Netflix, and also Amazon when both compete with operators CDN, content and compute services.

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