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* Posts by TomS_

26 posts • joined 30 Sep 2011

Catch cack-handed baggage handlers in the act with Ericsson's SPY SUITCASE

TomS_

No liability

Pitty airlines don't actually accept any liability for damage to your luggage during transit.

Otherwise being able to prove they mishandled it might actually be worth the effort and presumed expense.

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Facebook reveals open network gear to drive WEDGE between itself and Cisco

TomS_

Tech companies moving slow?

I dont think its fair to say that tech companies move slow. I think its rather much the opposite - these large social network companies are moving too quick, that is, much quicker than the rest of the industry when it comes to network growth.

Something that is important not to forget is that companies like Facebook and Google are building networks that are not "normal" in scale. They are trying to build networks that are bigger than any other company is trying to build, and they are trying to build them much faster.

So if anything, tech companies only appear to move slow only by comparison. Really, they are simply outpaced. And its not like its an industry wide problem, its a small number of companies with exceptional growth.

One of Junipers biggest routing platforms is the PTX5000. It will take 384 10GigE ports, or 32 100GigE interfaces, or some combination in between. Its pretty much a full rack in itself (and Ive personally installed a couple.) Juniper had plans for a bigger model, the PTX9000, which would basically have been two PTX5000's side by side in one unit (on wheels!) You cant buy it, and theres scant information about it, though if you search for it you'll find a hint or two here and there. But they never produced it, and probably because there are very few companies looking for a router that big. And the ones that do need it are so few and far between that they couldnt possibly make decent enough returns out of it. Maybe we'll see it come about in a few years time.

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Enraged by lengthy Sky broadband outage? Blame BT Openreach cable thieves

TomS_

Re: A simple suggestion

I believe Fiber is the American spelling.

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TomS_

Re: @Bluenose

They should just not accept random blobs of molten or even compacted copper in that particular respect, because where it comes from is less likely to be traceable.

Want to bring in copper for recycling? Please bring it in original form. At least then any original tracing features that could be applied in a number of ways would be in tact.

But, one day one of them will cut through a fibre cable that is just beyond an amplifier, look at it wondering where all of the copper is, and burn a few holes in his vision in the process. That will serve him right.

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Things that cost the same as coffee with Tim Cook - and are WAY more fun

TomS_
WTF?

Re: Let's see

So you want to buy tanks and guns, but no ammo?

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Facebook plans globe-spanning hardware deployment

TomS_

Re: facebook should copy netflix

So then when Amazon breaks, basically the rest of the Internet breaks with it. So when you cant watch TV because NetFlix is busted, you also cant talk to friends, or find anything else to do. Sounds great, where do I sign up?

</sarcasm>

Lumping everything together in one basket is not how you encourage innovation, and its not how you save money. When one company holds all of the cards, they have little incentive to offer it cheaper, or do anything more fancy than what they are already doing.

Competition causes innovation and lower prices by forcing everyone to try and outsmart each other.

And besides, Googles network is far too big and voluminous to fit inside Amazon.

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Elon Musk and PayPal chum quit Zuckerberg's immigration gang

TomS_
Stop

Re: a very smart team of political operatives

Theres no such thing as free. What you get for "free" will be paid for by someone else, in one way or another.

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Apple's next OS X said to be targeted at 'power users'

TomS_
Paris Hilton

I for one ...

... hope they will get rid of the stupid Launchpad thing, and bring back Dashboard on new Macs. Or at least let me choose what I want.

Dashboard was infinitely more useful for myself than Launchpad, since I can more than easily launch an app using the Command-Space combination to bring up Spotlight.

On the Dashboard I have many clocks and other little widgets that I like speedy access to with a dedicated key. As it is I have to access it through Launchpad which is pointless.

I did send this to Apple, hopefully many others did too and they get the message. I did the same when they switched the hardware switch from rotation lock to mute on the iPad and they seemed to change it afterwards to give you a choice of what you wanted it to do. The last two versions of OS X seemed to become far too "consumery" for me, to the point I started contemplating whether I would bother with Macs in the future.

I never bothered with Lion, but Mountain Lion seems a little better.

Paris because its all first world problems. Walked past a bunch of homeless people sleeping on the street on the way home tonight, and here I am bitching about how my €3000 laptop doesn't do what I want it to.

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FCC Chairman Genachowski to step down

TomS_
Mushroom

Re: Feel Sorry For Him

Depends who you ask. Some of his policies are nothing more than token gestures.

Case in point:

http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/FCC-1-Gbps-Challenge-Just-Another-Hollow-FCC-Promise-122820

The worst bit about this news is that he is "joining the industry" which to me sounds like "becoming a lobbyist." That means he'll now be peddling the crap the incumbents try to use to prevent and stifle competition.

He was probably better off as head of the FCC doing nothing at all.

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Reg readers reveal MIGHTY DOMESTIC DATA CENTRES

TomS_
Coat

When you need a diagram ...

... to remember how your home network is set up, then you know you're in trouble.

I dread the power bills these people must get.

I appreciate there is value in having lots of gear at home to play with, because I have a small but growing lab of Juniper and Cisco routers, but its only on as long as I need it. Plus its just too damn noisy to leave running.

Over the past 6 or so years my home network has significantly shrunk. I used to have two routers and two switches, and two servers. Now all I have a single combo router/firewall/switch device (Juniper SRX110) and a single box running ESXi. When I go to work all day supporting this stuff in "the real world" the last thing I want to do is come home and support more of it.

And on that note I leave you with: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcOTcJUh8gA

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Virgin Media keeps mum as punters fume at crippled web access

TomS_
Facepalm

Re: What *is* going on at VM towers ?

Isnt it amazing that the people you rely on to support your Internet related problems, dont even seem to know anything about the Internet.

You would think that anyone doing a job would at least be interested in the stuff they are doing enough to investigate and even play around with it...

Or maybe I just dont understand the "I dont want to be one of the unemployed statistic" mentality... :-/

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Orange boasts: We made Google PAY US for traffic

TomS_
Stop

eh?

I don't think this is Google paying FT/O to deliver their data with any kind of priority, it just sounds like settlement based peering to me.

Not all incumbent telcos will peer for free, because if they peer with one network for free, then they'll have to peer with all the others for free as well. But the incumbent rarely gives anything away for free, so everyone pays to connect, no exceptions.

I am informed this is quite common, particularly in Europe.

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Which qualifications are worthwhile?

TomS_

Choose a field

You say you're into building PCs and mucking around with networks, but these are two very distinct fields in the real world. You'll have to pick one of them, or you'll never really be good at either of them.

While its more than possible to be a jack of all trades without any kind of specialisation, these two fields are vast enough that trying to be a jack of all trades in both of them will really leave you as a master of nothing - IMO.

Speaking from experience, I followed the networking route (excuse the pun) and chose not to specialise in any particular portion of it - I'm not a switching expert, I don't know BGP inside out, and I can only just fumble my way through troubleshooting SDH circuits. But, I've done enough of everything to have even a faint clue about them all if someone asks me a question or starts talking to me about it.

And this is without really having paid much attention to computer hardware and software development over the past 8-10 years - networking and telecomms are just as fast paced as the computer side that one of them is going to end up consuming more, or too much of your time to get good enough at the other to make yourself useful at it.

Figure out which one it is that tickles your fancy more, and throw yourself at it with all your might. The last thing the industry needs is more people who, although they have the right intentions, just have no clue because they are trying to do too much (sorry if that sounds harsh.)

FWIW I have worked in technical roles at several ISPs in Australia since 2004, and am now based in Europe. I have a lab at home consisting of several Cisco and Juniper routers and a server running ESXi, enough to set up a small ISP in my bedroom (and I have done so, to get a better understanding of how it all works.) That's what I mean by throwing yourself at your chosen field. You're going to have to get "geeky" and spend time and money outside of work to play around with stuff to really understand it. My job may be 9-5, but learning is perpetual.

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Are your landlines buried in the stone age?

TomS_

Re: RE: If your data network is crap, you'll have a crap VoIP experience

VoIP and data can easily co-exist on the same physical infrastructure. You just have to configure QoS appropriately.

QoS requires the right gear, good quality gear, you cant just chuck in any bargain basement switch and expect it to work well under load.

FWIW my most recent two employers (which includes my current one) both use an IPT solution in their offices. The handsets and PCs share the same switches and backhaul/backbone network, and voice quality is superb. Separate networks are not strictly necessary, but can be used for other reasons like failure domains - an outage affecting the data network doesnt affect voice.

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BT broadband goes TITSUP - cripples Scots, Geordies, Northern Irish

TomS_

Re: Single Point of Failure

This sounds like a recent bug that existed in Juniper T series routers, whereby installing an FPC would cause an upset somewhere in the system (I dont recall exactly where), and cause the entire box to stop forwarding traffic.

The company I work for had to (until recently when we got an updated JunOS that fixes the issue) entirely remove all traffic (gracefully) from a router before installing an FPC in case it went south and caused an ungraceful interruption to the network.

Assuming this is the same kind of problem, this should have allowed failover to occur had that been set up correctly, however. Things like routing protocols would drop adjacencies and simply route around the faulty router.

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TomS_
Stop

Re: How not to do large-scale safety-critical systems

Or, how about: we're selling these services dirt cheap to residential Internet users, with no SLA, we dont need to offer a fully resilient network because thats not conducive to the low cost product that the masses want.

But... if you're a business or enterprise customer and want to pay a bit more for a different kind of service, one that includes an SLA, then sure, we'll provision it in a redundant way such that maybe, and only maybe, the most catastrophic of events will cause an outage.

People seem to get all uppity when they buy something, agree to the terms under which it will be delivered, and then it fails and they wonder why.

Sure its not the worker drones fault, but I say its not managements fault either. Its the consumers fault for wanting to pay jack squat and expect something gold plated. If you want uninterrupted Internet access, youve got to pay more than a couple of 10'ers a month...

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Rackspace lands in Australia

TomS_
WTF?

Re: Good luck

eh? What you say doesnt make any sense.

In the 12 years I was an Internet user, and the 6 or so that I was directly involved in the provision and operation of Internet inside Australia, there was never once a situation that left the entire country without connectivity.

There are at least 5 submarine cables servicing Australia that I know of, one from the west (SEA-ME-WE3) and 4 from the east (SXC north and south, PPC-1, AJC), two of which (SXC) are operated by the same company and allow them to offer fully resilient services. You could count 5 from the east coast if you include Telstras Endeavour cable, but I dont believe this is available for general "public consumption" like the others.

Individual providers have had their outages affecting a large chink of users, but most providers will experience something like this at some stage. And any provider worth any fraction of its weight in gold will take a combination of capacity and transit from multiple cables and local providers for maximum coverage in case of a fault.

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Carriers resisting FCC slug on international cables

TomS_
FAIL

To even suggest this ...

... makes my blood boil.

Mad with power? Getting to big for their boots? They seem to know no bounds for imposing their flavour of law and rule on the rest of the world (and its not even one of the good flavours.) They are certainly the land of the brave for trying this on...

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Naked gyrating iPad vid exposes truth behind Apple's billions

TomS_
Unhappy

Perhaps ironically

the video will not play on my iPad.

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IPv6 networking: Bad news for small biz

TomS_
Stop

Re: crazy academic led BS as usual?

Tell that to Internode, an Australian ISP that has been offering native dual stack connectivity for years, and the IPv6 portion is done without NAT - 100% pure and natural IPv6.

Would pay to do a little research before making any claims... :-)

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Oz regulator to Apple: Don’t call it 4G if you can’t connect

TomS_
Megaphone

But, you can ...

... in a country that has a 4G network.

Apple has already included a notice to customers who bought a new iPad in Australia that it is not compatible with any 4G networks that exist.

See: http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPad-3-4G-Teardown/8277/1?revisionid=HED

And just the same, you can take your car to Germany and drive on parts of the autobahn and reach well in excess of 230km/h.

I dont want to sound like a fanboi, but Apple are just advertising the devices capabilities, just like a car manufacturer asvertises that a car is capable of Xkm/h. It can do what it says, you just have to use it in the right environment - whether you happen to live in that environment is beside the point, you have to make sure you understand what you can do with any given device in your area. Otherwise, car manufacturers would have to advertise that a car is only capable of the maximum speed limit, which is just plain silly when it can do much more, just because you happen to live in an area which has enforced speed limits. How often do your hear of consumer outrage towards car manufacturers because their local roads are sign posted below the top speed of a car!?

So you buy an iPad that has 4G capabilities, but there are no 4G networks in your area? Thats not Apples fault. Blame your network operators. If you bought the device assuming you would get 4G speeds, thats your problem for not researching it properly. But lucky for these people, the Gov is there to protect them ... from their own stupidity.

Granted, these companies do use certain details as selling points for their wares, but unfortunately there is that percentage of the market that cant, wont, or dont educate themselves appropriately before making a purchase that inevitably leads to these kind of regulatory interventions, which really arent necessary and only serve to make it look like a company has done something dodgy when really they havent.

And they say the consumer is always right. I really loathe that saying...

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Irish ISPs urged to fit child porn filters

TomS_
Megaphone

Call Australia

Call Australia and ask them how their implementation went, or didnt.

This topic was debated furiousley, and after a couple of revisions was eventually scrapped, or shelved at least.

There were fears about performance, scope creep, and the fact that a filter doesnt actually prevent anything.

Once you filter it off the web, if you can get all of it, you force the content underground. It becomes available only via secure and encrypted means, making it impossible to find without knowing where to look - a filter cant look inside an encrypted data stream without being able to decrypt it. Therefore, and with minimal effort, anyone can still continue to access the same content without fear of being watched. All you need is a VPN to another country.

Scope creep is a particularly worrying one. Once the filter is in place, various groups will all push to have content they dont like added in to it. Australias filter suffered this problem during development. Originally it was purely about blocking access to child porn etc - "protect the children from the big bad Internet." Then it also included protecting copyright material (i.e. blocking pirate p2p etc.) And finally it included enforcing content classification - that is, blocking access to content that has been banned, not classified, or simply refused classification by the Govt.

And then at least for some, performance is another issue. Australia trialled several filtering units before selecting one. Worringly, the boxes were only tested to support 12mbit/sec per user, when numerous ISPs were already offering speed from twice that all the way up to 100mbit - and the Govts own plans to introduce FTTH with speeds ranging up to 100mbit/sec. There was also debate about who was going to bear the cost of purchasing all this gear...

So while the intentions are good, the reality is that its a highly controversial move and very difficult to implement.

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Life at Googleplex REVEALED in hot pics

TomS_

Re: Re: To hell with the office.

"Just to look cool"? Seriousley?

I use a Mac at work, and at home, and the reasons for doing so couldnt be further from trying to look cool. Its purely functional. OS X is a very unixey OS under the hood (having its roots in BSD, afterall), but without needing to look after it like a regular *nix box. It also looks nicer than Windows IMO, its refeshing. :-)

For me, that is what counts. I work in a technical environment (telecommunications, specifically networking and IP), and the in-the-box utilities that come with OS X and many other *nixes are simply better than those on Windows - but thats entirely from the point of view of my particular job. For others they may be perfectly fine.

Sure I could just use Ubuntu or one of the many other more so user friendly *nix distros, but Ive also grown to like OS X and have a good selection of software that I am familiar with, and TBH Im just happy right where I am - thats the preference bit coming into play.

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Inside WD's flooded Thai factory

TomS_

"Inside" ?

I call this a walk around the outside. Come on .....

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AT&T asks Apple to signal iPhone 4S is a 4G phone

TomS_
Stop

Just what we need

More dilution of technical terms to suit the marketing department. What T-Mobile has done is stupid. What AT&T are trying is just plain wrong.

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Air traffic control data found on eBayed network gear

TomS_
FAIL

I purchased a Cisco router in Australia a couple of years ago that had a full config, incuding dial-on-demand config and routing protocols for Air Services Australia. It was configured to dial into a Melbourne number, and form an routing protocol adjacency (dont remember exactly which one), and included passwords (in reversable hash format.)

I didnt inform them, but I had no ill intents, but imagine if someone with such intents got their hands on it? They had all the details they needed to start poking around inside a potentially critical network!

I also purchased another router maybe a year ago that had full configuration for Coca Cola Amatil on it. Looked like the router from their Brisbane office. It also contained service IDs for WAN circuits linking to their other offices...

Amazing how much of this stuff is out there!

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