General networking
Data network connectivity developments, networking business news, and related computing items.

Ken Novak's Weblog


daily link  Friday, October 29, 2004


ME2TV for television over Internet:  How some systems are working to encode ordinary TV and stream it in realtime over the Internet, anywhere in the world.  Uses 384 kbps with a 10-second buffer.  3:47:40 PM  permalink  


daily link  Wednesday, October 27, 2004


JointVenture's Index of Silicon Valley:  In depth assessment of the economy and quality of life in the valley.  Some highlights:

  • has lost 15% of the jobs it had at the peak in 2000, down to 1996-97 levels
  • average pay has dropped about 20% from 2000 levels, back to 1998 levels after three consecutive years of decline
  • still has a much higher concentration of innovation and high-paying jobs than the US average
  • per-capita income remains stable and very high compared to the US average ($53k vs $32k)
  • value added per employee never dropped, is now $188k vs the US average $88k
  • household income dropped more for high income than median, and both are still above 1998 levels (80th pctl is $150k down from $160k, median is $85k, 20th pctl is $45k vs $28k national)
  • 26% households can afford the median home, compared to 41% in 1994 and 56% nationally today
  • commercial rents have fallen to levels below 1998's, dropping 2x-3x from 2000 peaks
  • venture capital funding has dropped 6x, back to 1998 levels (under $6B/yr)
  • 15% of people are obese compared to 20% nationally

Most data ends full year 2002, some 2003.  [Found from John Furrier's blog.  Thanks John!]

  10:18:13 PM  permalink  


daily link  Tuesday, October 26, 2004


pulver.communicator: New version of "Free World Dialup" SIP-based software for peer-to-peer VOIP, with additional features:

  • multiprotocol multiparty instant messaging (AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, MSN)
  • filtering incoming comms by contact lists
  • "social networking" - sharing and distribution of contact lists with your contacts
  • "call-me" links that can be sent to non-subscribers
  4:58:11 PM  permalink  

Freenet VoIP in BC:  Community free network in Victoria, British Columbia, that supports VOIP.   Possible model for developing areas.  4:41:15 PM  permalink  

OQO: Nifty little handheld with laptop functions, and a cradle to use it as a desktop.  Review available.  $2000.  3:37:05 PM  permalink  


daily link  Friday, October 22, 2004


Cringely gets it about BPL:  The recent Fcc approval of "broadband over power lines (BPL) is going to totally shake up the Internet industry. .. One thing to remember about electric utilities is that they are very slow and deliberate. They move like glaciers, so it will take awhile for these services to be available at your house. But like glaciers, they are also impossible to stop.

The appeal here to an electric company isn't that $20-30 per month they'll charge for becoming your ISP. What matters to them and what makes this whole thing so important is that it will lead to your electric meter being monitored 24/7. That means utilities can start to offer true dynamic pricing, with electric costs dropping in low demand time periods and dramatically rising with high demand. While that sounds bad, the end result is actually good, since for the most part, profits from electricity sales will be regulated. The real end result is that demand will be better controlled by dynamic pricing, and the utility may just be able to forego building that $2 billion power plant they've been planning and saving for over the past 20 years. Dropping $2 billion to the bottom line has to appeal to any board of directors and, in a tightly regulated environment, will probably lead to overall power rates going DOWN, not up.

So this BPL stuff is mainly about getting smart electric meters and only partly about offering Internet service. But having made the effort to build the network, offer it they will, generally through unregulated subsidiaries."  This is particularly interesting for developing and newly industrializing countries that are still building their grids and can design BPL in at the start.

  10:47:09 AM  permalink  


daily link  Tuesday, October 19, 2004


NSF Awards on Information Technology Research for National Priorities: A large batch of projects with "total estimated funding of more than $130 million over five years. Projects cover a wide range of topics, including interactive ocean observatories and deep-sea exploration; stress corrosion cracking in materials; protection of critical infrastructures; improvements to healthcare processes; and secure access to confidential social science data. .. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University received a $2.2 million award to develop new approaches to modeling and controlling the electric power grid. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, are leading a $3.4 million effort to monitor and protect the Internet's Domain Name System, key to maintaining the reliability and stable evolution of the Internet. And in a $2.3 million project at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, researchers are working to develop new collaboration technologies for disaster relief and recovery in urban settings... "  Health care, business processes, and large databases also get attention.  (Thanks to Roland Piquepaille, who provides more coverage on the undersea Internet instrumentation project.)

  7:50:51 PM  permalink  


daily link  Monday, October 18, 2004


Strong Angel II: Lessons Learned.  Several points of advice from Cmdr Eric Rasmussen.   Also online:  Video emphasizing Groove, and some presentations with excellent notes. "If there was a single core statement that emerged from the week of collaborative integration and post-conflict reconstruction design, it would be “COMMS FIRST”. Whether the communications was language translation, data transmission, voice-over-IP, reference library accessibility, or cultural explanation, the overarching concept of communication proved far more valuable than political, diplomatic, or religious statements. .. Bring the best and most inclusive language, communications and collaboration tools you have, incorporate everyone into your comms sphere daily with a constant expansion of service, teach the locals – especially police, fire, and medical – what they need to know to keep it all running when you leave, and then give them everything when you walk away. "  Great demo of important features:

  • Babylon Chat, a multilingual realtime chat tool within Groove
  • Recording and distribution tool for local emergency radio, allowing monitoring from anywhere on the Internet
  • Jeep-mounted wifi "pony express"
  • VSee (good photos on their site) for video-conferencing, whether p2p, air-to-ground, sea-to-shore (!) or integrated into Groove workspaces
  • Various disaster-specific reporting and coordination tools, some with GIS mapping
  10:56:19 PM  permalink  


daily link  Saturday, October 16, 2004


AOL Offers RSA SecurID:  "AOL customers can sign up through the company's Web page for the premium service and will pay a $9.95 one-time fee to receive a keychain token by mail. The company will charge $1.95 per month to secure one screen name through PassCode, and $4.95 a month for up to seven screen names, AOL says. "  8:21:10 AM  permalink  


daily link  Thursday, October 14, 2004


ChampionChip:  Cool RFID tag application - runners attach it to their shoes and they're automatically timed at several points along a race.  Used in the Chicago marathon where 40,000 runners compete.  "The ChampionChip is a high-tech, easy to use timing device. It can provide accurate net and split times for every individual athlete. Once you buy your own yellow chip, you can use it all over the world in almost any event we time."  9:04:36 AM  permalink  

Joi Ito's Web: Will the tail wag?  Excellent discussion on the implication of Chris Anderson's article, The Long Tail: "Will there always be producers and consumers of music and other content, or does the amateur revolution really take off and completely blur the consumer and the producer of content?"  See also Charles Leadbeater's Amateur Revolution, where "From astronomy to computing, networks of amateurs are displacing the pros and spawning some of the greatest innovations..  These far-flung developments have all been driven by Pro-Ams -- committed, networked amateurs working to professional standards."  (Ref my earlier posts on "open production").  8:54:56 AM  permalink  


daily link  Monday, October 11, 2004


RAID 1 on Linux:  Some of the fine points of configuring disks on Linux.  8:55:40 AM  permalink  

Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam: The official park photo, updated every 5 mins.  8:38:50 AM  permalink  


daily link  Saturday, October 09, 2004


EFF: Voluntary Collective Licensing of Music File Sharing: A clear description of a subscription clearinghouse for p2p music sharing, modelled on radio's BMI and ASCAP.  8:00:45 AM  permalink  


daily link  Friday, October 08, 2004


Spam: Leave it to the sender: Interesting concept:  instead of sending the messages, send a notice that it is available for pickup. This leaves more control in the receiver's hands, makes broadcasting anonymous messages much harder, allows for interesting filtering options.  11:26:07 AM  permalink  


daily link  Thursday, October 07, 2004


Terrorism & Security: Review linked to many stories about Al Queda's and Zarqawi's  use of the net.  "Al Qaeda has a "virtual university" that teaches "electronic jihad." .. 'They lost their base in Afghanistan, they lost their training camps, they lost a government that allowed them do what they want within a country. Now they're surviving on Internet to a large degree. It is really their new base,' says terrorism expert Peter Bergen." .. [It gives] new awful meaning to the words 'online community.' "  Specific example of use of YouSendIt file transfer service for videos.

  6:06:11 PM  permalink  


daily link  Wednesday, October 06, 2004


The Protocol Informatics Project: Application of bioinformatic algorithms, which decode DNA sequences, to computer protocols, allowing the discovery of protocol structure from captured data.  Could be useful in network debugging, generating test data, or even discovering hackers.  Other info: article in Wired, excellent presentation with diagrams.  8:51:38 AM  permalink  


daily link  Tuesday, October 05, 2004


Expand offers DSL-scale accelerator: List price $1995.  10:39:54 AM  permalink  


daily link  Sunday, October 03, 2004


getNoCatInfo.pl - mrtg script: Performs wget to scrape web pages for values and passes to MRTG for tracking and analysis.  From Scott Lemon.  12:43:16 PM  permalink  


daily link  Friday, October 01, 2004


Open source networking:  Wireless for TV-on-demand, VOIP, and broadband, on a neighborhood scale in Canada, all with iopen-source software.  One PDA acts as thin-client PC, TV remote control, and roaming phone (home, work, mobile).  A community PVR server records and plays essentially everything from wholesale cable sources.  Interesting future vision, to be sold by the Canadian company as a futuristic WISP.  Could be a model for new developing country infrastructure.  9:33:41 AM  permalink  

P2P Traffic Analysis: Great presentation on the amount of P2P traffic in a recent sample: over 50%, compared to about 10-20% for HTTP.  BitTorrent is about 2/3 of the P2P.  [via Hugh Pyle and boingboing]  12:20:34 AM  permalink  

Copyright 2005 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 11/24/2005; 11:34:31 PM.
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