Saturday, January 31, 2009

Feeling diabolical? But your the good guy? Your ISP won't think so.

MLAB is attempting to provide users with the tools to test their broadband connections by briefly communicating with a server elsewhere on the Internet.

I could have a lab like Dexter if it wasn't for the high cost of maintenance and power. Besides I don't have a basement.

Ping testing doesn't really tell you that much about your connection. You get your response time and whether your packets made it or not. The ISP world treats ICMP packets (PING) with very low priority. Also routers do more than route these days. High speed routers forward packets in hardware with very little processing required allowing them to handle more data faster.

Your packets are queued, buffered, and prioritized based on many factors. In many ways its like a first class ticket on a plane. The more you pay the better your treated. But imagine if the plane was loosing fuel and they needed to loose weight or they will crash. Imagine if they decided to throw third class passengers out the door.

The plane analogy doesn't describe the Internet very well. Its more like a highway with a HOV lane for the rich, When traffic is flowing good everyone is treated the same. When traffic is congested the HOV cars get through. The reason I like the plane analogy because in the HOV analogy all cars make it to the destination. In reality on the Internet your packets get tossed out to prevent the situation from getting worse for everyone.

Now you have the tools to see if your being treated like a customer or a criminal.

Network Diagnostic Tool
Test your connection speed and receive sophisticated diagnosis of problems limiting speed.
Test whether BitTorrent is being blocked or throttled.
Network Path and Application Diagnosis
Diagnose common problems that impact last-mile broadband networks.
DiffProbe (coming soon)
Determine whether an ISP is giving some traffic a lower priority than other traffic.
NANO (coming soon)
Determine whether an ISP is degrading the performance of a certain subset of users, applications, or destinations.

The PlanetLab Consortium joins Google and the Open Technology Institute in creating Measurement Lab (M-Lab), a distributed server platform for deploying Internet measurement tools. M-Lab is designed to empower the public with useful information about their broadband connections.

Don't let the ISPs run away with your re-concatenator/assembler high speed compression port adaptor.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What is in a number?

Free Voicemail and Web Based Fax

K7 offers users of the service a free phone in the 206 area code through which they can receive faxes and voicemails. Any faxes/voicemails received on the number are forwarded as email attachments or can be accessed via their website.

So, how can they afford to provide this service? Well, because of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, CLECs get paid by other providers for the termination (answering) of a phone call. Thus, every time you pickup the phone, your phone company gets a small amount of money from the carrier that originated a call. Normally, carriers are constantly making calls that terminate at other carriers and vice versa. But, K7 is a service that only receives calls and does not generate calls to other carriers, so all those termination fees, which would usually flow both ways end up flowing only into K7’s bank account and not out! This one way flow of money was distressing enough to most carriers that they protested strongly and got the law rewritten somewhat, but there is a grandfather clause for companies like K7 that were already in operation.

Anyways, sign up for an account (a very simple process that won't require you to divulge any personally identifiable information)


Better way to surf

Ixquick Protects Your Privacy !
The only search engine that deletes your personal data. - I'm not sure this is true. I heard is doing the same but I can't find a "seal of approval" telling me its true.

Your privacy is under attack ! - no doubt about it. Google is the worst offender and getting worse each day.

Every time you use a regular search engine, your search data is recorded.Your search terms, the time of your visit, the links you choose, your IP address and your User ID cookies all get stored in a database.The identity profiles that can be constructed from this cloud of information represent modern day gold for marketers.But government officials, hackers and even criminals also have an interest in getting their hands on your personal search data. And sooner or later they will... - this is really true, this info will be used in so many ways of which none you will like.

What could happen ?

Consider the following story:In August 2006, the online world was jarred by the AOL privacy scandal:AOL released three months' worth of aggregated search data from 650,000 of its users, publishing all the details in an online database. This database is still search able. It is an absolute.

Google may be or already took up a contract with the NSA to operate a data center on the google campus. This really isn't important except if you wish to protect your rights to privacy and truly have freedom. Freedom is about your God given right to express yourself in any way you want without hurting other people. Religion is a great example and in societies like China you do not have this kind of freedom to believe.
The problem here is that Google may even want to protect your information but when they say its a matter of National security and you are now locked out of your building, they won't need a reason why and will never have to answer for it in the future. Nobody will even know what was compromised.