* Posts by ipghod

14 posts • joined 12 May 2014

Nest thermostat owners out in the cold after software update cockup


Ugh. I have 2 of the things in my new house... The upstairs one no longer holds a charge after the software update, but works fine if I swap it with the downstairs one.

it's bizzare. has been working fine all year, and then just suddenly... not.

I didn't want wifi enabled 'smart' thermostats. This is def. one of those 'to much of a good thing' kind of things, and why I personally think the 'internet of things' is going to wind up being way too much trouble for most people to bother with.

I mean, really. When keeping your 'smart device' going consumes more time and energy than it's supposedly helping you save, whats the point?

Net neutrality: How to spot an arts graduate in a tech debate


Re: Poor analogy

maybe not better, but more accurate..

imagine every place has a private driveway you pay to maintain, and every intersection has a toll, with your toll based on how often you go through.

certain areas decide to flat rate the intersections, to save time and effort, with everyone understanding they are to attempt to maintain equitable usage and not hog the roads.

and then a Walmart buys the land next to the intersection, connects it's parking lot to a single road at the intersection, and floods that intersection with traffic. the people running the intersection have to install lights to keep traffic moving through the now overloaded intersection.

in the political 'net neutrality' world, Walmart is fully justified in claiming the maintainer of the intersection should add more roads, widen all the feeders, and do away with the traffic lights, because deep inside one of the neighborhoods that helps fund the intersection, there is a farmers market, a butcher , and an auto parts store, so clearly, installing traffic lights was designed to hurt walmart's business.

asking Walmart to pay for widening the intersection, or bypassing it completely, and extending their parking lot directly to the neighborhood is 'unfair', because people want acces to Walmart, and how dare you stop them from getting there! freedom to travel!

net neutrality as a movement is well intentioned, but needs to stay grounded in the reality that any 'anti neutral' behavior requires actual proof of an intention to harm someone, not a conspiracy theory based on a metaphor.


yes, exactly! the ongoing problem is attempting to run this backwards: presuming there is intent and that common network resources have been 'sold twice' when performance is bad.

if, for example, carrier x has poor performance to customer Y -because- Ys traffic demands back to carrier X's customers overwhelmed a common public connection, the lack of performance is not 'proof' of an evil intent, nor is proposing customer Y buy a larger, private connection to carrier X as a solution to the problem.

it also begs the question if carrier X can hold customer Y responsible for spamming it's public interface with traffic that starves out other legitimate traffic (an unintentional denial of service), and would therefore be justified in taking active measures to protect their network (rate limiting).

the point of the article is well taken, but should not be turned into the old 'engineering vs philosophy' argument again. the philosophy of the open network, we all get. just because some ethusiasticly vigilant philosophers have misunderstood technical jargon, and attempted to hijack engineering's means to deliver their end, doesn't make their points irrelevant, it's just their attempt to force a method based on a metaphor that needs to be stopped cold.

when you shout 'technical foul', and then spout metaphors that fall apart with the most casual of technical inspection for justification, it tends to reinforce the idea that you should keep your hands to yourself.

your wishes have been made clear, and will be respected. now keep your hands out of the config files, please.

Net neutrality fans' joy as '2.3 million email' flood hits US Congress


we've demanded that since 1997. the result has been DSL falling by the wayside and being replaced with cable and Ethernet.

DSL has been open access since then, and has seen tons of money go down the tubes, taking many small companies with it, as they fail to be able to deal with the realities of the limitations involved in serving customers that are spread far and wide, geographically, with a technology that was simply not up to the task.

You can thank Brit funnyman John Oliver for fixing US broadband policy, beams Netflix


Re: Correct me if I'm wrong...

ok, your wrong.

you don't pay comcast for access to netflix, you pay for internet access, which becomes best effort once you exit the comcast controlled part of the network.

Netflix buying internet from someone who has a crap peering agreement with comcast means netflix made a mistake, if they were planning to have a lot of customers using comcast.

that's just network design 101. if it's important, you make sure you have enough along the entire path. going with a bulk discount provider to get a better price per gig of internet, when you are pushing 30% of the Internets load in an evening, just means you have failed to appreciate the realities of your impact on the network. the fix is simple. bypass the middle man, and buy straight from the source. in fact, I'm pretty sure they got a better price per gig from comcast than the have in their long term agreement with the other guys... if their lawyers were good enough! I'll bet they have an out clause for non performance ;)


Re: The scam is to make the customer pay twice

that is NOT what net neutrality is about, unless you are part of the mob of useful idiots being whipped into a fury over nothing.

it's also not how things work on the internet.

net neutrality is about maintaining the free flow of information across the internet, and is being dealt with very seriously by folks who actually understand the real issues.


has some excellent information about it. watching some of the video there from this years discussion on the topic really brings it home when one delegate say quite archly that 'having enough bandwidth to watch netflix in HD is definitely a 'first world problem', and not something that should be distracting us from the real issues'

there are also some good points about the exceptions to 'free flow' that are currently accepted, and why they are there (all of them have to do with protecting the integrity of the infrastructure), so rate limiting traffic that is from a single source, and burning through half of your bandwidth in a single link, is ok.

again, unless you believe bandwidth is free, grows on trees, and people are just being selfish and trying to deny you your netflix 'because'


verizon charges end users for access to it's network which includes using it's peering connections with other carriers to hit sites not directly on the verizon network. what those end users do is subject to it's terms and conditions, some of which make it very clear that once you leave the verizon network, there are no service guarantees, because it's outside Verizon's control.

assuming a model where the carrier is providing dumb pipe (which they are) and said carrier manages resources in an even handed manner (which, considering they manage bandwidth, I'd have to say they are), the carriers job is to ensure no single entity can dominate what is a public shared connection. If that breaks netflix, that's on netflix, not on verizon. the easy fix is to buy a connection into Verizon. there is nothing new, revolutionary, or wrong with that, unless, apparently, you want to squint at it funny, demand that a carrier is responsible for end to end service, even if they don't own the entire path, and dream up some fantasy where 'evil corporate ISPs are out to ruin my business model by making me pay for access, when I already pay someone else for internet!'

you don't buy a 'netflix' pipe from Verizon. Unless Verizon had some means of guaranteeing performance to Netflix, it would be legally questionable to describe their service using another company's brand.

furthermore, Verizon's user base gives them some power over the negotiations with how to move netflix's product onto their infrastructure. being a 'net consumer' of bandwidth has zero to do with the infrastructure they have to maintain in order to support the eyeballs they feed. nobody gives them bandwidth to feed those eyeballs, they have to exchange or pay for it. why is netflix different?

if netflix wants to do them a 'favor' by giving them something that is going to make their network management problems worse, as well as suck power and space in their data centers, Verizon has the power to say 'no', and netflix will feel it.

put another way, you don't get to walk into my house, and demand I buy new furniture because you're dating my daughter. and you sure as hell don't demand I pay for the limo and hotel room every weekend so you can wine and dine her! and then having the balls to take an ad out in the paper telling the whole world I'm preventing my daughter from enjoying you're charms by not giving YOU everything you want for free? please.

but again, miss understanding the role of the carrier here is the fundamental mistake this entire discussion makes.

the only way you could accuse them of double dipping, is if they sold netflix a transit connection, and then made them pay extra to 'expose' them to their user base. which is NOT happening.


except, they don't, actually.

exchanges are designed for traffic EXCHANGE. I.e., useful traffic for you, useful traffic for me, and we split the interface and cross connect fees. we both pay to be in the exchange space.

when you don't have an exchange relationship, one side is now the provider, the other is the customer. which is the relationship the end carriers are demanding they should have with netflix (just like they have with all the other large content providers who want access).

Netflix is bitching because their main ISPs exchange numbers go wonky once a certain amount of the traffic they present to their peers is netflix only. it skewers the exchange numbers against the 3rd party provider, and creates legal issues in their peering relationship.

since exchange connections are meant for exchange, there is zero motivation to upgrade because a single end site is performing poorly across that link. how do we know it's the link? VPN out another link and run netflix from a carrier that has a better connection back to Netflix and it runs fine. bypass the congested link and there isn't a problem.

why does it work this way? simple. once a single entity begins to impact a publicly shared connection due to it's volume, the traditional (and btw, technically sound) way to ensure that shared connection continues to perform well is to optimize the route for that single source, by putting it on it's own interface. since this is now a dedicated connection, standard transit rates apply.

Netflix is objecting to paying the standard transit rates by calling out those carriers and pretending they are being asked to 'double dip' (which is something only someone with zero understanding of how things actually run on the network would say), Netflix et.al. is over simplifying a technical issue in order to use the standard class envy/hate to their advantage...

people fall for it because they want to believe there is some all powerful evil corporate monopoly conspiring to put netflix out of business so they can 'force' you to buy their own streaming media service...

but that really doesn't make much sense. they can't give that stuff away now. if you have cable service, they are already giving you as much 'free' media as you want via their standard broadcast packages.

since the media streaming business, (technical challenges of network infrastructure aside) revolves around obtaining and maintaining licenses from the original content creators, the battle isn't in the access side, it's in the legal side. so long as netflix can maintain a library of content people want, esp when they lock it up for media streaming, they are effectively blocking everyone else from competing with them!

but I'm sure that's 'ok'....

Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC


Re: I'm so confused

Just to be clear:

Netflix has only 'demonstrated' that the path to certain ISPs from THEIR purchased transit connection is slow. We've had people who know just enough to be dangerous perform 'tests' where they VPN to another ISP and run netflix through their VPN connection to 'prove' netflix is being throttled, yet fail to note that the VPN connection goes through an unrelated connection to where the original netflix stream would have gone. In otherwords, the 'test' is worthless.

All it really means, is the transit provider they bought from wasn't giving them the performance to a third party destination they wanted... Which is out of netflix's hands, until they take the proper steps that EVERY ISP and content provider since the network started being built has taken, without throwing a screaming hissy fit about how unfair it is.

Netflix's transit provider lacked the leverage to negotiate a better agreement with those end networks (Verizon, ATT, TWC, Comcast, etc). And indeed, what did they have to offer that those folks wanted? Access to a huge bump in traffic of the type that doesn't take well to being managed? And you want us to PAY to load our own network down for a SINGLE application? I don't see the benefit there. All the current situation does is expose a glaring weakness in the original netflix business plan (We can do it for cheap, because we can buy tons of 'Internet' transport from my discount provider _really_ cheap).

Surprise, transport _is_ cheap, but not THAT cheap. And best effort MEANS best effort. If your traffic looks like a DDOS attack on my peering point, why can't I control how much traffic comes from a certain block of IPs/ASN? It's MY network and MY peering connection. It doesn't belong to Netflix, and they have ZERO say as to what I do with it. The 'net neutrality' mis-explanation going around would either effectively eliminate the network admin's judgment on how the network is run and replace it with regulations, (which would make the network useless, as it's over-run with crap they aren't allowed to filter/block/control), or demand ISPs build interconnects at no charge to each other, regardless of the value proposition between them. (If I start rick-flix, am I allowed to compel all major ISPs to drop mutliple 10GE connections into my data center on the off chance they may accidentally limit my traffic? for free? why not! If they don't I'll be limited!)

It's high time the entire idea of 'public network means I can do whatever I want' dies. These facilities are run with the idea that they can pay for themselves, over time, as well as finance the next round of upgrades. If Netflix wants to sabotage that model by accelerating everyone's upgrade schedule so granny can watch matlock in HD on 3 screens around the house, either the ISP has to control how much bandwidth granny consumes, or they have to find a way to get SOMEONE to pay the freight for her busting the subscription model that allows her to pay $70 a month for big bandwidth instead of $700

none of these facts are in dispute. Netflix, in the past, simply refused to acknowledge them, refused to understand that the entire network was built on the idea that everyone needs to contribute based on their utilization, and that certain apps are not suited to be run over public interconnects. THAT is reality, and no amount of legislation, moaning and bitching about 'fairness' or 'neutrality' is going to change that reality.


good. I guess the other content providers explained to them the way the internet works, to quit bitching and just pay the freight like everyone else does.

Apple is KILLING OFF BONKING, cries mobe research dude


From the states....

I've been using NFC on my phone with google wallet for a few weeks now... local stores finally upgraded and activated their payment stations to support it.


I like that wallet hides my 'real' CC number.

I like I get an email when wallet processes a payment.

I like not having to fumble through my wallet for discount cards and credit cards at the stand. I never realized what a hassle it was until I started using my phone this way.

seems faster than the chip reader


not turned on in enough places

Trying to decide if I want to leave NFC radio turned off when I'm not actually using it, or if the fact I only put a single payment option, that has extra protection against being defrauded on it is 'good enough'.

which means, in my mind, basic security is going to inhibit the designed goal of dumping all your money into google wallet, where it's actually at risk. Using the tool to keep things separate seems like a better way to take advantage of the convenience, while limiting my exposure. (I also don't keep cash in my wallet, stays in a different pocket. What can I say, I'm big on 'no single point of failure')

WTF is Net Neutrality, anyway? And how can we make everything better?


Re: wierd facts

They aren't peering with comast, they bought transit from them... so, in addition to going straight to a HUGE percentage of endusers, they also get to leverage comcasts peering and transit connections. In other words, they realized they made a mistake on their infrastructure, and they fixed it. There is no point putting a 20k square foot warehouse store in a town with only 1500 people. You have to put that sucker in the middle of a major metropolitan area for it to 'work'.

Comcast's network capacity has never been the issue. the issue has always been 'how does comcast justify upgrading a peering connection with a carrier that is already hugely lopsided because of one of it's customers'

pull that one customer off that line and put them somewhere else, and the problem is now fixed. What do you know! maybe those guys who RUN THE NETWORK actually know something about... mmmm, RUNNING THE NETWORK? <insert BOFH moment>

there is no such thing as a 'public backbone commitment'. In fact, there is no such thing as a 'public backbone', nor has their been in the US. The only portions of network that could be considered owned by the public would be the private networks maintained by government and Internet2 which is pretty much all university and research facility stuff.

Internet peering is an amazingly pure form of commerce. It doesn't matter how big a footprint you have, it doesn't matter how many customers you have. The only thing that matters is if you have something a peer wants/needs to make THEIR network better, or the color of your money.

injecting all these conspiracy theories about 'the man keeping us DOWN' simply illustrates someone recognizing their business plan didn't take into account the realities of their transport costs. I mean, damn... Looking at the Net Neutrality: what you need to know page is a laundry list of things to be afraid of. THEY EVEN THROW DOWN THE RACE CARD! cause you know, ISPs have so much spare time laying around, they can take the time to censor your website if you are promoting some kind of minority rights campaign...

big carriers pinching off competitors packets? why would they do that? where is the MONEY in that? because you seem to forget the other side of the coin. once one carrier decides to get cute that way, nothing protects them from an all out war with every other carrier.

It's happened in the past. anyone remember AGIS? (who's moldy remains are now owned by COGENT) AGIS thought nothing of hosting spam generating customers, which were ACTIVELY blocked by most major carriers at the time. If you had net neutrality, wouldn't everyone be forced to allow such things? They ended up out of business for pushing unwanted data on the rest of us. This is a great example of the good people who actually run the internet, acting independently to maintain the integrity of the system. In virtually every case where someone demands a law be made to help police what goes on online, it's based on a broken assumption.

COGENT based outages used to be a regular thing on the network, as they would string along their peering partners, blatantly abusing their peering agreements, until they had their plug pulled. I think the last MAJOR pain they caused was when sprint de-peered them in 2008?

Oddly enough, COGENTS failure to maintain their agreements is also a reason for demanding 'real net neutrality', since their failure results in disruption of the network, other carriers should be FORCED to deal with them. What?

Which brings us to the sticking point: How does NETFLIX making a poor choice in transit carrier for their needs translate into a need for net neutrality? Are we really going to start picking winners and losers online? or are we going to force everyone to fund everything, regardless of how inefficient, broken, or otherwise faulty it is, in the name of 'fair'.

Fair is an artificial construct designed to promote competition and innovation. it's not supposed to be a bludgeon to force everyone else into going along with someone's screw ups.


Re: Do you like Facebook, Netflix, or Google?

Yes, and that _would_ be a guess. because you didn't bother to read their quarterly report (they are a public company) where they detail how many billions a year they spend on network upgrades.

"Net Neutrality" doesn't exit, and never has existed, except in the form of the basic, underlying intent of connecting all these private networks. This net neutrality political crap is what content providers have been screaming about since day 1. 'evil ISP controls my fate, I have no choice, why should I have to 'pay twice' to deliver my content!' waa waa waa waa... We've heard this over and over again, since about 30 days since they begin allowing commerce on the network.

In it's simplest terms, carrier interactions are all about equality and value swap. The fact of the matter is, no one has incentive to peer with netflix, because they have nothing of value to offer another carrier. Oh, my customers can get to your app better? How does that help me with the 1000 other things my customers do on my network? Oh, if I don't do it, your going to scream 'foul' and run off to your pet congress critter? Fine, let me know how that works out.

Google realized long ago they needed to NOT rely on infrastructure that they had little control over. They even hired an old sk00l Internet dude to oversee it for em. It's that important. They grumbled a little bit about it, but reality and logic aren't just words, they represent certain non-negotiable facts about WHY things work on the Internet.

If you carry your example of a 'startup google' to it's logical conclusion, you would realize any startup doesn't generate enough bandwidth to make a dent in the overall scheme of things. esp if they are trying to be efficient. It's not worth the time, effort or money to throttle back someone like that. And guess what. there are ways around being throttled, which boils down to 'buy access to your customers'...

You know, just like every single business on the planet has done since the beginning of civilization. Want to service customers? you have to buy a storefront where they are at. pay for shipping your goods so you can put them where the customers can access them. maintain the storefront.

What you are ACTUALLY saying is "I shouldn't have to finance the carrier beyond a normal 'cheap' home cable connection" knowing full well they have different rates for different types of connections, based on your usage needs.

Should people be afraid their carrier is going to abuse them? Sure. after all, it's natural to fear things one doesn't understand. But is there any MONEY in being abused in a way that throttles back something based on where it's coming from? No, not really. Unless it's coming in over a shared interface that you have to manage the capacity on... In which case, how is it UNFAIR to prevent a single destination from bullying it's way into an unfair share of someone else's connection?

just saying 'it's the carriers job to provide unlimited bandwidth to the entire planet' sounds nice and particularly entitled, but it doesn't say that in _any_ service contract you agreed to, nor will it ever say anything more than 'best effort' on your cheap home internet connections.


Re: A lot depends on the location

we must be neighbors!


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