Net neutrality is dead, but it probably doesn’t matter

 

powellLast week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia shot holes in the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s version of net neutrality saying the Commission was wrong not in trying to regulate Internet Service Providers but in trying to regulate them as Common Carriers, that is as telephone utilities. The FCC can’t have it both ways, said the Court, and so the Feds get to try all over again. Or will they? I think events are moving so quickly that by the time this particular argument is worked out all the players will have changed and the whole argument may be moot.

If you read the court’s near-unanimous decision they leave the […]

Clothing may be optional but bufferbloat isn’t

This is my promised update on bufferbloat, the problem I write about occasionally involving networks and applications that try to improve the flow of streaming data, especially video data, over the Internet but actually do the opposite, defeating TCP/IP’s own flow control code that would do the job much better if only it were allowed to. I first mentioned bufferbloat in January 2011 and it is still with us but the prognosis is improving, though it will probably take years to be fully resolved.

If you read my last column on LagBuster, you know it’s a hardware-based workaround for some aspects of bufferbloat aimed especially at gamers. LagBuster is a coping strategy for one […]

By |October 1st, 2012|2012, Internet, Technology|Comments Off

LagBuster makes online games play faster — even Call of Duty

This was intended to be an update column on bufferbloat, a problem mentioned in my January 2011 predictions that is messing with our enjoyment of bad movies on NetFlix and other streaming video services. There’s good news about bufferbloat but that will have to wait a day or so because this column is about something completely different — LagBuster. If you are a serious gamer you need LagBuster.

The difference between bufferbloat and lag is that bufferbloat is mainly downstream (video server to you) while lag is mainly upstream (you to the game server). Bufferbloat is caused by large memory buffers in devices like routers and in applications like media players messing […]

Beginning of the end for bufferbloat

As the go-to source for all news relating to bufferbloat, I’m glad to announce that the first of several possible solutions to the problem will shortly be available, just in time to save the Internet from self-destruction.

What, you didn’t know the Internet was self-destructing? Well it is.

Bufferbloat, my #1 prediction from 2011, is an artifact of cheap memory and bad planning in the Internet Age. In order to keep our porn streaming without interruption we add large memory buffers in applications, network cards or chipsets, routers, more routers, and even more routers until the basic flow control techniques of the TCP protocol are completely overwhelmed. Data glugs through the system like a gas can with […]

Linux 3.3: Finally a little good news for bufferbloat

While I was out chasing computer history last week, the Linux 3.3 kernel was released. And a very interesting release it is, though not for its vaunted re-inclusion of certain Android kernel hacks. I think that modest move is being overblown in the press.  No, Linux 3.3 appears to be the first OS to really take a shot at reducing the problem of bufferbloat. It’s not the answer to this scourge, but it will help some, especially since Linux is so popular for high volume servers.

Bufferbloat, as you’ll recall from my 2011 predictions column, is the result of our misguided attempt to protect streaming applications (now 80 percent of Internet packets) by putting […]

By |March 25th, 2012|2012|39 Comments